A big city that’s also a melting pot of cultures, the delectable cuisines and a diverse art scene in an urban setting. If this doesn’t make Dallas, Texas, appealing to you, then there’s a good chance you’re just kidding yourself. Let’s face it, you’ll surely want to give this city a visit. But if you’re planning on moving to Dallas, there are quite a lot of factors to consider. Read on to find out if this city is right for you.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Dallas?
One thing you’ll notice when in Dallas is that it’s huge. It’s among the largest cities in the US and the 3rd largest in Texas. The city spans over 384 miles and has a population of over 1,382,270, with 4,069 people living per square mile. And that’s not all, the city has also been seeing continuous growth – an annual 1.36% growth and over 15.40% since 2010.
The affluence of the residents mean that the arts are greatly supported in Dallas. So you’ll be impressed with the arts and culture scene here. The most prominent among them is the Texas State Fair, which is a must-visit to get a closer look at the Texan culture.
Amazing food is a major attraction of Dallas. Wherever you go, you won’t lack for excellent cuisine and we’re saying nothing about the tacos except that they’re a must have! If you’re planning on visiting a popular food joint, make sure that you reach early to avoid the queue.
The name Texas is derived from the Caddo (a Native American tribe) word taysha, which means ‘friend’. Staying true to its name, the people of Dallas, Texas, personify that and you’ll get to experience the popular Southern hospitality. Here, people of all faiths and following different traditions can live without prejudice.
Crime Rate in Dallas
For all these positive aspects, you still want to know whether Dallas is safe. According to NeighborhoodScout, Dallas has a crime rate of 41 per 1000 residents, which is unfortunately quite high. But at the same time, compared with cities that are about the same size and just as populated, the numbers are in the middle ground.
Violent crime statistics of Dallas are among the highest in the US. The probability of you becoming the victim is one in 129. For property crimes, the chances are one in 30, and there’s a one in 139 chances of your vehicle getting stolen.
If you’re one of those people who’d rather avoid the heat and prefer mild weathers, then moving to Dallas may not be for you. To put it in a broader perspective, there are technically two seasons here – summer and not-summer!
The summer season in Dallas is from June to August, and when we say it’s hot, we really mean it! The mercury ranges in the mid-90s and coupled with the high humidity, it can get to the point where the heat gets truly unbearable. So, if your profession requires that you work outdoors, you may want to consider this before moving to Dallas.
The temperatures come down to a more bearable 70-80° F range during the fall season, which comes around September to December. This is a great time to be outdoors and enjoy the milder weather.
The ones who love snow would find themselves yearning for it, as it hardly ever snows in Dallas. The winter season here is from December to February, with an average snowfall of a mere 1.2 inches per year. However, there will be times when the roads are covered with sleet. A snow day would mean a holiday, as the slippery roads are dangerous.
Dallas is no stranger to extreme weather phenomena either. The months of March to May are the times when you can expect hailstorms, so you want to get covered parking to protect your car. And before the appeal of Dallas takes you by storm, Dallas is also prone to tornadoes, so you’ll have to get up to speed on safety tips in the event of a twister heading your way.
Is It Expensive To Live In Dallas?
If you’ve been wondering about what taxes to pay when in Dallas, there’s something to cheer about. Texas has no state or local personal income taxes! But before you go all ecstatic about it, let’s not forget that taxes have to be paid, some way or another. So you’ll be paying three sales taxes – the Texas sales tax, the Dallas sales tax and the Dallas MTA tax, all of which add up to a tax rate of 8.25%.
Beyond taxes, there are many other factors that come into play when you’re trying to gauge the affordability of a city. Get out your calculator and start crunching numbers to see whether or not you will have to struggle to make ends meet. So now it’s time to figure out whether you can afford to live in Dallas.
Cost Of Living In Dallas
Given the size of the city, you’ll be thrilled to know that the cost of living in Dallas is only 2% more than the national average according to PayScale. But of course, your current salary and choice of neighborhood are also factors that will be put in play. Numbeo estimates that a family of four would have an average monthly expense of $3,052.04 while a single person would spend $864.59.
You’ll never go hungry in Dallas, that’s for sure. It’s because groceries cost 5% below the US average. A loaf of bread can be bought for $3.16, a gallon of milk for $1.84, an egg carton costs $1.72 and a bunch of bananas for $3.19.
The healthcare in Dallas won’t put a dent in your pocket either, as it’s only 1% higher than the national average. A visit to the doctor would set you back by $112.04, going to the dentist will cost you about $96.25 and if you’ve got a pet, a vet visit costs about $52.65.
Buying A House
For those who are planning to buy a house in Dallas, it’s 5% higher than the US average. The median value of a home here is $364,003, according to PayScale. Zillow estimates the typical cost of a house to be $237,200 and prices have increased by 6.9% since the past year. Unsurprisingly, it is predicted to go up to 11.1%.
Renting A House
You’ll be spending an average of $1,250 to rent an apartment in Dallas, according to RENTCafe, with the average size around 847 sq feet. The renting rates have increased by 1% from the previous year. The home prices in Dallas have been increasing at a rate far higher than the renting rates, so the latter has started to become a more appealing option.
PayScale estimates the utility bills in Dallas to be 4% higher than the US average. When in Dallas, you’ll be spending $174.87 per month on energy, $186.40 on your phone bills and $2.59 on gas. The water bills in Dallas are on the higher side, thanks to the climate of the region. You’ll be paying about $1.88 per 4,000 gallons. And you’ll be paying $5.41 per 4,000 gallons for the sewage water treatment.
