Is Dallas for me?

Old May 3, 16, 8:15 am
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Is Dallas for me?

Hi folks, I am forming an exploratory committee of myself and all of yall to explore the possibility of me living in Dallas (or neighboring cities). Let me tell you what I love, in no particular order.
  • Highrises
  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Proximity to grocery stores
  • Proximity to bars/restaurants
  • Cheap gas + fast cars

And what I don't like
  • Traffic. I know we all hate traffic, but I hate it on a whole new level
  • Being far from big airports
  • Paying more than $1500 for rent (I pay $~2500 now, but I expect Dallas to be cheaper than DC
  • Mexican food
  • Tex-mex food
  • Guns
  • Raised trucks

And what I do not care about
  • Schools (no kids)

Is Dallas for me? From a quick look on apartments.com there seem to be a lot of new highrises and they are all very modern. I also know that the traffic in and around Dallas is awful. How is the DART rail? Is cost of living in Dallas really that much cheaper than DC? What about neighboring cities?
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Old May 3, 16, 8:58 am
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Well, if you want high rise living, that eliminates most of the surrounding cities, so you're looking at Dallas, and for bars/restaurants/groceries, the Uptown area is likely your best bet. But it's also one of the pricier areas, so you'll have to research rents to see if it's in your budget.

But in general, yes, it's cheaper here. Cheaper rents, cheaper houses, cheaper beer. And no state income tax.

Traffic can be bad at times, but compared to the cluster-f that DC calls rush hour, I think you'll find it's better than that.

There's lots of good mex and tex-mex food, but if you don't like it, eat someplace else. We have BBQ too. And french, vietnamese, modern american, and whatever else you're looking for - the restaurant scene has improved a lot here over recent years.

Guns, I don't know. I was not happy when "open carry" passed here, but months later, I myself have yet to see a civilian with a gun.
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Old May 3, 16, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
Well, if you want high rise living, that eliminates most of the surrounding cities, so you're looking at Dallas, and for bars/restaurants/groceries, the Uptown area is likely your best bet. But it's also one of the pricier areas, so you'll have to research rents to see if it's in your budget.

But in general, yes, it's cheaper here. Cheaper rents, cheaper houses, cheaper beer. And no state income tax.

Traffic can be bad at times, but compared to the cluster-f that DC calls rush hour, I think you'll find it's better than that.

There's lots of good mex and tex-mex food, but if you don't like it, eat someplace else. We have BBQ too. And french, vietnamese, modern american, and whatever else you're looking for - the restaurant scene has improved a lot here over recent years.

Guns, I don't know. I was not happy when "open carry" passed here, but months later, I myself have yet to see a civilian with a gun.
All good to know. And yes DC traffic is bad, but fortunately I take the metro everywhere, and just pay $125/month to park my Mercedes underground (like how Daenerys treats her two dragons). With that said, the few times I have driven to IAD/BWI to pick up / drop off friends, I've seen some bad traffic, and I'm sure that's far from the worst the DMV area has to offer.

Last edited by TOMFORD; May 3, 16 at 9:24 am
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Old May 3, 16, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by TOMFORD View Post
Hi folks, I am forming an exploratory committee of myself and all of yall to explore the possibility of me living in Dallas (or neighboring cities). Let me tell you what I love, in no particular order.
  • Highrises
  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Proximity to grocery stores
  • Proximity to bars/restaurants
  • Cheap gas + fast cars

And what I don't like
  • Traffic. I know we all hate traffic, but I hate it on a whole new level
  • Being far from big airports
  • Paying more than $1500 for rent (I pay $~2500 now, but I expect Dallas to be cheaper than DC
  • Mexican food
  • Tex-mex food
  • Guns
  • Raised trucks

And what I do not care about
  • Schools (no kids)

Is Dallas for me? From a quick look on apartments.com there seem to be a lot of new highrises and they are all very modern. I also know that the traffic in and around Dallas is awful. How is the DART rail? Is cost of living in Dallas really that much cheaper than DC? What about neighboring cities?
I have lived in Dallas for years now and still contemplate on moving out of Texas. The low cost of living and my job is what keeps me here.

* High-rises are pretty much are only in the Dallas or Fort Worth core area and they are expensive.
* Proximity to things are possible depending on the area. Uptown is better.
* Cheap gas and fast cars is a common thing. The Dallas metroplex is actually quite wealthy so it's not uncommon to see exotics. Hang around Highland Park or Plano and BMWs and Mercedes are as common as Hondas and Toyotas. Cars and Coffee is the first Saturday of every month and you will see everything from Bugattis to antiques.

