What are some of the reasons you’re considering a move from New York to Texas? Are you attracted by Texas’ affordable housing, its lower cost of living, zero state income tax, or the terrific employment opportunities? Maybe you’re looking for a great place to raise your kids? With housing priced 32% lower and food 41% lower in Dallas than in New York City, it’s easy to see why so many New Yorkers are pulling the plug and heading south to Texas. From Austin to Zavalla, we’ve researched all the pros and cons of living in The Lone Star State, so you’ll know what to expect before you move. One of the most important aspects of your move will be to hire the most reputable and best interstate moving company. So, click on Get Quote, and we’ll provide you with up to four estimates for your move from New York to Texas.
What to Know Before Moving to Texas
Texas is famous for many things, but its size is a standout. Most of us have heard the slogan, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas.” It’s true – Texas is big – even bigger in land mass than some countries like New Zealand, Germany, and France. Texans are incredibly proud of their wide-open spaces which consist of hills, plains, forests, coastline, prairies, canyons, lakes, and rivers covering ten different climate zones. With so much open space, plus three of the nation’s largest cities, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, Texas offers an excellent range of options to fit your desired lifestyle. Here are some additional things to note when moving to the Lone Star State:
There’s More Breathing Room
New York has 19,862,512 residents with a density of 421 people per square mile. You’ll probably notice a little more breathing room in Texas. Its population density is 110 people per square mile in a population of 28,704,330. All that space attracts corporate jobs and new residents to fill those jobs. They’re also flocking to Texas to take advantage of the high quality of life, low cost of living, and no personal income tax. Homes are affordable in most areas of Texas, although prices are rapidly rising due to demand. As you leave New York, consider this: New York is one of the fastest shrinking states population-wise, and Texas is the second fastest growing state in the country.
Texans Are Proud to be Texas
Friendly people with distinct ideas and an independent streak give Texans a personality, or an ego, that shows up in slogans like “Don’t Mess with Texas,” “The Friendship State,” “The Great State of Texas,” and “Everything’s Bigger in Texas.” And, they say that “Texans ain’t Texans if they aren’t willing to boast about the state that they call home.” So, once you get settled in, you may want to start boasting about your new home if you want to be considered a Texan.
Housing is Affordable
The median home price in Texas varies significantly because the state is so – we’ll repeat it – big. Border cities like El Paso, Laredo, and Beaumont have median home prices of around $151,000. However, Austin’s median home price, the highest in the state, is just over $300,000. If you’ve been renting in New York City, you’ve been paying 109% more for rent than you would in Austin. In almost every case, you’ll save on housing costs if you move to Texas from New York.
The Economy is Booming
Texas’ economy is the second largest in the nation. With a stronger economy than both India and Canada, Texas’ major industries include energy, agriculture, petrochemicals, higher education, tech, aerospace, and biomedicine. The median household income is $59,295, which is $2077 lower than the US average. However, suburbs surrounding Texas’ largest metro areas have much higher median household incomes. Rockwall County, east of Dallas, has a median household income of $95,731 and Williamson County, north of Austin, has a median household income of $81,818.
The Tax Burden is Light
According to usatoday.com, the tax burden in New York is the highest of any state. State income tax in Texas? Zero. Most of Texas’ tax revenues come from taxes on businesses, property, and retail sales. The effective property tax rate across the state is 1.7%. Counties, cities, and school districts collect these taxes and use them for local needs. If you plan to open a small business in Texas, expect to pay employment and sales tax. You’ll also pay taxes on retail purchases. The rate varies depending on the city or municipality where you shop. In Dallas and Austin, you’ll pay 8.25% in retail tax, a combination of county and city tax rates. In Zavalla, you’ll pay a combined sales tax rate of 6.75%.
Texas’ Job Sector is Strong
The energy sector and higher education are Texas’ biggest employers. Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, Sysco, Kimberly Clark, AT&T, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are just some of the major companies headquartered in Texas. Texas A&M University employs over 50,000 people, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has over 50,000 employees, and the University of Texas at Austin has almost 21,000 employees. Texas’ ports employ over one million people, and there’s a massive demand for jobs in the housing market. In Dallas-Fort Worth, builders have trouble finding enough workers to build thousands of new homes that the market demands.
