Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving to Texas

Moving to the state of Texas can be a life-altering decision, so if you are wondering why everyone is moving to Texas, keep reading. The “Lone Star State” is America’s second-largest state by area as well as population. Texans are a jolly population who love themselves a wholesome barbecue session and jiving to the tunes of country music.

Texas’ booming economy attracts millennials and Gen Z from across the globe with lucrative job opportunities. The best part, though, is that Texas does not levy a state income tax. People moving to Texas become part of a unique culture, gain access to top-notch educational opportunities, and celebrate a vibrant assortment of food options. 

So, if you are considering moving to Texas, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Texas of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Texas.

Moving to Texas: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Texas

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container.

For your move to Texas, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company, look for good reviews, a professional-looking website and years of experience. 

Planning to move soon to Texas? Take a look at our selection of the Best Moving Companies in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Fort Worth.

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Texas has an unemployment rate of 4.1%, the same as the August 2023 rate.

Jobs that are often in high demand are owner-operator driver, dentists, software architect, healthcare providers and software developers.

Finding a job in Texas is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Texas from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Texas. Book a flight from your departure city to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, depending on your destination within Texas.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Texas cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Texas may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to Texas permanently, and you receive a lot of mail, you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Downsizing can go a long way before you make the move. You most likely won’t be needing your winter clothes in Texas. If you have plenty of other items that you want to get rid of, consider having a yard sale, donating them or simply putting them on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. The extra cash will certainly help out with all those moving expenses.

2. Upon your arrival in Texas

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

You can easily get around in Texas. There are several options available. 

  • If you are in Houston or Dallas, getting around without a car should not be a problem. There are plenty of transportation options including the Metro Light Rail, DART, Local Bus system, taxi service, and more. If you want to travel by rail, use Amtrak, that connects 12 cities in Texas and offers service almost daily.

Exchanging your driver’s license

You will have 90 days to exchange your non-Texan driver’s license . During these 90 days, you may continue to use your current license issued by another state. To exchange your driver’s license for a Texas-issued license after the 90 days, you will need to visit The Department of Public Safety online or in person at your nearest location

Register your vehicle

To register your vehicle, you will have 30 days within which you must notify the DMV through this Texas vehicle registration form.

Change your address

In addition to forwarding your mail, you will need to update your address with the Department of Public Safety and other concerned authorities as well. You will also need to update your voter registration online.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Texas is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Texas for easy access is Wells Fargo. Texas’s residents has access to a whopping 529 branches of Wells Fargo in the state.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you won’t have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. Healthcare is regulated by the state in the US, and so the state of Texas proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Texas as your state and create an account

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$130.75

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

$579.00

Gym

$74.23

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Texas

Texas

If you’re a couple you might want to consider San Antonio as the nightlife is exquisite and the houses are relatively affordable compared to Dallas, Houston, and Austin.

If you’re a family, you should consider Frisco due to the high quality schools and the affordable housing prices.

If you’re a couple, you should consider moving to Houston because almost half of the population is unmarried.

Setting up home services 

Texas is one of the places in the USA where utilities cost the most. However, setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in Texas is a straightforward process. 

  • It’s a great idea to bundle your internet service with your cell phone provider. Here’s our pick of the 5 Best Internet Providers in Texas. Don’t touch your cell phone while you drive; Texas has strict no cell phone while driving laws in place that can get you fined up to $200.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Texas home value is $300,090, decreased by 1.8% from 2022. Texas’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $336.54.

To find an apartment, use websites like Apartments.com and Zillow. To find a house, consider websites such as HAR.com and Hotpads.

Cost of rent in Texas

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Houston (Outside of Center)

$1,567.11

$2,494.91

Cost of buying a property in Texas

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Houston

$300,090

Numbeo (Oct 2023)Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

Texas does not mandate property insurance for property owners. However, if your property is mortgaged with a lender, the lending company may contractually bind you to purchase insurance to safeguard the amount outstanding on the loan. If your property is in a flood-prone area, the lender may mandate purchasing flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. While some homeowner’s insurance policies include wind damage, some do not. Texas hurricanes can cause significant damage, so be sure to check if your policy protects against wind damage. In any case, it is always prudent to buy property insurance to protect your property—which may easily be one of the best investments you ever make.

4. Cost of living in Texas

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,567.11

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($67.35 multiplied by 4)

$269.40

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$249.44

Internet with 60 Mbps

$95.60

Transit pass

$35.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$115.00

Gym membership 

$74.23

Total

$2,405.78

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Texas

Texas has about 235 sunny days per year and receives around 36 inches of rain. The hottest month is July when temperatures soar as high as 94 degrees, while January is coldest with temperatures dipping to a low of 36 degrees. Winter is a great time to be in Galveston, also called the “Winter Wonder Island of Texas.” If you want to tour during the summer, head to San Antonio for the Six Flags Fiesta.

6. What to do as a local in Texas

If you want to immerse in nature’s beauty, head to the Big Bend National Park. History buffs, check out the Alamo Mission. Late September and early October is a great time to visit the State Fair of Texas. If you are excited about being a Texan cowboy, cowgirl or cow person, a real Texas rodeo is the place to be.

The 3 most popular grocery stores in Texas are H-E-B, Trader Joe’s and Kroger.

The 2 most popular big chain stores in Texas are Walmart and Target.

The most popular fast food places are Matt’s El Rancho (Tex-mex restaurant), La Madeleine, Perry’s Steakhouse and Lupe Tortilla.

7. Fun facts about Texas

  • Fun Fact #1: Love flooring the gas pedal? You might just get to do that more often on Texas’s State Highway 130 which has the highest speed limit (85 mph) anywhere in the USA.
  • Fun Fact #2: Per capita, Texas has the most live music events in the USA.
  • Fun Fact #3: There is a ranch in Texas that is bigger than all of Rhode Island. In fact, Texas is bigger than most European countries!

Conclusion

Texas is known for its diverse and vibrant culture, offering a blend of traditions, cuisines, and lifestyles. Locals appreciate the state’s warm and sunny climate, ideal for outdoor activities and enjoying the great outdoors. 

While moving to Texas has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Texas is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Texas.

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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