Moving to Dallas-Fort Worth can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you are new to Texas. Everything really IS bigger and better in Texas, including the list of reasons to live here — a rich history, a diverse community, amazing culture, fantastic career opportunities, beautiful weather, and perhaps best of all, the ability to live in a small town and still experience everything that a world-class metropolis has to offer.

(Although for some, the best part is not having to pay income tax in the State of Texas.)

To make things easier, we have put together this Guide to Moving to Dallas-Fort Worth 

Dallas-Fort Worth By the Numbers

Here are a few statistics about the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex:

  • Population: 7,573,136 (1 in Texas, #4 in the U.S.)
  • Economy: The 2020 GDP was $620.6 billion, the 20th-largest economy in the world.
  • Number of Fortune 500 companies: 22, the 4th-highest concentration in the U.S.
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.0 versus 6.1 U.S. (as of May 2021)
  • Median Household Income: $72,265 versus $65,712 U.S.
  • Median Home Sale Price: $351,750, up 11.8% over 2020 (as of June 2021)

Why Should You Move to Dallas-Fort Worth?

Several of the cities in and around Dallas are consistently included in many annual “Best of” lists:

Dallas

Fort Worth

Arlington

Plano

Garland

Irving

Frisco

McKinney

Grand Prairie

Denton

What Are the Neighborhoods Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington? 

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is a huge metropolitan area that sprawls across nearly 9300 square miles. There are literally hundreds of individual residential neighborhoods, each with its own unique history, culture, and amenities.

To make things much simpler, here are the major neighborhoods in the two biggest cities, Dallas and Fort Worth, and links to their respective neighborhood or homeowner’s associations. We present these with one important caveat — NOTHING beats seeing these neighborhoods for yourself. After you have narrowed down your choices as to where to buy or build a home in DFW, take some time to explore your options in person.

NOTE: Homes without homeowner or neighborhood associations are not listed.

