Every city has something that makes it special. The film and television industry draws aspiring thespians to Los Angeles. New York City flexes its might as a center for financial power. Chicago touts a rebellious history. However, the glamor of these popular gateway destinations to the United States is starting to dull. The increasing cost of living, long commutes, and crowded urban spaces are inspiring people to look to elsewhere for home.
It’s cities like Fort Worth attracting attention. US News World Report ranked the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area ninth on its Best Places to Retire and in the top 20 Best Places to Live. The DFW metroplex ranks second for the number of new residents migrating from out of the state. Why are people and companies choosing Fort Worth over another secondary city?
Fort Worth’s job market is a huge population draw. The intellectual talent here runs deep and impressive thanks to high-quality employment opportunities. One source claims Fort Worth has more people working in computer and mathematic-based industries than 95 percent of the United States.
The DFW metroplex ranks in the nation’s top five for the number of Fortune 500 company headquarters. American Airlines and D.R. Horton are in Fort Worth. Forbes magazine ranked DFW as No. 1 on its "Best Big Cities for Jobs list for 2017 and 2018 partially thanks to its consistent job growth. Leading employers in DFW include:
- American Airlines
- Exxon Mobil
- Lockheed Martin
- Pier 1 Imports
- Texas Health Resources
Additionally, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport employs around 60,000 people. As the world’s third busiest airport and home to its largest airline, it’s a major transportation hub and a multi-billion dollar economic engine for the area.
Having these high-profile companies means nothing if businesses are not growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found the metroplex added 114,900 non-agricultural new jobs from August 2017 to August 2018. Fort Worth-Arlington was responsible for 23,400 of those jobs. Over the same time period, the city increased its available employment opportunities by 2.3 percent. While the Dallas and other eastern cities may have accounted for around 72 percent of the metroplex’s job growth, Fort Worth is leading the area for manufacturing employment growth.
The average salary for Fort Worth employment hovers near "$50,000. The unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent as of August 2018, and ranged from 3.3-3.8 percent for 2018. That is on par with the nation’s unemployment rate, which was 3.7 percent in September 2018, and Texas, at 3.8 percent for the same month.
Real Estate Market
Purchasing a home is a serious financial investment. Fort Worth has the advantage of a rich tapestry of neighborhoods, from the historic to the contemporary. Housing is relatively affordable compared to other cities of similar size with high employment rates. According to the Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS®, the average home cost $235,068 in 2017. The median price fell at $207,500.
For individuals seeking an urban work-live-play lifestyle, downtown Fort Worth has a walkable city center. Livability ranked it No. 1 in its 2014 Top 10 Best Downtowns list. It said Fort Worth, “achieved the cohesion between cowboy culture and urban sophistication.” The list additionally cited the city’s support for improvement projects to bring in new businesses, improve walkability, and ease traffic.
Fort Worth is serviced by many suburban communities, such as Ridglea Hills, Arlington, Fairmount, University Park. The Fairmount Historic District has many turn-of-the-century homes, some which have been renovated into restaurants and retail shops. Communities around Fort Worth’s iconic country clubs River Crest and Colonial Hills are shaded with mature trees and spacious lots. The right real estate expert can pinpoint the right neighborhood for your needs.
It’s not just the residential market that is attractive. As our population and industry grows, the commercial structures to support our work-life needs follow suit.
Real estate industry executives ranked the DFW metroplex No. 1 for property investment and construction. That was higher than other popular cities like Orlando and Raleigh-Durham. According to Dallas News, “D-FW is the top home and apartment building center in the country and a leader in demand for all kinds of commercial real estate.” Only New York City had more new construction projects than the DFW metroplex.
Since Fort Worth is a growing city for employment, our area has plenty of short-term housing solutions. The corporate housing available in Fort Worth suits all needs. A search for long-term corporate housing in Fort Worth will uncover a range of amenities and lifestyle options.
Fully furnished spaces can be leased for less than a month to more than three months. Corporate housing often includes amenities like internet and utilities; other include linens and kitchenware. Having these options available streamlines moving to Fort Worth. You can have a comfortable place to live while becoming accustomed to the area, its neighborhoods, and working with a local real estate agent to find long-term housing.
Naturally, people want to go about their daily lives free from external threats like robbery or violent crimes. While no one can promise a community free from crime, the Fort Worth area does have a low crime rate. In 2017, over 55 percent of the reported offenses were property related. The police department reported the overall crime rate was down 6.1 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2018. In fact, declines in the crime rate trend back to 2013. The overall crime rate has fallen 19.9 percent over five years even as our population increased by 10.2 percent.
