One of the fastest-growing cities in America – it’s just north of Dallas, part of Collin County – McKinney is a top suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Consistently ranked as one of the best areas to live in the country, the city shines with its affordable living, excellent schools, low crime, signature neighborhoods, and much more. Put another way, McKinney is the place to be in northeastern Texas!
McKinney has come a long way from starting out as one of Texas’ oldest small towns to becoming a big booming city. From a thriving economy to rich history and arts to vibrant nightlife and warm community spirit, it’s no wonder why so many folks are attracted to this special place. Whether you’re relocating to or from the City of McKinney, moving to a new town is always challenging. We’ve put together this useful guide to help you enjoy a smooth relocation.
Living in McKinney, TX: What to Know Before Moving to McKinney
With an estimated population of around 192,000, the City of McKinney is among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Offering a unique blend of amenities and high quality of life that’s sure to please, McKinney has also been named several times over as one of the greatest cities to live and work in the nation. Want to get to know McKinney better? Take a look at our handy guide below.
Pros and Cons of Living in McKinney
- Top place to live in America: Combine a thriving economy, beautiful properties, fantastic infrastructure, and more, and you can see why it’s one of the best places to live!
- Amazing homes: Filled with some of the most beautiful master-planned neighborhoods in the US, the city offers everything from affordable condos to palatial dream houses with large lots.
- Low crime: With an overall crime rate 54% lower than the nationwide average, this is a friendly and quiet community that’s perfect for feeling safe and raising your children.
- Quality education: From public to private schools, the city is home to outstanding K–12 educational opportunities with excellent facilities and strong collegiate connections.
- History and entertainment: Established in 1848, Historic Downtown McKinney is a big draw. It’s filled with delicious food, live music, arts, shopping, nightlife, and exciting events.
- Unique, warm community: Even though the population is approaching 200,000, there’s still a quaint, small-town vibe. McKinney is truly a distinctive and special place in Texas.
- Summer heat: This is Texas, after all, so you need to prepare for the weather. July and August, for instance, typically see high temps above 92°F. Thankfully, winters are mild.
- Lower diversity: More than 76% of the population is white. This is followed by 11.6% black or African American, 6.7% Asian, and less than 3% Native American & other races.
- Lack of public transportation: It’s pretty much non-existent here. This is a highly car-dependent area, so new residents will need to have access to a vehicle or other form of transport.
- Property tax: According to Overview of Property Taxes by SmartAsset, the average county tax rate is 1.918%. Average property tax is $6,329 (assessed home value of $230,000).
- Sales tax: The state of Texas has a base sales tax rate of 6.25%. Combined with local taxes, the 2020 minimum combined sales tax rate in McKinney is currently 8.25%.
- State income tax: The Lone Star State does not assess personal state income tax.
According to WalletHub, McKinney comes in at #9 among the best places for first-time home buyers.
The median home selling price in McKinney is currently $328,350, while 66% of residents own their homes. As for rentals, the median rent price is $1,158 per month for a 1BR apartment (or $13,896 per year) and $1,439 for a 2BR apartment (or $17,268 per year).
Here are the cheapest neighborhoods to live in McKinney, TX:
- W University Dr / N Church St
- W Louisiana St / S College St
- Farm to Market Road 720 / Hardin Blvd
Cost of Living
According to Cost of Living in McKinney by BestPlaces, the North Texas city has a cost of living index of 107.9. This index is slightly higher than the United States average of 100.
Here are examples of individual costs (relative to the average of 100): Groceries (102), Health (96.4), Housing (136.5), Utilities (100.2), and Transportation (92). The median household income in McKinney is about $83,000 per year. This is higher than the US average of around $62,000.
Here are the average monthly expenses in Collin County for a family of four:
- Housing = $1,269
- Food = $769
- Childcare = $1,134
- Transportation = $1,151
- Health Care = $910
- Other necessities = $822
- Taxes = $728
- Total = $6,783 per month or $81,400 per year
For comparison, let’s take a gander at costs in Dallas metro area for two adults + two kids:
- Housing = $1,077
- Food = $723
- Childcare = $1,044
- Transportation = $1,115
- Health Care = $973
- Other necessities = $726
- Taxes = $632
- Total = $6,291 per month or $75,488 per year
Weather & Natural Disasters
If you know anything about Texas weather, you know it can get mighty hot here during summer. McKinney is definitely not an exception to the rule. The silver lining is that there’s plenty of sunshine and winters are actually quite pleasant and comfortable in these parts.
