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Considering moving to Austin

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Germantown, MD
posts: 5
Considering moving to Austin

My husband and I are considering moving to Austin, TX from the Washington DC area after we finish graduate school here. Has anyone moved to Austin from the east coast and what are the job prospects like? I will have my Masters in Professional Accounting and MBA and my husband will have his Masters in Information Technology and Telecommunications. We are looking to move to an area that is safe, cheaper, fun, and somewhere we can build a family one day. Any info you can give us would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

Roswell, New Mexico
posts: 715
reviews: 47
1. Re: Considering moving to Austin

Austin is certainly fun, but it may only cheap if you're from DC, LA, San Fran, etc..... Y'all will find that you're not any better educatde than other folks in Austin. There are lots of smart well-educated people moving here because of the climate, entertainment opportunities, etc.... The tech industry hasn't completely recovered from the bust a few years ago, and I have more than a few friends with graduate degrees in tech disciplines who are not sure how long their jobs will last (if they have one). Also, the main reson that the housing prices are so high, the traffic is so bad, and Austin just isn't as laid back and cool as it used to be is the hordes of coastal yuppies that have moved here over the past 10-15 years.

posts: 357
reviews: 6
2. Re: Considering moving to Austin

Wondertrev's made some good points. Housing will probably be cheaper than in DC, so you should catch a break there.

Austin is fairly safe, I'd say. It's not like Houston (or DC). My general tip is to avoid areas east of IH35, although there pockets of questionable areas scattered around.

There's a lot to do here. I've lived here in college, in my young married life, and now as a parent, and Austin has suited me well for every situation. I do have to say I miss the laid-back atmosphere. The folks who've moved to Austin in the last 15 years have definitely affected the slacker climate we once had and enjoyed (heck, that's why I moved here--to avoid work!).

My husband is in the tech industry, and he's seeing a better job market right now, but he still has folks applying for $30K/year jobs who used to make $100K/year. But a job is better than no job, I s'pose.

My best advice is to come check it out, prefereably in August. If you can handle Austin in August, then you'll probably be just fine.

Good luck!

Round Rock, Texas
posts: 2,142
reviews: 3
3. Re: Considering moving to Austin

it will be cheaper... austin isn't cheap to live compared to the rest of texas, but it should be much cheaper than dc. it helps that we have no state income tax.

i travelled full time before the baby and i spent several months working in CT. i'd take an austin august over a CT january anyday.

austin has its good areas and bad areas like any city, but i don't feel like it's as dangerous as larger cities. you don't really hear about violence in the streets or anything.

jobs are tight. austin depends heavily on the tech industry... not much else going on here unless you are part of the school. teh tech bust hit us hard. my FIL's company posted an opening for a receptionist and got hundreds of responses, many from people with degrees who were way overqualified. my field (customer relationship management) just doesn't exist here. the only jobs i could find were 100% travel or entry level tech support. it was a big reality check to be taking 1st level tech support calls when i have a degree and 5 years consulting experience.

my advice? find the job first, then talk about moving here.

posts: 357
reviews: 6
4. Re: Considering moving to Austin

I hear ya on the CT winter. I lived in CT as a child, and my husband and I visited there last summer. He'd never been and loved it. He talked about moving there for several months until he heard members of my family describe winter. It's just way too gray for way too long.

Waldport, Oregon
posts: 5
reviews: 24
5. Re: Considering moving to Austin

I have to concur with the other contributors that the job market seems pretty tight here in Austin. I have a master's degree as well but have been unable to secure employment except as a substitute teacher for the last four or five months. I regularly seek out jobs through the Texas Workforce Commission's website, but it just seems that there must be a lot of competition out there. (My particular situation might be different from the norm though).

Not only is real estate kind of high compared to most other places in Texas here, but I think that goes for renting an apartment, too.

I just moved here back in February from Reno, Nevada, so I'm one of the West Coast folks adding to Austin's woes. I have to say that the parks are really wonderful here though, especially along the Colorado River. And the city is very festive (it has an astounding amount of events and clubs), ecologically-minded, and exercise- and pet-friendly. If you ever get tired of Austin, there's an amazing variety of sights in nearby San Antonio and the Hill Country nearby. Good thunderstorms, too :-).

posts: 5
reviews: 2
6. Re: Considering moving to Austin

I definitely agree that you should find a decent paying job here FIRST, before moving. Having advanced degrees will probably not help you much (UT cranks them out all the time...we have homeless lawyers and one of the largest homeless PHD populations in the country), but being in accounting and business, you might be able to get on with the government, if interested. Tech is not the only thing going on in this town....throughout the booms and busts, both the government and UT (among the other smaller colleges) have been chugging along. Unfortunately, the economy has sort of tanked right now, but it will recover.

That being said, housing is more expensive here than in most parts of the state. But, there are plenty of new subdivisions springing up in the hinterland, especially way South Austin, if you don't mind commuting. Also, if you are persistent, you might be able to find a house in the city if you have time.

As far as crime goes, I feel completely safe here. I have walked in downtown at all times of the night and have never encountered any trouble. Also, the east side is not that bad at all and is really gentryfying quick, especially those neighborhoods close in.

Overall, I would not live in any other city in Texas. I moved to Austin to live in Austin, and have never regretted my decision....and for you might think, yeah, she's a coaster, I'm a full on native Texan.

Germantown, MD
posts: 5
7. Re: Considering moving to Austin

I just wanted to thank everyone who replied to my inquiry. While it was our plan to secure positions before moving anywhere, the news of the tech industry collapse has led us to look elsewhere for our big move. However, I am still hoping that we can at least get some free time to explore Austin. Again, thanks everyone for their input.

Austin, TX.
posts: 4,815
reviews: 21
8. Re: Considering moving to Austin

If you are still considering Austin, plan on your house costing $225,000 minimum for an 1,800 sf home in a good area of town.