moving-to-dallas-guide

Planning a move to Dallas, Texas? It is important to know what you and your family need and what living arrangement would make you more comfortable, especially when moving to such a huge city. Dallas offers many types of homes, from small, single family homes to luxury apartments to mega mansions in Highland Park. No matter what type of home you’re looking for in the Dallas area, there’s sure to be a neighborhood that’s perfect for you.

Murphy for Family-Friendly Living

Located south of Southfork Ranch and ranked #15 on a livability scale of Texas neighborhoods,
Murphy is in Collin County, Texas. The county has several school districts to choose from, but schools located in and around Murphy received a 9.5 out of 10 on greatschools.com. This close-knit community has a population of less than 17,900, making it one of the quieter cities in Texas.

Uptown Dallas is full of beautiful condos and apartments, making this the perfect urban neighborhood for young professionals to live.
Uptown Dallas is full of beautiful condos and apartments, making this the perfect urban neighborhood for young professionals to live.

Allen for a Better Quality of Life for Large Families

Also located in the northern suburbs of Collin County in Dallas, Texas, Allen is known for having great schools (schools rank 9.3 out of 10 on greatschools.com) and sprawling houses. Families who need or just prefer a lot of space can invest in a farmhouse-style family home with a large lot. The vast, beautiful land in this quiet neighborhood mean that houses are spaced farther apart than in other places. This is the ideal location for families who love the outdoors, but who still need to be close to the amenities of the city. From Allen, you can be at The Village or the Premium Outlet Mall in minutes.

Uptown Dallas, Texas is the Young Professional’s New Home

Families, retirees, and couples can all enjoy making Uptown Dallas their permanent home. This area houses some of the most luxurious apartments, perfect for any married or single adult with or without children, who might have had to transfer for work. The spacious apartments, like those in The Monterey, offer endless amenities to help you increase work productivity and keep stress levels at bay (the apartments in this neighborhood have multiple pools and a gym).

Luxurious Living for Families and Retirees

Situated next to White Rock Lake, the Forest Hills neighborhood located in Dallas County is a great, upper-income neighborhood. People who move here are rewarded with the amount of space both inside and outside their homes. The beautiful, natural landscape of the area is enjoyed by all. There are large, open fields for kids to play and parks that are so close, you can take a stroll or a jog any time you feel like it.

Moving to Forest Hills affords you the chance to live close to White Rock Lake.
Moving to Forest Hills affords you the chance to live close to White Rock Lake.

Affordable Choice Neighborhood in Dallas

Lancaster is an affordable, family-friendly neighborhood in southwest Dallas, Texas. You will love the feeling of community in the neighborhood as well as the diversity. The historic community, first settled in 1844, has affordable housing and offers several elementary, middle,
and high schools for school-aged residents. Expansive parks, the Cold War Air museum, and endless opportunities for family-friendly entertainment make this neighborhood ideal for couples wanting to start a family or anyone who loves Dallas, Texas and wants to save on rent.

Best Moving Companies in Dallas

Once you’ve decided where you’re moving, it’s time to consider how to get there. If you’re looking for a reputable Dallas moving companies, check out these recommendations:

North Dallas Moving & Storage
1804 Trinity Valley Drive
Carrollton, Texas, 75006
(972) 241-1562

Cheap Dallas Movers
3839 McKinney Avenue
Suite 155-2030
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 999-1997

Move Star
4431 Simonton Rd.
Dallas, TX 75244
(972) 716-9911

 

Why So Many People Want to Call Austin Home

So, you’re thinking of moving to Austin…

You’re not alone. It’s estimated that some 110 people move to Austin every day, and a lot of the out of state influx is coming from California. Many newcomers to Austin come seeking an escape from the rat race of cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Here, life is a little simpler (and cheaper), but still offers abundant career opportunities plus a dose of culture. In fact, there are a lot of really good reasons to move to the capital city.

It’s Not Like the Rest of the State

From dress to politics, Austin is a far cry from what you'll find in the rest of the state.
From dress to politics, Austin is a far cry from what you’ll find in the rest of the state.