The City of McKinney sees the hottest temperatures in July and August, with July bringing an average high of nearly 93°F and a low of 72°F. On the flip side, the coolest months are December and January, with an average high of 52°F and low of 31°F in the month of January.
As for seasonal variation, summers are hot and winters are mild. There are about 229 days of sunshine, which is higher than the national average of 205. McKinney does see a little bit of snow, averaging only two inches per year. It also gets approximately 41 inches of annual rainfall.
As for natural disasters, severe storms and extreme heat are at the top of the list. Other potential risks include earthquakes and tornadoes. To be prepared, check out the McKinney Hazards resource.
Economy & Job Market
As one of the fastest growing cities in America, McKinney is home to a booming economy. As of March 2020, unemployment is 3.5% (compared to nearly 4% across the nation). The city is also projected to enjoy future job growth of 54.8% – much higher than the national average of 33.5%.
Major industries in McKinney include healthcare and social assistance; retail trade; manufacturing; educational services; accommodation and food services; professional, scientific, and technical services; construction; finance and insurance; and public administration.
Here are the Top 10 major employers in McKinney, TX (Collin County):
- Liberty Mutual
- Mario Sinacola Companies
- Medical City McKinney
- NTT Data
- Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems
- Wistron GreenTech (Texas) Corporation
- Emerson Process Management Regulator Technologies
- Encore Wire
Traffic and Transportation
When it comes to public transportation, there are limited options for the city. These include Laidlaw Transit and Collin County Transit Program (subsidized taxis). There’s also McKinney National Airport and DFW International Airport. As the city grows in population, there are more households without a car. Recently, the city started working on a regional transportation plan to address this issue.
Having access to a vehicle is virtually required to get around here. Living in this area provides easy access to major hubs for work and leisure, including Frisco, Fort Worth, and Dallas. US 380 (east-west) runs through the city and offers many connecting points. Sam Rayburn Tollway (east-west) offers travel to Frisco in 20 minutes, and US 75 (north-south) takes you down to Dallas in 30 minutes.
According to Walk Score, McKinney receives the following scores: 27 (Walk Score) and 43 (Bike Score). As previously mentioned, this is a highly car-dependent city. Public transportation is lacking, and there’s certainly big room for improvement when it comes to walkability and bikeability.
Last but not least, traffic. It’s no secret that the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area isn’t exactly great in this category. In fact, it’s consistently ranked among the worst areas in the nation for traffic. Now, McKinney in and of itself isn’t all that bad, but if you are looking to commute on a regular basis, keep in mind that there will be delays and congestion, especially to and from Fort Worth and Dallas.
What to Do
Looking for fun stuff to do in McKinney, TX? Offering rich history, charming establishments, and family fun, the city is a refreshing departure from the hustle & bustle of Dallas and other dense urban areas. Whether you’re into wine or beer tasting, want to take a stroll along Main Street, or play a few rounds of golf on a world-class course, McKinney is waiting with open arms.
Let’s begin with parks. The Dog Park at Bonnie Wenk is a popular choice for pups. It offers two gorgeous acres of fenced, off-leash land. Next on our list is Obstacle Warrior Kids – McKinney. With another location in Dallas, this indoor facility was inspired by American Ninja Warrior. Looking to get onto the trails? Erwin Park Hike & Bike Trail is home to nearly eight miles of loop trail.
Looking for the top destinations? A great place to start is Historic Downtown McKinney. Established in 1848, the downtown area is a big draw for residents and visitors alike. It offers historic architecture, cultural points of interests, independent shops, phenomenal food, live music, events, the list goes on. Another hugely popular attraction is the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to nearly 300 acres of pristine land for exploration and education (primarily for children).
We didn’t forget about y’all, sports fans. Texas Revolution Professional Indoor Football is right down the road in Frisco. Dallas is also just half an hour away, home to the likes of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Dallas Stars (NHL), and FC Dallas (MLS).
As for other popular destinations, there are a bunch of options. We’ll keep to the top spots for brevity. Brewing since 2008, Franconia Brewing Company is backed by 200+ years of Bavarian beermaking expertise. Enjoy winetasting? Definitely visit Mitas Hill. Transport back to the 1800s at Chestnut Square Historic Park. Love golfing? Enjoy the links at Oak Hollow Golf Course, designed by Pete Dye.
Schools and Universities
McKinney Independent School District (McKinney ISD), which serves approximately 25,000 students, is the main K–12 school district for the City of McKinney. Student-teacher ratio is only 15:1, it currently has 82% reading proficiency and 86% math proficiency. Overall, schools are highly rated.
