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Austin, Texas SperlingViews



"Getting too crowded"


Getting too crowded - 8/3/2011
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Dave
Austin, TX

I've lived in Austin now for 30+ years, and now it seems everyone in America is moving here like Ca. Was in the 1980's. The conservative residents have not expanded infrastructure to keep up with the influx. This was a sleepy college town when I moved here, now it's a mess. I look forward to moving somewhere else for retirement.

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Laurel
San Francisco, CA

Wanna Be/Has Been/Avoid - 5/28/2015

If you are Texan, I'm sure Austin is a great place. Most of the people who don't fit in to the rest of the state, move to Austin. But it will never been anything more than a wanna-be city. It will never be on a par with the great cities in the US, no matter what, because alas, it is in Texas. Too many Texans live there. And a smaller percentage of former Californians live there, and they were the people who couldn't hack it in California, which isn't speaking highly of them. There is absolutely nothing to do in Austin unless you like excellent musicians playing third rate annoying one- track pseudo country music. Or if you like amazing restaurants, it does have those. Or if you like biking and jogging in 110 degree heat around a very ugly arid climate. (Anybody who says Austin is pretty has never been anywhere else.) But what this place does not have is an active cultural scene, a diverse population (EVERYBODY is white, or segregated Indian/Asian tech people who couldn't hack it in California). There are no art museums, galleries, cool hang outs for different types of people, public transportation, interesting shops, design, style, vibrancy, cutting edge thought, technology, business, anything. If you think it's a power center, you've clearly never been to the Bay Area, NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA, or any other places where things are really happening. And speaking of that, you either make minimum wage and live like a bum, or you make a lot of money and spend it on stupid things. It's all a big tax break for out of state corporations. Nothing is really created there. Ok, they have Whole Foods. (But everybody hates Whole Foods and if they're into really good local food, they would shop locally, not at Whole Foods.) The housing is ugly. The people are backwards and take mellow to an embarrassing degree. And I could go on. I guess the bottom line is that if you think Austin is "all that" then please stay there, and don't be embarrassed when you travel and people could give a fat nothing about where you're from. It ain't Paris, it ain't San Francisco, NY, Miami even, it is basically nowhere. It has a good PR run there for a while, but it's over now. What really bothers me the most is, people like to think they're green and liberal and pro-environment, but what do they do but run around 24/7 with a carbon spewing air conditioner strapped to their car and house? And drive a giant SUV that gets 10 mpg? It's appalling. Sorry to be negative, but the best I can say about Austin is, it's probably a nice place to be from, as long as you are now living somewhere else. Ok, sorry, peace out, good luck, don't move there.

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W
Austin, TX

Give this place a pass - 4/9/2015

Arrogant and pretentious for such a hick town, Austin combines the worst of Texas Teasips and the worst of the Left Coast to produce a place hardly fit to pen hogs. Your mileage may vary.

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Kim
Leander, TX

Great place to start a career - 2/20/2015

Austin is a great place to live. Hot in the summer, but you get use to it. Very mild winters. There might be a trace of snow and it will shut the town down, very funny! There is a lot to do. Outdoor activities, music venues and great places to eat. The city is growing with all the jobs here so of course, a lot of people moving here. If your looking to move here and you have kids, try to stick in the Round Rock or Dripping Springs school districts. The best schools are in Wimberley, Tx about 30-35 miles outside of Austin. Many people commute 30-40 miles to work daily. It's Texas, It's big!!! Once again, this is a great place for a young family to move to but if your older, like me, I want out! Looking for a more quite, peaceful life. I'm looking at Ashland Oregon. Any comment about Ashland would be great!

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Alex
Austin, TX

Do your community a service - get rid of Texans. - 2/6/2015

I live in New York but have lived in Austin before for several years, and when a customer comes into my bar who's from Texas I tell them "Go back to Texas you f*ggot f*cking piece of sh*t!" and then kick them out/ban them. If everyone did this, the world would be a much better place.

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Kimberly
Austin, TX

OMG!!!! Austin YUCK!!!!!! - 12/30/2014

I have lived here 3 years, from Minneapolis. I did as much research as I could, before coming down here. I wanted the cool, laid back, Hippie, live music vibe. Austin, TX has all but lost that. Maybe South Austin has retained some of that. That part is on it's way to losing it too. Austin, TX is full of pretenious, cold hearted AHOLES from California. Ya see, companies from Cali are moving here, because they get an enormous tax break. I must mention that it is definitely a younger city. 20/30 year olds. And the men who are middle aged, act like complete imbeciles. I was reading a couple of other posts, that stated the main culture is drinking. That is the truth! If something that is totally fantastic (I will bet money it will not) does not happen to be me, by the end of my lease (rent is outrageous by the way---hello water bill!), by May 2015, I am leaving here!!!!!! Just a word to the wise!

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joan
Leander, TX

Living in austin - 12/29/2014

Very expensive, but more importantly impossible to get around - traffic patterns have never been established - takes more than an hour to go 10 miles - tieups everyday - accidents all the time - streets always closed for something - taxes should be low for all the events that are held disrupting traffic - cost of water outrageous $100 just for the privilege of having it before any charges for what you use - not a town for families still geared to college kids and those riding bicycles - would recommend staying for a couple of days and just try to get around before making a decision to move here

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Steve
Austin, TX

The times are a'changin - 12/23/2014

Austin is changing from a low-cost college town to a high cost tech-city. Traffic has grown so bad that commuting from less costly areas is difficult. Living in convenient locations has gotten very expensive due to demand. The city is way behind on infrastructure to address these issues so the next decade is going to me difficult.

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Lillian
Austin, TX

Austin isn't all that great - 12/5/2014

So, We moved here 5 years ago and I'm ready to leave. My favorite thing is the food scene. Lot's of cool restaurants. Also, I've seen more live music in 5 years and it's all fantastic. But that's kind of where it ends. Yes, it's outdoorsy but the heat is unbearable (and I'm from Miami, so I'm no pansy). I've gone hiking for the day and it's so hot, it's impossible to carry the amount of water you need to enjoy yourself. Also, there are no shoulder season. It goes from 98 to 28 and everyone exclaims "Winter's here". It does the opposite in March. It's hardtop bike because the winds are routinely 20-30 mph. They rave about the wild flowers, but they only bloom (if they bloom) for 3 weeks and the rest of the year, the medians and byway look like over grown weeds in a ghetto. The actual city is very dirty, and the sidewalks and streets are in major disrepair. The traffic is horrible. It used to take me 10 minutes to get to the Galleria Mall, now it takes 30 minutes to go 4 miles. So many people are moving here and there are is only one option so you have to just sit. During the wild fires, there was no way to get to safety because there was only one road. Very disturbing... The BBQ is good, but it's all about the meat. Nobody puts much thought into the sides, so that's kinds of disappointing if you like to try different types of potato salad, etc. The schools are meh. My kids complain they aren't learning much, just made to memorize stuff. The entire school focuses on Football and also Football. Culture is non existent, except drinking. And they start early. I'll miss the Breakfast tacos, but I can make them myself.

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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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