Dallas

North Dallas

Bent Tree 75370

Devonshire 75209

Elm Thicket/Northpark 75219

Greenway Parks 75225

Preston Hollow 75230

Vickery Meadow 75231

Northeast Dallas

Chimney Hill 75243

Copperfield 75206

Country Forest-Jackson Meadows 75374

Highlands West 75231

Highland Meadows 75238

L Streets 75238

Lake Highlands Estates 75238

Lake Highlands North 75238

Merriman Park Estates 75231

Merriman Park/University Manor 75231

Moss Farm 75374

Northwood Hills 75380

Oak Highlands 75321

Oak Tree Village 75243

Pebble Creek 75231

Richland Park Estates 75081

Rolling Trails 75243

Town Creek 75243

Whispering Hills 75243

White Rock Valley 75201

Woodbridge 75243

University Terrace 75360

Urban Reserve 75243

Far North Dallas

Preston Highlands 75093

Melshire Estates 75230

Northwood Hills 75380

Oak Cliff Area

Beckley Club 75201

Elmwood 75211

Glen Oaks 75232

Kessler Park 75201

Kidd Springs 75203

Lake Cliff 75201

L.O. Daniel 75208

Stevens Park 75208

Tenth Street Freedman’s Town 75203

Winnetka Heights 75208

Wynnewood 75208

South Dallas

Bonton 75215

Parkdale 75227

Fair Park / Old South Dallas

Dolphin Heights 75223

Mill City 75210

South Boulevard Park Row 75215

Wheatley Place 75215

East Dallas

Alger Park/Ash Creek 75228

Belmont 75206

Buckner Terrace 75227

Casa Linda 75218

Casa View 75201

Claremont 75228

Eastwood 75218

Forest Hills 75218

Greenland Hills 75206

Hollywood Heights-Santa Monica 75214

Junius Heights 75214

Lake Park Estates 75218

Lakewood 75214

Lakewood Heights 75206

Lakewood Trails 75214

Little Forest Hills 75218

Lochwood 75218

Lower Greenville 75372

North Stonewall Terrace 75206

Old Lake Highland 75238

Ridgewood Park 75382

University Meadows 75214

Vickery Place 75372

White Rock 75214

Wilshire Heights 75214

Old East Dallas

Bryan Place 75204

Munger Place Historic District 75201

Peak’s Addition 75201

Swiss Avenue Historic District 75214

West Dallas

La Bajada 75212

Ledbetter Gardens 75212

Los Altos 75212

Westmoreland Heights 75212

Fort Worth

North

Crawford Farms 76244

Fossil Creek 76106

Harvest Ridge 76244

Heritage 76244

Lake Country 76179

Marine Creek Meadows 76135

Northside 76106

Park Glen 76137

River Oaks 76114

Riverside 76111

Rolling Meadows 76244

Sansom Park 76111

Summerfields 76131

Timberland Estates 76244

Woodland Springs 76244

Central

Berkeley Place 76110

Fairmount 76110

Mistletoe Heights 76110

Ryan Place 76110

South

Bluebonnet Place 76109

Hallmark-Camelot 76134

Candleridge 76133

Greenbriar 76137

Hulen Heights 76107

East

Eastern Hills 76124

Haltom City 76117

Handley 76124

Meadowbrook 76103

Stop Six 76105

Woodhaven 76112

West

Alamo Heights 76107

Arlington Heights 76107

Bomber Heights 76116

Lake Como 76185

Lake Worth 76135

Montserrat 76126

North Benbrook 76132

Ridglea 76116

Ridglea Hills 76116

Ridglea North 76116

Ridgmar 76116

Ventana 76126

Western Hills 76116

Westover Hills 76107

Westworth Village 76114

Neighborhoods in Major Suburbs

If you are considering buying or building a home in a DFW suburb, here are links to the names of the neighborhoods in the largest local cities, as listed by Neighborhoods.com:

How Is the Job Market in Dallas-Fort Worth? 

When it comes to the job market in DFW, the news is very encouraging.

As of July 2021, the unemployment rate in DFW is barely above that of the United States as a whole and significantly lower than that of the State of Texas.

Here’s where DFW cities are today, compared to a year ago:

  • Dallas: 5.4% (July 2021) versus 8.4% (August 2020)
  • Fort Worth: 6.7% versus 7.9%
  • Arlington: 6.6% versus 7.7%
  • Irving: 6.0% versus 7.9%
  • Plano: 5.0% versus 6.3%
  • Garland: 5.9% versus 7.3%
  • Frisco: 4.3% versus 5.5%
  • Grand Prairie: 6.6% versus 8.1
  • Denton: 5.5 versus 6.3

To put those numbers in comparison, the current unemployment rate in the United States is 5.4%, while that of Texas is 6.2%.

What are the Top Industries in DFW?

According to the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, which supports economic development for all of North Texas, DFW has a very diverse industrial structure, meaning employment is distributed among several sectors, rather than disproportionately concentrated on a few types of industries.

In fact, the DRC notes that DFW has the third-most diverse industry among all U.S. metros.

The key DFW industry super sectors are:

  • Advanced Services — Corporate headquarters, management control, corporate support services, financial services, consulting, insurers, legal services, etc.

Nearly two dozen Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in the Dallas area, including 3 in the top 10.

Over 52,000 advanced services establishments provide approximately 700,000 local jobs.

  • Aviation and Aerospace — Two major airlines are headquartered locally — American Airlines in Fort Worth and Southwest Airlines in Dallas. There are over 600 aerospace companies in DFW, providing more than 90,000 jobs.
  • Financial Activities — DFW is one of the major financial hubs in the country. There are over 12,000 local establishments dealing with finance, investing, credit, or insurance, providing more than 250,000 jobs.
  • Food — DFW has been a food hub for more than 100 years, and major companies such as Frito-Lay, Borden, Jamba Juice, Sysco, Anaheuser-Busch, and many others has established headquarters or significant operations locally.

