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Moving to Texas? What Y’All Need to Know

Is everyone moving to Texas? No, but it sure seems that way.

Learn the best places to move in Texas, learn how to shop for electricity in Texas, and figure out the Texas driver’s license and registration process. Plus “Moving to Texas” memes just for fun!

Contents
1. Why is Everyone Moving to Texas?
2. What are the Best Places to Move to in Texas?
3. What’s Different in Texas Than the Rest of the Country?
4. How to Shop for an Electricity Plan in Texas
5. How to Find Apartment Electricity
6. Should I Take my Electricity Plan with Me? (I already live in Texas)
7. How Much Does Electricity Cost in Texas?
8. Moving To Texas – Texas Driver’s License and Registration
9. Save on All Your Home Utility Bills
10. Moving to Texas Memes

Why is Everyone Moving to Texas?

Everyone isn’t moving to Texas. It just seems that way. Texas is the number 2 destination for moves in the country, after Florida.

Among re-locators coming from other states, there are more Californians moving to Texas than from any other state. In 2017, 63, 000 people from California moved to Texas, making it the top move destination for folks leaving the Gold Coast for the Gulf Coast.

Why are people moving from California to Texas? And what are the top reasons to move to Texas overall? Top reasons include:

  1. Employment opportunities
  2. Low cost of living
  3. Low cost of housing
  4. No state income taxes

Basically, it’s about financial opportunity — it’s why early american settlers moved to Texas in the first place.

So if you are wondering, “should I move to Texas,” the answer is yes.
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What are the Best Places to Move to in Texas?

Whether you are moving to Houston Texas, moving to Dallas Texas or moving someplace in between, quality of life and quality schools are usually a consideration if you are moving with a family.

Both cities (and Fort Worth Texas, Dallas’s close neighbor) have vibrant downtown and close-in housing, but both also offer an array of nearby suburbs.

Here’s our list of the 15 best places to move in Texas and why:

Coppell is located between Dallas and Fort Worth, just north of Irving and DFW International Airport. You can get a good idea of the happenings and real estate prices by checking out Coppell Bubble Life (and if that doesn’t sound like an ideal suburb, we don’t know what does.) Nearby Grapevine, Farmers Branch and Carrollton are other good options. (zip codes 75019, 75099)

Cypress The Cypress area ranks 50th in the top 100 highest-income urban areas in the United States. Located 24 miles northwest of Houston, Cypress offers an award winning school district, and a variety of master planned communities. (zip codes 77429, 77433)

Frisco is the place if you are looking for a small big city in the Dallas area. Frisco is perennially one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and was named the Best Place to Live in America by Money Magazine. Nearby Little Elm, Texas is no slouch either, having grown 80% from 2010 to 2018. Either town will give you around a 30-45 minutes commute to downtown. Frisco also has great shopping, dining, and entertainment options. (zip codes 75033, 75034, 75035, 75036)

Fulshear is the fastest growing city in Texas, growing from population 800 in 2010 to over 6000 people in 2018. Located at the end of the Westpark Tollway (a direct shot into Houston) and Highway 99 (Houston’s outer loop), this little big town gives you a taste of country living without sacrificing major amenities. (zip codes 77406, 77423, 77441, 77471, 77494)

Humble (pronounced ‘Umble) is often overlooked due to rapid building on the west and northwest side of Houston. However, the City of Humble gives great access to Intercontinental Airport, has lower home prices than the west side, and has proximity to Lake Houston. Master-planned communities Kingwood and Attascocita are just north and east of Humble and should also be on your list. Relocating to Humble, Kingwood or Attascocita will also give you access to a large number of golf courses. (zip codes 77338, 77347, 77396, 77325, 77339, 77345, 77346, 77044, 77338)

Katy is one of the fastest growing suburban areas of Houston, offering small town charm with big city convenience. You’ll hear the name Katy applied to many areas, like Cinco Ranch, Seven Meadows, Grand Lakes and Cane Island, which are all neighborhoods in the Greater Katy area. The City of Katy itself has approximately 18,000 residents, while the Greater Katy area has over 300,000 residents living within the Katy Independent School District. Want to learn more? This resource reviews Katy neighborhoods, schools and amenities. (zip codes 77449, 77450, 77493, 77494)

