Things to Know About Living in Austin Texas

City skyline at sunset in Austin, Texas

Thinking of moving to Austin? Here’s all you need to know. For starters, U. S. News has ranked Austin as the number 1 best place to live in the United States yet again! For the study, 125 of the most populated metros were evaluated based on factors like affordability, job prospects, and quality of life. Austin has earned the top spot 3 years in a row, and that’s no mean feat!

Austin, which is the capital of the Lone Star State, is famously known as the live music capital of the world and is also the cultural capital of the state. Besides, it’s renowned for its amazing food, weather, outdoors, cultural institutions, and historical roots.

Eating, drinking, listening to great live music, and exploring the outdoors neatly summarizes the recreational aspect of life here. The downside? Spending precious time commuting and navigating through heavy traffic is also a part and parcel of living in Austin Texas, unfortunately.

There are other astounding facts about life in the live music capital of the world. If you’re wondering if you should move to Austin, here’s a guide to what to expect if you move to the Texas capital.

Living in Austin Texas Pros and Cons

More and more people are considering moving to Austin given its eclectic crowd, unique culture, strong economy, tons of local attractions, live music, and awesome Tex-Mex cuisine. In fact, the Austin metropolitan area, which includes 5 counties, has experienced the fastest growth in the country in the last 8 years.

But before packing your bags and moving here, here’s a compilation of some of the best and worst things worth considering about living in Austin, Texas:

1. High Housing Costs Coupled With Overall Affordability

It’s no secret anymore that an increasingly large number of people want to move to Austin – the third-largest city in the country and third-largest state capital – to sample the high quality of living coupled with affordability. However, with an increase in population and in turn demand for housing, home prices have soared too!

This isn’t great news for buyers exactly. But if you’re planning to buy a house here, now’s the time as housing prices are only expected to increase given that Austin is one of the fastest-growing metros in the country. And homes here aren’t nearly as expensive as those in New York or San Francisco. Zillow states that the median home value in Austin is $381,500[1], as compared to the national average of $231,000.

Renting may be more affordable than purchasing; however, the average rental rates in Austin are the highest in the state. According to Rent Jungle, one-bedroom apartments cost $1,378 a month, while two-bedroom apartments cost $1,736. In addition, on moving to Austin, TX, you’ll have various housing options ranging from suburbs to densely populated urban districts.

In terms of affordability, there’s a silver lining as the higher than average median income balances the high costs of housing, to an extent. Furthermore, there’s no personal or state income tax here, and state and local sales tax rates are also relatively low. The cost of groceries and utilities is comparatively low, which reduces the overall cost of living in Austin, Texas.

2. Hot Summers and Mild Winters

Summer temperatures in Austin can soar quite high, even reaching 100°F or higher in the summer months. But if you’re moving to Austin to escape the winter snow in colder states, you probably won’t mind braving the blazing hot summers for the pleasant winters here.

In fact, barring the hotter months, the climate throughout the rest of the year is fairly mild in Austin, which is something to look forward to. On the whole, the excellent weather allows Austinites to enjoy the outdoors during the majority of the year.

3. Plan Commutes to Avoid Traffic Congestion

Beautiful aerial view of the city

While there are public transportation systems around Austin, most residents here prefer to drive. Just like the other metros in Texas, Austin has an extensive network of highways to provide easy transportation to and from the urban center. However, one of the major cons of living in Austin, Texas is the congested traffic situation that it’s infamous for!

But while commuting can take a while, especially in rush hour traffic, the traffic is not as bad as some of the other major cities like Los Angeles or New York. It’s best to map your commutes to avoid the high-density traffic areas.

For those looking for cost-efficient ways to commute, it’s best to use public transit options like Capital Metro, MetroRail, ridesharing, or even micro-mobility options like scooters and electric bikes.

Capital Metro is a reliable transportation option to use in the downtown and greater Austin area, with more than 80 bus routes and a 32-mile rail line. Metro Rail is also another alternative for commuting around downtown. Ridesharing alternatives like Uber and Lyft are some of the most popular options in Austin.

You may also consider biking or walking to save on time and money! Biking is a convenient, low-cost, and popular way to commute here as Austin is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, with over 35 miles of dedicated bike lanes and paths. The city further encourages biking, with several easily accessible bike kiosks placed throughout the downtown area.

4. Diverse and Lucrative Work Opportunities

Austin is widely famous as a tech hub and draws a major part of its revenues from the technology sector that includes software development, information technology, high-tech manufacturing, video game production, and space technology. Austin is also referred to as ‘Silicon Hills’ thanks to the high number of major tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Dell, eBay, Google, Cisco, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Samsung, to name just a few.