It’s Cheaper to Get Around
Transportation costs about 52% more in New York than it does in Texas. Like in New York, traffic tangles then creeps to a stop in large metropolitan cities like San Antonio, Austin, Dallas – Fort Worth, and Houston. If you choose to jump in your car for a road trip, it’ll take you about 11 ½ hours to drive from El Paso to Beaumont. Because Texas is so big (said it again), lots of folks choose in-state flights to get around. The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is the second largest in the nation. Rapid transit doesn’t quite match up to New York standards, but Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin have bus and light rail systems. Amtrak can take you to points around Texas, plus to Chicago, Los Angeles, or New Orleans.
The State Boasts an Excellent Education System
Higher education is the state’s largest employment sector and choices for post-secondary education in Texas are fantastic. There are more than 200 colleges and universities including prestigious Rice University, Baylor University, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin, and Southern Methodist University. About 80% of students graduate from high school, and 56.2% go on to attend college. Surprisingly, given the level of higher education opportunities in Texas, the state ranks 43rd in the nation for quality of K-12 education, according to elpasotimes.com. However, you can find pockets of very highly rated K-12 schools throughout the state.
The Climate Varies…A Lot
From the parched plains of West Texas to the maritime Gulf Coast, you’ll find distinct climate variations across Texas. West Texas gets about 10 inches of rain per year while the eastern part of the state can get up to 60 inches. Generally, snow only falls in the northern plains, where Amarillo and El Paso can get around six inches of snow a year. You probably won’t need heavy winter clothes as you did in New York. January lows are generally in the mid-30s–40s. August highs in New York hover around the mid 80’s but in Texas, summers are hot – actually sizzling hot – with temperatures creeping into the triple digits, and in most areas, the summer air is muggy and humid. While you didn’t have to brace for significant storms in New York, you’ll need to gear up for the possibility of major tornadoes and hurricanes in the Lone Star State. Texas averages more tornadoes each year than any other state in the nation and sees its fair share of hurricanes.
Texas Has Lots to Love
“The Friendship State” has no shortage of diversions, and your entertainment costs will be about 50% less expensive in Texas. To the delight nature enthusiasts, sixteen national parks cover everything from wild deserts to magnificent mountains and sparkling seashores. Thrill seekers will savor seven major theme parks. Major sports teams include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, and The San Antonio Spurs. Another sport Texans love is the rodeo. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world. New York is one of nine states with the most restrictive gun laws, so you probably didn’t see a pickup driving down the road with rifles stacked on a gun rack. Texas has some of the laxest gun laws in the country, and many folks enjoy Texan gun culture which includes deer and turkey hunting seasons.
Where to Live in Texas
Compared to New York, you’ll find much more affordable housing in Texas. Here, we’ve listed Texan cities with active job markets and attractive amenities which make them great places to live and work.
The Alamo City is the 7th largest city in the country and has a population of 2,377,507. The median home price here is $211,800, while the median monthly rent is $949, making San Antonio 26% less expensive than Austin. One of Texas’ most family-friendly cities, many neighborhoods in San Antonio are established and attractive. Desirable suburbs on the outskirts of town include Helotes, Schertz, and Boerne. Within city limits, a vibrant downtown gives you the choice of condo or apartment living where you can dine, shop, and stroll the famous 30-mile-long River Walk. The Mexican-American population heavily influences the food, music, and entertainment. You’ll find jobs in tourism, the military sector, renewable energy, bioscience, healthcare, education, and manufacturing. The highest-rated schools are in northern San Antonio, and the city also boasts 31 higher education institutions, including Trinity University, St. Mary’s University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. If you’re moving to the River City, prepare for the summer heat – August highs average 96°. However, winters are mild with January highs of 63° and lows of just under 40°. You won’t be shoveling any snow in San Antonio, but you will get about 32 inches of annual rain. Three main highways with an inner and outer loop make getting around in your car easy for a city of its size. And ‘Remember the Alamo.’ Explore the Alamo at Texas’ first UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
Located north of Dallas, this suburb has a population of 100,400 and boasts one of the most distinguished school districts in Texas. Historic Old Town has buildings that date back to the 1880s with a beautiful historic home district that defines the urban center of the city. The median household income is $58,559, and the median home price is $224,243. Lewisville is a fast-growing town open to new businesses. Top employers include Xerox, Bed Bath and Beyond, SYSCO, Medical City of Lewisville, Hoya Vision Care, and FedEx Freight. Shoppers and diners enjoy over 6.7 million square feet of retail and restaurant space. Three commuter rail stations connect Lewisville to downtown Dallas and north to Denton, and the city is only 5 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. If you’re looking for a green and active lifestyle, you can explore the pristine Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, a 2000-acre nature reserve where you can kayak the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Residents love their festivals including Western Days, Sounds of Lewisville Concert Series, the Old Town Holiday Stroll, and Best Little Brewfest.
