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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Waco, TX

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Affectionately referred to as the Heart of Texas, the city of Waco boasts affordable living, unique attractions, and an intriguing history.

If you are planning or considering a move to this southern riverside city, read on for more information on how to make your transition a smooth and easy one.

Waco Climate

Waco has a humid subtropical climate, with hot, sticky summers and mild winters. Tornadoes are also possible in the region, usually in the spring season.

Snowfall is very rare in the city, but rain is considerably common. Waco receives about 35-inches of rainfall a year.

Waco Neighborhoods

The city is divided into three regions--the North Side, the South Side, and the East Side. Each "side" is then separated into different sectors.

The North Side is the city's most culturally-diverse region. It includes the following neighborhoods: Austin Avenue, Brook Oaks, Brookview, Cedar Ridge, Dean Highland, Heart O' Texas, Landon Branch, Mountainview, North Lake Waco, North Waco, Parkdale, Richland Hills, Sanger Heights and Viking Hills.

The South Side is referred to as the heart of Waco, and is the city's most historic district. It has a high Hispanic population and features many shops and restaurants influenced by the Mexican culture. It is also home to the campus of Baylor University. Neighborhoods in the South Side include Alta Vista, Baylor, Brazos, Kendrick, Oakwood, and University Park.

The East Side lies on the other side of the Brazo River and is divided into four sectors: Carver, East Riverside, Timbercrest and Ignorant Holler.

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.

Waco Schools

If you are relocating with children, you will have to make arrangements for their education. Public education in the city is mainly served by Waco Independent School District. The system operates three high schools, six middle schools, 13 elementary schools, three magnet schools and two alternative schools.

However, some parts of the city are served by Midway Independent School District. The district also includes neighboring communities of Woodway, Speegleville, Hewitt, and parts of McGregor, Lorena and Crawford.

If do not wish to send your child to public school, there are several private and parochial schools in the city. These include Vanguard College Preparatory School, Live Oak Classical School, Texas Christian Academy, and Reicher Catholic High School.

For higher learning, the following institutions have campuses in Waco: Baylor University, McLennan Community College, and Texas State Technical College

Waco Employment

In times of a struggling economy, the pressure of finding a job can be quite stressful. 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 six-county Heart of Texas region. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you can contact the Waco Chamber of Commerce for information on how to start a business in the city.

With any luck, you'll find a job in Waco in no time. Top employers in the city include Providence Health Center, Baylor University, Waco Independent School District, the city of Waco, Hillcrest Health System, L-3 Communications, H-E-B Grocery Company, Wal-Mart, Sanderson farms, Inc., and Midway Independent School District.

Living Costs in the City

The cost of living in Waco is low, at eight percent below the national average. Housing is quite affordable, falling 11 percent below the rate of the average American city. The rent for the standard one-bedroom apartment in Waco is about $860 a month, and $1,175 for a two-bedroom. The average home in the city is listed at about $129,900.

Other typical costs in the city are reasonable as well. Utility and grocery costs are both 16 percent lower than average, and healthcare is seven percent lower. Transportation costs are a mere one percent above the national average.

Waco Moving Resources

There are many moving and storage companies located in Waco 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:

Waco Transportation

Public transportation in the city is operated by the Waco Transit System. The available services include fixed bus routes within city limits, the Baylor University Shuttle and a paratransit van for the elderly and disabled.

Other special services include the DASH (Downtown Area Shuttle) , the shared ride service Evening LINK, the Gold Rush Tailgate Shuttle for transport to Baylor Bears football games, Safe Ride Home on New Year's Eve, the Holiday Tour of Lights and trolley rentals.

The Waco bus station is located on South 8th Street. The fixed bus route hours are Monday through Friday 5 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Visit the Waco Transit website for more information.

Culture and Contemporary Life

The city has a number of interesting attractions and museums to visit. The Mayborn Museum Complex is a 142,000 square-foot facility featuring a natural history museum with walk-in dioramas, hands-on interactive exhibits, a historic village, and a theatre. If you prefer pop culture history, the Dr. Pepper Museum chronicles the evolution of the sugary carbonated beverage with past advertisements, old machinery used for its manufacture, and other memorabilia. You can also buy a float or enjoy a free sample at the soda fountain.

If you're interested in archaeology, the Waco Mammoth Site is an area where the bones of 24 mammoths were discovered after the animals were trapped and buried there during a flood 68,000 years ago. However, if prefer the sight of live animals, you can spend a day at the Cameron Zoo. A 52-acre wildlife experience, the zoo features a multitude of exotic species including lions, tigers, orangutans, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros, jaguars, and Komodo dragons.

Waco Relocation Tips

  • Waco has a subtropical climate, with very high temperatures and high humidity in the summer months. Luckily, the city's utility costs are 16 percent 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.
  • The city can be affected by tornadoes, so be sure to properly prepare your home in case of a dangerous storm.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on July 2, 2013

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