The Complete Guide to Moving to Dallas

Weighing up the pros and cons of living in Dallas? Look no further than our complete guide to relocating to the city.

Are you considering relocating to Dallas, Texas? If so, you’re in good company.

Dallas, Texas is growing at a rate of 1.36% annually and its population has swelled by 15.4% since the most recent census. The city’s close proximity to the city of Fort Worth and surrounding counties has been amalgamated into what’s known as the Metroplex, which altogether has a population of around 7.6 million.

Dallas, Texas has been called “the next Silicon Valley” by Forbes, as it’s one of the quickest growing tech hubs in the US. This is due in part to lower costs in the housing market and lower cost of living compared to Silicon Valley. 

To find out more, keep reading our complete guide to living in the city. We’ll cover:

  • About Dallas
  • The Climate
  • Moving to Dallas, Texas: The Best Suburbs and Neighborhoods
  • Employment in Dallas
  • Cost of Living in Dallas, Texas
  • Attractions In and Around Dallas
  • Food and Restaurants in Dallas
  • How to Get There - Moving to Dallas
  • Is Dallas a Good Place to Live? Final Thoughts

About Dallas

Texas was part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain in the 16th century. Present-day Dallas remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain and the area became part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas.

The Republic of Texas broke off from Mexico in 1836 and remained an independent country for nearly 10 years. Texas didn’t become a US state until 1845.

In the 1930s, while the rest of the country struggled from the onset of the Great Depression, business in Texas was flourishing due to the oil boom. Dallas quickly became the financial center for the oil industry in the state.

In the late 1990s, the growing telecom industry exploded in Dallas, especially in areas like Las Colinas and the Telecom Corridor. During this time, Dallas gained its reputation as Silicon Valley of Texas, or the “Silicon Prairie.”

The Climate

There’s no getting away from it, Dallas is hot!, hot!, hot!

Summers are sweltering and humid, with average temperatures reaching into the mid-90s from June to September. However, there is some relief from the heat, as temperatures in spring and fall are more mild and pleasant. 

Dallas is no stranger to thunderstorms. Canada’s cold fronts frequently collide with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and create a light show of thunderstorms over Dallas. During the winter months, Dallas’s climate can fluctuate wildly. Temperatures can range from an amiable 64° F to well below freezing.

Therefore, if you are considering moving to Dallas, bring a wardrobe that caters for all sorts of weather conditions.

Moving to Dallas, Texas? The Best Suburbs and Neighborhoods

Dallas has a wide range of neighborhoods that cater to both young professionals and families. Here are some we recommend checking out before you move: 

  • Lower Greenville – Lower Greenville is well-known for its bars, restaurants, and live music scene. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this trendy Dallas neighborhood is popular with young professionals looking to wet their whistles after a hard day of work.
  • University Park – This upscale residential area of Dallas is known for its leafy boulevards, manicured parks, and gorgeous homes. Its main attraction is the Southern Methodist University campus, where “Boulevarding” (a kind of semi-formal dress version of tailgating) before SMU football games sets the neighborhood abuzz. This area of the city is perfect for affluent professionals who already have children or are looking to start a family.
  • Lakewood – Adjacent to White Rock Lake, this scenic area of Dallas is an ideal place for the outdoorsy type, with easy access to hiking trails, kayaking, biking, or running. The town center is home to a number of retailers and grocery stores, making Lakewood the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and city feel.
  • Preston Hollow – This part of Dallas is one of the most opulent areas of the city. The neighborhood’s claim to fame is that it’s home to many celebrities and public figures, such as former US President George W. Bush, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens. Despite the exclusive nature of the neighborhood, the average house price is $500,000, putting owning a home in Preston Hollow within the reach of working professionals.
  • Kessler Park – Steeped in history and featuring homes with beautiful architecture, Kessler Park is worth considering for families moving to Dallas, Texas, who need a place to settle quickly. Most people rent their homes in the area, which is complemented by a mix of tree-lined parks and boutique restaurants. The neighborhood is only a few minutes from downtown Dallas, making it ideal for newcomers.
  • Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica – With rolling hills and tree-lined streets, this neighborhood in east Dallas has a small-town feel with big-city accessibility. The area is home to one of the largest intact collections of stone-embellished brick Tudor cottages in the US. It’s also an active community. There’s an annual chili cook-off and various events from Halloween to Christmas. In the summertime, you can catch a Shakespearian play in Samuell-Grand Park.

