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EXTREME Urban Sprawl
Recently moved here from CA but originally from NJ. I gave myself 1 year to see if I like it here. So far the answer is NO. I am out in burbs and it is still congested. No matter what time of day there is traffic. I gave it 2 stars because it is way less expensive than CA. I miss that small town feel. I am now looking for someplace on the East coast -- must have mild winters. Any suggestions? Anyone else move to Austin and realize it wasn't for them?



Smug town
Austin is overrated. People here are so smug about the city's reputation they don't see it's average at best. They are more interested in how food looks than in how it tastes. Live music capital? Maybe but most of the groups suck. If you enjoy 4 months of 98-105 temperatures in the summer, this is your city.

Oh, and traffic is awful because the "no growth" advocates stopped or slowed roadways for decades so now the roads are grossly overburdened.

So if you enjoy hanging out with smug people, Austin is your kind of town.



Great for business, musicians
Great for business. I’ve been here 5 years and we have set ourselves up with a great real estate investment. Great for musicians and down town types. Outdoorsmen not so much. To hot to do anything 5 months out of the year. Private hunting only (I.e. “canned”) Stocked fingerlings, growing crowds. etc. etc. We are leaving but will always keep RE here.



Been here enough times to write a review
I enjoy Austin compared to other cities I've lived in and visited. I can safely say I like it better than Denver, Minneapolis, San Francisco in terms of weather and vibe of the people. To me Austin and Denver are very similar, but the weather, people, and outdoor activities are superior.

First the cons - For a rapidly expanding city, the traffic here is on par with Washington DC or L.A. It's awful, and there's no public transit to break it down like they have here in Denver. They also banned Lyft and Uber last year which makes things even more chaotic.

Austin does seem rather cliquey and insular like a Denver but people don't seem to be as trashy and a little friendlier (most Texans are just nice people in general). 6th street to me was the most cliquey place I've ever visited. I did not get approached even once by a girl, and that happens pretty frequently to me without making too much effort. When I went out in East Austin that was no issue at all. Dating-wise it seems like there's a lot of dudes here.

That said, Austin has a great bar scene and there are areas to go out in outside the city that are hip like East Austin. They are close to cheaper residential homes and developments as well. Denver doesn't really have that - you don't want to go out in a place like Arvada which is a mix of white trash and Mexican gangs.

A few more comparisons to Denver: Austin has a WAY more professional and robust tech scene which is tiny up here. So having better connections for employment, or just to talk about tech seems to be better in Austin. It's a city filled with smart people and the higher ed scene is quite strong.

Outdoor activities: I've come to realize I'm more of a water person, and Austin is great for this. The parks have amazing vegetation and are amazing. Denver has good parks, but lack of trees and very little water. This also ties into the weather which Austin has a hot spring and warmer winters which Denver doesn't have as much (it can like this year but it's not consistent.)

I compare AUS and DEN because they are very similar in ways, but Austin is just too small for my tastes. I know that I would fit in there better than here. Both cities are rapidly expanding and need to get smart about rising costs and infrastructure issues.



Both a wonderful and a terrible place to live
I lived in Austin for 8 years. I grew up in Houston, spent several years living in Denver, Colorado and now live in San Diego, CA for the last 2. After living in San Diego for a couple of years, I am ready to move and I can understand wholeheartedly now why so many people wish to leave beautiful California. With only 11% of San Diegans being able to afford home ownership, the environment feels nothing less than oppressive and the culture: rather bitter, in spite of the stunning beaches and weather we have to experience each day. I have deeply contemplated my next move and will most likely choose Houston, over Austin, for the following reasons.

I am a big city person and love culture and variety. Austin does offer a very unique vibe, but at the same time, it can feel monotonous after living there for only a short time. You must be a very creative person in Austin and extremely socially connected, to enjoy living there, because there simply is not a whole lot to do outside of: the restaurants, bars, live music, and enjoying the lakes and parks.

The winters are cold, so, the lakes and swimming can not be enjoyed during the winter months, so, during winter and holiday seasons - you can really feel that you are lacking for interesting things to do.

