Review of Tyl,

Retiring in Tyler
Star Rating - 12/27/2015
Pros: Awesome public library, pretty city, good gardening soil, friendly people, lovely historic homes, good medical facilities, good selection of stores and educational opportunities, good church selection.

Cons: Bad traffic; If you buy a house in Tyler be prepared to wait a LONG time to sell it, scary weather, City officials aren't easy to work with. Young neighbor who worked as an EKG technician said employers wouldn't hire her for more than 30 hrs/week so she moved to Dallas.

I moved from Austin, TX to Tyler to retire in February, 2015. I wanted to live in a smaller city with less traffic, lower taxes, and less overcrowding.

I didn't realize just how bad Tyler traffic was (Loop 323 & Broadway for example). Even people who have lived in Tyler a long time concede the traffic is bad.

I decided after living for only a week in Tyler that I'd made a mistake. I never unpacked. I found a house in a smaller town an hour away, put the Tyler house on the market in July (with a new roof), and moved. The Tyler newspaper said the real estate market was brisk, but I believe this was hype. Houses I drove by in different neighborhoods last February are still on the market now (late December). My house has been on the market for 6 months without a sale, and I had it appraised so it's priced correctly.

I read a recent article comparing real estate sales in Texas cities, that it takes the average Tyler house 9 months to sell.

Since my house isn't selling and was being damaged during the real estate showings (attic ladder broken, p**p left in the toilet, water left running, AC turned to 65 in July with no one in the house), I decided to rent it out, but I wanted to renovate the garage first. The garage has a small upstairs room with a bathroom & closet. I'd like to rent that out too to recoup some of the money I've lost. The garage was built in the 1930's and all electrical, plumbing and roof are original to that time. I called the City to check on the permit process. Even though I'm trying to bring the mechanical systems, structure, and roof up-to-date, they tell me I can't rent the garage room because of the zoning. Since the room existed when the house was built, and there will be no new utility meters installed or a change of address, I believe it's grandfathered in. I don't think it's illegal to rent a room on your property. I'm also hiring licensed people to do the work. This issue is still "in progress". Maybe it will be resolved in my favor. ??

Tyler, despite its friendly people, wasn't the place for me. I've been burned badly.
Laura | Palestine, TX | Send Message
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2 Replies

Laura, your assessment of Tyler, and for that matter of of East Texas, is sadly spot on. Your experience has been a common thread for many who come to Tyler imagining that there really is a place like they see in the ads and, simply put, its just a fantasy, a facade. Oh, sure, there is a patina of hospitality, and community, and churchy religiosity but at the end of the day, many of the local denizens are just as self-absorbed as their big city brethren. Yes, traffic is obscenely congested for a city this size. For all the complaining that people here do of traffic in DFW, my experience in Fort Worth traffic was that it was busy but it moved, it flowed and folks behaved like reasonable human beings behind the wheel. There is a dizzying array of contradictory and just plain obtuse street signs, of which essentially no one pays attention to except us reasonable folk from elsewhere who learned that operating a motor vehicle on a city street isn't the same as running a tractor in a pasture. As for the police, well, lets just say that Tyler has been well known as one of the few cities with the unenviable distinction as having one of the highest rates of traffic citations in Texas, almost all of which are for speeding. Now, you can run the reds all day long, right in front of the cops (who often themselves run the reds) and do it flagrantly, for several long seconds after the other traffic has a green light, no problem. But run a couple miles over the posted limited in a city like Whitehouse (just to the south of Tyler) and bam, you've got yourself a big fat ticket. As for the medical infrastructure, ya, ok, it looks good, and there is plenty of good in it but there's also a greedy streak running right down through to its core. The local spine surgeons have wracked up some of the highest rates of spinal fusion surgeries anywhere in the country, and this in a town with only about 100k population. Why? Simple, spinal fusion is the highest paying billing code on the books. The same goes for 'interventionalist' of all stripes. If ever there was a medical apparatus that was bent on doing thing to you instead of for you then Tyler is the center of it. Look, as someone will point out, 'every place has its bad apples' and I am here to tell you that after ten years of this I've found way more bad apples then any town has a right to shove down a person's throat. I'm ready to go and never look back and I'm guessing that an east Texas troll or too will be only too happy to say 'good ridance'. If I were you, and I was once, looking to move to this quaint, charming little southern town, be sure to really do your homework and be confident that this is what you want, a community focused on fakery and keeping up with the jones like I have never seen almost anywhere else in all my travels. If you got a boat load of money and you like spending cash for sport, and you like apathy and indifference and you prefer the spectacle of church to the substance of church then this is just the place for you. Otherwise, don't take the chance.
J | Tyler, TX | Send Message

Just an update. I was allowed to renovate my garage.--Finally. Thank God. Still can't sell the Tyler house even though the Tyler appraisal district says home sales are booming, which is why they are raising the property taxes. Wiring, roof and garage are completely updated, but the house still doesn't sell. Mainly wanted to mention that the Tyler police have some crazy rules. There was a junk car parked in the neighborhood down the street that received an abandonment citation. This car was then moved beside my house. I called the police to say the car with a blue tarp over it was an eyesore, had received one citation already, and didn't belong to anyone in the 'hood. Police told me that despite the previous citation the car is allowed to sit beside my house for 2 more weeks because it's a public street. Thus, as long as the car is moved every 2 weeks, the neighborhood must put up with it ad infinitum. In addition, the police dispatcher acted as if I was a pain for requesting that the car be picked up.
Laura | Palestine, TX | Send Message
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