15 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Dallas, TX 2024


Considering relocating to Dallas? If your perception of the city is solely based on television series like “Dallas,” “Most Eligible Dallas,” or “Big Rich Texas,” then you might not have a comprehensive view of what Dallas truly offers.

This vibrant city is not just about entertainment; it boasts a robust economy and presents numerous opportunities both within its boundaries and in nearby major cities.

Dallas is a dynamic hub where fun and business coexist, making it an attractive destination for many. Here are 15 essential factors to ponder before deciding to make Dallas your new home.

Stuff To Know

1. Dallas and Fort Worth: Distinct Entities 

While Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington collectively form a part of the same metropolitan region, it’s crucial to understand that they are distinct cities with their own unique vibes.

There exists a subtle rivalry between Dallas and Fort Worth, so if you’re settling in Dallas, it might be wise to tread lightly when singing praises of its neighboring city. Additionally, Dallas is surrounded by a vast expanse of suburbs.

Before setting out, always gauge the travel time to your destination. It’s a common misconception to assume that everything in Dallas is just a short drive away. In reality, distances can be deceptive, and it’s not unusual for a journey within the city to take longer than anticipated.

2. Heart of Cowboys Country: Northern Texas 

Dallas Cowboys

Even though the Dallas Cowboys’ home ground is in Arlington, the spirit and fervor for the team run deep in Dallas. Football, irrespective of age or proficiency, is more than just a sport here; it’s a way of life.

While securing a ticket to a Cowboys game might be a bit heavy on the pocket, the experience is unparalleled. Attending a game isn’t just about watching football; it’s about immersing yourself in a quintessential piece of Dallas’s cultural tapestry.

3. Experience the Grandeur of the Texas State Fair 

The State Fair of Texas

Relocating to Dallas offers you the golden opportunity to witness one of the grandest state fairs in the country. Even if you’ve attended state fairs elsewhere, the State Fair of Texas in Dallas is in a league of its own.

Once there, indulge in some of the most unique and mouth-watering treats, such as the deep-fried bacon cheeseburger and the delectable fried flan cake. It’s not just a fair; it’s a culinary adventure.

4. Navigating Dallas Traffic: A Test of Patience 

Dallas’s sprawling freeways can often become a labyrinth of slow-moving vehicles. Relying solely on the city’s public transit might not always be feasible, making car journeys inevitable. As you make Dallas your home, be prepared for the occasional traffic snarls.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. Those traffic jams can be the perfect backdrop for binge-listening to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks.

5. Neighborhood Nuances: Make an Informed Choice 


Dallas is a mosaic of diverse neighborhoods, each radiating its own unique charm and vibe. While every city boasts varied neighborhoods, Dallas’s vast expanse and notorious traffic make the choice even more consequential.

Picking the wrong neighborhood could mean feeling isolated or constantly battling traffic. Before committing to a rental or purchase, it’s imperative to delve deep into the characteristics of each neighborhood, factoring in property taxes and other essentials.

Your choice of residence can significantly impact your Dallas experience, so choose wisely.

6. A Culinary Paradise: Dallas’ Dining Scene

Dishes in Dallas

Dallas is a gastronomic haven, teeming with an array of restaurants, bars, and clubs. The city’s affluence and cultural diversity have given rise to a culinary landscape that’s both vast and varied.

If you’re a food enthusiast with a penchant for dining out, Dallas promises to satiate your palate in ways you’ve never imagined. However, while indulging in the city’s culinary delights, it’s essential to strike a balance.

Remember to allocate funds judiciously, ensuring you’re also saving for the future. For those keen on investing, Dallas offers a plethora of options and experts to guide you on your financial journey.

7. A Flourishing Tapestry of Arts and Culture 

Dallas’s affluence translates into generous philanthropy, particularly in the realm of arts and culture. The city is a treasure trove of artistic wonders, ranging from quaint art galleries to grand museums, and from intimate live music corners to opulent concert arenas.

The cultural richness of Dallas is so profound that even the most discerning art aficionado from places like New York would find themselves pleasantly surprised and thoroughly impressed.

8. The Expanding Horizon: Dallas’ Growth Story 

Dallas isn’t just big; it’s on a trajectory of rapid expansion. Ranking among the top ten largest cities in the U.S., its growth momentum shows no signs of slowing down.

As reported by the Dallas Morning News, between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, the Dallas-Fort Worth area witnessed an influx of 144,704 individuals, pushing the total population beyond the 7.1 million mark. In 2015, Dallas’s population surge was second only to Houston among Texas cities, underscoring its allure as a thriving urban hub.

9. Affordable Living: Dallas Strikes the Right Balance 

Dallas boasts an affordable cost of living that’s quite remarkable for a city of its stature within the United States. When compared to other Texan cities, Dallas falls in the middle ground—more expensive than Houston yet more budget-friendly than Austin.

