During the last decade, Austin has become one of the fastest-growing cities in America. With this growth comes a thriving…
As time goes by, more and more people are flocking to Austin. You could say it’s the new American dream city of the 21st century. People migrate here for many reasons: to advance their careers, make a decent living, raise their families, enjoy the weather, or merely retire in a nice place. Whatever your purpose is, one thing is for sure: Austin has it all.
If you’re having second thoughts about whether the City of the Violet Crown is the place for you, here are seven reasons why you should start packing now!
1. Many Opportunities Await You
NYC might be the City of Dreams, but Austin could honestly be one as well. Many of its industries are thriving, including the business, entertainment, and technology sectors. Starting with its booming tech scene, big names like Apple, Dell, Microsoft, and AMD have found their way to the city. In fact, there are so many tech companies in the capital city, that some have even dubbed Austin ‘Silicon Hills,’ a play on the nickname for California’s Silicon Valley.
What does this mean for you? More job opportunities, of course! It’s not hard to start a career in game development, software design, digital services, or hardware innovation. That’s why lots of the techies in California are moving to Austin to start fresh.
Not tech-savvy? No problem! Silicon doesn’t run the city. You can still live a fruitful life working in other industries like education, hotel & accommodation, healthcare, finance, law, and retail. Finding a job shouldn’t be difficult as long as you give it a try. In fact, Austin’s unemployment rate is only 2.6%, one of the lowest in the country.
2. Diverse Neighborhoods
What does diversity really mean? If you Google search ‘diverse synonyms,’ you’ll find the words varied, assorted, or manifold in the results.
So when people say Austin neighborhoods are diverse, they mean that each one offers a quality of life different from the next. You can choose to live in an area with a small-town vibe or someplace with a lot of noise and action – name it, and you’ll have it.
With that being said, here’s a brief overview of some of Austin’s primary areas.
- Downtown: Welcome to the bustling center of the city, where you’ll find awesome dining spots (food trucks included!), memorable live music venues, towering structures, and family-friendly entertainment options.
- East Austin: A bit quieter than Downtown, this recently gentrified area features a convenient gathering of pubs, bistros, and cheap cafes coupled with some historical destinations. Additionally, it’s a melting pot for different ethnic groups.
- South Austin: This section perfectly blends the old and the new with its chains of local-fave establishments, trendy culture, remarkable restaurants, and strips of up-and-coming shops. Expect the same amount of buzz that you’ll encounter Downtown.
- North Austin: If you want nature to be within reach easily, then North Austin is perfect for you. Here, you’ll discover well-arranged suburbs endowed with parks and thick blankets of trees. Housing options range from affordable apartment complexes to elegant single-family homes.
- West Austin: It’s not hard to fall in love with this area’s breathtaking waterfronts, thanks to Lake Travis and Lake Austin. People move here to enjoy the fresh air, rolling hills, and golf courses. West Austin’s natural beauty serves as a priceless escape from the concrete jungle of Downtown.
3. Austinites Care About Their Health
Now, don’t look at this the wrong way. Everyone wants and deserves to live a long, healthy life. However, Austinites are more enthusiastic about fitness than people almost anywhere else. You can see this in the large number of groups doing yoga in the parks and the scattering of gyms all over the place. Seeing lots of people exercising should be more than enough to motivate you. If you want to venture on a fitness journey, you can start by jogging along the trails at McKinney Falls State Park, cycling through the Greenbelt, or simply strolliing around your neighborhood.
4. It’s a Big City Yet It Doesn’t Make You Feel Small
While most big cities can make you feel like a needle in a haystack, Austin isn’t so overwhelming. Sure, you might be intimidated by the lofty buildings or busy streets, but there are plenty of places to escape and unwind. Enjoy over 60 natural and man-made parks that offer various activities, such as biking, fishing, camping, kayaking, and trekking. Besides its natural beauty, the friendly community adds to the city’s appeal. Neighbors interact with each other, coworkers hang out during free time, and strangers greet one another with pleasant smiles. Though Austin might be large, it’s still a place where you can feel connected.
5. Manageable Cost of Living
Before jumping to conclusions, manageable doesn’t mean cheap. Austin is quite an expensive place, especially if you plan on living in the Downtown area. However, the prices aren’t as absurd as in New York City or San Francisco. According to bestplaces.net, Austin’s overall cost of living index scores only 119.3 compared to NYC’s 187.2. That’s at least a 56.9% difference! To be fair, though. Statistics say that a $160,000 income in Austin should increase to $257,600 in the Big Apple. But don’t dwell too much on these numbers. Looking at real-life scenarios, the gap isn’t actually that massive, considering that tech is becoming a more lucrative industry than finance. So yes, manageable living costs plus high-income opportunities – it’s a win-win to move to Austin.
