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Austin, Texas SperlingViews



"Austin Very Unfriendly and Unjust"


Austin Very Unfriendly and Unjust - 2/23/2010
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Karen
Austin, TX

Stereotypes are often incorrect. When people hear I am from NYC, they say, "ooh- a lot of crime happens there" and "people there are unfriendly." According to the 2009 City Crime Rate Rankings, more crime happens in Austin than other cities while in NYC, there is less crime than the national average. People here in Austin are very unfriendly. It is rare that people will ask you about your life or be interested/friendly unless they want something from you (or they are trying to sell you something). The management of the first apartment complex I lived in is trying to extort money from me for rent that I've already paid. Tenants are not protected here in Texas like in other states. If I want to maintain my excellent credit, I have to pay to bring THEM to court even though my rent checks cleared several months ago and I followed the lease exactly. Burglars knocked down the front door of my friend's home about a month ago while I was in it! And the police officer who got back to me said it is "low priority" compared to rapes and murders. I don't have a problem with the summer heat like most do but air conditioners are high everywhere and utility costs are very high. Teachers' salaries barely reach above 40k, even if you have a Master's Degree and over ten years of experience. Substitute teaching pays $9 an hour, as do most part-time jobs, and work is hard to find. Everyone says "the market is saturated with teachers" and there has been a teacher hiring freeze because of the economy. Unless you work in technology and your job is secure, you will probably find this city to be expensive, overrated and snobby. I have met some very racist and sexist individuals as well. The parks are nice though.

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Franki

re: Austin Very Unfriendly and Unjust - 2/23/2010 - 11/7/2013
"too cool for school", would definitely sum up my observation of what so many people i know, in Austin, seem to think of themselves. the natives, who've never lived anywhere else(at least, outside of the state of Texas), are like small-minded, settlers everywhere. it's like a tiny Texas "L.A." where everyone loves the smell of their own farts (referring to a 'South Park' episode). it is my least favorite city, in the U.S.


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Brittany

re: Austin Very Unfriendly and Unjust - 2/23/2010 - 4/21/2010
You are correct that stereotypes are incorrect, but I still beg to differ on some things you have said. It's not that people in NYC are unfriendly, it's that it is so fast paced that most people there do not take time to stop, breath, look around, and smile and say hello to the people walking past them. It's a different life style than Austin, or most of TX. However, IMHO because so many people from the north have moved to TX, it has changed what TX stood for. There are a lot of rude people, and they are not from here! I think you have a biased exaggeration in the area dealing with crime and your apartment. The teachers salaries vary depending on district. Do your research, TX has some of the highest paying teacher salaries. Most first year teachers start between $40 and $46 with a bachelors. BTW where in Austin did you live? Every PART of the city differs.


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Bp

re: Austin Very Unfriendly and Unjust - 2/23/2010 - 8/16/2010
Good points Karen, especially about the unfriendly part and "It is rare that people will ask you about your life or be interested/friendly unless they want something from you." I've been here for over 10 years and I certainly miss the comraderie and friendliness of the people from the East. Each time I travel to California (Orange County, San Francisco) it's like turning on a light switch, people are genuinely friendly and want to get to know you. And I'm talking about California! Anyway, the vibe in Austin is definitely bizarre.


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Karen

re: Austin Very Unfriendly and Unjust - 2/23/2010 - 2/21/2012
Brittany- I HAVE done the research. Starting salary is not the problem- you don't raise much higher if you have 1 year, 10 years 30 years experience or have a masters degree or not. Its not like the east coast where degree, experience and intellectualism has a greater value. Which might account for Texas' low high school graduation rate. And Austin 1st year teachers are definitely not making $46K. The salary is better in Westlake Hills- which is NOT Austin- and don't get me started with the people around there. NOT very nice people AT ALL as a culture, but I have met some very nice people who moved there from California. My experience with newbies in Austin is that they are generally more travelled and nicer than others. The rudeness I experience is with lots of natives. If you want to better Austin society in any way or try to talk about the problems, natives will often say, "go back to where you came from." Austinites are resistant to change and not at all friendly to transplants.


