Dallas: The Newcomer’s Guide to the City

Welcome to our city!

Did you know in 2017, Dallas was the fastest growing US city? So if you’ve been thinking of moving to the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area, know you’re in good company!

Of course, it’s always good to know as much as possible before moving to a new city. So we thought we’d put together a newcomer’s guide to help you out.

We’ll give you a brief history lesson on the city and then help you get settled.

The History of Dallas at a Glance

Spanish colonists weren’t the first people in the area (even the Caddo peoples were the successors to thousands of years of different cultures), but they claimed the Texas territory as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in the 18th century.

The Adams-Onis Treaty later helped to define the borders of New Spain in 1819, but 3 years later Mexico declared its independence.

Finally, in 1836, the Republic of Texas was formed. And in 1839, John Neely Bryan began planning to establish a settlement in the area that – when he returned 2 years after – became Dallas.

The rest, as they say, is history: the US annexed The Republic of Texas in 1845, Dallas County was formed a year later, and on February 2, 1856, Dallas became formally recognized as a city.

Dallas Property

Despite only getting 13th place in the LifeStorage list of the Top 10 Best Places to Live in Texas in 2018, we at Cre8stone honestly feel Dallas is a strong contender for first place.

Judging a city – especially one that forms an integral part in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex – by its property value is a slippery slope of sorts. Still, when moving to a new city, real estate is the biggest thing on the budget.

So, given the market’s propensity for fluctuation, we thought we’d cover this metric first.

If you take a look at property in Dallas, you’ll notice prices tend to fall anywhere from about $160,000 to as much as $1.7 million. That’s quite a wide range – and what you pay depends as much on the size of the property as the neighborhood it’s in.

The median home property value in Dallas is $214,700, which should give you a more concrete ballpark figure.

Neighborhoods 101

While this isn’t to say such a judgement is set in stone, or you might not find another neighborhood better suited to your needs, there are a few neighborhoods generally considered among the best.

We turned to Home Snacks to help us get a statistically accurate consensus on which Dallas neighborhoods those are, based on a slew of data.

Let’s have a look.

University Park

University Park’s median home value is a fair bit higher than the Dallas median – $1,176,311. It’s also a rather affluent area, with the median income at $198,578.

A University Park Home

Ironically, the neighborhood started out with utilities supplied by the Southern Methodist University it surrounds – and which gives it its name.

Highland Park

Once University Park had grown too large for SMU to continue supplying utilities (in 1924), Highland Park refused the neighborhood their request for annexation.

A Highland Park Home

But Highland Park itself hasn’t lost much through that decision, which was made based on the high costs annexation would entail.

Today, the median Highland Park home value rests at $1,383,288. It’s considered Dallas’s most affluent neighborhood thanks to the $197,247 median income and central location.

North Dallas

Map of North Dallas

A cluster of small towns and neighborhoods, North Dallas has such a communal spirit it’s easiest to think of it as a rather large neighborhood itself.

You do need to be careful when talking about North Dallas, though, as many still use the name to describe all suburbs and exurbs to the north of Dallas “proper,” which might lead to some confusion.

All confusion aside, North Dallas boasts a median income of $120,158 and a median home value of $466,340, making it more affordable for most than University Park and Highland Park.


Last, but by no means least on our list, is Bluffview.

A Bluffview home

This is where the “confusion” mentioned earlier comes into play, as Bluffview is technically situated in north Dallas. To make things a little more clear for you, its north Dallas descriptor is used in terms of being situated north of Dallas proper.

Bluffview has really climbed the ranks in terms of the best Dallas neighborhoods recently. The median home value in the area is $436,807, while median income is $114,929.

Best Places to Eat Out in Dallas

Let’s face it – when you just moved into a new place, you don’t feel like cooking after spending the day unpacking.

However, if you not only moved houses, but cities too, it can difficult to know where the best food is found.

Never fear. We turned to Tripadvisor to get a fair idea of the local restaurants with the best reputations:

  1. Pappas Bros. Steaks (4.5/5) – 10477 Lombardy Lane
  2. rise n°1 (4.5/5) – 5360 W Lovers Lane #220
  3. Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill (4.5/5) – 5000 Belt Line Road Ste 775
  4. Cafe 43 (4.5/5) – George W Bush Presidential Library, 2943 SMU Boulevard
  5. Uchi Dallas (4.5/5) – 2817 Maple Avenue, About Uchi Dallas
  6. Rodea Goat (4.5/5) – 1929 Market Center Boulevard, At Turtle Creek
  7. Eatzi’s Market & Bakery (4.5/5) – 3403 Oak Lawn Avenue
  8. Maple Leaf Diner (4.5/5) – 12817 Preston Road Ste 129
  9. E Bar Tex-Mex (4.5/5) – 1901 N Haskell Avenue Ste 120
  10. Truluck’s Seafood, Steak, and Crab House (4.5/5) – 2401 McKinney Avenue
Pappa Bros Steakhouse


The pool at the NYLO Hotel

BestPlaces.net gives Dallas a 7.1/10 comfort score for the metroplex’s climate, which is pretty good.

