It’s easy to see why many people consider Dallas a good place to live. Dallas is well known for its cheaper cost of living than other major cities, but it’s also becoming more and more popular among young professionals looking for opportunities for employment and entertainment.
Many people move here to take advantage of these opportunities, but they quickly realize that Dallas has many other things to offer once they arrive. If you’re considering moving to Dallas, there are several things that you should know before relocating.
What’s it Like Living in Dallas, TX?
Living in Dallas means having many job opportunities with a cost of living that’s relatively low compared to other large U.S. cities. Although Dallas is huge, it’s still easy to get around the city with its public transportation options. Here are some descriptions of what’s it like to live in Dallas:
Dallas is huge.
Dallas is a huge city with a population of 1.3 million people. It’s the ninth-largest city in the US by population. The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex or DFW has a population of 7.6 million which is the most populous in Texas and the fourth-largest in the U.S.
Dallas also has many distinctive and different neighborhoods that all have something different to offer. Take your time to explore the city before settling in an area that feels right to you.
Dallas has a good job market.
If you’re considering moving to Dallas, all of this size means that there are a lot of job opportunities here. The Dallas area is home to 21 Fortune 500 companies, including JCPenney, Exxon Mobil, Texas Instruments Inc, AT&T, and many more. Dallas was also one of the cities with the strongest economic recoveries from COVID-19.
Dallas is easy to get around.
Most people will be better off with a car if they want to visit distant locations such as Arlington and Fort Worth. But if you stick to Dallas proper, you can still easily move around the city without a car.
You can rely on public transit if you don’t plan on commuting between Dallas and Fort Worth a lot. Both cities feature extensive bus services. Dallas also has an efficient (although limited) light rail system.
It’s hot in Dallas.
Summers can get really hot and muggy in Dallas. The average high is mid-90 degrees during June, July, and August. Some days the temperature can peak above 100 degrees.
Winters in Dallas are usually mild. They can get cold and windy, but the temperature is generally inconsistent. It’s also partly cloudy in Dallas all year round.
What Should I Know Before Moving to Dallas, TX?
Before moving to Dallas, you should know that you don’t have to pay income taxes while living there. You also have to prepare yourself for various things—from competitive rental pricing to strategizing your commute to bracing for tornadoes common in Texas.
If you consider moving to Dallas, you should know that you don’t have to pay state or local personal income taxes. It’s because Texas doesn’t have an individual income tax. Instead of collecting income taxes, Texas relies on high sales and use taxes.
However, Texans pay property taxes on their homes and sales taxes on all consumer goods. When you receive your first property tax bill, you will notice the state’s higher-than-average property tax rate.
Although you have great options for public transport, Dallas is still a car-dependent city. If you’re ever planning on getting a car, it’s best to get a TollTag by applying at the TollTag Store.
If you want to stick to public transportation, you can use the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses and light rail that gets you around Dallas proper and its 12 surrounding cities. You can use their buses and trains daily from around 5 a.m. to 12 midnight.
Renting a house in Dallas, particularly the DFW area, can be competitive. In recent years, a lot of people moved into North Texas. This increase in population and the coming of out-of-state companies benefited the city’s business climate.
However, it also increased the demand for housing. While the city is a lot cheaper than other big cities, you can expect that finding a place to live in Dallas might not be a walk in the park once you move here.
Tornadoes are pretty common in Dallas, so it’s important to take the warning signals seriously. Texas has been hit by more tornadoes than any other state in the U.S., mainly due to its large size. You must have the latest weather forecasts ready before severe weather threatens your home to stay safe.
Are There any Bad Things About Dallas, TX?
While there are many things to love in this big city, there are also bad things about Dallas. Aside from the house shortages, Dallas has been notorious for its culture of aggressive driving and not being a bike-friendly city. Dallas also has minimal beach and hiking options which might be a disappointment for people who love outdoor activities.
Although Dallas is a wonderful city, you’ll soon realize that the city has a culture of aggressive driving. Based on a poll from Outdoorsy, Dallas is the most dangerous city in the entire country for people to drive in, based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
This con is not just for drivers, but also for cyclists and pedestrians. There are many incidents of speeding and red-light-running. Sometimes, the city’s reckless streets can feel a little bit out of control.
Dallas is not a bike-friendly city. While it has built some infrastructure in recent years, there is still much room for improvement. There isn’t an extensive system of bike paths, and traffic on major roads can be dangerous for cyclists. And as we all know, the weather is hot and humid in the summer.
In a report by Vox, Dallas has woefully underfunded bike infrastructure through the years, making it one of the unfriendliest cities for cyclists in the United States. Cyclists in Dallas face many challenges, but one of the biggest is a lack of street infrastructure. The city’s trail system is robust and growing, but the presence of bike lanes on the road is still quite rare.
