15 Things to Know Before Moving to Austin, TX | Move to Austin

Eric Bramlett, Aug 30, 2022

Living in Austin, TX

Are you moving to Austin, TX? Find out what it's like living in Austin below!

  Loved for its live music, sunshine, food and vibrant culture, Austin, TX, is a great place to live for people from across the U.S. Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US: Around 169 people move to Austin every day. This is no surprise. Austin is full of quirky qualities, and its slogan “Keep Austin Weird” has been going strong for 20 years. It’s these quirky qualities that fuel much of the city’s charm. The capital of Texas offers a fun, funky setting for people from all walks of life. The city has even appeared as the number one place to live in the U.S. News & World Report. So, whether you’re hoping to join the city’s bustling tech scene or enjoy its natural beauty, there’s something in Austin for everyone. Before you move, you’ll need to know these 15 things.

1. Austin Has Great Job Opportunities

Austin is home to the regional offices of several Fortune 500 companies, including Apple, Google, 3M, Facebook, Samsung, eBay, Dell, Intel and Cisco Systems. And these companies have some great jobs on offer. What’s more, given that there are state agency headquarters throughout the city, there are often government roles up for grabs too. On top of this, the University of Texas is a big employer in the area. With more than 24,000 staff and faculty, this is one of the biggest universities in the country. According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 report, the median income in Austin is $80,954, which comes in above the median income of $64,034 in wider Texas. The cost of living in Austin may be higher than living in less central towns and cities, but your pay could be higher too.

2. Austin is a Tech Hub

Austin is growing its already strong reputation as the new Silicon Valley, and its rising tech industry has earned the city its nickname, “Silicon Hills.” Many companies in Austin are paving the way for developments in hardware, software, emerging technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IoT). These developments are crucial to several industries, from healthcare to the life sciences. On top of the mega-tech companies that have housed their headquarters or offices here, Tesla is hiring for a variety of roles in its 10 million square foot automotive manufacturing hub, Gigafactory Texas. Tesla will produce the Cybertruck at this hub, which covers 2,500 acres along the Colorado River.

3. Austin’s Low-Cost Rentals are Ideal for Remote Workers

Even if you don’t secure a job in a Silicon Hills tech company, Austin is a great place to live for remote workers because of its cost-effective rental prices (compared to rentals in other major cities like San Francisco, New York and Chicago). The city has even ranked as the sixth-best location for remote workers in Apartment List’s Best Cities for Remote Workers report. With the cost of living being more affordable in Austin than in similar cities, there’s plenty of scope for buying your dream home. This is true whether you’re a remote worker or not. With several homes for sale in Lake Travis and homes for sale on Lake Austin, you'll have lots of options if within your budget.

4. You Can Enjoy 300 Days of Summer a Year

Sunshine lovers will enjoy the fantastic summer weather that the Texas hill country has to offer — enough for around 300 days a year. While Austin summers are hot, this weather is typically more moderate than the weather in other Texas cities like Dallas and Houston. When it comes to managing the hot summers, opting for a property with air conditioning (and perhaps a swimming pool) can help. But if you don’t have a pool, don’t fret. Take a trip to Barton Springs (next to Zilker Park) to enjoy its three-acre pool and refreshing water that sprouts from underground springs. You can also rent a kayak, paddle board, or even a retro boat, and set sail along Lady Bird Lake. It’s not all about the summer heat, though. Thanks to the city’s purplish light that sweeps over the hills on winter evenings, Austin is widely known as “Violet Crown City.”

5. You Won’t Need to Pay Personal or Corporate Income Tax

Like wider Texas, Austin enjoys a few tax breaks. Those living here don’t pay personal or corporate income tax, and the maximum combined state and local tax rate is 8.25%. If you run an online business, relocating to Austin can be a great financial move tax-wise. The same is true if you run a business in a high-tax state. Homebuyers can also enjoy the fact that the state doesn’t have property taxes. That said, Austin’s sales tax is above average, so that’s something to watch out for.

6. Austin Offers Several Top-Rated Schools and Colleges

Austin boasts a plethora of top-rated public schools, many of which are comparable to the standard of private schools. Public School Review has listed a host of excellent schools in Austin for 2022. These schools include Canyon Creek Elementary School, Patsy Sommer Elementary School and Laurel Mountain Elementary School. Those looking for a quality higher-level education will also find options abound in Austin. WalletHub has deemed Austin the best college city in the country. Aspiring students can choose between colleges like the University of Texas, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edward’s University and several others. College sports are also a big deal in Austin. Whether you’re a student or not, you’ll hear of the Texas Longhorns sports teams, especially given that there aren’t any professional sports teams in the area.

