Moving to Texas
Texas has its own unique culture, and each city has a well-defined micro-culture. Austin is music. Galveston is the Gulf. Houston is oil. But everywhere you go you’ll experience a huge dollop of Texas pride. Texas is named for the Hasinai Indian word tejas meaning friends or allies. Hopefully, Texas will greet you with a friendly “howdy” once you arrive.
Residents and visitors flock to Texas for its weather, jobs, quality of life, a great amount of leisure activities and relaxation. But before you pack up those boxes, take note of the following tips for moving to Texas.
Choosing a Moving Company: Moving companies in Texas must be licensed with the TxDMV, so make sure a moving company is licensed before hiring them.
Traffic: Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston are known as some of the worst cities for traffic—not just in Texas, but in the entire US. If you’re moving to one of these major areas, avoid rush hours.
Change Your Address: At least a week before moving to Texas, change your address online with USPS. You’ll receive coupons to help you save while setting into your new home and will have peace of mind that all your mail makes the move with you.
Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.
Cities and Metro Areas
It doesn’t really matter which town you decide to settle into in Texas because there’s always something exciting going on. In north Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth boasts a great economy, large lots of well-priced real estate, all types of sports and leisure and a low cost of living.
On the east end of the state, close to the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll find Houston. Oil money built this city, and banking, oil and gas dominate the economy. You’ll find a reasonable cost of living in Houston, many real estate options and lots of cultural things to do around this international city.
Central Texas is home to the state capital, Austin. Tech is big here; it’s called the Silicon Valley of the South, or Silicon Hills. The cost of living, especially buying a home, is higher than any other place in Texas. But for the extra money, you get to live in the music capital of Texas and, some might argue, of the United States.
Famous for the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and basketball, San Antonio is a short drive from Austin, and a true gem of Texas. Founded by Spaniards in the 1700s, old world meets new economy here.
Aside from these major cities, there are many suburbs and small towns to call home in Texas. Regardless of the lifestyle you’re looking to lead, you’ll find a place that fits your criteria in Texas.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Texas varies widely by location. But speaking in generalizations, the state boasts a manageable cost of living in most suburban areas of the state, excluding Austin, which is a hot spot for real estate.
Whether you’re planning to rent or buy a home, the cost of living in Texas falls below the national average (20.30% lower than the US average), making it a wonderful place to settle. As one of the country’s fastest-growing states, Texas offers a wide variety of neighborhoods and any living option you are looking for—planned communities complete with amenities and facilities, mid-century moderns and everything in between.
Moving to Texas could mean a lot of different types of climates, and it really depends on where in the state you call home. The average temperatures are mild, with summer extremes over 100 degrees as the major exception. If you’re moving to the Gulf Coast of Texas, be prepared; the area experiences hurricanes.
Texas is big, and so is the variety of education opportunities available. Public, private, magnate co-cps and everything in between are available as schooling options. Research your prospective school district before you purchase a home if school quality is an important factor to your move. You can search a database of top-ranked Texas elementary, middle and high schools at GreatSchools.org.
Texas’ largest school districts include:
- Dallas, Ft. Worth, Arlington
- Houston, Sugar Land
- Austin, Round Rock
- San Antonio
Texas is a great place to pursue a higher-education degree. Universities include:
- University of Texas
- Texas A & M
- Texas Tech
Moving to a new state means you’ll have lots of question and concerns with permits, taxes, tolls, voting, trash and recycling.
Texas.gov, the official website for the state of Texas, has all the information you’ll need. You’ll learn where and how to transfer your drivers’ license, when official Texas holidays take place, about public transportation systems, and all the other information you’ll need to settle into your new home. Get started with the following list of online government resources:
- Drivers’ Licenses: You must secure a Texas driver’s license within 90 days of moving to the state. For more information, visit the Texas Department of Public Safety.
- Voter Registration: To register to vote in Texas, find out where your nearest polling location is and get other related information, visit VoteTexas.gov.
- Vehicle Registration: The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has all the information you need about registering your vehicle in Texas.
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