6. Lots of Amazing Food
Just as the city’s economy is flourishing, Austin’s food scene is booming as well. You can live in the city for your entire life and still travel the world, thanks to restaurants offering cuisines from different countries and cultures. Whether you want a scoop of Thai ice cream, a bite of authentic Italian pizza, a sip of Japanese ramen, bags of Mexican tacos, or a taste of Ethiopian comfort food, you can feast on it all in Austin! If you find restaurants a bit too fancy for your liking, food trucks aren’t hard to come by. Oh! And don’t forget to dig into some brisket at the world-renowned Franklin’s BBQ!
7. It’s a Haven for Dog Lovers and Owners
Who doesn’t love dogs?! – Cat lovers (duh). Alright. Sorry for that cheesy joke. Anyway, Austinites love their pets so much that almost every restaurant in the city is dog-friendly! Visit one, and you’ll see plenty of customers with their pups on the patio, munching their own treats. Bring your dog to vast off-leash parks like Zilker, Norwood, and Red Isle. Enjoy the beauty of nature as you and your furry companion venture along miles of trails, splash in clean rivers, or play catch. To emphasize how much Austinites care about dogs, know that at least 90% of the animals from shelters have found a new home. The government also discourages unlawful breeding and underground dog fights. To conclude, if there’s a heaven for dogs, it has to be no other place than Austin.
Before You Move to Austin
Make sure you’ve done enough research about the place. This guide only tells you about the pros of the city. Of course, it has its share of flaws that may or may not suit you. That said, relocating to Austin is a pretty big decision. To help you streamline the process, Cheap Movers Austin, one of the city’s top-rated movers, shares with you some beneficial tips:
- Do a background check before hiring movers. With lots of moving scams around, it never hurts to be more careful. Ask your movers for credentials, check reviews about the company, and access their online presence.
- Downsize as much as you can. The more stuff you want to ship, the more expensive your move will get. That said, try to get rid of extra baggage or unnecessary belongings by selling or donating them. You can always purchase new things as you continue life in Austin.
- Be resourceful when packing. Instead of buying new materials, why don’t you utilize existing ones in your home instead? Use old sheets instead of purchasing furniture pads. Wrap items in newspapers instead of buying packing paper. Pack books in suitcases. And the list goes on. Get creative.
- Last but not least, have fun! Easy to say, hard to do, right? But stressing about your move doesn’t help much. You might as well enjoy the experience and get it over with. Here’s to hoping your move will be a success!
If your house has started overflowing with items, you may consider having a massive garage sale to offload various things or even taking stuff to charity shops to receive some sizeable tax donations.
Instead of doing that, however, you could also consider renting out a storage locker and storing your things there, especially if you know you’ll only need the space for a short time. Of course, after deciding to store your items, the next question to answer pertains to size: how do you know which size locker to get? Below is a list that should help make that decision.
If You Only Have a Few Things
According to Cheap Movers Sacramento, the smallest locker that most storage units generally have available is a 5×5′ unit, which is perfect for storing a small dresser, garden tools, or other smaller items. If you need more space, they also have a 5×10′ size locker that can hold a small bedroom’s size worth of items, such as a television, end table, and more. For perspective, the 5×5′ is generally the size of a small closet, while the 5×10′ is the size of a walk-in closet.
If You need to Move a Bedroom
If you’ve moved from larger house to a smaller area and need someplace to store an entire bedroom’s worth of contents, the 5×15′ may be perfect for you. Due to the shape, once you store the items, it could be a hassle to get to the back of the locker, but this size is perfect for storing bikes or bedframes and mattresses.
A 10×10′ offers a similar amount of space in a slightly different configuration. Sitting about half the size of a regular-size garage, the 10×10′ storage unit offers enough space to store an entire bedroom, plus several other boxes that can be stacked on top.
If You Have Multiple Bedrooms to Store
The next step up from the smaller options are the 10×15′ and the 10×20′, both of which are big enough to store two or three bedrooms worth of contents, in addition to bulky items such as pianos and couches. If you opt for the bigger of the two sizes, also expect to be able to fit your entire laundry room sets, such as a washer, dryer, and dining room set. These are roughly the size of a full one to two car garage, and offer plenty of storage space for most families.
If You Need to Store a Boat
Or even if you don’t need to store a boat, car, or another gigantic item, ask your local storage center about renting a 10×25′ or a 10×30′ option. For RV storage, make sure your storage facility can accommodate your motorhome. These are long, making them perfect for backing up vehicles and parking them long-term, or backing up a trailer and offloading an entire house of things. Multiple bedrooms, in addition to entertainment centers, home offices, and more should fit well in these units.
Whatever locker you choose, make sure that it’s one that is well-maintained by the local staff. Check for general cleanliness, especially in the units that aren’t air-conditioned, and ask about the security measures in place. Most reputable companies will offer either on-site security detail or security cameras and a locked gate. If not, you can try looking elsewhere.
