Moving in Austin>Question Details

Actress, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

I'm relocating next year and comparing Austin to Houston. Please share your thoughts on these two areas.

Asked by Actress, Austin, TX Tue Mar 27, 2012

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Houston is large and thinks large. It's personality is close to a Midwestern style. Many great museums and shopping centers.

Austin thinks of iteself as 3rd coast, and values eclectic, local uniqueness. There are suburban neighborhoods that offer everything you could want from a surburban family lifestyle, retirement commuities, as well as the university and urban experiences. A river runs through it.
I like Austin best, and am glad to live in such a culturally diverse metroplex.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 28, 2012
Most people it is the difference in the weather and humidity that makes up their mind. Yes, I relocated to Austin just over 5 years ago after spending 17 years in sunny southern California and growing up in Washington state. I had spent a couple of months in Houston when I was in the tech industry and found I really didn't like the areas surrounding the city at all. A lot of the people that I know here in Austin are actually from the Houston or the surrounding area, they were born there and don't like the area. Kind of like me and Washington.

They were by the atmosphere here as well as the lower humidity, the outdoors lifestyle with fitness, boating, fishing, music venues (so many live ones here), and great places to eat. best of all the people are great..

Best thing to figure out is "how do you like to like and what are your interests", once that is figured out you will have your answer.

If you want the quite, private rural life close to the city - we have that too.. You can live within 30 minutes of downtown (not during rush hour) and that lifestyle is available. How do you want to live??

Let me know if this has been helpful and how I can best assist with your decisions..

Cheryl Fowlkes
512-749-8509
http://www.justlistedinaustintx.com
http://www.kwfarmandranchgroup.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 28, 2012
Hi Cheryl! I was born in Austin, grew up in SA and reluctantly moved to Houston as a teenager. 40 years later...I have a job interview in Austin this week so I am also looking at possible apartments. The more affordable ones for me, are off 35 on the east side, off Parker, another off Woodland. I've heard people poopoo the east side but I can't imagine it's any worse than Houston. I am Caucasian middle aged female. Do you think the areas or streets I mentioned would be okay for someone like me?
Flag Sun Mar 23, 2014
I love Austin! Great people, traffic is easy to deal with, very diverse and just plain cool!
Houston is uncomfortably large :(
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
For an Actress or anyone creative? Austin hands down every time. The people, the culture, the music, everything....and best real estate market in TX. Once you live in Austin you will never want to live anywhere else in Texas. As your name implies that you are an Actress, I would say go to Austin and get to know the Austin Film Society people and get involved with that, a well as the listings on the Texas Film Commission since they list all movie castings for the area. For anyone with a creative, artsy soul, Austin is your Mecca.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
Hi Actress,

Not sure where the thought came from that you are moving from Southern California, it doesn't appear in your question. It would be helpful though, to know where you're coming from so that we can provide a more complete comparison, not just between cities, but also to where you live now.

I've lived in Houston, Northern and Southern California, and the midwest, in small and large cities. People diss Houston a lot, but that's typically from people who don't live there, or who moved elsewhere. Yes, it is relatively flat, sitting on ancient coastal plains, and it is further south and closer to the Gulf of Mexico, so it will also be hotter and more humid. It's a big city, 6th largest in the country, and is second only to New York City in the number of Fortune 500 headquarters. It has an international element, arts, entertainment, sports, and overall diversity of cultures and activities that is not available in Austin. This is not to diss Austin, it's just that Houston is big city, that offers things on par with other cities its size. Many, many people like it, and want what it has to offer.

Austin on the other hand, as many here have already commented on, is much more hilly, due to the Balcones Fault and the geological formations to the west, that create what we call the Hill Country. I do not believe it will ever come close to living in California, and while we like to think we have big city offerings, if you've lived in a big city, I think you'll quickly realize we are still a relatively small town, with somewhat of a small town feel. This too is preferred by many people, avoiding many of the big city headaches, although our traffic is probably on par with many of the traffic issues in Houston.

