Moving to Dallas
Are you moving to Dallas? The second-largest city in Texas, Dallas is the seat of Dallas County. The area is thriving and ranks amongst the top three metro areas in the US for relocations and expansions. This trend is set to continue through 2023. Famous for JR and Bobby Ewing, cowboys, oil wells and rodeos, Dallas has more restaurants per capita than New York City and put Tex-Mex cuisine on the market. With its typical big city appearance, the suburbs are countrified with plenty of space, and the locals are friendly and outgoing.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Dallas report includes info on:
• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Dallas on the Map
Situated on the rolling prairie on the north central plain of Texas, Dallas is 225 miles north-west of Houston. This sprawling city incorporates both Dallas and Fort Worth, with some areas being so concerned about the massive growth that they have adopted a smart growth plan to curb the sprawl. Dallas rates as a beta plus world city.
Dallas ranks amongst the most traffic congested cities in the world. However, the public transport system is excellent. DART, or Dallas Area Rapid Transport, has 64 railway stations, Trinity Railway Express or TRE has 10 and operates between Dallas and Fort Worth, and there are 14 bus transfer facilities. All are eligible for a DART pass.
The DART trains and buses operate from 5am until midnight. The rail services run every 7½ to 15 minutes in rush hours, every 20 minutes during the rest of the day, and every half hour at night. DART Light Rail is a 93-mile light rail system connecting Dallas and the suburbs and is the longest light rail system in the US. It consists of four lanes, red, blue, green and orange, which all service the city centre and more lines are promised in the 2030 plan.
TRE connects Fort Worth and Dallas and stops in the Mid-Cities, with connections to the DFW International Airport. It does not operate on Sundays.
The DFW International Airport is bigger than the island of Manhattan, is one of the busiest in the world, and is situated 20 miles north-west of Dallas. Connections to Dallas and Fort Worth include DART, TRE, airport shuttle, bus, car rental or taxi.
DART-on-Call is door-to-door van service which runs in eight suburbs. It will connect you to the nearest DART station, shops and other transit centres.
The modern streetcars run between Dallas Union Station and Bishop Arts Centre.
The M-Line is the vintage trolley which links the city centre with Uptown, a fun area of shops, bistros and galleries.
The motorway network radiates from the central business district which links the city with the suburbs.
In Dallas, you get more home for your money, which bodes well for expats. The closer you need to be to the city, the more expensive it gets, and the further out you go, the more space you get. Public transport links to the suburbs; there are some really good schools in the area, so it’s important that you identify the school of your choice when choosing your neighbourhood.
SINGLES AND YOUNG COUPLES
UPTOWN – CLOSE TO THE CITY (DOWNTOWN) AREA
This area mainly suits young professionals and couples without kids. North of downtown, townhouses and mid-rise apartment blocks are the norms, with a few luxury high-rise blocks. Many of the single-family homes have been converted to offices and shops. Definitely for those seeking an urban lifestyle and singles looking to rent will find an easy commute, with plenty of entertainment nearby. This walkable area is home to West Village, a complex including both retail and residential space. Close to the Dallas Design District, with its thriving gallery scene and Bishop Arts District, with bars, eateries and up-market shops in converted houses, there is entertainment on-tap.
Townhouses, farmhouses, ranch style houses and small bungalows, this area suits arts and culture enthusiasts. The Cottonwood Art Festival, Wildflower!, and the Charles W. Eisemann Centre all host events throughout the year. The Sherrill Park Golf Course is nearby.
Ranch and craftsman houses, high-end shops in the Vista Ridge Mall, and water sports at Lewisville Lake are all in this area. Community events include concerts, the ideal place to meet new neighbours.
Five miles from downtown, this is an elite area with large estates and huge oak trees lining the streets. One of the first suburbs founded, most of the streets have no pavements or curbs. Many business and civic leaders live here, including George and Laura Bush, although their street is blocked off to stop tourists and the like. This is a choice area for executives with school-going children; most of the exclusive private schools are here, including Hockaday, Episcopal School of Dallas and Ursuline Academy of Dallas.
Some of the original 1930s houses still exist, but many have been torn down to make way for new, modern mansions. Trendy restaurants and up-market shops entice clientele from all areas of Dallas.
This is a popular area for families who would like a Dallas address whilst living in the sought-after Richardson school district. Besides having good transport access to Dallas, this attractive area is also en route to the commercial centres in Plano and Richardson. Traditional ranch-style houses, built during the ’70s and ‘80s, are the most common in the western part of the neighbourhood, although apartments here are quite popular with young couples.
Spacious homes, especially ranch and craftsman style houses on large plots, are the norm in Murphy. Popular with families for great schools and overall safety, this close-knit community enjoys the 52-acre Murphy Central Park, with its lake, sports grounds and playgrounds, amphitheatre and the community centre.
Located between Dallas and Fort Worth, this peaceful suburban area, with large plots and farmhouse and ranch houses, is popular with families. Sparger Park has walking trails, a playground and picnic spots, while the public library runs children’s programmes.
