Are you seriously considering moving to Austin, Texas from California and are wondering about the similarities and differences? In this episode of The Perfect Balance, we’re going to compare what’s the same and what’s totally different between Austin and California. We’ll discuss everything from housing costs to weather and lifestyle so you know exactly what to expect when relocating.

Everything’s Bigger In Texas

You might have heard that everything is bigger in Texas. You heard right—because you get a whole lot more here for your money. One of the reasons we are seeing so many people move to Austin from Cali is our amazing economy. More importantly, our real estate is just as amazing. You get a lot more here than you would in California.

For example, I had a client move here that was paying roughly $3,200 a month in rent for a 1,700 square foot place. Now in a suburb of Austin, they’re getting 2,900 square feet and pay about $2,100 a month in housing expenses—and they’re no longer renting. They own their own space.

So what’s the average cost of a home? For Austin, the average cost of a home starts at $405,000. If you’re willing to consider the surrounding suburbs of Austin, you’ll get more bang for your buck with an average home cost of $273,000. If you don’t want to buy and are looking to rent instead, here’s what to expect.

In Austin, the average rent of a home is $2,600 a month. For surrounding suburbs, the average rent of a home is $1,600 a month. A good rule of thumb in pricing is that it gets more expensive the closer you get to downtown Austin. The further away you get from downtown Austin, the less expensive housing costs are. Compare this to what you get currently and tell me what you think. I’m happy to put together a more accurate list of options for you should you be interested.

Traffic, Transportation, And Taxes

Let’s talk about something else I know you’re thinking about: traffic. Coming from California, traffic is not going to be as bad—depending on where you’re coming from. If you’re coming from LA or the San Fran area, Austin traffic is nowhere near as bad but we still have it. It’s a booming city and people move here every day.

Which neighborhood or city you live in is something you also want to take into consideration, especially if you need to be close to work. One of the things you’re probably not used to is our cost of gas: only about $1.80 a gallon. And I don’t know where you’re coming from, but you’re probably paying closer to $3 a gallon.

Another reason that people are moving here, especially from California, is because we don’t have a state income tax. State income tax here is zero compared to 9% if you were in the $57,825 to $295,373 tax bracket. One of the first things I like to do for my clients is to set them up with an accountant for a consultation. This will provide an idea of their tax savings for the next year. Let’s just say that, overall, everyone here gets to take an extra vacation a year or two.

Property tax here is more expensive, but the sales prices are much lower. So overall, it’s less expensive here in Texas. Plus, you get a lot more here for your money.

Weather, Landscape, And Lifestyle

Another difference between Austin, Texas, and Cali is the lifestyle. There are some changes you’ll experience that I want you to be aware of.

The first thing people moving to Austin from Cali have to get used to is the weather and landscape. If you’re not used to humidity, you will after living in Texas. In Austin, the summers are hot and oppressive. Winters are shorter, cold, and windy, and it’s partly cloudy year-round. Throughout the year, temperatures typically vary from 43 degrees Fahrenheit to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s rarely below 30 degrees Fahrenheit or above 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

The second thing you’ll need to get used to is the landscape. It will take more adjusting depending on where you’re coming from in California. You might be used to seeing beautiful mountains and typography, but Austin is flat—though we do have the Hill Country.

 Let’s switch gears into the lifestyle because I know how you Cali peeps are. Most people I help relocate love their outdoors. One of the first questions I get is what we do here that’s going to replace the mountain hiking trails, paddle boarding, or surfing you’re used to. Most Californians are surprised to find that we have the same activities.

One more thing you might want to get used to is eating tacos. Yes, that’s right. Taco Tuesday. If you’ve never tried Tex-Mex before, you will. Trust me.

Relocating To Texas

I hope this gave you some basics about the differences of living in Austin, Texas, especially when you’re coming from Cali. If you have any additional questions about Austin, Texas, please reach out and I’ll be happy to connect with you.

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