12 Pros and Cons Of Living In El Paso, TX

Is El Paso a good place to live?

This question may have crossed your mind if you’ve ever considered a change of scenery. Known for its rich cultural heritage, sunny weather, and proximity to the stunning landscapes of the Chihuahuan Desert, El Paso can indeed be an enticing place to call home. However, like any city, El Paso also has its share of drawbacks.

Whether you’re seriously contemplating a move to El Paso or just curious about what life in the Sun City is really like, we are going to provide some valuable insights.

MORE: 12 Pros & Cons of Living In Austin, TX

Pros of Living in El Paso

El Paso, Texas, is known for its blend of cultures, affordable cost of living, and outdoor opportunities.

It is a city that offers its residents a high quality of life. Here are seven key pros of living in El Paso, Texas:

Unique Blend of Cultures

El Paso has a unique blend of cultures influenced by its proximity to Mexico and New Mexico.

The city offers a diverse range of cultural events, festivals, and activities all year round.

Large Hispanic population offers a fascinating array of foods, music, arts, and literature that reflects a rich cultural history.

Whether you’re looking for Mexican cuisine, Tex-Mex, or traditional American fare, El Paso has something to offer everyone.

Affordable Cost of Living

The cost of living in El Paso, TX, is 3% lower than the state average and 10% lower than the national average.

El Paso, TX, housing is 30% cheaper than the U.S. average, while utilities are about 10% less pricey.

Robust Job Market

El Paso offers employment opportunities across various industries, making it an excellent place to work and live.

It is one of the largest manufacturing centers in North America and home to over 70 Fortune 500 companies, including Boeing, General Motors, and Delphi Auto Parts.

Its strategic location at the crossroads of major highways, railroads, and air transportation provides easy access to markets in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Top-Notch Dining and Culture

El Paso, TX’s food scene is diverse and delicious, featuring Tex-Mex staples, like tacos and burritos, and a range of international cuisines, including Italian, Middle Eastern, and Asian.

The city has a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, performance venues, and community centers.

These venues host events like concerts, art shows, and theater productions that are accessible to all.

Excellent Outdoor Recreation

Picturesque mountains surround the city and uniquely mix desert and mountain environments.

The region’s popular activities are hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and camping.

Franklin Mountains State Park, for example, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, offering over a hundred miles of trails for hiking and biking enthusiasts.

The park also has picnic areas, campsites, and stunning city and landscape views.

Quality Education

El Paso, TX, has several highly-rated schools and universities.

For example, the University of Texas at El Paso is a top-tier public research university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields.

The city also has several highly-rated public, private, and charter schools, making it an excellent place to raise a family.

Historic Downtown

Downtown El Paso is a great place to experience the history and culture of El Paso.

The downtown area has undergone significant revitalization over the past decade, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists.

Its winding streets and restored adobe buildings house various restaurants, bars, shops, and art galleries. The area also boasts several landmarks, including the El Paso Museum of Art and the Plaza Theatre.

Cons of living in El Paso

El Paso, Texas, is a vibrant city with a rich history and diverse culture. However, like any city, there are a few drawbacks of living here that you should consider before moving. Here are seven key cons of living in El Paso, Texas.

Sweltering summers

When you live in El Paso, you should be aware of the sweltering summers that can be challenging for some people.

The extreme desert climate makes it difficult to stay comfortable during the peak summer months, from June to September.

Temperatures routinely soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dry heat can make it feel even hotter.

Lack of public transportation

With a transit score of only 28, getting around the city without a car can be challenging.

If you prefer not to drive or cannot afford a vehicle, this could be a significant obstacle to living in El Paso.

Somewhat secluded

El Paso is located near the Mexican border in the far-western corner of Texas. While this location has its advantages, such as easy access to amazing cuisine and culture, it can feel isolated.

The nearest major cities are several hours away, including Phoenix, AZ, and Albuquerque, NM.

Extreme weather

El Paso experiences extreme weather, from heatwaves to thunderstorms and flash floods.

Hail, lightning, and high winds are common during certain times of the year. While it’s possible to acclimate to these conditions, they can be unpleasant and dangerous for those not used to them. 

Additionally, heat waves are an occasional nuisance; El Paso receives plenty of sunshine yearly. This is great for people who love the outdoors, as there are plenty of parks and outdoor recreation spaces to enjoy.

However, the hot, dry climate can also be tough for people not used to it. Sunburn, dehydration, and heat exhaustion are all possible if you don’t take proper precautions.

Water shortages, Spring Winds, And Dust Storms

El Paso occasionally experiences water shortages, particularly during times of drought.

Spring winds also bring dust storms, making it difficult to be outside or breathe comfortably. Although these events are relatively infrequent, they can be a nuisance when they do occur.

Limited Entertainment Options

El Paso certainly has its share of unique charms and attractions, but one area where the city falls a bit short is in its entertainment options. Beyond Cincinnati Street and Montecillo, there aren’t many concentrated entertainment districts.

Sure, you’ll find a scattering of bars and restaurants dotted around the city, but El Paso lacks those bustling entertainment hubs like Austin’s 6th Street or Congress Avenue, or Houston’s Rice Village and Museum District.

Is El Passo A Good Place to Live?

El Paso stands out as a calm, safe city known for its laid-back vibe, affordable housing and as one of the best places to retire in Texas.

In El Paso, you can find studios for as low as $500 a month and rent a spacious 4-bedroom house for $1500/mo or even less.

The lack of income tax in Texas is another perk.

On the flip side, summers can be quite intense, entertainment options might be on the limited side, and the challenges of wind, dust, heat, and pollution are big downsides.

But for many, the city’s advantages overshadow these minor drawbacks.