Cedar Park has a population of 76,800 and, at just 17 miles north of city center, is a major suburb of Austin. Ranked the fourth fastest growing city in the country due to its vibrant high-tech businesses, Cedar Park’s median household income is $88,466, while the median home price is $230,900. The overall crime rate is 43% lower than the national average, according to areavibes.com. Top employment sectors are tech, healthcare, and manufacturing, and many residents commute to Austin for work. If you have children, you’ll appreciate Cedar Park’s highly rated schools and top-notch parks. True to its name, Cedar Park has 47 parks that cover 860 acres. You and your family can jog, bike, and stroll the 22 miles of trails. East of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Central Park’s location makes it a snap to get away for weekends of exploring.
Pearland, population 108,821, is located about 20 minutes south of downtown Houston and offers a small-town lifestyle with easy access to everything Houston has to offer. The median home price is $270,100 with an appreciation of 39.2% over the last ten years. Median rent is $1218. You’ll find older, established homes in East Pearland while West Pearland has had a recent boom of suburban development. Pearland schools are highly-rated, and the city is considered safer than 46% of US cities. Pearland is only 15 minutes from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, a major employer. Other significant employers include the Pearland Independent School District, Walmart, the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, and the City of Pearland. Five big shopping centers and the city’s parks and walking trails, where you can stroll along and sample fruit from Pearland’s famous orchards, will keep you busy in your free time.
Frisco, population 177,286, is a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. An ethnically diverse city, 19.81% of its population was born in another country. The median household income here is $120,701, and the median home value is $335,900, with most homes being recent builds. Median rent is $1368. One of the more educated cities in the country, 60.29% of Frisco’s adult residents have a college or advanced degree, and residents lean toward the conservative side of the political spectrum. Frisco is a family friendly suburb with highly-rated schools and ranks first in healthy living behaviors among Texas counties. In this safe community, the crime rate is well below the national average. Goodman Networks, a technology firm, is the largest employer, followed by AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, Baylor Medical Center, and Conifer Health Systems. When the locals aren’t working, they can enjoy over a million square feet of retail and dining space plus lots of parks for family fun.
Austin, The Live Music Capital of the World, has a population of 2,000,590 and is rated the #1 Best Place to Live and the #4 Best Place to Retire in the nation, by realestate.usnews.com. A pricier city, the median home price $292,500 while the median monthly rent is $1155. One of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation, Austin is a progressive and liberal city. It’s also a center for technology and venture capital investment, where significant employers include Google, the University of Texas, and a smattering of tech start-ups. Top industries include higher education, scientific, tech, health care, and social assistance. Here, you’ll enjoy mild winters with highs of around 62° and lows around 36°, but summers are sweltering. Austin gets about 32” of annual rainfall, but the city does enjoy 228 days of sunshine. Traffic congestion plagues Austin, although Capital Metro, which operates bus and rail lines, gives some relief to traffic jams. Austinites love the bustling food scene and the humming world of music. Austin City Limits, the long-running PBS TV show, is also the name of an October event that features major headliners and over 130 daily acts. South by Southwest is an annual March festival of film, interactive media, and music. The Fun Fun Fun Fest features progressive music and comedy. You’ll be able to hike, bike, jog, and kayak in more than 250 parks, plus your kids will thrive in the Eanes Independent School District, named the #1 Best School District in Texas, according to niche.com. But you’ll have to be wary; crime here is 89% worse than other Texas cities.
Tips to Help You Move from New York to Texas
Knowing that you have a significant move ahead of you can feel overwhelming. Some tips will help you breathe more easily, prepare, and stay organized.
Establish your moving budget.
Packing up and moving 1850 miles to set up your new Texan home or office will involve several expenses you don’t usually have to consider.
DIY moving expenses:
- Truck rental – Check with your truck rental company to find out if their fees are one-way, round trip, or if they charge mileage.
- Fuel – Calculate how much your 1800+ mile drive will cost in fuel. Moving truck companies list their ‘miles to the gallon’ on their websites.
- Insurance – Your credit card company or homeowners’ insurance may cover damage to your belongings during a move. Check to see if they also cover damage to your moving truck. Otherwise, buy moving insurance to make sure you have coverage in case of an accident or damage to your stuff.
