“What areas of Texas are better?”
Depends on what you do for a living. I’m in oil and gas so Houston is home base for me. As for property taxes, the initial cost and valuation is so much lower than California that the total cost of owning a house is lower and we don’t have an income tax (yet). I retired from the Coast Guard in Galveston and have been employed in Houston ever since. Texas is 5 distinct geographical regions, gulf coast, piney woods, hill country, west texas (Desert), and the panhandle. California is 3, so you get to pick what you want if you are retired. As for illegals, North Carolina and other non border states have just as much problems, at least in Tejas, we all get along.