5 Reasons You Should Think Twice About Moving to Dallas

Dallas, home of more than 20 Fortune 500 headquarters, has always been known as a corporate powerhouse thanks in part to a massive economic driver known as the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American Airlines, Texas Instruments, and AT&T all have their corporate headquarters in the region.

The metro area is home to five professional sports teams and more than 20 of the country’s richest Americans. More recently, it’s making a name for itself for its growing cultural district.

Dallas can’t rival Austin for weirdness, but it’s getting a cool vibe downtown, where long-vacant office towers are being reimagined into apartments and condos. One of the country’s best farmer’s markets is located in the heart of downtown Dallas, and outdoor adventures at nearby White Rock Lake.

Dallas has a relatively affordable cost of living, just two percent higher than the national average. Housing and utilities are the biggest living expenses, just four percent higher than the national average.

Still, not everything is perfect in paradise. Despite all the positives, Dallas isn’t for everybody.  Here are five reasons that you shouldn’t move to Dallas.

The weather isn’t as great as people think.

Dallas summers are brutal and long. Although winters are mild, Mother Nature usually throws in a doozy of an ice storm. Dallas is also in tornado alley so get used to being told to “take shelter.”

Local TV meteorologists are celebrities here and don’t think twice about interrupting prime time to provide nonstop weather updates. It usually rains too much or not enough. Too much when the city gets in the path of a tropical storm moving up from the Gulf but mostly too little, which has meant long-lasting droughts that result in watering restrictions that drag on for years.

There’s no ocean and no mountains.

The Dallas area is the largest metropolitan area in the nation not on a navigable body of water, according to VisitDallas. (Do you really want to advertise that fact?) Sure, we have the Trinity River, but it’s been a thorn in the side of many a Dallas mayor for more than 100 years. It trickles or it floods. Many a plan to develop its banks into an urban oasis rivaling Central Park have been floated but sink due to political bickering, cost, viability or inertia. Have to give folks credit for trying, I guess.

Did I mention the city is flat?

A few public schools are hot but most are not.

The School for the Talented and Gifted ranked as the No. 1 school in Texas and No. 4 nationally in 2017 in U.S. News & World Report’s listing of the nation’s best high schools and a handful of other Dallas Independent School District schools also made the list.

But DISD educates 158,000 students in 239 schools — most with a high poverty rate and poor standardized test scores, which leads to numerous challenges. Of 32,149 students in Dallas County who began 8th grade in 2005, only 16.5 percent received a certificate or degree from a Texas college or university within six years of their anticipated high school graduation date, according to the Texas Tribune.

We are the poster child for urban sprawl.

The DFW area has grown far faster than most large U.S. cities: a 35 percent population growth between 2000 and 2014, compared to 21 percent for America’s top 40 cities. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is massive, covering an area of 9,286 square miles. The sprawl has swallowed up cities like Garland, Plano, Irving and Arlington making them all a part of the DFW Metroplex.

This sprawl has made us dependent on our cars, and our roadways are gridlocked. Only a portion of the fast-growing suburban cities surrounding Dallas are hooked into the public transportation system making it challenging to let loose the auto.

And while the residential real estate market has recently slowed down a tad, Dallas remains one of the most active places for homebuilding in the United States.  That means the sprawl is destined to grow.

Speaking of real estate, you might be happy to learn that Texas has no state income tax. But don’t get too excited, you’ll end up ponying up for the state’s notoriously high property taxes.

We are terrible drivers.

People in Dallas don’t know what a blinker is. They also tailgate, speed, run red lights, text and drive aggressively. Many of us drive bulky pickups and don’t think twice before off-roading onto a grassy median or swerving onto a shoulder to get around a bottleneck. Expect to get flipped off. Road rage happens too often, sometimes with tragic consequences and sometimes the offenders are never apprehended.

With all of this being said, there are plenty of good reasons to move to Dallas, but you should know what you’re getting into. If you’re still raring to get here, we’d be happy to have you. Get ready by reviewing our essential guide on Moving to Dallas.

Kerry Curry