The city of El Paso, Texas is known for its endless days of sunshine, the rich Hispanic culture, and how it sits right at the border of Mexico. Although it’s a fairly large US city, it’s quite different than most other ones in the nation. What’s lacking in El Paso is typically expected in the rest of the cities across the map, which is what sets this city apart.
El Paso has its ups and downs, but there are plenty of reasons you should avoid moving here. So, if you want to know more about the reasons are to not move to El Paso, Texas, keep reading!
1. It’s Always Hot
One of the biggest concerns locals have about living in El Paso is that the weather is always hot. You never get a break from the heat. The fall feels like summer and the winter feels like spring. You experience this hot sunshine year round, and it’s normal for the temperature to be in the triple digits.
To live in this city, you will need to have air conditioning that’s blasting 24/7, and you are to spend a lot of time inside. Depending on how much sun you can handle, living in El Paso might be miserable.
2. Bad Traffic
Traffic here is very bad during rush hours, which makes people used to leaving a lot earlier than normal to get to places. El Paso is a highly populated city, and most nicer homes are found on the outskirts of the city, so people have to drive quite a distance to get to work. This results in a lot of traffic, and you either have to be prepared to have your AC on while waiting in your car or move somewhere else.
El Paso has grown a lot in the past years, and the roads haven’t been able to accommodate the new people yet. Compared to other really large cities, it isn’t quite as bad, but it’s still something to consider, and it’s mentioned by many locals.
3. Constant Construction
There is a lot of construction that goes on in this city. People here feel like every time one project ends, more are started. A large portion of this construction is on highways and interstates, which is frustrating. This is a big part of what causes traffic, and it’s annoying for the residents. Locals describe it as “never-ending,” so if you don’t want to be around construction or affected by it 24/7, this isn’t the city to move to.
4. Boring – Lacks Amusement
An issue with El Paso is the lack of amusement that’s available. It all depends on what you enjoy in your free time and want to do in your town, but it is extremely lackluster in this aspect.
For example, the main things to do here consist of going to museums and historical sites. There is a small water park and a small amusement park that has rides you typically see at county fairs, but most people find it boring.
5. Driving is the Best Option
If you don’t have a car, dislike driving, or typically rely on public transportation to get around, El Paso will be a hard place to live in. For public transportation, the transit will take you just about everywhere, but it isn’t very efficient. This is because the busses rarely arrive on time. Not only is this frustrating, but if you miss your bus, you will be stuck waiting for 20-50 minutes for the next one to come by.
There is another bus system that isn’t quite as bad, but their buses are typically about 5-8 minutes late each time, so it can be difficult to plan out your day around the transportation. Over the years, El Paso had become a more walkable city, but it depends on who you ask. Overall, driving is going to be your best option to get places, but then you will have to deal with traffic, and that could be an adjustment that will make moving to this city simply not worth it.
6. Bad Drivers
Something to watch out for if you move to El Paso is the drivers. It’s not even just bad drivers, but the uneducated ones. It’s very common for people to not have driver’s licenses or insurance, so a lot of hit-and-runs happen in this city every year.
Besides the hit-and-runs, what’s frustrating about the drivers is they are slow and inconsiderate. They tend to pull a complete stop because they missed their turn or they’re changing lanes, tailgating, or a lot of honking. Since the city isn’t super walkable, most people live outside the city, and there’s so much traffic, it’s impossible to avoid these bad drivers daily.
7. Not a Pretty City
This area of the US is a desert climate, and it isn’t the most green. Locals here have said that they don’t seem to care about things like parks or horticulture, which makes it lack a pretty appearance.
Instead of taking advantage of the Chihuahuan desert, El Paso consists of strip malls, asphalt, and a brown mountain. It’s harder to stumble upon shade, and you’ll find yourself missing trees and bodies of water. There is the Franklin Mountains State Park, but it overall isn’t an outdoorsy place to live.
8. Lacks Good Food
El Paso, Texas lacks quality services like coffee shops and places to eat. Even though this city is large in size, it doesn’t have great places to eat around every corner like other similar-sized cities. The food is also known for not being the best.
Locals have said that the restaurants aren’t that good, and the food can be quite bland or mediocre, even if El Pasoans rave about it. Based on where you’re moving from, you could find yourself disappointed in the food and drink options that are in this city.
