Over 365,000 people call Arlington, Texas home. Relocating to the center of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex will allow you to easily access and enjoy all the amazing things the DFW area has to offer. There’s never a shortage of art festivals, sports events, rodeos, concerts, shopping, and so much more in the surrounding areas. The Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, and Six Flags Over Texas (the first Six Flags park!) are the main attractions in Arlington that bring in thousands of visitors every year.
Moving to a new city can be overwhelming, but that doesn’t have to be the case for you. Below we’ve outlined the most important things you need to know before moving to Arlington. Great Guys also has compiled a list of the most reliable and professional moving services in the area to ensure your move to the Lonestar State is not only as smooth as possible, but also affordable.
Living in Arlington, TX: What to Know Before Moving to Arlington
Centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Arlington, TX, is the American Dream City, “where many dreams start as aspirations that can turn into a reality and a better future.” The city is not only home to 396,000 residents, but it’s also the home of a variety of well-known attractions that bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe every year.
Pros and Cons
- Great place for sports enthusiasts
- Equally close to the booming cities Dallas and Fort Worth
- Diverse economy
- Plenty of attractions
- UTA provides arts and cultural experiences
- Higher than average crime rates
- Limited public transportation
- Summer heat
- Heavy traffic on weekends
- Urban sprawl
Tax season is a little bit sweeter for Texans as there is no income tax in the entire state. The total combined state, county, and city sales tax for Arlington is 8%, which is 2.25% above the state’s average. The highest sales tax rate in the entire state is 8.25%.
Arlington’s property tax rate is slightly above both the state and national average. In Arlington, the property tax rate is 2.32%, while the state rate is 1.93%, and the national average is 1.21%.
Tax perks are one of the main reasons some big companies have decided to move their headquarters to Texas in recent years.
While the average home in Arlington is 29 years old and the median home value is $208,600, prices vary depending on which part of town you’ll be calling home. For example, the median home value in Dalworthington Gardens is $268,400, while the median home value in the East neighborhood is $164,300. We’ve listed the median home value for eight neighborhoods in the below sections.
Nearly 40% of Arlingtonians rent their home and pay an average rent price of about $1500.
Cost of Living
The median household income is $53,055 a year, which is only $30 below the national average. Arlington comes in below the national average for grocery and health costs, but slightly above in housing and transportation costs. We used a family budget calculator to determine that an Arlington family of four can expect to spend about $6,410 monthly, and $77,356 annually. That same family of four can expect to spend $88,500 in Chicago.
Weather and Natural Disasters
Texas is known for its hot, humid summers. However, because Arlington is in North Texas, the weather is not nearly as hot and muggy as its southern neighbors, San Antonio or Houston. The average high in the summer is in the mid-90s, which makes for great days at the pool or lake. Winters are typically mild with temperatures that seldom dip below freezing, but you may get a dusting of under one inch of snow each season. Arlington is in Tornado Alley, and therefore it’s not uncommon for severe storms to occur in the spring, which is when the area sees most of its precipitation. Temperatures at this time range from the mid-60s to mid-70s. Annual rainfall is 40″ and can fall during any month, so it’s a good idea to keep a few umbrellas by the door and in your car.
Economy & Job Market
The job market in Arlington has steadily been increasing over the past few years and is up 2.7% from last year alone. It’s predicted to be up by 38.9% over the next ten years. Unemployment is slightly below the national average at 3.5%.
In recent years, many large corporate companies, like Toyota and Amazon, have moved their offices to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, which has brought thousands of job opportunities to North Texas residents. Dallas’ top industries are technology, financial services, and defense, while Fort Worth’s major industries are oil and gas, manufacturing, and aviation. With Arlington being in the heart of the metroplex, it’s quite common for residents to commute into the Dallas or Fort Worth areas for work.
From entry to senior-level, there are a ton of opportunities for those looking for a new job in Arlington. The biggest employer in Arlington proper is Texas Health Resources, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country.
