The 2020 Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Austin

If you’re moving to Austin in 2020, you have a big task ahead of you. The so-called Live Music Capital of the World has been named the best place for life in the US multiple times, and now you’ll have to choose a part of it that is just right for you. The best neighborhoods in Austin aren’t hard to find, but picking among them is quite difficult. To make this task a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of our top picks. Let’s take a look.

Moving from Philadelphia to Austin

What Is the Best Area to Live in Austin

We’re going to have to disappoint you right away – there is no straightforward answer to this question. The top area in ATX will highly depend on your personal choices, lifestyle, preferences, abilities, what you like, and so on. That’s why we decided to divide our list into several categories: families, singles, expensive, affordable, retirees, and students. Depending on which group you belong to, you’ll be able to find an area that’s right up your alley. Before we move on to our list, let’s take a quick look at the criteria we used for deciding.

Criteria Used to Determine the Best Areas in ATX for Your Future Home

What is it that makes any community good or bad for life? If you ask us, these are the main factors:

  • Location. Depending on your particular circumstances, you’ll want to settle down close to your job, your university, your kids’ schools, parks, and so on.
  • Amenities. No one likes living in an area where amenities are scarce, so vicinity to various important establishments, such as banks or grocery stores, is also essential.
  • Cost of living. Living in Austin, Texas above your means, or anywhere else, for that matter, is never a good idea. That’s why a well-defined budget and a location that fits that budget are crucial.
  • Type of housing. What’s the point of living close to essential amenities if you and your family have to share a tiny studio apartment? The different types of accommodation that different areas offer are also an important aspect.
  • Safety. Low crime rates are probably the most crucial factor when choosing your new community, regardless of who you are or where you come from. No one wants to sleep with one eye open.
Decide what your most important criteria are

Best Neighborhoods in Austin for Families – Rollingwood and East Oak Hill

Rollingwood – Part of the ATX metro area, Rollingwood has around 1,500 residents, with over 400 families. It is located some 3 miles from downtown, so it provides easy access to all the essential amenities. Rollingwood is known for its tight-knit community and residents who are dedicated to preserving its welcoming spirit. If you’re looking for things to do in Austin with kids, the Nature and Science Center is nearby, and so is the Rollingwood Community Playground. The nearest schools in the area include Acton Academy West, Primrose School of West Lake Hills, Cedar Creek Elementary, and Trinity Episcopal School.

East Oak Hill – Southwest from Rollingwood, there is another excellent community – East Oak Hill. According to the website Niche, this is the best place in ATX to buy a house. The median real estate value is slightly under $400,000. It’s home to around 15,000 people and some highly-rated schools: Sunset Valley Elementary, Small Middle School, Patton Elementary, and Oak Hill Elementary. For a fun weekend activity for the whole family, head to Barton Creek Wilderness Trail in the north part of the neighborhood. After that, head to some of the best restaurants in Austin located in the vicinity: Abuelo’s, Cypress Grill, or Chuy’s. There are also some coffee shops where you can get your daily fix: Stouthouse Coffee Hub is our favorite.

ATX is a great place to raise a family

Best Places to Live in Austin for Singles – North University and Cherrywood

North University – This dense urban neighborhood is perfect for young professionals and singles. It has a quick and easy commute to downtown, where most people work. There are also a few well-maintained green areas in the vicinity, including some dog parks. The traffic isn’t too crazy, mostly due to the fact that the area is highly walkable. The population is diverse, mostly young, and hipsterish. There are a bunch of bars and lounges that are open late, so you can relax over a nice drink after a long day of work or studying.

Cherrywood – This is one of those places that provide a perfect balance between big-city amenities and small-town tranquility. It is close enough to the center to make it easy for you to access whatever you need, but far enough to avoid traffic congestion, noise pollution, and crowds of tourists. It is highly walkable and bikeable, but public transit options aren’t the greatest. If you choose to live here, we highly suggest that you get auto transport along with your moving services.

Young professionals tend to flock to more urban areas

Where Do the Rich Live in Austin Texas? Barton Creek and South River City

Barton Creek – If the cost of living in Austin TX doesn’t scratch the surface of your budget, and you’d like to live in a prestigious, well-off neighborhood, Barton Creek is the place for you. This is one of the wealthiest Austin suburbs. In fact, it is the second-richest census-designated community in the whole state based on per-capita income. The median real estate price is almost $1.2m, and most residents are homeowners. If you would rather rent: expect to pay close to $1,400 every month. The median household here makes three times as much as the national median – over $150,000 a year.

