Considering a move to El Paso, TX? Discover the allure of living in El Paso!
El Paso, Texas, situated on the state’s western border in El Paso County, is recognized as one of the top places to reside in the nation. Boasting a population of 678,815, it stands as Texas’s sixth-largest city and ranks 23rd in the U.S. in terms of population. Often referred to as “the Sun City,” El Paso is nestled amidst breathtaking desert landscapes.
The city draws a diverse crowd, from college students and young professionals to families, all seeking the unique offerings of the area. While El Paso might not always be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of Texas, its rising reputation as a prime living destination is undeniable.
El Paso’s appeal lies in its delightful Tex-Mex dishes, consistently sunny climate, budget-friendly housing options, and an overall high standard of living.
If El Paso is on your radar for relocation, you’re making a wise choice. Relocating can be a daunting task, but this guide aims to ease your transition to this Texan gem.
Stuff To Know
El Paso: A Gateway to Two Nations
Situated directly on the U.S.-Mexico border and adjacent to the Rio Grande, El Paso offers a unique blend of American and Mexican cultures. With Ciudad Juarez, a major Mexican city, just a stone’s throw away, residents can easily immerse themselves in a different country for a day, exploring its beautiful beaches and rich history.
Despite some misconceptions about border cities, El Paso stands out as one of the safest cities in the U.S. Its commendable safety record, marked by low crime and violence rates, is a testament to its harmonious community. Regular cross-border visits are a common sight, with many Americans frequently traveling between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.
Affordability in El Paso
A standout reason to consider El Paso as your next home is its remarkably affordable cost of living. Those seeking value for their money will find El Paso’s living costs to be about 10% below the national average. From housing and food to transportation and utilities, expenses here are generally lower. And with Texas not levying a state income tax, residents find additional financial relief.
When stacked against other Texan metropolises, El Paso’s affordability shines even brighter. Living in Dallas is approximately 23% pricier, while Austin’s cost of living is about 46.6% higher. The average El Pasoan earns an annual income of $20,050. However, to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle here, a median yearly salary of around $50,150 is recommended. Top earners in El Paso can expect an average wage of about $36 per hour, whereas the minimum wage stands at $7.25.
Budget-Friendly Housing Options
El Paso stands out for its cost-effective housing market, with home prices being 22% below the national average. Despite the competitive nature of the real estate market, which has been leaning towards a seller’s market in recent years, housing remains affordable. The influx of new residents has led to high demand, sometimes resulting in bidding wars for desirable properties.
As of 2021, the average home price in El Paso is around $170,000, a figure that is significantly more budget-friendly compared to cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles. Homes in El Paso are also selling quickly, usually closing within 62 days on average as of the current year.
A Flourishing Local Economy
If you’re considering relocating to El Paso and are on the job hunt, you’re in a favorable position. El Paso boasts a diversified economy and a robust job market. Although the city faced economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has since rebounded and is currently experiencing a period of growth. The local economy spans various sectors, including manufacturing, financial services, military, transportation, logistics, and retail.
El Paso is home to over 70 Fortune 500 companies, with prominent names like AT&T, Walmart, Verizon, and Wells Fargo having a presence in the area. The largest employers in the city include T&T Staff Management and The University of Texas at El Paso. For those interested in military careers, Fort Bliss is conveniently located just nine miles from the Mexican border, offering additional employment opportunities.
Sunny Desert Climate Awaits
El Paso boasts a desert climate, characterized by its hot, dry summers and brief, chilly winters. June typically sees the highest temperatures, averaging around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of Texas’ warmer cities. Conversely, January is the coldest month, with temperatures dropping to an average low of 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most pleasant months, weather-wise, are April, May, and October, thanks to their moderate temperatures and abundant sunshine. Remarkably, El Paso enjoys about 297 sunny days annually, significantly surpassing the national average. Rainfall is sparse, with the city averaging only 10 inches annually, compared to the national average of 38 inches. While snow isn’t frequent, the city does see an average of three inches during winter. So, don’t forget your winter gear!
However, El Paso’s weather can be quite unpredictable. Dust storms are not uncommon during spring and summer, while the wet season, especially in June, can bring unexpected flooding. As a precaution, investing in flood insurance is advisable. Sporadic heavy rainfalls can occur even when forecasts suggest otherwise, so always having a rain jacket or umbrella handy is a good idea. Hail storms during winter can also pose a threat, potentially causing property damage. Staying updated with weather forecasts is essential for safety.
A Tex-Mex Culinary Haven
Given its proximity to the Mexican border, El Paso is a hub for Tex-Mex cuisine. While San Antonio might claim the title of “Tex-Mex Capital,” El Paso is a strong contender, with locals vouching for its culinary prowess. The city offers a delightful blend of traditional Texan dishes infused with authentic Mexican flavors. From quaint taco joints to family-run eateries, El Paso promises a rich Tex-Mex dining experience.
Here are some must-visit Tex-Mex spots in El Paso:
- Kiki’s Mexican Restaurant: Operating since the 1970s, this local favorite offers generous portions of classic dishes. Don’t miss out on the green crab enchiladas or the brisket machaca.
- Chico’s Tacos: A bustling counter-service spot known for its tacos, burritos, and more. Note: They have limited parking and only accept cash.
- Los Bandidos De Carlos & Mickey’s: A vibrant eatery offering large margaritas, live mariachi performances, and delectable dishes. The shredded beef enchilada comes highly recommended.
