Moving from Chicago to Dallas is a big change, but it’s an exciting move and should not be the cause of any sleepless nights.
Some of the biggest changes can often be weather-related, so read up and learn more about your new home city.
The good news is that, while the cities are quite different, there are also plenty of similarities between Dallas and Chicago as they’re both large metropolitan cities with booming economies.
These similarities may help you adapt to Dallas a lot quicker, so if you plan on trading in the Windy City for the Big D, this guide will explain the moving process in its entirety and share some tips to help you with your relocation.
The Moving Process From Chicago to Dallas
How Far is Dallas from Chicago?
The distance between Chicago and Dallas is 968 miles. The driving time of this journey is approximately 14 hours by car depending on traffic.
So whether you’re planning on doing a DIY move and driving the journey in a rental truck, or maybe you’re planning to drive your car and hire a professional moving company to move your belongings for you. Whatever you choose, it’s worth noting that it’s a long drive.
The flight time is roughly 2 hours and 25 minutes long, so if 14+ hours of driving sounds like a horrible idea to you, you should consider flying there instead.
What is the Average Cost to Move From Chicago to Dallas?
The average cost to move from Chicago to Dallas is between $2800-$4000. That means on average it costs roughly $3400.
When determining the exact cost of a move from Chicago to Dallas, a number of factors must be taken into account. These include the number of items being moved, whether you plan to hire professional moving services, whether you’ll want to add packing and unpacking services to your moving service, or whether you decide to complete the move entirely by yourself.
Should I Move From Chicago to Dallas?
While this move won’t involve much of a difference in city size and population, there are other benefits. Milder, snowless winters and rental price decreases are two of the biggest benefits. If this sounds good to you, then you should move from Chicago to Dallas.
How Chicago Compares to Dallas
Living Costs Compared
When moving from Chi-Town to Dallas, one of the first things you may notice is that the cost of living in Dallas is relatively cheaper than in Chicago.
The median rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in Chicago is $2,210. In Dallas, you can expect the median rent for a 2 bedroom apartment to be $1,607.
If you’re planning to buy a house in Dallas you’ll be glad to know that buying a house in Dallas is 6% cheaper than in Chicago. In Chicago, the median sale price for a home is around $229,000. In Dallas, the median sale price of a home is $214,700.
Aside from rental and real estate costs, you can expect cheaper groceries and transport costs in Dallas. But healthcare costs in Dallas are a little more expensive than in Chicago.
The Dallas Rapid Area Transit (DART) is the public transport system in Dallas. It is comprised of light rail and bus services and is the fastest-growing mass-transit service in the US.
In addition to the rail and bus services, there are also 2 operating streetcar systems that connect the West Village in Uptown with downtown Dallas.
In Chicago, a 30-day pass for the L system costs $105 and one ride costs $2.50. In Dallas, a 31-Day Pass costs $96 and a one way ticket costs $2.50.
As you probably already know, the weather in Dallas differs massively from the weather in Chicago. Both cities enjoy hot summers, but winters are very different.
It’s a well-known fact that Chicago experiences bitterly cold winters, with averages lows of 18℉ or colder, and the city gets about 35 inches of snow a year.
Dallas, however, experiences 1 inch of snow per year (if even), and the coldest average temperature in the winter months reaches 36℉.
Moving From Chicago to Dallas DMV
If you plan to move from Chicago to Dallas, you will need to get a new driver’s license.
New residents can legally drive with an out-of-state license for up to 90 days after relocating to Texas.
Once the 90 day grace period ends, you must apply for a Texas license in person at your nearest driver’s license office to continue to drive legally.
If you need more information about the process or what you will need to bring with you, you can find it here.
Buying a Home in Dallas
As we mentioned previously, buying a home in Dallas is definitely cheaper than buying a home in Chicago. If you’re wondering where to start looking, these neighborhoods are a great place to start.
Are you hoping to buy a home in a neighborhood with a high rate of homeownership? Then Arapaho is a great choice for you, as 83% of homes in this area are owner-occupied. The area is located in Dallas County and is a 28-minute drive to the city, so if you’re looking for a community feel rather than a downtown city vibe, this neighborhood is for you.
Arapaho has been named as the best neighborhood to buy a home in the Dallas area on Niche. If you have school-going children, you’ll be happy to know that the public schools in the area are highly rated.
Bishops Art District
If you’re looking for a vibrant, cultural neighborhood to call home, The Bishops Art District is for you! This historic neighborhood is packed with amazing restaurants, bars, shops, and art centers and is a haven for those who crave a lively social scene.
Are you a foodie? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that a wide range of cuisines are readily available within the area. You can treat yourself to Texas-style BBQ, sushi, Vietnamese Pho, Italian, or even Cuban food!
