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Live in Texas Or Arizona? Pros & Cons of Moving

Posted by Cecilia Miranda on Wednesday, March 30th, 2022 at 1:55pm.

Are you considering moving to Arizona? Or maybe you’d prefer to move to the Lone Star State?

Although they may share some similarities, the two states are markedly different. Some of the shared similarities include hot and dry weather, common historical periods, cultural events, as well as a common border with Mexico.

Moving to either state requires much thought—do you fancy rodeos, blue-ribbon barbeque, and through-the-roof property taxes? Or do you prefer hiking, historical monuments, and dashboard melting heat?

In this guide, we’ll discuss a few lesser-known facts about living in Texas or Arizona. Whether you seek a change of scenery or new job opportunities, our agents can help you find a great place in Texas that is suitable for any family size and budget.

Cost of Living

Before you move to another state, you need to ask yourself one important question, "How much more or less will it cost to live in the new state?" At 93.9, the cost of basic items in Texas is cheaper than in Arizona which is 6% more at 100.

However, the property taxes in Texas can be exorbitant. With no income taxation, the Texas government leans heavily on the property tax to support its booming economy. 

Expense Texas Arizona
Income Taxe None 2.59% – 4.50%
Sales Tax 6.25% - 8.25% 5.60% – 11.20%
Property Tax 1.69% (average effective rate) 0.62% (average effective rate)

The cost of living analysis is not complete without considering the housing market. The median home price in Texas is around $244,000 which is about 16% less than the national average. In Arizona, the median home price is roughly $350,000 which is 44% higher than the national average. In spite of the reduced home loans in Arizona, it's more affordable to buy a house in Texas notwithstanding the higher middle home costs.

Weather

Arizona is famous for its stunning desert landscape with spectacular rock formations. It’s also hot and dry. For people who have not experienced a summer in Phoenix, the concept of "dry heat" is lost when the thermometer hits 120°F in the shade. Texas is equally hot and temperatures in the Rio Grande average 102° F every summer.

Additionally, Texas weather can be described as bipolar. On a normal day, it could be a cool 30°F or 40°F in the shade. But come afternoon, the sun could be shining at 80°F and by evening it could be even snowing. Big cities such as San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas average 100°F in the summer. Places that often snow in winter include Abilene, Amarillo, and Tyler. Meanwhile, coastal areas such as Galveston are both hot and humid.

For the most part, weather throughout the year in both Texas and Arizona tends to be temperate and humid. While Arizona is consistently dry, rainfall in most of Texas is unreliable. However, Texas is prone to extreme weather phenomena including tornadoes and hurricanes. That said, picking between the two is just about deciding which of the two states' hot summers are more palatable.

Vast Landscape

Arizona is famous for some of the greatest natural sights in the world including the Grand Canyon, rock formations in Monument Valley, as well as the Navajo Nation—home to the Apache Reservation. Largely a desert country, a Wild West movie scene aptly describes Arizona.

At 268,596 square miles, Texas is second to Alaska in size. Typically flat, the Lone Star state is divided into seven unique regions with different natural features and landforms. These regions include:

  • Gulf Coast
  • Big Bend Country
  • Panhandle Plains
  • Hill Country
  • Prairies and Lakes
  • Piney Woods
  • South Texas Plains

Mature trees, grass, and leaves that turn and fall in the autumn are common in Texas but may be harder to find in Phoenix. Of course, certain parts of Arizona have more foliage than some places in Texas. You will not see as much greenery throughout Phoenix as you would in either Dallas or Houston. While Texas is proud of its hill country, Phoenix offers unmatched desert views. With that in mind, whichever landscape is more desirable is a simply matter of preference.

Real Estate

The great thing about living in Texas is that the real estate options offer a variety of innovative and inspiring new home designs along with older homes. The state features many neighborhoods and subdivisions that offer plenty of options to suit different budgets.

Of course, homes are pricier in places such as Austin but if you choose to settle in cities such as Dallas, Fort Worth, or Houston, you can expect the median home prices to be much lower than the national average.

Year 2021 USA Texas Arizona
Median Home Price $374,900 $247,210 $355,540

A drive through different Phoenix neighborhoods will reveal different housing options that range from midcentury modern homes to pueblo style to ranch style. Unlike Texas, most homes in Arizona do not have basements, but pools are common in 42% of homes. Many of the homes tend to be stucco and their appearance is the same.

While there may be some Texas cities with a higher home price than other U.S. states, housing costs, in general, are 28% cheaper in Texas than in Arizona.

Education

The school system in Texas is much better than Arizona’s. As a result, many Texas families prefer to send their children to public and charter schools instead of private schools. Public schools save parents from spending a huge chunk of their income on expensive tuition. They also help cultivate an environment that places a great level of trust in public schools.

According to a 2021 version of the national report that measures children's well-being across several areas, Arizona was 47th overall in education, down one spot from 46th in 2020. Only Idaho, Oklahoma, and Utah spent less on education. In spending for school administration, Arizona ranked last, spending $378 compared to a national average of $674. 

The table below shows the states that receive the highest percentage of their revenue from the federal government.

Rank State Percentage of Revenue
1 New Mexico 14.4%
2 Mississippi 14.1%
3 Alaska 14%
4 Arizona 13.7%
5 South Dakota 12.8%

Despite receiving 13.7% of its revenue from the federal government, Arizona scores an "F" when it comes to investing in education. Note that education and schools are multifaceted and can be subjective. Just because a school ranks lower than another does not mean students at the former cannot get a good, well-rounded education.

Traffic

Neither Phoenix nor the DFW Metroplex has zero traffic as every big city in the country has to contend with traffic congestion. The advantage Phoenix has over Texas is the design of its major arteries. The Phoenix Metro Area is quite broad, thus there’s more room for traffic to spread out.

Densely populated areas such as Scottsdale do get crowded on a Friday night, but you won’t see the bumper-to-bumper traffic that is common in a compacted like Dallas. Motorists in Texas have to contend with numerous toll roads, unlike Arizona. If you live in a big city like Dallas and wish to commute often, or maybe you prefer living in the suburbs, the cost of driving into the city daily will add up fast.

Closing Thoughts

For those looking for the ideal place to set down family roots, Texas certainly has the leg up on Arizona. Although Arizona is home to world-famous attractions, reasonable home prices, plentiful job opportunities, and no income tax give Texas the advantage. If moving to Texas interests you, contact us today and we will be pleased to assist you with your next real estate transaction.

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