Most people think ‘oil’ when Dallas is mentioned. However, there’s a lot more to Dallas than just oil. Historically, it became a business and trading centre with the construction of the railroads.
By the early 1970s Dallas was the capital of the cotton industry in the states. It is now a thriving, vibrant and friendly city with lots to offer people from all walks of life.
If you are considering moving to Dallas, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living there.
Quick Dallas Facts:
- Population: City: 1,197,816, Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex: 7,102,796 (2016)
- Official Language: English (de facto) with Spanish being spoken by just under a third of the population. Other languages include Vietnamese, Mandarin, Taglog, German, French, Korean and Arabic.
- GDP Per Capita: $61,768 USD
- The Microchip: Texas Instruments employee, Jack Kilby, invented the microchip.
- Currency: US Dollar (US$). As of early 2017, £1 = $1.30, €1 = $1.08, $1 CAD = $0.75, $1 AUD = $0.77
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Dallas
- New York City – $358+
- Los Angeles – $399+
- Canada (Vancouver) – $1,183+
- UK (London) – $1,731+
- Australia (Sydney) – $2,493+
- Ireland (Dublin) – $1,897+
- New Zealand (Auckland) – $2,965+
- Hong Kong – $1,506+
- Dubai – $2,831+
- Singapore – $3,267+
2. Dallas Housing Costs
It’s cheaper to buy or rent a property in Dallas than it is in Austin or Houston. There is variety of housing available, from apartments to ranches.
Monthly Rental Prices in Dallas
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: $800+
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $650+
- 3 bedroom apartment in City Centre: $1,300+
- 3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $950+
Dallas Home Purchase Prices
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: $3,000+
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: $1,260+
Dallas Housing Cost Comparison
This is how rents in Dallas compare with other cities around the globe.
London is 75.07% more expensive
New York is 148.03% more expensive
Los Angeles is 67.25% more expensive
Toronto is 1.08% cheaper
Sydney is 62.45% more expensive
Paris is 6.70% more expensive
Dubai is 81.56% more expensive
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Share an apartment or house. Sharing a house or apartment is a way to save on living expenses. Have a look at the following sites to find your perfect roommate: Easyroommate, Kangaroom, SpareRoom, Trulia and Metroroommates.
- Different areas – different prices. The public transport system in Dallas isn’t great, so, if you don’t have a car, then choose an area close to where you work. Wherever you go in Dallas you will come across a park – there are 407 across the city. North Dallas has lots of green spaces, good schools and facilities. At the top end of the market is historic Swiss Avenue with its grand houses. Downtown Bryan Place is full of apartments and flat shares and is considered safe and friendly.
3. Dallas Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Believe it or not, Dallas has more restaurants per capita than New York. No matter what sort of food you enjoy, you will find it in Dallas.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: $10 – $15
- Takeout Coffee: $3.00 – $5.00
- Bottle of Coke: $1.25 – $2.50
- 1L of milk: $0.53 – $0.87
- Loaf of Bread: $1.10 – $3.31
- 12 Eggs: $1.85 – $4.00
- 1kg Chicken: $4.39 – $17.64
- 1kg Beef: $6.37 – $17.64
- 1kg Apples: $2.16 – $4.41
- 1kg White Rice: $1.52 – $6.60
This is how restaurants and food prices compare with other major cities in the world.
- London restaurants are 30.99% more expensive and groceries are 6.68% cheaper than Dallas.
- New York restaurants are 44.84% more expensive and groceries are 54.23% more expensive than Dallas.
- Los Angeles restaurants are 18.53% more expensive and groceries are 17.78% more expensive than Dallas.
- Toronto restaurants are 4.05% cheaper and groceries are 2.01% cheaper than Dallas.
- Sydney restaurants are 7.0% more expensive and groceries are 23.44% more expensive than Dallas.
- Paris restaurants are 19.26% more expensive and groceries are 19.58% more expensive than Dallas.
- Dubai restaurants are 5.23% cheaper and groceries are 9.99% cheaper than Dallas.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: Dallas has man independently owned grocery stores and ethnic stores as well as the usual supermarket chains. There are also lots of farmers’ markets and shops which sell health foods and organic foods. Popular supermarkets are Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s, Malone’s, Central Market and Tom Thumb.
- Find Cheap Eats: There are lots of restaurants which have good quality food at affordable prices and restaurants which offer specials on certain days of the week. Have a look at Dallas Eater, TripAdvisor, Thrill List, DMagazine and Southern Living.
4. Dallas Alcohol Costs
Like most American cities, Dallas has lots of bars and clubs to visit.
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: $3.00 – $5.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: $3.00 – $7.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: $1.00 – $3.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: $1.05 – $3.00
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: $8.50 – $15.00
How to drink for less in Dallas
- Keep an eye on the local papers and websites for specials over weekends and public holidays.
- Many bars and restaurants have specials after work and at weekends. Gloria’s has Happy Hour all day from Monday to Thursday with beers at $3. The Grapevine Bar has happy hour all day on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Parliament has half price drinks during the afternoon and when it’s raining! Have a look at DMagazine, Dallas Eater and Four Square for ideas that will point you in the right direction.
5. Dallas Transportation Fares
Dallas doesn’t have the best transport system which is why the roads are so congested with cars. DART runs the bus and train system in Dallas.
Here are some example ticket costs.
