Quality of Life in Dallas>Question Details

Dave, Other/Just Looking in Chicago, IL

We live in the Chicago area. We are sick of the snow, ice and freezing temps.

Asked by Dave, Chicago, IL Sat Apr 4, 2009

We would love to move to a warm weather city and we are considering either Dallas or Austin.

Which city, between Austin and Dallas offers the best year round weather (hate high humidity), home prices, temps in the winter and summer, etc.
Hate the temps and humidity in Phoenix (dry) and Miami (humid) and cannot afford California.
Is housing more affordable in Dallas and or Austin compared to Chicago?

Thanks Dave

Help the community by answering this question:


In 1995 we had the chance to stop buying new shoes every winter and leave the ice, snow and salty slush of Chicago. I can definitely relate to living only from May to September and swimming only in July and August. First, we relocated to the suburbs near Fort Worth and a few years later moved to the suburbs near Dallas.

We got a swimming pool that we could swim in more than half the year, and with heat we could swim almost the whole year. There are also lots of lakes around Dallas/Fort Worth. So, boating, swimming and fishing are all on the menu. Dallas/Fort Worth is only half the conglomerate Chicagoland is, if that.

Restaurants in Chicago are more plentiful and more varied than here. We have tons of Tex-Mex places, but there are also other choices for cuisine. There are things to do the whole year 'round. The public transportation system isn't quite as developed as in Chicago, but it is improving.

Having driven around Austin many times, I can tell you that the traffic there is worse than the Eisenhower at 8 AM. City planning in Austin also leaves something to be desired. Neighborhoods are not as well defined and planned as they are here. Austin does offer things to do and a variety of restaurants. The weather is similar to D/FW but a tad warmer and more humid.

A typical 3/2/2 here runs in the $140k range, but you can find Winnetka or Barrington prices, too. And there are neighborhoods to avoid, although they're dirt cheap. You can also live in the boonies in a trailer on acreage for a song. We like living right next to the lake. There are several lakes around D/FW.

We don't have a beach -- that's the only thing I miss; and when it's hot, you could almost melt. The last couple of summer have been tolerable (maybe my blood has thinned out). We also periodically have gone through droughts, floods, tornados, and hail. Wouldn't trade it for anything.
Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Dave, we're all sick of the snow (especially this year), ice and below freezing temperatures... but once you get past the climate, Chicago is the single best city in the U.S. to live in, for business, restaurants, museums, culture and beauty.

Say what you will about Daley (and they say much)... he has done a wonderful job of making our fair city beautiful.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL

As someone who has lived in Dallas from 1992-2002 and now Austin from 2002-2010, the answer is that it depends. Very committal answer, I know!

If you like the big city feel ~ professional sports, the arts, great restaurants, traffic, concrete, then Dallas is your City. Austin has the feel of a smaller town that is starting to grow up but hasn't lost all of its small town feel. Additionally, Austin is located on the edge of the Hill Country and offers much more in the way of natural beauty with the Highland Lake system and tree lined Hill Country views.

Home price wise both are comparable although the average median home price is slightly higher in Austin vs. Dallas (around $180,000 vs. $170,000). More people would prefer to retire to Austin than Dallas; however, more people move to Dallas for a job than are able to move to Austin for the same reason. Either way, you can't go to wrong.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 8, 2010
Dave, I have lived in both the Austin and the Dallas areas. The wheather is about the same in both- it gets pretty hot in the summer, but mild winters with no snow shoveling even in the snowiest years. You get a lot of house for what you pay in both markets, but I prefer the Dallas area because there is a major airport nearby, there are several highways and not just one major one and a toll way, like in Austin, and with Fort Worth so close, there are lots of entertainment options. There's Six Flags amusument park in Arlington as well as the Rangers and Cowboys, there's the Dallas Symphony, Winspear Opera House, and TONS of theatre in Dallas as well as lots of muesuems in both Dallas Ft. Worth.

