Are you planning on moving to Austin to start a new chapter of your life? What a great idea! The TX capital is known for its quirky lifestyle and open-mindedness, as well as the hospitality that the south is generally renowned for. With an accepting and tight-knit community like that, we’re sure you’ll enjoy every minute of living in Austin. But first, we suggest you take some time to learn more about your future home. To help you with that, we’ve put together this quick guide to everything you need to know about life in ATX.
Is Austin, Texas, a Good Place to Live?
Austinites have a popular mantra: “Keep Austin weird,” and they truly believe in it. It was initially a slogan used to promote small businesses, but over time, it has grown to become a true motto of the city. This can be felt in every nook and cranny: from quirky art exhibitions to original food inventions and the overall vibe among the people. If you’re someone who appreciates originality, open-mindedness, and uniqueness, we can confidently say that ATX will be just the right place for you.
Is It Expensive to Live in Austin, Texas
According to AreaVibes, a website that collects data on cities all around the world, the cost of living in Austin, TX, is very close to the national average – it is only 9% higher. Things such as groceries, utilities, and transportation are all more affordable than the US average, with housing and healthcare being slightly more expensive.
The data website Numbeo lists some of the most common expenses and their prices as follows:
- A meal in a mid-range restaurant: $25 per person
- A monthly public transit pass: $40
- Basic utilities for a 900sqft apartment: $140
- Monthly membership for a fitness club: $40
- One movie ticket: $12
How Much Can Renters Expect to Spend in Austin, TX
As with most other places in the world, rent is one of the most significant factors when it comes to monthly expenses. Rent highly depends on the exact place where you decide to settle down. As a rule of thumb, the best neighborhoods in Austin, as well as Austin suburbs, are among the most expensive choices. On the other hand, there are parts of the city where you can find cheap apartments, but not as many amenities. However, there are still some averages we can talk about:
- One-bedroom apartment in the downtown area: $1,700
- Three-bedroom apartment in the downtown area: $3,000
- One-bedroom apartment outside of downtown: $1,000
- Three-bedroom apartment outside of downtown: $1,900
If you would instead buy your own place, a square foot downtown will cost you around $350, and it will be $200 if you choose to settle down somewhere else.
How Much Money Do You Need to Make to Live in Austin?
Your optimal monthly budget for a comfortable lifestyle in ATX highly depends on what exactly you consider a comfortable lifestyle. An approximate calculation dictates that you should make at least three times more than your monthly rent. The rest of your income should be sufficient to cover utility bills, transportation (either public transit or gas), groceries, hobbies, insurance, and other expenses. Ideally, after all these expenses have been paid, you should have a certain amount that you can save up every month.
But what does this exactly mean in ATX? According to GoBankingRates, you’ll need just shy of $100,000 a year to live comfortably. However, we suggest you take this number with a grain of salt, as we all have different needs and habits. So how much can you expect to earn when you land a job here?
Working in ATX – What Are Your Options
Unless you’re relocating for a job and have a position waiting for you, you should do your best to get a job before you move. Luckily, depending on the industry you’re in, this won’t be too big of a challenge. ATX is known as a high tech hub, and some of the biggest employers in the area are in that industry. These include Dell, IBM, 3M, Apple, and AMD. Another large industry is healthcare, with employers such as St. David’s Healthcare Partnership and Seton Family of Hospitals.
So how much can you expect to make in ATX? According to PayScale, the average yearly salary is $69k. Of course, this largely depends on the job you get. For example, a software engineer in ATX earns around $85k, while a grocery store cashier’s yearly salary is around $22,000.
Is It Safe to Live in Austin, Texas?
According to Niche, the crime rates in ATX are relatively close to the national average, and among the expected rates for a community of this size. Most residents feel safe here, and they consider the ATX police to be efficient and responsive.
The Climate – Pack Your Summer Clothes
One of the best things about this place is the climate. A typical year sees around 35 inches of rainfall and over 200 days of sunshine. Summers are long and hot, while winters are much shorter and mild. Extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes and supercell thunderstorms are not an uncommon occurrence.
