With sunny skies, affordable costs of living and a staggeringly-low unemployment rate, this West Texas city is a great place to call home in the Lone Star State.
If you are planning or considering a move to Odessa, read on for more information to ensure that it is the right place for you, and to make your relocation a smooth and easy one.
Weather in the city is arid and hot, with very little precipitation and temperatures reaching the high 90s in the summer. Locals can enjoy sunshine on 256 days a year. Raindrops shower the city a mere 39 days a year, accumulating to only 14 inches annually. Snowfall is very rare--less than one inch a year.
There are a variety of unique districts in the city--before choosing one to call home, it's imperative to conduct thorough research and ensure that it is safe, convenient, and within your price range.
Some of the more affluent areas of Odessa include Rocky Lane Road/Deering Road, Gardendale, John Ben Sheppard Parkway, Andrew's Highway, State Loop, Bounce, and Warfield; featuring newer, single-family homes, high-rise apartments and complexes.
These neighborhoods are also among the best for low crime and access to premium education. Bounce/Warfield tops the list for public schools, and the Andrews Highway/East Hillman Road area is deemed the safest part of the city to live.
Registering Your Car
Upon your arrival in Texas, you will have to update your registration within 30 days to avoid being charged a penalty. You will first need to have your vehicle inspected, at any certified Texas Department of Public Safety inspection station. Be sure to bring proof of Texas auto insurance. You are required to have coverage of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage in the state. To get your plates and registration, you will need proof you own the vehicle (such as a title or previous registration), your proof of insurance, and inspection papers. Non-resident college students attending school in the state and active members of the U.S. Armed Forces are not required to register their vehicles in Texas.
The Texas DMV does not issue driver's licenses. You will have to transfer your license at the Department of Public Safety, no more than 90 days after you move to the state.
Public education in the city is served by the Ector County Independent School District. The system operates about 35 facilities including alternative and magnet schools. There are also a number of private schools available for students seeking a religious-based education. Some of these include Latter Rain Christian School, Odessa Christian School, Permian Basin Christian School, St. John's Episcopal School, St. Mary's Central Catholic School, Sherwood Christian Academy, and Zion Christian Academy. Odessa is also home to three charter schools-- Compass Academy, Harmony Science Academy-Odessa, and Richard Milburn Academy-Odessa. With this multitude of educational options, you are sure to find an institution suitable for your child and their individual needs.
For options in higher education, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers bachelor's and graduate degrees to any students looking to wear the orange and white. The college's school of business was awarded accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), a prestigious accreditation agency for business schools around the world.
Odessa College is a two-year university offering occupational and technical courses, and associate's degree programs in education, social sciences, art, mathematics, engineering, and physical science.
The Odessa economy is largely driven by the oil industry, as well as other areas of the energy sector. There are plans for a nuclear power plant, wind farm, solar collector and a clean coal plant in the area as of 2010.
The city has been experiencing a growth in development in recent years, with the construction of several retail centers, hotels, and distribution centers for Family Dollar and Coca-Cola.
No matter where you relocate, the pressure of finding a job can be quite stressful. Luckily, unemployment rates in Odessa were as low as 3.6 as of April 2013--five percent less than the national average! At any rate, if you are moving to the city without secured employment, you can visit the Workforce Solutions website for job-hunting assistance and resources for the Permian Basin region. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you can contact the Odessa Chamber of Commerce for information on how to start a business in the city. You can also apply for city jobs at the Odessa Government official website.
With any luck, you'll find a job in Odessa in no time. Top employers in the city include the Ector County Independent School District, Medical Center Hospital, Saulsbury Industries, Halliburton, Odessa Regional Medical Center, Wal-Mart Stores, City of Odessa, Ector County, Nurses Unlimited, and Weatherford.
Living Costs in the City
The cost of living in Odessa is low, at six percent below the national average. Housing is reasonable, falling two percent below the rate of the average American city. The median home price in the city is listed at about $148,500.
Other typical costs in the city are reasonable as well. Utility costs are 13 less than the national rate, and grocery expenses are ten percent less than the average American city. Transportation and healthcare costs are about six percent below the national average.
Odessa Moving Resources
There are many moving and storage companies located in Odessa that are waiting to help you relocate to your new home. Be sure to do your research and obtain estimates from several different services before choosing one for hire. You can compare online quotes from many different moving companies and other services to aid you in your move, whether you are coming from the next city or overseas. Visit the following pages here at Movers.com to get fast quotes for the following services:
If you will be moving to the city without a vehicle or will have limited access to one, you will need to familiarize yourself with mass transit. Public bus service in the city is operated by E-Z Rider, which serves both Odessa and the nearby community of Midland. The system features fixed bus routes as well as a door-to-door paratransit service for elderly and disabled residents. The buses run from 6:15 a.m. until 6:10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:15 a.m. until 4:10 p.m. on Saturday.
If you will be getting around via automobile, some of the major highways you will be navigating along include I-20, US-385 (Andrews Highway), and SH-191 (42nd Street).
Culture and Contemporary Life
Theatre and performing arts are enjoyed by locals in the city at several unique venues. The Permian Playhouse thrills and entertains audiences with performances of comedy, music, drama and dance, and the Globe of the Great Southwest features an authentic replica of William Shakespeare's legendary Globe Theatre. It hosts numerous plays and an annual Shakespeare tribute festival.
If you have children, you can enjoy a day at Fun City, an amusement center complete with mini-golf, arcade games, and go-carts. If you are a lover of sports, you can attend a West Texas Roughnecks (an Indoor Football League team) game, or see the Odessa Jackalopes Junior ice hockey at the Ector County Coliseum. High school football is also very popular in the city--Ratcliff Stadium, home to both the Permian Panthers and the Odessa Bronchos, is one of the largest high school football fields in the state.
Odessa Relocation Tips
- Odessa has very high temperatures in the summer months. Luckily, the city's utility costs are below the national average to help keep your energy bills manageable.
- Get moving quotes from several movers in the city before choosing one to hire. You can start today right here at Movers.com.
- To stay organized during your move, make sure you have a moving checklist so you remember to complete all important tasks associated with your relocation.