Skip to Content

Why Are Houses in Texas So Cheap?

A housing development in texas featuring american and texas flags.

Are you wondering why Texas housing is considerably cheaper than the rest of the United States? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, I will cover why Texas has such low housing costs, if Texas is an affordable state to live in, the state’s safety, if it is worth living in Texas, and more.

Read on to learn all about it.

Why are houses in texas so cheap?

Texas houses are affordable because of the state’s large availability of vacant land, low tax rates, relaxed building restrictions, and available building supplies. Texas also has one of the strongest economies in the world, and the cost of living is quite cheap, making housing prices even more accessible.

Table of Contents

Is It Cheaper to Live in Texas?

It is cheaper to live in Texas, and for several reasons.

As a matter of fact, Texas is about 7% cheaper than the national average, making it a desirable state for many. With that said, some Texas cities can run 12% higher than, or 23% lower than the national average.

As of the third quarter of 2021, the median home price in Texas ran about $350,000. This is about 15% cheaper than the national average home price of $411,200.

Clearly, housing in Texas is more affordable compared to the rest of the United States. But what about the costs of living? I’ll circle back to that in just a moment.

Does Texas Have a Lower Cost of Living?

So what makes Texas so affordable? There are four primary reasons why: Texas taxes, available land, building codes, and available building supplies.

Taxes

The low property taxes in Texas are so alluring that even Elon Musk couldn’t help but move himself and his businesses to the Lone Star State. He saved an estimated 2.5 billion dollars in capital gains tax just by moving away from California into Texas.

It is also worth noting that Texas does not have a state income tax, meaning you can keep more of your hard-earned money.

While Texas does have property tax, they are also minimal and quite affordable. The average property tax is just 1.8%. The following counties have the cheapest property taxes in the state:

  1. Borden County, with 0.34% tax
  2. Ward County, with 0.51% tax
  3. Glasscock County, with 0.55% tax
  4. Kenedy County, with 0.73% tax
  5. Crockett County, with 0.80% tax

Lots of Available Land

Land in texas that is undeveloped for housing.

Texas is the second-largest state in the US, only following Alaska. It boasts an incredible 268,597 square miles.

There are large swaths of acreage for sale in rural parts of Texas, making it feel as if the state has an unlimited supply of land. Because many of these properties are several hours away from the nearest major cities, they are not as easy to market, and not appealing to everyone.

If peace and quiet and privacy are your things though, Texas could be a great place to call home.

However, Texas has some amazing cities too, and they are more expensive to buy homes and live within. It’s safe to say that the Lone Star State has a little bit of everything for everyone.

Relaxed Building Codes / Fewer Building Restrictions

Texas does not like to impose many restrictions, codes, or building permits on its people. Since there is less red tape to deal with, contractors can obtain a building permit easier and then build houses faster, and for cheaper.

Since Texas has hot summers and moderate winters, the structural integrity of the home does not have to be so strenuous either. Builders do not have to worry much about high-rated insulation, double or triple-paned windows, or the structural integrity of the home in regards to snow load. As long as the home is equipped with air conditioning, homeowners will be happy, comfortable, and safe.

Available Building Supplies

If Texas has two materials to offer, it’s sand and gravel.

Thanks to the nearly endless sea of gravel and sand that Texas has to offer, concrete is cheap, and so are gravel driveways. While these building materials can get costly if a lot of the materials are needed, the real cost lies in the cost to transport.

Sand and gravel are heavy, and so, it takes considerable amounts of fuel to haul them. Since these resources are largely available all over the state, the cost to deliver is affordable and accessible to most.

Thankfully, this translates to cheaper housing prices for consumers.

Is Texas Safe to Live In?

family playing in texas field with a kite.

Texas is a moderately safe state to live in. In Texas, the murder rate is 5 people per every 100,000 residents, which is exactly on par with the national average.

Are you interested in the ten safest cities in Texas? Here they are:

  1. Fulshear- 96% below the national crime rate and only has 7.2% violent crimes per capita.
  2. Hutto- 86% below the national crime rate and only has 9.7% violent crimes per capita.
  3. Trophy Club-78% below the national crime rate and only has 16.4% violent crimes per capita.
  4. San Elizario-86% below the national crime rate and only has 44.7% violent crimes per capita.
  5. Fair Oaks Ranch-80% below the national crime rate and only has 11.7% violent crimes per capita.
  6. Colleyville-77% below the national crime rate and only has 8.6% violent crimes per capita.
  7. Wolfforth-75% below the national crime rate and only has 28% violent crimes per capita.
  8. Fairview-76% below the national crime rate and only has 16% violent crimes per capita.
  9. Memorial Villages-79% below the national crime rate and only has 19% violent crimes per capita.
  10. Murphy-77% below the national crime rate and only have 9.2% violent crimes per capita.

