Dallas is a modern city located in northern Texas. The cost of living in Dallas sits 2% above the national average.
It is often regarded as the cultural hub of northern Texas and has a population of about 1.3 million.
There has been an ever-growing migration to Dallas from other parts of the country due to its booming economy and job market, offering employment to thousands of people. Paired with the reasonable cost of living, many consider it the ideal place to settle down.
In this article we will look at some of the major living costs in Dallas; what you can expect to pay, and how to save money if you are living in the Texan metropolis.
Cost Of Living In Dallas
The housing costs in Dallas tilt to the higher end of the scale, at 5% above the national average. The margin of increase is not massive, with housing costs still relatively reasonable when compared to other big cities.
The average price of a home in Dallas is $364,003. This will vary according to the area, age of the property, size of the property, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and so on.
Using an online property searcher to determine what type of unit and in what location you can afford to rent/purchase based on your monthly income is a great starting point. Once your location is selected you can then begin the moving process.
The average one-bedroom apartment costs around $1,140 per month. This will vary according to size, area, and amenities. The national average is $1137.
Renting is not only an ideal option for those who cannot afford to buy a property yet, it is also a great option if you are unsure about whether you are looking to settle down in Dallas permanently.
Live Outside Of The Hub
As with the majority of metropolitan cities, property prices are generally higher closer to the economic hubs. This is usually because corporate jobs are located in the CBD areas, so most people tend to flock closer for convenience. The average monthly cost of an apartment for rent in Downtown Dallas, for instance, is $2,131.
If you find that the property prices are too high in these areas, broaden your search. Living in the outer, more suburban areas with a longer commute will usually work out cheaper in terms of your overall monthly housing expenses.
For example, the average rental cost in Oak Lawn is $1,726, in Lake Highlands it is $1,018, and in Frisco it is $1,672.
This seems to be the preference for those with families, as bigger properties within the economic hub will be exorbitantly more expensive, and with a smaller living space. Those who are just looking to find a studio or one-bedroom apartment are more likely to find something affordable within the pricier areas.
Transport costs will depend on what form of transport you opt to use for your daily commutes.
Transport expenses as a whole, including gas prices and public transport, are 1% lower than the national average. This is in the mid-range, thus would be affordable for the average salary.
The average cost of gas in Dallas is about $2.59 per gallon. Driving is the preferred option in the suburban areas, as it is a convenient way to go to the store, do school drop-offs, and drive to the nearest public transport stop if you are going into the city center, but don’t want to scour for a parking spot.
DART (Dallas Public Transit System) is a popular way to get around for Dallas locals. This is ideal for people working in the hub of the city, as driving (and parking) can be a hassle. However, those in the suburbs can also use public transport with ease. It saves on a car purchase and maintenance costs, as well as gas; and is a more efficient way to get around.
You can either pay $2.50 for a one-way trip or $96 for a monthly pass. If you are planning to use public transport regularly, especially for your daily commute, it is far more economical to get a monthly pass as it allows unlimited travel.
Utilities in Dallas are slightly above the national average, at 4% higher.
Your average energy bill will cost about $174.87 per month. This will vary based on the size of your property and the number of people in your household. Thankfully, Dallas does not have consistently cold winters, with temperatures ranging between about 60 and 16 degrees, therefore, you should be able to save on heating during the colder seasons.
Your phone bill will cost about $186.40 per month. This depends on the network provider and the plan that you choose, as well as your overall usage. Shop around when choosing your provider and plan, as you can get some good deals that include benefits like unlimited calls and texts.
Health care costs in Dallas are 1% above the national average. This is fairly reasonable, and a bigger city like Dallas will have ample medical facilities and professionals available.
A visit to the doctor can set you back about $112.04, while a dental check-up will cost around $96.25. Taking your pet to the vet can cost up to $52.65. While these average costs cover the consultation, keep in mind that additional medication, treatment, referrals, X-rays, and other services may accrue further costs.
Consider your health insurance options. Paying a small monthly fee, even for a basic package, can save you a ton of money in the long term when unavoidable medical assistance is required.
Groceries are a fairly affordable part of the cost of living in Dallas, at 5% lower than the national average.
Basic grocery items such as a loaf of bread will cost around $3.16, while a gallon of milk will be about $1.84.
A metropolitan city like Dallas has a wide range of grocery stores. Some are more high-end, while others cater to a lower LSM bracket. The perfect mix for varying incomes.
