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  #1  
Old August 12th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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Scott T
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Need Insight from Texas Board Members..

Okay Texas Defender owners, need some input on living in Texas. We’ve been thinking about possibly making a move to the Houston (suburbs) or Corpus Christi areas, but are open to other suggestions that in your personal experience met what we are looking for. It seems like the general cost of living (housing, etc.) is somewhat to significantly lower than the Baltimore Maryland area where we currently live. Factors that are currently motivating our search:

  • We’ve had enough of northeast winters
  • We like living near the water and being able to be outside, so a warmer climate, with better quality of living, and lower cost of living (if possible) are motivating factors..
  • We are ready for a change

We chose to initially investigate the Houston and Corpus Christie areas for their proximity to the gulf, We’re a bit in the dark though when comes to things like demographics and quality of public school systems. Do the residents (in general) live healthy active lifestyles, are they mostly educated professionals? What is the risk from Hurricane or other natural disaster, etc, etc.. Any insight from fellow Defender owners living in the areas or with knowledge of the areas is greatly appreciated!

Things that are important to us:

  • Good Job opportunities
  • Good Health Care
  • Professional, educated neighbors
  • Strong Public School Systems, elementary through high school
  • Safe neighborhoods, schools, environment (good place to raise a family type thing, but still young and energetic with fun to be had)
  • Good Access to nice beaches and lakes for recreation..

P.S. – Yes there is a nearly identical post asking about North Carolina, as this is another area we are considering..
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  #2  
Old August 12th, 2013, 03:52 PM
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Michael
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I moved to Houston from Chicago in 2008 and love it. I had most of the same concerns as you did, but I was recruited down for a specific job. I think Houston is fantastic. Because of energy, shipping and geography you'll find a large expat community from all of South America, Europe and the Middle East. Shopping and restaurants are first rate. So many other great perks I can't even list. BUT, here are the downsides. Its really hot down here in the summer, make no mistake it can be as isolating as a midwest winter. The gulf is nice, but galveston and the shipping channel ARE NOT Maryland. There will be some adjustment. (But you can boat year round if you want to...winter here is probably warmer than some springs in MD.)
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  #3  
Old August 12th, 2013, 04:02 PM
whitelandy33
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I am in north dallas. Strong real estate and job market, good schools. Lot of lakes. Lot of concrete. Closer to OK/AR for outdoor stuff...at least for me.

To me...Houston is the arm pit of Texas. Sorry houstonites. Yes there are nice areas to live, good schools, strong jobs market. You will be close the coast but its not nice. Nothing like the east or west coast.

Have you thought about Austin? Close to the hill country. I would like to move there.
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  #4  
Old August 15th, 2013, 09:34 PM
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Michael White
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I've moved to the Austin area in 2008 after living in Ft. Worth for 12 years. Hill country has some nice views, but the property is a lot more expensive than Ft. Worth. Water is also scarcer (we're at stage 3 water restrictions in Dripping Springs) and the rocky land makes growing some foods difficult due to the high PH level.

For water sports there's Lake Austin, which is fed by Lake Travis. Lake Austin is still full, but that's only because Lake Travis is returning to its Colorado river form. In Ft. Worth there's Lake Worth. I don't know it's current condition.

Austin is also one of the most socialist areas on the state. Fewer gun ranges than Ft. Worth but more people. More music and such events if you're into that. Plastic grocery bag ban. A lot of people moving to Austin from California and other states, overwhelming the infrastructure (water, roads, etc...).

You might also be interested in the non-Houston coastal areas, such as Corpus Christi. Depends on what sort of lifestyle you're looking for.
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  #5  
Old August 15th, 2013, 10:30 PM
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Neal
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Bring another 90 to Houston!

I live in Katy which is a suburb on the west side of Houston. We love it out here, super comfortable, very laid back way of life. Great affordable housing, we live in Cinco Ranch which is regularly voted one of the top communities in the country and has a great school district. I own a gym in Katy but most of Katy are people who work in the oil and gas industry as the energy corridor where most of those jobs are headquartered is only about 12 minutes away. We are about 20 minutes to downtown during non peak hours so we can go in anytime we want or stay in Katy and avoid the traffic during rush hour times. Plus Texas has no state income tax which is nice.

Corpus is a nice place to visit not so much live I have heard.