7. Austin is a Food Lover’s Paradise

If you’re a food-lover, you’ll find paradise in Austin. Especially if you love Tex-Mex and barbecue, the locals’ favorite cuisines. Whether you’re after a top-class restaurant or a quick trip to a food truck, Austin has no shortage of eateries. From Citizen Eatery in Rosedale to Otopia’s sushi menu, you’ll find options to suit every taste. Of course, for a real taste of Texas, you’ll need to visit Austin’s countless barbecue and taco restaurants. With options like Franklin Barbecue, the UT Area's Black’s Barbecue, Tacodeli and Torchy’s Tacos, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

8. Austin Thrives Off Its Festivals

If you’re moving to Austin, you’ll need to put the dates of the local live music festivals in your diary. These festivals include the Old Settler’s Music Festival, Austin City Limits (down the street from Rollingwood), and South by Southwest (SXSW), also known as South By, which is one of the most highly anticipated events in the city. Thousands of visitors flock to live music venues and enjoy the technology and film events. If festivals aren’t your thing, you can book a vacation and rent your home out on Airbnb during the 10-day South by Southwest to make some quick cash. Live music aside, the Austin Food and Wine Festival attracts visitors from far and wide who want to sample creations from the best chefs and restaurants in Central Texas and further afield. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Fest is one of the largest genre film festivals in the U.S., featuring sci-fi, horror and action movies, among others. You can also visit the Formula 1 Racing and X Games.

9. Austin is a Music Lover’s Dream

Given the city’s bustling festival scene, it’s hardly surprising that Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World. Locals have an array of choices when it comes to nightlife and live music. From South Austin's Continental Club, which opened in the fifties with an intimate music experience for just 200 people, to Mohawk, with its lively crowds and rooftop patio viewing area for shows, Austin has a night out for everyone. The city’s Sixth Street, an entertainment district with all-night drinking, dancing and no-traffic rule for pedestrians, is particularly popular. If you want to go to a show every night, you can. But if nightlife isn’t your thing, you can also listen to live music over a lazy Sunday brunch or coffee. You’ll find these low-key events across the city.

10. Ways You Can Get Around Austin

The easiest way to get around Austin is to drive, but if you can’t get yourself a car, there are some public transport options to help you travel. The Capital Metro will get you downtown and into the greater Austin area — and you can buy a monthly pass if you’re looking to save on regular transport. This bus system covers 535 square miles, spanning 1,600 bus stops and 82 routes that crisscross through Central Texas. Meanwhile, the Metro Rail can take you through Downtown Austin and Leander through the week and to Lakeline on Saturdays. You can access the 32-mile line every day except for Sundays. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available in the area. For a little extra fun getting around downtown, rent a Metro Bike or Lime scooter.

11. Austin Offers Various Pet-Centric Activities

If you’re moving to Austin with a pet, you’ll find plenty of activities to enjoy with your furry friend. In fact, Wallethub has ranked Austin as one of the most pet-friendly cities in the country. From Austin’s many pet-friendly parks and walking trails (visit Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, West Austin Neighborhood Park and Red Bud Isle) to pet-friendly restaurants and bars (try Elizabeth St. Café, Fat City Stacks and Topgolf Austin), there are plenty of spots you can visit with your pet. You’ll even find that many stores in this great city welcome pets, including Apple, Sephora and Pottery Barn.

12. You Can Get Fit in Austin Creatively

Austin may get hot, but it’s one of the most active cities you can come across. You can exercise in Austin by making the most of the city’s collection of over 220 parks or enjoying lake activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding. You’ll find the trails in downtown Austin full of runners, the city streets lined with fitness studios and these studios bursting with classes that offer the latest fitness trends. Including Goat Yoga.

13. Austin Boasts Sustainable Credentials

Those looking for a sustainable lifestyle will find Austin ideal. Not only is Austin the greenest city in the state of Texas, but it’s also among the top 30 greenest cities in the U.S. While wind farms contribute over 15% of Austin’s energy, many new buildings are built in line with LEED green building standards. And all of the city’s public buildings are fueled by renewable energy.

14. You Might Need a Temporary Parking Permit

If you’re planning to hire a moving company to help you with your things when you move to Austin, don’t forget to get a parking permit. Without a permit, if the driver of a moving truck tries to park on a residential street, they may get asked to move or even fined. You can secure a permit through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

15. You Might Need to Jump Time Zones

Depending on where you’re moving from, you might jump time zones when you move to Austin, which is on Central Daylight Time (like almost the entire state of Texas). So, when it’s 1 p.m. in NYC, it’s 12 p.m. in Austin.

Moving to Austin, TX

Once you’ve moved into your new Austin home, you might decide to host a house-warming party. If you do, remember that you can’t buy liquor on Sundays here, so stock up in advance! If you’re considering a move to Austin, our team of Austin real estate agents are experts in the city. Get in touch with your questions and to find out how we can help with your move.

Additional Neighborhood Information

About the Author

Eric Bramlett is the broker and owner of Bramlett Residential, a mid-sized brokerage in Austin, Texas. Eric is a 19 year veteran in the Austin real estate market and specializes in building systems and technology. Bramlett agents pride themselves on their exceptionally high standards for client service and both industry and market competency. Eric lives in central Austin with his wife and son. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, climbing, and traveling to be in the mountains.

Last updated: 11/18/2022

2100+ Client reviews!