If you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s situated close enough to Downtown Dallas but still has a suburban feel to it, you should consider M Streets. The area is popular with families and couples and has a real traditional charm to it, as most homes were built in the 1920s.
The housing stock in the area is made up of Tudor style, ranch, and colonial-style homes. There are some opportunities in the neighborhood for people to renovate and completely tear down homes to build new ones. So if a reno or building project is something you would love to embark on, M Streets might be a great neighborhood to start the search.
Selling Your Property in Chicago
Finding the right realtor is a crucial first step when planning to sell your home in Chicago. In addition to this, planning the right time to sell your home is another important task.
Housing prices tend to fluctuate depending on the time of year that you sell your home. In Chicago, June is the best month to sell your home.
It takes around 3 months to close on a sale in Chicago, so by simply listing your home in March, you can expect to make nearly 6% more than the yearly average.
Another vital task that must be considered in the selling process is figuring out what your house is worth. An experienced realtor will be able to gauge your home’s value by comparing it to the area’s market value, and they’ll also provide you with a full market analysis.
So finding a reliable realtor will really help alleviate the stresses that come with selling your home.
Finding a Job in Dallas Before You Move There
Before you move to Dallas, it’s helpful to know that Dallas is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies. It’s also a great place to move to if you plan to work for a telecommunications company as there is a high concentration of these companies in the region. Some places to start the job search would be
City of Dallas Employment Opportunities
This is a great place to start looking for City of Dallas jobs. The page contains plenty of information on where residents can find job opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Indeed is a great place to start your job search no matter where you are based in the country. Use the tools to filter your search to certain areas in Dallas. You could even try looking in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to broaden your search even further.
There are job listings posted daily and currently, there are over 67,000 jobs listed. Check out the current job listings in Dallas here.
Word of Mouth
Do you know of anyone living in the Dallas area? You could try and ask them if they know anyone that’s looking to hire.
Moving From Chicago to Dallas Checklist
The checklist below will allow you to take stock of what needs to be done before trading Chicago for Dallas.
At Least 4 to 6 Weeks Before the Move
– Get in touch with reliable movers that will assist you in transporting your things from Chicago to Dallas.
– Get in touch with your family’s health care physician, dentist, and any other service providers that you are in contact with and let them know that you are moving.
– Order moving supplies or ask your moving company to provide them as an additional service
– It is a great idea to sell or donate your unwanted items. You can sell on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Or you can donate them to the Salvation Army and they will pick items up at no charge.
– Begin packing; clearly mark boxes with a marker indicating which room they will be going into at delivery.
– You will need to make your change of address known to several different places, such as wherever you do your banking, the DMV, your workplace, any other financial institutions (such as credit card providers), the post office, your utility provider, and, saving the most important for last, your friends and family.
– Sort plane tickets if you’re planning to fly.
2 Weeks Prior to the Move
– It is imperative to clean and/or make needed repairs on your old home before moving out, since leaving your place an absolute mess may leave your security deposit in jeopardy.
– Because of the abundance of fragile items in your kitchen, you’ll want to pack these items away long in advance, with protective bubble wrap to ensure nothing gets broken in transit.
– You will also want to begin packing your things from bedrooms and bathrooms, except for your essential items that you will be using until you move.
– If necessary, you will want to arrange a babysitter for your kids and/or pets for parts of the move that you need to be able to focus and get things done.
A Couple of Days Before Your Move
– Clean up your home completely, double checking any cracks and crevices that may have your stuff hidden away.
– Unless your movers will do it for you, dissassemble your furniture to make your move a smoother process, and ensure to keep any screws, brackets, or other small items that are needed for reassembly. Pro tip: tape these smaller items in a bag to the bottom of the furniture.
– Print out the floor plan of your new home and have enough for the movers as well.
– You may want to hit the ATM before moving day, as you’ll need to have enough cash to tip your movers. Generally speaking, you’ll want to tip $20-$30 per mover.
– Make sure that you confirm with your movers the details of your move. The last thing that you want is to have moving day come around, and you and your movers aren’t on the same page.
– Get in touch with the landlord or current homeowner of your new place, and ensure that you’ll be able to get the keys to your new place when you arrive.
– Document the condition of your old place through pictures and videos, to ensure that you have proof of its state. This will come in handy if your landlord tries to keep your deposit, based on incorrect facts.
– Hand over your old home’s keys to the necessary people, such as landlord or building management.
– Do a quick run-through of your home to ensure that nothing gets left behind, whether it’s just a smaller item, or an entire box of stuff.
– Ensure that everything you packed up is in your new home before unpacking everything.
– If the moving company you are working with is going to assemble your furniture, make sure that they reassemble it in the correct room to avoid unnecessary work.
– Be sure to thank everyone helping you move, and leave them a tip!
You did it! Congrats and enjoy your new home!