So I get the question all the time, what's it like living in Waco and the surrounding community? Well, today I wanna go over the good, the bad and the ugly of living in Waco.THE GOODGood thing about
Living in Waco, the Good, the Bad, The Ugly
Dated: August 4 2021
So I get the question all the time, what's it like living in Waco and the surrounding community? Well, today I wanna go over the good, the bad and the ugly of living in Waco.
- Good thing about living in Waco, we're a small city with a big city feel. By that I mean, we have many of the amenities that you'll find in a much larger metropolitan area. We have museums, we have the Cameron Park zoo, we have outdoor recreation, we have micro breweries, and Waco is home to Balcones Whiskey. Many things that you find in the larger cities can be found right here in Waco, without having to travel. And Oh, by the way, as far as travel, we don't deal with a lot of traffic here in Waco other than the occasional backup on I-35, we really don't have a hard time getting anywhere. Jump in the car, says 10 miles, we can be there in 10 minutes for the most part. So Waco has the big city feel yet, the small city charms.
- Education, here in Waco and the surrounding community we have public schools, charter schools, we're home to a university, a community college that offers degrees from other four year universities to where you don't have to leave home to get a four-year or graduate degree. You can go to the community college and take the classes necessary. We're also home to TSTC, Texas State Technical College. Where you can get certification in many of the different trades. So Waco and the surrounding community has all kinds of educational opportunities for you to better yourself or better your situation.
- The third great thing about living in Waco is all the activities that we have available to us. From visiting the tourist locations in downtown, thanks to Magnolia Market, the Dr. Pepper Museum, all the new restaurants and shops that have come to town. We can easily get over to Cameron Park, where you have the opportunity to hike, bike along the Brazos river trails. We have the Cameron Park Zoo that is a very great zoo in comparison to what's available in the state of Texas. Yes, it doesn't have the size of the Dallas or the Fort Worth Zoo, but for Waco and a town this size, it has one of the best zoos in the country.
- We also have a lot of youth sports activities. A lot of traveling teams. We're home to the little league, Southwestern Regional every year out at the George Bush Little League Parks. So if you're looking for activities and things to do in a community in which you live, Waco is full of them.
- Civic opportunities through the Waco Community Theater, the theater at Mclennan Community College,, the theater in arts over at Baylor University, as well as college sports at McLennan Community College and Baylor University.
So as you see, Waco is full of activity, opportunities for you and your family.
I know Anthony, you always want to talk about what's great and what's good about living in Waco, but what about the bad things? Well, I didn't come up with these. I'm going off of what I find in my comments. And I'm just going to go through a few of them.
- I hear our property taxes are too high. Yes, here in the state of Texas, we pay property taxes. Our property taxes and our tax rate here are a little higher than you may find in other parts of the country. Also, depending upon the neighborhood you live in, you may be subject to a mud or a municipal utility tax on top of the other property taxes that you pay. So your tax bill is even higher. There are a few things to help with your tax bill, the homestead exemption, if it is your primary residence you can receive a little bit off of your property taxes. But yes, we have property taxes here in Waco in McLennan County, as do most places that you live in the United States. Ours happen to be a little higher. However, in a way we're making up for other States have income taxes plus property taxes. So in order to pay our police, our fire, our schools, we have to have property taxes here in the state of Texas to where we could get services that we all need and benefit from.
- The number two bad thing that I hear about Waco all the time is wages. Waco doesn't have wages compared to other cities. Well, let's do some comparison thinking. According to payscale.com, the average hourly rate paid in Waco is $15.75. This is with the minimum wage setting right now it's $7.25. Announced just a few months ago, Amazon is building a new corporate distribution center here with wages starting at $15 an hour. Adding a thousand jobs to this economy at $15 an hour is gonna raise that average price. Plus, it's going to create more jobs to support the people moving into town. So if you want to argue that Waco has a low wage, you have to compare it to what's the cost of living here in Waco? Half to 75% less than it could be in the Austin or Dallas market. So yes, you can argue that Waco's wages aren't where they are in other cities and other parts of the country. However, our cost of living here is lower than most of the country and most of Texas. So it balances out.
- The third bad of living in Waco is gonna surprise a lot of you. A lot of you might've tuned to this channel because you've seen Waco on Fixer Upper but a lot of people here in Waco complain about Fixer Upper. Not only do they feel that their property taxes have gone up because of the show, we now have tourists in town. Yep, they've clogged our downtown every week. I'm all for it. There are some people though, that just don't like change and by them being downtown and drawing a crowd to Waco it makes a lot of people angry. We can't go through downtown like we used to. They feel like they've raised our property taxes but for me it's all about growth. Everything's wonderful. But as I said, I wanted to go through the bad that I've experienced through my comments on my channel.
Now let's talk about the ugly. Yes, everybody has an ugly in their community. Living in Waco however, has been saddled with ugly thanks to the likes of Netflix, the national media and a little place called The Branch Davidian. Yes, every time you talk about living in Waco, we use to have to talk about David Koresh and The Branch Davidian. Well, lucky for us, the Branch Davidian compound was not located in Waco. It's 10 to 15 miles out in the country. Yes, some bad things happened there. Yes, you may agree or disagree with what happened there, but as far as what Waco was known for before Fixer Upper it would be The Branch Davidian compound. Most people living in Waco today don't even remember The Branch Davidian. It was just on the national media and the city of Waco got named for what was going on out in the country because we were the center of it all.
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Growing up in a family business in rural southern Illinois, I learned the value of making relationships with my clients. Farmers from five neighboring counties knew me by name, and not only did I know....