What You Need to Know About Moving to Dallas

Thinking about relocating to Dallas, Texas? You’re not alone. The city is surprisingly cosmopolitan, given its western roots and cowboy hats, while not uncommon, are no longer the norm. Dallas has undergone historic growth in recent years, with its population increasing by 15.4% over the last decade. Cost of living is 1.6% higher than the national average, with housing accounting for a large chunk of that. Prices are low when compared to New York, Los Angeles, or Boston. However, Dallas (aka “The Big D”) is a bit more expensive than other Texas cities (second only to Austin).

Dallas Apartment Living room
Dallas at a Glance

The city of Dallas has a population of 1.3 million people, making it the 9th largest city in the U.S. (and 3rd in Texas). And while its growth may be slowing down a little, especially when compared to other cities in the Metroplex, the Dallas job market remains consistently strong. Several major corporations—including AT&T, JCPenney, and Southwest Airlines—are headquartered in Dallas or its suburbs.

Health care is also a major industry, with Baylor Healthcare System and Texas Health Resources employing more than 35,000 people combined. Quite a leap for a city that, just a century ago, was known for its production of saddles and cotton gin machinery. Dallas also has a rich tradition of art and music that can be traced back to its early years. In fact, the bars and music venues of Deep Ellum are direct descendants of the jazz and blues clubs that sprang up there during the 1920s and 1930s.

Dallas Apartment
Best Places to Live in Dallas

One of the most difficult choices you’re likely to face when moving to Dallas is choosing where you want to live. Hopefully, our Dallas Neighborhoods page will help you sort things out. And when you’re ready start your apartment search in earnest, Smart City Locating will do everything we can to make it easy.

Q : What do I do if I have to move in and start work by a certain date, but I’m not able to visit Dallas beforehand?

A : No worries! All of our agents offer video/facetime tours so you can actually see where you’ll be living. Leasing a unit sight unseen can be stressful, we like to send videos so you know if that closet will fit all of your shoes, or if that particular unit has a wine rack.

Q : I need to move to Dallas 5 months from now, are you guys able to help?

A : This is a big one. We actually only know availability and pricing 60 days out, and while we can definitely start narrowing down potential neighborhoods and apartments, we won’t truly be able to start the search process until we’re 60 days away from move in!

Q : What if I am coming to Dallas for only one or two days to look at apartments?

A : This is our full-time job, and all of our agents work pretty much all the time. If you’re coming in on a Saturday, just let your agent know and we can have updated availability and pricing for you to look over before you come. We love touring out-of-towners because we get to show off how much we love this city. We can show you the different neighborhoods, best bars to meet new people, and definitely our favorite restaurants. We’re foodies around here.

Q : What neighborhood should I live in?

A : This one is actually tough because there are so many different neighborhoods that we love! Some of our favorites include Knox/Henderson, Deep Ellum, Oak Lawn, Uptown, and West Dallas. But ultimately there are a lot of other factors that include your budget, work location, etc. that can determine which neighborhood is best for you! But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the process for sure.

Q : How do I set up electricity/utilities?

A : Here in Dallas we have unregulated energy so you can choose from a number of different providers. Luckily, we have a full-scale concierge service that can compare rates and find the best prices for you! Send an email to [email protected] for free help setting up your utilities.

Q : What movers should I use?

A : We’re glad you asked! On top of helping you set up utilities, our concierge can hook you up with discounts on all of the best move-in services. Check out our Smart City Concierge Blog for the full rundown of recommendations.

Q : What are my transportation options?

A : Dallas has a metro rail called the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) that can take you pretty much anywhere. We know of plenty of Dallas apartments that are within walking distance to a DART station if you’re not planning on bringing a car. But we will definitely suggest a car, only because Dallas is pretty spread out. Everything is bigger in Texas.

Q : Are pets allowed?

A : Dallas is SUUUUUPER dog friendly. Our owner’s dog comes to our office every day. There are tons of bars and restaurants that allow dogs on their patios as well. Almost all of the apartments allow non-aggressive dogs as roommates (with a deposit), and some have dog parks, green areas, and even small yards. If you have an “aggressive” breed (we use quotations because we know your pit bull is sweet. Our office husky is the sweetest) then your options will be more limited, but they still exist. Contact us and we can give you the details on what to expect and different options.

Q : What do deposits and upfront costs look like for renting in Dallas?

A : We love telling people who move from big cities like New York or LA about deposits here in Dallas. They usually range anywhere from $0-400. Sometimes higher if there are credit issues, but no apartment requires first and last months rent, which is awesome. Some apartments will even give you a month of free rent! You will also pay an application fee of $0-100 and an admin fee of $0-300. We’re pretty good at finding deals though, you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $500 for move in costs with good credit. If you have a pet it’ll be a bit more.

Q : Fridge, Microwave, Parking?

A : All apartments in Dallas come with a fridge and a microwave. Parking is usually included unless it’s a downtown property or if you have specific requests.

Q : Do you offer furnished and/or short-term leases?

A : We’ve partnered with Nickson Living to help furnish apartments through furniture rentals instead of having to purchase everything!

As for short-term leases, the minimum lease term we work with is 6 months, but pricing is usually MUCH higher for short-term leases; sometimes double the price. We always tell people that if they’re planning on moving here for at least a year, it’s worth it to just do a year-long lease and save the money!

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