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Laura

re: Austin Very Unfriendly and Unjust - 2/23/2010 - 9/21/2013
I agree! I've lived here 2 years, giving it a fair chance. I was born in TX, lived in Colorado for a few years (where everyone was SO friendly and happy), and came back and settled in Austin. I've never met more snobby, rude people in my life. My child has had the worst time, coming from an environment where everyone was friends with everyone else, only to find in Austin that even the kids are ultimate snobs and unbelievably cruel. The longer we stay (due to husband's job only), the more I can't believe a town so talked about as great is so disappointingly unfriendly. Natives and transplants alike pick up the "hip, cool, we are better than everyone else" vibe...VERY disappointed!


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Austin, TX

Why am I still living here? - 7/31/2014

I have lived in Austin for the past 6 years. I can't take it any more. Austin is the fastest growing city in the United States, it's exploding. It's the only major city that has no loop system, so you can imagine how horrid the traffic is here. And it's not even during rush hour, it's always backed up on I35 and Mopac both ways. Sometimes it takes an hour to drive 10 miles home from work. Second, the weather will make you absolutely miserable if you're sensitive to heat and humidity. The entire summer lasts about 6 months. Day after day Austin ranges from 97F to 100F in July and August. In 2011 we had 110F+ days. The City of Austin controls my apartment's thermostat, so they can shut off my AC during peak hours as they please. The humidity makes the heat stick around at night, and it's not unusual to take a walk at night in 90F temperatures. Imagine how uncomfortable it is to sleep here. Lastly, it is extremely expensive to live here. I'm paying $920 (rent only) for a small 1 bedroom apartment about 12 miles away from downtown. My rent increased 20% over last year. Yes, 20%. So now I have to ask myself, why am I paying so much to live in an overcrowded, uncomfortably hot, congested city?

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Ashley
Austin, TX

Too many people - 7/19/2014

Ok I'm not sure which category fits this best. I love my city. Austin is my home, I've always lived in Austin. I'm a 5th gen. Austinite, 7th gen. Texan. I'm proud to have that title too as we are becoming harder hand harder to find. More and more people come each day to move here and suck us dry of our culture that we so proudly held. They come and only want the music. They come to see all these famous bands playing at our festivals and close to move in so they can here them more often. Well I have something to say, we have too many people in our small town now! It's not built to hold you and your 3 kids and dog, don't move here from California to see Muse and Red Hot Chili Peppers play at ACL. No! Go home. We have enough of a problem trying to stretch to fit everyone else. We're happy to share the music but go home afterword. Please. We don't need more of you. Or your unreasonable laws you want to add. Thank you -from an angry Austinite.

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Rachel
Austin, TX

Austin is great.....Well, I can remember when it w - 7/7/2014

I have lived in Austin for around 10 years now. Everyday this city is changing and evolving into a metropolitan, corporate city. No more small town Austin! On average 50 people move here a day and we have NO public transportation apart from the awful metro buses that get stuck in traffic like the rest of us. I live two miles from my work and it takes me 45 minutes both ways (morning and evening) to get to and from. The lack of roads and alternate forms of transportation can really change your view of the city. If you plan on moving here, you MUST have a car. All of the artist, hippies, and bohemians are slowly being pushed out of the city because it is too damn expensive to live here! They are tearing down the eclectic Austin homes, shopping centers, etc. and building high rise condos. Austin was the place to be 10 years ago, now, I am looking for a new TOWN to move to. It is the best place to live in Texas hands down but just make sure you're a trust fund baby or fell into a large pile of money before moving here or else you will find yourself in financial trouble. Oh, and did I mention that a new law has passed with in the Real Estate market, any houses built after 2007 are only allowed to have families living in them. You may not have more than two unrelated people under one roof. There goes the only affordable way of living here...However, it is a beautiful city and I do love the vibe. Just beware of HOT Summers lasting 5 months, awful traffic, every event and restaurant is so crowded, high cost of living, lower paying jobs, and the development of high rise expensive condos.