In total, 15,000 establishments provide approximately 370,000 jobs.

  • Health Care — Dallas is home to national-rated institutions such as Baylor Medical Center, University of Texas Medical Center, and the burn unit at Parkland Hospital, as well as numerous other premier hospitals, health care facilities, research programs, and medical equipment manufacturers.

Over one million  people are employed in medicine or related health care fields in DFW.

  • High Tech — DFW has the sixth-highest concentration  of high-tech jobs in the United States, and is a growing center for such emerging technologies as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, next-generation wireless broadband, bioscience, and medical technology.

There are approximately 330,000 people employed in high-tech jobs in DFW.

  • Hospitality — DFW is the most-visited metro in the State of Texas and is a major hub for sporting events, concerts, conventions, and entertainment, as well as the home of the Texas State Fair.

Year-over-year, the leisure and hospitality super sector in DFW saw an employment increase of over 80%.

  • Life Sciences — This industry is dominated locally by medical device manufacturing, optical technology, and pharmaceuticals. Core strengths of the DFW life sciences industry includes research involving cancer, neurology, the brain, and dental health.

More than 1200 local establishments provide over 27,000 life science jobs in DFW.

  • Logistics — Thanks to its central location, DFW offers outstanding shipping and distribution services with easy access to rail, air, and trucking. The Alliance Global  Logistic Hub is the premier inland port in the country.

The DFW logistics industry provides more than 300,000 local jobs.

  • Manufacturing — DFW has more manufacturing activity than any other metropolitan area in the state. Local plants include Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Mary Kay, Louis Vuitton, and many others.

The nearly 7000 manufacturing establishments provide over 287,000 manufacturing jobs in DFW.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Dallas?

Let’s compare regular expenses in Dallas, specifically to New York City and San Francisco, two cities that send thousands of people to Dallas every year.

Median household income for San Francisco is $96 265, for New York City $107,400, and for Dallas $85,982.

Dallas versus San Francisco

Overall 45% lower

Housing: 66% lower

Transportation: 30% lower

Food: 21% lower

Entertainment: 20% lower

Healthcare: 15% lower

Dallas versus New York City (Manhattan)

Overall 565% lower

Housing: 78% lower

Transportation: 23% lower

Food: 29% lower

Entertainment: 20% lower

Healthcare: 2% lower

Taxes

Dallas’ highest sales tax is 8.25%, and in some areas, is just 6.25% compared to 8.875% in New York City and 8.5% in San Francisco. 

Texas has NO state income tax, while the average in California is 7.75% — the highest in the nation. At  5.99% New York’s average is 8th-highest.

The tax climate inTexas is very attractive to businesses because there is no corporate tax. California, on the other hand, charges 8.84%, while New York State charges 7.1%.

Conversely, Texas has the highest property tax among the three — 1.81%, compared to just .74% in California and 1.35% in the State of New York.

Due primarily to special state excise taxes, a gallon of gas is only $2.83 in Texas, compared to $4.40 in California and $3.22 in New York State, while a pack of cigarettes can be as high as $6.37, $8.31, and $12.85, respectively.

Is Dallas-Fort Worth Good for Families?

Families who are new to the area will find a lot to like about Dallas-Fort Worth, especially if they choose the right neighborhood to buy or build a house.

  • Highly-ranked schools
  • Colleges — There are 48 colleges and universities in the DFW area, giving it the highest concentration of any Texas metro.
  • Religion — Among all U.S. metros, Dallas has the highest percentage of Christians.
  • Parks — There are more than 1000 public parks in DFW. In fact, Dallas has the second-most greenspace per person among major U.S. cities.
  • Culture — Dallas is ranked #19 among the “most-cultured cities” in America, with 35 museums and 248 recreational/cultural attractions.
  • Cuisine — In 2019, Dallas was named the “Top Restaurant City” in the U.S.
  • Sports — Home to six major league pro teams and multiple championships, Dallas is a past recipient of the Sporting News “Top Sports City” award.

