Pros and Cons of Living in Texas

Texas, or the lone star state, is the second biggest of all US states (behind Alaska) with all the advantages and disadvantages that it brings. It has a long history of independence and is the second most populous state in the US after California. The question is, is living in Texas right for you? Here we take a look at some of the pros and cons of living in Texas.

Advantages of Living in Texas

1.) So many different ecosystems.  Texas is associated with desert and western movies in popular culture, but in reality, the southwestern desert only makes up about ten percent of the Texas land area. The principal settlements and cities are located in former prairies, grasslands, forested areas, or near the coast. 

2.) The climate offers something for everyone.  The size of the lone star state gives it advantages and disadvantages, but one of the pros is that you can find whatever type of weather you’re looking for. The shoreline offers warmer climes, but if you prefer heat and humidity, the central interior is the right choice. 

4.) A diverse economy.  Texas is a leader in many industries, such as agriculture, energy, computers, petrochemicals, and electronics. It also has growing interests in aerospace and biomedical sciences. 

5.) High levels of employment.  The state has some of the areas of highest employment in the country. It offers a lot of employment opportunities: adding 270,000 jobs in 2017. It is one of the leading states in the US when it comes to employment. Plano, Dallas, Austin, and Garland are all frequently cited as some of the best places to live in terms of job opportunities and jobs. 

6.) An impressive educational offer.  In terms of exam results, pupils studying in Texas (both in public and private education) tend to achieve higher test scores than most other states. In government school reviews, only 1% of schools were classified as ‘requiring improvement.’ 

7.) Tax rates and savings.  Texas is one of a few states that collects no state income tax, and while it does have a high sales tax rate to partially compensate for that, the combined total is still a lot less than many other places. Most workers realize that it is possible to save more money in Texas, working the same job as you were in a different state.

8.) The property is pretty affordable. One of the most surprising things is the relatively low cost of land and property in Texas. It’s also pretty easy to do. The lending rules are stringent, which means the Texas property market is somewhat protected from market crashes. 

Disadvantages of Living in Texas

1.) Is it just too big?  It might sound like a strange thing to say as space to roam is part of the American dream, but is Texas just too big to handle? Interstate travel can be 700+ miles, crossing into different time zones. 

2.) Poor quality of life.  While the job economy is booming, the overall quality of life ranking places it at 46th out of the 50 states. Perhaps the biggest issue is access and availability of healthcare, with Texas consistently ranking among the worst states for both. 

3.) Notorious traffic problems and urban sprawl.  As the economy booms and more people arrive in Texas to work, so the cities and metropolitan areas grow, and town planning fails to keep up with traffic overload. The I-35 is the primary North-South interstate, and while it does jam up with traffic, the most significant problem is accidents and collisions. Around ten people die every day using the state’s transportation systems. Over 3,700 died in 2017, with 17,500 others dealing with life-changing injuries. 

4.) Higher property tax rates. While it might be easy and relatively cheap to buy, and while Texas might have no state income tax, the property taxes are through the roof. An average household might pay over $3,000 a year just in real estate tax. That’s the fifth-highest of all US states. Next door in Louisiana, it’s about $800 a year. 

5.) Scary weather conditions.  Thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence in Texas, especially in the East and North. ‘Tornado Alley’ covers the northern section of the state, too. Texas has more tornadoes than any state in the US, with 132 a year on average. In the coastal region, Hurricanes are a big concern too. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused extensive damage when making landfall in Rockport, and it lingered inland for a long time, causing massive flooding. It ended up being the most expensive hurricane in US history, surpassing even Hurricane Katrina. 

Alan Behrens
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