What to Know Before Moving to Texas

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In this blog, we highlight important aspects of living in Texas for those considering a move to the Lone Star State.

Texas is known for a lot of things like barbecue, rodeos, and hot summers. But there’s a lot more to the Lone Star State – and it’s those reasons why people are moving to Texas from all over the country. So, if you’re still debating whether Texas is the place for you, here’s everything you need to know before making the big move down south.

Best Modes of Transportation in Texas

If you’re coming from major cities in the northeast or walkable areas of California, you may be surprised how many people drive in Texas. Comparing Dallas vs San Antonio or Houston vs Austin, you’ll find most Texas cities are designed for cars (and prioritize that mode of transportation). Whether it’s the hot weather, ample space for parking lots or an all-around appreciation for Texas-sized trucks, you can expect to drive to and from most places.

Texas Public Transportation: No Car? No Problem!

If you were hoping to leave your car behind when making the move to Texas, you’re in luck. Most Texas cities offer other public alternatives. There are metropolitan transit authorities (MTAs) in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and El Paso—and rural transit systems for 36 districts all over the state. So, if you prefer taking the bus, that option is often available.

Public Transit in Austin

Of all the big cities in Texas, Austin is definitely the most pedestrian-friendly. With bike trails, public scooters and a walkable downtown—commuting is easy with these options: 

  • Bus: MetroRail will get you where you need to go. 
  • Bike: If you need to rent one, Austin B-Cycle has your back. 
  • Scooter: These scooters are taking the city by storm—just remember to obey traffic laws! 
  • Pedicab: It's a fun way to see the city from a new perspective.

Public Transit in Houston

By bus: Houston is big and the METRO can get you all around the city

By railway: This specific line of the METRO system only runs within the heart of the action

By taxi: Hail a cab from any of these locations and pay just $6 for your city fare

Public Transit in Dallas

  • By rail: Get familiar with the Dallas Area Rapid Transportation (DART) system because this will be your best alternative to a car
  • By trolley: The M-Line trolley is a quaint way to visit some of Dallas’ best attractions
  • By rideshare: The city is really made for cars so trying Lyft or Uber may be your best bet in some scenarios

Public Transit in San Antonio

  • By bus: VIA, the metro system, also has a new line, VIVA, that connects all the popular landmarks in the city
  • By riverboat: Sure, this won’t help with daily commutes, but these river barges are a fun way to see the city
  • By rideshare: Try out Leep, a San Antonio-specific ride-sharing app

As the population rapidly grows in Texas, conversation concerning transportation mostly centers on roads and highways. However, with the state’s vast public transportation system and rideshare options like Vonlane and RedCoach, getting around the country’s largest state is easier than you think.

Safety & Crime Rates in Texas

Are you wondering “is Texas a good place to live?” Safety and crime rates are among the top things to know before moving to Texas. The state ranks pretty average when it comes to overall crime. According to crimegrade.org, Texas is in the 33rd percentile for safety, meaning the crime rate is slightly higher than the average state. As expected, crime rates are higher in more populated areas (major cities and metropolises), and the same proves true with Texas. Though you will see higher crime rates in the

southeast as opposed to the northwest, it could be a result of more retail establishments in the south. There’s obviously a lot to consider when making the move to Texas, but online resources make it easier than ever to check community crime maps, get to know potential neighbors and get a vibe for your new (possible!) neighborhood. And remember, there’s a reason people say “don’t mess with Texas” — everyone tries to have each other’s backs.

Fastest Growing Cities in Texas

Frisco, Texas

  • Suburb north of Dallas
  • Population: 218,735

McKinney, Texas

  • Next to Frisco
  • Population: 206,654

New Braunfels, Texas

  • Right between San Antonio and Austin
  • Population: 107,351

Conroe, Texas

  • 40 miles north of Houston
  • Population: 101,582

Cedar Park, Texas

  • Suburb of Austin
  • Population: 87,139

Safest Cities in Texas

Trophy Club, Texas

  • Suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth
  • 2022 violent crime rate: 0.0%

Fulshear, Texas

  • Western edge of Houston
  • 2022 violent crime rate: 0.2%

Fairview, Texas

  • Suburb of Dallas
  • 2022 violent crime rate: 0.2%

Memorial Villages, Texas

  • West of Downtown Houston
  • 2022 violent crime rate: 0.2%

Colleyville, Texas

  • In between Dallas and Fort Worth
  • 2022 violent crime rate: 0.3%

Most Dangerous Cities in Texas

Bellmead, Texas

  • East-central Texas, near Waco
  • Population: 10,849

Humble, Texas

  • Suburb north of Houston
  • Population: 15,329

Lubbock, Texas

  • Northwest part of Texas
  • Population: 264,315

Bastrop, Texas

  • 30 miles southeast of Austin
  • Population: 95,107

Palmview, Texas

  • On the Texas/Mexico southern border
  • Population: 5,777

Education Opportunities in Texas

Whether you’re looking for the best high school football teams in Texas or schools with the highest test scores, there’s a school district for you. Texas is unique in the sense that there are over 3,000 high schools, nearly 8,000 elementary schools and more than 5.3 million students enrolled. So, if you were looking for options you’ve come to the right place.

