Dallas is a hub of a thriving metroplex where you can find professional sports, cutting-edge cuisine, enchanting art museums, and more. Steeped in its Western cowboy history while also being thoroughly modern, Dallas is a vibrant city with a lot to do.
Here are a few things you’ll find helpful as you make your move to Dallas. Along with these tips, keep in mind that Dallas is the heart of a sprawling complex of suburbs — and that relocating may actually mean you’ll be out in one of these cities rather than in Dallas proper. Also, remember that everything’s bigger in Texas, so what looks like a short commute on the map might, in fact, be quite lengthy. Before you make your move take the time to figure out exactly where in the DFW Metroplex you need to be located to get to the things you need and want most!
You have a wide choice of both public and private schools in Dallas. Dallas itself is home to the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). DISD has consistently ranked among the nation’s top public schools and has a robust magnet school program, with 30 magnet schools. The District serves about 155,000 students across the cities of Dallas, Cockrell Hill, Seagoville, Addison, Wilmer and parts of Carrollton, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, Hutchins, Lancaster, and Mesquite. If your relocation to the Dallas area takes you to the cities of Plano or Richardson — corporate and technology headquarter hubs — you will also find quality public schools. For those preferring private schools, Dallas has both secular and religious options. These include Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Bishop Lynch High School, Greenhill School, Hockaday Academy, and St. Mark’s School of Texas.
Dallas County Community College District, with its seven campuses, provides affordable early college, dual credit, and college courses, as well as 100 programs leading to certificates or associate degrees. Additionally, Dallas is home to Southern Methodist University, the University of North Texas at Dallas, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The larger DFW Metroplex contains 30 colleges and universities, both public and private, religious and secular.
Dallas and the Metroplex benefit from a low unemployment rate — around 3.4% in December 2018, compared with 3.7% nationwide. Dallas has been a beneficiary of Texas’s generally robust economy, with several large companies relocating to the area. Major companies include Toyota, State Farm Insurance, Texas Instruments, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and AT&T.
The low unemployment rate means that companies sometimes struggle to hire — which means there are great opportunities for those who want to relocate to the area and need to find work. Dallas also has many employment opportunities for those who want to work for small businesses, nonprofit agencies, and municipal agencies.
There’s always something fun going on in Dallas, no matter what you’re looking for. The city has a vibrant live music scene, and on any given night you can hear live jazz, blues, country, rock, and indie music. Deep Ellum, long the heart of the city’s live music scene, is a must-visit location for anyone new to Dallas. Whether you want to see a national act or a local up and comer, there’s a show for you in Dallas.
The City of Dallas has recently made the Dallas Museum of Art and the Crow Collection of Asian Art free every day for city residents, meaning you can stop in any time to take in a little beauty. (Special exhibits still require admission.) Texas Ballet Theater and Dallas Theater are among the dance performances you can take in, while Dallas is also host to theater companies ranging from the large and well funded Dallas Theater Company to the smaller but active Kitchen Dog Theater. The Dallas Symphony and Dallas Opera bring classical and contemporary music to the city as well. Many of these options are located centrally in the growing Dallas Arts District near downtown, bordered by Klyde Warren Park, which features open green space, public events, and a food truck alley. Sites related to the John F. Kennedy assassination, such as the Sixth Floor Museum, are also popular for tourists and residents.
All four major professional sports are played in Dallas or the Metroplex: the Cowboys (NFL), the Stars (NHL), the Mavericks (NBA), and the Texas Rangers (MLB). Dallas also has a WNBA team, the Wings, and a professional soccer team, FC Dallas. Starting in 2018, the city also has a professional lacrosse team, the Texas Rattlers. The Mavericks and Stars play at the American Airlines Center near downtown Dallas. For the Cowboys, the Wings, and the Rangers, you’ll have to drive a few miles to Arlington, while FC Dallas plays at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.
The first thing that comes to mind in terms of Dallas food is Tex-Mex, and for good reason. You’ll find some of the best fajitas, enchiladas, and margaritas in the country here. Barbeque — the cuisine, not “food grilled outside” — is also a Dallas staple, with mesquite-smoked brisket being a signature. Hard 8 Barbeque, with several locations in the Metroplex, has been named the best barbeque in the nation on multiple occasions, though Sonny Bryan’s is probably the best known Dallas-based barbeque joint.