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Charla
Austin, TX

Please Don't Move Here - 7/1/2014

Austin is being overrun with people. 100 people a day are moving here. Many upper class people are moving here and asking weekly "what are the best schools?" The question rings sour. With so many moving here there is almost no chance all of you can fit your kids in "the best schools". Your moving here is making our affordability go away. In one year the conversation about affordable housing changed from being about the poor or low income folks to the middle class and lower middle class not being able to afford Austin. Developers are building luxury apartments all down S. Lamar, a surprise attack. No moderate apartments appear to being built. Who is luring you to our city? Please Don't Move Here. Thank you.

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Spencer
Austin, TX

Don't move here: A native Austinite's view - 6/26/2014

Austin: Live Music Capitol of the World! Amazing food, tons to do, drink yourself silly, swim to cool off, play in the park, great community. I know, I grew up in Travis Heights, and I love this city. I moved to Berlin for college, thought I was a ski bum in Colorado, but I came back to Austin. It's a great city. But I'm fed up with it. Affordability: Don't listen to stats about affordable housing for $200k, or rent at $600. It's not true. The people who live in neighborhoods where housing costs $200k are places you don't want to live. The people who live in those neighborhoods aren't there because they want to be, they are there because they can't afford anything else. These neighborhoods are generally run down, feature small, poorly built houses from the 1970s and 80s, and are not where people want to live. I'm not just talking "I wish I could live in that super luxurious neighborhood," but just a standard home. Houses in any neighborhood where you can ride your bike or walk to shops will cost you $350k, and that's for a fixer upper, little rinky dink house. Want a decent house with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, a modern kitchen, and hardwood floors in a central neighborhood? Try $500k or more. Much more. This wasn't the case 10 years ago. Now, people from Cali or NYC are going to say "THAT'S A BARGAIN!" Hold your horses. Unless you are a sought-after techie, or a business exec, or a doctor or lawyer, you will probably earn $35-$50k. Most people in their 20s to mid 30s earn $35-$43k. And that's with college degrees. Think you can qualify for that $350k shack on the East Side making $40k? Think again. So now you're one of the many, many renters. Apartments are at 98% occupancy in Austin. The rental market is fierce. If a listing goes on Craigslist, they will have 50 e-mails within a day or two. You can squeeze into a bedroom in a 3/1 house for $650 a month, but the house is going to be 1100 sq ft with few perks. Want a cool house in a hip neighborhood? $2500 month for a 3/1. Since you will probably take home $2500 a month--if you're working a decent job--you're pretty much out of luck. Don't think you're going to make due without a car. Sure, you can live within biking distance of everything, but that means you have to pay high rent in a cool neighborhood. If you're within biking distance (roughly 5 miles in any direction from downtown), you will be in a posh neighborhood. What people don't understand about Austin is its very unique geography. It's a city hemmed in by hills and highways, so you need to live within the "loop" in order to be anywhere desirable. Look at a map of Austin and you will see. 183 loops from the north around the east side of the city. Highway 71 to the south. Mopac (loop 1) to the west. All the cool stuff is within this perimeter. If you look on Craigslist or Trulia and see houses outside of this loop, you won't want to live there, trust me. For every mile traveled in Austin, it's like traveling 4 or 5 miles in another city. If you see a house that's 10 miles away, plan on 30min to travel those 10 miles. I35 traffic is terrible. Mopac traffic is terrible. 71 and 183 traffic is terrible. The point is, unless you want to be a suburban commuter and spend 1.5 hours a day in traffic, you better live within the "loop." The problem with Austin is that 10 years ago things were affordable. You could buy houses for $200k, you could rent nice apartments for $650 a month. No more. If you want your own 1 bed apartment, plan on $1000 a month. If you want a house, plan on $350k+. Trust me, don't look at median home prices and assume Austin is cheap. It will be a struggle to afford a half way decent lifestyle unless you make $65k+. Portland, OR is cheaper now, if that tells you anything.

