Living in Austin, Texas: Pros & Cons

Buildings in Austin, Texas

One of the fastest growing cities in the country over the last 10 years, Austin, Texas, has emerged as a cultural center as well as a popular destination for tourists and new residents alike. The Capital of the Lone Star State has a great deal to offer in terms of lifestyle, with any given day offering abundant opportunities for adventure, live entertainment or relaxation.

As with any city, however, there are both pros and cons to moving and living there. Let’s explore a couple of each:

Pro: Entertainment and recreation galore

Dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World®,” Austin has countless options when it comes to getting out and enjoying local and national talent. One of the country’s pre-eminent cultural events, South by Southwest (SXSW), also takes place in Austin every spring and features a unique combination of film, interactive media, music, conferences and more. There are also several opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation in Austin, with running, hiking and boating in natural bodies of water such as Lady Bird Lake all being popular activities among locals. The Barton Creek Greenbelt, meanwhile, offers Austinites the ability to enjoy additional aquatic activities like kayaking, fishing and paddle boarding.

Con: Urban congestion / Less-than-ideal traffic conditions

Like any big city, traffic can be an issue in downtown Austin and its immediate surrounding areas during rush hour and other parts of the day. Limited public transportation options further add to this issue, which has led to Austin being ranked the third worst in Texas traffic. This may be one of many reasons nearby towns like Manor and Jarrell have enjoyed a boost in popularity. Residents don’t have to contend with as much traffic in their day-to-day activities, but can still easily take advantage of everything Austin has to offer.    

Pro: No state income tax

The Austin area has long been a tech hub, but after the pandemic shift to more remote work, the area has become even more popular—and not just for its favorable climate. The lack of a state-level individual income tax is considered a strong draw for those relocating from out of state, especially if they’re coming from places with a high tax rate.

Con: Competitive housing market

The influx of new residents into Austin has, unsurprisingly, made house hunting more of a challenge. Housing availability has not been keeping up with the demand, leading to affordability issues and a competitive real estate landscape. The good news is that new homes are already breaking ground in the Austin market! Both Seasons and Carillon and Seasons at Calumet, located just outside Austin, offer beautiful new homes with prices starting from the $300s. These thoughtfully designed floor plans also offer buyers the opportunity to personalize fixtures, flooring and finishes. If you’re interested in putting down roots in the Austin area, call 737.734.1774 to speak with a Richmond American New Home Specialist today!

Ready to find a home that fits your lifestyle?

We have tips to help you land your dream home with your desired amenities!

Get your free guide

Collage of homebuyer guide covers