Relocating home buyers ask "why are there no basements in Dallas or any part of North Texas?" The simple answer is the North Texas clay soil moves too much, making a basement cost prohibitive. It's structurally safer and much less expensive for a home builder to build a second story than to build a basement.
The clay really shrinks when dry and expands when wet. It's not uncommon to see cracks you can stick your whole hand in. This expanding / contracting / moving soil exerts tremendous pressure on buried structures like the floor and walls of a basement.
Is it Possible to build a Basement?
Is it possible to build a basement? Sure. Just not wise. Do you want to buy a home with a risky foundation? Do you have the desire or money to repair a major basement foundation issue?
What's the Cost to Build a Basement?
Some Dallas luxury homes do have basements. It's hard to know how much they cost since these are not your "ordinary basements". I have asked custom builders and the answer is "it's cost prohibitive".
Basement Foundation Warranty?
Perhaps home builders don't build basements because of foundation warranty costs. New home builders provide a 10 year limited warranty on Slab or Pier & Beam Foundations. This warranty is purchased through a large warranty insurance plan. The cost of this foundation warranty is passed on to the home builder in the purchase price.
It's Cheaper to "Build Up"
If home builders could have figured out an inexpensive way to build structurally sound basements they would have because people love basements. Builders have found it is cheaper to build a second story than it is to build a basement. Instead of a dark basement rec room you get an upstairs game room and or media room.
Basements and Tornado Safety
Relocating buyers ask about Tornado Safety, Yes, North Texas is in Tornado Alley. No there are not basements or underground storm shelters. It is uncommon to see a home built with an above ground room reinforced as a safe room or storm shelter. Smaller interior rooms on the first floor are the rule of thumb.
Why are there no basements in The Colony, Dallas or any part of North Texas? Because the clay soil makes building a basement on a new construction home cost prohibitive.
These are the opinions of an experienced local Realtor, not a structural soils expert.