Apart from tech, the robust economy is supported by diverse industries like pharmaceutical, biotechnology, engineering, education, business, entertainment, and health care. The startup scene in Austin is also growing, providing ample opportunities for tech entrepreneurs and people in the creative field.

Not only does it have a low unemployment rate of 2.2%[2], but it also offers some of the highest wages in the country. The median annual income in Austin is $67,755, as compared to an average of $60,336 in the US[3]. So if you’re looking for lucrative career opportunities, Austin is a great place to start hunting!

5. Entertainment & Recreation

There’s no doubt that Austin is a fine urbane metropolis with its cutting-edge restaurants, clubs, bars, and concert venues. But it also offers great outdoor opportunities for nature and sports lovers living in Austin Texas, with its incredible lakes, botanical gardens, rolling landscapes, and golf courses. You can go trail hiking, running, rock climbing, or swimming at the Barton Springs pool or any of the 50 public pools. It’s no wonder that it’s regarded as a healthy place to live!

Other fun activities include biking, water sports like canoeing and kayaking, or simply just exploring the numerous parks.

Sports lovers can cheer on their favorite football and basketball teams. Then there’s also the X Games event or Formula One races for racing enthusiasts. When you feel you’ve got enough outdoor exercise or activities for a day, you can unwind at any of the resorts, museums, or cultural venues. There’s truly something for everyone here!

6. Amazing Food

Tex-Mex food

The culinary experience in Austin is really one-of-a-kind, with an eclectic variety of restaurants, food trucks, and renowned food joints. There’s a place for every kind of occasion and budget, be it a high-end sushi restaurant for a special occasion, a trendy food joint to simply satiate your craving for tacos, or the heavenly food trucks that feature an endless variety of mouth-watering dishes.

Austin is not only famous for its Tex-Mex cuisine but also for its locally brewed beer and Texas-style barbeque.

LA has vast regions of empty space. Griffith Park alone has around 4,310 acres of wilderness where you can go hiking and get close with nature.

And of course, the famous Southern California beaches offer a magnificent coastline where you can enjoy water sports like surfing, beach volleyball, rollerblading, or you can simply read a book – yes, reading counts as a water sport, too, if you’re doing it by the beach! All you movie lovers, if you want to go celebrity spotting and enjoy a view of the ocean simultaneously, taking a day trip up to the beach in Malibu is the perfect place to go.

7. Enjoy Great Music

Needless to say, Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World, is a paradise for music lovers, with a range of music venues and local bands. The city is home to more than 250 live music venues like parks, bars, festivals, streets, and even grocery stores like Whole Foods! You can catch a musical act at any of these places or enjoy the banner music festivals.

One such music fest is Austin City Limits, which is one of the best in the country and attracts hordes of crowds every year. It is held on two consecutive three-day weekends in Zilker Park in the fall and features both popular and lesser-known acts. Another annually held festival is South by Southwest which includes film, interactive media, and musical acts.

8. Huge Crowds of Music-Lovers

The music festivals drawing tens of thousands of people every year can also be a major disadvantage after a certain point. No doubt they provide a unique experience but people living in Austin Texas don’t really look forward to it after a while and may even take a holiday at that time of the year to escape the commotion and crowds descending upon the city.

9. Great Options for Education

Austin is also highly regarded in terms of its educational opportunities. It’s home to more than 100 private schools, 29 public school districts, and public and private universities and colleges. The esteemed University of Texas, Austin is one of the major draws for students from all over the country. In fact, the education sector is so well developed here that it is one of the largest employers in the city.

Looking for other places to move in Texas? Check out some of the other top cities to move to:

Given the range of fun things to do, tons of local attractions, restaurants, and live music venues, Austin is an exceptionally fun and diverse city that has something for everyone. It justifies the ‘best place to live’ tag with its incredible employment and recreational opportunities.

However, if you don’t think it’s your kind of place, here are other Texan cities that you might consider moving to:

  • If you want to live in a city with cultural diversity, awesome employment opportunities in diverse industries, lovely museums, aquariums, and proximity to Dallas, moving to Fort Worth is a great option!
  • If you’re looking for a city with great job opportunities, a thriving arts culture, great schools, and a diverse community, moving to Dallas would be perfect!

Moving anywhere can be challenging and stressful, and not to mention exhausting. Whether you decide to move to Austin, Texas or elsewhere, Cool Box Portable Storage is here to help make your move easy and as stress-free as possible. We provide portable and insulated moving storage containers that are available in three sizes to help match your moving requirements. What’s more, we offer the best pricing options and even meet or beat competitors’ quotes for the same specifications!

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