Is It Worth Living In Texas?

In my opinion, Texas has a little bit of everything for everyone.

On the east side of the state, it is green and lush with old-growth trees, wildflowers, sprawling plains, large cities, swamps, marshes, farmland, and even sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. East Texas is humid but has plenty of rivers to play in.

On the western side of the state, large rock formations, mountains, expansive deserts, and lots of wide-open spaces to explore await you. West Texas is not humid but usually requires some irrigation.

Eastern Texas primarily focuses on agriculture, while western Texas is all about that oil.

Lots of People Are Moving to Texas

According to Move.org, Texas was the second most moved-to state in the United States in 2020. It only lost to the state of Florida by a slim margin. This large influx of people points to the conclusion that yes, Texas is worth living in.

Nearly four million people moved to Texas over the past nine years. Now, twenty-nine million people call Texas their home.

Most researchers believe that this shift of people had to do with the new availability of work-from-home jobs. People wanted to escape the city, move to more affordable housing, and enjoy a slower, more rural way of life.

Amazing Diversity

Believe it or not, Texas has incredible diversity to offer. Wallet Hub says that Texas is the second most diverse state in the US, coming in second to California.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston Texas residents speak at least 145 different languages.

On the north and eastern sides of the state, you’ll find a lot of Southern American influence, especially when it comes to their down-home cooking, mannerisms, and accents.

In the south and western sides of the state, there is a heavier Mexican and Aboriginal influence. This really shows up in delicious Mexican-inspired cuisine, and again, in their accents and mannerisms.

The cities are more of a melting pot though and offer literally hundreds of cultures, languages, religions, and backgrounds to choose from.

Strong Economy

In 2021, Texas was the top exporting state in the entire United States. This was the 19th consecutive year for Texas to earn this title, meaning that economic growth and stability are exceptionally healthy.

Texas is also the number one state in foreign direct investment, another great sign for its economic development and stability.

Others Think Texas is a Great Place to Live, Too

According to US News, Austin, Texas is the Number One Best City to Live Within the United States.

If you love city life, here are the five best cities to live in Texas.

  1. Of course, it’s Austin. Once you’re rated as the best city in America, it’s a given that you’re ranked as the best in your state, too.
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth. DFW offers big city vibes with lots of cowboy living overlap. It also has quiet suburbs and is in a nice centralized location.
  3. Houston. With Buffalo Bayou running through it, and the beach not far off, Houston is a great place for water-loving adventurers.
  4. San Antonio. San Antonio, home of the Alamo, is a big city with a small-town atmosphere. This city is dripping in Spanish and Old West history.
  5. Killeen. Found in the heart of Texas, Killeen is home to one of the largest military bases in the world, Fort Hood. Killeen is best known for its barbecue, live music, and down-home atmosphere.

Most Local Governments in Texas are Relaxed

picture of the texas state capitol.

Most Texas government officials do not believe in high levels of government involvement, or as some people call it, government overreach.

As mentioned earlier, it is generally easy to obtain building permits. In addition to this, Texas is a Right to Work state, and it also has no rent control. A lack of rent control can mean unfavorable rent prices for tenants, but favorable on-par or competitive income for landlords. Sometimes, real estate prices are more favorable for homeownership, rather than renting.

Lastly, I, unfortunately, have to bring up the pandemic and politics. I’m so sorry to ruin your day!

For people who prefer to forgo the Covid-19 vaccine or face coverings, Texas is a state that is more likely to be accommodating to these wants. As of July 2021, Governor Greg Abbott says that he will not impose a mask mandate for the people of Texas.

Final Thoughts

Texas is a fine place to live with cheap housing, low land costs, cheap property tax, no sales tax, a moderate climate, beautiful views, impressive diversity, world-renowned cities, and lots of country living opportunities.

While the housing and cost of living are cheap, the culture and experiences are rich, making Texas a wonderful place to call home.