Dallas has also been experiencing some housing shortages lately. The supply of houses in the Dallas area has decreased, with market inventory decreasing by more than half year over year. This is because Dallas is experiencing a lot of inbound migration, inflating the demand for housing relative to the available supply.
For apartments, rent in North Texas grew at a record pace in 2022, with prices rising 18.7% from a year earlier. A tight market and thousands of new, high-priced rental units opening their doors are driving the historically large rent increases.
Minimal hiking spots
If you love hiking, you might be disappointed that Dallas’ hiking spots are mostly flat and brown. The city doesn’t have a ton of natural beauty, but there are a few good trails and parks.
There are still nature preserves that remain surprisingly green, with hiking trails and parks hidden in plain sight among the cities and suburbs. Just don’t compare it to hiking trails in the Northwest.
In a city as hot as Dallas, you might expect plenty of places for people to go swimming — but it’s not really true. There are no real beaches in Dallas proper. You’ll have to drive about 4 hours south to Galveston Island if you want some sand between your toes.
Is Dallas, TX Expensive to Live in?
Yes, it is expensive to live in Dallas, but it’s still far more affordable than other big cities. The cost of living in Dallas is lower than in many other major cities in the United States, but it’s still pretty high compared to other parts of Texas. The median home price in Dallas is $364,003, which is about half of what it costs to buy a home in other major cities like Los Angeles.
The average rent for an apartment in Dallas is $1,474, according to RentCafe.com. Note that rent prices differ based on different factors, such as location, size, and amenities.
Dallas is a bargain when it comes to groceries, with prices that are 5% lower than the national average. Transportation expenses like bus fares and gas prices are also 1% lower than the national average.
The cost of living in Dallas may be lower than in other major cities, but that doesn’t mean everything is cheap here. You can expect to pay more for things like utilities than you would in other places around the country.
Overall, Dallas may have a higher cost of living than other places in the state, but it’s still only 2 percent above the national average. This is impressive considering that the cost of living in Los Angeles is 43 percent above the national average, and New York City is 129 percent higher.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Dallas, TX?
What “living comfortably” means to you may differ from what it means to others. But you should aim to make about $72,000 per year to live comfortably, for most people. These figures are based on a report published by Go Banking Rates, a financial website.
However, the median household income in Dallas is $54,747. That’s a fairly sizable gap. For those who earn less than $25,000, Dallas may not be a great option to live. It can be difficult to pay for rent, transportation, and food on this salary.
What’s so Great About Dallas, TX?
There are many great things about Dallas, such as its sports scene, tax system, diversity, and many more. Here are some of the best things to love about living in Dallas.
Dallas is a huge sports city. It’s also an amazing place to live if you’re into sports because it’s home to several professional teams, including the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Dallas Stars (NHL), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Dallas Wings (WNBA), and FC Dallas (MLS).
Major airport hub
Dallas has a major airport hub, which means it’s easy to get around the country and the world. The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is also one of the busiest airports in the world, serving over 73 million passengers per year. This gave DFW airport the status as one of the most frequently visited superhub airports worldwide.
No state income tax
Dallas does not have a state income tax. This means that residents don’t have to pay any extra taxes on their wages or other sources of income — which can save them thousands each year. They can keep more of their hard-earned money when they file their tax returns.
Low unemployment rates
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in the months after the start of the pandemic in 2020, Dallas had the second slowest rate of loss among the 12 largest metropolitan areas. In the same year, Dallas led the country in terms of office job growth with a 5.7% year-over-year increase.
Dallas ranks as the 4th most diverse city in America according to the finance website WalletHub. Dallas is also home to over 1.3 million people who come from all walks of life and speak more than a hundred languages.
You’ll find Dallasites who are proud of their city and those who have moved here from other parts of the country or world and have chosen to call Dallas home for good reason.
Plenty of entertainment options
If museums are more your thing than sports or music festivals, you’ll find plenty of those, including the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Or, if you love shopping, head over to NorthPark Center or Highland Park Village (where Neiman Marcus was founded).
What to Do in Dallas, TX
Whether you’re visiting first before moving or planning how to maximize your stay in the city best, there are plenty of things to do in Dallas. Here are some of our favorites:
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: Take a stroll through this beautiful garden and enjoy all of its different plants and flowers. There are also many various events throughout the year, including festivals and concerts.
Perot Museum of Nature & Science: This museum is full of fun interactive displays that will keep kids (and adults!) entertained for hours on end! It also has an IMAX theater where you can watch movies like Star Wars or Jurassic Park in 3D.
The Sixth Floor Museum: Learn about John F. Kennedy’s assassination at this museum located on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository building. It’s one of the best places to visit in Dallas.
Dallas is a great place to live. There’s a lot to do there, and it’s still affordable. It also has plenty of job opportunities, and it doesn’t cost too much to live comfortably compared to other major cities. Sure, its weather and dangerous traffic can be a problem at times, but overall, Dallas is a solid choice for anyone looking for a good life in Texas.