There are few museums, none I can think of that I would ever care to tour more than once. There is a very good live music, and, intimate arts scene. We enjoyed many shows at The Zach Theater and my little boy loved attending The Doughtery Arts School summer programs. I have to mention, however, that the traffic in and around Austin is among the worst in the nation and I recall how stressful it could feel to get stuck in hour long+ traffic jams just traveling from my home (10 minutes outside the city) into downtown and getting stuck in traffic so heavy that our 10 minute drive turned into 45 minutes, an hour, in the middle of the day, for no apparent reason. I hope the city does something to relieve it's serious traffic issues. I-35 is an antiquated nightmare.

Austin restaurants are excellent, the housing options are still very nice and plentiful, compared to California. Austin is fun, and it is "hip". We loved going to Central Market on Lamar and have so many wonderful memories at all the parks. When we are able to relocate back to Texas, I will never again take a smiling, kind and open community for granted again, this is something that we simply do not have in California as our residents are mostly: rushed, closed, and *stressed. Austin has a very relaxing vibe (outside of the traffic) and it's lack of culture, which a person who was born and raised in a large city, might find boring initially, then stressful, as it can give you a feeling of being "stuck", not to mention: landlocked.

I also found Austin to be rather cliquish and immature, at times. Many friends and dates I met, turned out to have serious drinking problems. Austin tries too hard to be politically "liberal" and I feel the political atmosphere there is contagious and goes hand in hand with people who live there wanting to fit in to the culture and appear to be progressive, and "hip". I met many nice people and a couple of great friends in Austin. I miss a lot about it, but, it's not a place for everyone.

I found the dating scene to be poor - due to the immature attitudes. It is a fun thought to remain forever young, but, there comes a time when one must grow up a bit? Austin is a good place for intact families to live, not the greatest place for 30-somethings starting over to truly thrive and find love again, in my professional opinion.

My little boy loved the camping and fishing opportunities in Austin but he loves Galveston too - the closest beach to Austin is Corpus (not nearly as nice as Galveston) and still over a 3 hour drive away.

Austin allergins are severe. I suffered from Cedar Fever living there and so did my son who often had a chronic cough. I got allergy headaches all the time. Our allergies have disappeared since moving to San Diego.

The schools in Austin are not that great. We paid a great deal in property taxes and my son's elementary school was pretty terrible. If you want good schools in Austin you can't find many close to the city, you have to think about moving to Lakeway or Steiner Ranch and the commute to the city is pretty brutal from those places.

I still have my favorite spots in Austin and enjoyed many epic nights out too. Austin nightlife is even superior to what can be found in Las Vegas! Austin is very young, fit, and is a city filled with beautiful people. I heard how SoCal is supposed to have such a beautiful population, well, maybe if you like the plastic look (pumped up lips) toxified foreheads, the people of California often look strange, so overdone. Austin has a strong All American feel to it.

If you love the "party life" and can deal with a lack of culture and are comfortable with a simpler life, doing the same things over and over, and/or are raising a family and willing to commute in severe traffic situations to place your children in the good school districts, Austin could be for you. I'm looking forward to renting in the Museum District when we get back to Houston (so my son can attend Poe Elementary), and then buying either in Memorial (great schools too), or, in the suburb of Katy for my child's JH and HS years. Houston suburbs even have strong city feels, vast amenities, and highly functioning toll-roads for commuting.

I do miss Austin, but, think I feel better living in a big city. I always felt as if I was potentially "missing out" on too many things, living in Austin. We are looking forward to spending weekends there, however, and enjoying all of our old favorite stomping grounds.

Houston is very convenient for road-trips and travel. We love taking cruises to vacation and living closer to the ocean. Galveston offers a great deal in the way of nature, history, and multiple cruise lines, including Disney!

Austin has many positives and quite a few negatives that should be seriously considered. If you are considering Austin, spend some time there first, make sure you are ok with the allergins, traffic, schools, dating scene, political environment, being a part of an intense and constant party-scene (drinking), and culture, or, lack thereof.



Nicest people on earth...
I moved to Austin almost 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA. I had lived (miserably) in Portland, OR for 7 of the longest, dreariest, coldest, rainiest years of my life and when we went back to LA, I swore I'd never leave again.

The hubby wanted to buy a house though and that was never going to happen in Southern California so I started looking for warm climates. We decided to try austin and see if we liked it.

Hubby is a drummer and I teach yoga - there is a thriving presence of both music and fitness in Austin. But what we noticed above everything else was the friendliness of practically everyone we met. People just smile here and you can start up a conversation with everyone from your server to your grocery checkout person to your uber driver to the random guy at the dog park to whomEVER you cross paths with.