You can also find plenty of fine dining in Dallas, especially near the Arts District. And you might be surprised to know there’s a thriving vegetarian and vegan food scene in Dallas, including vegetarian barbeque. You’ll find world cuisine in abundance too — everything from Thai noodles to Indian curries to Ethiopian injira and Lebanese schwarma. There’s plenty of down-home Southern cooking too — don’t miss Babe’s Chicken Dinner House for the best fried chicken in the US.
The housing market in Dallas has been hot with new corporate headquarters moving in, and it’s getting hotter. Home values have risen 13% over 2018 and are projected to rise another 11% in 2019. While you can still get a lot of house for your money in Dallas, prices do fluctuate. Renters in Dallas are paying more money for less apartment than in years past, but rents are still among the most affordable in the nation, at least for large urban markets.
It’s a seller’s market right now in Dallas, with sellers getting prices well above the value of a property. The average house value in Dallas is around $200,000, but the median house sale price (for houses actually sold) is $265,000. (The median price for a listing is $389,000.) The average price per square foot is around $200 with prices in the suburbs running about $127 per square foot. New construction continues in both the suburbs and exurbs, while properties in the city are also undergoing new construction and renovation.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time in your car in Dallas. While the public transit system is steadily improving, it is still not comparable with the transit systems in similarly sized cities. In Dallas and some of the surrounding cities, you can use the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, which included buses and light rail trains. You can connect to Fort Worth via the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) and to Denton via the Denton County Transit Authority (DCTA) A-Train. However, the schedules are often such that a commute that takes you 30 minutes in the car may take hours via train (or, more likely, a combination of trains and buses). None of the public transit in the area runs 24 hours, and most stop running around midnight. If you live in Dallas proper, particularly if you live south of Interstate 635, you can use transit fairly easily; elsewhere, it is often more complicated than it’s worth or is impossible altogether. However, the system has been rapidly expanding over the last 5 years, so access will likely continue to improve.
Uber, Lyft, and taxis are available in Dallas. You cannot hail a taxi on the street as in many other cities; you typically have to arrange for a cab by calling or booking through the company’s website. Private car services are an option for those who wish to travel in a bit of luxury.
As they say, if you don’t like the weather in Dallas, wait 5 minutes — it will change. The weather is generally mild for most of the year, with extremely hot summers a regular feature. Dallas’s climate is considered humid subtropical. There are 4 distinct seasons and a tendency to volatile weather in the spring and summer. Dallas averages about 38 inches of rainfall each year.
Winter: Winter in Dallas is relatively mild. Freezing rain is the most common form of winter precipitation. There is occasional snow and ice, typically in January or February, and it never lasts long. However, Dallas is not equipped for heavy winter weather, so be prepared for the whole city to shut down if there’s a winter storm! Daytime temperatures of 65 degrees are not unusual in the winter months.
Spring: Spring starts as early as February in Dallas, though unexpectedly winter may return. Spring temperatures are pleasant, and the area blooms with wildflowers such as bluebonnets, buttercups, and Indian paintbrush. March can be a wet and rainy month. Springtime in Dallas can bring volatile weather such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. (Dallas is at the southern tip of the area known as Tornado Alley.) Average highs in the spring range from the high 60s to the low 80s, though occasional 100 degree days do happen.
Summer: Summers are hot in Dallas — and humid. Average temperatures in June and July hover in the high 90s, and temperatures over 110 are not uncommon. Rainfall drops off in these months, and stretches of 7 and 10 days with temperatures over 100 degrees happen frequently — during these periods, low temperatures may stay in the 90s. Urban areas can hold heat due to the concrete and steel, meaning temperatures in the central city can be well over 100 degrees even when the ambient temperature outside the city is lower.
Fall: Fall in Dallas is temperate and pleasant, with average highs in the 70s and 80s. The weather is less volatile than in the spring as well, with tornadoes and severe storms uncommon after September 1. Fall’s gentle weather can last well into December.
There’s a lot to consider as you make the decision to move to Dallas! When you’re ready to make the move and call Big D your home, Simply Self Storage is there for any storage needs you might have!