Waco is often referred to as the Heart of Texas. While everything is more prominent in the Lone Star State, this small city stays true to its roots.
If you want to live in a place with a small-town feel and have easy access to everywhere in Texas, Waco may just be the place for you. There truly are a ton of perks to living in Waco, TX.
However, before you pack your bags and move let’s first look at the cost of living in Waco Texas.
A Guide to The Cost Of Living In Waco, Texas
In Waco, Texas, the cost of living is 9% lower than the national average. People aren’t just settling here because of the affordable cost of living, though.
This southern riverside city boasts unique attractions and a captivating history that makes it a Texas gem just waiting to be discovered by adventurous souls.
With a population of around 271,942 happy residents, it seems as though the word is out, and Waco is quickly set on growing up. Due to this growing popularity, we find that the housing market is also on the rise.
Despite a yearly increase of around 14.3%, housing in Waco still manages to stay 18% lower than the national average. If you plan on buying a home in Waco, you’re in the perfect place to make an excellent investment.
Buying Property in Waco
The average home cost in Waco is about $122,400. This cost makes it, on average, at least $100,000 lower than the national average.
It’s an even better deal if you consider the fact that property tax in Waco is 1.721%. This property rate is higher than the state average of 1.19% in Texas.
It’s great news for prospective investors that plan on flipping a property for a quick buck. Properties here are easy to upgrade and sell. You’ll be making quite an excellent profit in the process.
But, if you plan on making Waco your new forever home, you’ll also be in luck. Waco has several neighborhoods, each with a distinct feel and atmosphere.
For instance, you’ll find the city’s most culturally-diverse region on the north side. Here neighborhoods such as Austin Avenue, Dean Highland, and Parkdale are home to a diverse community.
If you head south, you’ll discover the heart of Waco. The south side is known as the historic district. There’s a large Hispanic population with plenty of authentic Mexican restaurants and shops. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in the city’s south are Alta Vista and Oakwood.
In the eastern parts of Waco, you’ll find Timbercrest, Carver, and East Riverside, which residents often refer to as the sleepy part of the city.
The local university is also located here, so the east side is home to a young student population despite its sleepy nature.
Most students tend to rent property in Waco, but if you want to rent a home for yourself and the family, you’ll be in luck.
Renting Property in Waco
Renting is often more affordable than buying a property. For one, there are far fewer upfront costs to pay. Some landlords also include utilities in the rental price. When they do this, you can end up saving even more money.
In Waco, the rental prices are affordable, more so than the national average. You can expect to pay around $623 for a 1-bedroom apartment.
If you prefer something more significant, a 2-bedroom apartment will set you back about $820 a month. Renting is an affordable option if you aren’t confident that you’ll love living in Waco. It gives you time to feel out the city before you invest more money here.
Should your landlord not include utility costs in your rent, you can expect to pay a bit more than the national average.
In Waco, TX, utility prices are 6% higher than the national average. This higher cost means that you can expect an average utility bill of around $177.55 a month. This utility bill is calculated for a 914 square foot apartment, including electricity, water, and garbage services.
Waco can get extremely hot. This city has an average of 230 sunny days each year, with no chance of snow.
This sunny weather means that you’ll be using your AC throughout the year to stay cool, and this can see your energy bills quickly increase.
Not only will you have to pay higher than average utility bills in Waco, but you’ll also be forking out a bit more for internet services. A typical 60 Mbps unlimited data internet connection can set you back around $56.66 a month.
Luckily, our following significant cost of living factor will have you grinning from ear to ear.
Food And Groceries
Food and grocery prices are 17% lower than the national average in Waco, TX. You’ll be saving a pretty penny when shopping for your essentials here.
You’ll find that a gallon of fresh milk is only $1.60, while a loaf of bread is $2.75. Since you’re in Texas, you’ll also be enjoying some out-of-this-world BBQ. A pound of quality beef here is only $5.48.
Since Waco is also home to a student population, you’ll find plenty of fantastic coffee bars here. Some of the local favorites are Artisan Coffee Works, Common Grounds, Crickets. You can expect to pay around $5.70 for a regular cappuccino in Waco.
Of course, you may also want to explore and dine out for the evening. With a large Hispanic population, you’ll have easy access to authentic Mexican-influenced restaurants. A typical three-course meal for two people is, on average, around $40.
But, dining out every night can quickly become a costly experience. So, we advise that you keep an eye on your budget, or the fantastic food and fine dining experiences will set you back quite a bit.