A storage unit is convenient when you need extra space. It’s certainly a better option than living in clutter or selling items that you want. If you’re interested in renting a self storage unit, then here are some things you should know.
What Sizes are Available?
Storage units are available in various sizes, depending on the facility. The smallest unit is the size of a small closet and is usually 5×5 in size. According to Cheap Movers DC (http://www.cheapmoversdc.com/), the 10×30 unit is typically the largest size available. It’s about the size of a one-car garage and can hold several larger items. Additional sizes are available between the smallest and largest units.
How to Choose the Right Size?
Choosing the right size unit is important. Renting too much space is a waste of money. But not having enough space is just as bad. You’ll need a list of the items you want to store. You’ll also need to find out what size units are available. Contact the facility for this information, and then determine which size fits your needs.
You might want to consider several facilities, just in case one doesn’t have what you need. You can also decide to choose a smaller or larger unit.
Are My Belongings Safe?
You provide the lock and the key for your storage unit. No one should have access unless you allow it. But burglaries can and do occur.
Your first line of defense is to choose a secure facility. Look for storage units that have individual door alarms. These are good for deterring other customers from breaking into units. Facilities that require access codes or security cards also make it harder for thieves.
Am I Insured?
The facility doesn’t insure your belongings. You are responsible for protecting your belongings. Some facilities offer property protection programs for an additional fee. And if you have renters or homeowners insurance, then it’s possible your belongings are already covered.
How Much is Rent?
The rental fee depends on the facility and size of the unit. A smaller unit might cost anywhere from $50 to $60 every month. But larger units can go as high as $300 per month. The amount of space you need, the type of security, and specifics about your unit also affect the price. For instance, a temperature-controlled unit will cost more than one without temperature-control.
The location of a facility affects the rental fee as well. As with most rents, the city and area partly determine your rate.
What Happens if I Don’t Pay Rent?
Most facilities will give you a fair amount of time to pay. But if you go for months without paying, then you’re likely to lose your belongings. The facility can discard or sell your belongings for non-payment of rent.
There’s much more involved with renting a storage unit. Before deciding to rent, take time to learn more about what’s involved.
Heading to a new city can be a little intimidating, especially if you don’t know anyone in the area. If you happen to be relocating to Austin, Texas, learning about the best areas to consider for your new home is a little easier with this guide. Avoid ending up in an area you might dislike by looking at these options for trendy, fun, and safe neighborhoods.
1. Hyde Park
This part of Austin is secreted away in the northern part of the city, just a short distance from downtown. The University of Texas is also within a short drive, which may make it convenient as well for students. Hyde Park is a historic district and property owners have a strong dedication to preserving their investments, so expect strong regulations in how buildings are maintained. Lush trees provide ample shade for Victorian-era homes and nostalgic bungalows. You will also find quaint coffee shops that attract artists, students, and young professionals.
2. South Congress/Bouldin Creek
This area, called SoCo by locals, is an active and trendy place to visit, but it also has an easy-going atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome. Populated with local restaurants, shops, and art galleries. At night, rock, blues, and country bands can be heard playing live at various bars and clubs. Moving a block over from South Congress, there’s the little-noticed Bouldin Creek area, also populated with art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops. Heading deeper into Bouldin Creek, you will find more of Austin’s traditional bungalows.
3. Old West Austin
This area is close to downtown but boasts some action of its own. The first thing newcomers notice about Old West Austin is the melding of historic Texas with modern living and the attractions of city life. Nestled between the lake on one side and the entertainment of downtown, beginning at 6th Street, Old West Austin is both laid back and exciting. Bars, restaurants, and even record shops can be found in this relaxed yet not subdued area of the city. This is a great neighborhood for animal lovers as well. There’s an off-leash dog park in the midst of the neighborhood.
This is another district dedicated to preserving the past, and it’s not far from Old West Austin so that you can expect similar charm and a shared devotion to community. While the area attracts young professionals and young families, due to its suburban peacefulness, it’s not far from the city’s business district. A short commute to work gives this area added value.
Like many areas in Austin, this neighborhood brings eateries and shops into residential neighborhoods. You’ll find plenty of restaurants to choose from in Gateway. This is also a good neighborhood for young singles, as only 25% of the population is married. Among the many attractions in this part of Austin, newcomers can experience an Arboretum and a small ice cream parlor.
These are just a few of the best traits of Austin’s most beloved neighborhoods. Of course, words can’t do this hip and historic city justice. See for yourself what makes each neighborhood unique and why so many young professionals are happy to call Austin home. To help you settle into your neighborhood, call on the folks at Apple Moving (site), the most trusted movers in Austin TX. This local moving company has been in business since 1993 and is available to assist with all you residential and commercial moving needs.
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