* Traffic in Dallas sucks especially during rush hour. But most people live in the suburbs so no way of avoiding it unless you can walk to work or work from home.
* If you live in the Dallas core, the closest airport is Love Field. DFW is going to be about 30-45 minutes away. At least you can take the train straight to DFW airport now.
* Rent in Dallas can be expensive in the prime areas. I was paying about $1200 for a 800 sq foot apartment in downtown Las Colinas. My friends in uptown and downtown pay closer to $2000. Most people buy houses for that price.
* Mexican and Tex-Mex is everywhere. I'm not a big fan of them either, but Dallas has a range of restaurants. No Michelin star restaurants, but we have good BBQ and steak. Some decent seafood. A good range of ethnic restaurants.
* Guns are also common. People love their guns here.
* I don't see many raised trucks.

I find Dallas boring since the only thing to really do is eat out and shop. You really have to be able to deal with the heat since the summers can be weeks of 100+F. The cost of living and the number of professional jobs is the saving grace in my opinion.
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Old May 3, 16, 10:46 am
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Is Forth Worth a viable alternative to downtown/uptown Dallas? Is it a lot quieter in FW than Dallas? I'll look into buying a high rise condo two years or so after moving there, if I find my job to be stable.
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Old May 3, 16, 2:39 pm
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Fort Worth is quite different than Dallas...it's more lay back...more country in a sense. In terms of more quiet, I think it all depends on the area for both cities. Downtown Dallas is pretty dead at night and on the weekends. Yeah, you have Deep Ellum, Uptown, Victory Park, maybe the Bishop Art District, but it's not lively as other major downtowns around the US. Fort Worth has a nice downtown with Sundance Square.

The problems with jobs in the DFW area is a lot of times they are in the suburbs. The cities around Dallas are quite large...with some being larger than Dallas itself. So it's not uncommon to have a 30-60 minute commute one way. A lot of the big companies are moving to Plano and the Frisco area. Toyota's NA HQ is opening up soon in Plano. Frito-Lay's HQ is in Plano. Verizon's Texas HQ is in Irving. Exxon, Microsoft, Intuit...so many companies are spread out around the Dallas area. The companies that reside in downtown are usually the well known financial and accounting firms. So it depends on your line of work on where you may end up in the metroplex. When people say they are from Dallas, few actually live and work in Dallas proper.
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Old May 3, 16, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by vh_bu98 View Post
You really have to be able to deal with the heat since the summers can be weeks of 100+F. The cost of living and the number of professional jobs is the saving grace in my opinion.
Of course it's the humidity that's the killer...

Dallas's reputation in the arts is high and growing, an example being the opera company, which has a splendid new home and which programs some adventurous fare.
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Old May 3, 16, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post
Of course it's the humidity that's the killer...

Dallas's reputation in the arts is high and growing, an example being the opera company, which has a splendid new home and which programs some adventurous fare.
Dallas usually has a dry heat so it's not too bad. Houston is much worse in terms of humidity. In the summer, it's AC home to AC car to AC office and then in reverse. I grew up in MA so I don't like the heat.

But yes, Dallas is going through a revitalization. The Farmer's Market is getting a make over. There's the Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum, and etc. I do like the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth though.
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Old May 3, 16, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by vh_bu98 View Post
Fort Worth is quite different than Dallas...it's more lay back...more country in a sense. In terms of more quiet, I think it all depends on the area for both cities. Downtown Dallas is pretty dead at night and on the weekends. Yeah, you have Deep Ellum, Uptown, Victory Park, maybe the Bishop Art District, but it's not lively as other major downtowns around the US. Fort Worth has a nice downtown with Sundance Square.

The problems with jobs in the DFW area is a lot of times they are in the suburbs. The cities around Dallas are quite large...with some being larger than Dallas itself. So it's not uncommon to have a 30-60 minute commute one way. A lot of the big companies are moving to Plano and the Frisco area. Toyota's NA HQ is opening up soon in Plano. Frito-Lay's HQ is in Plano. Verizon's Texas HQ is in Irving. Exxon, Microsoft, Intuit...so many companies are spread out around the Dallas area. The companies that reside in downtown are usually the well known financial and accounting firms. So it depends on your line of work on where you may end up in the metroplex. When people say they are from Dallas, few actually live and work in Dallas proper.
Living in uptown Dallas and commuting to Irving, Plano, or Fort Worth is not realistic? What about living outside and commuting in?
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Old May 3, 16, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by TOMFORD View Post
Living in uptown Dallas and commuting to Irving, Plano, or Fort Worth is not realistic? What about living outside and commuting in?
Oh it's realistic, but expect the drive to be 30-45 minutes. You can take the DART train, but it works better if you live in the suburbs and work in downtown Dallas. People usually drive to the train station, park their car, and take the train to downtown. Commuting outside will be dependent if your employer is close to a train station.

