17 Reasons Not to Move to McAllen, Texas (Voted by the locals!)

Fabric texture of the Texas Flag background – Flags from the USA

McAllen, Texas is a border town with Mexico that has been put on the map as one of the more safe places to live along the Mexico and Texas border. While this may be true, there are plenty of reasons you should never move to McAllen, Texas.

While McAllen may be growing in popularity, there have been some recent changes and issues within the town, making it a fairly dangerous area to live in. If you are not working for border patrol, McAllen is probably not the place for you. The following are 17 reasons you should not move to McAllen, Texas.

17. High Sales Tax

The Texas sales tax alone is pretty standard for the rest of the country. The state has a universal sales tax of 6.25% for all of its cities. The problem is that each county and city within Texas is able to add its own sales tax on top of the state rate. The city of McAllen adds another 2% on top of the state rate for a combined sales tax rate of 8.25%Opens in a new tab.. Basically anything you buy besides food will end up being much more expensive than the price tag says it will be because you have to add such a high sales tax.

16. Border Town

Starting out with one of the more obvious things, McAllen is one of the border towns of Texas and Mexico. For some, this may not pose a very big issue, but for others, this could raise some big concerns. While being a border town isn’t bad, because of recent political issues, it may be too much for some people.

The border is heavily regulated, but there can always be things that have the potential to go wrong. Very rarely does something terrible happen at the border, but it is always a possibility. Living close to the border puts the people living there at immediate risk if anything happens. This is where you have to consider the pros and cons and whether the good things outweigh the risks.

15. Crime

Surprisingly, McAllen actually has quite a low crime rate. The reason the crime rate is so low in McAllen specifically is that McAllen is home to many border patrol agents and police officers that are extremely well-trained. With that being said, that does not mean that crime does not happen.

There is still plenty of crime that happens in McAllen, Texas. This kind of crime is just like anywhere else and is not specific to McAllen. The only difference I would say that makes it a little more of a risk is who is committing the crimes. Due to the fact that McAllen is a border city, you could have some undocumented people who commit crimes and never receive repercussions other than deportation.

14. Homelessness

Homelessness seems to be a big issue anywhere you go nowadays. McAllen is no exception. There are a lot of people that are homelessOpens in a new tab. in or near McAllen, Texas. This partially has to do with undocumented individuals being unable to show proof of residency in the United States in order to own or rent a home.

With this being said, McAllen doesn’t have that large of a homeless population within the actual town. Most of the homeless population surrounds McAllen. I wouldn’t at all say the homeless population is a threat to the people of McAllen, but it’s something that I would definitely consider a downside when moving to a new town.

13. Limited Resources

McAllen is a very small town that houses a lot of law enforcement workers. Due to this, there isn’t a ton to do in the area, so many people have to travel outside of town to get to their favorite restaurants and stores. You have a very limited selectionOpens in a new tab. of places you can go to in McAllen, and due to this, the cost of items is quite high.

Trying to get a supply of food and such into McAllen is also quite hard just due to the overall area and the surroundings of the town. So, if you’re wanting access to your typical favorite restaurants and stores, you’ll have to consider traveling to nearby areas.

12. Weather

Texas is already a very hot state, but with McAllen being close to Mexico, it has extremely hot temperatures. If you’re a person who prefers hot temperatures, this may not be an issue for you. I do know that during the winter months, the warmer temperatures are absolutely a perk. During the summer months though, there can be added risks of heat stroke and other medical issues due to the high temperatures.

Over the past few years, the temperatures have continually increased, making this area even more unbearably hot. With these temperatures comes the added challenge of keeping greenery alive and having heat-loving insects infest the area. This heat also makes it quite dangerous for pets, as concrete can burn paws and they can get heat stroke as well.

11. Insects

Insects in Texas overall are a complaint from many, and McAllen has quite an insect problem. Calling an exterminator every few years while living in McAllen is common. There are so many poisonous and large insects that you have to deal with in the area and most people just don’t want the added hassle.

One of the most common insects that tend to cause the most problems for people in McAllen is cockroaches. McAllen is very hot but has a certain kind of humidity that cockroaches thrive in. Many cockroaches can be found in the home in dark and damp areas. If you struggle with insects, especially in your home, I would suggest moving elsewhere.

Close up a cockroach on white cupboard in the kitchen

10. Language Barrier

Due to McAllen being on the Mexico and Texas border, there is a good split between languages. Many immigrants who have come to the United States from Mexico live in McAllen or surrounding areas and only know Spanish. This creates a big language barrier between Americans who only speak English.

This poses an issue when it comes to schooling and jobs. There are many people who do speak both languages in the area, but the language barrier leads to a lot of miscommunication.