Top public schools include Liberty High School, Lovejoy High School, Independence High School, Imagine International Academy of North Texas, and Roach Middle School. Top private schools include Cornerstone Christian Academy, Primrose School of Stone Brooke, Guidepost Montessori at Eldorado, Castle Montessori of McKinney, and Ovation Academy of Performing Arts.
As for higher education, McKinney is home to Collin College (a public community college). Dallas is just 32 miles south of the city, and it offers several choices: Southern Methodist University, Dallas Baptist University, KD Conservatory, Concorde Career Institute – Dallas, and Dallas Christian College.
According to Crime in McKinney by BestPlaces, the city has a property crime rate (including burglary, theft, and arson) of 26.2. This is lower than the US average of 35.4 and Texas average of 38. The violent crime rate – it includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – is only 10.5. This is much lower than the countrywide average of 22.7 and Texas average of 24.8.
Before moving to McKinney, schedule new utilities. Here are the major providers:
- Electric service: Per electric deregulation, residents of McKinney can choose from 10 or so electricity providers. For contact info, check out the Electric Resource Directory.
- Gas service: As for natural gas, service is provided by Atmos Energy (phone: 1-888-286-6700 / emergency number: 1-866-322-8667) and CoServ (phone: 1-800-274-4014).
- Water service: The City of McKinney provides water service. Visit the city’s Water Billing page, call 972-547-7550, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Trash pick-up/recycling service: The Department of Solid Waste Services handles services via Waste Connections, Inc. Check out the Trash and Recycling Services page.
- Internet/Cable service: Can’t forget internet and cable services. Major providers include AT&T, DirecTV, Dish Network, HughesNet, Grande Communications, and Spectrum.
Best Neighborhoods in McKinney, TX
These neighborhoods are among the top communities to call home in McKinney:
Inspired by Supetar, the enchanting fishing village on Croatia’s Brac Island, Adriatica Village is a 45-acre, $350 million development about 5.5 miles west of Historic Downtown McKinney. The highly desirable neighborhood is bordered by Mediterranean Dr (north), Towne Lake (south), and S Stonebridge Dr (west). About 90% of residents own their homes.
Offering European style, Adriatica Village features Mediterranean-influenced condos & villas, cobblestone streets, and a wide variety of amenities. The neighborhood sits along the Towne Lake Recreation Area and is east of Stonebridge Ranch Country Club. If you’re looking for the charm of village life, filled with gorgeous homes and fun activities, Adriatica Village should be at the top of your list!
- Population – Under 2,200 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $565,000 to $1.5 million
- Rent Prices – $1,415 for 1BR and $2,100 for 3BR place
- Schools – McKinney Boyd High School, Dowell Middle School, Glen Oaks Elementary School
Craig Ranch, located about 8.5 miles southwest of Downtown McKinney, is an award-winning master-planned community. The beautiful neighborhood is bordered by Rancho de la Osa Tr (north), Stacy Rd (east), Sam Rayburn Tollway (south), and Custer Rd (west). Some 88% of residents own their homes.
Named the 2014 Master-Planned Community of the Year by the Dallas Builders Association, Craig Ranch is home to luxurious properties and breathtaking vistas. It also offers easy access to work, shopping, dining, and entertainment. Homes range in size from 1,400 to just over 7,200 square feet. Another big draw is the TPC Craig Ranch Golf Course, from the mind of acclaimed designer Tom Weiskopf.
- Population – Under 12,000 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $139,000 to $2.58 million
- Rent Prices – $1,125 for 1BR and $1,800 for 3BR place
- Schools – Scoggins Middle School, Comstock Elementary School
Situated about 6.5 miles west of the downtown area, Isleworth is technically part of Stone Ridge Ranch. This gated community is nestled between bodies of water to the north and south, while bordering Harbor Town Dr (north) and Beacon Hill Rd (south). About 64% of residents are homeowners.
Established in 2001, Isleworth offers an attractive selection of large single-family properties. These homes range from approximately 5,000 to nearly 8,000 sq. ft. (with 5–6 bedrooms and 4–5 bathrooms). Residents enjoy convenient access to the community pool and Stonebridge Ranch Country Club. It also provides access to the highly rated Dean & Mildred Bennett Elementary School.