We have a strong offering of choices in education, including the nations 1st or 2nd largest university located downtown (we trade positions with Ohio State); we have a strong technology based job market (second to only a small handful of other cities); we are politically active on both sides of the aisle (Travis county is considered a bluish county in a red state); oddly, on a per capita basis, we have a very large urban population and vibrant downtown area that is growing rapidly; and our city government and police force have done an excellent job at curbing the undesirable element (much more so than almost any city our size). But we do lack the choices of activities of a city like Houston. We have no major league sports teams, we have a dearth of museums, and outside of a strong music focus, honestly, our arts and entertainment are simply not on par with a city the size of Houston. But, it's a tradeoff that many people are willing to make to get a smaller town feel.

Note, the city itself only recently passed 700K in population, but the areas population is considerably larger and very spread out (this is an advantage to keeping the small town feel, but plays havoc with traffic), with a large base of the 1.7+M total population located in Round Rock to the northeast (HQs to Dell), Cedar Park to the northwest, and a host of other small towns.

If your Trulia profile name is indicative of your career or passion, while I love Austin and wouldn't live anywhere else in Texas, I think you'll find more choices for this career/passion in Houston. If you want a smaller town feel, more connection to the folks around you, but with a growing offering in the arts and entertainment, along with a better overall outdoor experience, then Austin is your place to be.

Checkout Wikipedia for any city your considering to get a good overall perspective. Then visit both over an extended weekend, not to house hunt, but just to enjoy what each has to offer. Only then can you really make a more informed decision.

If I can help in any way, don't hesitate to contact me, even just for more perspective on each.

Take care,

Jeffrey
512-913-7480
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
You will NOT get an unbiased answer to that question from an Austinite. We ROCK, and so does our city.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
I just checked in to see if anyone had a thumbs up for Houston!

Austin is fun - and we manage to get a lot of business done. Houston is... well I know it's humid, the water tastes like oil, and if you ever think Austin traffic is bad Houston will cure your thoughts.

I am sure there is a lot to love about Houston, but the clients I have served who were from Houston - every single one - had been waiting for their chance to come to Austin.

There is The Woodlands with tall pines just north of Houston - a beautiful area.

West of the Balcones Fault (roughly a mile west of IH-35 running parallel) in Austin we have hills with shorter live oaks, cedar elm, juniper, madrone, etc. Our hills are better described as rounded canyons - level tops with rolling valleys.

Live music, outdoor everything (lakes, golf, running, biking, festivals....), great restaurants with most meals under $15, active churches, and we still have a large dose of southern hospitality.

I wish we had a ski mountain with a trout stream though.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
No disrespect to Houston, but you are comparing apples to oranges. I lived in So Cal before moving to Dallas and then to Austin. I've been to Houston twice and can tell you that it is very humid and flat. Austin reminds me so much of So Cal. It is very hilly here. Rolling hills and beautiful lakes and rivers. If you like to hike, bike, or just love being outdoors, Austin is the place for you. I cannot drive out of my neighborhood without seeing 20 people out jogging and biking. Austin is very easy going. And if you are really into acting, there is a lot of that going on here too. I would pick Austin hands down. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
I'm assuming you would be coming from SoCal, which is where I was before moving to Austin 18 years ago. I compare Austin to San Diego (of course swapping the beach for Lake Travis), as it is a town built around one major college, with several smaller colleges in the area. The lifestyle is much more laid back than other cities in Texas. The climate in Austin is much less humid than in Houston, and in the Hill Country, (West of Downtown Austin), there is usually a nice breeze which helps with the hot summers. Feel free to call if you have any other questions.