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Steve
Austin, TX

Is Austin A Good Place To Live? - 5/1/2014

Austin is great. I've lived here for almost 14 years. Before that, I lived in Saratoga, CA ("Silicon Valley") for 13 years and I grew up in Plano, TX, just north of Dallas. So, I've lived a few places and been to a few more and I can tell you Austin is a good place. It's like living on the West Coast without the taxes, regulations and traffic (although, Austin does have traffic issues). There are many things to do here, especially if you enjoy the arts and outdoor activities. You can see live music all over town every night of the week and huge music festivals, like SXSW and ACL, annually. The outdoor activities are a big part of the city's vibe and the facilities are well-used and well-loved. How many places have, not one, but several, frisbee-golf courses? Hiking, biking, tennis, golf courses and running facilities are all over town. There is also a cool, laid-back feel to the place; people don't usually ask you what you do for a living within 2 minutes of meeting you and aren't always commenting about the cost of this or how much they paid for that. If you want that, move to Dallas. A guy I know moved down last year from Long Island. He wasn't sure he'd like it but now says he'll never leave. When it comes to real estate, Austin is the most expensive place in Texas on a per square foot basis, but compared to much of the rest of the US (like, say, CA) it's still cheap. Property taxes are around 2%, depending on where you live, but your cost basis is much lower and there are no state income taxes! Take that NY! It's hot here, don't let anyone tell you it's not. But, you adapt and the winters are nice. No 20 below down here. Generally speaking, the schools are good. Lots of good places to eat - we even have several great Indian food restaurants - and cool bars all over. All things considered, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Austin as a nice place to live.

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Pirinjakee
Austin, TX

Surprised by the negativity - 3/19/2014

I love my city. I'm from Maryland originally, but went to high school in Austin and have been here since then, except for a short reprieve in St.Louis. Austin is fantastic, and I'm surprised by all the negative comments about the city. However, I believe that, for the most part, the only people who really ever go on these sites and leave long comments are people who have something to complain about. Or like me, get upset when they read negative comments about a place they love. It's true. Austin is HOT...in the summer...in TEXAS. Texas is hot. It's a thing that is known. I can't stand the heat during the summer and I'm used to it. But that's why you go tubing, or kayaking, or stand up paddle boarding, or visit any of our amazing watering holes/springs. Someone wrote in their comments that there are not a lot of outdoor activities to do in Austin and I have to say, I absolutely don't agree. Any of the activities I mentioned above are easily accessible and relatively affordable. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, boating, zip lining, disc golf, organized sports, etc. If you want the cultural experience, you can go to the ballet, the symphony, the theatre (theatre is everywhere in Austin), find an art exhibit, go see a live show at our over 200 music venues, etc. It's true the traffic is bad but they are finally trying to do something about it. But its going to take some time of course. We have festivals and parades and celebrations throughout the year, quite a bit of night life, friendly people (and attractive people at that), great food, and an interesting character. With the influx of people coming in, the Austin culture is going to evolve a bit of course, but for the most part I think the heart and soul of Austin is here to stay. There is plenty of quirk left in this city, and honestly its not all that hard to find. Just because it doesn't slap you across the face on every street corner doesn't mean it isn't there. I think there is also a miscommunication between newbies and the crowd who has been here longer. Austin considers the greater Austin area part of the city too. If you are just looking at central, downtown Austin, then yes, more of the negative commentary would be understandable. But if you don't include the greater Austin area you miss wonderful true blue Austin features like, the hill country, the green belt, the fantastic school systems, the lake life, family friendly neighborhoods and parks, dazzling spas, great shopping, etc. Austin is a small city that is very spread out. We have a small downtown center, surrounded by less dense city 40 min in all directions. I think everyone who comes to Austin needs to make a friend who has been here a while and who loves their city. Then have that Austinite show them their fave spots. I think if you just go off the hype that is in the media right now, you will miss a lot of the wonderful things Austin has to offer. You also have to be willing to drop the hype and let Austin be what it actually is.