Top DFW Attractions

Dallas-Fort Worth is home to world-class attractions suitable for every interest, including:

Is Dallas-Fort Worth a Good Place To Retire?

In February 2021, Travel + Leisure included the Dallas-Fort Worth area on its list of the 11 Best Cities to Retire. DFW was the only Texas location that made the list

Why is DFW so attractive to retirees?

With zero income tax, including on retirement income, and low city/state tax rates retirees can make their money stretch much further.

The actual climate in North Texas is also a major draw. Warm weather and mild winters encourage an active lifestyle. The Dallas Parks System maintains nearly 400 parks totalling over 20,000 acres. The Dallas Trail Plan has almost 160 miles of trails suitable for hiking or biking.

It also helps that DFW has one of the finest health care systems in America, with multiple hospitals ranked highly in both the state and nationally.

Finally, the many smaller suburbs and close-knit neighborhoods offer the feel of small-town connections with all the amenities of the nearby big city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Dallas-Fort Worth

Pros:

  • Job Market — Low unemployment, diverse industries, major corporations
  • Favorable tax climate
  • Lower Cost of Living — Especially when compared to cities in California or New York.
  • Schools that are among the best in the country.
  • Mild Winters — DFW enjoys an average of 232 sunny days.
  • DFWs central location puts it within just a few hours’ driving distance of many other major cities — .Austin 182 miles, Oklahoma City 190 miles, Houston 239 miles, San Antonio 275 miles, Little Rock 293 miles, Baton Rouge 370 miles, and Topeka 437 miles.
  • World-class medical facilities
  • Great dining
  • Diverse culture
  • Fantastic shopping experiences
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts and plays

Cons:

  • Moderately-high property taxes
  • The inventory of homes for sale is very low in some neighborhoods, especially within the City of Dallas. This is why many people buy or build a home in a DFW suburb.
  • Long, hot summers.
  • High crime in some areas.
  • Many areas are car-dependent.

Fun Facts about Dallas-Fort Worth

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has a long and rich history that gives “The Big D” a character unlike any other metro.

  • The frozen margarita was invented in Dallas. The original machine now sits in the Smithsonian Museum
  • Other Dallas inventions include the microchip, the ATM. German Chocolate Cake, and the shopping center.
  • 60% of all paper money in America is printed in Fort Worth.
  • The term “Super Bowl” was coined by Dallas native Lamar Hunt, who founded and owned the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Hunt is also a member of THREE sport Halls of Fame — football, tennis, and soccer.
  • 7-11 — the country’s first convenience store — was founded in Dallas, way back in 1927 as “Tote-Em”.
  • More popcorn is eaten in DFW than anywhere else.
  • DFW Airport is larger than Manhattan.
  • It also contains the world’s largest parking lot.
  • The Dallas Arts District is the biggest in the country.
  • The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were the first professional squad.
  • During World War II, White Rock Lake was a POW camp for German soldiers. 

Famous people from DFW include:

  • Singers John Denver,  Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, Norah Jones, Lisa Loeb, Demi Lovato, Meat Loaf, LeAnn Rimes, Jessica Simpson, Usher, and Vanilla Ice
  • Actors Katre Capshaw, Morgan Fairchild, Peri Gilpin, Luke and Owen Wilson, Robin Wright, and Ginger Rogers.
  • President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush
  • Outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker
  • Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald

The Bottom Line About Moving to Dallas-Fort Worth

DFW is a sprawling and vibrant community that offers endless opportunities for newcomers and transplants from out-of-state. Considering the strong job market, the very affordable cost of living, the rich and diverse culture, the warm, sunny weather, and the friendly neighborhoods, Dallas-Fort Worth should be strongly considered as your next move.