Austin is famously livable. In a 2009 edition of Forbes magazine, Austin was rated the least stressful metro area to live in in the country. That same year, MSN rated it the “greenest” city in America, ranking it above other famously sustainable cities such as San Francisco and Minneapolis. It is the fifth-safest city with a population of over a half-million people, and it boasts of an extremely low violent crime rate. People are friendly here, so much so that CNN has pointed out that we have the second-“best” people in the country (referring to Austinites’ friendliness). With good people like that in Austin, it’s no wonder Money magazine has bestowed the state capital with the honor of being the third-best place to live in the country. And all of this comes with a pleasing price tag: According to bestplaces.net, Austin’s cost of living is 3.86% lower than the U.S. average. (Please forgive an Austinite for a bit of bragging.)
Deciding to move here is an excellent idea. Between April 2008 and April 2009, in the midst of the worst economic downturn in decades, Austin was the only major metro area in the country to add jobs, yet housing prices remain relatively low by virtue of the area’s cheapness. Should you decide to live here, you should take several factors into consideration. These include the size of the home you’ll need, how much money you’ll be able to spend, and what area of town you want to live in. The first two considerations are basically the same anywhere you might move to, but the last one requires some knowledge of Austin neighborhoods. For those looking to raise a family in a prosperous yet centrally-located area, Tarrytown, with its leafy, oak-lined residential roads and proximity to downtown, is an excellent choice. Young professionals looking for a quiet, charming neighborhood would likely fall in love with Hyde Park, just north of the University of Texas campus. And for the true “Keeping Austin Weird” experience, you can’t go wrong with the 78704 zip code, which features the famous and unique South Congress shopping drag.
Before you decide to move, you’ll obviously have to do some research. In these situations, it never hurts to contact a good realtor who has a strong idea of Austin homes [http://www.austinfineproperties.com/texas/austin/zip] and neighborhoods. They’ll be an invaluable tool in sifting through the many living options Austin has to offer.