More and more people are moving to Texas, both from other states and out of the country. This begs the question, is Texas a good place to live? Though it has a reputation for being a cowboy state with a lawless existence and too many guns, many aspects make Texas a great place to live.
Like any state, there are both advantages and disadvantages to calling Texas home. Many who decide to relocate to the Lone Star state do so because of necessity. And yet, many end up staying. Plenty of people believe that the disadvantages to Texas are worth putting up with just to reap its benefits.
Texas appeals to a certain kind of person, one with a good work ethic who values privacy but also prefers not to judge too harshly. Though Texas is often depicted as a disreputable place full of laughable characters, the actual state has grown into a respectable and modern place to live.
This list takes a good look at the different reasons to live in Texas and whether or not they are valid. Here are our 21 pros and cons of living in Texas.
The advantages to living in Texas speak to the majority of hard-working, family-oriented people.
#1 Job Boom
Recently the oil and gas boom in Texas has drawn a lot of new inhabitants. Most people move to the state because of a job offer. Jobs in Texas are often highly paid but are less popular because of the location.
A job boom promises employment status for anyone who can’t find work elsewhere. Texas job booms draw entrepreneurial people with energy and great work ethics who usually transfer for the job and end up staying for the state.
Many jobs are currently incorporated in oil and gas, which is notorious for providing good income for most people. Many available jobs for recent graduates are also based out of Texas. Often, recent graduate opportunities are also high-paying and career-driving ventures similar to those found in more popular states.
#2 More Affordable
Texas has a low cost of living in comparison with more popular living areas such as the west or east coast. Along with cheap housing prices, this allows people living in Texas to thrive more cheaply and retain more of their paycheck.
Frequently, places like New York or LA are too pricey to live without roommates or even a second job. But it’s easy to live quite comfortably in Texas without the worry of being stretched too thin.
Often Texas can provide comparative salaries to other states, so the difference in money earned usually is quite similar. These salaries go a long way in Texas where goods and services are typically more affordable.
#3 Affordable Homes
Because of the low cost of living, buying a home is also much easier to do in Texas. Cities such as New York or LA make it very difficult to sustain a job that provides enough money to buy a house, but in Texas, it’s quite easy for the majority of people to save up and stop renting.
Buying land is also much more affordable in Texas. Land acquisition is an easier and more streamlined process than in other states, which allows for more people to be able to own their houses and property quicker with lower mortgages and other fees.
In comparison to more popular states, a middle-income family can own acres of land with plenty of room for expansion. Typically such families in New York or Los Angeles would have to rent for years on end, and perhaps be unable to ever purchase a home.
#4 Low Taxes
Texas doesn’t collect income tax, which drastically lowers overall taxes paid by the average citizen. Fewer taxes are another reason why Texas is so affordable. Anyone who moves to Texas suddenly has a lot more of their paycheck than if they were living in another state.
Texas has a lower tax burden than 80 percent of the United States. Tax incentives for businesses also help reduce the number of tax dollars.
In contrast to no income tax, Texas has a very high property tax and sales tax. However, despite this, the property and sales taxes together don’t exceed the overall tax taken from the majority of other states.
The conflicting tax rates provide two obvious pros and cons of living in Texas. Anyone thinking of moving to the Texas state will have to judge for themselves which kinds of tax is the most beneficial.
#5 Plenty of Big Cities
There are plenty of states that are mostly made up of rural and small-town living. Moving to a big city usually means moving to the one large city inside the state borders, or moving states entirely. The benefit to Texas having multiple big cities is that you don’t have to leave the state to find your preferred urban living.
Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Dallas are just some of the many big cities Texas has to offer. One of the benefits to Texas’s large size is that it encompasses the sort of space and atmosphere of a small country. Everything available to Texas is enough to satisfy all the people who live there, and more.
If you’re not a fan of rural living, there’s no need to switch states. You can move cities multiple times to find the right one for you.
#6 Diverse Lifestyles
There is a stigma about Texans in that they are all cowboys living out an existence in a Western-film lifestyle. While it may be true that there are farmers and plenty of ruralness to Texas, it’s still possible to live there without experiencing this assumption.
