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Renter's Guide to Dallas
Located in the northern part of Texas, Dallas is one of the Lone Star State’s major cities. It contains part of five counties and is home to some of the country’s biggest employers and corporations.
Dallas is mostly known for its top-notch sports teams, its vibrant dining and cultural scene, its bustling economy, and its highly rated suburbs, which offer families a great place to raise their kids in a safe, secure and healthy environment.
Dallas is a highly urban city, with a busy downtown area, a flourishing economy, and an endless stream of things to do and see. With family-filled suburbs, youthful, artsy neighborhoods, and plenty of properties for rent and for purchase, it offers a little something for everyone.
Dallas is the third-biggest city in Texas and the ninth-biggest in the U.S. When combined with its westerly counterpart Fort Worth, it is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the entire nation. Population-wise, Dallas has 1.3 million residents – nearly 1 million less than Houston. It encompasses 385 square miles of land.
Dallas is about 230 miles from Houston – right around four hours away by car. From Austin, Dallas is only about 190 miles, and from Fort Worth, it’s just over 30 miles. Dallas is home to two airports: Dallas Love Field and Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Both offer flights across the country and the world.
Like most cities in Texas, Dallas offers a fairly warm climate with very mild winters, save for a few snow and ice storms occasionally seen in January and February. The average temperature in the summer ranges from 89 to 96, while the fall and spring are more temperate, hovering between the high 50s and the high 60s.
Dallas, TX Demographics
- Total Population1,300,122
Female 644,344Male 655,778
- Median Age32.5
Cost of Living in Dallas, TX
The cost of living in Dallas is fairly low, especially compared to some of the nation’s larger cities. In fact, its cost of living index is just 33 percent lower than that of New York City.
Dallas offers a wide array of options when it comes to public transport. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit system offers buses, rail services, commuter trains, trolleys, streetcars, and vanpooling/carpooling. Day passes run from $2.50 to $10, and monthly passes between $40 and $160. Dallas commuters spend an average of 53 hours in traffic each year, making it the 11th-most congested city in the nation.
A meal for two in an inexpensive Dallas restaurants averages $45. A regular cappuccino runs from just under $4 and a domestic, draft beer is about $4.50. Some of the city’s hottest restaurants include The Porch, Sambuca and The Rustic. If you're into steaks, try Nick & Sam's Steakhouse at 3008 Maple Ave in Oak Lawn.
Dallas residents pay an average of $142 a month on utilities - including water, electricity, heating and garbage pick-up - for a 915 sq. ft. apartment. This comes in just under the national average of $147 per month.
Average Rent in Dallas, TX
- Dallas, TX Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,244 /mo
Dallas, TX Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0007%
Dallas, TX Rent Trends
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Living in Dallas
If you’re considering moving to Dallas, take a minute to learn about what life is like in this big Texas city.
As with any city, living in Dallas has its pros and cons. Some of the positives? It has a flourishing economy, which means lots of jobs and opportunities for all ages and industries. It also has a varied landscape of neighborhoods and communities, making it easy to find a niche that’s all your own. Its sports teams, entertainment venues, and cultural opportunities are top-notch.
As for cons, Dallas does have a few. For one, parking and getting around in general can be difficult. Traffic is high in Dallas proper, and most businesses offer only pay-to-park or valet options. This can get expensive.
Things to do in Dallas
Some of the city’s main attractions hold historical value, like Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository, where JFK was assassinated in 1961. Other top attractions include Six Flags, the Dallas Zoo, and Reunion Tower, which overlooks the entire city.
Sports are big in Dallas, and the city is home to professional teams in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer. These teams include the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, and FC Dallas.
Dallas is a very child-friendly city, offering a zoo, the Dallas World Aquarium, a Legoland Discovery Center, and even a Medieval Times center, where you can see knights joust in a medieval-style tournament. There is also the Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park that’s open year-round.
Dallas couples have loads of date-night options. They can see a band at the House of Blues, play a fun round of golf at Top Golf, take in some classical music at the Dallas Symphony, or see an indie movie at the Angelika theater. The W Hotel offers a great romantic place to stay the night.
If you’re on a tight budget, try one of Dallas’ many free attractions, like Klyde Warren Park, which boasts large-scale chess, reading areas, a children’s park, ping pong, croquet, live music, and more. The Dallas Museum of Art is admission-free, and you can also hop on the M-Line Trolley and take a vintage trolley line through some of the city’s best shops.
The Texas State Fair is by far the biggest annual event in Dallas. With rides, games, food, fun and entertainment, people flock from all over the state to experience it. It’s also home to the Texas Star, a 212-foot ferris wheel and the tallest of its kind in all of North America.
Dallas is a cultural powerhouse. Check out one of the many Dallas Summer Musicals productions, read the Dallas Morning News, settle in at the Dallas Public Library, or find out how things work at the world-renowned Perot Museum. There are also dozens of museums, including the Sixth Floor Museum and the George W. Bush Presidential Library, and a stunning arboretum and botanical garden. In 2014, PropertyShark ranked Dallas the No. 15 city for culture in the U.S.
Aside from Klyde Warren, Dallas is home to dozens of top-notch parks and recreational areas. The Katy Trail is a favorite for local runners, while White Rock Lake Park offers kayaking and 9 miles of hiking, biking and running trails. The Trinity River Audubon Center is another great place, especially if you want to check out the local flora and fauna.
As for shopping, the Galleria and NorthPark Center are Dallas’ top shopping destinations. The Bishop Arts district is a great place to look for all things fun and funky, while the Allen Premium Outlets are a smart stop if you need a good bargain.
Dallas Employment & Economy
Dallas has a flourishing economy, and its major industries include defense, financial services, technology, telecommunications and transportation. It is home to 43 percent of Texas’ tech employees. The city serves as the headquarters for many national and international brands, including Exxon Mobil, AT&T, American Airlines, Kimberly-Clark, Southwest Airlines, JC Penney, and Texas Instruments.
Dallas, TX Households
- Total Number of Households497,622
Family 285,891Non-family 211,731
Children 159,359No Children 338,263
- Average People Per Household2.58
- Median Household Income$47,285
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$978
Education in Dallas
Dallas is home to more than 300 public schools, 89 private schools, and dozens of colleges and universities. For kindergarten through 12th grade, most Dallas students are served by Dallas ISD. As for higher education, Dallas boasts the University of Dallas, Southern Methodist University, Dallas Baptist University, UNT Dallas, UT Dallas, Texas Woman’s University and more.
Dallas, TX Education Statistics
- No High School12%
- Some High School34%
- Some College20%
- Associate Degree4%
- Bachelor Degree19%
- Graduate Degree10%
Tips for Renting in Dallas
Dallas offers tenants certain rights, including the protection from landlord retaliation. The city even has an ordinance on the books – “Retaliation Against Tenants Prohibited” – and offers a city attorney for any renters who feel they have been retaliated against. Before moving to Dallas, make sure you familiarize yourself with the Rights as a Tenant section on the Dallas City Hall website.
New Dallas residents should also note: life in Dallas is not like the Texas living you see in movies. Dallas is a highly-urban city, and living in Dallas proper can actually look more like New York than the farms and tumbleweeds you might be expecting!
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