Today, healthcare in Waco is 7% lower than the national average. You can expect to pay around $102.63 to see a doctor and $88.17 to visit a dentist. Even a visit to the vet is affordable and will cost around $49.
Waco is home to Baylor Scott and White Medical Center. Both of which are highly rated general medical and surgical facilities. So, when living here, you know that you’ll have easy access to healthcare.
Another way to stay fit and healthy is to join a local gym. The monthly fee for one adult to join a fitness club is $56.25. This cost is somewhat higher than the national average.
You could also rent a tennis court over the weekend. For an hour, you can expect to pay about $15.00. All of these activities will help you stay fit and save some money while living in Waco.
Education and Childcare
If you plan on raising a family in Waco, you’ll be pleased with the ample opportunities available to students. Waco is home to several public and private schools. Education costs here are on par with the national average. So you won’t be in for any nasty surprises.
Full-time daycare or preschool is about $807.50 per month. There are also several colleges to choose from, all located in Waco.
McLennan Community College first opened its doors in 1965. Today this college has around 9,000 students. It sits squarely on 200 acres of beautiful land near the Bosque River and Cameron Park area.
There’s also Baylor University, one of the oldest operating universities in Texas. With these colleges located near home, you won’t have to pay extra for living accommodation. All you have to be concerned about is transit costs between college and home.
In Waco, transportation expenses like bus fares and gas prices are 3% lower than the national average. You’ll smile when filling up your car here. A gallon of gas is only $2.53. This low gasoline price will help lower your cost of living in Waco significantly.
Waco also has relatively short commute times. On average, residents here spend about 17 minutes in traffic. Unfortunately, Waco isn’t a walkable city, so you’ll have to use your car or public transport to get around.
Using Public Transport
Waco is much-loved for its free public transport services. Residents use these free services to travel around town and save quite a bit of money in the process.
One popular option is Waco Transit. This public transit service provides students with free transport to the Waco Independent School District.
If you aren’t a student, then the popular Silo District Trolley is an excellent option for you. This trolley service loops around the downtown area every 15 to 20 minutes.
It runs from Monday to Saturday, between 9 am and 6 pm. It too is completely free of charge, helping you save even more money.
Nobody can stay in Waco and not explore the diverse and rich entertainment on offer here. If you want to take a much-needed break from the Texas heat, we suggest you hop on over to the Hawaiian Falls Waterpark. This water park in Waco provides a fun way to cool off that the entire family can enjoy.
If water parks aren’t your scene, you can also cool off in a local pub. You’ll find that an ice-cold beer will only cost you around $3.98. On the other hand, a mid-priced bottle of wine is about $11.97.
There’s also a rich cultural scene in Waco. Locals love the occasional trip to the Grand Lodge of Texas museum and library. It’s officially the largest Freemasonry Grand Lodge in the world.
If you prefer shopping, then you’ll find that Waco has all of your needs covered. Magnolia Market is a favorite shopping option. It’s home to specialty shops, several food trucks, and even an event space that’s set in a repurposed grain silo.
Entertainment costs can quickly get out of hand and blow your budget to bits. So, we recommend keeping an eye on how much you spend when going out and about.
A more affordable alternative would be to have a picnic in Cameron Park. This beautiful park has more than 20 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Several vistas along these trails offer breathtaking views of the sparkling Brazos River.
For the sporty and daring at heart, you can go kayaking or bass fishing in the nearby river. All of these activities won’t break the bank and can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Salaries in Waco
Waco is located between two of the largest cities in Texas. Since it’s so close to Austin and Dallas, plenty of people live in Waco and commute daily to the bigger cities for work.
However, if you plan on working in Waco, you’ll find that there are ample job opportunities. In fact, Waco’s future job growth over the next ten years is expected to be around 38.3%. This growth is far more than the national average of only 33%.
The top industries in Waco are education, followed by healthcare. There are also great free resources to help you find employment when you decide to relocate to Waco, TX.
Some of the favorites are contacting the Waco Chamber of Commerce if you plan on starting a business in Waco. Otherwise, visit the Workforce Solutions website to find a job in Waco.
Remember that as long as your mortgage, rent, and utilities are less than 30% of your total household income, you’ll be living an affordable, comfortable life in Waco.
Relocating and moving is often a daunting logistical challenge. However, you’ve already done most of the hard work by researching your future home.
Determining the cost of living in Waco is a significant first step. Waco is an excellent, affordable city with plenty of opportunities for everyone wishing to make a living in the sunny state of Texas.Your next step is to contact a local moving company in Waco to help you with the tricky business of moving to this incredible city. Happy trails!