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Employment in Dallas

For those considering moving to Dallas, Texas, it’s a great place to live, work, and to spend your golden years, according to the US News & World Report ranking. The Metroplex is ranked No. 24 overall among the best places to live in the US and No. 17 among best places to retire.

In the Dallas area, the top industries are technology, financial services, and defense. In the Fort Worth area, the major industries are oil and gas, manufacturing, and aviation and aerospace.

Working in Dallas can also be lucrative; the average annual salary in Dallas is around $70,000, according to economic research.

The unemployment rate in Dallas is 7.10%, which is slightly higher than the national average of 6.16%.

If you’re set on working in a Texan city, why not also check out our guide for relocating to Austin?

Cost of Living in Dallas, Texas

The cost of living in Dallas, Texas floats just around the middle of the national average. Therefore, if you decide to move there for a new well-paying job, you’ll likely be able to save more of what you make than if you lived in places like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or anywhere in Silicon Valley.

The median home value in Dallas is $238,156. However, top-tier homes in the city run in the low-to-mid eight-figure range. Housing prices in Dallas County are on an upward trajectory after a COVID-19 related slump in the first half of 2020. At the moment it’s a seller’s market, with the median home sales price increasing by 16.1%, according to reports.

At the $1,200 mark, Dallas’s average rental price in the city has remained constant over the past four years. This is extremely affordable compared to other major US cities.

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Attractions In and Around Dallas

Dallas boasts a wide range of cultural and historical locales, hip and trendy bistros, bars, cafes and restaurants, and a thriving art and music scene. For family-friendly fun, the city is almost unparalleled – with hundreds of parks, museums, and other child-focused activities.

One of the more well-known attractions, that every denizen should see at least once, is the Texas School Book Depository. This is the scene of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which has been converted into a museum honoring Kennedy’s legacy.

The Dallas Museum of Art has the distinction of being one of the top art museums in the US. Their exhibits take you on an international tour of the history of art as a means of human expression, from prehistoric cave paintings to contemporary art.

Food and Restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the US. Proper Dallas cuisine is a fusion of southern cooking and Mexican fare. This is better known as Tex-Mex. The Metroplex is home to some of the finest and authentic Tex-Mex dishes and restaurants in the world.

In addition, Dallas is a meat lover’s paradise. The region is packed with barbecued Texas T-bone steaks, slow-cooked brisket, and pork and chicken in a variety of robust flavors. It’s little wonder that Texas BBQ has a reputation for being the most succulent meat in the country.

How to Get There – Moving to Dallas

  • By air – The Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport is situated 20 minutes west of the city of Dallas and is accessible via the I-35E freeway. It is the largest hub for American Airlines, which is headquartered near the airport.
  • By road – Dallas-Fort Worth has one of the world’s most extensive urban freeway systems, with nearly two-dozen freeways, eight of which are interstate.
  • By train – Dallas is a hub of railway travel serving Amtrak, Trinity Railway, and the DART Light Rail train lines. The company Texas Central is also developing the new Texas high-speed train line connecting North Texas and Greater Houston via a 90 minute track, with a stop in the Brazos Valley.
  • By bus – State and interstate bus travel to Dallas-Fort Worth is offered by the following companies: Greyhound, Lone Star Coaches, Longhorn Charter Bus, Dallas Charter Bus Company, Echo Transportation, GOGO Charters Dallas, and National Charter Bus Dallas, among many others. 

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Is Dallas a Good Place to Live? Final Thoughts

If moving to Dallas, Texas is on the cards, you’ll want to consider not only where but how you want to live in the city.

With no shortage of cultural, natural, historical, social, leisure activities, and locales at your fingertips, the city can accommodate any kind of life you want to lead. Whether you’re a fun-loving young professional, avid outdoorsman, or looking for a family dream home, the possibilities for a high quality of life are almost limitless!