One of the things that didn't work for me in Portland was the hipster situation. I moved there in 2005 and didn't know what a hipster was. I'm not discriminating against the whole thing but in my extensive 7 year long experience with a city overrun with hipsters, I just don't mesh with that vibe. I found it to be unwelcoming, judgy, entitled and rude and I couldn't get back to my community of HIPPIES fast enough.

At least the hipsters in Austin are nice and not like the ones in PDX.

Austin is mostly tech people, students, health & fitness professionals and musicians. We were able to buy a 3+2 house 8 miles (16 minutes) from downtown for less than $250k and it has already appreciated over $40k. The ocean is sorely missed for a beach bum like me, but the green belt is dog friendly and a beautiful alternative to a day at the beach (just not the same ??).

My husband and I call austin the land of the smiling people. It's a nice shift from the status hungry, ladder climbing, "who do you know" people in LA, and the mean, judgemental, don't talk to me, I'm better than you because I don't wash my hair hipsters in Portland. People here are bonafide friendly, sweet, no bullsh*t lovers of life.

The weather is hot and humid in the summers which I love but everyone else complains. Winters vary - our first winter was too long and cold for my taste, second winter was almost as mild as LA and this last one was a blend of both. The mosquitos suck. We bought a house on a creek because we're from LA and found it charming until spring came with the mosquitos and have made our lives somewhat miserable April-October. If you're buying or renting, avoid any standing water.

Hopefully I didn't offend the hipster community, although it's hard not to.



Too hot and too many Brogrammers + Yuppies
Austin is a pretty city for Texas. It actually has a nice flowing river and some interesting topography which most of Texas lacks. Unfortunately, it's still has the hot Texas climate, so it's going to be hot and muggy for many days 7-8 months out of the year. I come to Austin to visit, but I can tell that it's not a good place for all people. If your a recent UT-Austin graduate and in Computer Science, this is a good place for you. If your a hipster, and have no real marketable skills, then you aren't going to make it. Lots of young early 20s Yuppies. Much more luxury condos than actual business. This is the Portand of the Southwest.



Austin-Too weird for me
I lived in Austin for 6 months. Moved back to Houston. Sure Houston is crowded, traffic is horrendous....but the cheaper cost of living makes it
all worthwhile. Plus we haave pro sports teams.



Get some perspective, people
Wow. Like lots of other rating sites, it seems on this one there are some commenters who really relish complaining and whining for paragraph after paragraph. every major city Austin has pros and cons. It is a liberal hole in a conservative donut politically speaking. It is creative and lively, with a lot of young people, fantastic restaurant choices and great music of many genres. It has museums, symphony, ballet, and some great cultural events in SXSW and ACL. There are nearby wineries, microbreweries and distilleries. If you live close in enough, you will enjoy all these things without dealing with the horrible traffic congestion. Yep, Texans love their cars and the mass transit is nil. If you want to save money and live out in the burbs, you will be in monotonous big box land. Austin is expensive, real estate wise. A some others note, the laid back weird Austin of yesteryear is rapidly disappearing so you will look hard to find it. There is definitely a California influence here now in the dress, architecture, and so on. However, contrary to some other comments people here are friendly, gregarious, and outgoing. If someone is rude, it's highly likely they're not from here. The weather is fantastic October-April, and hotter n hell in the summer. The lakes are beautiful, the beer is cold, and there are scorpions and snakes. I have lived in Austin for 45 years -nope, it's not Nirvana, but it's pretty damn good.



I've lived here ten years now. I'm gonna keep this simple and just use simple words to describe Austin...Crowded, HOT, humid, taxes, no middle class, $36000 poverty line, rampant racism, fake people, drugs, Snobs, hippies, rampant Liberalism bordering on communism, weird people, horrible traffic, horrible drivers...But, there's bats under Congress bridge so its all worth it...yay



The lustre has worn off
Lived here for 8 years from '06-'14. Loved it the first 3 years then it became just okay. I survived the Great Recession here relatively unscathed, so for that I am grateful to this city and it's thriving business culture. I don't know what it was like in the '70s or 80s (the supposed hey-day) - right now it's just an American city, much like others in midwest. Okay, maybe better than some of those.