For those accustomed to the high expenses of coastal cities, Dallas might pleasantly surprise you with its affordability. To put things into perspective, comparing the cost of living in Dallas with New York City reveals a staggering 49% reduction in real estate costs and over 26% lower food expenses.

10. Patience Required: Popular Spots and Long Waits 

The word spreads like wildfire when a particular eatery, whether for barbecue or brunch, becomes the talk of the town. This popularity often leads to extended waiting times at Dallas’s hottest spots.

While you might stumble upon lesser-known gems, if you’re eager to explore the places buzzing with excitement, be prepared for wait times and ensure you don’t arrive with an empty stomach.

11. Natural Elements: Tornadoes and Preparedness

Dallas experiences the reality of tornadoes and flooding. If you’re considering making the city your home, it’s wise to acquaint yourself with basic safety guidelines—such as avoiding driving through flooded areas.

While the notion of encountering a tornado might evoke a sense of thrill, it’s important to acknowledge the potential hazards associated with such events. Having an emergency plan in place for yourself and your loved ones is a prudent step to take, ensuring safety remains paramount amidst such natural occurrences.

12. Embrace Tex-Mex: A Culinary Staple 

Tex-Mex Cuisine

While Dallas offers Mexican cuisine akin to what you’d find in Mexico or grew up with, it’s important to note that Tex-Mex is abundant here. If Tex-Mex isn’t your usual preference, consider giving it a chance and learning to appreciate its flavors.

Tex-Mex is a culinary identity deeply ingrained in Dallas culture, and developing a taste for it could add an extra layer of enjoyment to your culinary journey.

13. Beware the Hail: Protecting Your Vehicle 

Hail storms are another weather phenomenon that Dallas residents contend with. It’s not just tornadoes to be cautious of. When apartment hunting, prioritize covered parking, as it can save you from potential vehicle damage during hailstorms.

Though finding a place with covered parking might take a bit more effort, the peace of mind it brings when the storms hit is well worth the search.

14. Elevate Your Style: Dressing Up in Dallas 

In Dallas, dressing up is more than just an occasional affair; it’s a way of life. Events that might have called for a modest dress code in other cities are often taken up a notch in terms of glamour in Dallas.

If you relish donning formal wear and revel in upscale events, Dallas is your playground. However, if dressing up isn’t your norm, consider embracing the city’s penchant for sophistication and perhaps indulging in a bit of shopping to align with the local style.

15. Networking Matters: Building Social Connections 

Despite its size, Dallas exudes a sense of community akin to a smaller town, where connections and social networks hold sway.

Navigating Dallas’s professional landscape often involves tapping into these networks. If you have Texas college ties, you’re already at an advantage. For those without such connections, forging a place within the city’s social fabric can be pivotal for career growth and success after your move to Dallas.


1. What do I need to know about moving to Dallas?

Moving to Dallas requires research on the cost of living, job opportunities, neighborhoods, and local amenities. Understand the city’s culture, climate, and transportation options before making the move.

2. Is it worth moving to Dallas, TX?

Dallas offers a vibrant job market, diverse culture, and a wide range of entertainment options. Whether it’s worth moving depends on your personal preferences, career goals, and lifestyle.

3. How much money do I need to move to Dallas, Texas?

The amount you need to move to Dallas depends on factors like housing costs, moving expenses, and initial living costs. Having several months’ worth of living expenses saved up is advisable.

4. How much do you need to live comfortably in Dallas?

The cost of living varies, but a rough estimate for a single person is around $50,000 per year. For a family, a comfortable living might require around $80,000 or more annually.

5. Is Dallas a friendly city?

Dallas is known for its Southern hospitality and friendliness. Residents often exhibit warmth and politeness, making it a generally friendly city.

6. Can you live in Dallas without a car?

While Dallas is a car-centric city, certain neighborhoods, like downtown and Uptown, are more walkable with access to public transport. However, having a car might still be more convenient.

7. What are the cons of living in Dallas?

Some potential drawbacks include the hot and humid climate, traffic congestion, urban sprawl, and in some areas, a higher crime rate. It’s important to research and consider these factors.

8. Is Austin better than Dallas?

Whether Austin is better than Dallas depends on your preferences. Austin is known for its live music scene and quirky culture, while Dallas offers a larger urban environment and a strong business sector.

9. Is Dallas a walkable city?

Dallas has made efforts to improve walkability, especially in certain neighborhoods. Downtown, Uptown, and parts of Oak Lawn are more walkable, but overall, Dallas is still more car-dependent.

Bottom Line

Moving to Dallas offers an exciting blend of opportunities, from its thriving economy and diverse neighborhoods to its culinary scene and cultural attractions.

Be prepared for the city’s traffic and unique weather patterns, and take time to choose the right neighborhood to enhance your Dallas experience. With its friendly atmosphere and robust growth, Dallas can be a rewarding place to call home.

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