Your Ultimate Guide To Fort Worth
So you’re thinking about making the big move to Fort Worth? What an exciting adventure! Most everyone knows that Fort Worth is very popular for its western culture and its thriving downtown community. We are also known for our business growth opportunities and our variety of residential neighborhoods. Our population is growing every year as well. As a Realtor for 20 years, I see tons of folks moving to the Fort Worth area annually. Many are relocating from California, Nevada and other areas. We have retirees (Boomers moving close to grandkids) but of course all walks of life are continually attracted to our beautifully area.
Whether you’re moving from California, Ohio or from across town, it can be a daunting task to take up roots in another area. That’s why this page, The Ultimate Guide To Fort Worth, was created for you. So, if you’re moving to Fort Worth yourself or you know someone who is, read this article first!
This resource is packed with information to help make your transition into Fort Worth a little easier.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL FIND BELOW:
- Facts & Figures
- Entertainment, Dining and Fun
- Strong Economy & Jobs
- Thriving Communities
- Outdoor Activities
- Easy Commute
- Entertainment, Dining and Fun
- Public Safety
- Schools & Programs
- Real Estate
- Final Thoughts
Facts & Figures
I know, reading over the facts and figures of a city can be kind of BORING so let’s get them out of the way first so we can get to the fun stuff.
- Population: approx. 900,000 (according to the 2019 Census)
- Total Area: 358 square miles (See map above for outlying areas that are included in the city of Fort Worth)
- Median Home Price: $238,000
- Median Household Income: $60,000.
- Sales Tax: 8.25%
- State Income Tax: 0% (don’t get too excited — wait till you see our property tax rates)
- Average Property Tax Rate: 2.6% (Can be closer to 3% in some areas)
Property Taxes include County Services (hospitals,
- Median Age: 32
- Average Commute Time: 20-30 minutes
Strong Economy & Job Growth
Fort Worth has continued to have a strong economy and is a 3 time All American City and boasts the #1 downtown in the US (according to Livability.com) Plus the city has an average of 230 beautiful sunny days to enjoy every year.
Fort Worth is the fastest growing among the 20 largest U.S. cities and is expected to add another 600,000 by 2040. But that growth is about more than just population. Fort Worth has seen strong advances in education, jobs, diversity of culture and industry that have created an unmatched pool of resources for business to grow as well.
According to the FortWorthTex.gov :
November 2016 reported an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, the lowest rate reported from January 1991-December 2016. City employers continue to boost the diverse Fort Worth economy by adding jobs in a variety of industries, providing workers with a wide range of job opportunities. In January 2017 The Perryman Group reported that the Fort Worth-Arlington MD is projected to add almost 112,900 net new jobs, representing 2.08 percent per annum growth and total employment of nearly 1.2 million in 2021.
Of course, with the Covid19 Pandemic, cities across the world are reporting huge increase in unemployment rates and our numbers will no doubt be low. We are positive unemployment will drop and return to a regular “low” again soon. Fort Worth Chamber and the City of Fort Worth have greatly supported both the small business community, restaurants, tourism and overall commerce by providing resources for recovery including Business Resources, Community Resources like our YMCA feeding kids programs continue throughout the summer.
Fun Things To Do, See and Experience
There are so many things to do in Fort Worth it could be a never ending list – but here are a few of my favorites.
When it comes to culture, Fort Worth has a Texas sized helping ya’ll ! Cowtown is proud of its Cowboy and Western heritage and the historic Stockyards are LIVESTOCK PROOF of that. Did you now the Whether you are visiting on vacation or making a day of it, you won’t want to miss spending a day at the stockyards and experiencing the brick paved streets, wooden corrals and even see a live cattle drive twice daily right down Exchange Street! It’s a great place to shop, take a walking tour, grab a steak dinner, mexican food or kick your boots up at one of the many saloons like the world famous Billy Bob’s Concert Hall and Rodeo Arena. Here are my best dining suggestions for the stockyards:
1. Joe T Garcia’s 3 Things to NOTE: They are CASH ONLY, They have great food but limited menu which keeps things simple and last but not least – plan to stand in line to get in! (no they don’t take reservations) You can also send someone from your party through the line to bar for margaritas (fair warning they are not for the faint at heart- VERY STRONG) Great outdoor seating under the stars and twinkle lights is like being in Mexico. It’s a great Fort Worth tradition since 1938!
