This city’s reputation is a testament to its invigorating and eclectic atmosphere, which appeals to many people living in Austin. Despite its big-city environment, Austin also has plenty of opportunities to get outside and escape the surrounding hustle and bustle. However, Austin’s high summer temperatures and increasing cost of living may not be for everyone. Before starting a home search for Austin luxury homes, review these honest pros and cons of living in the area.
Pros of Austin Living
1. Endless outdoor recreation
Austin is full of local parks, hiking trails, and more unique outdoor recreation spots for residents to visit. A popular summer destination is Lady Bird Lake along the Colorado River. Although not open for swimming, visitors can kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard along the lush bankside. For a trademark Austin experience, residents can stop by Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge from March through September to view the migrating Mexican bat colony.
2. The music scene
Austin’s acclaim as the Live Music Capital of the World is well earned with its endless venues and large outdoor festivals hosting big-name talent and local acts year-round. Spots like Moody Amphitheatre are located right next to Waterloo Park. Premier venues like the Austin City Limits (ACL) Live at the Moody Theater features a range of contemporary and classic talent.
Those looking for single-family homes for sale in Austin, Texas, can also count on constant music festivals. Popular events like the ACL Festival last two weekends long and feature 130+ acts playing across eight stages. Zilker Park hosts Blues on the Green, a monthly roster of summer performances highlighting local talent. The iHeartCountry Festival is a prominent festival in Austin that hosts the biggest names in country music.
3. A booming job market and no income tax
On top of varied outdoor recreation and one of the best music scenes in the country, Austin attracts buyers to its booming job market. In the past year, Austin had a job growth rate of 4.2% which makes it 18th out of the 50th top metros in the country. In the next decade, Austin’s job market is predicted to grow 47%, which is no surprise considering the number of tech companies and startups that call the city home.
Those moving from out of state to Austin can also celebrate the lack of state income tax. The money earned in Austin goes a lot further than in other cities, which is what makes it a popular place for retirees.
4. Laid-back atmosphere
Even with the active music scene keeping the community energetic, Austin indulges in the classic laid-back lifestyle that Texas is known for. Slower-paced neighborhoods and an unbothered community make living here stress-free. Whether out walking along a nature trail or sipping a cool drink at an open-air bar, it’s easy to strike up a conversation and make new friends.
Cons of Austin Living
1. The heat
It’s no secret that Austin summers can rise into triple-digit temperatures, with anywhere between 50 to 100 days above 100 degrees. This can be a serious obstacle for people moving from cooler states. Most residents rely on running their air conditioners throughout the day or heading to bodies of water to cool off. Austin doesn’t experience a traditional four seasons, which is part of its allure when winter rolls around.
2. Lack of public transportation
Another con of living in Austin is the lack of public transportation. Although the city has a bus system, it isn’t developed enough to support the population. There’s also a 32-mile Cap Metro with nine stops that can be conveniently accessed by nearby residents. However, the light rail stops at 7 pm, while bus routes run until midnight.
Most Austinites rely on personal vehicles to get to work, or anywhere else they need to be, which can cause serious traffic along major roads and highways. As Austin continues to grow, traffic will likely continue being a problem as road infrastructure catches up.
3. A rising cost of living
Although Austin isn’t as expensive as some of the hottest markets across the country, gentrification and inflated housing prices are making it less affordable for locals. Median home prices are on the rise, which is displacing residents and making affordable housing more difficult to find.
Wages in Austin aren’t increasing enough to accommodate higher housing costs. This has pushed more residents to rent rather than own, forming a competitive rental market. Despite this, stable vacancy rates show that demand for housing in the city is still steady.