While the majority of Texas does figuratively bleed red, if you think that all Texans are conservatives decked out in cowboy hats and boots, think again. In Austin, boots are just worn as a fashion statement, and a good portion of the city leans pretty far to the left. In fact, Austinites consistently vote contrary to the rest of the state on pretty much everything. This could explain the large number of Californians that have made their way to Austin in the recent years. Politics aside, Austinites are also far more laid back than their counterparts in other metro areas like Houston or Dallas. While dressing to the nines is still protocol in those cities, Austinites prefer to dress casually for all occasions and maintain a less high maintenance lifestyle.

It’s Cheap to Live Here

Though native Austinites can’t believe the price of Austin real estate these days, relatively speaking, it’s still pretty inexpensive to live here. The median home value is now just over $300K. By comparison, the median home price in Los Angeles is almost double that, while homes in San Francisco list for a median price of $1.1 million. With prices so much lower than other major metro areas, it’s no wonder that people moving here from out of state are known for sweeping in with cash offers. Low housing prices means that raising a family here is completely doable for most.

Compared to other parts of the country, commute times in Austin aren't quite as bad. Flickr user Matthew Rutledge.
Compared to other parts of the country, commute times in Austin aren’t quite as bad. Flickr user Matthew Rutledge.

It Has Better Commuting Times

While Austin does have its fair share of gridlock traffic, it’s still better than trying to commute in L.A. or New York. Compared to NYC, where the average commute one-way is 35 minutes or L.A. where the San Bernardino, where the one-way commute is 30 minutes, the average commute times in Austin don’t rank among the worst. During rush hour, those living in the suburbs of Round Rock or Cedar Park might face commutes of up to an hour and 15 minutes to get downtown, while those living closer to city center only face commutes of up to 20 minutes. In Austin, a short commute is totally doable as long as you choose where you live very wisely.

It’s Got an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Austin is a huge hub for both technology companies and creative types, which could explain why there are so many new start-ups always popping up in the city. Owners of Moonraker Marketing, one of the best Austin SEO companies, love doing business as an Austin start-up. These marketers help other local entrepreneurs grow by implementing digital marketing strategies, and say there are plenty of reasons that Austin is a great place to be an entrepreneur. In comparison to Silicon Valley, real estate is cheaper, taxes are less burdensome, and the state offers incentives to business start-ups. Plus, Austin has a laid back culture, plenty of venture funding, and lots of resources for budding entrepreneurs. It’s the perfect place to start and grow a business, which is exactly what so many companies, like Main Street Hub, HomeAway, RetailMeNot, and others, have done.

It’s Always Entertaining

Don’t let the small town friendly vibe fool you, there are always a ton of things to do after work in Austin.  If music is your thing, then the Live Music Capital of the World won’t disappoint. There is live entertainment 7 nights a week at a variety of venues, including free concerts at the airport. In addition to country music, there is lots of indie, jazz, blues, and rock, too. You can find music at intimate clubs and larger acts over at ACL Moody Theater or Stubb’s.

In Austin, there's entertainment just about everywhere you look. From the cowboy strumming his guitar on a downtown corner, to huge music festivals in Zilker Park. Photo by Flickr user James Loesch.
In Austin, there’s entertainment just about everywhere you look. From the cowboy strumming his guitar on a downtown corner, to huge music festivals in Zilker Park. Photo by Flickr user James Loesch.

Art and theater have huge followings here too, there are many New York artists heading for Austin because of the availability of affordable studio space and the opportunities present here.  There are plenty of live theater productions to go see or to participate in if you have theatrical aspirations.

It’s Easy to Stay in Shape

If you’re a fitness buff, then Austin is the perfect place to live. On a given day, you can join the throngs of runners circling around the 10-mile loop on Town Lake, or book a class at one of the city’s hottest gyms. Here, almost everyone has a workout routine, whether it’s going to a boot camp in the park, paddling down the Colorado River, attending a free yoga class at Whole Foods or taking a hike in the greenbelt. It’s no wonder this metro consistently ranks among the fittest cities in the country.

