Quality of Life in Austin>Question Details

Kristian, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

My wife and I are thinking about leaving San Francisco for Austin. Quality of life and cost of living is a

Asked by Kristian, San Francisco, CA Wed Jun 25, 2008


Does anyone know what the job market is like for Marketing Executives? I have 15-years of big-name company experience, but my current company does not have an office in Austin, so I would need to look for a new role.

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Seeing how I just read all of the responses to your question about moving from San Fransico to Austin, I wanted to throw in my two cents worth and back it up by my creditials.
I am a born and raised Californian. I actually was born in Redwood City and raised in Sunnyvale, Ca. I was in Southern California for 12 years and was in the bay area for 18 years. I now live in Austin, Texas proper and have a few items about the city that are VERY different from San Fransico.

Even though most Texans will say our traffic here in Austin is overwelming, I disagree and state that it is bad but not nearly as bad as San Fransico. I recall waiting 3 hours to commute from Daly City to San Jose on an average day (1 way).

Also, the people here in Austin are incredible. They are simply very friendly with a wide range of interest and professions. They are much more approachable than most San Fransicans.

The night life here is good but nothing in compared to that of San Fransico. We, as a city, are growing our cultural centers such as the $57 million dollar Long Center that just opened. We also have an opera that is good in most aspects.

As for the weather. Our winters are just as cold as your summers! LOL. I remember freezing as I watched fireworks on the Pier in San Fransico on July 4th. So, if you can handle the summers in San Fransico, you can handle the winters here in Austin.

Property values are no comparison. They simply are a steal comparatively! With San Fransico at times surpassing well over $1000/sq ft, people here are paying approximately $150-400/sq ft. So, that being said, homes and condos are much more affordable.

Taxes, property that is, are higher. Californias are based on the transaction and fixed from there and at 1.2% on average. Here they are 2%-3.2% and adjusted annually.

Pros and cons of both citys but do your homework and if you can, give yourself an in to the California market just incase you change your mind once you get to Austin. If you like it ultimately, sell California and make Austin your home. Otherwise, you can ultimately rent in Austin, see if you like it for the 1st year, and then chose. Austin appreciates at a much slower pace than California, so, you will not miss too much if you dont buy a home immediately!

I hope this helps! You will enjoy Austin if you give it a chance. Its different but as the citys' motto applies:

Keep Austin Weird!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
HI Kristian!

We relocated here a year ago and love it. Austin has so much to offer an the cost of living is way less than California. Believe me I know as I grew up in southern California and we very often visit the San Francisco area. We have spent some time talking to folks just like you who are thinking of making the jump! Do it! You won't regret it. Even if you have to take a lower salary here it will be worth it. Yes, I'm a real estate professional and yes I would love to help you. There are so many things to do here. The music is great, the people are friendly and housing is booming.
Web Reference: http://www.LeanderHomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 27, 2008
I think the quality of life is great in Austin. I grew up in LA and the current climate in Austin reminds me of the growth LA was experiencing when I was young. We are having the same conversations that my parents had around the dinner table. I've been here 20 years and it's just getting better. Great place for children, if that's a factor. Wonderful restaurants, night life and the Arts Community has really taken off. The only down side is the traffic. Different kind of congestion! And we don't have a state income tax, but our property taxes are high. Prices are less, but probably not as much as you might think. I'm happy to help you or send you more information. Susan Avant 512-917-9936 susanavant@aveone.com
I would think a Marketing Exec would be able to find a job here, I would get with a good head hunter. Also, check out the article from the Staubach Company in today's paper. Very positive about growth in Austin and its' economy. http://www.statesman.com You can also access home information on our website (below), juts click on the "buy" button to get information on Austin properties. No need to register, sign up for anything, just take a look at Austin listings (not just our company).
Web Reference: http://www.aveone.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Coming from California you are going to think that everything is a great price. I am selling my house for $314500 and is 4 BEDROOM HOUSE WITH 2.5 BATH, 2480 sq. ft.
FORMAL LIVING ROOM AND DINING ROOM, WITH GAME AND SEPARATE FAMILY ROOM. MUST SEE THIS HOUSE TO APPRECIATE,.... Please see pictures. Green belt access from back yard. Nice back yard for entertainment.
Claudia Gonzalez 512-288-6770
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013
I am also looking for a honest opinion on Austin v/s Bay Area comparison and hear good things but I am skeptical since more than half of those who say "come to Austin" are austin real estate agents. Any body other than real estate agents please ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 29, 2013
Hello Kristian,

There are several Ad agencies and marketing agencies in and around Austin. DELL is a good choice for their in-house marketing dept. GSD&M/Idea City is a good ad agency, but has had lots of lay-offs lately.

