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That old country song! Gene Autry sang that the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. Ever since the advent of air conditioning, people have been flocking to Texas because of the natural beauty and great lifestyles the state has to offer. Here are some of the eight best things about living in the Lone Star state.
Be more than just neighbors! The people will give you a friendly "howdy, y'all!" The legendary Texas friendliness is about more to offer than just southern hospitality. Almost anywhere you go, you'll be welcomed with a warm wave and a smile. Especially when you get out of the big cities, men are still taught to open doors for ladies.
Festivals and culture! There's also a rich diversity of culture in the state. Sure, Mexico is right on the border (Chorpus Christi's Dia de los Muertos festival? Yes, please!), but that doesn't mean it's the only diversity in the area. With Austin acting as a central hub for music and invention, you'll find yourself attending the annual South by Southwest festival every year for your daily dose of "new."
Education above the rest! Visit or attend some amazing colleges! Texas is home to some very fine universities and colleges. From University of Texas in famously quirky Austin to Texas A & M and highly regarded private universities, Texas is a great place for higher education.
Did we mention SPORTS? While you're at it, get caught up in the world of Texas college football, which is a bigger deal than you can imagine. Texans take their football very seriously! Choose your favorite team and fight from the sidelines.
It's never been a better deal! You can get an amazing house for your money! There are 268,580 square miles in Texas, which makes it the second largest state in the country after Alaska. All this available land means that there's more than enough for everybody to grab their own little piece of it. Even better, because land isn't scarce, that also means that homes for sales are significantly cheaper than you'd find in more crowded areas like the East Coast or more popular areas like California.
Better deals AND better houses! The housing stock is also usually nicer and newer in Texas compared to older parts of the country. A newer house means you don't have to invest as much to make your house livable in most cases, unless you choose to get a handyman special. Whether you buy a house or rent to own, starting out with a nicer and newer home means that you're less likely to be buried by the cost of major renovations.
You can beat the heat! Because Texas homeowners spend less upfront on their housing because land is cheaper, it also means that homes here have more upgrades. Many people have swimming pools to help beat the Texas heat, for example. These fancy touches add to the total property values.
Throw out those snow tires! Tired of endless cold winters? You won't have them here! Although some parts of Texas like the Panhandle do get some snow, you won't be dealing with months of blizzards and ice down here. Although Texas roads are a mess whenever rare days of snow and ice occur because people aren't used to it, in most cities you'll never deal with it at all.
A new season in every corner! If you don't like the weather in one part of Texas, you can always try another part of the state. The sheer size of the state means that the geography is vastly different, from subtropical in East Texas to dry and desert-like in West Texas. You don't even have to leave the state to feel like you're in an entirely different country.
Youngsters aren't ready for college? You're covered! Texas has excellent schools. Even within the same metropolitan areas, there are multiple school districts that have highly rated elementary and high schools. You can choose a rental house or home to buy based on the community schools where it's located, and even walk your kids to school in the morning if you're feeling up to it. Imagine that: walking your kids to La Petite Academy in San Antonio and having time to stop in for groceries at Los Arcos Fruit & Food on the way home!
World famous eats! Speaking of food, the grub here is world-famous, and for good reason! From good old barbeque to hot-and-spicy Tex Mex, going out to restaurants is a big pastime in Texas for good reason. Not interested in the restaurant scene? Food trucks like Oink 'n' Moo BBQ and Empanada Armada have you covered!
Shop till you drop! You also can't beat the shopping here. All of the major cities have amazing shopping options regardless of whether your taste runs to cowboy boots and spurs or to high fashion.
Love country music? So do a lot of other people here. If you love country music and honky-tonks, you can definitely find it here. Put on your boots and go dancing!
Who needs a recession? Not us! The economy has remained strong even during the recession. Texas has one of the strongest job markets in the entire country, and has even during the recession of 2008. This is a great place to get a job, thanks to the state's business-friendly policies.
Higher property values! Because the economy here has stayed strong, property values have also stayed high. Unlike some states like California that have been subject to wild fluctuations in property values, Texas has remained stable or seen consistent growth. This is a place where a rental house or home purchase is a great investment.
Renting made easy! Because there's so much housing available, it's also easier to get a property of your very own. Unlike some parts of the country where housing is so limited that lenders can be extremely picky, Texas has more options that make sure nearly everyone can get a home of their own. If you have bruised credit or are just a little shy on the down payment, you have good options to get a rental home because the sellers want to work with you. Rental houses can help get around some of the challenges of traditional financing and you can take advantage of what Texas' housing market has to offer.
Fun until the sun goes down (and then some)! Have a blast at one of the many amusement parks! Whether it's Schlitterbahn in the Hill Country or Six Flags, there are lots of great places to have fun - many of which involve water to help beat the intense Texas heat.
Never forget the Alamo! Texas also has a lot of great attractions that are a bit more educational than the average theme park, like the Alamo. On the way out, you can even talk over what you learned with your family at the Big Texan Steak Ranch.
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