Dallas is cool but is much more snooty than Houston. (Houston is certainly not the arm pit of Texas, there are some places that guy certainly has not been)

Austin is Super cool but is way more expensive and has gotten way too crowded for it's size as it s popularity has grown.
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  #6  
Old August 15th, 2013, 11:33 PM
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Reese
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRNAD90 View Post
  • Good Job opportunities
  • Good Health Care
  • Professional, educated neighbors
  • Strong Public School Systems, elementary through high school
  • Safe neighborhoods, schools, environment (good place to raise a family type thing, but still young and energetic with fun to be had)
  • Good Access to nice beaches and lakes for recreation..
Ok, you are not describing Houston above. And really not Dallas. If you truly want a balance of work and school and quality of outdoor life, its Austin. I think Houston has a bit more of a blue collar feel generally but there are certainly great areas of Houston. North Dallas has all that you are looking for except the great lakes and beaches. We do have lakes but Texas lakes are a bit different. I heard once that Texas has less than 5 natural lakes in the state, the rest are manmade.

You need to come down a spend a long weekend and drive Dallas, Austin and Houston. It's not even close. If you can find a way to make a living in Austin, do it. A college town always help make for an interesting life.
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  #7  
Old August 16th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Houston usually ranks in the top three fattest cities in the nation. Lots of crime, too. You are near water (Galveston) but the traffic to get there is hell.

Corpus Christi is okay and there are nice neighborhoods but it still lacks many of the amenities that big cities have.

Personally, I recommend my hometown, San Antonio. It's only about 2.5 hours from the water (many of us go to the beach for the weekend) and it has excellent health care (among the very best in the nation). There are dangerous parts but most of it is pretty safe. Old money neighborhoods like Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, and Terrell Hills are very very safe, educated, and have good schools. Downside is that San Antonio also ranks in the top three fattest cities. Upside of this, I guess, is that we have incredible food.

Summers are hell in Texas, no doubt about it. The upside is that winters and fall are gorgeous.
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  #8  
Old August 16th, 2013, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
I'm surprised we haven't heard the merits of New Braunfels yet.

-Jeff
Well for one Im on expedition....and haven't had time to catch up...for two...stay away from Texas it sucks...lol. and you're not borrowing a cup of water!
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  #9  
Old August 16th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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Michael Ullman
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New Braunfels is over populated with Defenders there are three in town plus a series I know of. On top of that if his kids go to school in New Braunfels they would be Unicorns. Aside from good schools, 2.5 hours from a fantastic beach at North Padre Island, Hidden Falls 4x4 park 1.5 hours away, two rivers to float and drink beer and watch inebriated college girls, wonderful winter spring, fall and winter weather, no state income tax, the oldest Dance Hall and oldest Bakery in Texas, Great local music, The countries best Water Park for close to 10 years running, it SUCKS here. Plus we're all racists, just ask my mom.

As for me I will NEVER move to Huston, Austin or Dallas I can't stand living in a big city, I hate it. I don't even like visiting. Traffic in Austin is terrible!!!! Dumb hippies trying to plan the traffic patterns.... NB is already too big for me and growing. I hear North Carolina is nice.
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  #10  
Old August 16th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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Whatever you do, don't move to Austin. Bunch of socialist hippies from California who sit in traffic all day with nowhere to shoot guns! And don't get me started on how hard it is to find a plastic bag to shoot at. Sure, there's tons of good food and music, if you like fun and that sort of thing. You're much better off living close to the nation's most awesome water park, Shitterbahn, in New Braunfels. A real national treasure. You'll forget all about the coast after one visit.

Seriously, visit Austin, Dallas, Houston, Corpus, San Antonio (in August), then decide. It's a no-brainer -- North Carolina.
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  #11  
Old August 16th, 2013, 11:16 AM
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I kid, I kid, relax fellow non-socialist Texans.

Scott, come visit Austin and I'll show you why it's the best place in the country for what you're looking for.
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  #12  
Old August 19th, 2013, 08:20 AM
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Scott T
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Thanks for everyone's response. While we may be even more confused than when we started, we are grateful for the additional insight. And for those who offered to talk by phone, and extra thanks (and we still may call, so don't be surprised )
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'95 D-90 ST - AA Yellow
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space!"


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