In Austin, it's easy to find a way to stay in shape. For motivation, sign up for one of the fun runs or marathons the city hosts. Photo from Flickr user Roger Mommaerts.
In Austin, it’s easy to find a way to stay in shape. For motivation, sign up for one of the fun runs or marathons the city hosts. Photo from Flickr user Roger Mommaerts.
sunset-over-killeen

The last few years since I’ve retired, I’ve been wandering around the state looking for a second home inland so I can be closer to relatives in Dallas and Austin. I think I may have finally found the perfect spot: Killeen. This town doesn’t conjure up images of particular quaintness or beauty, but I think it could just be the perfect spot for me. It’s in a fabulous location, just an hour outside of bustling Austin and 2 hours away from Dallas. Though best known as a military town because of its proximity to the army base of Fort Hood, Killeen actually has a lot going for it. Here are some reasons that moving to Killeen is a great idea for me and may be for you as well!:

1. Low Cost of Living

For me, living in Austin isn’t really an option, because rents and homes there over the last 5 years have climbed sky high. In Killeen, however, the cost of living is quite low, on average falling 13 percent below the national rate. Purchasing a house here is feasible because the housing costs are 22 percent lower than the average American city! The median home price is just $116,400.

Killeen is also home to Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the world.
Killeen is also home to Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the world.

2. Great School Options

Parents are often concerned what kind of education they can expect for their children when they move to a new city. I’m primarily concerned with a quality school system for resale value. Killeen doesn’t lack when it comes to schools; the Killeen Independent School District has 33 elementary schools, 13 middle schools, and 12 high schools. Additionally, there are over 20 well-respected private schools for families who prefer going that route.

3. Close to Many Hospitals

Health is important and access to medical care increasingly important as I continue to age. Killeen has over 20 hospitals nearby, including the top-notch Scott & White Memorial Hospital in nearby Temple and Veteran’s Affairs Hospitals in Temple and Waco. Here, there is no reason to worry about finding adequate healthcare.

4. Mild Climate

If you aren’t a fan of the snow and ice, Killeen may be the perfect spot for you. With a year-round average temperature of 65 degrees, it rarely dips below freezing in this Central Texas town. While there have been some extreme record highs peaking in the 100s, on average summer temperatures spike in the upper 90s, while in winter months the temperatures hover in the 40s and 50s.

Killeen, like the rest of Central Texas, has warm temperatures most of the year, making it a great place to spend time outside.
Killeen, like the rest of Central Texas, has warm temperatures most of the year, making it a great place to spend time outside.

5. Lots to Do

Besides the great climate and good schools, there is lots to do in this city. Killeen movers, Apple Moving (find on Facebook or Twitter) has a whole list of fun ideas for affordable entertainment in the Killeen area. They’ve compiled this list as part of a welcome package for the many families they help relocate to the nearby base at Fort Hood. Here are a few of the highlights:

6. Outdoor Fun

For those like me who enjoy time outdoors, the area has two lakes, Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Lake, both of which offer some of the finest spots to cast a line. Visitors can also boat, swim, or camp around the two lakes. Adventurous types enjoy Killeen’s 3-mile bike path or go hiking on one of the many area trails. Golfers will be happy to know there are two 18-hole courses in-town to keep their golf skills sharp.

If you find yourself moving to Killeen, there are many reasons to love your new home. No matter if you’re completing a military move or just retiring to a new place, Killeen, Texas, is a great fit for people of all ages and interests.

 

 

What You Should Know Before Moving to Texas

Texas is an amazing place to live: it has incredible food, friendly people, a low cost of living, no income taxes, lots of jobs, and affords a great quality of life. It’s no wonder, then, that people are moving here at a rapid pace. Between the summers of 2014 and 2015, more than half a million people moved to Texas, a record high for the Lone Star State. Great Guys Moving, a moving long distance company, has noted a marked uptick in the number of moves to Texas’ large metro areas. Statistics posted by another major carrier, Stevens Van Lines, shows that during the 2015 moving season two of the five most popular long distance moving routes were destined for Texas (California to Texas & New York to Texas). In fact, Texas is home to 5 of the 11 fastest growing cities in the nation, according to data gathered by the US Census Bureau. One things for certain, more and more people are realizing the perks of living in this great state.

If you, like so many others in recent years, are considering a move here, there are a few things to consider before you put down Texas roots:

Texas Has Incredible Cuisine

There are plenty of opportunities here to have your steak and eat it too.
There are plenty of opportunities here to have your steak and eat it too.