2. H3 Ranch They are famous for their hickory wood grill is located right on Exchange Ave. in heart of the Stockyards. Enjoy a big variety of steaks, ribs, rainbow trout, chicken a more. The Flaming Tenderloin is my personal favorite which is doused in Puerto Rican Rum. Don’t forget to save room for some Homemade Peach Cobbler or their Mud Turtle Icecream Cake!
3. Riscky’s BBQ While they also own and operate Riscky’s Steakhouse and Trailboss Burgers my favorite is the original BBQ. They’ve been serving BBQ since 1927 so they have it down to a fine art. They have 3 locations now in Fort Worth (Stockyards, Sundance Square and Camp Bowie Blvd.
I like to family style order from the appetizer menu (that way I can have a variety of all of the things I love and everyone can share) My favorites are the Riscky’s Brisket Bites (OMG- smoke prime brisket chunks dipped in batter and deep fried -served with BBQ ranch dressing. My other go to appetizer are Fried Pickles (I think there’s a fried theme going on here) add to that off with an order of TEXAS MESS (a combo of nugget corn, stuffed jalapenos, cheese sticks and BBQ shrimp)
Maybe you are better suited for The Cultural District which includes 5 world-class museums where the buildings themselves are part of the art. The Modern Art Museum or the Kimball Art Museum which holds world renowned collections of their own as well as hosts Special Exhibits such as Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum, Queen Nefertari’s Egypt, Renoir, Monet The Late Years and more.
#4 Zoo in America! The Fort Worth Zoo (USA Today) Our Zoo opened as the first zoo in Texas way back in 1909. With numerous events, petting zoo, and over 7000 native and exotic animals it’s no wonder it is ranked among the top zoos in the nation each year.
The Trinity Trails system has over 70 miles of bike path is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts. Ride along the Trinity River and visit the Food Truck Park or explore Sundance Square, The Stockyards etc. You can do your own self guided tour with your own bike or try out the Pedego Electric Bike Tours and rent a bike. (They’re closed Mon and Tues)
In case you haven’t noticed the TRINITY RIVER is another outdoor activity worth mentioning. Backwoods Paddle Sports are a fun option. Choose to Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayak or Canoe. And don’t worry they also provide lessons. Bring your furry friend and his doggie life jacket because they are pet friendly! Check out Backwoods Paddle Sports at Panther Island.
Speaking of Panther Island The (PIP) Panther Island Pavilion is a popular venue for outdoor lovers. Check out Concerts in both the huge 10K sf indoor pavilion or the only WATERFRONT stage in Texas. There are plenty of events happening here including Sunday Funday. This is a day of relaxation and fun in the sun at Panther Island Pavilion. This family-friendly and laid-back event takes place every Sunday from June 28th through September 6th. Tubes and pedal boats are available to rent along with kayaks, stand up paddle-boards, and canoes from Backwoods Paddlesports. Enjoy cold beer, music, friends, food trucks, and floating the Trinity River every Sunday at Panther Island Pavilion. Bring your own personal tube or rent one ! Get the scoop on what to bring (or not to) and check out the current events and dates.
Bass Performing Arts
Owned and operated by Performing Arts Fort Worth, is sometimes referred to as “Bass Hall”. Take a virtual tour of the building and check out the events and performances coming to town. Buy season tickets to Broadway at The Bass and see shows like Fiddler On The Roof, Hamilton and more.
Here’s a great way to explore more activities, events and attractions in Fort Worth. You simply select the area you like, if you want outdoor or indoor fun like Cowtown Segway Tours, Fort Worth Water Gardens, Sundance Square, Rodeo, or Museum lists. EXPLORE MORE THINGS TO DO IN COWTOWN !
Westover Hills (Luxury Community)
Montserrat (West Fort Worth Luxury)
Create Your Own Search
If you are moving to Fort Worth from another large city, you already know that there are always back roads, short cuts and areas to avoid when under construction. You will hear people, including weathermen use the term “Metroplex”. They are referring to the entire area of Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) including all the surrounding cities. Here’s a map to help you get familiar with overview of major highways and loops.
