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Austin, Texas SperlingViews



"Austin is great economically, but you've gotta lik"


Austin is great economically, but you've gotta lik - 6/3/2011
5 1
bp_seeker
Austin, TX

Pros: Plenty of jobs in the high-tech industry. Even though Austin is one of the most expensive places to live in Texas, it's more affordable than many other metro areas in the country. Ozone action days are on the high side, but again, compared to many other metro areas, the air and water quality are pretty great. The weather is very nice from about October-March. Very mild. A nice bonus is that Austin is fairly vegetarian friendly (it's no NYC, though, let me stress). The airport is pretty easy in terms of parking and lines. There are tons of health care options. No need to drive to another city to see a specialist.

Cons: Traffic is horrible at rush hour. Not much in terms of public transportation. But personally, for me, the worst two things about living in Austin are the very hot and long summers (yes, with humidity) and being land-locked. Allergies are also horrible here, and the schools seem to be in trouble. Lots of budget problems, school closings and teacher lay-offs lately.

There are basically two seasons (in my opinion) - 6 months of summer and 6 months of sorta spring. It starts getting hot, in the 90's as early as late March, mostly starting in April, and stays hot (mid-high 90's) through September. It is very frequently in the high 90's low 100's May - September. October - March is pretty mild, although it can get below freezing at night, which is actually refreshing for me. Generally, for someone who likes 4 seasons, it's no fun. For someone who loves the vibrant colors of autumn, it's downright depressing here.

The closest clean beach is about a 7 hour drive to S. Padre Island. I've been to Corpus Christi once and was not at all impressed by the large signs on the beaches that provide instructions for removing oil residues from your body. This was BEFORE the gulf oil spill disaster. There are a lot of lakes and fun river activities, but it seems like we're always in a drought.

If you're from the east coast, or somewhere similarly populated and connected, and you're used to having tons of choices for day trips or weekend trips by car, bus or train, then you'll also dislike being stuck in the middle of Texas, where Houston is about 2hrs, Dallas over 3hrs, and San Antonio being the closest at about 1.5hrs away by car. And again, the cleanest beach is about a 7hr drive. Everything in between is pretty dull, especially if you happen to be a vegetarian. Good luck finding a place to eat in a small Texas town. If you can afford to fly often, then it's probably not a big deal. There is also an Amtrack station and a Greyhound bus terminal, but those will just take forever. Certainly you're not in the middle of nowhere, but if you're used to being more connected, like along the north eastern / mid-atlantic coast, it feels isolated.

Overall, Austin is a great place to live if you can tolerate the heat and are content with the somewhat geographic isolation.

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CJ
Austin, TX

best city in the US - 9/25/2014

what a great city, it combines the diverse open minded culture, nature beauty and high tech that you find in places like the bay area along with the low regulations, low taxes and low government control that you find in texas. What a great city, keep Austin weird !!!

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Michael
Grandville, MI

Austin is not where you want to be - 9/7/2014

I lived in the Austin area for 30 of the past 35 years. I left for good in June 2014. I will never return. I am writing this to warn anyone thinking about moving to Austin. Don't do it. There's three reasons for not moving to Austin: population growth, traffic, and climate. Population growth: In 1980, Austin was a sleepy little college town of about 300,000 people. It is now (2014) a metropolitan area of about 2 million, about to surpass the San Antonio area in population. Austin will continue growing because it's one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. People want to move to Austin because Austin has this image of being hip, hot, and happening. You sit in traffic on I-35 in Austin and Austin suddenly loses its appeal. Traffic: Austin is about 20 years behind on building highways. Take a look at a map of Austin and San Antonio. Who has the better highway system? San Antonio, hands down. The traffic on Austin main thoroughfare, I-35, is woefully congested, even on the weekends. Other main roads like MoPac, highway 260, FM 2222, etc. have almost as bad traffic congestion during rush hours. Downtown Austin can be hard to navigate during certain hours of week days. Weather: I remember back in the 80's and 90's Austin had somewhat cooler and wetter summers. The average number of days 100 or more is 12, but, in the last few years, the number of days 100 or more has significantly increased. There was a year, 2011 I think, where Austin had 67 days 100 or more. In August 2014, the number of days in that month alone 100 or more was 15. Also, Austin has been in a drought, along with most of the state, for the past four years. Lake Travis at one time was at 34% of its capacity recently. Winters are mild in Austin, but the summers are about six months along, with plenty of humidity. Austin is not where you want to be.

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Amy
Austin, TX

Austin is no longer the place to be - Can't wait t - 8/24/2014

I moved here 20 years ago and everything that was a positive then, no longer exists. The cost of living is HIGH folks, don't believe the hype that no state income tax equates to a lower cost of living - not in Austin Texas! The property taxes are high, the home value assessments are high and the annual cap on those assessments is 10% - do the math! Wages here are low in the "right to work" state and most jobs are part time only with no benefits. School funding is low. Healthcare is high. All the funky and cool things and places that used to define Austin have moved out because of the high cost of living. That being said, corporate welfare here is king. All the things that we used to love to do here are no longer accessable due to the unbearable crowds and traffic. I saw on this website that Austin's average commute is 23 minutes - no way. I have one of the "better" commutes in Austin and it takes me an hour and half minimum to travel 15 miles to work. We are being surrounded by overpriced toll roads here in every direction, air pollution is now a problem, and crime is high with an apathetic and military type police department. I would never recommend Austin to anyone. It's over-hyped (thank you Governor Perry) and now depleted of everything that once made it a wonderful place to raise a family.

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Ask
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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