Laredo lies on the banks of the Rio Grande River in South Texas, 200 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico and was founded in 1755. With a population of 236,000, it is the 10th most populated city in Texas. The city is an inland port on the USA-Mexico border and its economy is highly dependent on international trade with Mexico. Moving to Laredo reveals a population concentrated with Hispanics and Latinos making it one of the least diverse cities in the country. Just like any city, it has advantages and disadvantages and only by living in Laredo can you truly understand them.
Is Laredo, Texas a good place to live? Laredo is a city with a rich heritage. The cost of living is quite low and real estate is affordable. On the contrary, the lack of diversity, low education levels, hot climate and defaced industrial areas may deter some people from moving to Laredo.
Laredo is a city that feels like a small town and there are even some villages where some farmers still practice subsistence farming to a degree. Given its location, many large transportation companies have a subsidiary in Laredo. You will find all the necessary facilities in Laredo. In fact, Laredo has received credit in the past for being one of the most livable cities in Texas. There are numerous social spaces in the city and the schools are above average. The city has created a conducive environment for business creating employment opportunities. All things considered, Laredo is a good choice if you are moving to Texas.
Is Laredo, Texas a good place to live? Prons & Cons.
Living in Texas is generally great. Living in its aptly named ‘Gateway City’ is the same. However, Laredo is characterized by great inequality. There are areas that are very livable while some areas ghastly as war zones. Where you decide to live will largely determine your life here. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate all neighborhoods before deciding. Good neighborhoods in Laredo include Plantation, Regency, Winfield, Alexander Estates, San Isidro, La Bota Ranch, Khaledi Heights. Any neighborhood in the southern parts of town near the Rio Grande River is considered bad.
Laredo has a safety index of only 19 and is among the most unsafe cities in the United States. However, border patrol has made it safer than other cities in the past few years. Crime here is higher than the national average but lower than the Texas average. Property crimes take the bulk of crimes in the city with violent crimes coming in a close second. The chance of falling victim of a crime in Laredo is 1 in 35 which is quite high. You should have insurance for your possessions and avoid walking alone especially at night.
Laredo is served by two public school districts namely the Laredo Independent School District (LISD) and the United Independent School District (UISD). There are also 8 private schools in the area. The LISD serves central Laredo while the UISD serves the rest of Laredo. Each school district has its magnet schools accompanied by other smaller elementary, middle and high schools. There are also several charter schools in the city. As it pertains to higher education, there are two main institutions: Laredo College and Texas A&M International University. The former offers two-year Associate’s degrees while the latter offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio also has a campus in Laredo.
Most of Laredo’s transport includes driving personal vehicles which are evidenced by the fact that only 6% of households in Laredo do not own a vehicle. There are many highways running in and around Laredo. The American highways include I-35, I-69W, I-2, US-59, US-83, State Highway 255, State Highway 359 and State Loop 20 all linking Laredo to different cities around the USA. Mexican highways include Mexican Federal Highway 85, Mexican Federal Highway 2, Tamaulipas State Highway 1 and the Nuevo León State Highway Spur 1. El Metro is the city’s public transit system with a fleet of over 47 fixed route buses, 2 trolleys and 18 Paratransit vans. The hub for El Metro is the El Metro Transit Center which offers rural transportation using El Aguila Rural Transportation bus service. Laredo International Airport offers passenger and freight air services to and from the city.
The social life in Laredo primarily comprises of sports. The city has minor league teams in all sports. There are also social facilities for music, theatre and film. There are art centers, museums and cinemas for social meetings. The city also has a bustling nightlife for adults.
Is Laredo, Texas a good place to work?
The unemployment rate in Laredo is about 3.8% which is slightly lower than the national and state mean. The average salary per resident also stood at $38,000 which is also only slightly higher than the national mean. Popular job titles in Laredo include Operations Manager, Border Patrol Agent and School Teacher.
The largest industries in Laredo categorized by the number of people employed are trade, transportation & logistics, Government, education & health services, hospitality, financial & business services, mining & construction and manufacturing respectively. The top ten largest employers in Laredo include United Independent School District (UISD), Laredo Independent School District (LISD), City of Laredo, Laredo Sector Border Patrol, H.E.B, Webb County, Laredo Medical Center, Texas A&M International University, McDonalds and Wal-Mart.
Is Laredo, Texas a good place to buy a house?
The average price of a property in Laredo is about $115,000 while the average monthly rent is about $930. About 63% of Laredo residents own their home with most homes owned by a mortgage. Good neighborhoods in Laredo include Plantation, Regency, Winfield, Alexander Estates, San Isidro, La Bota Ranch, Khaledi Heights. Any neighborhood in the southern parts of town near the Rio Grande River is considered bad.
The average monthly rent for a single bedroom apartment in Laredo is $880. The average rent for a double bedroom apartment is $1135 a month. The average rent for a triple bedroom apartment is $1460 a month. The average monthly rent for a quadruple bedroom apartment is $1775 and the average rent for a quintuple bedroom apartment is $2050 a month.
The average buying price of an apartment with a one bedroom in Laredo is $101,375. The average price of an apartment with two bedrooms is $149,950. The average price of an apartment with three bedrooms is $188,500. The average price of an apartment with four bedrooms is $234,660. The average price of an apartment with five bedrooms is $289,120.
Is Laredo, Texas a good place to retire?
Laredo is a good place to retire for several reasons. The city is very affordable. Almost everything costs less than average which should benefit retirees with little passive income. More specifically, Laredo has one of the lowest costs for home health services in the country which is great news for retirees who often need healthcare delivered to their home. Retirees also typically prefer warm to cold weather for retirement which they will find aplenty in Laredo.
Any individual looking for retirement properties in Laredo can use the above monthly rental rates and property prices as a reference since the price is almost equal.
Is Laredo, Texas a good place to visit?
Laredo’s location makes it a picturesque tourist attraction. There are plenty of historic landmarks and fun attractions in Laredo. Places to visit when in Laredo include Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, Lake Casa Blanca, Rio Grande State Museum, Imaginarium of South Texas, San Agustin Cathedral, Slaughter Park, Laredo Water Museum, independence Hill Regional Park and Border Heritage Museum. Events and festivals to attend include Washington’s Birthday Celebration, Jamboozie, Jalapeño Festival, Laredo Sister Cities Festival, Laredo Big Bad BBQ Cook-Off and Laredo Birding Festival.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Laredo, Texas?
The cost of living in the city of Laredo is 32% lower than the national average. Everything costs less especially healthcare. Housing is the main expense in most households. Transport is the only expense that is higher than the national average since most Laredo residents drive cars. Energy costs e.g. HVAC, will increase during the summer due to the hot climate.
Is Laredo a good place to invest in property?
Investing in property in Laredo is a good idea. The residents’ salaries are high and the house prices low. You can expect high rental rates and low prices which will raise investor returns. Moreover, with the influx of immigrants into the US, the demand for housing in Laredo is expected to rise in the future.
Is Laredo a good place to raise a family?
Laredo has good schools. There are plenty of facilities for your children to expand their horizons too. You will get many playgrounds and because of the weather, it is often sunny outside. It is also very cheap to raise a family in Laredo. On the contrary, just like any other town, you will need to take extra measures to guarantee your family’s security. Otherwise, Laredo is both fun and family-friendly location. You will get all you need to ensure your family grows in a great neighborhood.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.