You really don't want to drive between Dallas and Fort Worth as a daily commute although they do have a train. The public transportation system here isn't as good as other major cities. I drive about 45 minutes each way to work. I have coworkers who drive 1 hour and more. That's just the nature of things because it's so spread out here.

Everyone drives here and they drive fast. Our speed limit is usually between 60-70 MPH, but people tend to average 80 MPH. It's not uncommon to see people hitting 100 MPH on the tollroads, but if you get pull over going that fast then you're going to jail.

My advice to people who rent is to find a place close to your employer if you don't like to commute.
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Old May 4, 16, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by TOMFORD View Post
Living in uptown Dallas and commuting to Irving, Plano, or Fort Worth is not realistic? What about living outside and commuting in?
Living in Uptown and commuting to Irving and Plano is very realistic, as you are going against the flow. Yes, it will probably take a half hour, but it isn't like you are stuck in traffic. Ft Worth, no. (I'm sure there are some that do it, I too have coworkers that commute an hour+, but that is not what I would choose.)

Don't count on DART. I know the WMATA has issues, but DART is not on the same level. You might luck out and it will work for you, but go in with the assumption that it will not. But for all of this, do you know where your office might be? That will affect the answers given.
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Old May 4, 16, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by wcj1 View Post
But for all of this, do you know where your office might be? That will affect the answers given.
Not yet, but in banking for sure. And that includes big banks and auto finance and excludes small/private investment firms.
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Old May 4, 16, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by TOMFORD View Post
Not yet, but in banking for sure. And that includes big banks and auto finance and excludes small/private investment firms.
You'll find most of the larger banking institutions centered around Downtown Dallas or farther north in the Plano / Frisco area with a few public financial companies dotted up and down the Dallas North Tollway. Capital One has Card/Auto/Mortgage housed in Plano as well.


JP Morgan is moving from Dallas to Frisco in 18 months with higher level executives still being Downtown for now.


The Uptown area hits most all of your positive data points, depending on where you decide to office.


The DART system is horrible unless you live off 75 where it primarily runs north and south to the suburbs, or directly in Downtown.
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Old May 4, 16, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by vh_bu98 View Post
I find Dallas boring since the only thing to really do is eat out and shop.
Interesting. So you're not a subscriber to the Dallas Opera which performs in a nice new opera house? Ditto for the symphonies in DAL and FTW? Must not care for art either since you don't realize that the Nasher Sculpture Center is a great museum dedicated to sculpture. Nor acknowledge the existence of the Dallas Museum of Art or the outstanding series of musuems (Kimbell, Amon Carter, Modern, etc.) in Ft. Worth's cultural district.

I take it you don't like being outdoors either since there are nice hiking and biking nature trails not too far from downtown.

(No, DFW is certainly not Northern California when it comes to scenery. But there are still nice places to get out for fresh air and a great hike)
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Old May 4, 16, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by AdamLX View Post
The DART system is horrible unless you live off 75 where it primarily runs north and south to the suburbs, or directly in Downtown.
If you're close to 35, it's not too bad either.

Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
Interesting. So you're not a subscriber to the Dallas Opera which performs in a nice new opera house? Ditto for the symphonies in DAL and FTW? Must not care for art either since you don't realize that the Nasher Sculpture Center is a great museum dedicated to sculpture. Nor acknowledge the existence of the Dallas Museum of Art or the outstanding series of musuems (Kimbell, Amon Carter, Modern, etc.) in Ft. Worth's cultural district.

I take it you don't like being outdoors either since there are nice hiking and biking nature trails not too far from downtown.

(No, DFW is certainly not Northern California when it comes to scenery. But there are still nice places to get out for fresh air and a great hike)
Nope, I'm not into the arts that much. I have never been to the opera, but have seen a musical at Fair Park and ballet at the Bass. I also have been to Nasher, DMA, Kimbell, Crow, and a few others a few times but it's really not my cup of tea.

I enjoy being outdoors, but not in Dallas. I've skied, ziplined and ATV in Whistler/Blackcomb, sea kayak in Broken Group Islands, salmon fishing in the Alberni Inlet, skied and snow mobile around Lake Tahoe, camped and sauna in Finland, hiked in Iceland, climbed mountains on Vancouver Island, walked around SE Asia, and so on. To me, the hiking and biking trails around Dallas just pale in comparison even to the ones in Austin. I've even kayak on Lake Lewisville and White Rock and it's just depressing to me. And when the temperature starts going up, I find the air more suffocating than refreshing.
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