Top 5 Elementary Schools in Dallas

  1. Westlake Academy – Charter school 
  2. Imagine International Academy of North Texas – Charter school
  3. Jim Spradley Elementary – Prosper ISD
  4. Jenny Preston Elementary – Allen ISD
  5. Liscano Elementary – Frisco ISD

Top 5 High Schools in Dallas

  1. School for the Talented & Gifted – Magnet school in Dallas ISD
  2. School of Science & Engineering – Magnet school in Dallas ISD
  3. Carroll Senior High School – Carroll ISD
  4. Jasper High School – Plano ISD 
  5. Highland Park High School – Highland Park ISD

Top 5 Elementary Schools in Austin

  1. Forest Trail Elementary School – Eanes ISD 
  2. Barton Creek Elementary School – Eanes ISD 
  3. Cedar Creek Elementary School – Eanes ISD 
  4. Bridge Point Elementary School – Eanes ISD 
  5. Eanes Elementary School – Eanes ISD

Top 5 High Schools in Austin

  1. Liberal Arts & Science Academy – Austin ISD 
  2. Westlake High School – Eanes ISD 
  3. Westwood High IB World School – Round Rock ISD 
  4. Vandergrift High School – Leander ISD 
  5. Cedar Park High School – Leander ISD

Top 5 Elementary Schools in Houston

  1. Roosevelt Alexander Elementary School – Katy ISD 
  2. Michael L. Griffin Elementary School – Katy ISD 
  3. James E. Randolph Elementary School – Katy ISD 
  4. Hazel S. Pattinson Elementary School – Katy ISD 
  5. Bonnie Holland Elementary School – Katy ISD

Top 5 High Schools in Houston

  1. Carnegie Vanguard High School – Houston ISD 
  2. Debakey H.S. for Health Professions – Houston ISD 
  3. Kinder High School for the Performing & Visual Arts – Houston ISD 
  4. Seven Lakes High School – Katy ISD 
  5. Cinco Ranch High School – Katy ISD

Top 5 Elementary Schools in San Antonio

  1. BASIS San Antonio Primary (Medical Center Campus) -- BASIS charter school 
  2. BASIS San Antonio Primary (North Central Campus) -- BASIS charter school 
  3. Wilderness Oak Elementary School – North East ISD 
  4. Hardy Oak Elementary School – North East ISD 
  5. Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary School – Boerne ISD

Top 5 High Schools in San Antonio 

  1. Health Careers High School – Northside ISD 
  2. Reagan High School – North East ISD 
  3. BASIS San Antonio (Shavano Campus) -- BASIS charter school 
  4. Johnson High School – North East ISD 
  5. International School of the Americas – North East ISD

And once your kiddos graduate high school and begin preparing for college, Texas is home to some of the nation’s best universities. Colleges like University of Texas at Austin or Texas A&M University are the top two public options, with Rice University and Southern Methodist University ranking the highest for private schools.

Top 5 Colleges in Texas

  1. Rice University 
  2. University of Texas at Austin 
  3. Texas A&M University 
  4. Southern Methodist University 
  5. Trinity University

No matter where you choose, you can expect competitive sports, rigorous academics and good, ol’ southern hospitality at any one of the state’s schools.

Weather in Texas

Best piece of advice for anyone moving to Texas? Your snow boots and heavy parkas won’t be making too many appearances. While areas in north Texas absolutely have some chilly winter nights, what Texas is known for are their hot summers. Luckily, most of Texas is in a deregulated electricity market, meaning residents can choose which energy provider they want. That’s where Energy Ogre comes in. We do all the work for you and find the best electricity provider for your needs – so you won’t be shocked by your first Texas electric bill. Most of the year has a very moderate climate so you can enjoy outdoor activities year-round! If spending more time in nature, swimming in pools or enjoying an open window is on your to-do list, Texas might be worth checking out. 

Average Weather in Dallas

  • Winter low: 33 degrees
  • Summer high: 95 degrees
  • Average rainfall/year: 39 inches

Average Weather in Houston

  • Winter low: 41 degrees
  • Summer high: 94 degrees
  • Average rainfall/year: 53 inches

Average Weather in Austin

  • Winter low: 38 degrees
  • Summer high: 95 degrees
  • Average rainfall/year: 35 inches

Average Weather in San Antonio

  • Winter low: 41 degrees
  • Summer high: 94 degrees
  • Average rainfall/year: 33 inches

Wondering what’s the coldest place in Texas? Well, on the night of February 12, 1899, Tulia in Swisher County (near the extreme southern Texas panhandle) reached –23 degrees. And the hottest temperature ever recorded was 120 degrees near Odessa on June 28, 1994. Hopefully, you won’t be experiencing either extreme when you decide to make the move.

It’s not hard to sell yourself on moving to Texas—and if you’re ready to come on down, don’t miss this moving checklist and a breakdown of some memorable Texas towns, big and small.

Other articles you may enjoy:

Moving to Texas? What to Know About Big & Small TX Cities

Top 5 Reasons Why Everyone is Moving to Texas

Moving to Texas? Use this Moving Checklist