One of the biggest attractions in Dallas is the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which exhibits President John F. Kennedy’s life, presidency, and death. General admission to the museum costs $18 for an adult and $14 for children over 5. Children under 5 can go in free.
The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a 66-acre garden displaying incredible flowers throughout the year. It’s a lovely outing for families, and costs just $17 for people between the ages of 13-64, and $12 for kids aged between 2-12.
Kids will enjoy an outing to the Dallas World Aquarium, where they can experience rainforest exhibitions and marine life that includes sharks, penguins, sawfish, and much more. Adults pay $26.95 per entry, and kids are $18.95 (kids under 2 enter for free).
Eating out can be pricey, but it all depends on where you go. The average meal costs about $11, but this can be much higher at a high-end restaurant, and slightly lower at a more casual, fast-food joint.
The average annual income in Dallas is $72,000.
If you use the average salary as an indicator, the monthly salary is around $6000. This comfortably covers rent, transport, food, and utility costs, with money left over for entertainment and savings.
Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Dallas
No Income Tax
A major benefit to living in Texas is that there is no income tax, which is a huge money-saver.
This is often redirected to higher property taxes, but this will only apply to homeowners – those renting will not be subjected to this.
The public school system in Dallas is highly regarded, especially in the suburbs.
Dallas schools have an 85.4% rate of students obtaining their high school diploma, with a fairly low dropout rate of 3.3%. The average experience of Dallas teachers is 10 years.
Heavy traffic is a major issue in Dallas, especially if you drive a car. The highways can get very congested due to the spread out spatial planning of the city.
You can save time and money on your commute by using public transport where possible, especially when you need to travel through busy areas and major highways.
The Best Neighbourhoods
This is one of the biggest suburban areas in Dallas, which is a dream for sports lovers. Home to the FC Dallas’ Toyota Football Stadium, and the Dr. Pepper Ballpark baseball park, plus the Dallas Cowboys’ headquarters and training facility, there’s something for every sports fan.
It’s about half an hour away from Downtown Dallas by car, so you can be within the hub in no time. If you don’t want to leave the suburb, there are more than enough shops, restaurants, and activities within Frisco to keep the family entertained.
Just a 10-minute drive away from Downtown, and close to a number of public transport stops, Oak Lawn is a vibrant neighbourhood that offers a little both suburb and city in one place.
It has many restaurant options, and a bustling nightlife that offers endless entertainment from young adults to a more mature crowd. It is also the heart of the LGBTQ+ community, and it has been since the ‘70s.
It is the perfect place for families who are looking to move towards suburbia, without losing the excitement of the urban lifestyle.
Another suburban area that isn’t completely devoid of an urban environment, Lake Highlands is the ideal place for outdoor lovers.
The neighbourhood has a prominent hiking scene, with White Rock Creek on its doorstep.
The area has an abundance of eatery options and quaint cafes. It is also a great school district, which adds to the appeal for families.
If you want to be in the heart of the city, then Downtown Dallas is the place for you.
You can live, work and play in the same space, and have an authentic metropolitan lifestyle. The biggest benefit is that you will have little to no commuting, especially if your office is located close to this area (which many are).
The city’s top restaurants, bars, clubs, museums, and shops are all within walking distance of the city centre, and there are always events and buzzing activity happening. It is a popular place for young professionals who prefer the vibrant urban setting to a quieter suburban lifestyle.
If you are looking to study, or have kids finishing up high school and approaching college, Dallas has a wide range of colleges scattered across the city.
It is home to a whopping 38 colleges, including University of North Texas, University of Dallas, Southern Methodist University, Dallas Baptist University, Texas Christian University, and University of Texas at Dallas.
The college expenses in Dallas are below the national average, with the average annual fees and tuition at Dallas colleges around $4,714 in-state, and $17,503 out-of-state.
The most expensive college in Dallas is Southern Methodist University. The average annual fee is $58,540. The least expensive college is Mountain View College, tuition costs around $5,220.
Dallas is becoming more popular each year with people looking for a city with ample job opportunities, affordable living costs and a wide range of entertainment options.
The cost of living in Dallas is fairly reasonable, especially when compared to its metropolitan counterparts like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. This is the perfect place for people to earn a decent wage.
There is something for everyone: young professionals can enjoy the modern, fast-paced life in the city, and families can settle down in the suburban areas with a relatively short commute to the CBD. The entertainment and social scene is buzzing, perfect for maintaining an adequate work/life balance.