It’s true what they say – everything’s bigger in Texas. Known for live music, rodeo culture, and BBQ, Texas is the second-largest state in the United States, with three of the 10 most populous cities in the nation – Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas – located here.
Texas Real Estate
The Census estimates the total population at 29.90 million as of July 2020. The state encompasses 678,052 square kilometers of desert valleys, desert grasslands, wooded mountain slopes, and scenic coastal areas.
But beyond the state’s geographical size and population, Texans are larger than life, with the kind of passion and warmth that’s hard to resist.
Texas is located in the south-central region of the U.S. It is bordered by the neighboring states of Arkansas to the northeast, Louisiana to the east, New Mexico to the west, and Oklahoma to the north.
It is also bordered by the Mexican Gulf to the southeast and the Mexican estados (states) of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas to the southwest.
It is accessible via 730 airports, including:
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport
- McAllen International Airport
The following interstate highways pass through Texas:
Regions and biggest cities
Texas is also divided into four Natural Regions based on topography:
- Great Plains
- Gulf Coastal Plains
- Interior Lowlands
- Basin and Range Province
A Natural Region is a distinct geographical area within the state based on climate, landforms, and flora and fauna. The state boasts hundreds of miles of pristine coastline along the Gulf of Mexico in addition to mountain peaks rising 9,000 feet above sea level.
Because of its natural bounty and diverse landscape, Lone Star State can be further divided into seven regions:
Big Bend Country – This remote region is home to Big Bend National Park, one of the largest national parks in the United States in addition to historic towns, luxury ranch resorts, vast canyons, and rock formations unique to Texas.
Hill Country – Texas’ wine country boasts of 16 acclaimed wine producers scattered across rolling terrain in addition to scenic hiking trails, campsites, and the famed batholiths of Enchanted Rock State Park.
South Texas Plains – The region extends from the urban sprawl of San Antonio, TX all the way to the mighty Rio Grande River, with rolling countryside, massive ranch properties like King Ranch and historic sites like The Alamo and Mission Trail situated in-between.
Panhandle Plains – Located in the northwestern portion of Texas, the Panhandle’s most distinctive geographical feature is the Palo Duro Canyon while cities like Abilene and Lubbock give the region its unique character and identity.
Gulf Coast – This region is known for nearly 600 miles of pristine shoreline along the Gulf Coast with nearby South Padre Island on the horizon as well as 308 birding sites across the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and major cities like Houston, TX.
Piney Woods – The region’s distinctive geographical features include the Big Thicket National Preserve and Caddo Lake, which give Piney Woods its lush forested landscape and forbidding cypress swamps.
Prairies and Lakes – This region is synonymous with the bustling Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex, but it has a calmer and more rugged side as seen in the forests and freshwater lakes of Dinosaur Valley State Park.
The biggest cities in Texas based on population include:
- Houston (approx. 2,320,268)
- San Antonio (approx. 1,547,253)
- Dallas (approx. 1,343,573)
- Austin (approx. 978,908)
- Fort Worth (approx. 909,585)
(Source: Texas Demographics by Cubit)
Overview of real estate market (statewide)
Texas is one of the most in-demand housing markets in the U.S. because of appreciation, affordability, career opportunities, weather, and quality of life. As a result, the real estate market consistently posts strong numbers, with home sales going up in major cities like Houston, Dallas, Austin, Arlington, and San Antonio.
The demand is primarily driven by out-of-state workers amidst reports of mid-sized to large companies relocating to Texas and bringing new jobs with them.
The housing stock is remarkably diverse, with condos, townhomes, and single-family homes. Popular home styles include Farmhouse, Contemporary, Craftsman, Tudor, Mid-Century Modern, Ranch, and Mediterranean, just to name a few.
Overview of real estate markets in key regions
- North Texas has strong home sales and low inventory, with homes selling faster than they can be built. Home values also continue to rise at a rate of 2% to 3% on average. It is one of the most desirable real estate markets in Texas with the DFW Metroplex attracting buyers and investors.
North Texas cities like Frisco, Denton, and Allen are also considered some of the best places to buy a home in the U.S. due to job growth, population growth, and lower foreclosure rates.
South Texas is one of the most desirable places to live in Lone Star State, with major cities like San Antonio seeing consistently strong sales.
Central Texas exhibits strong sales and shrinking inventory with major cities like Austin and nearby suburbs seeing double-digit increases in sales dollar volume and median homes prices in the past year.
East Texas is on an upward swing with in-migration, pent-up demand, and favorable interest rates driving sales. Supply is low due to the scarcity of construction materials. Cities like Tyler are seeing high demand due to their diversified local economies with not as much dependence on gas and oil, and with robust healthcare and education sectors.
West Texas has some of the hottest and more competitive housing markets in the nation, with Odessa and Wichita Falls seeing significant home price gains over the last few years.
For more information on Texas real estate, get in touch with GenStone Realty. We’re a boutique-style real estate company with a national reach.
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General cost of living
According to the Cost-of-Living Index, the average cost of living in Texas is 8% lower than the national average. There is no income state tax. The state also ranks 51st in terms of accessibility and affordability of healthcare in the nation.