The city of Austin, for example, couldn’t be less like the imposed stigma. Austin is a thriving, typical modern town known as “the live music capital of the world”. Additionally, “Keep Austin Weird” has become a popular slogan within the city to promote small businesses and accepting attitudes.
The city of Austin is a great example of Texas living that doesn’t require a cowboy hat. Austin has become one of the cooler cities in Texas with its forward-thinking population. An active night-life, great restaurants, and a hiking trails system have all helped Austin to become one of the more up-and-coming cities in the United States.
For family living, Texas is amongst the most family-friendly states. It has good schools, plenty of family-friendly restaurants, and good-value housing that includes reasonable mortgages. The education scores for Texas are deceptively higher than expected and generally have average to above-average rates.
Some communities in Texas have particularly high numbers of gay parents, which only proves the tolerant atmosphere of Texas in general. All families are welcomed and accepted within the state.
Texas is known as conservative, but in actuality, it’s quite liberal in much of its thinking. This unofficial liberalism and tolerant attitude make Texas one of the more welcoming states across America.
#8 Secure Employment Environment
Even when the economy experiences flux, the Texan work environment has stayed strong. Texas has the best record for maintaining year-round jobs even when uncertainty strikes more profitable states. Occasionally the number of available Texas jobs will grow while other states see a decline.
Many Texas cities have some of the best job markets in the United States, with job availability still prominent even while other cities suffer mass unemployment. Plano, Dallas, Austin, and Garland are among the most plentiful cities not only in Texas but the entire country.
#9 Transportation Hubs
Due to the vastness of the Texas state, it’s much easier to travel via air than it is by road. Both Dallas and Houston have important airports that offer convenient stops for many long-hour flights. From these two locations, it’s possible to travel to a multitude of international locales.
Many other states don’t have access to international airports, but Texas boasts two. It’s much easier to travel all over the country and the world through Dallas or Houston than it would be if you were coming from another state. And due to the centralized location of both cities, it’s very unlikely you would need a connecting flight to get to where you want to go.
#10 Warm Weather
If you enjoy warm weather all year round, Texas’s location gives it a constant warm climate. Though snow can appear during winter, it is rare. Texas usually enjoys warm and sunny winter months. The weather is due to the southern winds off the Gulf of Mexico.
The warmth of Texas is especially appealing to many retirees and snowbirds who move to Texas to escape snow and ice.
#11 Asset Protection Regulations
Despite being against most regulations, Texas has built up a sturdy set of asset protection regulations to protect the public. In many states, it is possible to initiate a lawsuit with little evidence that could result in the loss of personal assets that could ruin a person. Texans’ assets are protected if they ever end up being sued.
Unexpected financial or legal charges cannot touch personal assets that have been deemed “off-limits”, which means Texans can maintain their lifestyle without losing everything.
#12 Urban and Rural Living
In Texas, it’s possible to have both kinds of living experiences with the big cities and the smaller towns. Whatever your preference, you can find it in Texas. A typical urban experience with state-of-the-art schools, museums, art galleries, theaters, and restaurants is available in every large Texas city.
By contrast, there are also many opportunities for quiet, small-town life. Downtown living, suburbs, or even acreages are all possible Texas living venues. It all depends on what you’re looking for and what kind of neighborhood appeals to you.
#13 Lack of Regulations
Texas has fewer rules and regulations for businesses and cities. The levels of government generally do not try to get involved in running businesses. Certain rules or taxes that are commonplace elsewhere do not apply to Texans.
Texans are often outspoken towards restrictions and instead value privacy-enhancing measures over government-enforced limitations such as texting while driving.
Government help is often not given in terms of grants or boosts. However, the trade-off to lack of support is that government levels will not get in the way. Lack of regulations can be seen as either positive or negative, which makes this number ambiguous to the pros and cons of living in Texas.
Depending on your opinion, fewer regulations over businesses can help or hinder. The lack of government control can lead to lower taxes which can be beneficial. However, a lack of government bailouts and start-ups will result in limited business options.
Other states share many of Texas’s disadvantages, but some are more dangerous and unappealing than previously supposed.
#14 Open Gun Culture
The duality of gun culture means it serves doubly as one of the pros and cons of living in Texas. The presence of guns is a constant in the Texas state, and Texans are fiercely protective of their right to bear arms. Whether you find open gun culture appropriate or inappropriate can determine your opinion of the Lone Star State.