Dallas Economy And Employment Opportunities
You can’t just move to Dallas and enjoy the comforts of the city. There should be a way to keep the cash flowing, so let’s find out what the job market is like in Dallas and which jobs earn you the most bucks.
BestPlaces estimates the unemployment rate of Dallas to be around 3.5%, a bit lower than the US average of 3.7%. The job market has risen by 3.3% and slated to increase by 45.1% over the next ten years.
You’ll see that a lot of companies and corporations have their headquarters or major offices in Dallas, so the job market in the city is stable and strong. According to Zippia, some of the best-paying jobs here include chief executives ($242,020 per year), surgeons ($238,410 per year) and psychiatrists ($236,510 per year).
Among the biggest job providers in Dallas are AT&T, Tenet Healthcare and Jacobs Engineering Group. If you’re looking for jobs in sectors such as IT, healthcare, energy, and transport and logistics, moving to Dallas may be the right decision for you.
If you have kids or you’re planning to have in the future, the quality of schools may make or break your decision of moving to Dallas. The most prominent schools can be found in the Dallas Independent School District, which has over 230 schools from kindergarten to the 12th grade. However, it must be noted that the accountability rating of Dallas ISD is B and nearly 63% students were considered at risk of dropping out.
Some of the best schools in Dallas include George Bannerman Dealey Montessori, Armstrong Elementary, Dallas Environmental Science Academy, Uplift Williams Preparatory and School Of Health Professions, among others.
If you wish to enroll your kids for higher education, there are 38 colleges and universities within the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Some of them include the University of Texas at Dallas and Richland College. In addition to these public institutions, you can also choose from a variety of private schools and colleges as well.
Getting Around In Dallas
Dallas is a vast city, and with the high population here, the one thing that’s unavoidable is the traffic. It’s so bad that it ranks among the worst affected cities by traffic. Also, as the city is quite spread out, a Dallasite has a longer commute time compared to residents of other cities. While Dallas definitely isn’t a car-free city, you’re better off having one. If you’re working in Downtown Dallas, there are plenty of places where you can find parking spots. On the other hand, you can also avail yourself of the different public transportation of Dallas to get around the city.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Considering the traffic-unfriendly nature of Dallas, it’s best that you either travel in a train or not bother yourself with the strain of driving by taking the bus. That’s where the Dallas Area Rapid Transit comes in. With a network comprising 64 DART Light Rail stations and 10 Trinity Railway Express stations that connect with the bus services, you can get around Dallas and 12 of its neighbouring cities with little trouble.
DART bus and train services run from about 5 am to midnight, and depending on the neighborhood and the time of the day, the service frequency varies. You can get a day pass to travel in DART buses and/or trains from either a ticket vending machine, the GoPass app or the GoPass Tap card for $6.00.
Also operated by DART, this streetcar service runs between EBJ Union and the Bishop Arts District, with six stops in between. The Dallas Streetcar has a frequency of one every 20 minutes, and it costs $1 to go one way.
However great the train and bus services may be, they have the limitation of not covering every part of Dallas. Maybe these services simply don’t work out for you. In such cases, you can avail yourself of DART’s Vanpool program, where 6-15 people can share a van for commuting. The advantages of Vanpool include a guaranteed seat and not having to drive! The average price per van is $655 per month, which is shared among the passengers.
The McKinney Avenue Trolley Service can give you an old-world charm, thanks to the heritage streetcars. This service links Dallas Arts District to Uptown. The best part of traveling in an M-Line Trolley is that it’s free!
Getting a taxi isn’t particularly easy in Dallas. You may find some around the airports or the bigger hotels. You can call and hire a Dallas Yellow Cab or Cowboy Cab whose base rates are $2.25 and $0.20 for every 1/9th of a mile driven. Alternatively, you can also get a ride on an Uber or a Lyft.
Best Neighborhoods In Dallas
Now it’s time to check out some neighborhoods in Dallas. Weigh your options and see if one of them works for you!
1. Oak Cliffs
If affordable housing is top priority for you when moving to Dallas, you can consider Oak Cliff. There’s no denying that some blocks in Oak Cliff are in a state of disrepair and neglect, there still are places that are appealing here. What you’ll never lack for in Oak Cliff is diversity.
The average home value here is $184,918 according to Zillow. If you’re planning on renting an apartment here, Zumper estimates the rent to be $659.
2. East Dallas
The one who loves a life in the outdoors must consider moving to East Dallas. This neighborhood is close to the White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum, so you won’t have to stay away from nature. East Dallas is a hub of many restaurants, schools, and the art scene here is notable as well.
Realtor estimates the median home value to be $559,000. On the other hand, the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood would be approximately $1,850.
3. Park Cities
If you can afford to splurge when moving to Dallas, then look no further than Park Cities. This upscale neighborhood, which comprises Highland Park and University Park, is just a few miles north of downtown Dallas. Along with the many educational institutions here, Park Cities also offer great shopping and dining options.
According to Redfin, the median home value of Park Cities is $1,700,000. Those planning to rent an apartment in Highland Park and University Park would have to pay about $2,656 and $2,506 respectively, as calculated by RENTCafe.
Is Dallas A Good Place To Move?
Having learned pretty much everything that must be known before moving to Dallas, now’s the time for the big question: will it be worth it? On one hand, there’s a city with a vibrant culture, a strong job market, mostly sunny days, and a rather low cost of living. On the other hand, you have a reasonably high crime rate and slow traffic.
We think the positives outweigh the negatives. After all, there’s no such thing as perfect. If you think along the same lines, then we’re sure that you’ve resolved to move to Dallas. Make sure that you check out our website to get suggestions on the best moving companies and a quote and start planning the move of your life!