South River City – In the very heart of the city, lying on Colorado River, South River City is what big-city life is all about. It is also known as Travis Heights. Whatever you need, here it will be right at your fingertips. Restaurants, bars, parks, schools, shops, you name it. The median value of homes here is just shy of $600,000, and the median household income exceeds $85,000. South River City is very pet-friendly, so if you’re moving with pets, take this neighborhood into consideration. The average resident of South River is a young professional in the tech industry.

Can you afford to live in ATX's upscale neighborhoods?

Best Austin Neighborhoods for a Tight Budget – University Hills and North Burnett

University Hills – Whether you would like to purchase property or rent, you’ll likely find this community quite affordable. The median homes cost around $250,000, and rent slightly exceeds $1,100. But in the case of University Hills, low prices don’t mean low quality of life. This is still a diverse, well-educated, happy community with some green areas and good schools. The one thing that is a disadvantage of University Hills is that crime rates are not that low.

North Burnet – Further away from the center, North Burnet is another affordable neighborhood for those moving on a budget. The median property value is below $100,000. It is also one of the greatest places to live in ATX if you don’t mind the commute – MoPac Expressway will get you to the center, but you’ll have to deal with serious traffic congestion. Luckily, you won’t have much need to leave North Burnet, aside from for work. Everything you need is right there – shopping malls, grocery stores, and so much more.

IndexNorth BurnetAustinTexasUSA
Overall8910991100
Housing6613383100
Goods and Services10410495100
Groceries939390100
Transportation939394100
Utilities9595102100
Healthcare10710797100

Source: AreaVibes

Where Do Students Choose to Settle Down – Hyde Park and Rosedale

Hyde Park – This historic neighborhood provides easy access to almost all of the University of Texas schools, including the Medical Branch. This, along with the vicinity of all the amenities you can imagine and affordable housing, makes it perfect for students attending this university. There are two historic districts in the area: the Hyde Park Historic District and the Shadow Lawn Historic District. If you enjoy museums, memorial houses, and other famous historical landmarks, you will love this neighborhood.

Rosedale – Right across the street from the previous community on our list lies Rosedale. Rosedale is home to the UT Medical Branch, so its no wonder so many med students choose it as their new home. Central Market is right there, too, so getting groceries won’t be a day-long chore. According to Niche, Rosedale is also one of the top locations to raise children, so once you graduate, you won’t feel the need to move to a more family-friendly neighborhood.

Other Spots Worth Mentioning

The neighborhoods we mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great communities in ATX. If you still haven’t found your favorite, here are some other suggestions.

Additional ATX Locations to Check Out

With over 7,000 residents, Downtown has a dense urban vibe and vicinity to pretty much everything. The median home value is a little less than half a million, but most people rent their homes – for just shy of $2,000 a month. Not many families live here – this is more of a place for singles and young professionals.

Another excellent option for young singles, South Manchaca is much more affordable than Downtown. It is also much safer and quite diverse. Although it is a little further away from the center, it is quite calm and doesn’t have a lot of traffic.

This suburb is home to around 3,500 people, most of whom own their homes. Home values are pretty high – about $1m, and rent is around $1,400. The community has low crime rates and highly educated residents – most locals hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

Old Enfield is not only a great area in ATX but also one of the top places to live in Texas. For what it offers, it is moderately priced. Median household prices in Old Enfield revolve around $770,000. Crime rates are very low, and incomes are high. There are also vast green spaces where you can enjoy spending time in nature.

If you don’t mind commuting, Gateway is an excellent choice. It is mostly populated with liberal young professionals and singles, while families with kids make up around 10% of the population. The only disadvantage is the location – driving to the center from here can take a while, especially during rush hour.

Allandale is a great solution for families with young children that need quick and easy access to the center. The neighborhood runs along the MoPac Expressway. Around 6,600 people call this place their home, out of which over 20% are families with kids.

Pick Your Favorite Among the Best Places to Live in Austin

Have you found your favorite? Then get in touch with your Austin movers and make your dream a reality in 2020. Being an Austinite is a rewarding experience that is sure to enrich your life. So don’t waste any more time – ATX is waiting for you!

Written By: Tara Gregory