Austin is beautiful and hilly with lots of lakes and rivers. It is very laid back and artsy in a different way from Dallas. Dallas is very theatre, Symphony, and opera and Austin has a more hippie and rock and roll vibe. The Dallas and Fort Worth areas do have great night life, but Austin's is amazing.

Plano has been rated by Forbes as the safest place to live in the US. It is just north of Dallas. There are tons of little towns all around that are wonderful. My family moved to Texas, from Illinois, back in the 70's and settled in Arlington and live there to this day. I love it here and even in the hottest summers, this is an amazing place to live. The economy is good, homes are affordable, and the culture is diverse.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 7, 2010
So I am putting my two cents worth in (gosh does 2 cents buy anything these days) and saying come on down but how about considering north of Dallas. There are lots of great communities within 45 minutes or so of downtown. I live in McKinney (25 miles north) just ranked #5 of best cities to live in in the US and 51st safest city out of 400. Also Allen, Frisco, Plano, Prosper, Celina, Fairview all have great amenities. Let me know if you would like any information. Today by the way is a delightful dry 50 degrees, fall is wonderful here.
Web Reference: http://www.LindaLorenzo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 7, 2010
Dear Dave,

Dallas is huge with population of over 3 million people. That being said we have a broad selection
of neighborhoods in almost every price range.
Our weather is quite mild and not as humid.
In Chicago Real Estate is higher than Dallas, so you should be able to save money
If you need the name of an excellent agent in your area, I can provide you with the name
of one who has an excellent work history.
And I certainly would be happy to assist you here.
Let me know your criteria and I can email you homes.
Kathleen Testa
Coldwell Banker
972 754 4130
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 6, 2010
In Texas, it typically holds that the further away you are from the coastline, the less humid the area is in general. However, you know that Gulf Stream wiggles and brings us strange weather at times. Dallas is typically more affordable than Austin. And, although I don't know a large city in Texas that doesn't have it's traffic issues, Dallas has more highway systems moving people in and out of downtown and to the suburbs. Sprawling doesn't begin to describe our Metroplex in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Have a blessed day!

Ronda Allen, Realtor & Certified Purchasing Mgr.
The Keith Dobbs Team at RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009

There have been some great answers here and I will add that Texas seems to be in general a wonderful place to live. I am biased as I was born in Dallas and have lived here the majority of my life. Our housing prices are excellent, the people here are terrific most of our school systems are awesome, and there are many things to do, as well as a terrifi cost of living compared to other areas of the U.S. Austin is definitely a higher cost of living city than Dallas, however it is a lovely place to live! Rolling hills, lots of nostalgia, gorgeous lakes, rivers and lots of trees. It just has an awesome feel! I personally think that Dallas is much more commercialized than Austin but imagine that...it is Dallas.

Some of the things that have not been mentioned is the fact that as we do have great weather most of the time, none of them have told you that in Texas, you can have 80 degree temps now and 15 minutes later 36 degree temperatures. Our weather here can change in five minutes and sometimes drastically. We have tornadoes in the spring along with sometimes softball size hail falling from the skies. We get enough rain at times to wash your car into the Trinity River and other times no rain for months. As I am sure you have already heard, we drive like bats out of _ell, and we drive similarly to that when it rains ices or snows! And notoriously our temps in the summer can be so hot that you will not want to leave the comfort of your climate controlled environement. None of this is meant to deter you from moving here, we love transplants, many of whom say they were not born here but moved here as fast as they could! But I am sure you are aware many places have their good points and their bad points. Wish you and your family the best, and if any of us can help....let us know, we are more than happy to do so!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Don't forget to pre-arrange for drop-shipments of Italian food. It just won't be the same where you are going ...