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Judy
Woodbridge, NJ

Thinking about moving to Austin from NJ..want some - 2/11/2014

I'm born and raised a jersey girl. I've always loved NJ but have increasingly become more and more discouraged. Between the insanely high property taxes and car insurance my husband and I pay, we feel like our family needs a change. We've heard that Texas is a great place to live, friendly people, good atmosphere, and an all around great place. So if anyone can give me an honest view of Austin or any other good place I'd appreciate it. Thanks :)

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Ruth
Jacksonville, FL

None - 1/24/2014

No

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Colleen
Leander, TX

Austin Draught - 9/21/2013

The culture is great, but lately it has been too hot and too dry.

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Melissa
Austin, TX

I think I'm Done With Austin...And Here's Why - 8/19/2013

We've lived in Austin for 16 years. It's been great, but these last few years have finally driven us over the edge. A couple things here: First, Austin makes every list imaginable (which is surprising, quite honestly), the influx of people has been insane, and of course, our roads remain the same with no additional infrastructure built. Second, summers SUCK!!! Summers last from early May well into October, and even last November it was still in the 90s. Ugh! It is loooong...way too long. I like heat, but I don't like it for six months straight. Third: Parks and outdoor stuff is limited. We even have a boat on the lake, so we probably have a better set up than most people, but we find that there is very limited parks and really fun outdoor stuff to do. Fourth: Austin is simply losing it's edgy charm, especially south Austin. It's quite sad really. When I would drive down south Lamar, you'd find all these funky places and shops, and now they're just overrun with newly built condos. It's so commercial and blah! There's even a condo next to The Broken Spoke! Blasphemy, I say! Fifth: We don't have children, but wow if I did I'd probably homeschool them. Public education is joke; there's no way in hell I would send my children to these schools. Sixth: Very expensive. If you want to live in Austin city limits, good luck. First off, there is a very limited supply of houses, and second, they are expensive, especially if you look at what you're paying per square feet. Your utilities will cost a fortune because of the non-stop summer. Our average water bill is well over $200 (thanks to NO rain and water restrictions, kiss your yard goodbye). I have many friends who's electric bill will run them over $500 throughout the summer. This is not a mansion, just a normal 2,000 square foot house. Seventh: No rain! The climate is changing, this will be your next Arizona. The last few summers have been incredibly dry (brush fires everywhere two years ago). No rain, means no lake, no grass, a dry wasteland and a very expensive water bill if you have a yard or pool. Be prepared...the dessert is coming. My last point: This is not a place for families, it just isn't. My husband and I moved here when we were in our early 20s and it was perfect for us. Fun stuff to do downtown, city life, festivals, etc., but now, it's just congested, annoying, hot and boring. Well, that's all I can say. We're looking for jobs elsewhere this year, and hope to be moved by next summer. Wish us luck! And all you newcomers, I'll have a house for sale.

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bob
Austin, TX

Very dependable economy - 8/18/2013

Looking for a city that has less heat

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Austinite
Austin, TX

Austin Review - 8/5/2013

Wow, a lot of negative reviews on here about Austin. Thought I'd add my .02. Climate - It is hot, this is why we plan our outdoor activities in the early monring and early evenings. That said, even in midday heat, it's still possible to enjoy outdoor stuff. Drink water, wear sunblock and dress appropriately. This is in opposition to the mild winters we have, typically 40s in the coldest month and more like 50s - 60s through most of the winter. Culture - I've seen comments on how Austin doesn't compare to NY, LA or San Francisco. Well... yeah, we're a small city. But Austin does have enough culture to get you by until you visit those places. There's a well respected ballet and symphony, museums (art and historical, which do contain exhibits on Native Americans contrary to one posters assertion) and tons of other fun things to do (for a city of this size). Traffic - There is a lot of traffic on I35. There is a fair amount on Mopac. If you know how to get around you can avoid trouble areas. I have been to Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. On our worst day we're not in the same ballpark, same league, same sport as the congestion in these areas. Our public bus system is lackluster. The metrorail has limited stops. But they do function and I'm not unimpressed completly with both and expect improvements in the future. Housing - Some posters have mentioned how expensive it is, but it is similar to all cities; it's more expensive closer to downtown. $150,000 can get you a 700 sq ft apartment 15 or so blocks north of downtown, it can get you a 1400 sq ft house 15 miles north of downtown, or a 2000+ sq ft house 30 miles north of downtown. Seem pretty reasonable to me. Standard of Living - Almost all people I know here are not having any trouble making ends meet. Taxes - Tax rate for Travis County is about 2.5%. Sales tax is 8.25%. No state income tax. Water - This is going to be Austin's biggest hurdle. As we have increased population, coupled with droughts lasting years, we are going to have to get much better about water conservation. Schools - I'll speak to the two high schools I have knowledge of. Westwood and Anderson. One is ranked 45th in the country and the other is like 150th, both have IB programs. Some homes in these areas are very expensive. Some are reasonably priced, like in the $150K range. Apartments are available in both areas. Austin is a great town, if you come here work hard and make good financial decisions, it is as good as any other town. I've enjoyed Austin and have no plans to move.