It's a very social city so if you like that this is your place. It's not as laid back as the reputation, in fact, it's very fast paced and always buzzing. Though the people are generally cool and friendly.

Everything that was good about the city is being stripped away but that is what happens when the governing body does their job and attracts businesses. Although there is probably more diversity than there once was. Culture is mainly Longhorns football, drinking/bars/drugs, live shows, BBQ, swimming holes, fitness, and DUIs. If you like the real outdoors, you will grow very tired of this place. Big Bend is six hours away. Mountains - nowhere. There is a coastline but it's nothing like the East or West coast.

You could do worse. You could also do a lot better.



Epitome of Overrated
Don't move here, and I'm not saying that because I want to keep this place so supposedly cool. I'm saying it because it is incredibly overrated, and it just might (if you have a family) be the most regrettable decision you ever make. The real estate brochures will all tell you what a Shangri La this is, and yet, for the life of me, I can't see how this place is so great. Yes, it has good things, but.....SO DO OTHER PLACES. For anyone over 35, actually other places have much more to offer, honestly. There isn't a single thing that this city has a monopoly on, and there are so many things that it doesn't have (comfortable weather, natural splendor, good museum system, helpful public transportation, pro sports, modesty, etc.) Yes, I do say "natural splendor," because, well, there are no mountains or beaches anywhere nearby, and the scrubby paths here hardly qualify as hiking trails in most places.
Beyond this, it is quite misleading to say that it's very cheap. Maybe that is true for people from Cali or other high-profile places, but, as a resident, you pay plenty for taxes. It just is paid by different means (property, toll roads, high sales tax).

The place does have a promising economic situation, yes, but for people in the non-tech sectors, it's not nearly as rosy of an outlook. IN some of these industries, too, you are definitely treated as an outsider if non-native. This is understandable, considering all the influx into here, but still, it's frustrating to go through.

Last but not least, you know what is so weird about this city? That it thinks it's so special. I, for one, am counting down the days until I can chalk it up to past mistakes.



Visiting Austin-Great Impression
I have never lived in Austin, but have visited many times and have received a good vibe from the city. First of all, people who live there really seem to love it and are welcoming. I've been in bars and had people come up to me (both genders) and start conversations and seem very friendly. Not just once, but on several occasions. And not in a I'm drunk and looking for companionship sort of way, but it a genuinely friendly matter. Being from the south, this was foreign to me, as people seem to converse with you only if you are in a mutual group or if they are intoxicated in most occasions. However, I do think this is more of a place for younger (20-35 year olds) people, rather than adults looking for a more mature setting. It feels like a laid-back, large college town, which is not for everybody, though it may have changed since I last visited (2013). Compared to larger, fast cities, it's probably a step back in terms of amenities, though I was impressed with some of the offerings (the Whole Foods Corporate HQ and its 2-3 story grocery is definitely worth a visit, and there is a Fry's, several Trader Joes, and Google Fiber). I live in Nashville, and for younger people who are looking for booming, friendly transplant cities, Austin feels like it is several generations ahead of TN. A very clean city with plenty of personality. If you are young at heart, this is the place for you.



Born and raised in Austin, Texas
It is not secret that Austin is a great place to live. I was born here and have lived in central Austin much of my life. It is crazy to see how much my town has turned into an internationally known big city. I am a residential Realtor and one thing I always say to my clients moving to Austin is that "people here want you to love Austin and feel welcome." In addition to all of things you hear about how great Austin is, friendly people is what keeps it real.



Great for many, not for everyone
Austin has a great blend of things to offer; outdoors, bars/clubs, community initiatives, arts, dance and music. Depending on where you want to live, you can get a somewhat reasonably priced place, granted you had better be a professional or semi-successful creative type. You cannot afford to live comfortably alone in Austin on less than $40/$45k a year. There are major issues with traffic for this size of city, but, i have yet to get almost run off the road ( Houston, San Antonio, Vegas)or aggressively honked/yelled at (NYC, Atlanta) . Over hyping of certain neighborhoods drive up costs, but, what popular city hasn't experienced that? Austin will never be the ultra-cheap sleepy college town it was, get over it, time changes things. I've been here over 10 years and if I did not see positive changes I would've left. Austin wont be for everyone, just like any other place on this site, don't bash Austin on every aspect because you weren't a fit!


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