Is Austin the right choice?

Sep 26th, 2005, 05:44 AM
  #1  
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Is Austin the right choice?

Hello Everyone,
I am seriously thinking of moving to Austin next year. I am a single mom (10yr old daughter), looking for an area with excellent schools. Are there a lot of extracurricular activities for children? I have been told by a few friends living in Austin, to stick to the Round Rock, Leander, or Kyle area. I consider my family to be very active, so would like to move to an area with a lot to see and do on any given weekend.
I am looking for a home within $100,000 to $150,000 price range. I will be relocating if I decide to move.
Is Austin pretty diverse? How are the winters? I live in Chicago, so we only have two season's (summer and winter). I am looking for a more laid back way of living. So far the information I have pulled fron the internet and read in books; Austin may be that place. Would love any feedback, even things that I didn't mention above, but you feel will help in my decision. Thanks
BigMove06 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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My sister moved from Dallas to Round Rock a little over a year ago and loves it. She's VERY particular and would have never moved somewhere without researching schools for her young son, so I would assume RR is a good place. I think 150k might get you the smallest home in a newer neighborhood.
Otherwise, Austin is just awesome. Mild Texas climate. Relatively hot summers and very little ice/snow... less than North Texas.
I'd like to live there!
Good luck...
Oh, PS... where do you live now? That may be a consideration in all this!
TxTravelPro is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 06:04 AM
  #3  
stjohnbound
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I live in Austin and love it. The only thing I would ask is where are you going to work? Commuting is not fun here and you will definitely have to commute living in those areas. By the way, I would definitely recommend Round Rock over any of the others. But, you better hurry if you want a house in that price range! I'm positive they will not be available next year as prices are skyrocketing.
 
Sep 26th, 2005, 06:18 AM
  #4  
P_M
 
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Another vote for Austin from an Austinite!! The only thing I don't like about Austin is the hot, humid summer. But it's great the other 9 months of the year. I think Austin fits the description of all that you are looking for. Why not come for a visit?

TxTravelPro, the OP lives in Chicago.
P_M is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 07:18 AM
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Argh... how did I miss that?
TxTravelPro is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 09:06 AM
  #6  
Don
 
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KB Homes has neighborhoods with new homes of up to 2,500-2,700 square feet for $150K or less in Round Rock, Kyle, and Leander. (I wish Seattle-area prices were like that.) Can't vouch for the quality (or lack thereof) of KB Homes, but maybe some Austin-area people can chime in there.

I lived in Round Rock in the early '80s and liked it back then. I've heard it's grown enormously. I also lived in Cedar Park, a little closer in to Austin than Leander is. Unless Highway 183 has changed, I wouldn't wish that traffic on anybody.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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Don, you would not even recognize Round Rock... the growth has been crazy!
TxTravelPro is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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I will be working in downtown Austin. Besides humid summers, how is the weather overall? What are the current gas prices? I will be visiting Austin March of next year. What is the weather usually like toward the end of March? Anything you can tell me about Austin (the good and the bad) will be greatly appreciated.
BigMove06 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Have you ever been to Austin, or even to Texas?

Once again, I am stunned that people get on a travel board & ask other people whether they should move from one part of the country to the other.

Am I the only one?
Leona is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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I noticed that this is this persons first post.
Big, you may want to search Austin on this site for all sorts of info.
Also, relocation sites are way more informative in many ways.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 01:05 PM
  #11  
P_M
 
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March is usually very pleasant, not too hot or cold. I like Austin for the laid back, somewhat hip and funky climate. We also have LOADS of entertainment, especially if you like live music. There is a great deal of cultural diversity here as well, which I think is good. I like being near the lake, and on a beautiful day I love nothing more than to go to a restaurant on the lake for drinks, dinner, or music. (Or all of the above)

Those of us who have lived here a long time have seen a big increase in traffic, but I still don't think it compares to Houston, and probably not to Chicago. They are working to expand the roads, especially near where I live in Wells Branch. Of course, that takes time.

Gas prices have been fluctuating lately, right now around $2.60 for regular.