Although the cost of living varies with each city, major cities like Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, and El Paso are 2.7% to 15.8% less expensive than comparable cities in the U.S. as per Salary.com’s 2020 calculations.
Although home values are steadily increasing, median home prices were roughly 9% lower than the national median in June 2020. Although homes are more expensive in major Texas cities, buyers generally get more square footage for their money.
It’s also favorable for renters, with the median monthly rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment roughly 11% lower than the national median.
Texas’ economy is worth an estimated $1.9 trillion and is the second-biggest in the nation, right after California. Over 100 of the largest corporations in the U.S. have their headquarters in Texas, including AT&T, Dell, and ExxonMobil. The presence of these companies stimulates job growth and attracts professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world.
The economy is largely driven by energy, manufacturing, business services, financial services, health, education, and trade, transportation, and utility (i.e. the “supersector”).
Weather by geographic region
Because of its diversity, Texas falls under three different climate zones, namely zones II, III, and IV. Certain counties and communities within the state can have their own sub-climates.
- West Texas and the Panhandle have a predominantly arid climate
- East Texas tends to be warm and humid for most of the year.
- Central Texas has a sub-humid, subtropical climate with warm summers and winters though the eastern section of the region is semi-arid.
- South Texas climate is varied with moderate temperatures and more rainfall in coastal regions and semi-arid climate patterns similar that of the Northern Plains further inland. Summers are usually hot and dry, and snowfall is rare.
- The Northern Plains of Texas is semi-arid and drought-prone while North Texas cities like Dallas have a humid subtropical climate.
Fun facts about Texas
- Austin, TX is nicknamed the “Live Music Capital of the World”
- Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco, TX in 1885 and the recipe is kept in two separate banks in Dallas, TX
- Texas has its own power grid, which was built during World War II
- The largest bat colony in North America counts over 20 million winged creatures among its ranks and is located in Bracken Cave Preserve in San Antonio, TX
- BBQ is prepared differently in each part of the state – South Texas is known for barbacoa (inspired by Carribean-style BBQ), East Texas is synonymous with chopped beef, West Texas grills meat over direct heat, and Central Texas cooks brisket slow and low over indirect heat (what most people would consider as “classic” Texas BBQ)
Texas’ recorded history begins with the arrival of Spanish missionaries who founded San Antonio, TX in 1718 with the Alamo as their administrative center. The French also settled some parts of the state, with René-Robert Cavelier forming a colony at Matagorda Bay in East Texas.
However, the ancestors of modern-day West Texas Native Americans are believed to have lived in the area as early as 37,000 years ago while Native Americans occupying East Texas were known to have established the Caddo confederacies with farms and villages for mutual protection.
The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 allowed the U.S. to claim lands as far as the Rio Grande but settled for the Sabine River as the formal western boundary of Louisiana Territory in 1819.
Pioneer and entrepreneur Moses Austin sought permission from the Spanish government to settle 300 families on a 200,000-acre land grant.
His son, Stephen Austin, sought Mexican approval of the grant following Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821 and settled the areas along the lower Brazos and Colorado rivers.
By 1832, these settlements grew into several colonies with over 8,000 residents. This growth, however, greatly reduced the number of inhabitants who claimed Mexican heritage, creating tensions with the Mexican government.
After the Texas Revolution, Lone Star State became an independent nation in 1836 before joining the U.S. on December 29, 1845. And the rest, they say, is history.
There are 1,029 public school districts and a total of 1,227 school districts in Texas as of 2015. The largest school district is Houston Independent School District (ISD) with 210,716 students followed by:
- Dallas ISD (159,487 students)
- Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (111,173 students)
- Northside ISD (101,549 students).
Nearly all Texas school districts are ISDs with the exception of Stafford Municipal School District.
ISDs are recognized as separate and independent from any municipality or county, with its own taxing authority and free of direct control from governmental entities.
Consolidated school districts, on the other hand, are school districts that have been formed from two or more smaller districts.
Top universities in Texas include:
- University of Texas at Austin
- Rice University
- University of Houston
- University of North Texas
- Baylor University
- Texas A&M University
Click here for more information on Texas schools.
Major parks and signature attractions
Texas is home to some of the most beautiful metropolitan, state, and national parks in the U.S., including:
- Zilker Metropolitan Park
- Big Bend State Park
- Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park
- Longhorn Caverns State Park
- Big Bend National Park
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
- Lost Maples State Natural Area
- Padre Island National Seashore
Iconic Texas landmarks, attractions, and historic sites include:
- The Alamo
- Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
- San Jacinto Monument
- San Antonio Riverwalk
- Natural Bridge Caverns
- Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden
- Cadillac Ranch
- Texas Capitol
- Space Center Houston
- Dallas Museum of Art
From luxury condos to sprawling ranch properties, there’s something for everyone in Texas. If you’re ready to explore your options, get in touch with GenStone Realty here. You can also reach us at 833.396.0092 and Info@GenStoneRealty.com.
If you have a problem, we have a solution – we’re a community-driven team of real estate professionals with a passion for helping clients find the perfect home. We offer personalized service and national reach. We can’t wait to start working with you.