If moving to Austin is what’s on your mind, but you’ve never been to the city, and you’re coming from somewhere far away, you might need a bit of help. We’ve covered everything you need to know as a newcomer – from the best communities to live in, to how much money you will need once you relocate cross country. Stay with us and learn more about what Texas capital has to offer.
First of all, A-Town is one of the most important cities for all music fans. It’s called the “Live Music Capital of the World” because it’s home to many music genres and is the venue of various performances and concerts on a daily level, which make up for an eclectic live-music scene. A bunch of movies were filmed here, it’s one of the sunniest cities in the US, and there are so many food options that are just delicious. But except for the fun and great outdoor activities, what else awaits you there? Let’s find out.
What Should You Know Before Moving to Austin? The Basics
The so-called “City of the Future,” is located right in the middle of the Lone Star State and has served as its capital since the mid-19th century. The population, currently at around 965,000, has been growing rapidly in recent years the years, and is very diverse. The median age of its residents is 33.6, and almost half of the people are white, followed by residents of Hispanic, African American, and many other descents. It features a warm climate, and breathtaking nature – many lakes, rivers, and parks. It’s also an educational center with its high-rated universities. There are many reasons why it’s often highly ranked on the lists of the best places to live in America, including culture, music venues, museums, and plentiful job opportunities.
Know What Your Expenses Will Be
If you’re going to live somewhere new, you need to know if you would be able to afford it. You should learn how to plan your budget since residing in the capital of any state may come in pricey. So, what is the real cost of living in Austin, TX?
ATX tops the list of cities in Texas in terms of expensiveness, and the expenses of everyday life are a bit higher than the state and national average, but Austinites still enjoy it there. That might be because of the average salary, that is, after-tax, around $4,350.
Relevant Costs You Should Keep in Mind When Living Here
If you’re living in Austin, Texas, a meal in a mid-range restaurant will cost you $25 per person, based on the data from Numbeo, a website that lists and compares the costs of living in various places.
A one-bedroom apartment in the city’s core can be found for anywhere between $1,250 and $2,500 per month, while the rent price drops to around $1,100 for the same type of accommodation away from downtown. Bills for essential utilities for a 900 square feet apartment are $140, and a monthly public transit pass is $40. Having a healthy lifestyle and going to a fitness club will be $40 per month, and one movie ticket is $12. Compare these costs to your current ones, and you’ll know just how much your expenses will be.
Is It Worth Moving to Austin, TX Considering the Prices?
Although it may be pricey for some, it’s still cheaper than many capitals and metropolises across the US. Your expenses will mostly depend on the amount of money you’re paying for rent the area you’re residing in. If you’re moving from a small town to a big city, you might be surprised by the prices, but it’s all about managing your finances. Again, for all that ATX has to offer, we think it’s worth relocating here.
Job Opportunities – How to Find Employment
This is definitely a pro when relocating to ATX. The latest information shows that jobs are plentiful and that the unemployment rate here is lower than the national. Having in mind the economic disruption that happened in 2020, ATX is still the sixth fastest-growing major metro area.
If you’re not relocating for a job, make sure you find a stable source of income before moving. Start your research and get a job before you move. A-Town is known for its booming job market – companies in the tech industry collectively employ thousands of workers in the Austin area. Some of them are:
You’re not a tech expert? Don’t worry – another industry that is thriving is the health industry. State agencies are also a sizable source of local employment, and so is the University of Texas.
Know that the current minimum wage is somewhere around $7.25 per hour, but the living wage is almost double, depending on the number of people sharing a household.
How Much Do You Need to Make to Live Comfortably in Austin, Texas?
If you’re moving to a new city alone, you will need around $800 per month for all the costs except for rent. Even though it sounds like a rather high number, know that a family of four needs around $3,000 per month, also without rent. Consider this when searching for a job here.
A Quick View at the Taxes
TX is considered a tax-friendly state. The reason behind that is because the state is one of seven that does not collect any income taxes. However, property, sales, and federal taxes are still there, and federal return still needs to be filed.
TX sales tax is 6.25%, but a county and city rate are added, so the total sales tax in ATX is 8.25%. Property tax is 1.83% average effective rate, which means that people in Texas pay an average of $2,775 in property taxes each year. The gas tax is 20 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel.
