From CA to TX: Why New Braunfels is Attracting Golden State Expats

Over the past decade, researchers have uncovered a startling fact: California’s residential patterns are shifting rapidly. The famously populous state is actually losing more residents than it’s gaining! And not only that...a great deal of these California “expats” are heading to the great state of Texas, leaving many wondering: “Why?”

Are Californians looking to jump ship before their Pacific state breaks off from the mainland? Or maybe just escape the Kardashians? (Kidding, mostly…)

We’re here to talk about the California-to-Texas migration pattern, and how our little town of New Braunfels is affected by the resulting growth and change.

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Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs

While jobs aren’t necessarily relocating en masse from California to Texas, statistics show that our Lone Star State is offering far more job opportunities than the Golden State. Over the past decade, Texas has been responsible for over 1.2 million new jobs. This growth is staggering compared to the rest of the country, drawing in plenty of folks looking for sustainable, high-quality employment opportunities.

Cost of Living

While we Texans have heard rumblings of increasing property values and rising prices, our cost of living can’t even hold a candle to California. According to a 2014 study done at MIT, an individual has to earn 27.8% more income to earn a living wage in California than in Texas!

Texans save about 11% on medical coverage, and Californians spend 23% on raising a child; however, the biggest difference comes down to housing costs. Housing expenses in California are (on average) 54.2% higher than in the Lone Star State. On top of that, Texas permitted 79% more new housing units than the Golden State in 2015, even though Texas has 30 percent fewer people (according to the Census Bureau). Overall, Texas homebuyers can afford far more than their Californian counterparts. (Don’t believe us? Check with a lender to see just how affordable a Texas home can be!)

2073 Pecan Gable, New Braunfels

Lighter Regulations on Businesses

For small business owners and entrepreneurs, state regulations can make or break a success story. Infamous for its strict regulations, California can be hard on small businesses. In contrast, Texas’ regulations are lighter and more predictable. (Example: High commercial rent and strict zoning regulations in San Francisco have made it a tough sell for innovators with little cash flow to get going.) Rather than fight for survival in California, startups are interested in the simpler rules and welcoming customer bases of small Texas towns like New Braunfels.

Texas Taxes

God bless Texas! With no state income tax, Texas residents are pretty happy when April 15th rolls around (although we do pay for it incrementally in a higher sales tax and an above-average property tax). On the other hand, California is the 6th highest state in local and state tax burdens. The Golden State also has one of the nation’s highest corporate tax rates (at 8.84%), while Texas has no state corporate tax. Even though most California businesses see more profits and sales, there are certainly benefits to Texas residency.

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Why New Braunfels?

Clearly, we can understand why Californians are moving to Texas in general...but why New Braunfels? Why does our small, humble town attract so many “Golden State” expats? To put it simply: New Braunfels has magic running through its streets and rivers, a quality easily seen by Californians weary of the overdeveloped coast. In fact, The Washington Times recently quoted a woman who moved from Cali to New Braunfels. Overlooking the Comal River, she said, “It’s really cool to have something like that in my backyard.”

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IS This Town Big Enough for the Two of Us?

There aren’t too many towns in Texas than boast the magic and wonder of New Braunfels. But can we hold on to those qualities much longer? The rapid growth in New Braunfels has been an increasingly urgent topic in the local community. How do we keep our small town vibes? Our hope is that our new and old residents can live together in harmony, creating a larger community of fun-loving, good-living Texas folk.

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Whether you’re a Californian looking to find your Texas paradise or a longtime resident interested in relocating, we’d love to be your source for all things New Braunfels real estate! Download our FREE buyer’s guide here, and contact a Keller Williams expert REALTOR® when you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process.