What Is The Cost Of Living In Plano, Texas?
Just 20 miles north of Dallas sits Plano, Texas. Considered a suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Plano is home to over 287,000 residents and is a big commuter town for those working in Dallas. Plano has seen considerable year-over-year growth in both the population and the job market.
With a cost of living index at 109.3, Plano is considered more expensive to live in than the rest of the United States – however, the average household income in Plano is significantly higher than average, at $93,012. When you factor that in, the cost of living seems a little more reasonable.
Is Plano the place for you? Dive into the details and see if the ninth-largest city in Texas fits your budget and lifestyle.
Housing Costs in Plano, Texas
Median Home Values in Plano, Compared
|Location||Median Home Value||Homeownership Rate|
Plano’s median home value is higher than both the state’s average and the US average, though homeownership rates lag behind both.
Median Home Prices in Plano, Texas
|Value of Home||Percent of Home|
|$907,000 and Above||3.3%|
A surprisingly 75% of homes in Plano, Texas were built between 1970-1999, with 20% of homes being built over 2000. Just 4.6% were built previous to 1970. 63.5% of homes in Plano are single-family homes, with 29.4% being apartment complexes. Only 3.8% of homes in Plano are townhomes.
The average bedroom size of a single-family home in Plano is 4 bedrooms, or 32% of homes. 26.5% of homes have 3 bedrooms, and just 16.9% have 2 bedrooms. Maybe everything is bigger in Texas.
Rental Costs in Plano, Texas
|Housing Size||Plano||Plano Metro Area||Texas||United States|
It is more expensive to rent in Plano, Texas than in the Plano metro area, Texas as a whole, or even the United States average. It is important to note, however, that the Plano metro area includes the suburbs of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington. When you cover that much area, you have to take into consideration the huge population increase – and the bigger variety of housing available.
Taxes in Plano, Texas
The Texas sales tax is just 6.25%, but as with many states, local governments can impose additional taxes. The maximum allowed increase in Texas is 2%, so you will never pay more than 8.25% in sales tax anywhere in the state. Unfortunately, that is what you will pay in Plano. This number is slightly higher than the national average, which is 7.12%.
Property Tax in Plano, Texas
The property taxes in Collin County, Texas, are a startling 1.940%, significantly higher than the national average of 1.070%, and the state average of 1.690%. This means if you purchase a home at the median value of $357,809, your average annual payment will be $6,941. This is a big downside for Plano residents, and something that should be budgeted properly for if you are considering moving.
Income Tax in Plano, Texas
What you’re paying extra in property taxes, you’re going to make up with your income tax. The entire state of Texas has zero state income tax, which means as a Plano resident you only have to pay federal income taxes. This is a big draw for those considering moving to Texas, especially people looking to retire, to just looking to keep more of their money each month.
Utility Costs in Plano, Texas
The cost of living index for utilities in Plano sits at 100.4, nearly the national average. For a 915 square foot apartment, the average resident can expect to pay about $153/month for their heating, cooling, electricity, water, and garbage. The average high-speed internet connection will run them just $62/month.
The average residential cost of electricity is 12.2¢/kWh, which is higher than the national average of 11.88¢/kWh. While Texas regularly boasts the cheapest commercial electricity rates, these same deals don’t apply to residential homes.
Food Costs in Plano, Texas
|Food in Plano, Texas||Cost|
|Average Meal for 1||$10-$15|
|Mid-Range Meal for 2||$45-$55|
|Gallon of Milk||$2.75-$3|
|Loaf of Fresh Bread||$2.25-$2.75|
|1lb of Bananas||$0.70|
The grocery cost of living index is 103 in Plano, which makes it just over the national average. There are hundreds of restaurants in Plano and the surrounding area to service the 287,000 people living there. Unsurprisingly, some of the best-rated restaurants in the area include BBQ smokehouses and mid-range Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants.