For some, being open and accepting of gun culture is a benefit. For others, the presence of guns could taint otherwise positive opinions.
#15 Lower Quality of Healthcare
It can be hard to find the proper care if you have existing health problems or declining health. The quality of healthcare for Texans is one of the lowest in the entire United States. More Texans go without health insurance than any other native state dwellers.
Access to healthcare is difficult for those living in rural Texas. Because it’s such a large state, you could end up driving for hours to reach your local doctor or hospital. If you’re unable to access proper care, this could lead to illness and undiagnosed issues.
#16 Hurricanes and Bad Warm Weather
Hot summers in Texas are uncomfortable for anyone more used to a cooler climate. Storms tend to arrive during the spring and summer seasons and are often quite violent. Thunderstorms and windstorms are the most common occurrences that typically come with severe weather warnings for wind and lightning.
The hot weather can also lead to hurricanes that, while not serious, still inflict damage on property and landmarks. Hurricane insurance is separate from other property-damaging insurance. Therefore, such investments can boost the cost of living.
Crime in Texas has been climbing over the past few years. Meanwhile, there has been a decrease in police officers. The ratio of police officers for every private citizen is less today than five years ago. As a result, there are fewer police officers available to combat the rise in crime. Fewer officers result in more crimes occurring without a response or justice served.
In 2019, Houston was ranked the twentieth most dangerous city in the United States because of the rise in crime. The top fifty most dangerous cities included more Texas cities. The list provided by CBS proved the boost in crime rate and the decline of working police officers.
#18 Interstate Travel
The Texas state is enormous, so it takes hours to drive from one city to the next. This kind of travel is particularly exhausting, especially if you have a long way to go.
Texas spans different time zones, so driving from one end to another can be unusually jarring. It’s almost less hassle to fly from big city to big city, although more expensive.
Texas roadways are also quite dangerous, so apart from the long distances and tiring days, there is the constant possibility of being involved in a collision. Driving through Texas could be considered a hazardous expedition and not be undertaken lightly.
Related: Top Fly-In Communities in Texas
#19 Traffic Accidents
Texas has more accidents than any other state. Because of the long interstate travel, most drivers speed while on the highway. Speeding in rural and urban areas increases the number of collisions and accidents, making the Texas roadways some of the most dangerous.
More people die from traffic collisions in Texas than in any other state. Reckless driving is a real problem on Texas roads where texting while driving is still allowed. Alcohol and distracted driving, paired with the length of highways and long road trips, create an unsafe road atmosphere and makes roadways very dangerous.
#20 Low Quality of Life
Texas’s reported quality of life is lower than in other states. Opportunities for increasing your quality of life are few and not easily achieved.
Much of the low quality of life percentage is due to the low healthcare quality. When Texans cannot get adequate healthcare, it lowers their overall quality of life. Job opportunity does not make up for the fact that proper care can be hard to come by.
#21 Hard-Headed People
Overall, Texan attitude states that if no one bothers them, they won’t bother anyone. Depending on where you settle, Texans can be welcoming and tolerant or possibly a little standoffish.
Treating newcomers with a particular wariness is common, especially in rural areas where everyone has known their neighbors for generations. But Texans aren’t unusually intolerant of others. They can, however, be quite set in their ways.
A disagreement with a Texan is not likely to end with them persuaded to agree to your opinion. They instead tend to refuse all your arguments point-blank and stick to their own without question. They believe what they want to, and nothing you say can change that.
Because of the recent oil boom in Texas, many job opportunities have led to an increase in new inhabitants. But although Texas is not the most popular state to move to, it does have its good points. Texas being the enormous state that it is, there are many pros and cons about Texas life that exist side by side.
Texas is a family-friendly, particularly laissez-faire state that is more welcoming than many might assume. There are many pros and cons to living in Texas, such as no income tax and higher property tax, warm weather or hurricanes, or open gun culture. Whether you believe the cons to be worth the move or that the pros aren’t enough for a switch is up to you.
The majority of people who transfer to Texas decide to stay indefinitely. The Lone Star State has many advantages over other states that can attract families and retirees. Whatever your personal preference, Texas is a well-rounded, large community that offers much more than five-gallon hats and tumbleweeds.
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