Another area filled with ranch and farmhouse homes and ideal for families, the schools rate highly, the library runs kids and teens programmes, and Celebration Park is an escape from the hustle and bustle with its duck pond, great scenery and a large playground.
The magnificent 66-acre Coppell Nature Park is just the place for active families and there’s even a Coppell Dog Park for walking your furry friends. Craftsman, ranch and farmhouse style houses on quiet streets are the choices available here, and their library also runs programmes for toddlers, kids and teens.
Also with great academic standards, the schools here attract families with young children and the really low crime rate, and spacious houses, mainly craftsman style with large gardens, add to the attraction. Splitsville Lanes Bowling Club, Creekside Park, and Beaver Run Park offer family entertainment, and nature trails and exhibits
The almost commonplace craftsman style housing is found here, along with Tudor inspired residences, both with large gardens. Sports fields, including soccer, volleyball and baseball, attract active families along with the walking trails at Frontier Park.
Who Lives and Works in Dallas
With a population of around 1.3 million, this is the second largest city in Texas and the 9th largest in the US. Around 42% are Hispanic and 25% black, the rest of the population is a mix of European, Asian and Native American heritage.
Dallas evolved as an oil and cattle farming centre in the 1800’s but has boomed in recent decades in the banking, fashion, motion pictures and electronics sectors. It has always been a marketing centre, with trade remaining the core of its economy, plus it is a magnet for new companies and residents.
Rating highly in the top wholesale markets in the country in areas such as furniture, clothing and gifts, there are numerous trade shows held here annually in centres such as the Dallas Market Center Complex, Market Hall, Menswear Mart, Decorative Center District, Informart, Apparel Mart, and Dallas Trade Mart. It is also home to the 11th district of the Federal Reserve Bank and Dallas is the foremost banking and financial centre for the Southwest, with more than 100 banks and several major investment firms.
The top industries here are financial services, defence and technology. When Toyota and other giant corporations moving here, thousands of job opportunities were created, giving the local economy a massive boost.
The largest employers include Texas Health Resources, Bank of America Corporation and AMR Corporation, and start-ups in technology are providing more employment.
Unemployment is below the national average, and the salaries are higher than the national average.
The Best Bits
With comparatively low crime rates, fabulous accommodation in a variety of areas, and higher than average salaries, Dallas is a prime destination for expats.
- The new Nature District, comprising 10,000 acres of parkland, including 7,000 acres of the Great Trinity Forest, is about to launch Dallas as one of the greenest cities in the UD. The Trinity River Park will provide trails, grasslands and playgrounds, transforming floodplains into a huge greenspace.
- Cowboys and rodeos. And Tex-Mex food.
- A distinct split between the high-rise central area and the quiet, green suburbs ensures that there is something for everyone.
- The metropolitan area is home to six major sports teams, the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers, FC Dallas, Dallas Stars and the Dallas Wings. And the locals really get behind their teams.
- There are numerous museums and art galleries, and the city is one of the most sophisticated art collector markets in the world.
- Annual festivals, including the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, the Addison Summer Series and the Grand Prairie Hatch Chile Fest, encourage a community spirit.
- The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, in commemoration of the site of JFK’s assassination in 1963, overlooks Dealey Plaza at the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets.
- The zoo is the largest in the state at 106 acres, with more than 2,000 animals.
- Lamar Hunt, the Dallas oil man and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, jokingly called the NFL champs the Super Bowl. The name stuck.
- Bonnie and Clyde, RoboCop, Batman and Robin, and JFK were all filmed in Dallas.
- Southfork, the ranch home of the Ewings, is in the suburb of Parker. The series, Dallas, was never filmed there.
Bringing the Kids
The public schooling system is run according to catchment areas, so it is important that you live near your choice of school.
- The Dallas-Fort Worth area has 355 public elementary, middle and high schools. A worthy accolade is that 53 of the high schools are listed in the US best high school rankings. State schooling is free of fees.
- Dallas-Fort Worth has 14 colleges/universities, of which four are on the US best colleges rankings.
- There are 107 private schools, charging quite hefty fees, but offering a high standard of education. 63% of them have religious affiliations. Many of these schools offer bursaries, but these are generally not available to expat children.
- Charter schools offer a higher standard of education and stick to the state curriculum, but are mainly state funded.
- Magnet schools offer a high standard of teaching and follow the International Baccalaureate. Dallas has some of the top performing Magnet schools in the country.
- Places in a charter or magnet schools are tight, and competition is fierce.
- There are three international schools in Dallas, but many English-speaking expats do not feel that it is necessary, with the high standard of public and private schools available.
Relocating to Dallas
As one of America’s friendliest cities, settling in Dallas is made easier by the welcoming attitude of the population. The variety of accommodation in a number of great neighbourhoods, the excellent public transport system, the booming economy with strengths in finance, trading, banking, motion pictures and electronics, and some great schools, make Dallas an ideal city for expats. However, it could be tricky to choose the area to live in that’s closest to work and the kids’ school. The help of an experienced relocation agent will help you ease into the local community, giving assistance with the local requirements.
Average Monthly Rent - Dallas
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre||$1,288|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) outside of centre||$965|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre||$2,346|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of centre||$1,710|