Two modern hubs of the Lone Star State, Austin and Fort Worth, are among the fastest-growing cities in the nation, and it’s easy to see why. The mid-sized Texas cities have truly hit their stride in recent years, attracting retirees, young entrepreneurs, and families from across the U.S.
But where are the South’s new residents coming from? And what is it about the South that has convinced so many out-of-towners to settle down rather than just stop by for a vacation? Of course, Southerners are well aware of the perks of their home. From Southern hospitality and charm to business opportunities and mild weather, the South has plenty to offer those looking for something different. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest reasons why the South is such an attractive place to live.
For many northerners, warmer weather is the biggest draw of Southern living. Especially among those who have spent a lifetime dealing with winter weather, leaving snow shovels and bulky winter coats behind is a tantalizing prospect. And in most of the South’s fastest-growing cities, winters are mild and comfortable. Summers, however, are a different story altogether.
As far as summer road-tripping destinations go, North Carolina, Virginia, and Texas, are hard to beat. But a quick getaway doesn’t give visitors the full experience of summer in the deep South, where blistering heat, drenching humidity, and the occasional mid-day thunderstorm are part of everyday life.
Because of the South’s sweltering summertime conditions, air conditioners are a must. It’s crucial that Southern transplants consider whether they can afford surging energy costs in the summer, as well as the weather itself. To offset energy costs, prospective Southerners should learn how to estimate monthly energy usage so that there are no surprises when the power bill arrives.
Cooling costs notwithstanding, however, many cities across the South rank high in affordability, making them an attractive option for northerners from all walks of life. In 2018, Forbes determined that “with the exception of three cities, all the top places for high incomes and cheap living are found in the South.” Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., are among the top contenders where affordability is concerned.
And the job market is booming: Startups and tech culture are helping to fuel the economy in Austin, Atlanta, and Raleigh, for example. Tourism is a big money-maker along the Gulf Coast, so those in the hospitality industry are likely to find gainful, long-term employment in short order.
A Laid-Back Lifestyle
Affordability and jobs are certainly a draw, but it’s the South’s culture and charm that ultimately draw transplants from across the U.S., and the world. “Let the good times roll” is both a motto and a way of life in the city of New Orleans and elsewhere across the South. Life just moves a little slower down here, making for a refreshing change of pace from the hustle-and-bustle of northern cities.
And the laid-back lifestyle embodied across the South can be seen in everything from business and social interactions to one’s home life. For example, there’s little room for clutter when one is living a more laissez-faire lifestyle. Those looking to relocate to the South should carefully think about the amount of square footage they really need and consider the numerous benefits of downsizing. Generally speaking, downsizing makes financial sense, leaving northern transplants with more money in the bank to take in all the South has to offer.
What’s not to love about the South? It’s easy to overlook the summer humidity when one considers economic prosperity, a comfortable cost of living, and a culture that’s unlike anywhere else in the world.