The city is named after Steven Tyler, the lead singer of rock band Aerosmith, who has often cited East Texas as the inspiration for ditties like “Love in an Elevator,” “Dream On,” and “Sweet Emotion.”
But not really. The city’s namesake is in honor of John Tyler, who held some office called “President of the United States” a few years back and was influential in getting the Lone Star State admitted into the union in 1845.
What’s so special about Tyler?
Tyler is a great place to stop and smell the roses, literally. Home of the Texas Rose Festival and featuring more than 400 varieties of that most romantic of woody perennial, Tyler is responsible for growing, shipping, and packaging more than half of the country’s commercial roses. Husbands and boyfriends rejoice: You can even buy a dozen roses at a roadside stand for a mere $2, so you don’t have to break your bankroll trying to woo and wow your wives or girlfriends.
Because the city is dotted with so many parks, country clubs, family rec centers, trails, shopping centers, and affordable living quarters (the average apartment rental goes for just over 700 bucks), Tyler is not only an ideal place to start a family but is also consistently named one of America’s best places for retirees.
How would you describe the vibe in the city?
Tyler is a highly conservative, laid-back city where churches, family restaurants, and strip malls rule the streets. An extremely family-friendly community, Tyler boasts a zoo, botanical gardens, planetarium, art museum, science center, and one of Texas’s best state parks. If the serenity of suburbia, void of traffic jams and hustle and bustle of the big city is what you crave, you’ll find Tyler rosy as can be.
How about nightlife?
We won’t beat around the rosebush: Nightlife in Tyler is practically nonexistent, and if you’re single and on the prowl, you might be happier finding a humble abode elsewhere in Texas (like Dallas, about two hours away). There are a couple upscale bars in the downtown area and on the south side, but they typically close by midnight and don’t exactly offer wild and crazy entertainment anyway. Technically, Tyler is a “dry county” (don’t panic, booze hounds!), which means you can’t purchase liquor, beer, or wine outside of restaurants and private clubs (so don’t waste your time scouring the streets for a liquor store). However, numerous towns about 10-15 minutes away are “wet,” so it’s not like you’re moving to a Prohibition-era city where your options are either complete sobriety or bathtub gin.
Are apartments easy to come by?
Yep. Seek and you shall find a variety of readily available, easily affordable apartments. Whether you’re in the market for a cozy 1BR pad in the $600 range or a spacious (1500-plus square feet) townhouse, duplex, or multi-level apartment for closer to $1500, you’ll come across plenty of feasible options. There’s not a ton of competition for rental properties, so take your time and scour the market to find your dream dwellings.
Which part of town is best?
Much of Tyler is quiet, clean, and generally safe, but we recommend you spend some time in a potential neighborhood before committing to an apartment. There are a slew of affordable apartments surrounding the University of Texas at Tyler that cater to the university’s 6000-plus students, while many other parts of the city are geared towards older demographics. The southernmost parts of the city, including neighborhoods like Noonday and Copeland, are generally the most modern and feature some of the area’s best public schools and newly-constructed apartments, while other districts offer their own perks and quirks as well.
I assume I’ll need my own set of wheels, right?
You assume correct. The Tyler transit city buses can haul you around the downtown area and take you to a few other choice spots, but in order to live and work conveniently, your own vehicle is a must-have.
What will I need to score an apartment?
You’ll just need the basics, including proof of income, banking account information, and a list of previous residences. Most apartment managers also charge a non-refundable fee (usually around $35) to run a background/credit check on you, while others charge cleaning fees or require an initial good faith deposit. Renting specials pop up frequently in Tyler, though, so if you feel like you’re being squeezed, you might want to keep shopping the market to find a better deal.
Anything else I should know?
Just use common sense and read your lease carefully to see if you understand and agree with every last detail. Landlords have different rules regarding things like roommates, pets, visitors, barbecue pits on your patio, and overnight guests, so take the time to study your contract in-depth. When it’s time to move in, bring an objective third party along to give your new place a good inspection. Make sure your appliances function, your pipes are sound, your toilets flush, and your walls, ceilings, and floors are blemish-free. If something isn’t up to par, notify management immediately, as landlords are generally quickest to resolve issues before you’ve officially settled in.
And now you’re all set for apartment life deep in the heart of Texas! So welcome to Tyler, and happy hunting!
-By Kera Zacuto
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