Killeen, in central Texas, is #90 on US News’ list of best places to live in the US. It’s a popular relocation area for military families due to the location of Fort Hood. If you are military, be sure to check out military discounts on electricity when you move in! Nearby Waco is the closest metropolitan area. For even more nightlife, it’s just a 1.5 hour drive into Austin. Hood Homes Blog is a great resource when you are starting your Ft. Hood/Killeen relocation search. (zip codes 76541, 76542, 76543, 76544, 76548 76549)

Lewisville is another popular suburb of the Dallas area. Lewisville will celebrate 100 years in 2025, and is pursuing green and sustainability initiatives across the city as a way to enhance the community. Lewisville Lake offers boating and recreation to residents. Or get a taste of cowboy life by attending their annual Western Days festival. Plus, since it’s directly north of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, you have easy access for business or leisure travel. (zip codes 75029, 75057, 75067, 75077)

McKinney  is one of the most popular suburbs of the Dallas area, according to Dallas CultureMap.  Located just 30 miles north of Dallas, McKinney’s gently rolling hills, tree-lined neighborhoods, historic downtown and beautiful parks give the city a quaint, small town feel, with all the amenities of the big city. (zip codes 75069, 75070, 75071, 75072)

North Richland Hills or NRH as many call it, is nestled just 10 miles north of Fort Worth. In NRH, you’ll get the benefits of easy access to city life, with the feel of a small town. A big plus for this little city is its housing affordability … plus we like the local water park, NRH2O! (zip codes 76180, 76182)

Odessa, in west Texas, is the hub of the latest shale oil boom in Texas and one of the fastest growing cities in the US. You may hear people say Midland-Odessa, as if it’s one and the same. They are neighboring towns that have both experienced the oil and drilling boom.  If you are moving to this area, you may find housing in short supply  and construction very active!  (zip codes 79761, 79762, 79763, 79764, 79765, 79766)

Richmond/Rosenberg is actually 2 cities, but so often mentioned together it seems like one. Richmond is the county seat of Fort Bend, the most demographically diverse county in the United States. Neighboring Rosenberg is the home of the George Ranch Historical Park and Brazos Bend State Park. Both are near the City of Sugar Land which offers sweet (pardon the pun) shopping areas, dining and the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball team. Just up the road you’ll find the Stafford Center concert venue in Stafford, Texas. HoustonProperties is a great resource for more information on Fort Bend relocation. (zip codes 77406, 77407, 77469, 77471)

Rockwall offers a quick 25 mile commute to Dallas, plus the luxury of lakeside living. Trails, parkland, and even a local winery add to the charm of this town. Relax on the weekend by booking a sunset cruise on a catamaran. There are a number of neighborhoods and communities to consider in the Rockwall area. (zip codes 75032, 75087)

Spring is a northern suburb of Houston that offers both master-planned communities and traditional housing. Old Town Spring offers a quaint shopping and dining district, plus seasonal festivals. This large community north of Houston crosses 5 different school districts and has acres of open parkland to discover. (zip codes 77373, 77379, 77380, 77381, 77382 77386, 77388, 77389)

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What’s Different in Texas Than the Rest of the Country?

Unless it’s rodeo season, you won’t find Texans walking around with spurs and 10-gallon hats. What you will find is a very different way of buying electricity for your home.

In Texas, electricity is deregulated. Not only that, it’s deregulated in a different way than the rest of the country.

In regulated areas of the country, you aren’t allowed to choose a supplier at all, so this may be very foreign to you. In other deregulated areas of the country, like Ohio or Connecticut, you can choose your supplier for your electricity, but the local utility company delivers the power and continues to send your bill. If you don’t choose a supplier, you continue to receive electricity from the local utility company.

But in deregulated areas of Texas, you must choose a Retail Electricity Provider or REP. Your local utility company (poles & wires company) can’t supply your electricity for your home.

Once you choose a REP, that REP will bill you for all delivery charges from the local utility, plus your electricity supply. The local utility company will handle any power outages and read your meter.