There are some other additional taxes and fees in Austin:
- Hotel occupancy tax, which is 6% of the cost of a hotel room
- Manufactured housing tax that equals 3.25% of a home’s sale price
- Entertainment – concerts, movie tickets, television service, internet access
- Any kind of automobile parking or storage services
- Beer and wine are taxed with 20 cents per gallon
- Liquor is taxed with $2.40 per gallon
- Pack of 20 cigarettes is taxed with $1.41
Yes, the Traffic Is Bad, but It’s Bearable
You’ve probably heard about the traffic in ATX, and it probably wasn’t good news. It can get pretty frustrating, and one of the factors is that more than two million people reside in the metro area. Traffic congestion isn’t something unusual because most Austinites drive to work.
Other than that, public transportation is running smoothly, and there are plenty of great ways to get around. There are easy and cheap ways to explore Downtown and the greater ATX area with express bus service, a rail line that connects Downtown with northern Austin suburbs, late-night, and airport services. There are also taxis, carpool options, and you can always hop on a bike.
What Are the Best-Ranked Neighborhoods?
The process of choosing the place to reside in depends mostly on your preferences. There are many great options, and to help you out, we made our list of the best neighborhoods in Austin according to the following criteria. You’ll know which ones of these factors will influence your decision the most:
- Cost of living/affordability
- Type of housing
If you’re relocating with family, Rollingwood and East Oak Hill are great communities for you. There are many playgrounds, excellent schools, and outdoor activities for both kids and adults. East Oak Hill has a median real estate value that is slightly under $400,000 if you’re considering buying a house.
Singles and young professionals find North University and Cherrywood attractive. Both areas are walkable, with lots of green spaces and bike tracks. If you’re moving with pets, know that there are numerous dog parks. Nightlife makes these areas alive for 24 hours, and there are many great bars and restaurants.
Barton Creek and South River City are prestigious areas where the rent is around $1,400, and the median value of homes is about $600,000. For that cost, these neighborhoods offer high safety, A-rated schools, amazing bars, parks, and the best restaurants in Austin. South River City is home to many tech industry professionals.
As for the affordable options, consider relocating to University Hills or North Burnett. These areas also have everything you need, and you will move on a budget. Students mostly choose to settle down in Hyde Park and Rosedale areas.
A Quick Guide for Renters
According to Numbeo, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the downtown area costs around $1,700. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the downtown area is $3,000. If you wish to live further from the center, the price for the rent in a one-bedroom apartment would be around $1,000, and a three-bedroom apartment is $1,900.
There Are so Many Things to Do and Places to Visit in and Around Texas Capital
ATX is famous for its numerous opportunities for having a fantastic time. Once you relocate here, it’s a great idea to go on a tour to meet the community and visit the top attractions. There are also small group guided tours for exploring this fantastic place. Culinary and gourmet tours will knock you off your feet because ATX is known for its excellent food spots. You can escape traffic noise and go biking or hiking to some of their amazing parks and lakes like Zilker Metropolitan Park or Barton Creek Greenbelt.
There are also many things to do in Austin with kids if you were wondering is A-Town family-friendly. It offers many museums, science parks, and other fun activities, like visiting the zoo and the aquarium.
Get Ready for the Heat Before Moving to Austin Texas
If you’re planning on moving in the summer, keep in mind that ATX can be a hot place. The hottest month is July with an average temperature of 84.7, and summers are long and known for the heat. More than 200 days are sunny, but some people might not like that. Summers here are often described as scorching because the temperature can even hit the triple digits. Apart from that, the climate is mild and pleasant. Winters are short, and snow is rare.
Final Long-Distance Relocation Tips
Your preparations should start the moment you know your relocation day. Relocation causes a lot of stress, so to avoid it, make sure you avoid last-minute moving. Find a reputable relocation company on time and book a spot at least a month before. Professional movers can provide you with the packing of your belongings, disassembling, reassembling. You can also use their high-profile storage unit facilities and can leave your belongings for a month free of charge.
How Much Does It Cost to Move to Austin?
An answer to this question depends on many factors like the size of the move, distance, and date you chose. If you’re hiring a professional Austin long-distance relocation company, the price for a one-bedroom apartment will probably be around $1,600 if your new home is 500 miles away. As for the two-bedroom apartment, plan to pay about $2,000 for the same distance.
It’s Recommended to Obtain Relocation Insurance
When moving from one state to another, you can never be sure that everything will go as planned. When transporting something long-distance, your expensive items should be insured, because packing them properly might be tricky. Have a stress-free move by purchasing relocation insurance.