Texas Real Estate – Property in the Big State
Everything in Texas is big, including real estate options. If you’re considering a move to Texas, here is a primer on the state.
Dallas is a big city with a definite oil influence. There is a certain over the top feeling about Dallas, but people are pleasant and the city has first-rate services. Make no mistake, living in Dallas is living in a big city. It comes with all the negatives of a big city such as traffic, but all the positives such as professional sports teams and so on. If you prefer living in a big city, Dallas may be a good choice as real estate is surprisingly cheap.
Austin is the home of the University of Texas and one of my favorite cities. With a definite college town attitude, one can experience an odd mix of the Wild West with the liberal attitudes of college students. The town boasts famous music festivals and, of course, an avid group of college football fans. Eternal optimist, they even think they can beat the Oklahoma University Sooners in 2005.
Constantly in a friendly competition with Dallas, Houston is a city that stands on its own merits. Those merits, however, are based on the boom or bust nature of the oil industry. When things are going well, Houston is abuzz and grows in leaps and bounds. When things are going bad, the economy suffers and so do the people living there. This boom or bust scenario has led to overbuilding and the city has an organized feel to it. All and all, not a personal favorite, but to each there own.
San Antonio is the big city with the little town feel. Unlike Houston, it is not dependent upon the oil business, which has resulted in some careful urban planning. Now the eighth biggest city in the United States, San Antonio is an up and coming city. Of the big cities in Texas, I would consider San Antonio the best overall.
Texas Real Estate
Overall, the good news is Texas real estate is very reasonably priced. The average home price in Dallas is $260,000, while Austin comes in around $200,000. A single family home in Houston will set you back $150,000 on average, while $220,000 will do the job in San Antonio.
The bad news with Texas real estate involves appreciation. Texas has the lowest real estate appreciation rate from September 2004 to October 2005. With an appreciation rate of a little over 5 percent, not everything is big in Texas. Still, this may be an opportunity to get in on the ground floor, particularly for a great town like Austin.
One would think Texas is a take it or leave it state, but it simply isn’t true. The cities are all unique and a lack of a state income tax makes the low real estate appreciation rates easier to swallow.