Californians Moving to Texas: 10 Things You Can Expect26 Jan Jennifer Chonillo
Thinking about moving to Texas from California? You’re not alone. Many millions of people from around the US (and the world at large) are moving to the Lone Star State to be part of its bustling economy. Texas has grown by over 14 percent in the last decade and many of those new Texans once called California home.
Will you be in for a culture shock moving from a very blue Pacific state to a southern red state? The answer is maybe. However, reading this article will help you to better acclimate yourself to the Texas way before making your move.
1. Lower Taxes
Get ready to have extra money in the bank when you move to Texas. With a zero percent state income tax rate, Texans get to keep much more of their hard-earned income than in other states, especially California.
According to a 2020 report by WalletHub, the total tax burden for your average Californian was 9.27 percent compared with Texas that was listed at 8.2 percent. Texas was 32nd in the rankings while California was the 13th highest tax burdened state in the union.
In 2020, the Tax Foundation released research that suggested that California was the number 1 state for individual income tax burden based on the top marginal tax rate with 13.30 percent compared to Texas’ absolutely zero percent income tax rate.
You may be wondering how Texas pays for roads, schools, and other public services with no state personal income tax. According to the Dallas News, 57 percent of all taxes collected by the state come from the 6.25 percent state sales tax. This is still well below the Californian state sales tax of 7.25 percent.
With no state income tax and a lower state sales tax, Californians that move to Texas will find they have more money to save, invest, or spend. They can even move from renting to owning their own home.
2. Affordable Housing
With all that extra money you’ll be saving on taxes by moving to Texas from California, you might as well buy a house. And you can! While Texas isn’t the cheapest state in the Union to buy a house in (that distinction goes to West Virginia), it is still significantly cheaper than California.
According to the Zillow home value index, the typical price of a home in the United States is $263,351. Should you decide to buy a home in Texas, you’ll save on average $40,000, as the typical value of a Texas home is $220,034.
And while you can certainly find homes priced well above this, you’ll more than likely end up with significantly more space. Remember, the average price of a home in California is $609,754. A whopping $400,000 over a Texan home.
With housing so affordably priced, it’s no wonder so many Texans own their own homes. Homeownership rates in Texas are over 67 percent. Compare that with California where homeownership rates are just below 55 percent.
Not ready to buy a home just yet? Don’t worry, rent is cheaper in Texas too. For a 2 bedroom home, you can expect to pay around $803 a month depending upon your city of residence. Whereas in California, you’d spend on average $1,337 a month on a 2 bedroom home.
3. Cheaper Electric Bills
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price for residential electricity in California is 21.23 cents per kilowatt-hour; the sixth highest in the nation. Conversely, the average price of residential natural gas in California is only $14.75 per thousand cubic feet. So, while electricity prices were quite high for Californians moving to Texas, they did have some of the cheapest natural gas prices.
When you move to Texas from California, you’ll notice that Texas is flipped. In the Lone Star State, you will find that electricity is priced well below California’s 21.23 cents. The per-kilowatt-hour price is only 12.01 cents. And while you may not notice a drastic reduction in your overall eclectic bill due to high air conditioning use due to Texas weather (more on that later), you will be paying less per hour of use.
However, if you rely on natural gas for your home’s energy use profile, you will be paying much more in Texas than you did in California. Texas has the 13th highest natural gas price in the United States at $21.75 per thousand cubic feet. So, while you might save some money on electricity, you will be paying a premium for natural gas.
4. A Booming Job Market
While the unemployment rate for California and Texas aren’t that far apart, for Californians moving to Texas, finding a job is going to be so much easier.
In a December 2020 CNBC article, many Californian businesses have started moving to Texas including Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, CBRE, and even Tesla and Elon Musk are in on it. With so many companies moving to Texas the job market is starting to ramp up again.
Have an entrepreneurial spirit? For Californians moving to Texas, you’ll find it much easier to start your own business. In a 2019 study by WalletHub, Texas was ranked the number 1 state to start a new business. California, on the other hand, was ranked eighth and was also the most expensive state (tied with Alaska and New York) to find office space.
If you’re looking to improve your job prospects, Texas is the right state for you. It has a friendly economy for both small and large businesses making it that much easier to find a job.
5. Football Fanaticism
If you thought the national level of love for football was out of hand, think again. While the Superbowl may be nearly a national holiday in the United States, the love for all things football in Texas is something else. Friday night football is something of an obligation in the Lone Star State.
High school and college football is big business in Texas. With over 930 high school football teams and 17 NCAA Division 1 teams, football lovers always have something to watch. And they do, they watch every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
But Texas football fandom is more than just the teams. There are entire articles dedicated to the history of Texas football. For Californians moving to Texas, this may be somewhat of a shock. In California, football love tends to go to the national level teams but Texans love all their football, from peewee to National.