Once you move to Dallas, you can expect to enjoy the weather in April, May, and October the most. By contrast, July and August are generally considered to have the least comfortable climate.

A few quick highlights for you:

  • The highest average temperature belongs to July, at about 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In January, Dallas experiences its lowest temperatures, which average at around 36 degrees
  • You can expect 39 inches of rain over about 78 days of the year (as well as 1.2 inches of snow)
  • For the remaining 234 days in the year, you can expect sunshine to abound

As you can well imagine, that makes Dallas a great city for hosting BBQs and pool parties!

Population Statistics in Dallas

Earlier, we mentioned Dallas had become the fastest growing US city back in 2017 (9.5% growth from 2010 to 2019). And being a metroplex spanning multiple counties, Dallas certainly is huge (fourth largest in the nation).

But just how big is it in terms of population? Well, according to the latest data, there are over 1.3 million residents in Dallas proper, with a population density of 3,828 people per square mile. DFW as a whole has about 7.5 million residents.

Most of the residents in the city of Dallas are single (56.5%), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a family-friendly city. Demographics are also a little more even than in many other Texas cities:

  • 41.7% Hispanic
  • 29.1% white
  • 24% black
  • 3.3% Asian
  • 1.8% “other” or “two or more races” combined
  • 0.1% Native American
  • 50.4% female (compared to the national statistic of 50.8%)
  • 49.6% male (compared to the national statistic of 40.92%)

The Local Economy

Credit to howmuch.net

Dallas has a very good economy. Back in 2017, the only city with a higher job growth rate was Atlanta. And it’s still going strong 2 years later. It’s also has the fifth highest metropolitan GDP in the US.

Despite being such a huge area, the recorded unemployment rate is solid: only 3.6%, as opposed to the US average of 3.9%.

After all, with all those people moving in and helping to fulfill some roles while creating others, the local job market enjoyed an annual job market growth of about 3.3%. That figure is estimated to total 45.1% over the next decade, which is streaks ahead of the national average.

If you’re moving to Dallas from out of state, you should know Texas has some very unique taxation.

There’s absolutely zero Income Tax Rate, but you do pay 8.3% Sales Rate Tax. Property tax is also one of the highest in America, so bear that in mind when looking at properties.

That should always be remembered when considering the median income in Dallas rests at a comfortable $27,917/year, only slightly lower than the US average.

Moving to Dallas – the Cost of Living

Okay – if you’ve ever paid any attention to basic economics, you’ll know a city’s cost of living can make the difference in deciding whether to live there.

dolla dolla bill y’all

So if you’re looking for a destination with a lower cost of living rate than the national average (and have the luxury of choosing where you move, as opposed to doing so for work), you should know Dallas isn’t exactly cheap.

When comparing the cost of living, we speak in relation to the national average, which is represented as 100. A score lower than that equals cheaper, while anything above 100 is relatively expensive.

Dallas has a cost of living rating of 107.7, with housing being the biggest factor.

Here are a few exact figures to help you understand how Dallas compares to the average American city:

  • Grocery – 92.9
  • Health – 94.5
  • Housing – 100.4 (to be fair, this is only 0.4 higher than the national average; but it’s more considerably higher than the 98.9 Texas cost of living score)
  • Utilities – 100
  • Transportation – 138.7 (Dallas is certainly one of the most expensive cities in terms of transport, which we’ll take a better look at in the next section)
  • Miscellaneous – 105.2 (almost 10 higher than the state average of 96.4)

Feeling a little worried because you have a house in mind already, but you’d still like to put in some stone overlays?

Rest assured – Cre8stone specializes in a no tear out method that saves time as well as cost. And we pass those savings on to you! Get a free estimate today if you already moved in.

Transport in Dallas

Nobody enjoys sitting in traffic. Unfortunately, in a metropolitan area with a booming economy and massive population, traffic isn’t merely inevitable in Dallas – it’s pretty much par for the course.

That said, the average commute time (one way) isn’t all that bad: 27 minutes (compare that to the national average of 26 minutes).

Of course, if you choose to join 76.2% of the city’s population by driving solo, or the 11.3% who carpool, you’re going to experience that traffic first hand. Surprisingly, only 4.6% work from home and 4.2% use the extensive public transport services available.

Are We Looking Forward to Welcoming You to Dallas?

Here at Cre8stone, we welcome the opportunity to help our valued customers, new and old. Dallas is one of our favorite cities – but of course, we’re more than just a little biased there!

Nevertheless, we hope as someone who might be moving to Dallas (or has recently done so), you found this newcomer’s guide helpful.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping to turn your creative visions into reality, both at home and at your place of business.

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