9. Demographics

When looking at the demographicsOpens in a new tab. of McAllen, you will see that there is a large mix of races. McAllen, Texas has an overall population of around 140,000 people. with around 83% of the population being documented citizens.

Around 63% of citizens are White Hispanic, 20% of citizens are Hispanic, and 10% of the population is White. The rest of the population is of other ethnicities and races.

In total, around 85% of McAllen’s population is Hispanic. There are, overall, very few elderly people in this population as well. Most people are between their mid-twenties and late forties. This is largely due to the fact that many law enforcement officers live in the area and leave when they retire.

8. Unemployment

Although the population is large, McAllen itself is not that large. There are very few employment opportunities in McAllen if you are not part of law enforcement. Over the years, due to the increasing unemployment rates, McAllen has had a spike in crime and homelessness.

With this being said, McAllen is a growing city so there are becoming more opportunities for employment. Although, if you do not have employment already lined up to move to McAllen, I would suggest going elsewhere because there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a job.

A newspaper with the headline Unemployment

7. Bad Place for Families

Although McAllen is rated one of the safest cities in Texas, there are still things that make it not the greatest place for families. For starters, while McAllen itself is quite safe, you will have to travel outside of the area to do some activities or go shopping. The areas around McAllen are not the safest places and are not great for young children.

The other thing that could be a little daunting about McAllen for a family is the police force you have around you. One face value this does make it seem like it would be a safer option, but these officers take care of issues that most in the United States do not have to face. These issues alone are something that most people would not want their young children to know about until they are much older.

6. Politics

The politics of McAllen, Texas may not surprise you considering Texas itself is quite conservative in its political views. Naturally, law enforcement usually carries pretty conservative views. McAllen houses so many law enforcement individuals and families that the area has become quite conservative. The current mayor of McAllen is Javier VillalobosOpens in a new tab., who is part of the Republican party. The political views of this city don’t typically fluctuate.

5. Natural Disasters

Natural disastersOpens in a new tab. can happen anywhere in Texas, but McAllen has a few extra threats that may make you consider going elsewhere. Texas is already a very hot place, but there can be multiple days where it becomes so unbearably hot that it could cause drought and even start wildfires very easily with all the brush.

Tropical storms are rare in McAllen, but they absolutely can happen. While tropical storms aren’t the worst thing that could happen, it’s the aftermath that could cause a lot of damage. Nonetheless, McAllen sees a lot of rain and because of that rain, there is a lot of flooding that happens.

Tornadoes are another thing to consider when moving to Texas in general. Tornadoes happen all over Texas, and McAllen is no exception to that. If you are not familiar with tornadoes, definitely educate yourself before considering moving to a tornado-risk area or consider moving elsewhere.

Tornado Season Ahead Caution Sign With Tornado Background

4. Education

McAllen, Texas unfortunately has one of the lower education success rates in the nation. This is largely due to the different languages used in the area. If you are looking to put your child into a good school and have them get a well-rounded education, you will want to do a private or charter schoolOpens in a new tab. in the area.

Unfortunately, private and charter schools do get very costly. However, the public schools are just not great in McAllen and will not be able to provide your child with the education they need to be successful in future endeavors.

3. Traffic

Traffic in McAllen, Texas is absolutely terrible. Due to the small area and large population, it’s just not built to handle the amount of traffic that goes through it. The other thing is the border traffic is absolutely terrible. Due to the border being so heavily regulated in this area, there can be traffic that stacks up for hours on end.

2. Real Estate

Real estate in McAllen, Texas is actually extremely low and the property taxes aren’t at all bad either. Real estate is low, but at what cost? The biggest issue recently has been how the media has painted the town. Many media platforms have given the city a terrible name when they themselves have never been there. The reason real estate is so low is that no one wants to live there.

McAllen is not a desirable place in general due to being so close to the border of Mexico and other factors. Unfortunately, if you do buy into McAllen, Texas, you can expect your home to either remain the same or depreciate in value. Homes in McAllen don’t typically appreciate. So, if you’re looking to get into a home that you want to sell later on, go to an area where homes appreciate more often than they depreciate.

mortgage, real estate and property concept – close up of hands holding house model and home keys over green natural background

1. Immigration

Immigration is extremely common in McAllen, Texas, which is what makes the population growth so high. A lot of people who immigrate from Mexico settle in McAllen or surrounding areas because it is similar to Mexico in many ways. Many people also still have families that live in Mexico when they immigrate, so they want to be close to their families.

This is not always a downside, as many of these people that immigrate to McAllen are just looking for better opportunities in the United States. The only issue that pops up with immigration is how hard it is to immigrate to the United States, so many have to stay on the border until they receive their visas, causing a crazy amount of traffic. This also makes the population much larger than McAllen can handle.

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