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Things to Know about the Moving Process Itself: From the Planning Stage to Storage
Before you get to enjoy all the perks of being an Austinite, you need to get there first. Planning a relocation is not nearly as easy as it seems, so make sure you start on time. And if you’re moving from another state, we highly recommend getting professional moving services. That way, you can make sure that everything will go according to plan. Additionally, a reliable moving company will provide you with other solutions, such as packing or storage.
Insurance and Other Additional Expenses
One of the main reasons why people are hesitant when it comes to hiring relocation experts is because they think it will be too costly. Luckily, that is not exactly true. All you have to do is pick a moving company and request an estimate, and you’ll know how much money you can expect to spend. Needless to say, paying for these services comes with some perks: most importantly, all your belongings will be insured. In other words, everything you own will make it to your new home in ATX in perfect condition, and you will be able to settle down and start exploring in no time.
Pros and Cons of Living in Austin, Texas: The Ultimate List
Now that you know some basic info about ATX itself, it’s time to delve deeper into all the great and not-so-great things about being an Austinite. Just like any other place, ATX has its advantages and disadvantages, so let’s check them out:
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being an Austinite
Pro: Austinites Lead a Healthy Life
ATX is one of those communities where people really care about their health. For starters, there are more than 29,000 acres of parkland, over 50 public swimming pools and swimming holes, and a complex network of bike trails. In fact, ATX is known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country.
Con: The Traffic Can Get Bad
Although more and more people are deciding to bike to work, the traffic is still pretty bad. Around 70% of commuters still ride on their own, and only 10% carpool. Although the public transit system spans over 32 miles, it still leaves a lot to be desired. All of this results in common traffic congestion, which can get quite frustrating.
Pro: You Can Explore and Find the Things You Like
ATX has something for everyone. With so many things to do and places to go, and a new activity around every corner, you surely won’t be bored. Be a tourist in your own city and explore all the points of interest, such as Zilker Park, the Lady Bird Lake Trail, the State Capitol, or Bollum Texas State History Museum. Whether you’re moving with children and need some things to do in Austin with kids, or you’re looking for romantic spots to check out with your partner, ATX won’t disappoint. On top of that, ATX is famous for its food. Visit the best restaurants in Austin and see for yourself.
Con: The Best Places are Usually Crowded with Tourists
This is a popular tourist destination. Almost 30 million Americans visit it every year. Add to that number all the visitors from other countries and the population of 2 million in the metro area, and you’ve got yourself a huge crowd. Of course, this means that the most popular attractions around the city will likely be crowded, no matter when you decide to visit. However, crowds are an inevitable part of large cities, especially those that are popular travel destinations.
Pro: It's Called the Live Music Capital of the World for a Reason
You probably already know that Austin bears the title of the live music capital of the world. As soon as you land at the airport, you will likely hear music while exiting the terminal. That’s simply how ATX is: music is everywhere. Even grocery stores such as Whole Foods host live music events. You can also enjoy gigs and concerts in many local bars. But the highlight of the city’s music scene is Blues on the Green. Every summer, once a month, ACL Radio hosts these events in Zilker Park. Be sure to check them out, and your summer nights will never be dull.
Con: The Heat Can Get Unbearable
Sure, going to concerts during summer nights is great, but summer days here can be quite unbearable. In July and August, the average high temperatures often reach the high 90s, and sometimes even go into three-digit temperatures. Over 100 days every year see temperatures over 90 degrees. What’s more, the humidity in the air can vary quite a bit, so you’ll have to deal with desert-like heat on some days, and tropical temperatures on others.
The Best Things About Living in Austin
With a population of just around a million people, ATX offers plentiful opportunities and options, no matter what your preferences are. Whatever it is that you enjoy – loud bars or theater evenings, the Lice Music Capital of the World won’t let you down. The diversity in population, food, art, culture, and neighborhoods is there to make sure you never have a dull day in ATX. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start over in one of the best places in the South.