Choosing the Right Austin Neighborhood

Posted by Brad Pauly on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 9:00am.

view of downtown austin from lady bird lake

With Austin being America’s fastest growing city, it’s no surprise that you may have recently decided to relocate here yourself. A big concern for newcomers moving to Austin is choosing the neighborhood that’s right for them.

There are several factors you’ll want to consider when picking an Austin neighborhood to live in:

1. Commuting

How long of a commute is acceptable for you? Some people don’t mind a 45 minute drive to work, while others like to be within 20 minutes of the office. Fortunately, if you’re living and working in the city of Austin itself, most people don’t suffer a commute of over 30 minutes. If you’re living in some of the suburbs that are outside city limits (such as Round Rock or Kyle), your commute time may be slightly longer. Depending on where your work is located, you can explore the surrounding neighborhoods or those near roads that would easily transport you there. There are also many neighborhoods situated along major expressways to take you across the length of the city in minutes.

2. Transportation

Do you want the ability to walk to nearby stores and attractions or are you comfortable driving, biking, or taking the bus as your primary means of transportation? Generally, the closer your neighborhood is to downtown, the more options you have in terms of public transit. If public transportation is going to be your main method for getting around, you may want to review a map of the bus and MetroRail routes before deciding where to live. You can also ask your realtor or the landlord what bus stops are nearby.

3. Budget

The cost of living in Austin can vary depending on which area of the city you live in, so you’ll want to pick a neighborhood that fits your needs and is affordable for you. West Austin tends to have the most expensive homes and obviously living downtown can be costly too. The other regions of Austin and the surrounding suburbs have more flexibility in price. It really comes down to what you’re looking for in terms of housing type (house, apartment, condo etc.), amenities, and whether you’re renting or buying. Austin’s cost of living is lower than most other major American cities, but if you aren’t finding a price that works for you, the surrounding suburbs offer a viable alternative with many beautiful and spacious homes.

4. Atmosphere

Austin is unique in that you can be walking down a bustling avenue of restaurants, shops, and bars and then turn the corner and find yourself in a quiet residential area.  There are certainly neighborhoods where you can have the best of both worlds, but if one of those environments sounds preferable to you then you can zone in on that. To get a feel for what neighborhood might fit your preference, check out Pauly Presley’s neighborhood bios here. Another excellent idea is to go visit the area in person to see if it feels like a place you can call home.

5. Activities

Clearly, you’re going to want to enjoy the neighborhood you live in! Luckily, the city of Austin offers just about every type of activity you could hope for. The big question for you is if it matters to have those things right around the corner from your home. Our neighborhood bios can provide an idea of what events and activities are hosted in each area of the city, and you can also walk or drive around the neighborhood you’re interested in before moving there to see what appeals to you.

Those are just a few suggestions to keep in mind when planning your move. Your realtor is a great source of information if you have any questions, concerns, or need additional advice about where to live in Austin. They can help you figure out what what housing options in each neighborhood fit the needs of you and your family.  Overall, know that no matter where you live in Austin, you’re never far from whatever it is you need!


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