Your realtor may recommend a specific retail electricity provider. But just remember, you have 40+ retail energy companies you can pick from to get the best electricity rate in Texas. Make sure you use your power to choose your provider.

If this sounds scary, don’t worry, you’ve got this. Just keep reading.

Note: Certain areas of Texas are still regulated. This includes El Paso, San Antonio, Austin and Beaumont. Want to know if you can choose your electricity supplier where you are moving? Enter your zip code on the ElectricityPlans.com site.
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How to Shop for an Electricity Plan in Texas

If you want a full rundown of how to shop for electricity, see our Definitive Guide to Shopping for Electricity in Texas. But here’s a quickie overview of how to shop for an electricity provider in Texas.

What kind of electricity plan is best for me?

When you are moving into a new home, we recommend a simple fixed rate plan. This secures your energy rate for the term of your contract agreement. It’s the simplest type of electricity plan, especially since you don’t know how much electricity you will use in your home.

You may be able to get electricity usage information for your home from your realtor or your apartment manager. However, around 50% of your electricity bill in Texas will be for heating and cooling. And you may use your A/C differently from the prior owner/tenant. Once you do understand your electricity usage better, you may prefer a free electricity plan, such as free nights electricity or free weekends electricity.

What should I look out for when shopping for electricity?

When you are shopping, watch out for introductory rates, or electricity rates that are substantially lower than other offers. Always read the fine print, to make sure you understand what you are signing up for. When you use ElectricityPlans.com to shop for your Texas electricity plan, we summarize all of the plan details for you.

What are TDU delivery charges?

TDU stands for Transmission and Distribution Utility. Your TDU is the company that maintains the poles and wires and reads your meter. You’ll pay TDU delivery charges no matter which electricity provider you’re with. Some will show these bundled with your electricity rates, others will pass these charges on to you as a line item on your bill.

What are my choices for electricity providers in Texas?

Here’s a list of the major electricity providers in Texas. There are over 45 electricity companies to choose from in Texas. Offers vary from fixed rate plans, variable month to month plans, free electricity at certain times, pre-paid electricity and plans with free gadgets like a smart WiFi thermostat or home hub.

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How to Find Apartment Electricity

Apartment electricity is no different than shopping for other electricity in Texas, other than usage.

Because your square footage is smaller than with a house, your usage will likely be lower. You will want to watch out for electricity plans that have base charges or minimum usage fees, as those charges will drive up your average price per kilowatt hour. We’ve made it easy by highlighting plans that are especially good for apartment dwellers.

When you apply for electricity service with any retailer (whether a house or an apartment), you will need to pass a credit check. After paying your apartment deposit and first month’s rent, it’s no fun being hit with a deposit for electricity.

If your credit is over 600, you’ll be approved with no problem. If your credit is below 600, you may be required to pay a deposit.

To avoid a deposit, you should consider pre-paid electricity plans instead. With these plans, you will pre-pay around $30-$40 to start your electricity. You’ll receive text messages letting you know your balance, and reminders to add money to your account. And, there are fixed rate pre-paid plans too, so you won’t have to worry about your provider raising your rate every month.
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Should I Take my Electricity Plan with Me? (I already live in Texas)

Most of this article assumes you are moving to Texas. But, if you already live in Texas, you have a decision to make when you move. You can take your electricity plan with you, or you can shop. Even if you are in a contract for your electricity, moving to a new home triggers a legal out for you.

Yup, moving to a new home allows you to cancel your electricity contract with no penalty.

PRO TIP: Shop electricity rates and compare them to the contract rate you currently have. Depending on when you signed up for service, your rate may be higher or lower than current offers. If it’s higher, definitely shop. And if it’s lower, transfer the electricity contract you have and mark your calendar to start shopping for electricity 60 days prior to your contract expiration.

electricity plan stuck in contract
Don’t feel boxed in with your electricity contract. You don’t have to take it with you.

If you want to transfer your electricity contract to your new home, your best approach is to log in to your account online, or go to your REP’s website. That way you can schedule the service stop at your old house, and easily schedule the service start date at your new home. You can schedule a transfer up to 60 days out, and can usually overlap service at the two locations if needed.