Traffic and Transportation
Being in the middle of the DFW metroplex gives Arlington residents easy access to many highways and interstates: I-820, I-30, I-20, 180 and 360, to name a few. Fort Worth is only 15 miles to the west, while Dallas is 20 miles to the east, and the DFW airport is 10 miles to the north, which leaves a spiderweb of interstates, highways, and freeways to weave through.
As expected, these routes tend to get backed up during rush hours, which are 6:30 am – 8:30 am and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Both I-30 and I-20 tend to back up on Saturday afternoons and traffic can be challenging if the Cowboys have a home game. The average commute time is 27 minutes, which is on par with the national average.
Arlington is known as one of the largest cities in the country without public transportation. The city has recently been exploring the idea of a high-speed rail system for residents that would connect from Dallas and Fort Worth and run through Arlington. In the meantime, the city has instituted a rideshare program called Via, which allows residents to book seats via a smart device up to 14 days in advance. Close by is a TRE (Trinity Railway Express) station; the TRE connects downtown Dallas and Fort Worth and goes out to DFW Airport. Trains don’t operate on Sundays.
Overall, Arlington scores a 37/100 in both walkability and bike scores, according to Walk Score.
What to Do
Sure, Arlington is home to the Dallas Cowboys’ $1 billion AT&T Stadium (which has one of the largest high definition video screens, at 11,393 square feet, in the country) and the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park, but the city also has a lot to offer those who don’t consider themselves sports fanatics. For the adventure seekers, Six Flags over Texas and Hurricane Harbor are great options.
One of the most up and coming areas of Arlington is the downtown, home to the Arlington Museum of Art, a theater, and the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. For those who choose to spend their time outside, Lake Arlington is an excellent afternoon activity all year round, or you can enjoy the fresh air at one of Arlington’s award-winning parks.
Arlington also has a pretty lively nightlife at the new entertainment district, Texas Live! The area is a hub for live music, restaurants, festivals, and so much more.
As far as shopping goes, Arlington Highlands is an outdoor shopping center that boasts 50 shops, while the Grand Prairie Outlet mall is right down the road and has 100 shops.
There aren’t any mountains or oceans in North Texas, but you’ll see below in our sections detailing eight desirable neighborhoods, that Arlington is a great location for nature lovers. The city puts a lot of time, effort, and resources into keeping their parks attractive and available to residents. Included in that list are two nature preserves in the city.
There’s never a shortage of things to do, regardless of the type of activity you’re seeking. Arlington is burrowed in between Dallas, the 9th largest city in the country, and Fort Worth, the 16th largest city in the country. While the two are considered sister cities, they contrast in many ways. Dallas was founded as a railroad city, while Fort Worth was considered a Cowtown. Fort Worth is unique as it is known to appeal to the cowboys and cowgirls of the area. Rodeos, stock shows, and the Fort Worth Stockyards are some of its main attractions. But make no mistake, it’s much more than a western town, it has many terrific cultural experiences available, just like its sister, Dallas. Dallas is known for its breweries, art districts, shopping, and superb restaurants.
Schools and Universities
Arlington has 101 public schools and 22 private schools that service the area. Arlington Independent School District is the 11th largest district in the state of Texas with nearly 62,000 students enrolled. AISD has earned many accolades, some of which include being named the Best Community for Music Education for 13 years, successful athletic teams with consistent showings at state competitions, and an award-winning special education program. Other nearby school districts include Kennedale ISD and Mansfield ISD.
Arlington also a few higher education schools: The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), Arlington Baptist College, and Tarrant County College. These universities don’t just serve students; they often have cultural, informative programs, and enriching events available to residents. Take a look at their calendars online to see if anything interests you and your family.
Like most large cities, there’s a wide range of crime rates depending on the area. Arlington, as a whole, has a crime rate that’s 35% higher than the national average for both violent and property crimes. According to areavibes, the overall crime rate is 24% higher than the state of Texas.