- Population – Under 2,000 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $899,000 to $1.08 million
- Rent Prices – $1,300 for 1BR and $1,745 for 2BR apartment
- Schools – McKinney Boyd High School, Dowell Middle School, Dean & Mildred Bennett Elementary School
Mallard Lakes, less than four miles west of Historic Downtown McKinney, is a charming and award-winning community. The neighborhood is bordered by Virginia Pkwy (north), Duclair Dr (east), Scoter Ln and Muscovy Ln (south), and Goldeneyes Ln (west). Approximately 82% of residents own their homes.
Looking for spacious (and affordable) homes, large lots, and resort-style amenities? Mallard Lakes checks those boxes and much more. The community instantly offers a sense of tranquility among its many trees and attractive homes. Perfect for raising a family, it offers everything from great schools (like Glen Oaks Elementary School) to recreational facilities to lush green spaces, creeks, and lakes.
- Population – Under 4,100 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $469,000 to $719,000
- Rent Prices – $1,300 for 1BR and $1,750 for 2BR apartment
- Schools – McKinney Boyd High School, Dowell Middle School, Faubion Middle School, Glen Oaks Elementary School, Roy Lee Walker Elementary School
Bordered by the Heard Museum Nature Preserve (north), Nature Pl (east), Country Club Rd (south), and Golden Meadow Ct (west), it’s easy to see why this coveted neighborhood is called Serenity. The neighborhood is about 4.5 miles south of downtown. About 65% of residents are homeowners.
Nestled between hundreds of acres of preserved land (and originally the McKinney Country Club), Serenity provides easy access to an expansive wildlife sanctuary via the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the most beloved spots for exploration and education in McKinney. As for properties, it offers a great selection of family homes ranging from 4,000 to 6,150 sq. ft.
- Population – Under 1,400 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $830,000 to $1.3 million
- Rent Prices – $1,125 for 1BR and $1,800 for 3BR place
- Schools – Lovejoy High School, Willow Springs Middle School, Robert L. Puster Elementary School
Stonebridge Ranch, one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city, is located a little over five miles east of Downtown McKinney. The community is bordered by US 380 (north), Hills Creek Drive (east), Brasstown Dr and Rocky Mountain Ln (south), and Custer Rd (west). Here, about 66% of residents own their homes.
Also known simply as Stonebridge, the neighborhood of Stonebridge Ranch is a lavish yet all-inclusive community. Top amenities include Stonebridge Ranch Country Club (boasting a Texas-size 27-hole course and 18-hole course), Stonebridge Ranch Aquatic Center (featuring a junior Olympic-size swimming pool), massive tennis complex, tree-lined streets, gorgeous homes, and much more.
- Population – Under 1,200 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $224,500 to $2 million
- Rent Prices – $1,300 for 1BR and $1,900 for 3BR apartment
- Schools – McKinney North High School, Dr. Jack Cockrill Middle School, J.B. Wilmeth Elementary School
Close to Trinity River, the community of Trinity Falls is found six miles north of McKinney’s downtown area. The neighborhood borders Trinity Falls Pkwy (north, east, and south) and County Roads 281 and 206 (west), and 72% of residents are homeowners.
Offering some of the most affordable housing on this list, Trinity Falls is a great place to buy your first home or raise kids. It also is home to 1,700+ acres of open space and 20 miles of hiking & biking trails, ideal for nature enthusiasts and active lifestyles. There’s also a dog park, open-air pavilion, and clubhouse to boot! If you love nature, definitely check out this awesome neighborhood.
- Population – Under 1,200 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $283,400 to $585,000
- Rent Prices – $935 for 1BR and $1,460 for 2BR apartment
- Schools – McKinney North High School, Scott Morgan Johnson Middle School, Naomi Press Elementary School
Tucker Hill, the final neighborhood on our list, is perfect for those looking for a close-knit community. It’s situated seven miles northwest of Downtown McKinney and borders Darrow Creek (north), Wiregrass Dr (east), W University Dr (south), and Tremont Blvd (west). Approximately 90% of residents own their homes.
Offering a brownstone feel, Tucker Hill is known as a “front porch” community. Pretty much every home here has a front porch area, making it a breeze for friendly neighborhoods to say howdy and hang out with each other. Homes range from 1,800 to more than 5,800 sq. ft. in size, and lots are typically 40 feet to 72 feet. It also has a homeowners’ association (HOA) and is served by Prosper High School.
- Population – Under 600 residents
- Home Price – Ranging from $400,000 to $860,000
- Rent Prices – $1,125 for 1BR and $1,500 for 2BR apartment
- Schools – Prosper High School, Lorene Rogers Middle School, John A. Baker Elementary School
Quality Moving Services from McKinney Movers
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