Moving to Austin, TX?
This guide to relocating to Austin will give you some actionable insights you can use to plan and make your move.
The whole process can be pretty overwhelming. From figuring out your commute to finding a good place to live to leaning how to "keep it weird," relocating here can be much easier when you keep these top tips in mind. Get to the good part faster with this advice, and learn how to move to Austin like a pro!
Before you move, save up some money.
While the cost of living here overall is six percent lower than the national average, it’s still more expensive than many other places in Texas. The rent is high. The local average rent here is $1,693 per month, but it varies wildly and really depends on the neighborhood.
The most costly neighborhood is Downtown, which had an average rent of $1,913 in 2015. Locals often spend more than the recommended 30 percent of income on housing. It’s not as high as it seems, though. Despite the higher-seeming costs, it’s still one of the best cities in the U.S. for the cost of living.
This city has some of the lowest taxes out of the major metropolises in the U.S. But the prices are some of the reasons why so many people are moving here; therefore, prices are likely to go up. There’s a deceptive factor to Austin: You can easily spend a lot on specialty shops and luxury or unique items.
This is the home of very high-end shops, so one can accidentally spend a great deal while splurging!
Find the right apartment.
Because this is such a competitive market for renters, finding an apartment in Austin can be more difficult that one might think. When you’re figuring out where to live while moving to Austin, TX, advice a rental agent would give would be to focus first on the feel of the neighborhood. Then, consider your commute and your budget. Use our free online Austin neighborhood guide to figure out which area of the city is right for you.
You may also want to map your commute. Traffic may not be as bad as in Boston or New York City, but you’ll soon get sick of the major highways. The city has a very limited public transportation system, and everyone seems to drive here. On the other hand, the Downtown area has been trying to promote biking, and whole communities have been built to be more walkable. If you do need to drive, just be aware that the loathed highway is I-35.
Know about the tricky renting situation in Austin.
Branch out when looking at listings. Don’t rely only on websites with listings to help you find your apartment. Reach out to a locator service; many landlords will work with a broker to find better tenants and coordinate applications.
Before you talk to landlords, have an idea of pricing (as well as your own budget). Sometimes, rent can increase a great deal because so many people are moving to Austin, TX. (Advice on pricing is something you can get from a Jumpshell expert.)
Move during a reasonable time of year.
In a city where the temperatures can soar over 100 degrees, be prepared if you really, really need to move during the summer. Most newcomers will want to move during the fall or spring. Also, note that the city plays host to numerous festivals that can clog up the highways, such as the SXSW festival.
Embrace the weirdness.
Even if you’re coming from another city in Texas, you’ll likely experience culture shock shortly after your move to Austin, TX. It’s not a very Texan Texas city. With so many people coming from California, it shouldn’t be any wonder that it has a Californian feel. It’s also full of hipsters here, and it’s sometimes called "Portland of the South." The city is weird but also awesome. Here are some things you should know to get acclimated very quickly.
- When you move in, you’ll want your Internet set up. The local Internet providers include Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Grande Communications, Frontier, and Google Fiber.
- Local, health-focused grocery chains are in abundance in Austin. It seems paradoxical that a place that loves barbecue and tacos this much is also the birthplace of Whole Foods. Besides Whole Foods, there’s also H-E-B, Trader Joe's, Central market, and several other specialty markets.
- News sources include the Austin Chronicle Corporation, the Austin American-Standard, and the Statesman.
- You'll find a lot of parks here. Also, this is ranked as one of the most dog-friendly cities, with dog-centric events, puppy boutiques, and plenty of green spaces to run and play.
- You'll have 30 days to register your car, but you may get fined if you go over that.
We hope these tips will help you while you’re moving. Austin, Texas, is a great city to move to!