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Old 02-19-2007, 12:55 AM
110 posts, read 420,590 times
Reputation: 191


I grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and left for the Pacific NW in 1995. (I'm currently looking to move to California from Oregon to escape the rain. I'm always going against the current trends, it seems, since everyone seems to be moving up here!!)

I return to Texas each year to visit family in Dallas and Austin...and have met many California transplants, so to speak, looking for a better life. I must say, I find myself a bit surprised when I find out someone has chosen to leave the west coast (even LA, with all of its problems) for the brutal Texas heat and humidity...not to mention the bugs and the heavy industrialization. And I won't even get into the fact that Texans have such an incredibly different mindset than most west coast towns. Texas is certainly not known for being open-minded or progressive! (with the exception of a few small pockets here and there.) The traffic in Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio are all terrible and few people walk or bike to work. I find it more common on the west coast to see walkers and bikers. It isn't as if you are entering into a better education system either. Yes, the people are very nice..this is true. But when you compare outdoor activity options, it is like night and day. Yes...the housing is cheaper...but I'm wondering what is the draw beyond this?

I see the pros as being the cheap housing and nice people. But don't Californians feel they are giving up a lot to live in Texas?

Now...I was born and raised in good ol' Texas and I will always love it because it was my home...so I mean no disrespect to it whatsoever. Just my observation and my curiousity. I guess I'm curious because I have experienced both locations and I was..well..surprised.

Thanks for reading

Old 02-19-2007, 12:16 PM
Location: Tyler, TX
172 posts, read 545,919 times
Reputation: 73
We moved from the Bay Area to Texas in mid 2005 when my parents retired. A lot of it was because my Dad's a Texan by birth, so perhaps it was a given in that sense.

There's also lots of financial breaks, though. We bought 2800sf, 3-bed, 2.5 bath house on 8 acres, paying CASH for it outright thanks to the equity we built up in California (bought 1984 for $115k, sold 2005 for $720k). No state income taxes means living on a retirement income like my parents is a whole lot easier. Property tax rates are higher in Texas, but because you're paying on much lower assessed values, you come out ahead 90% of the time. Our aforementioned spread is roughly equivalent in property taxes to what we paid on a 1960's 1550sf 3-bd, 2-ba house on .1 acre in the Bay Area, for instance. Auto registration is super cheap, running in some cases only 10% of what it does in California. Gas is cheaper, as well, and the folks are SO much nicer it's unbelievable. The climate isn't as good, naturally, but you still have reasonably mild winters, if you can stand the hot and humid summers.

Those are the largest reasons we moved here.

I myself, having been born and raised in California did feel a pinch when we moved. Politically, Texas is too conservative for me, but then again, California was too liberal. More than that, I find it hard to live with the little things: the variety and quality of the food here isn't what it was in CA, and it's not as multi-cultural. I have never been to church in my entire life, and moving to the bible belt does admittedly make me more uncomfortable than I thought it would. I miss the California climate terribly. Industrialization I actually see as a good thing (believe it or not), though I'd hardly classify Texas as an industrial state. Still, there's an independant spirit here that I must admit that I like, and the state seems to keep its nose out of your business here, something California's always had a hard time doing.

Moving is a series of trade-offs, and I find that Texas comes out ahead according to our needs at this certain time. Later, when I'm more well-endowed, I may consider comeing back to California - but I may not.
Old 02-19-2007, 01:51 PM
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 701,707 times
Reputation: 58
Well, from someone who grew up in SoCal and still lives here, but is looking to get out, I can give you my perspective on things. Basically, my husband and I are one of the unfortunate victims of the housing boom, which left us with no possible means to afford real estate; we are a family of four renting a two bedroom apartment. Neither of us currently have jobs that offer retirement benefits (although my husband is in school working toward an AA), so we really need to have equity to fall back on when we no longer have income. That's the first and biggest reason we want to move.

Secondly, we live in a city that, ten years ago, used to be nothing but vineyards and scattered business complexes. Now there are so many housing tracts and shopping centers here that it looks like Orange County. And it seems to be getting that way everywhere we go; nothing but houses, shopping centers, and concrete. Oh, and of course traffic. We go looking at model homes sometimes (I guess to torture ourselves with what we can't have haha), and are amazed at how small the rooms are, not to mention the noticeable absence of back and front yards. This just seems to be the trend here anymore; yet the houses are going for $600,000+.