Comparing Dallas and Fort Worth’s annual crime rates from 2016 data, the total overall crime rate per 1,000 residents is lower in Fort Worth. Violent crime was a 5.26 per 1,000 residents while property offenses was at 33 for 1,000 residents. Fort Worth had a lower total crime rate per 100,000 people than cities of a similar size like San Francisco, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Austin.
Fort Worth residents have a range of public school districts and private schools to choose for their families. The area’s school districts average a graduation rate of 93 percent with 60 percent being deemed “college ready” by the Texas Education Agency.
Over 200 private schools operate in the Fort Worth area, both religious and non-religious. Niche.com ranked Fort Worth Country Day School, a K-12 college-prep private school, as the 7th best private high school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, followed by Trinity Valley School at No. 8. Popular private schools include Fort Worth Christian School, the Oakridge School, and All Saints’ Episcopal School.
Some of the area’s public schools ranked well in "US News’ Best High Schools annual evaluation. Uplift Summit International High School in Arlington ranked No. 28 in Texas and No. 139 on the national list. The Young Women’s Leadership Academy was No. 100 in Texas and No. 761 nationally. In Arlington Heights, the Academy of Biomedical High School is rated as a 10 of 10 by Great Schools. The school analysis platform rated Tanglewood Elementary as 10 of 10 and the charter school Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts as 9 of 10.
As far as universities, the Texas Christian University ranked No. 80 on "US News’ Best Universities list. The University of Texas-Arlington and Texas Wesleyan University additionally made appearances on the publication’s regional ranking lists.
There’s no beating around the bush: Texas summers are hot. The average summertime high in Fort Worth is over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. However, winters tend to be mild. Most days stay above freezing. That makes the majority of the year ideal for outdoor activities like football games or bicycling the Trinity Trail.
A community is more than a place to live and work. The best cities have personality: a social scene, restaurants, and activities to occupy our time in between. Fort Worth delivers top-notch restaurants, world-class museums, live music venues, and sporting activities on residents’ doorstep.
Entertainment for the Whole Family
Sundance Square epitomizes the social scene in Fort Worth. In the 35-block entertainment area, you’ll find trendy local bars, restaurants, retailers, and entertainment venues. Fort Worth residents go here for an evening out, to entertain their visiting family, or have fun. Sundance Square’s focal point is the Plaza, with fountains, a pavilion, giant umbrellas. The Plaza serves as the stage for festivals and shows. Sundance Square restaurants include Mi Cocina, PF Chang’s China Bistro, and the upscale WATERS. A sampling of entertainment venues ranges from Hyena’s Comedy Club, the Scat Jazz Lounge, and the AMC Palace 9 Theatre.
Outside of Sundance Square, Fort Worth is home to one of the nation’s best zoos. USA Today listed the Fort Worth Zoo No. 5 in North America, and it’s the No.1 destination on a Zagat Survey for the greater metroplex. Over 7,000 species call the Fort Worth Zoo home. Of note is its Museum of Living Art (MOLA) exhibit, where guests interact with endangered and critically endangered species.
The Partners for Livable Communities designated Fort Worth as one of America’s “Most Livable Communities.” It has the second largest number of museums within walking distance of each other. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Modern Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum, and Kimbell Art Museum are all near one another. Additionally, we have monuments to Fort Worth’s past Western past in the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and Log Cabin Village, and its links to World War I in the Fort Worth Aviation Museum.
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the oldest in Texas. Its world-renowned Japanese garden is a meticulously planned and maintained space. The garden has over 2,500 plant species in 23 specialty gardens. The garden is adjacent to the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), a center for an international, scientific research focused on conservation. Once a month, the local farmer’s market offers seasonal produce from nearby community gardens.
Fort Worth truly offers entertainment options to suit everyone. For classical tastes, the Bass Performance Hall is one of the world’s top 10 Opera Houses. The venue is in the Sundance Square District and plays host to Broadway shows and performances by our local performing arts organizations.
The show Four Day Weekend, a critically acclaimed comedy group, is the city’s longest running show. Every Friday and Saturday the performers improv from audience suggestions, making every show truly unique. Their theater is in Sundance Square.
Fort Worth isn’t all barbeque and Tex Mex, although the selections in these niches are superb. The dining scene is eclectic. Piatello Italian Kitchen was one of Texas Monthly’s Best 10 New Restaurants. Press Café is another establishment featured by Texas Monthly for its straightforward cuisine. Funkytown Donuts is a popular local establishment, as is the Café Brazil. See a sampling of the various cuisine options available for foodies here.