- Extra equipment rentals – If you’ll need a loading ramp, mattress covers, a dolly, or other items to make your move go more smoothly, ask what the rental agency will charge for each item.
Moving company expenses:
- Cross country moving company fees
- Additional insurance – If you have valuable items such as antiques that the moving company won’t insure, you may need to buy extra insurance.
- Extra services – Be sure to ask your moving company if they charge for these additional services you may want or need:
- Packing and unpacking
- Long-term and short-term storage
- Furniture disassembly and reassembly
- Piano, hot tub, pool table, and antiques moving
- Shuttle services – If you’re moving from New York City, your moving company may need to shuttle your possessions to their off-site moving van.
Packing material expenses
- For a DIY move, you’ll need boxes, bubble wrap, clean paper, tape, markers, and moving blankets. Start packing early. A few boxes a day can get you to the finish line with less stress.
- If you’re using a professional packing service, you’ll only need enough packing materials to box up the few items you may not want the moving company to handle.
- If you need ‘storage in transit’ to temporarily hold items during your move, your interstate moving company can provide it for a fee.
- You’ll need to arrange your storage if you’re making a DIY move. Fees will vary according to the type of storage you’ll need.
- Insurance: Buy extra protection if you’re storing valuables like collections or antiques.
Travel to Texas
- Lodging – plan your overnight stops and book your hotels.
- Meals on the road are usually more expensive, so budget for food for your trip.
- Vehicle moving – if you’re moving your car instead of driving it, include the cost of car transport.
Add up your total expenses and then multiply the total by 5%. This 5% will be your contingency amount to allow for surprises and unexpected events during your move. Add the 5% contingency to your total expenses. Now you have an official moving budget.
Find the most reputable, trustworthy mover.
Now that you’ve established your moving budget, you’ll need to find the best mover for your relocation to Texas. Do this as soon as you know you’ll be moving.
- The date you move will impact your moving price. Summer and holiday moves are always more expensive than off-season relocations.
- Get multiple moving estimates. Save oodles of research time and click on Get Quote. We’ll send you quotes from our most trusted, reputable interstate moving partners.
- Once you’ve reviewed your quotes, schedule in-home estimates from at least three moving companies. During an in-home estimate, the mover’s rep will come to your home and see what you’ll be moving to determine your final moving cost.
- Prepare your home for the in-home estimates. Tag things you won’t be moving, so the mover’s rep won’t include those things in your moving cost.
- Checklist – Create a moving ‘to do’ checklist that is customized to your relocation. This list will keep you organized and on track. Be sure to refer to it frequently and do a happy dance when you check off each item.
- Interstate movers charge by weight, so that’s reason enough to purge your stuff. But even a DIY move is easier if you move only what you truly need.
- Like most people, you probably own way too much stuff. If you live in a New York condo or apartment, and having a garage or yard sale is problematic, you can sell clothes, furniture, art, and accessories on Craigslist or eBay. Social media, like Facebook or Instagram, is also a great way to sell stuff.
- To keep stuff out of landfills, go to freecycle.org to give away things you don’t want and can’t sell.
- And don’t forget to eat up all the food you’ve squirreled away in your cupboards and fridge.
- Change your address online at usps.com and be sure to update online shipping addresses on sites such as Netflix and Amazon.
- Within 90 days of your move, apply for your driver’s license at the Texas Department of Public Safety. Shop for new car insurance and have it in place before you register your vehicle.
- Update your homeowners’ insurance.
Turn off NY services and turn on Texas services.
- Contact your service providers to disconnect service the day after you move.
- Your Texas realtor can give you a list of all the services you’ll need in your new home.
- Notify anyone who relies on you for income – your dog walker, gardener, housekeeper, or pool person – and give them a minimum of one month’s notice that you’ll be moving.
Plan for the pets.
- Your furry friends aren’t allowed to cross Texas state lines without current rabies vaccinations. Make sure you have your vet certificates available as you cross into Texas.
- If you’re trailering your horse into Texas, check the more complex restrictions for equines.
Prepare for the weather.
Texas gets some severe weather in the summer. Check the long-range forecast for unusual temperatures or storms that may affect your move.
We hope our moving guide and tips help you prepare for your upcoming move to the Lone Star State! For assistance finding Texas’ best moving companies, contact Great Guys Moving and receive free quotes. Click “Get Quote” to get started.