Smog is also a huge factor to us because my son has asthma and I have terrible allergies. One thing I can say in this defense is, at least it's smoke-free here in public places.

Traffic is a huge irritant, as well. We pretty much can't go anywhere without hitting traffic; I haven't even driven on a freeway in years because of how crazy it gets.

The fact of the matter is, even though we can avoid some of these things by moving, chances are we won't be able to avoid all of them, no matter what. You see, Texas has been a front runner for us for a while now, but I've recently learned a few things about Texas that I don't like, such as the humid summers (I didn't know this until yesterday) and the bug problems.

The things that drew me to Texas were the open plains, the history, the mild winters (compared to places where it snows), the proximity to California (for family reasons), and the cheap housing costs. Maybe these are the same things that draw others to it as well, I don't know.

I hope this helps to give you an outside perspective. Thanks for your post.
Old 02-19-2007, 04:07 PM
2,478 posts, read 4,850,856 times
Reputation: 4483
I'm baffled as well. I just don't understand why some people like it here in Texas. Other than real estate, I don't see many positives. The summer's are just down right brutal. You can't do anything, it's just too hot.
Old 02-19-2007, 07:55 PM
Location: Southern California
193 posts, read 1,311,469 times
Reputation: 114
A few years ago there was a military magazine that listed Texas as one (if not the best) place for military retirees. I guess they have a lot of veterns hospitals there and Texas is one state that doesn't tax military pensions.

I also heard that Texas has the highest obesity rate as well. I guess the folks there have some good eatin! I could go for some beef ribs right now.
Old 02-19-2007, 08:53 PM
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 26,212,124 times
Reputation: 5088
25 years ago we had a huge migration from Texas, maybe they are all going home?

I do know many businesses had to leave CA because of the EPA, many went to Texas and offered moving fees to employees.
Old 02-19-2007, 10:30 PM
9,715 posts, read 13,290,266 times
Reputation: 3318
Isn't Houston Texas the #1 smoggiest city in the US?
Old 02-19-2007, 11:55 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
1,379 posts, read 5,893,099 times
Reputation: 346
Originally Posted by UB50 View Post
Isn't Houston Texas the #1 smoggiest city in the US?
I thought that belonged to Los Angeles??? :P

Sometimes its just not about the weather. I will tell you that we moved from Sacramento to Fort Worth for a few reasons.

One is that my husband obtained a promotion and was traveling across the country and now while he used to have to lose a day to travel to NY or SC, he is only a three to four hour flight from anywhere in the country.

The weather is pretty much like it is in Sacramento other than it has better storms Not everywhere in California is like SF or LA.

A big reason we moved is that we wanted more traditional values for our growing family. In Texas they pretty much tell you like it is and everyone is friendly. It isn't that eyes cast down, get the hell out of my way attitude that is so prevalent in California or what had become of my home of 38 years.

Yes the housing is less expensive and there is no personal state income tax which is nice, but property taxes are more than CA, but at least I know they are going to things that actually get done!

In the end, I am very happy with my new home state of Texas and I believe we made a great choice for us
Old 02-19-2007, 11:58 PM
Location: Fort Worth, TX
1,379 posts, read 5,893,099 times
Reputation: 346
According to the report, the 10
smoggiest metropolitan areas are:

1. Los Angeles, California
2. Bakersfield, California

3. Fresno, California

4. Visalia, California

5. Houston, Texas

6. Atlanta, Georgia

7. Merced, California

8. Knoxville, Tennessee

9. Charlotte, North Carolina

10. Sacramento, California

Care of: American Lung Association
Old 02-21-2007, 03:10 PM
77 posts, read 449,369 times
Reputation: 46
My family and I had to leave California for military reasons. When I retired, I realized that because of the expense, going back to California wasnt an option and I didnt like where I was at the time (Pensacola Fl). So we decided to move to San Antonio Tx.
Sure it does get awfully hot here June thru September, but the its not much different than Sacramento or San Bernardino or Santee (20 miles east of San Diego).
Here, I am able to own my own home and live off a decent civilian paying job while my military retirement goes into a CD and isnt even touched. Something I could not do back in California.
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