- Adult Single – $2.50
- One day ticket – $5.00
- 7-day pass – $25
- Monthly season ticket, unlimited – $80
How to save money on public transport
- Buy a Two Hour Pass – unlimited travel for $2.50
- Buy a Midday Pass – unlimited between 9.30 a.m. and 2.00 p.m Monday to Friday – $1.75
- Buy a bike. Depending on where you live and work, cycling around the city may be an option but it’s very short of cycle lanes.
- If you live relatively close to where you work, try walking.
6. Cost of Internet in Dallas
Internet prices in the States are expensive compared with many other countries in the world. Here are some sample broadband internet prices from early 2017 for unlimited downloads, based on a 12-month contract:
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
Dallas has a humid, subtropical climate. July and August are the hottest months with an average high of 97°F (36°C). The coldest month is January, where the average low temperature is 37°F (3°C).
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: $25 – $55
- Summer Dress: $20 – $65
- Running Shoes (Trainers): $50 – $95
- Business Shoes: $65 – $130
- Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): $116
- Deodorant: $3.07
- Shampoo: $5.32
- Toilet Paper (4 rolls): $2.74
- Gym membership: $15-$60 per month
- Movie (cinema) ticket: $9-$12
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Dallas
As mentioned above, most people travel by car in Dallas, so traffic congestion is high.
If you’re moving to Dallas from within the US, you’ll be able to keep your license but need to update your address to your new one.
You can drive on a foreign license for up to 12 months as a tourist but after that you will need to get an American license. If you are working or studying in the US, you can drive on your foreign license for 30 days. If you want to exchange your foreign driver’s license you have to follow the process here.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in Dallas:
- Volkswagen Golf: $22,000
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol): $0.54
- Other fees (if any): The average cost of state and local taxes, license, title and registration fees is $665 per annum
Ways to save money driving in Dallas
- Car sharing or pooling is one way to save money. Try Car Pool World, Dart, eRideshare and NCTCOG.
- Taxis can sometimes be a cheaper option, especially if you are going to have to park all day. Try Uber and Lyft.
Need your car/vehicle moved to Dallas? Then read our guide to: Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in Dallas
Sales Tax in Dallas is 6.75% and is added to most goods and services. Generally, the price you see on an item does not include sales tax.
If you own your home, you will be subject to property tax based on the area in which you live and the size of the property you live in. Learn more about property tax in Dallas at Dalla County Property Tax.
Finally, if you decide to buy an apartment or house in Dallas you’ll have to pay real estate transfer tax.
10. Flight Costs from Dallas
Dallas shares its airport with nearby Fort Worth. If you do make the move to Dallas, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of early 2017:
- London: $307
- New York: $67
- Los Angeles: $53
- Toronto: $163
- Vancouver: $151
- Dubai: $221
- Sydney: $641
- Melbourne: $652
- Cape Town: $488
- Hong Kong: $498
Other Dallas Relocation Tips
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Dallas but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Relocating to Dallas Alone
Moving anywhere can be a lonely experience, but moving to a new city can be rather daunting. Dallas is known as a city that welcomes strangers so embrace their hospitality. Here are a few tips about settling in Dallas.
- Meetups: Dallas has many Meetup groups covering a wide range of activities from Dallas Cowboys to playing chess.
- Attend local events: There is always something going on in Dallas and many of the activities are free. Have a look at these sites to get inspiration on what to do during your free time – TripAdvisor, Visit Dallas and Tour Texas.
12. Moving to Dallas with a Family
Dallas has a lot to attract families. There are museums, art galleries, shows, parks which have many activities going on every day, theme parks, aerial adventures and horse riding through hard wood forests.
- New parents (or parents to be): Check out Natural Beginnings and Medical City for advice, courses and ways to meet other parents or parents to be.
- Live in a family friendly area: North Dallas has lots of family friendly areas, with parks, good schools and great local amenities. Have a look at Preston Hollow, Oak Lawn and Bluffview in particular.
- Find things to do with the kids: There is so much for children to enjoy in Dallas Have a look at 10Best, Huffington Post, Guide Live, Family Days Out and DFW Child.
13. Moving to Dallas for Work
Moving for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move.
Dallas has a lot to offer on the job front. If you are looking for employment in banking, energy, commerce, IT, healthcare, medical research, telecommunications, transport and logistics, then Dallas probably has a job for you.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary: Salaries in Dallas are high and the cost of living is relatively low compared with cities like New York. The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea, how much more you’ll want to be making to make the move worthwhile. You can also check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Dallas, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: Monster, Indeed, Snagajob, Craigslist and Career Builder. You may also want to google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Dallas from Australia
There is a small Aussie contingent living in Dallas. If you are thinking of moving from Australia to Dallas, here are a few things to consider.
- Size comparison: If you compare the size of the population of Dallas with a similar sized Australian city, then you would be looking at Perth.
- Join expat groups: Aussie Meetup and Internations offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in Dallas.
15. Moving to Dallas from Canada
Dallas attracts a lot of Canadians. The weather is certainly a plus point if you don’t like the weather in Canada. If you’re considering making the move from Canada here are a few things to consider.
- Size: Dallas is slightly smaller than Vancouver when you compare the population size of the two cities.
- Expat groups: Meeting up with fellow Canadians helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations and Meet Up.
16. Moving to Dallas from the United Kingdom
Dallas attracts a sprinkling of British expats, so if you’re considering joining them, here are a few bonus tips:
- Size: The population of Dallas is around twice the size of the city of Birmingham.
- Expat groups: If you want to get together with others from the UK who are already enjoying themselves in Dallas, then go to Internations, and Meetup.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Dallas you can start by comparing moving quotes here.
Guides to other cities in Texas
Guides to moving and living in other American cities