Why Move to Texas

 Why Move to Texas?

You have undoubtedly heard or read the positive publicity and personal stories about why Texas and specifically Central Texas is such a popular place to live, work and play. Below are several articles that will help you solidify your decision to consider our great state for your next home or travel destination. 

 

Williamson County Texas' Healthiest County (February 2010, County Health Changes)

The Associated Press just released an article outlining interesting observations on the top 50 healthiest counties compared to the unhealthiest.  You can view results here – full article below.

The County Health Rankings identify the healthiest and least healthy counties within every state in the nation. When you compare the 50 healthiest counties (one from every state), with the 50 least healthy counties, some striking trends emerge:

 

  • Population size: Healthier counties are urban/suburban, whereas least health counties are mostly rural. About half (48%) of the 50 healthiest counties are urban or suburban counties, whereas most (84%) of the 50 least healthy counties are rural.
  • Premature death rates: The least healthy counties have significantly higher rates of premature death-2.5 times higher than the healthiest counties.
  • Self-reported health: People living in the least healthy counties reporting being in significantly poorer health-2.1 times higher rates of people who report being in fair or poor health, compared with the healthiest counties.
  • Smoking rates: People living in the least healthy counties are much more likely to smoke-over 26%, compared to only 16% in the healthiest counties.
  • Preventable hospitalizations: People living in the least healthy counties are 60% more likely to be admitted to the hospital for preventable conditions-a sign of poor outpatient and primary care.
  • Children living in poverty: The least healthy counties have higher rates of poverty, with 30% of children living in poverty-over three times higher than the rate in the healthiest counties (9%).
  • Access to healthy foods: The 50 least healthy counties have fewer places where people can find healthy food-only 33% of zip codes have at least one grocery store, compared to almost half (47%) of zip codes in the healthiest counties.   

BEST PLACE TO LIVE AND LAUNCH (July 2008, CNNMoney)

Austin's entrepreneurial community may be among the strongest in the country, but its heavy traffic and urbanization have driven some experienced business folks to look elsewhere. Enter Georgetown. This suburb of Austin has transformed from a sleepy bedroom community into a city with its own identity and a rapidly growing business climate.

Located 26 miles north of the state's capital, Georgetown has welcomed 270 new businesses over the past two years. The state's lack of individual and corporate income taxes is just one reason Texas is considered business-friendly. On a local level, Georgetown charges relatively low water and electricity rates, and its property taxes are among the lowest in the region. As part of the Greater Austin area, Georgetown entrepreneurs in the city's growth industries – healthcare, life sciences, and technology – can seek out additional support from the region's business-development efforts. A convention center slated to open next year should help further build Georgetown's up-and-coming business scene.

Georgetown is considered one of the prettiest cities in Williamson County, especially during the spring and summer months when poppies and wild flowers are in full bloom. Housing costs tend to be higher than in many of Austin's other suburbs, but residents who settle into one of the city's restored Victorian homes or new Tuscan villas can enjoy a walk along the bank of the San Gabriel River or play a round of golf on one of the five local courses. Mountain biking trails around Lake Georgetown lead riders to the edge of Texas Hill Country. As the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin still offers the best selection of performing arts in the region. However, Georgetown's annual food and arts festivals, independently-owned restaurants, rodeo, and nearby wineries are enough to keep residents close to home most of the time. -Brandi Stewart

TOP RETIREMENT SPOT (Retirement Places Rated 2007)

North Texans in search of the best place in America to retire don't need to fly off to picturesque Cape Cod, sun-drenched Arizona or resort-rich Colorado. They have only to drive a few hours south on Interstate 35 to Georgetown. The Central Texas town has just earned top billing in the latest edition of Retirement Places Rated, one of the oldest and most popular guidebooks for footloose boomers and seniors looking to relocate upon retirement. "Though Georgetown may not be the first place to come to mind for most people, its strong economy and affordable housing gave it an edge over the 199 other communities we researched," said author David Savageau.

"Georgetown offers the best of two worlds," he said. "It's a small community on the edge of the Austin metropolitan area. Retirees want both the neighborliness of a small town and the cultural, entertainment and health-care amenities of a big city." None of this comes as news to Geoff Lawrence and his wife, Denise. The boomer couple moved from College Station to Georgetown's biggest active-adult community, Sun City Texas, three years ago after he retired from the military.

Not only have they moved to Georgetown, but so have his parents (from Santa Fe, N.M.), her parents (from Alabama) and, most recently, her sister and brother-in-law (from Waco). They all live within about 3 miles of each other in Sun City. "We all have different interests and lead separate lives, but our back yard has seen quite a few family get-togethers," Mr. Lawrence said.

Retirement Places Rated has sold a half-million copies over the years, and a favorable score has sometimes bolstered a town's fortunes. Murray, Ky., reversed a population loss with its No. 1 ranking in one edition, Mr. Savageau said.

The president of Georgetown's Chamber of Commerce, Mel Pendland, said retirees have played a significant role in his community's growth in recent years. The town's population has jumped 64 percent to 46,479 since 2000.

Sun City Texas, the active-adult community Del Webb began developing in the 1990s, now contains 5,500 homes and 9,000 residents, mostly 55 and older. Plans call for 2,500 more homes, Mr. Pendland said.

"The first retirees to arrive in Georgetown came from other parts of Texas," he said. "The next group moved from the Upper Midwest. Now they're from Arizona, Florida and California."

"People are taking the equity they've built up in their old homes and paying out of pocket for something here," he said. "Suddenly, retirement becomes much more affordable for them."

 

BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK (Forbes 2008, A.Bhattarai)

The economic storm sweeping the country has left Americans with few places to hide.

But those looking to hunker down might want to head to Texas, where they can get the best value for their dollar.

That's because Austin and San Antonio lead our list of places where your money goes farthest. Residents of both enjoy affordable housing and promising prospects for job growth in coming years. Houston and Dallas also land in the top 10, at Nos. 4 and 7, respectively.

(click here for the full story) 

WHICH CITIES WILL AND WON'T RECOVER FASTEST (Forbes 2009, J.Zumbrun)

The three most important things in real estate: location, location, location.

It's true for recovery from a real estate bubble too. Overall, many economists expect the national economy to return to growth later in 2009, perhaps as soon as this summer. But that won't be the case everywhere. While some cities are poised for a quick rebound, others face a slog to recovery that could take years.

Poised for swift recovery are many Texas cities, such as Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and McAllen. These areas did not see the massive real estate bubble that formed in states like California, Nevada and Florida. The economy is diverse, with heavy growth coming from education and health care in recent years.

(click here for the full story) 

Texas – Wide Open for Business!

Many people moving to the area are business owners or seeking to start up a new business.  This article highlights why the Austin area is a solid choice for new businesses.  Read the details here.