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Austinite
Austin, TX

Austin Review - 8/5/2013

Wow, a lot of negative reviews on here about Austin. Thought I'd add my .02. Climate - It is hot, this is why we plan our outdoor activities in the early monring and early evenings. That said, even in midday heat, it's still possible to enjoy outdoor stuff. Drink water, wear sunblock and dress appropriately. This is in opposition to the mild winters we have, typically 40s in the coldest month and more like 50s - 60s through most of the winter. Culture - I've seen comments on how Austin doesn't compare to NY, LA or San Francisco. Well... yeah, we're a small city. But Austin does have enough culture to get you by until you visit those places. There's a well respected ballet and symphony, museums (art and historical, which do contain exhibits on Native Americans contrary to one posters assertion) and tons of other fun things to do (for a city of this size). Traffic - There is a lot of traffic on I35. There is a fair amount on Mopac. If you know how to get around you can avoid trouble areas. I have been to Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. On our worst day we're not in the same ballpark, same league, same sport as the congestion in these areas. Our public bus system is lackluster. The metrorail has limited stops. But they do function and I'm not unimpressed completly with both and expect improvements in the future. Housing - Some posters have mentioned how expensive it is, but it is similar to all cities; it's more expensive closer to downtown. $150,000 can get you a 700 sq ft apartment 15 or so blocks north of downtown, it can get you a 1400 sq ft house 15 miles north of downtown, or a 2000+ sq ft house 30 miles north of downtown. Seem pretty reasonable to me. Standard of Living - Almost all people I know here are not having any trouble making ends meet. Taxes - Tax rate for Travis County is about 2.5%. Sales tax is 8.25%. No state income tax. Water - This is going to be Austin's biggest hurdle. As we have increased population, coupled with droughts lasting years, we are going to have to get much better about water conservation. Schools - I'll speak to the two high schools I have knowledge of. Westwood and Anderson. One is ranked 45th in the country and the other is like 150th, both have IB programs. Some homes in these areas are very expensive. Some are reasonably priced, like in the $150K range. Apartments are available in both areas. Austin is a great town, if you come here work hard and make good financial decisions, it is as good as any other town. I've enjoyed Austin and have no plans to move.