Neighborhoods in Arlington, like Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens, have very low crime rates. See below for details on the top neighborhoods in Arlington. Overall, the crime rate in the city and state are on a downward trend in recent years.
Before making your move, be sure to start service with the major utility providers.
- Electricity & Gas: Plug your zip code into the search bar at Power to Choose to compare different provider’s rates and services in Arlington. The right-hand column will conveniently link you to the company’s website and provide a telephone number.
- Water and Garbage: The City of Arlington handles both water and garbage. Visit the Water Utilities page to view rates, pay your bill, and request new service. Arlington taxpayers benefit from curbside recycling and garbage collection. Pickup days vary based on your location — use the city website to find the collection schedule for your neighborhood. Residents are also allowed to dump twice a year at the city landfill.
- Internet and Cable: There are a variety of options available for internet and cable in the Arlington area. The top five providers are Frontier, DIRECTV, AT&T, Dish, and Spectrum. To request prices and services, visit their websites for assistance.
Best Neighborhoods in Arlington, TX
You’ve decided to live in Arlington, but now you have to decide on which neighborhood is best suited to you and your family. Arlington, TX, has a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from, and each offers its own unique experiences. We’ve outlined the top eight areas in the city below:
As the name suggests, the Central neighborhood is located in the center of Arlington and covers a little over 5 miles. The very north boundary lines up with I-30 and the neighborhood expands south to Parker Row Dr. State Highway 180 is also easily accessible.
One of the least expensive neighborhoods, the median home price is $166,900, and the median rent is $1,429. Home value has increased by 8.9% over the past year. While crime rates are dropping overall in the Central neighborhood, the overall rate is 180% higher than the national average.
The University of Texas at Arlington is located right off of South Cooper Street, which means not only can you expect a lot of college students to be living in this area, but you have access to all the events UTA offers to non-students. The College Park Center offers tickets to a variety of different events throughout the year. From WNBA games to concerts to guest speakers and more, you’ll always have something to do living in the Central neighborhood.
Located in between Highway 303 and I-20, Dalworthington Gardens is known as an Arlington neighborhood or suburb, but it is technically considered a Type A, General Law Municipality. For reference, per the city website, General Law cities operate according to specific state statutes and are limited to doing what the state authorizes or permits them to do. Similarly, its northern neighbor, Pantego, is also an independent town, but the city of Arlington surrounds both.
Known as one of the nicer neighborhoods in the city, Dalworthington Garden has a median home value of $268,400. The crime rate here is almost 50% lower than the national average.
Dalworthington Gardens itself is small and peaceful. Residents live in a close-knit, family-oriented community with great schools, their own Mayor and City Council, and a population of just over 2,387. The main attention in the neighborhood is Pappy Elkins Park, which has a small lake surrounded by gorgeous greenery. Certain areas of the park are also available to rent for meetings and parties.
Nestled perfectly in between I-30 and I-20, East Arlington, borders adjacent town, Grand Prairie, and is one of the largest Arlington neighborhoods. East has a population of 68,478 and spans across 19.4 miles. Highway 303 runs through its middle.
East has a crime rate that is 55% higher than the rest of the state, and 70% higher than the US average. However, year over year, crime is down by 6%. The median home value is $164,300, while the median rent is $1,385, compared to the Arlington median of $1,600. The high school graduation rates are 21% lower than Texas as a whole.
East is home to Arlington’s main attractions, which includes Six Flags Over Texas, AT&T Stadium, and Globe Life Park. The Highlands shopping center, which offers some of the city’s best shopping, is at the neighborhood’s southern edge. Across the highway to the east is another huge outdoor shopping center, Grand Prairie Outlets. Less than a mile to the west is The Parks Mall at Arlington.
North Arlington begins just north of I-30 and runs along the west side of Highway 360 for about 14 miles.