Overall, Austin is an AWESOME place to live! This is a perfect place for marketing. If you have 15+ years in the industry, then you shouldn't have any problems finding somewhere in Austin.

If you are looking for a house, here's one that just went on the market. Go to:

Good Luck with your move!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 2, 2009

I can say a couple of things about marketing jobs here. There are good opportunities, depending upon your field. If you market for high tech or advertising, you are in good company here. GSD&M is here and they are quite a force. There are also quite a few post production video companies that do quite a bit of work for the advertising industry nationwide and there are many affiliated marketing companies with that industry here. The technology field is very influential here and most of the companies have marketing departments to garner more of the market from the competition. Many small, independent companies offer competitve salaries and packages to compete with the larger companies.

I can also say that my clients from Pacifica, Brentwood, San Jose, Milpitas, and more have NO REGRETS about living here. Relocation is a bit stressful so make sure you work with a realtor that has experience in relocation clients. Also, make sure that it is a good time for you to sell there...I have a client that still is waiting to sell because it is not a good market for his location and home in Northern CA.

Best of luck....come to Austin, you will LOVE it...once you adjust to the heat!!! If you want to know more from the perspective of a Native Texan and a former California resident, let me know!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008

The job market for newbies may be difficult, but not for a seasoned executive level marketing person. As I answered previously, job comes first, but should not be difficult to find.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 27, 2008
Austin is cheaper by far, but the Job market is tough. You have a huge 50,0000 student University churning out grads who all want to stay in Austin. Most jobs offered at lower pay (becuase they can -500 appliacants for every opening - and usually contract to start. Have a friend in High Tech who moved back to Austin 2 yrs ago. Decided to go into Real Estate, then of course the market tanked. Has been trying to get a "real" job there for a year now with no luck, or the pay was so low not worth it. Make sure you have a job BEFORE you move.there
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 27, 2008
Hello Kristian,
I relocated with a large company from San Francisco to Austin 11 years ago. Austin is much like Sacramento in that it is a capitol city, is in a state with 3 significantly larger cities and has a river running through it. It is different due to its unique population mix with large university and high tech companies. If you would like to chat, please email me. I might be able to point you in a direction for a job change.

Things missed in Austin: Ocean, seafood, mountains, trolleys, cool mornings, fog. Things welcomed in Austin: friendly people, very low comparative cost of living, accessability to outdoor activities.

Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Dear Kristina,
As a fifth generation Texan, I say welcome to Austin. I have lived here my whole life, however I have traveled extensively. I love Cali particularly S.F. and Santa Cruz.

You will find our prices are a little cheaper, but the weather may be hard for you to get used to. Some Californians find the Texas heat too extreme. Winters can be freezing and up to 50's, however summers typically the lows are in the high 70's-80s and 95-102 in the summer. Don't forget that due to all the construction and concrete we have created a "heat island/pocket' in Austin. So that means if the actual temperature is 98, it actually feels about 8-10 degrees hotter like 108.

If you are serious about moving I would suggest going to the Austin Chamber of Commerce and checking out the local employers. There are many high tech companies in Austin that could use your services. Dell is an option, they employ a lot of people. I have more friends/clients that used to work for Dell, but have escaped. Bear in mind since so many people want to live here many companies feel they can pay you significantly less. The guy running the stop and rob where you buy your gas and sodas probably has a BA. Competition for jobs is stiff because so many people are moving here. I would suggest looking for a job first, and let the company pay for you to come interview and spend a few days and see if you really like it. Then you can worry about where to move.