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Austinite
Austin, TX

Review of Austin by 15 Year Austinite - 8/5/2013

Wow, a lot of negative reviews on here about Austin. Thought I'd add my .02. Climate - It is hot, this is why we plan our outdoor activities in the early monring and early evenings. That said, even in midday heat, it's still possible to enjoy outdoor stuff. Drink water, wear sunblock and dress appropriately. This is in opposition to the mild winters we have, typically 40s in the coldest month and more like 50s - 60s through most of the winter. Culture - I've seen comments on how Austin doesn't compare to NY, LA or San Francisco. Well... yeah, we're a small city. But Austin does have enough culture to get you by until you visit those places. There's a well respected ballet and symphony, museums (art and historical, which do contain exhibits on Native Americans contrary to one posters assertion) and tons of other fun things to do (for a city of this size). Traffic - There is a lot of traffic on I35. There is a fair amount on Mopac. If you know how to get around you can avoid trouble areas. I have been to Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. On our worst day we're not in the same ballpark, same league, same sport as the congestion in these areas. Our public bus system is lackluster. The metrorail has limited stops. But they do function and I'm not unimpressed completly with both and expect improvements in the future. Housing - Some posters have mentioned how expensive it is, but it is similar to all cities; it's more expensive closer to downtown. $150,000 can get you a 700 sq ft apartment 15 or so blocks north of downtown, it can get you a 1400 sq ft house 15 miles north of downtown, or a 2000+ sq ft house 30 miles north of downtown. Seem pretty reasonable to me. Standard of Living - Almost all people I know here are not having any trouble making ends meet. Taxes - Tax rate for Travis County is about 2.5%. Sales tax is 8.25%. No state income tax. Water - This is going to be Austin's biggest hurdle. As we have increased population, coupled with droughts lasting years, we are going to have to get much better about water conservation. Schools - I'll speak to the two high schools I have knowledge of. Westwood and Anderson. One is ranked 45th in the country and the other is like 150th, both have IB programs. Some homes in these areas are very expensive. Some are reasonably priced. Apartments are available in both areas. Austin is a great town, if you come here work hard and make good financial decisions, it is as good as any other town. I've enjoyed Austin and have no plans to move.

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C
Austin, TX

Austin, TX - 8/3/2013

Austin is the best place to live in Texas!

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Jim James
Austin, TX

The truth about Austin, TX - 7/26/2013

Austin and it's surrounding suburbs have the highest cost of living of any area in Texas. I really don't know how students even afford to go to college here. They must have 3-6 roomates to afford the rent the greedy real estate owners charge in this area. There is no State income tax, but Texas gets you in other ways with it's high property taxes; high sales tax; high fuel tax; high tobacco tax and high alcohol tax. People in Austin and the surrounding areas complain about the very rude drivers here and say it's "all the Californians moving in". Nope, nearly all the rude drivers here are, yes, from Texas & mostly from along the coast. Also, Texans are busy bodies and LOVE to sue each other. It's probably the reason it's EXTREMELY hard to ever get to know your neighbors here. They don't trust anyone! If you are thinking of moving to Austin or it's surrounding area, don't plan on getting to know your neighbors. Drivers here LOVE to drive in packs, as if any sane person wants to be surrounded by a bunch of nutcases who have total disregard for their own safety. Also, no matter what you hear, Austin IS NOT the live music capital of the world, no way, no how. In fact, good music here is RARE. If you want to see the music capital of the world, go to downtown Nashville, TN. Also, expect literally 5 straight months of summer, with daily temperatures over 97 degrees and lows in July & August of around 80, with relative humidities averaging around 65% (this is high & very deadly). Every come to Austin, just stop and take a slow, close look around at the people. They are some of the most physically unattractive people I've ever seen in the United States. Salaries & wages here are pathetically low in comparison to the cost of living. I hate to say it, but if you are hell bent on moving to Texas and want to save for retirement by making a good salary and not having to fight a high cost of living, try the Houston area. I thought I'd never recommend that place!

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Ordinary American
Madison, AL

Austin is over rated - 5/30/2013

I lived in Austin for about 3 years. Austin definitely has a few gems, like Zilker Park, and Barton Springs pool, and plenty of good restaurants, but I really thought Austin as a whole is way over rated. Now that Austin has been "discovered" it has really gotten way too crowded. And because of that the traffic is unbearable. Austin is very hot too, that was the hardest for me to deal with. Also, if you are used to living in a state that is within a short drive to other surrounding states, you might feel a bit isolated.

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Ordinary American
Madison, AL

Highly Over Rated City - 5/28/2013

Just like the title says, Austin is highly over rated. Because it has been on so many best places to live lists, it has become very very crowded. Traffic is a nightmare and it is HOT. Very very HOT there. Austin does have a few gems and nice places to visit, but I just couldn't get past the heat and traffic. Austin is in central TX so I felt like I was so far away from the rest of the United States. I know a lot of people love Austin, and perhaps I would have liked it more maybe 20 years ago, before it was "discovered", but as is, right now, it just wasn't for me.