Houston is a miserable town with high humidity. But Austin has so much going for it that it is well worth your consideration - provided that there is good employment for you. It doesn't have quite the economic base of Dallas / Ft. Worth. There are many great towns and communities in the Dallas area. Flower Mound is just one of these.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 5, 2009

Here are a couple more links regarding housing and growth in Texas:

http://texasrealestate.com/web/TexasBytes/1.cfm - Real Estate Center at Texas A&M snippet
http://texasrealestate.com/web/TexasBytes/2.cfm - Dallas Morning News snippet

Besides the obvious county for the cities of Dallas and Denton (North of Dallas and Fort Worth),
Fort Worth is in Tarrant County.
Austin is in Travis County and Williamson County is North of Austin.
Houston is in Harris County and Fort Bend County is Southwest of Houston.
San Antonio is in Bexar County.
Plano, Allen, Frisco and McKinney are in Collin County which is North of Dallas County.
Hidalgo County is on the border of Mexico with McAllen as the largest city.

Texas County Map:

Best Regards,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 5, 2009
Hi Dave,

I too grew up in Illinois, Mokena to be exact, outside of Joliet. Enough of shoveling the weather!

If you are looking for better weather, the Austin is ahnds down over Dallas.

Dallas is big city and Austin just thinks it is.

Dallas is a large metroplex and Austin is settled in the hills.

Both have comparable home prices.

Dallas is more business oriented and Austin is more literate and the seat of Texas government.

If you REALLY want a nice place to live with a small town feel, consider San Antonio.

Better weather, less expensive homes and more country feel.

Best wishes,

Dominick Dina
Christian Realty San Antonio
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 5, 2009
Hi Dave,

I totally understand how brutal the winters can be up there. When I was young we lived in Rochelle and Watseka. I moved to Dallas in 1983 and although I love it here, grew up here (after school) and have many friends here, Austin is definitely more aesthetically pleasing to me because I like rolling hills. Austin is actually on the edge of what we down here call the Texas Hill Country:

Austin is also our state capital and a big college town:

I’d have say Austin is more like the San Jose of Texas with many information technology employers like Dell Computer and Apple to name two. Austin is also home to Whole Foods Market.

That said, Dallas is a larger city with great shopping, restaurants and the arts. We are also excited about the brand new $354 million dollar Center for the Performing Arts expansion opening in October of this year as the crown jewel of the Arts District:

Dallas and the DFW Metroplex is also home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and employers. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2007/maps/…

The Dallas / Ft. Worth Metroplex became the fourth largest metropolitan area in the US in 2006:

Interestingly, Dallas / Fort Worth had the largest numeric gain of any metro area between 2006 and 2007:

Dallas is also expanding the rapid transit system here called DART. The new DART Green Line is a 28-mile, 1.8 billion dollar project and is currently the largest light rail expansion in the US. Phase I of the Green Line opens in September (just in time to ride it to State Fair) and Phase II is scheduled to open in December of 2010.

Of course you can’t forget the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Six Flags or the Texas Motor Speedway! We have quite the gamut of arts, jobs, entertainment, housing, you name it.

Here are a couple more links to a site that can give you a great deal of information so you might compare both cities with regards to housing, schools, weather, demographics, neighborhood, etc.:


Each city has it's own unique characteristics and you'll want to visit and speak with folks in both cities. You'll also find that both cities are very similar in regards to weather and humidity with Dallas being just a tad bit windier.

Whenever you get down this way, send me an email or give me a call and I’d be glad to meet with you to show you around.

Best Regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 5, 2009
Hi Dave,

Thanks for your question.

My husband used to commute back and forth from Chicago to Dallas when we first got married, so we understand. Especially just coming off this winter, that weather has to get old. Another thing you'll find is that Dallas isn't nearly as windy in Chicago. No bars on the sides of buildings for you to hold onto. :)

Austin is beautiful along with the hill country and there are plenty of things to do there. However, another thing to consider about Austin - it is Texas' version of San Francisco. There are all kinds of people driving around with bumper stickers there (and here) saying "Keep Austin Weird." Don't know if that's your kind of thing?

The median home price in Dallas is $151 and in Austin is $189. You can get a lot of home here for the money. You know how they say it's bigger in Texas? ;) Our clients who move here from CA are always overwhelmed by the amount of home and how well appointed they are for the money.

We would love to talk to you about moving here if you decide that's what you'd like to do. Please feel free to take a look at our website and feedback - some from other Trulia users such as yourself.