- L & J Cafe: A family-run establishment since 1927, it’s renowned for its authentic Tex-Mex offerings, from burritos to enchiladas.
- Andale Mexican Restaurant and Cantina: A go-to for genuine Mexican cuisine, complemented by craft cocktails and live music, ensuring a lively ambiance.
Outdoor Adventures Await
El Paso, Texas, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Contrary to common perceptions of it being just a desert city, El Paso boasts numerous parks and wilderness areas. A standout feature is the Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest urban wilderness area in the U.S. Spanning a 23-mile mountain range, it’s a prime spot for rock climbing.
Whether you’re into hiking, biking, or simply soaking in nature, El Paso offers diverse recreational spots. The city’s natural habitats are also home to a variety of wildlife, including mountain lions, coyotes, and bears, offering nature lovers a chance to spot these creatures in their natural surroundings.
Some must-visit outdoor spots in El Paso include:
- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site: A desert oasis renowned for rock climbing, set near the Franklin Mountains.
- McKelligon Canyon: A hotspot for activities like rock climbing, hiking, biking, and running.
- Mammoth Rock: A city landmark that promises breathtaking views and invigorating hikes.
- Lost Dog Trailhead: A 7.7-mile trail perfect for hiking, biking, or a leisurely walk with your pet. Remember to stay hydrated!
- Ron Coleman Trailhead: A moderately challenging trail that offers a mix of terrains. Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat!
Embrace Bilingual Conversations
With 83% of its population being Hispanic, El Paso is rich in cultural diversity. While Spanish fluency isn’t mandatory, picking up some phrases can enhance your experience in the city. Given its proximity to the border, many residents have ties to Mexico, leading to a blend of English and Spanish in daily conversations.
Margaritas: El Paso’s Signature Drink
El Paso claims a legendary status in the world of cocktails. It’s believed that the iconic margarita was birthed in 1942 at Tommy’s Place, a local bar. While the origins of the margarita remain a topic of debate, there’s no denying its global appeal. When in El Paso, sipping on a margarita is almost a rite of passage, a nod to the city’s vibrant history and culture.
A Hub of Artistic and Cultural Expression
El Paso’s rich tapestry of cultures, especially its strong Hispanic influence, is evident in its vibrant arts and cultural scene. The city is dotted with museums, galleries, and historical landmarks that celebrate its diverse heritage. Throughout the year, El Paso comes alive with various events and festivals that showcase its unique blend of traditions.
Here are some must-visit cultural spots in El Paso:
- El Paso Museum of Art: Nestled in the heart of Downtown El Paso, this museum, established in 1959, houses an impressive collection of over 7,000 artworks, offering visitors a glimpse into various artistic eras and styles.
- El Paso Museum of History: Dive deep into El Paso’s rich past at this museum. With interactive exhibits, it chronicles the city’s journey over the last 400 years, providing insights into its evolution and the events that shaped it.
- The Chamizal National Memorial Cultural Center: More than just a cultural center, Chamizal is a symbol of diplomacy and peaceful resolution. It offers visitors a mix of galleries, exhibits, and an amphitheater. The attached museum delves into the history of the Chamizal dispute and its peaceful resolution, making it a testament to international cooperation and understanding.
Is El Paso Worth Moving To?
Absolutely! El Paso offers a blend of rich culture, affordable living, and a thriving economy. Its unique location on the border provides a mix of Texan and Mexican influences, making it a vibrant and diverse place to live.
Is Texas El Paso a Good Place to Live?
Yes, El Paso is known for its safety, friendly community, and a plethora of recreational and cultural activities. Its sunny weather and scenic beauty further enhance its appeal.
Is It Expensive to Live?
Compared to many other cities in the U.S., El Paso boasts a lower cost of living. Housing, transportation, and utilities are generally below the national average.
What is a Good Salary in El Paso TX?
A median annual salary of around $50,150 should allow for comfortable living in El Paso. However, many factors like lifestyle and personal expenses can influence this.
Is It Mostly Mexican?
El Paso has a significant Hispanic population, with about 83% of its residents being of Hispanic origin. Its proximity to the Mexican border has influenced its demographic makeup.
Do They Speak English there?
Yes, English is widely spoken in El Paso. However, due to its large Hispanic population, Spanish is also commonly used.
What Language Does El Paso Speak?
Both English and Spanish are prevalent in El Paso. Many locals are bilingual and often switch between the two languages in daily conversations.
Is it a Friendly City?
Absolutely! El Paso is often praised for its warm and welcoming community. The city’s residents are known for their hospitality and friendliness.
Are Houses Cheap in El Paso?
Housing in El Paso is generally more affordable than in many other major U.S. cities. The prices are below the national average, making it an attractive place for potential homeowners.
Where Should I Live there?
El Paso offers a range of neighborhoods catering to different lifestyles. Areas like Kern Place, Sunset Heights, and Mission Hills are popular choices for their amenities and community vibes.
What is El Paso Best Known For?
El Paso is renowned for its unique blend of Texan and Mexican cultures, its historical significance, delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, and being the birthplace of the margarita.
El Paso, with its rich heritage, affordable living, and friendly community, is a gem in the vast state of Texas. Whether you’re seeking cultural experiences, economic opportunities, or simply a sunny place to call home, El Paso has something for everyone.