Bramlett Residential, and more importantly Joe Gage were amazing at helping my wife and I buy our very first home. Bramlett & Joe made the whole process stress free, and really helped expedite the process for us. We had no idea we would find exactly what we were looking for so quickly! Joe was very knowledgable on numerous things such as market strategy, what things to look for while touring homes, and he quickly understood exactly what type of home my wife and I were looking for. He was also in constant communication with us throughout the whole process which helped us feel very comfortable in a situation that could have been stressful. I will confidently recommend Bramlett & Joe Gage to anyone in the Austin area going forward!

 

We worked with Crystal Hirst and she did an amazing job. She went above and beyond to make sure that we found the right property for us. Our search initially was all over the place and we didn’t even know what kind of property we wanted. Nonetheless, Crystal was incredibly helpful and patient while working with us to find our home. Crystal would point out all the pros and cons for any place that we would consider and we felt we could trust her. As first-time homebuyers we felt this was important because we did not know what red flags to look for in a property. Additionally, she was communicative and extremely responsive throughout the entire process. We were very satisfied with Crystal and would recommend her to anyone with no reservations whatsoever.

 

It was a pleasure working with Shaun, he is a very pro-active person and move things fast, communication was assertive and clear. As a first time buyer I could not have been in better hands and would recommend him a hundred percent.

 

Jan was wonderful to work with!  Bringing a toddler while house-hunting can be a nightmare, but Jan made it fun for all of us.  It felt more like exploring the area with family.  We didn’t feel any rush or pressure to buy, and we knew Jan had our best interests in mind.  She was always friendly, but when it came time to negotiate, she fought hard to get us the best deal.  I would highly recommend working with Jan whether you are buying or selling.  If we ever move, we’ll definitely be asking for Jan again.

Jan is fantastic!  We moved from out of town, and she was great about showing us around and researching schools and home-builders for us so we could make the right choice.  Jan showed us both rentals and new builds in a rainy, single-day house-hunting trip, and, despite the weather, her enthusiasm never wavered.  We have been in Leander for two years now, and Jan still keeps in touch and serves as a source for local info!  If we ever move again, she’ll be our first call!

Because we were first-time home-buyers, Jan was the wind beneath our wings while we worked with her.  She listened to what we wanted and made sure that we weren’t getting into something that would damage us in the long run.  She was passionate, caring, and very knowledgeable.  We were from out of town, and she taught us a lot about the area and gave us some insider knowledge that helped lead us to a great home.  She gave us advice for the future when we might become serious about homes, and she prepared us not just for purchasing our home but also for potentially reselling it years down the line.  Working with Jan was easy and enjoyable; she was on our side from day one.  She went above and beyond my wildest expectations and really raised the bar for realtors in my eyes.

Jan Daum is a realtor with panache!!!  When you sign up with her to sell your house, you can rest assured she will get it done fast, at the best possible price, and with all the tools in her toolbox put to use.  I’d no sooner signed on the dotted line than Jan showed up with a stager and a photographer.  My home went online with a very classy display and sold over asking in less than a week, and with multiple offers!  Jan did not even get a chance to hold the planned open house.  Jan was with me every step of the way and kept in touch constantly.  I would recommend Jan Daum as a realtor for any property and at any price point.  You will not be disappointed with the service or the results.

Corrine was a dream to work with. She kept us up to date and was transparent with us through our house hunting experience. She connected us with great people to work with to get our place to close quick and easy. Will definitely recommend her and was a great pleasure working with!

 

We had the pleasure of working with Elken Miller and we loved our experience working with her. She is knowledgeable in her filed and will give you her honest opinion and she held our hand the entire process and we bought in 2021 which was a very competitive market at the time and she was absolutely awesome in helping us secure the house we wanted!
She is warm and always returns your calls and is on top of things you may not have even thought of. I highly recommend Elken Miller!

 

I started working with Elken summer of 2020. I had just moved to Austin and had no idea where to start looking given my tight budget and all the bidding wars happening. Elken helped me navigate that process every step of the way with ease. She was able to find me a new built in Elgin that fit perfectly with my needs. She is incredibly knowledgeable in the housing market, has great business acumen and is very resourceful. Elken also assisted me in negotiating with builder, lenders, and third parties (e.g. alternative “buy before you sell” type of lender, etc.) and did not stop until I got a great deal. In addition, she is thorough and proactive ensuring that all your questions are answered and that your expectations are met. Lastly, she is friendly and kind and never ceased to go above and beyond for me during my home buying journey. I will absolutely work with Elken again whenever I am ready to find a new place.

 

We enjoyed working with Elken at Bramlett Residential Real Estate for buying our first home. She’s detail oriented, help us address concerns, and always willing to answer questions that we have along the way. Highly recommended and we would definitely work with Elken again when an opportunity comes in the future.

 

As first time home buyers and new to the area, Elken Miller was a true blessing. Elken went above and beyond to search for a perfect home for our growing family, before the baby’s arrival. She listened to our needs, wants and stayed within our budget. She walked us through each step and treated us like family. We are now first time home buyers of a brand new build, in a beautiful area with a large backyard where we can create memories with our baby! Elken is professional, knowledgeable, caring and will not give up on what you’re searching for until she finds it. She’s the best and we truly thank her for everything.