9. It’s Geographically Very Isolated
You aren’t surrounded by much in El Paso. This city is found in the very east part of Texas, sort of in a corner right under New Mexico and on top of Mexico. It’s about 5 hours away from Alberquerque to the north, 4.5 hours to Tucson to the west, and 10 hours east to get to Austin. Juarez, Mexico is right below it, but it’s very dangerous and it’s best not to go there.
With it located hundreds of miles away from other cities, it’s inconvenient and can make it hard to commute or travel to other places without having to spend a lot of money or dedicate a lot of time to travel.
10. Lacks High Paying Jobs
There are many jobs available in this city, but most of them are not very high-paying. In El Paso, you most likely won’t get paid as much as you did where you previously lived, which is a big downside. The range of highly specialized jobs is very limited. Working in real estate, government, law, banking, healthcare, or trade industries are the best options.
Other than that, it’s hard to grow your career, and working in tech isn’t as common here. Most of the entry-level jobs available involve calling centers. It could get you a lot further if you know the right people so that you can find a job that doesn’t involve calling random people all day and getting yelled at by those who pick up the phone.
11. You Have to Know Spanish
A downside to living in a border city like El Paso is that you basically have to know Spanish. In this city, roughly 85% of the population is Hispanic, and people speak Spanish more than English. If you are already fluent, this won’t be a problem. On the other hand, if you don’t know the language or aren’t fluent, then moving here would be a struggle.
Not only will this affect your daily interactions while spending time in the city, but it can make or break your chances of finding a job. If you aren’t bilingual in English and Spanish, it’s a lot harder to get hired. Even if you did end up getting hired, you will repeatedly get a hard time about it. Almost everyone speaks English as well, but it will get you a lot farther if you pick up Spanish as your second language.
12. Poor K-12 Education
El Paso has some top-notch higher education options like The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College, and the Paul Foster School of Medicine. However, the K-12 schools aren’t as good. Public schools here spend about $9,064 per student, which is below the US average of $12,383.
The El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) lacks funding and is based on student attendees. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, EPISD lost 4,900 enrolled students. Parents and residents of El Paso are unsatisfied with the quality of education they receive at public schools, and how schools use funding money. These parents and students have even protested this.
13. Rising Crime Rates and Theft
This area of Texas has fairly low rates of violent crime, but there is a lot of theft. Since it’s right next to Juarez, it’s easy to assume that there is a lot of violence, but it actually has lower crime compared to other cities of similar size. What one needs to be careful of is theft, especially auto theft.
Crime has been increasing in El Paso over the past couple of years, as auto thefts are up 48% and assaults are up 15%. It’s become common for people to steal cars during overnight hours at apartments or other residential areas. Auto theft is a problem that’s been rising across the nation, but El Paso’s issue has gone up more than the US average.
14. Dry Desert Climate
In El Paso, the climate is very dry. You’ll experience months on end of dry, dry heat. This can be a huge dealbreaker if you’re moving from somewhere more humid like Florida. Living in a dry area isn’t necessarily going to kill you, but there are some downsides.
For example, droughts often happen in climates like El Paso. If these droughts last for long enough, they can cause food and water shortages and rising food prices. Another annoying part about the dryness is having to drink more water than you’re used to and your skin easily becomes dried out.
15. Monsoon Season
June is when the rainy season starts in the southwest desert and moisture is blown into the region. This increases the chance of thunderstorms, and flooding is an issue. Monsoon season results to flash flooding, which can cause a lot of damage.
Even though El Paso is so hot all year, you will have to face flash floods that may damage your home and belongings.
16. Pests in Your House
Because of the climate in El Paso, pests are active throughout the year. However, different seasons mean that different pests are going to thrive and reproduce the most. Some common insects and rodents you need to look out for are rats and mice, ants, cockroaches, termites, mosquitos, and stinging insects.
Since El Paso deals with such mild winters, ants and cockroaches love to move indoors so they can be in damp areas of your home. Termites affect people year-round, but they swarm the most in the spring and summer. Living in this city would mean that you’re going to have to invest in pest control in order to keep pests out of your home.
17. Hard to Find Friends
This downside to El Paso is more situational, and you could have an easy time meeting people, but you will likely struggle. Some people who have moved here on their own have complained that it is hard to make new friends.
Locals are very friendly towards strangers, but they usually stick to themselves or their own groups. There also isn’t as much of a night scene compared to other cities, so this adds to the problem.
While El Paso, Texas may be a place that many people love living in, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t do so.