If you want to cancel your current electricity contract and shop, all you need to do is let your current REP know that you are moving out of your home. You can usually do this online, to make it easy on yourself. You’ll need to provide proof of move (usually just by typing in your forwarding address) and the date you are moving out. They will automatically waive your cancellation fee, if applicable. TIP: watch for your final bill and make sure they didn’t accidentally charge the early termination fee.

Once you have scheduled the cancellation or “move-out” of your old home, you will want to shop for electricity in your new home.
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How Much Does Electricity Cost in Texas?

The average price per kWh in Texas is 11.69¢ per kWh, according to the EIA (October 2018). But how much you pay per kilowatt hour will depend on the electricity plan you select.

Your electricity bill is a function of the price you pay for electricity (supply and delivery) and how much you use. The Texas average electricity usage is 1100 kWh per month. But your usage will vary by the size and age of your home, number of occupants, and other factors.

Also, be aware that electricity usage in Texas is driven by Texas heat and, for the Gulf Coast, humidity. Air conditioning season runs roughly half the year. During July, August and September, your electricity use can be nearly three times as high as it is during other months.

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Moving To Texas – Texas Driver’s License and Registration

Once you’ve moved to Texas, you will need to get a Texas car registration and Texas driver’s license, in that order. Add it to your “Moving to Texas Checklist.”

You have 30 days to register your car and 90 days to get a new driver’s license.

Here’s how to get your Texas driver’s license and Texas car registration:

First, Texas Vehicle Registration. You must register your vehicle before you can apply for a Texas Driver License from the Texas DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles. To register your car in Texas you will need:

  • Proof of Insurance.  In Texas, you must show you have insurance coverage for a minimum of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage. If your insurance is still set up in a different state, you should bring the whole policy document with you.
  • Proof of Vehicle Inspection. You can get an inspection at many locations across the state. You will need to show proof of insurance to receive an inspection and
  • Proof of Ownership. This can be the title, or your registration from another state.

Take all that paperwork to the County Tax Office for the county that you reside in. The DMV’s website is easy to navigate if you need additional information.

texas drivers license

Then, Get Your Texas Driver’s License. You will go to the the Texas DPS or Department of Public Safety to get your driver’s license. To receive your Texas driver’s license, apply in person at any of the DPS locations. Some licensing centers will allow you to set an appointment online to hold your place in line. That will save you time, so you can get back to unboxing your new home! Here’s what you will need for a new Texas driver’s license:

  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or, if you are not a U.S. Citizen, evidence of lawful presence
  • Proof of Texas Residency, Identity and Social Security Number
  • Your valid license from the state in which you previously resided. You will need to surrender this if you want to avoid retaking your driving exam.
  • Evidence of Texas Vehicle Registration for each vehicle you own (if you do not own a vehicle you will sign a statement affirming this)
  • Proof of Insurance for each vehicle you own (again, if you do not own a vehicle you will sign a statement affirming this)
  • A completed Texas driver’s license application. You can find and download the Application for Texas Driver License or ID Card to save time.
  • $25 application fee

You can find a full list of the Texas drivers license document requirements online, so you make sure you bring the right paperwork.

Lastly, Register to Vote.  One additional step. Didn’t make an online appointment for your driver’s license? While you’re waiting in line at the DPS, read up on how to register to vote in Texas. Registering is easy – fill out an application, print it off, and send it in with a photo copy of your new Texas driver’s license.
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Save on All Your Home Utility Bills

When you are moving into your home in Texas, you will also be setting up other utilities. Cable, phone, water, electricity all need to be set up in your new home.

In addition to our guide for shopping for electricity in Texas, we’ve also written the Ultimate Guide for Save on Utility and Household Bills. In it, you’ll find tips on how to save money at home with all of your utility bills.
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Moving to Texas Memes

Once you move to Texas, you’ll find things are a little different. But like everywhere, we like to laugh at ourselves and enjoy the things that makes Texas unique.

These memes make moving to Texas fun. Enjoy!

(Want more? Here’s a whole page of Texas Memes!)