Choosing your corral
Before you can start having a hog-killin’ good time though, you need a place you can call home. But where to start? In Fort Worth, you can find everything from gleaming condos to lovingly restored old homes. You can choose to live in buzzing downtown or to kick back in the leafy suburbs.
Luckily, Fort Worth is not New York so finding a place to live won’t be difficult. The rental market is flexible enough to have you viewing on Monday and moving in on Friday. When it comes to finding new digs, it’s never a bad idea to use a property locator to do the searching for you. Many of them will offer a rebate on their locator fee too, a figure that ranges from roughly $25-50. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Here’s a rough breakdown of the neighborhoods you might be looking at. We start with the most coveted neighborhoods (read: expensive) and gradually ease down to places that might be kinder to your pocketbook:
Sundance Square/Downtown - the beating heart of Fort Worth where theaters, galleries, clubs and coffee shops jostle against the 2,000+ rental apartments on offer.
Stockyards National Historic District - savor the Old West realism of saloons,
rodeos, steakhouses and honky tonks. Twice a day, cowhands drive longhorn
steer down Exchange Avenue. What better accompaniment to your morning
cereal than the clip clop of cattle passing by?
Cultural District - this elite rental market boasts five world-class museums and
is setting the trend when it comes to cool urban living.
Camp Bowie - the 30 blocks of dining, shopping and galleries within this area
offer a prestigious address for the urbane sophisticate.
West Fort Worth - the neighborhoods of Arlington Heights, Rivercrest and
Westover Hills promise large, historic homes on leafy avenues. This is the
favored address for families, young professionals and retirees.
Near Southside - also known as the medical or hospital district, this is
considered one of the most promising neighborhoods in Fort Worth. It packs
historic buildings where the cattle barons once lived, with urban lofts, town
homes and rehabilitated single family homes. Add in plenty of cosmopolitan
dining options and all y’all have a popular place to live.
Alliance Texas - this is a planned business and mixed-use community and is
home to NASCAR and IndyCar events. A good place to live if you are interested
in newer builds.
North Fort Worth - this region, and Fossil Creek in particular, is the fastest
growing area of the city. Here you will find new neighborhoods with single family
homes and apartment units.
Hulen/South and East - both middle-income areas with older homes and
less expensive rentals.
Unless you are moving downtown, don’t throw away your car keys just yet. Fort Worth does have a bus and commuter light rail - known as the T - but they don’t serve the entire city. This means that most people drive to where they’re going which means that snarled-up traffic is a daily bind for downtown commuters.
Summertime and the living is queasy
No one comes to Texas without thinking about the weather. The winters are mild (especially if you are moving here from the frozen north) but, during the summer, be prepared for a humidity that makes even the most expensive ‘do puff out. The summers are hot and long and did we mention hot? By July the daily average is 97’F and a few days at 113’F have not been unknown. Rain, when it comes, often comes dramatically and this part of the world is no stranger to large, damaging hail.
Speaking of dramatic, did you know that Dallas-Fort Worth is on the southernmost tip of Tornado Alley? The faint-hearted might jump on their horse and skip town at the thought of this, but the locals say it keeps things interesting.
Oh, and Forth Worth is also in an earthquake zone. Just something to remember when scoping out a place to lay your chuck and wagon roll.
Seeing the worth in Fort Worth
So let’s wrap up. Fort Worth ranks among the top ten of America’s Most Livable Communities which means that it is a good place to live, work, visit, retire, go to university, raise a family, build a business or promote diversity. Hmmn, just about everything really.
Fort Worth’s 2011 cost of living index is 94.4 compared to a US average of 100. This doesn’t make it dramatically less expensive than say Snotsburg, Pennsylvania, but what can you expect from a frontier town turned rich by the large reserves of natural gas they found beneath their streets? This mineral wealth and the city’s proximity to Dallas, coupled with the different folk attracted by the universities, the tech and the service industries means that Fort Worth is a booming, diverse place to live.
This real Texas cow town also has more than a few things to keep you entertained. From opera to hoedowns, from world-class galleries to the world’s largest honky tonk, you need never be bored when you get here. Whether it’s Rothko or rodeos, this city has it all.
So saddle up, partner, and get moving to Fort Worth.
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