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Old 08-23-2010, 02:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,464 times
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Many prospective Dallas (or Texas) settlers crave about the cost of living.

Other than the affordability of a house and no state tax on income - what else is really cheaper? I know wages are lower too.

So, what makes you think the CoL is lower?
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerodont View Post
Many prospective Dallas (or Texas) settlers crave about the cost of living.

Other than the affordability of a house and no state tax on income - what else is really cheaper? I know wages are lower too.

So, what makes you think the CoL is lower?
Well when I was in California, unions blocked supercenter walmarts and targets and they have those and tons of other grocery stores here, which leads to cheaper groceries.

Not to mention chains here like Kroger's and Brookshire's (And Albertson's) do double/triple coupons every day of the week, and my parents have lived in CA since the 70's and never heard of any grocery stores there ever having even double/triple coupon days in CA (NorCal), let alone every day. We always thought it was only a select East coast thing, not something you find in TX.

Also gas is cheaper here than in CA, but that is because CA has some of the highest gas taxes in the America. I suppose TX gas prices aren't that much different than other places in the heartland.

Little things like that are examples of a lower CoL, especially as compared to the large metros on the coasts.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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It depends on where you're coming from- compared to metro areas on east and west coast, gasoline, food, and other "essentials" are lower. There are also more big & new homes available at appealing price points (sub-$250k), but buyer beware- many of these "great" homes are an hour's drive or more in rush hour to downtown Dallas and were shoddily built on slab foundations. Homes in great school districts that are well built and well-located are not as inexpensive.

Yes, no state income tax, but Property taxes are among the country's most expensive (2-3% range), and homeowner's insurance is expensive here, too. Also, very high sales tax at 8.25%.

As for wages, many fields pay same as big cities do if you work in big law, finance, consulting, and other white collar management jobs. Teachers make less than they do in, say, NYC or DC.

Dallas is a huge savings if you've always dreamed of a brand new house for $200k and are coming from somewhere where a 60 minute commute is peanuts. It's not the best savings if you're moving from Tulsa or Kansas City and expect to live in an elite close-in neighborhood with superior schools (still going to cost you $700k or more....plus $16-18k a year in property taxes, $2k in insurance, etc).
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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I would reiterate what TC posted - also fire and police are not paid as well as in some other areas, especially CA. Stay away from far-out large tract homes with no trees - you have to pay quite a bit for air conditioning plus gas and tolls for long commutes. But you might come out ahead some on property taxes. Insurance is high in Texas. But there no income tax and if you are coming here to retire, there is an over 65 exemption on property taxes in some jurisdictions. Also probate in Texas is the quickest, cheapest and cleanest in the nation. Also your homestead cannot be taken to satisfy debts other than mortgage or taxes.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Garland, TX
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I live with my uncle and his family in Garland so I think it is pretty low.
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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I have to disagree on wages not being competitive, as someone else said, most of the white collar jobs pay comparable to what I see here on the east coast.

I would say though, there are alot of myths to texas real estate being an incredible bargain, and when you really look into it, you may realize you can't afford (comfortably anyway) what you initially thought you could.

The burbs debate is well exercised here on these forums. But there are some nice suburbs outside of the "inner ring" that offer excellent value and upside for appreciation in the future.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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We moved from Kansas and found Dallas expensive than we thought. Property rates, energy bills, water bills, auto insurance and home insurance are higher in Texas.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:06 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
31,742 posts, read 36,414,276 times
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Originally Posted by adixyz View Post
We moved from Kansas and found Dallas expensive than we thought. Property rates, energy bills, water bills, auto insurance and home insurance are higher in Texas.
I deal with a lot of out of towner's who move here and found 2 types of people who relocate.

Big city people think Dallas is cheap due to housing, cost of living, fuel, etc. This is in comparison to major cities. Small town or more rural will think Dallas is more expensive because all the things I've mentioned.

So in short, compared to major metro areas we are less in expense. If you're coming from Mid to small cities we are expensive.

It all depends on where you start and it is similar to wages. A guy who makes $12 an hour in Chicago has a much harder time then a guy who makes $12 an hour in Lubbock.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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There seems to agreement that insurance is higher - is that home and auto, or just home? And any theories as to why? I mean, just off the top of my head, Dallas does not seem to have any particular problems with crime, or extra risk of fire, flood, tornado, earthquake or hurricane.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by skids929 View Post
I have to disagree on wages not being competitive, as someone else said, most of the white collar jobs pay comparable to what I see here on the east coast. .
I'd second this. Whenever I get cold called by recruiters about jobs on the east/west coasts the compensation really isn't that much more. I'd say maybe 10% - 15% more for the coasts, but that wouldn't come close to covering the difference in the cost of housing or other essentials in CA.
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