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Austin

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  7/7/2017
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.

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  4/25/2017
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.

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  4/2/2017
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.

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  3/26/2017
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.

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  3/15/2017
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. So....like 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.

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  3/11/2017
Austin...sucks
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

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  8/19/2016
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.





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  8/9/2016
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.

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  7/10/2016
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.

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  3/7/2016
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.

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  1/5/2016
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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  12/7/2015
LASA Benefits in Short
Go to LASA and Stay there if You Can Handle This:
--------------
1. Competitive academic environment
2. Very good teachers
3. Rigorous academic load, AP classes
4. Competitive students around you
5. Lots of homework to keep you up until 10.30-11 pm
6. Long commute, late after school activities, late pick up
7. Nerdish atmosphere
8. Competent school staff to support
------------


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  5/28/2015
Wanna Be/Has Been/Avoid
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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  4/9/2015
Give this place a pass
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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  2/20/2015
Great place to start a career
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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