Texas sits in the heart of cattle country (a title its claimed since its cattle-driving days the 1860s), so the excellent steakhouses and BBQ joints the state is known for might be expected. However, in addition to its prolific beef production and consumption, Texas also has lots of regular farms with fruits and vegetables. Peaches, pecans, corn, berries, wheat, peanuts, rice, and soybeans are grown commercially, while smaller local gardens provide plenty of other fresh ingredients for farm-to-table restaurants that have popped up all over the state. Additionally, seafood lovers will be pleased to know that the Texas Gulf Coast offers an abundant catch of fish and shrimp.

Things Here Are Pretty High Tech

While the assumed Texan stereotype might be a gun-toting, horse-riding, boot-wearing rancher, Texas also has plenty of tech nerds. The Austin-area, in Central Texas, is home to big names like 3M, Apple, Dell, Oracle, Intel, Facebook, and dozens of other tech companies. In fact, there are so many tech start-ups in the capital city that it’s been referred to as the Silicon Valley of the South. Austin is the place to be for many entrepreneurs and start-ups, and it also consistently ranks among the best cities in the US. If you compare the price of real estate here to

In and around Austin is where you want to be if you’re pursuing a high tech career.  You should note that Austin is pretty affordable and is consistently ranked among the best cities to live in the US.  If you compare the cost of real estate in this hipster city to that of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco metro area, Texas starts to look mighty fine.

There’s More Than Just Country Music

Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, but just because it’s Texas doesn’t mean genres are limited to just country. Every October, thousands of people descend on Austin to attend the two-weekend Austin City Limits festival which features live music from hundreds of musical acts from around the world. Past headliners include musical acts as varied as The Civil Wars, the Foo Fighters, and the Eagles. If you move to Texas, expect to have plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in some of the world’s best music.

Texas Has a Rich History

In Texas, history is a pretty big deal, which helps explain why residents of Huntsville erected this 67-foot tall statue of Sam Houston.
In Texas, history is a pretty big deal, which helps explain why residents of Huntsville erected this 67-foot tall statue of Sam Houston.

To Texans, six flags is not just a theme park, it’s the number of different flags that have been flown here over the course of the state’s storied history. First settled by Spaniards back in the 1500s, the area was also ruled by France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and finally the United States. Texans are extremely proud of their past, and particularly of the independent spirit that led to Texas winning its independence from Mexico. They like to remind the rest of America that Texas is the only state to have been its own nation, and some are even behind a movement to secede from the U.S. There’s so much history in this great state that students at Texas public schools take two entire years Texas history over their K-12 career.

You’ll Have to Learn Texan

While not all Texans speak with a thick accent, they do have a vocabulary that may not be entirely familiar to outsiders moving here. Here are some of the key words and phrases you should know:

  • “Y’all”: short for “you all”, is the South’s more charming way of referring to a group of people and is equivalent to “you guys” in the North.
  • Drop the “g”: We tend to drop the “g” of most of our verbs. In example:
    • “Going to” becomes “gonna”
    • “Fishing” becomes “fishin’”
    • “Hunting” becomes “huntin’”
  • Do not use the words “pop” or “soda” when referring to carbonated beverages – it makes Texans cringe. Here, everything carbonated is a coke. If you’re at a restaurant and order a “coke”, the waitress will likely ask what kind – Sprite, Dr. Pepper, etc.
  • “Fixin to” means that you are about to do something. If you are about to mow the lawn, you might say “I’m fixin’ to mow the lawn”.

 

To learn additional Texan terms, please refer to the Glossary of Texan.

Texans Are a Friendly Bunch

Texas likes to remind out of state drivers to drive friendly.
Texas likes to remind out of state drivers to drive friendly.

All points of entry into the state remind drivers to “Drive Friendly, the Texas Way”. While city drivers are still pretty aggressive, drive any of the back roads and you’ll find that most people wave at passing cars. But, friendliness isn’t just limited to driving. In general, Native Texans are extremely approachable and aren’t afraid to strike up conversation with strangers. You’ll find that most are eager to help and happy to answer questions. With the potential for so many friendly neighbors, it’s no wonder that so many people move here every year.