Marie Bailey grew up in Orange County, California, and moved to Dallas a touch quite three years ago.
“We moved due to the cost of living,” Bailey said. The home she and her husband owned in Orange County was okay but not what she had always pictured.
“I wanted a dream house, you know? It didn’t need to be a mansion, but we worked so hard. I worked, he worked, and I was like, ‘What are we working so hard for?’ ”
After Bailey moved to Texas, she got her land license and located her niche relocating people from California.
She said many folks are reconsidering where they’d wish to live, as they still work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That right there is pushing people to move,” she said.
Bailey moderates, an 18,000-member Facebook society termed “Move to Texas From California!“
As cases of coronavirus spike in both states, she said, nobody within the group she’s communicated with has expressed regrets over having left California for Texas or their plans to do so soon. She said her business of helping people move, is thriving now more than ever.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas is home to five of the ten fastest-growing cities in the country.
More than 86,000 people moved to the state from California in 2018, consistent with the property management firm Yardi Systems.
Kevin Snow may be a member of Bailey’s Facebook group. He and his wife, Debbie, moved from Cypress, near l. a. , to only outside of Waco, Texas, three years ago.
They chose Waco because they romanced by that HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” where the hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines, rehab homes in their hometown.
“[Debbie] got hooked on that and we started watching it, and next thing she’s like, ‘Well, what do you think about driving up to Waco to an exploratory trip?’ and that we did and fell crazy with this area,” Snow said.
The Snows are retired and figured they might get more for his or her money if they left California.
According to MIT, last year housing costs in California were nearly 60% above in Texas. And inhabitants of Texas employ about 5% less on everything other than their equivalents on the West Coast.
“We sold our house in Orange County, and that we bought three in Texas,” Snow said.
One to live in, two to flip.
But the move has had its challenges. Debbie Snow features a 32-year-old son, Cameron, with spastic paralysis, who moved with them. He’s blind and can’t speak or walk.
“One of the first things we did on our first visit as we went to the social services department and started asking a bunch of questions,” Snow said. “And they were like, oh yeah, we have everything he was used to that he got in California, you can get here so just come on down. That was a big, fat lie.”
Texas may be a low-tax state, but it is also a low-spending state, which suggests the social safety net is restricted.
Snow said it felt quite a year to push everything in situ for Cameron.
“I think if we have known what we were going to run into, we would have thought twice for sure,” he said.
The Texas social safety net is probably going to urge even smaller because the pandemic continues to hammer the state budget.
Despite the surge in cases over the past few weeks, Andy Stevens of Riverside, California, doesn’t have any doubts about moving together with his wife and two sons to the much more affordable Weatherford, Texas — just outside of Dallas-Fort Worth — in early July.
He said there’s nothing he can do about the virus, so he’s full steam ahead with the move. Stevens said politics played a role in his family’s decision to leave California. He and his wife, Michelle, consider themselves conservatives.
“We were feeling like the odd man out here in California,” he said. “And my wife’s a teacher, so she saw it at work as well as in our home life. We didn’t feel at home here any longer.” His only concession to the dramatically worsening pandemic is to think about alternate driving routes for the family’s move to avoid virus hot spots along the way.