Commuting into Dallas is about a 30-45 minute drive.
You can also check out the newer TRE (Trinity Railway Express) which now stops at DFW Airport and will drop you right off in front AT&T
In 2019 FWISD reports enrollment of approximately 84,000 students. They have 82 elementary schools, 24 middle schools and 6th grade centers as well as 21 High Schools. The district enjoys a diverse culture and strong community connections to help bring their mission to life. They have implemented intiatives to redesign, transform and revitalize the district. FWISD Mission:
“Preparing all students for success in college, career, and community leadership”
On their website you can check out the most recent updates, school calendars as well as special programs and campus details.
I hope you have found some great information about moving to Fort Worth, TX. Maybe you are considering a move right now and need more information quickly. Maybe you are coming into town soon and would like to check out neighborhoods, surrounding cities and other important factors. I would be honored to meet with you and get an idea of what you are looking for in a home and in the community you want to make your home.
Moving can be overwhelming. Luckily, I have experience you can trust in and rely on to help find solutions, discuss options and help prepare you for your move.
Real Estate Market Overview
Of course the real estate market changes literally on a daily basis. And while I try to keep my blog and Ultimate Moving Guide up to date it’s also important to remember that the market is also greatly subjective to the old adage in real estate – “LOCATION, LOCATION,LOCATION” It’s so very true, especially in an area like Fort Worth that is large and has so many subdivisions, areas of growth and even revitalized cultural areas. Other factors that impact the market are economic turns and improvements, jobs and even world events. With that said as of today (June 25, 2020 – in the middle of the COVID 19 Pandemic) we are still in what I consider a strong Seller Market. Just before COVID we were in a very strong Seller Market. Low inventory of homes always creates a stronger demand and sellers can take advantage of this by getting 97-107% + of their asking price. We see evidence of the sellers market when there are multiple offers coming in on the same property and short days on market. Pricing is still important in this market and it’s more important to have a professional (like me 🙂 who can provide accurate market values of neighborhoods and more importantly the individual home listings. Because we work with buyers and sellers everyday and monitor the market regularly we can offer advice and opinions on value to our clients and provide an understanding of what to expect when making offers.
Here’s our current numbers that indicate a strong seller’s market.
AVG DAYS ON MARKET IN FORT WORTH –
RIGHT EXPECTATIONS ARE VITAL:
Negotiation is important for several reasons but especially helpful to understand in a sellers market and here’s why. If you are expecting to make a bundle when you sell AND get a great deal on your purchase you may be sadly disappointed. Many times buyers prioritize “Getting A Deal” over their wants and needs in a property. It’s not wrong as long as that is truly their priority. If this is really true while shopping in a seller’s market you may need to consider areas that are not experiencing multiple offers and low inventory. Remember in this market there are more BUYERS shopping than there are homes available. (Demand) Add to this record low interest rates and you start to get the picture. Anytime the overall inventory in an area is less than 4-5 months it indicates a seller market. Having a honest conversation about negotiations is not always easy but it’s important to have right expectations and a Realtor who will tell you the truth – not just what you want to hear. . I’ve written offer after offer for buyers who expect a seller to take their offer over others because it was first but not better than others that came in shortly after. Eventually, buyers with wrong expectations get discouraged and are let down by the process. There are many ways and factors that come into play when writing a strong offer. It’s not just about a strong PRE-Approval letter – your offer packet and presentation have several factors that can bring success. I always try to clarify with clients that if they want the priority of our search to be getting “a deal” then we also need to be prepared to look at a fixer upper or some smaller condition issues like updates and cosmetics. Or possibly move beyond the boundaries of our search into outlying areas. I’ve had clients who missed out on the home that checked all their boxes and was even priced well over a very small amount. Overall you probably should not expect to get 5% off the ask price of a move in ready home in a high demand location. While I consider myself a seasoned (20 year) agent and even a tough negotiator (I even earned specialty designation Certified Negotiation Expert CNE) I will never be a viscous or