This neighborhood is known for having great schools. The graduation rate is 15% higher than the rest of the state and 8% higher than the U.S. average. Test scores are 33% higher than the national average. The median home value is $381,000, up 4.5% over the last year. Crime in the North neighborhood is 72% higher than the U.S. average.
There are some attractive waterfront areas in the North neighborhood, which includes Viridian Lake and the West Fork of the Trinity River. If you like to golf, you’ll want to spend your time here as Riverside Golf Club, Texas Rangers Golf Club, and Waterchase Golf Club are all nearby. If hiking is more of your thing, this area offers Crystal Canyon Natural Area which is a 40-acre preserve with an easy .8-mile hike. Try your luck — some hikers have reported finding crystals in the sandstone.
Only 1 square mile, Pantego, like Dalworthington Gardens, is its own municipality. However, it’s often referred to as an Arlington neighborhood. It has one of the highest livability rankings on areavibes.com and is just north of Highway 303.
The cost of living is right on par with the national average, and just under the average of Arlington. The median home value comes in at $250,500, and rent is $1,775. Pantego is very family oriented, and the community focuses on resident safety. The total crime rate is 98% lower than the rest of the state. The area has a high school graduation rate that’s 14% higher than the rest of Texas.
The main attraction in Pantego is Bicentennial Park, a small park that underwent expansion in the late 90s. Here you can find a splash pad, walking trails, and gazebos for rent. The small town always has things going on during the weekends, which you can see on their community calendar that’s kept up-to-date.
Southeast is one of the largest neighborhoods in Arlington at 20 square miles. This area runs south of I-20 and west of Highway 360.
With test scores 55% higher than the national average, Southeast Schools have a graduation rate 7% higher than the rest of the state and equal to the national average. Both Arlington and Mansfield school districts service this area. The median home value went up 8.7% over the last year and is currently $212,000. 75% of residents are homeowners. The median rent price is $1,650, and Southeast has one of the lower crime rates in the city, coming in at 12% lower than the national average.
There are many parks to enjoy in the Southeast neighborhood – Cravens Park, Lynn Creek Linear Park, and Bob McFarland Park, to name a few. Arlington’s Parks and Recreation Department puts a great deal of attention into the green areas of the city and offers activities for everyone of all ages. Only a couple miles away is Joe Pool Lake which covers three Texas counties and measures 7,740 acres.
Easy access to I-20 and Highway 287, the Southwest neighborhood is an easy drive to downtown Fort Worth.
The median home value is $240,300, and 74% of residents are homeowners. Rent will cost you about $1,695. The area has rate 7% lower than the rest of Texas, but 2% higher than the U.S. average. Southwest Arlington also has good schools with test scores that rank 63% higher than the rest of the nation.
The Southwest neighborhood is more laid back, with many offerings for nature lovers. Rush Creek runs through the middle of the neighborhood and through Rush Creek Linear Park, which has over two miles of trails and 116 acres to explore. Other Parks to stretch your legs are SJ Stovall Park, Sublett Creek Linear Park, Cliff Nelson, and Gene Schrickel, Jr. Park. On the western edge, you can find Southwest Nature Preserve with 58 acres of hiking trails, and three ponds that offer catch-and-release fishing.
Similar to the East neighborhood, the West fits perfectly in between I-30 and I-20. The neighborhood surrounds Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens and is only about 10 miles from downtown Fort Worth. Highway 180 is the major thoroughfare that runs through the middle of the neighborhood.
Crime is 15% higher than the rest of Texas in the West neighborhood. The median home value is $221,000, and rent is $1,598. The neighborhood is home to Ditto Elementary, which is the highest rated elementary school in the entire city. Graduation rates are 12% higher than the rest of the state, and the student-teacher ratio is 15:1.
Lake Arlington runs along the neighborhood’s western edge, and the area is full of trails, water activities, and programs for the perfect afternoon. West Arlington hosts one of the DFW area’s most popular holiday light tours, Interlochen Christmas Lights. Around 200 homes participate, and the event attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.
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