The average household income in Plano is an impressive $93,012. It is recommended that 11% of income go towards food and groceries, so the average Plano resident can expect to budget a healthy $10,231 each year for food, or $852/month.
Transportation Costs in Plano, Texas
The transportation cost of living index for Plano is just 88, below average compared to the rest of the United States. The average commute time for residents of Plano is 26.5 minutes, just slightly over the country’s average of 26.4 minutes. 81.7% of people drive their own car to work, with 6.7% of residents carpooling, and only 1.3% taking mass transit options.
The average price of car insurance in Plano is approximately $1,428 a year, just over the state’s average of $1,415 – but less than the country’s average of $1,548.
Cost of a Gallon of Gas, Compared
Public Transportation in Plano, Texas
Like much of the surrounding area, Plano is serviced by DART, or the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The DART system is quite extensive, with over 130 bus routes and nearly 95 miles of light rail system. Over 200,000 people board a DART train or bus each day. DART also has a relatively complicated pass system, but we’ll do our best to break it down for you.
For a day pass for the DART system, it is $6 for local traveling, $12 for regional travel (which includes Plano), or $3 for the reduced rates. For an AM pass (from the start of bus service until noon) or a PM pass (from noon until the end of service), local rates are $3, while reduced rates are $1.50.
A midday pass is good between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm, and costs just $2. A single ride is $2.50 for local rides or $1.25 for the reduced fare. For a 31-day pass, residents can expect to pay $96 for local trips, $192 for regional, or just $48 for the reduced price.
Reduced fare is available for those with a disability, or those over the age of 65.
Schools in Plano, Texas
There are quite a variety of schools in Plano, with 74 elementary schools, 35 middle schools, and 31 high schools. 73 schools are within the public district, 2 are public charter schools, and there are an impressive 180 private schools to choose from. Plano public school districts rank #12 in all of Texas, and #15 as the most diverse school district in the state.
Proficiency in reading is at 63% for Plano school districts, higher than the state average of 46^, and proficiency in math is at 65%, higher than the state average of 49%.
The average graduation rate in Plano is 95%, and the student: teacher ratio is 14:1, significantly lower than the national average of 17:1. Overall, Plano has a quality school district that properly services the thousands of children in the area.
Entertainment Costs in Plano, Texas
Being so close to Dallas and the surrounding area, there is a huge variety of things to do for any age or budget in Plano. The Historic Texas pool, which has been around for 60 years, is in Plano – the pool is exactly what it sounds like… a giant saltwater pool shaped like the state of Texas! Membership is just $250 for a family, or $150 per person.
If you’re interested in shopping, High Street offers the biggest indoor antique mall in the metro area, or there is The Shops at Willow Bend, an indoor mall with children’s play areas. For free outdoor activities, there is the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, or the Bob Woodruff Park.
Clothing Costs in Plano, Texas
|Item of Clothing||Price|
|1 Pair of Name-Brand Jeans||$44|
|1 Summer Dress (From a Chain Retail Store)||$39|
|1 Pair of Name-Brand Shoes||$78|
|1 Pair of Dress Shoes||$92|
With so many people working and living in Plano, there is no shortage of clothing stores and malls to shop at. Because of that, prices of clothing and other household goods are fairly average with the rest of the United States.
Should You Move to Plano, Texas?
Good news and bad news for prospective Plano residents – just recently did Plano drop in the rankings of happiest places to live in the United States… but only by a single spot. According to a study that looked at a variety of factors, including income, cost of living, emotional health, and physical wellbeing, Plano residents are the second-happiest in the United States.
Does that mean you should move tomorrow? Of course not, but it certainly is a factor. Plano is slightly more expensive to live in than the rest of the United States. It does, however, have many benefits, including plenty to do, and a higher median household income.
Plano is continuing to grow and develop and really does have something for nearly everyone. If you’re looking to relocate to Texas, Plano seems to be an affordable, and happy, place to call home.
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