As I already mentioned, summer is hot and humid. Spring and fall are quite nice. Spring wildflowers are incredible, but we don't get much fall foliage. Winter is unpredictable. You will see many days in the winter where you will not need a coat or even a light jacket. Most of the time winters are cool but daytime highs are rarely below freezing. Once in a while we get a thin layer of ice on the roads, and the city shuts down. It's usually gone in a day. Snow is rare, but has been known to happen. Most of Texas got snow last year, somehow we missed it.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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stjohnbound
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KB Homes actually has a poor reputation in Austin. They have a website called KBHomeSuck if you want to look it up. But, I really don't know much more about them than that. If you're going to live in Round Rock and work downtown, then I would definitely consider making the drive to and from during rush hour when you're here for a visit. Round Rock is extremely popular so traffic can be bad. Also, when you read about all of the music and activities and such that Austin has to offer, remember that those things are in Austin, not Round Rock. I know when you visit you will end up loving it, cause it seems everyone does. Just be realistic about how long of a commute you're willing to have and definitely get a buyer's agent to show you the homes available in your price range. Good luck!
 
Sep 26th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Traffic is absolutely awful, especially commuting from RR to Austin.
I left N Dallas 'cuz of the traffic (and taxes, utilities and insurance), and Austin is worse.
M
mikemo is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 01:57 PM
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Leona....., to answer your question; No, I have never been to Texas. I have however, been to austintexas.org, roundrock.org, round rock chamber of commerce, austin chamber of commerce, kyle chamber of commerce as well as leander. I did not just wake one day and say, 'Hey, let me pack up everything and move to Austin'. I see a job oportunity presenting itself and am seriously considering. I have been to more websites and read more books then I care to mention, so I thought I would give this website a try, because after all, who would know Austin better then the residents.
BigMove06 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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I agree with all of that said about the traffic. I leave in Southern California (not L.A. though) and while traffic can be bad, I'll take it any day over that Austin debacle. It's the worst traffic ever...and I hear the drive to RR is the worst part of it all.
k2rider is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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You're absolutely right, Big. No one knows Austin better than the residents. And not one of those residents knows you, or what you like or dislike.

Are you planning to visit some of those places that you read about before you take the plunge? Drive in the traffic the residents have warned you about? Seen the $150,000 homes that you might or might not like?

All I am saying is that without ever having gone to Austin, how can you make an intelligent decision? And if the job opportunity is the deciding factor, then why ask anyone here what THEY think? You have apparently already made up your mind and need validation.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
Leona is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 02:26 PM
  #17  
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Leona, she did say she will be visiting Austin in March. I think it is a very good idea to check it out before making a move. BigMove06, when you get ready to plan your visit, please let us know and we will help with your visit if we can.
P_M is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Austin is culturaly very diverse mostly because it is the home of the U of Texas. For many years it has been considered sort of a strange place compared to its surrounding towns. Hippies, alternative music, alternative life styles, new ideas, etc. Racially, I don't think it is all that diverse but people there seem very open to each other.

Austin is also considered by most people to be the most beautiful city in Texas.
jorr is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 04:06 PM
  #19  
stjohnbound
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jorr, you are absolutely right about Austin and that's what makes it great. But, the OP is considering Round Rock and that is just another subdivision, IMO. The things that make Austin "Austin" just can't be found out in the burbs. Of course, to live anywhere close to central Austin costs big bucks these days. That being said, most people seem to actually prefer places like Round Rock, despite the horrible commute. I guess it's because you get a lot of house for the money. BigMove, let us know if you need any more advice for your March visit. Austinites love to tell everyone where their favorite place to eat, etc. is. It's one thing that makes Austin so special. Everyone is very proud of their city and they love to share it.

 
Sep 26th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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Austin is a lovely town, but their transportation problems are legendary. When you visit in March, try to drive from the suburbs into downtown at peak times. Try to schedule your trip when UT-Austin and the Capitol are both in session. This can make a huge difference in your perception of the city.

Of TX cities, Austin is one of the more progressive. Winters are a Chicago early summer. Summers are sticky and fall is 2 weeks.

You might miss the big city buzz of Chicago, but Austin is still a good choice. I personally find it hard to believe you can still find housing in that price range since I was under the impression that all had skyrocketed there in the past few years. Good for you to find a bargain!
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