Lower cost of living lures Californians to Lone Star State

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by Kens5.com & Karen Grace / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @KENSKarenGrace

kens5.com

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- The rest of the country is familiar with the Lone Star slogan: "Everything is bigger in Texas" -- and it may be true, that is, except for the taxes.

And it's not just lower taxes.

Just look at California, where bread costs 20 cents more and bananas cost 12 cents more, according to bankrate.com. And for one pro golfer, more than half of every dollar he makes goes to Uncle Sam.

Phil Mickelson recently said -- and later regretted -- that paying 63 cents to every dollar in federal and state taxes might lead to "drastic changes," such as moving from his native California.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was quick to weigh in with this tweet: "Hey Phil....Texas is home to liberty and low taxes...we would love to have you as well!!"

But the wealthy aren't the only ones who can gain from moving to Texas, where there is no state income tax. 

"There's 1,000 people a day moving to Texas," according to Steven Gragg, of the San Antonio Board of Realtors.

Sometimes, they bring something with them, too.

"Those people often bring their businesses with them and their employees," said Becky Bridges, of the San Antonio Chamber. "And they need good schools. And they need good transportation."

San Antonians can expect to pay an average of $160,000 for a home. That's more house and land for their buck. But what if a flood of Californians packed up for the Alamo City?

"Real estate would go up," San Antonio resident Shawn Kurbo speculated. "There would be more competition on the properties, for sure."

Gragg said to fear not; the market has been consistent.

"What's been so great about San Antonio is prices have stayed really stable," he said. "You know, normally, we look at a three to four percent increase."

With the booming developments on the city's west side and in the Stone Oak area, Bridges said the city is able to update its infrastructure.

Some residents, however, believe keeping up with that growth has its pros and cons.

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