Austin, Texas isn’t your average small Southern town. The Texas capital embodies a big city vibe that makes it the culture center of the Lone Star State. In recent years, Austin has become a magnet for college graduates and young adults in search of something new. In fact, the city is one of the country’s fastest growing among millennials.
Living in Austin, Texas
If you’re still wondering what’s so great about Austin, consider what the state of renting looks like in 2016 and Austin’s more affordable costs compared to metros like Manhattan or San Francisco. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a run-down on the perks of living in Austin from the trendsetters who have already made the move.
1. Affordable Rent
After a few years of paying unspeakable prices in Brooklyn for a less than ideal three-bedroom apartment, marketing associate Ariana Chinn is of the many transplants who’s enjoying her much more spacious and affordable home just a short drive outside Austin.
“I now live in a two-bedroom house with a backyard for $850 a month. I should mention that I’m about 15 miles south of Austin, but still! I would say it’s much more affordable than New York.”
As of February 2016, the average apartment rent within 10 miles of Austin, TX was $1,391, according to Rent Jungle. And as we already mentioned, the population is booming in this city; you’ll have no trouble finding an awesome roommate to take on this new city with.
2. Job Opportunities
So before you even begin the roommate search, or announce your relocation plans to friends and family, you’ll want to make sure you can lock down a job when or before you arrive. You don’t want to be that roommate who bails on rent. So what does the job scene look like for young professionals? Considering Texas has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, we’d say your chances are looking pretty good. Chinn vouches that young professionals should have no worries, as there are jobs available in Austin. Not to mention, eco-friendly renters will be joining a city who is behind the going green movement.
“There are a lot of opportunities in a lot of different areas of expertise for young professionals. There are many advertising and marketing jobs, which I’m currently in,” says Chinn. “There are also plenty of sales positions, and a plethora of environmental jobs due to Austin’s dedication to staying green. And being that Austin is the capital of Texas, there is also opportunity for placement in the political world.”
We can also assume that with a thriving nightlife that isn’t just on the weekends, there will always be openings in hospitality to support you as well. And the very best part of living in the cultural center of Texas? You get to live around some of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world.
“With more food trucks than any city could ever imagine having, great music and art, and the friendliest people in America. What more could you ask for?” says Chinn.
3. Downtown Nightlife
Single, in a relationship? It doesn’t matter. Austin’s nightlife has options for people in all stages of life. You’re in the perfect place to find just the right vibe to suite any mood for the night.
Just ask Liz Cowan, an Austin transplant from Albany, New York, who has been living in Austin for just over six months. Austin’s nightlife, she says, is a gem for any newcomeer.
“The nightlife down here is pretty incredible. There is always something to do any given night. There are hundreds of different restaurants and bars in this city, and they’re all really cool and really different,” Cowan says. “There are four major parts of downtown Austin where the nightlife is bumping. You have what’s called the ‘Dirty 6th’ which is on East 6th street and where most college students and young professionals go to get completely wasted. The drink specials are unreal, and they close about four blocks of the street off on weekends. I’ve had my fair share of wild nights on the Dirty 6th.”
And if you’re worried the city’s infamous nightlife may not live up to your “big city standards” former New Yorker and current Austinite Dave Winnie will argue. He says Austin inspired him to consider relocating after a vacation to visit friends who had moved to NYC from Austin only to ultimately move back.
“Boy did it. I mean the people are nicer, the weather is not only more consistent than New York weather, but also consistently more beautiful,” he says. “The drinks are cheaper and the Southern Belles are, well, Southern Belles. But on a real note, there were plenty of bars that reminded me of some places that I would go to in New York.”
4. Live Music
And if your version of a good time is watching a local band play at a bar, this city is for you. Austin’s tagline as the Live Music Capital of the World became official in 1991, after it was discovered that Austin had more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation. Austin is also home to some pretty rad music festivals, including South by Southwest and Austin City Limits (ACL). While you’re waiting on these festivals to roll around each year, there’s no shortage of diverse live music entertainment downtown.
Chinn, who is a huge fan of the ACL festival says she also enjoys catching shows on a regular basis downtown.
“ACL is amazing! But you can always find a live show on 6th Street…anything from rock to country to reggae. There’s a little bit of something for everyone, and that’s what makes it so awesome.”
It’s also a great place for young artists to network as well, adds Cowan.
“The live music scene down here is incredible. There are hundreds of music venues and so many awesome events for music. I’m a musician as well, and it’s been incredible meeting other musicians and experiencing the live music scene.”
Because Austin is a rapidly growing city full of transplants, it’s also full of diversity and culture. With young professionals from all over marking Austin as their relocation destination, you can say Austin is becoming the melting pot of the South.
“It’s the mixture of ethnicity, economic backgrounds, political views, and ‘stay weird’ supporters that really makes it a true hodgepodge of people,” says Chinn. “Cities such as Houston and Dallas are also super diverse, but the people in Austin seem to be way more open, nonjudgmental and super easygoing.”
Cowan agrees that Austin differs from it’s surrounding cities in its own unique way, especially with the live music influence on the community.
“Many people think of Texas and think super conservative Cowboy Land. While that might be the case for [some of] Texas, that’s not Austin. The state capital is very liberal and a lot more cultural than the rest of Texas. It’s smaller than other Texan cities, so it still has a small town feel, and the fact that it’s live music mecca definitely helps the cultural aspect!”