Moving to Austin Overview

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view of Austin, Texas downtown skyline

So you’ve decided to move to Austin.

Congratulations on this decision! Between the great food (breakfast tacos, BBQ, Tex-Mex, vegan/vegetarian, fine dining, or any other style you could possibly want), live music, art and film culture, outdoor activities, and other factors, Austin is an attractive city to call your home. The other 109 people who move to Austin the same day feel so too.

That’s right: according to official reports, 110 people relocate to Austin every day. You can’t blame them, but this does create some difficulties.

When you decide to make your move, the first — and most important — decision you’ll make is where to live. Don’t fall into the trap of just taking the first thing that comes along. Austin can be a difficult city for newcomers to navigate (unless you’re happy spending hours in traffic, that is); however, take the time to do some quick research, and you’ll be well prepared for a smooth transition into the capitol of Texas.

  1. Research the Neighborhoods

Austin is a diverse city, filled with many different personalities and atmospheres. This is one of the appeals of Austin — with a little research, you can find a piece where you really feel at home.

The city can be loosely divided along four boundary lines. The first is officially known as “lady bird lake,” though it often goes by its old name “town lake,” or simply the colloquial “the river.” You may live north or south of the river. Highway 71 (also known as 290) makes a parallel boundary further to the south. Two boundaries — Interstate 35 and Mopac, also known as Loop 1) run north and south. This gives Austin two central “boxes” (one south of the river and one north), as well as some East-West divisions.

Each region has its own personality and attractions; of course, within each region are multiple distinct neighborhoods. Get a feel for each area and consider where you might like to live.

  1. Navigate the City

Austin has a reputation for many great things — as well as a few bad ones. Ask many people, and they’ll give you the impression that getting anywhere in Austin takes hours.

But this isn’t entirely true. Sure, the most obvious route (get on I-35) may result in a bumper-to-bumper headache, but that’s only because it’s the most obvious route and everyone takes it. Learn to take alternate routes, and plan your trips at optimal times, and you’ll find the traffic in Austin isn’t so bad.

Once you know the city, factor this knowledge into your home search. Consider a neighborhood on the same side of Lady Bird Lake as your workplace; or, live someplace central and commute against the flow of traffic.

  1. Find a Home

Do you want an apartment/condo or a house? How does a duplex sound? Do you want to buy or rent?

There are a lot of options in Austin, and once you have a neighborhood selected, you’ll need to focus on finding a place to live. Talk to a realtor to get help with house/apartment searching, or use a website like or to find one yourself.

Do this basic research before your move to Austin, and you’ll be set up for a smooth transition.

BONUS: Learn to Speak Like a Local

What does it mean to Keep Austin Weird? Austin has a unique culture, and if you want to get acclimated quickly, read up on the “must know” information about being an Austinite.

Moving to the attractive city of Austin is an exciting decision and here at Austin Moving Forward, we can help your move be just as exciting.