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So You Want to Move to Texas?

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Lela is a citizen of the United States of America. She was born and raised in Texas. Married on Maui, then moved back to Texas!

A Texan marries a New England Yankee

A Texan marries a New England Yankee

Is Texas Your Destiny?

A Texan (me) married a New England Yankee (Bob), on a Hawaiian island, in a Japanese garden, by a Mormon judge. It was also an Irish holiday (Valentine's Day), with the Christmas flowers in bloom (poinsettias)!

It became our destiny to move to Texas after discovering that a home would be out of our reach with the volcanic rise in prices of Maui real estate and taxes on same.

We deliberated on which state was the best one to move to. We could have chosen anywhere on the mainland, from Alaska to Key West. Neither one of us wanted to live in the frozen north, or the hurricane-plagued coastal towns. The far West was too dry and expensive. Central USA was the best option. The Eastern New England states were too snowy. And Texas? Well, you shall learn by reading this article, that it is a "whole nuther country"!

Swan paddle boats on Lake Austin, TX

Swan paddle boats on Lake Austin, TX

A Decision Is Made

Everyone asks me, "Why did you leave Hawaii to move back here?" Well, when we left Maui, real estate was $250,000 for a quarter acre of bare land, not even close to a beach! My job at Maui Memorial Hospital was never going to pay enough to save up for a down payment. Plus, Hawaii has state taxes on everything, including my barely sustainable salary.

Texas salaries were trending up. We moved here and bought 2.3 acres of land, a modular home already set up for move-in and brand new for $78,000. Of course, that was 31 years ago, and property is much more expensive in our small subdivision. Many people have discovered the benefits of living here. And as for taxes, we got a "homestead" exemption and paid for school taxes only. Currently, our total property tax bill is less than $400.00!

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The utilities are rather high. Texas is a Big-Energy-run political state. Think of the George W. Bush family. As long as Republicans are in the governor's office, Big Oil will raise the rates.

The Top 10 Reasons for Moving to Texas From Maui

  1. The economy and cost of living
  2. The Hill Country and Austin (The so-called Music Capital of the World)
  3. So many interesting sights to see!
  4. So-so beaches, but occasionally, you will stumble upon a good one! The sun is out almost daily. These are secret places, so email me for more info. My email link is at the top of this article, to the left.
  5. Native Texans are generally friendly to newcomers, but they have a limit.
  6. Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Tesla and a few other billionaires have opened for business here.
  7. The climate is good. Tornadoes usually stop forming when they hit these hills.
  8. Barbecue! It's better than anywhere else in the universe, also a heaven for "Tex-Mex" food. Tacos rule. The state dish is chili, or chicken fried steak, depending on who you talk to.
  9. Texas is arguably five states in one: The Panhandle, East Texas, West Texas, Central Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico coastline. This is the reason why we say, "Texas is a whole nuther country!"
  10. Traveling from here to anywhere else in the world is relatively cheap and easy to find. There are planes and trains, and the roads are almost always a good way to move around.

Bonus reason: There is no state income tax in Texas!

The Haunted? Driskill Hotel on 6th Street in Austin

The Haunted? Driskill Hotel on 6th Street in Austin

The Top 14 Reasons for Not Moving to This State

  1. The heat and drought in the months of May, June, July, and August. 100+ degree days are not uncommon. For vacationers, there are only two months of the year to visit: April and October. Write that down now, please; you will thank me later.
  2. The complete storm of immigrants, er, new people moving to Texas has just about broken our infrastructure. We are getting close to losing as much water as California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Fires are a real threat to our great open plains and wooded areas.
  3. The economy is not nearly as good as it once was. Housing costs are crazy right now. Living costs have gone up like the rest of the country. I hate to say this, but you might want to consider Arkansas.
  4. The roads, water lines, and electric grid are getting worse every day. Last winter, we had an extremely rare freeze experience that was quite deadly for many people, especially old people. I could not leave my house at all for two weeks. Fortunately, Bob and I were prepared. The world climate is rapidly changing, whether you believe it or not.
  5. Austin's famous 6th St. Music Fest and venues for great music have, sadly, regressed. Shootings are common on the weekends and at celebrations.
  6. Jobs are still plentiful but require specialty training. Do yourself a favor and go to a trade school instead of an expensive college. Become a specialist in whatever it is that interests you.
  7. Tornadoes in North and Central Texas are real and dangerous. Move somewhere south of the Hill Country to be reasonably safe. But avoid moving to the coastal area, where hurricanes can do tremendous damage.
  8. While there are plenty of tourist spectaculars in Texas, the tours are getting crowded. Seek out the hidden gems.
  9. Never argue with a Texan about barbecue. It is the food of the gods here. Tex-mex is a close second.
  10. Don't forget that it is common to find a rattlesnake on a hike, a scorpion in your shoe, a brown recluse spider in your closet, and Mexican Free Tail bats swooping around at dusk. Austin is known as "Bat City." Also, coyotes, armadillos, javelinas, and chupacabras. Don't forget the plethora of mosquitos, roaches, and fire ants.
  11. You will need a car and know how to drive. I am constantly amazed at the number of people that have no clue as to how to drive. I was raised in a 57 Buick Special! Not only that, but I have had the same driver's license since I was 14 years old (true story). But we do have lots of ride-sharing companies in the cities.
  12. Texas health care has a bad reputation. I have had good luck with the best care that my insurance can buy. So budget that high cost into your cost of living in the second-largest state in the union.
  13. Because so many people are moving to Texas, there is a noticeable increase in crime, homeless people, and trash on the roads. The least you all can do is help pick up the trash.
  14. The property taxes are high, and no state income tax is the reason. Our regressive style of governors have simply borrowed from Peter to pay Paul.
Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk. It's a summer treat! Bring your friends and spread a blanket on the Austin Times viewing area.

Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk. It's a summer treat! Bring your friends and spread a blanket on the Austin Times viewing area.

Where in Texas Should I Move To?

Remember, I said that Texas was big enough to be five states in one? Well, here are the top ten cities to move to, in no particular order:

The Alamo—the fort that saved Texas from becoming a Mexican territory

The Alamo—the fort that saved Texas from becoming a Mexican territory

© 2022 Lela

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