Enjoy the country’s third-best arts festival, Fort Worth’s Main Street Arts Festival. This four-day event is the top ranking arts festival in the state. It’s free to enjoy live music, an art fair, street performers, and culinary creations along 18 blocks of Sundance Square.
The Lone Star Film festival in November highlights some of the year’s most anticipated films. MovieMaker Magazine added the five-day cinemaphile’s paradise to its Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee list.
Naturally, a rodeo must be included. The 23-day Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo was established in 1896. Over a million visitors a year come to witness the world-class livestock shows, daily live music, and festival atmosphere.
Fort Worth has a ripe and distinguished history through its Western frontier heritage. It was once called “the place where the West begins.”
No place in the city embodies the town’s heritage more than the Stockyards National Historic District. Here you’ll find championship rodeo and bull riding, historic re-enactments, and great concerts. Twice-a-day, drovers drive cattle through the stockyards in a throwback to the city’s “cowtown” past.
Billy Bob’s Texas is one of Fort Worth’s most infamous venues. Billed as the world’s largest honky-tonk, the place is eponymous with Fort Worth’s culture and history. Founded in 1981, the building dates back to 1910. It’s been used for livestock events and an airplane factory, but today it’s about country music, live bull riding, and dancing.
The U.S. Army established Camp Bowie in the area during World War I to train its Air Force. Its influence still exists in the street names and in the architecture of some neighborhoods.
The previously mentioned museums and exhibits are another way to appreciate Fort Worth’s long history on the frontier.
Navigation and Transportation
While Fort Worth isn’t immune to traffic woes, it’s certainly better than the giant metroplexes along the East Coast and in California. A study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute found Dallas County was home to nine of the DFW metroplex’s most congested roads. Tarrant County, only two. US News reports the average commute in Fort Worth is 20-25 minutes compared to Dallas’ county’s 30-40 minutes. Compare that to Miami commuters, who could spend over an hour on the road to reach their destination.
As previously mentioned, Fort Worth is home to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports. Residents have convenient access to the terminals and cities beyond. It’s possible to fly nonstop internationally from DFW to Mexico City, Cancun, Sydney or Hong Kong.
Texas is known for wide open spaces, but not its pedestrian-friendly transportation options. Fort Worth has a leg up on Dallas in this arena, too. The Trinity Trail system offers 30 miles of paved trails plus other surfaces, forming a network of human-friendly transportation. Some of the trail runs adjacent to the Clear Fork of the Trinity River.
Fort Worth’s Trinity Railway Express connects downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas with a few stations between cities. The Trinity Railway is an easy way to travel between the two business hubs without jumping on the I-30. Stops like Victory Station deliver riders direct to the American Airlines Center, the home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars. Another new commuter rail service, TEXRail, will be a 27-mile line servicing downtown Fort Worth and connecting to DFW International Airport’s Terminal B. It’s scheduled to begin service in late 2018.
If environmentally friendly transportation is important to you, Fort Worth’s B-cycle program is a nonprofit public bike-sharing program ran by the city’s Transportation Department. Over 40 stations are scattered across the city at key destinations and landmarks to help residents move around.
Making the decision to relocate is a big deal. Fort Worth is serviced by numerous relocation services experienced in moving people across town and the country. Corporate and residential movers will make sure your items arrive safely at your new home. A simple web search will show moving companies and storage facilities available in Fort Worth. Of course, your real estate agent is an excellent source for relocation professional service recommendations.
For businesses, the Fort Worth Chamber offers corporate relocation and expansion assistance for companies considering the city at no cost. These services include site search and demographic research.
Choosing Fort Worth
When you decide to call Fort Worth your home, you’re picking a place with all the amenities of a large city without much of the hassle. The city has culture, based on its Wild West history, plus modern urban amenities. Employment opportunities are among the best in the nation. After work, there are endless entertainment and social options. Real estate is relatively affordable; where $200,000 could get you a 1/1 condo in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, the same amount could be a Fort Worth home over 2,199 sq ft in some neighborhoods.
Easily craft the right lifestyle to suit your needs: an urban downtown, a trendy loft, a historic home with character, a luxury residence near amenities…the possibilities in Fort Worth are endless! The Chicotsky Real Estate Group can pinpoint the right Fort Worth neighborhood for your tastes.