6. A Different Kind of Mexican Food
Well, you think everything is going to be different in Texas but surely since it’s a border state with Mexico like California the Mexican food must be the same! Well, not so fast. Sure, you’ll still have Mexican food and lots of it, especially tacos, it’ll just be a little different.
There is a discernable difference between Tex-Mex and Cali-Mex. For example, Californian Mexican food tends to use a lot of fresh green chilis and fresh vegetables. Texas Mexican food, on the other hand, typically uses bolder, spicier flavors and a bunch more beef and pork. Tex-Mex also tends to use the dried red peppers over the green chilis.
Texans tend to favor tacos, while Californians typically favor burritos. When you compare Baja style vs. Tex-Mex, expect to see a lot more cheese on Tex-Mex plates and a little more grease.
So, while California to Texas transplants will still be able to continue to eat many of their favorite Mexican foods, they will have to adjust their expectations. If you’re not used to spicier, heavier, and oftentimes cheesier versions of Mexican food, you’ll need to get used to it to enjoy the Tex-Mex cuisine.
7. Friendlier Neighbors
If you’re used to neighbors that you never got to meet and walking by strangers in the supermarket while barely making eye contact let alone exchanging a smile, then moving to Texas from California is going to change your life.
Texas is also known as the Friendly State. Texans are known for making people feel at home whenever and wherever they meet them. New Texans will be in for a shock. When you’re waiting in a long line at the local H.E.B., some nice person will help you enjoy the wait and spark up a friendly conversation.
As a Californian moving to Texas, it’s time to warm up your small talk skills, you’re going to need them. Your neighbors will want to come and meet you, strangers will want to give you a friendly “Hey, how are you?” Almost everyone will be happy to see you when you’re out and about. It’s one reason why so many people love Texas.
8. More Second Amendment Rights
While Texas isn’t the friendliest state in the nation for gun rights (that distinction goes to Kansas) it certainly isn’t ranked 49th. Which state is ranked 49th by the Cato Institute for gun rights? California.
While owning guns might not be for you, especially if you’re coming from California. Texas is one state that allows its citizens more freedom to bear arms. For many Californians moving to Texas, this will be a shock. While Texans generally need a permit to openly carry a handgun, they do not require citizens to have a permit to openly carry a long gun like a rifle or shotgun.
If you do move from California to Texas, don’t be shocked if you happen to see a person out in public with a rifle or shotgun. It may seem alien to you, but it is legal and common in Texas.
9. School Choice
Texas is known for a lot of things, one of them is school choice. While charter schools seem to be a new concept to many people, Texas legalized charter schools back in 1995 with many opening in 1996. Not only does Texas provide parents with the ability to find the school that best meets their child’s needs, but they also have over 900 different private schools to choose from.
Many parents move to Texas from California or elsewhere because of the ability to easily choose their child’s school. Additionally, the average annual tuition for a private school in Texas is only $9,827. The average private school tuition in the United States is $11,173 per year and it’s $14,732 in California.
When you combine lower-cost housing and the lowered tax burden for Texas, it becomes easier for you to send your child to a private school. And don’t worry, you can still choose to send your child to public school. Texas has lots of wonderful public school programs.
10. A Whole Different Weather System
California’s climate tends to be warm, temperate, and Mediterranean in nature. While coastal regions tend toward mild summers, the interior of the state remains hot. Average summer temperatures range from the high 60s near places like San Francisco to the high 90s near areas like Sacramento.
However, in Texas, the climate ranges from an arid desert in the west to a humid subtropical system in the east. Summers in Texas will be hotter and drier than you may have been used to in California. For example, during July and August the average temperature in Dallas, Texas is in the mid-90s and has been known to get well into the 100s.
Californians moving to Texas will need to adapt to the new climate. Depending on your location Texans may have to deal with wildfires, thunderstorms, floods, and tornados. However, come spring and fall you’ll get to see some of the nicest weather the country has to offer.
Why Are Californians Moving to Texas?
Californians are moving to Texas for three main reasons. First, Texas’ economy is healthier than a longhorn. Second, owning your own home is much more affordable in Texas than it is in California. Third, they don’t have a state income tax.
How Many Californians Are Moving to Texas a Day?
According to a report on KENS5 News, 86,164 Californians moved to Texas in 2018 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a little over 236 new Texans a day. And that number continues to grow larger with each big business that moves to the Lone Star State.
Notable Companies Who Moved to Texas
One of the big reasons why Californians are moving to Texas is because of all the big businesses that are moving in. Some notable examples are:
Where in Texas Are They Moving?
While Tesla may be moving to Austin, the three fastest-growing cities in Texas are other cities. The top three Texas cities for growth are Frisco, New Braunfels, and McKinney. Where are these lesser-known Texas communities? Frisco and McKinney are suburbs of Dallas, while New Braunfels is between Austin and San Antonio.
Looking to move to Texas from California? Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate HomeCity would love to help you find your dream home. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions and we’re happy to help you make your move!