Happy to help,
Terri Hayley
The Hayley Group, Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Hi Dave,
If you are looking to move to Austin send me an email or give me a call.
I moved from Wisconsin about 12 years ago and love it here.
It was 84 today. I call my mother back home and they are looking to get snow.
So I really know how you feel.
Austin is a awesome place to live with a ton of things to do.
Here is a great online relocation guide.
Check out my site below if Austin is on your short list.
Thank you,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Housing is definitely most affordable in Dallas compared to Austin and I'd be happy to show you why. Also, I would say of the two cities, Austin will have a higher humidity, though Dallas has some. We have over 260 days of sunshine a year, and maybe 5 days a year of ice/snow on average. I just wrote a blog about Dallas and it'd be great for you to read to learn more about it. In Dallas, you can buy a nice 4-2 home for $250k in Plano, North Dallas, Frisco or the suburbs. Dallas is made up of the city and then 12 outlying cities. So, this is just for the city of Dallas, but contact me for more specifics on houses, price's, etc.

Here is some info on Dallas:
Compliments of Nicole Arenas, Dallas REALTOR
Find me on FaceBook: Nicole Firebaugh Arenas

"Dallas, the City that Works: Diverse, Vibrant and Progressive."

Quick Facts:

Population (2004 Census Bureau Est.): 1,210,390
9th Largest City in the United States, 3rd Largest in Texas,
and among nation's 100 Most Ethnically Diverse Communities.

Land Area (square miles): 384.7
19th Largest in the US, 3rd Largest in Texas

Cost of Living Index (US Average =100): 92.7%

Geographic / Climate Information:
Average Elevation: 463 ft.
Average Daily Temperature: 65° F
Average Summer High Temperature: 96° F (July)
Average Winter Low Temperature: 36° F (January)
Average Days of Sunshine: 232
Average Annual Rainfall Total: 33.7 in
Average Annual Snowfall Total: 2.5 in

International Trade: 58.3 Billion (Metro)
Total Employment: 1,059,173 (City)
Median Household Income: $38,276 (City)

Environmental / Recreational:
Number of Parks : 406
Acres of Parkland : 17,196
Lakes : 17
Acres of Water: 4,400
Bike & Jogging Trails: 61.6 miles
Recreation Centers: 47
Public Sports Fields: 638
Public Tennis Courts: 263
Public Swimming Pools : 21
Public Spraygrounds : 5
Family Aquatics Center : 1
Public Golf Courses: 6

Public Safety:
Police: 2,977
Firefighters: 1,670
Civilian Support Personnel: 821

Public Library Branches: 24
Public Library Volumes: 7,629,483
Public Elementary & Middle Schools: 180
Public High Schools: 37
2 Year and Technical/Trade Colleges: 17 (City)
Public 4 Year Colleges & Universities: 6 (Metro)
Private Colleges & Universities: 17 (Metro)

Nicole Arenas
"Creating Relationships for Life"
blog: http://activerain.com/blogs/nicolearenas
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Hi Dave,
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and understand your desire to be in a warmer client. While Chicagoland has so much to offer, weather is probably not its best asset...freezing winters and humid summers.

I've lived in Dallas since 1981 and have enjoyed the weather here immensely. Of course, July and August are very hot, but the rest of the year is really nice. Dallas has about the same threat for tornadoes as Chicago does, so no surprises.

Because Austin is further south, the temperatures and humidity are slightly higher. Both cities offer much more affordable housing than Chicago does. The entire state of Texas didn't have the run-up in housing prices as other areas of the country experienced. That doesn't mean it's not a great time to buy here though. We are still affected by foreclosures and media reports.

If you would share with me what you're looking for in housing, I can give you information on prices in the Dallas area.

And comparing the two cities, you'll find they both have their unique features and personalities. I would suggest visiting both places and see what fits you best. And if you do decide to move to Dallas, I would be more than happy to assist you in finding the right home and area for you.

Best regards,
Barbara Stone, REALTOR
Allie Beth Allman & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
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