Nate Hantgin
Residential & Commercial Realtor
512.517.9837
Tri10@att.net

Marotz Realty Partners
A Chartreuse Plains Company
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
Yet another question that is a year old. Trulia can't you close the old questions? This one has been answered sufficiently. Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 30, 2013
I live in Austin and absolutely love it! I also lived in Houston for almost 30 years. I think it depends on what your source of income is going to be. If you can make the same amount either way then I would choose Austin.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 29, 2013
Our house is for sale 16 miles out in the Hills from Boerne. On 7 acres. Interested?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 20, 2013
Here is another site to consider to help you find the right Realtor to help you find a home. There are also many blogs by local Realtors to help you choose the right neighborhood for you. wwwActiveRaindotcom

Cheers,
Betina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Hello Actress. Your smart to ask for opinions here before moving. I've lived in both Houston and Austin for 24 years. Houston is far more developed when it comes to the arts. There are 2-3 museums in Houston for every Austin museum. There are many theaters for plays, operas and musicals, The Alley is the big one but don't forget Miller Outdoor Theater and a million smaller theaters. While there are a few film companies in Austin there are big gaps of time in between productions. I've known some people/actor's in Houston that went on to do great things, Calista Flockhart was an actress at the Alley.
Cheers,
Betina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I spent a lot of time in New York City and the other surrounding areas including D.C. And Jersey. I love the big city but since moving to a suburb outside of Pittsburgh 7 years ago I've come to really love the peaceful, nature filled environment of western Pa (absolutely nothing like Philly). I'm an actress, health care spokesperson, and corporate leader. My friends relocated from Pittsburgh to Houston almost two years ago and after my other friends went to visit last year they moved, hence the reason I'm asking for advice. I'd like to move where my friends are because of their accounts of their experience. One friend actually visited Austin as well and asked to me check out both locations during my visits because she loved it . Living on the east coast my entire life I have had it with cold weather I'd rather be hot all year round and have made a conscious decision to not wait until retirement to pursue the things I want in life. The
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
As already said, they are VERY different cities. I looked at both before moving to Austin from the East Coast and Austin has many, many advantages...climate, economy, opportunity, etc. etc. While Houston does earn some Top Rankings here and there, Austin is by far superior in most every area. If you are not yet working with a Realtor, I have a couple of great videos I can send you to help you compare, etc. Feel free to contact me personally and I will send them to you (I do not have the ability to email you back from Trulia). To give you a better answer, by the way, I would need to know if you're renting vs. buying, what profession you're in, what hobbies you enjoy, etc., etc. By the way, I am a Residential Specialist and do NOT charge for my Buyer Representation services. I am also a top ranked agent here in Austin, and have a Lease Specialist available as well if you're looking to rent vs. buy. Let me know if I can help!!
Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin Tx. 512-261-4415
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
I lived in Austin since 1986. A great city to en joy. A great place to raise a family. I lived close to UT, which is central, close to downtown while in my youth and college years and loved every moment of it.
Since 1997, I have been living at the edge of the Hill Country, 22 miles from downtown. I am around the corner from Lake Travis and Lake Austin and yet still within 45 minutes from downtown.

We love it of 620, between Lakeway and Bee Caves. The schools are great, the lifestyle is great.

I visit Houston every now and than but have no desire of ever living there.

Good luck deciding.

Albert Elhage
Broker/
http://www.Albertelhage.com
aelhage@austin.rr.com



(512)971-1773 (Mobile)
(512)327-7449 (Fax)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
Austin is an oasis of sorts located 3.5 hrs south of Dallas/Ft Worth, 2.5 hours west of Houston amd 1.5 hours north of San Antonio, on the eastern edge of the hill country. Homes range in the upper 100's into the millions, depending on proxcimity to downtown Austin and your amenities of interest.

Austin is the birth place of Whole Foods Market, host city of the SXSW and ACL festivals and Circuit of the Americas F1 racing beginning Nov 2012, and home to the University of Texas.

If you are interested I'd be happy to send you out a relocation guide, all I need is an address and your contact information.

Kevin Roy
ERA Bettinger Realtors, Inc.
512-426-2689
http://RealEstateAustinInfo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 27, 2012
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