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mandy
Austin, TX

Things to Consider Before Making Your Move - 5/7/2013

I have lived in Austin for the last two years. Before that, Phoenix, a Houston suburb, an Alabama beach town, a small city in north Alabama, and a tiny village in Louisiana; so my previous living experiences have varied in size, location, and culture, which I think allows me to be relatively unbiased in my review. Austin's motto is Keep Austin Weird. If you are Southern or Texan, you will likely agree that Austin is "weird". However, if you are from a similar sized (or larger) city in the western U.S., Austin will probably seem pretty normal. What makes us "weird" is that we are a very liberal culture right in the center of Texas, a highly reserved, republican state. Compared to typical Texan and Southern culture, we are very green (plastic bag bans and such); yet West coasters find us to be wasteful (poor public transportation system). The city is a good manageable size regarding layout and population, however, we seem to have really long red-lights, no HOV lanes, limited public transportation, hence a traffic problem if you are an 8-5er. Austin is known as on "outdoors" city, but it may not be what you're thinking. We have a handful of very nice (but overcrowded) parks, lots of biking trails and bike lanes, and lots of places to rent canoes. In Arizona, I was used to each subdivision offering 4-5 playgrounds with an abundance of basketball and tennis courts. Very little of that here unless you live in an apartment. In Louisiana and Alabama, lots of places to go camping on the lake/river. Not much of that either. However, Zilker park is amazing. It has a top-notch playground, an outdoor movie theater, a place to swim and canoe, bike trails, and even a small train. So, we do have a few really nice outdoorsy areas, but having such a limited number of places makes for crowds. And it is really hot here (this coming from someone who lived in the desert for 5 years). Downtown is a fun, cool little area. Parking is expensive, the lightrail quits running at midnight, and cabs are expensive. But, other than the transportation issue, I can't say enough good things about downtown. It is a manageable size for a night out on the town. Not too big that you're overwhelmed, not too small that you get bored. Tons of places to eat and drink and most all of them have live music. Picture a very neat, clean, modernized New Orleans. Complete with the horsedrawn carriages and rooftop bands. Economically, it is expensive to live here. Housing is the main expense. Utilities are reasonable, but certainly not cheap. I am an accountant, so I am comparing the wages I made in other places verses what I make here, and then comparing the housing I could afford with the pay I made in each area. Out of all of the places I have lived, I have a lot less disposable income living here in Austin. Regarding schools, you need to really do your research before moving your family here. The Round Rock and Leander school district have really high ratings, however, in my opinion, good test scores do not mean good schools. My daughter goes to a tiny elementary school and it is fantastic. The teachers are attentive, classes are small, and they always have a lot of fun educational things going on. But, as the children get older (middle and high school), the schools are a lot bigger, have a lot less discipline and structure, and I don't think they prepare our kids for the real world. Yes, we ace our TAKS and STAR tests, but, students can go to school for 4 weeks and do absolutely nothing, and the teachers are required to give them a chance to make up all of their work, do bonus work (which is never as hard as the original assignment), and anything else they can do to pass a child, so they can spend the last two weeks "earning" their C. If a teacher fails a child, they are reprimanded and can lose their job. So, they give the kids every opportunity to make a C in all of their classes. To some, this is a good thing, but I don't think it is preparing our children for college at all. There are no do-overs when you have a real job. Either you do what you are supposed to or you are fired. The school system is not preparing our children for this fact. There is one school in Austin ISD that is very good, it is ranked as one of the top 100 schools in the U.S., but to live in that district, you have to be ready to spend at least $600K on your house. So, for me, I don't think Austin was the best choice to raise my family. However, if I had to do my early 20s/college years over again, Austin would definitely be a top pick. If you're young and single, it's a great place, you can rent a room for $500 a month just about anywhere in the city, there's lots of fun things to do, and you can get a decent education at UT. But, when you're ready to settle down and raise a family, I would reconsider. That is, unless you are independently wealthy and can afford an expensive home and private school. Good luck with your move!

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