Spanish for "the pass," El Paso is located in western Texas and is currently the 19th most populated city in the United States and the sixth most populous city in the state of Texas. The city is situated right on the Rio Grande, which is the river that serves as an international border between the United States and Mexico throughout western Texas. The city on the other side of the river, Juarez, is often combined with El Paso to form an international metropolitan area, with a total of over 3 million residents in both cities combined. Home to the state's oldest operating orchestra group, El Paso is also proud of The Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center, which is listed as a place of national historic significance.
This guide will provide you with some helpful tips and information on just about everything you need to know if you're going to be making the move to El Paso. From the city's neighborhoods and school systems to the employment options and recreational activities available within the city, you'll find it all in this guide so that you can go into your move with the knowledge that is needed to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
El Paso Climate
El Paso's climate is primarily categorized as a hot desert climate. The city experiences hot, dry weather during the summer with very low humidity. However, the temperatures can often reach the triple digits during the hottest parts of the summer in July and August. During the winter, the weather is much milder, with temperatures usually staying in the 50s and 60s during the day and dropping into the 30s and 40s at night. El Paso experiences 302 days of sunshine on average throughout a typical calendar year and very little rain, only about 9.4-inches per year on average. The city is also subject to occasional flooding because of its proximity to the Rio Grande River.
The temperature throughout the state of Texas can vary wildly, from extremely hot and dry during the day in the summer to much cooler and even freezing temperatures at night when the sun goes down. The spring and fall seasons tend to be warm and rainy throughout much of the region.
El Paso Geography and Neighborhoods
El Paso is situated in the Chihuahuan Desert at the intersection of three different states - Texas, New Mexico and the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Its location makes it a very culturally diverse city with lots of different influences from neighboring states and the country of Mexico. El Paso is comprised of several distinct areas such as Central El Paso, East El Paso, Mission Valley El Paso, Northeast El Paso, Northwest El Paso and West Central El Paso. The city's downtown area is located in Central El Paso, along with the Sunset Heights neighborhood as well.
Living Costs in the City
El Paso's cost of living is 92.3 percent of the national average according to ACCRA with the residents exempt from personal income tax. The costs of living in El Paso are fairly low on average, when compared to other similar large cities throughout the country, and the average price of rent is low throughout most of El Paso, as well as the various living expenses related to average living costs, such as transportation, food and utilities. The median family income in El Paso is $42,856, which is much lower than the national average for median family income.
The median home price for an average home in El Paso is around $130,088, also significantly low and well below the national average, but on par with similar real estate prices that exist throughout much of West Texas, as well as most of the southwestern United States region.
Registering Your Car
The first few weeks can be a busy time for anyone who is new to Texas. One must make sure to register their vehicle as soon as they can. In order to do that one can find a local car service provider who will inspect your vehicle. There are also vehicle inspection stations available where one must show detailed proof of adequate insurance and your driver's license.
Upon moving to Texas, one must also apply for a Texas Driver's license. One must go to a driver's license division office of the Texas Department of Public safety. Unless you are a student or a military member you must submit any existing license and apply for a new license here. One has 90 days upon arrival to have a Texas driver's license. You must also make sure to learn about the Texas point system as getting a ticket in Texas can be very expensive.
El Paso Moving Resources
Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to El Paso, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Texas. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:
El Paso Schools
The El Paso public school system is operated by four main public school districts which include the El Paso Independent School District, Ysleta Independent School District, Socorro Independent School District and the Canutillo Independent School District. The city of El Paso also offers 22 top-notch private schools and almost 18 public and private schools in the city have been honored with the National Blue Ribbon award since 1985. Some of the well-known colleges and universities located in the city include the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Campus, Park University, and Webster University.
El Paso Employment
There are a total of 70 Fortune 500 companies with offices that are located in El Paso like Hoover, Boeing, Delphi and Eureka and 72.7 percent of all regional residents drive less than 30 minutes to work each day. The city has a large military presence, as well as a large concentration of federal government employees working with Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), due to the city's proximity to the international border with Mexico. Education is one of the main contributors to the city's economy, as are small businesses.
The current unemployment rate is right around 8.0 percent as of April 2013, slightly higher than the national unemployment rate, however the job growth rate is on the rise at 18.54 percent. Some of El Paso's top employers include Fort Bliss military base, El Paso Independent School District, the city of El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
El Paso is served by a number of major highways - Interstate 10, U.S. Highway 54, 62, 85, 180, SH 20 and Loop 375. The public transportation provided by the city is the Sun Metro Mass Transit System which operates natural gas-powered buses in and around the El Paso area. It was named the most outstanding public transit system in the United States in 2011. There is also Amtrak service available in El Paso at the Union Depot, which provides transportation on the Sunset Limited line that runs between Los Angeles and New Orleans.
The closest major airport is the El Paso International Airport which is located only four miles northeast of downtown El Paso. The airport is served by eight commercial airlines and has more than 128 daily arrivals and departures to both domestic and international destinations.
Culture and Contemporary Life
El Paso's location provides residents with plenty to do and see around the city and in adjacent towns. There are over 100 parks, bike paths and hiking trails located throughout the metropolitan area, including Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest park located within the city limits. There are also several museums such as the El Paso Museum of History, the El Paso Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, as well as the National Border Patrol Museum. The historic Plaza Theater and the El Paso Zoo are two more popular attractions within the city of El Paso.
Moving to El Paso
Whatever your reasons for moving to El Paso, whether it be for a change of scenery or for employment, the city beckons you with its charm. The first step in the process of moving to El Paso is choosing a moving company after first checking their BBB ratings, insurance and license. The moving rates are charged by the hour if you are moving within the state boundary, while for a long distance move the charges will depend on the total weight or volume in cubic feet of your belongings. In the latter case, you can ask about a flat rate or any special discounts that are available with the mover.