Five Things Every Amarillo Home Needs


Amarillo has some beautiful scenery, but don’t let that distract you from your needs.

Perhaps you’re new to Amarillo, or maybe you’ve been away for a while and are finally coming back. Either way, you’re coming to the Yellow Rose of Texas and you want to make sure your ducks are in a row for your home. Here are five things every home in Amarillo needs, large or small.

A Fully Functional Heating and Cooling System

Amarillo manages to experience both extremes when it comes to temperature: During the summer it’s as hot as one would expect in Texas, and during the winter, you get the cold temperatures and snowfall like other places. Before buying any house, ask about the HVAC system or how the owner keeps cool and keeps warm, and also ensure that the system is in proper repair.

Last Year’s Tax Bill

Property taxes in Texas are a little different from how some other states handle them: The tax rate is decided locally, and is based on the assessment performed by the county, in a process that is overseen by the state. Yep, it’s a little more complicated than many feel it should be; let’s just say come tax time, local pharmacies sell a lot of headache remedies.

As the assessment can change from year to year, there’s no way the seller can guarantee what you’ll be paying next year. But he can tell you what he had to pay this year, and should.

Water Service Secured

Water’s a bit scarce in Amarillo, and as such, well, you’ll need to pay for it. Water is administrated by the city and you’ll be required to apply for water service before your home can get the water it needs. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this in person; you can apply by mail to the city government and even apply via the Internet to have water service activated. But make sure you get that application in, or you’re going to have some very unhappy family members in fairly short order. Speaking of which…

Don’t be fooled: Amarillo can see substantial snowfall.

A Plastic Rain Barrel

That may sound a bit odd, but it’s for a good reason. Due to Amarillo’s semi-arid climate, rainfall tends to evaporate before it has a chance to soak into the ground. By connecting a “rainwater recovery system,” that is, a big 45 gallon plastic barrel, to your new home’s gutter system, you’ll not only help cut down on your water bill, but you may qualify for a nice tax credit as well.

Some Time to Go to the DMV

Texas is pretty strict about driver’s licenses: You’ve got ninety days from when you first move to Texas to get your Texas driver’s license and your car inspected and made roadworthy, or you’re going to hear about it from both the Amarillo police and the Texas Highway Patrol. Mostly they’ll just bust your chops, but the rules can take some folks by surprise: If you want to drive in Texas, it’s best to set aside a day where you just take care of that, instead of waiting until the last minute.

There are other things, of course, but these are the most common items and ideas new member of the Amarillo community come up against. With a little planning and forethought, though, you’ll soon be settled into your new home and community.

Photo credits: Steven Schroder, Vivitay

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