If I can help you in anyway please don't hesitate to call or email me. Thanks for the opportunity & have a great summer!
Betina Foreman
Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Can't give you an answer about the job market for Marketing Executives, except to say the job market in general isn't bad in Austin. I would like to give you a sense of Austin that is different from Cara. I used to live in Sunnyvale (the burbs of SF) for 2 years then moved to Austin. I thought Austin has a lot of the same feel as Sunnyvale had, but the people here were far more laid back and not concentrated on their job every minute of the day. Austin prides itself on being eclectic. It is much different in attitudes then the rest of Texas. Personally, I wouldn't live in any city in Texas except Austin. The temperature is hotter, dang hot in the summer. The air quality is better than in Sunnyvale where most days you couldn't even see the mountains. I would suggest coming down and visit for a week to get an impression if you haven't been here before. Hang around the University area, see downtown, sit in Mozart's coffee shop and talk with people. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Don't do it! Why are you drawn to Austin over San Francisco? Are you thinking the grass is greener? I am still crying from leaving San Francisco over a year ago to be with my husband in Texas. Yes, what you make up in being able to afford more house, more land and more stuff you lose in cultural diversity, culinary choices, arts and activities oh...and the Bay. How does one live with out the fog horn and the Bay? You will always want to go back to San Francisco. Experience a hot, dry summer in Austin and I guarantee you will be wishing for the mild Bay Area, even if it mean shivering through a foggy August afternoon. Just move to the North Bay if you are looking for a change. Don't do it! Texas is a whole 'nother world.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008

Hello and congratulations on considering Austin! I have lived here for 10 years and like you had lived in San Francisco.

The job market in Austin is actually very robust. I was in technology for 20 years before becoming a Real Estate Agent. I enjoyed my years in Tech, but love the opportunity to work with families in finding their dream homes!

There are a number of really good recruiting firms in Austin that you might want to check out. I happen to be great friends with the President of Pedley-Richard. They are a local agency that specializes in Austin. Let me know and I would be glad to make an introduction.

As you know, there are a number of companies that are headquarted here in Austin and may have openings. Another great source for networking is Linkedin.com . You would be surprised at what a great networking tool this site is.

So about the move, I often compare SF to Austin. It has many of the same SF sensibilities that are important to a quality of life. The people, arts, ammeneities, outdoor activities, etc... are just great. We absolutely love it.

Please let me know if I can help.

Ritch Haenke, REaltor (R)
COldwell Banker, United REaltors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008

I came to Austin as a marketing executive with Dell. I would be cautious about working for them depending on your style. Somewhat churn and burn, even today. That said, there are a large number of marketing executive positions in the area, mostly in the high tech area, and some others in supporting/services businesses.

At your level you know the ropes on how to find a job, clearly looking in the paper doesn't cut it. If you need local references for head hunters that focus on your job area, let me know. Depending on your risk tolerance, Austin Ventures and other VCs have a lot of startup opportunities that want seasoned executives.

Nothing compares to the Bay area, I lived in Mountain View and can swear to that. That said, Austin has been a good alternative for us, with excellent quality of life, excellent schools, much lower housing costs (especially if you actually live in the city of SF). And if your not Prop13 owners, then when you combine your local, state and property taxes in CA, we're a lot less...a lot less!

Your job market opportunties are going to depend on 2 functions, total compensation package required and your areas of expertise. We are a large city, but not by Bay area standards, so the number of opportunities will be noticeably fewer than where you are. I think your best course of action is to start the job search. If something interesting comes up, then you can spend more time understanding the Austin area. If there aren't any interesting opportunities, then finding more out about Austin is kind of useless.

If you want any help on the job market side of things, let me know.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Think positive not worry about the others. Austin has alot too offer.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Hi..One thing you can do is check the Austin Paper on line. http://www.Statesman.com
New employment ads come out on Sunday.
You may want to check with Dell. They are bringing in some folks..but..I do not know what type of positions are being filled.
There is still good job growth in the Austin-Metro area..so..that is a plus!
If there is any way I can help you with your relocation I would be happy to.
E mail me at LindaGraves@austin.rr.com or e mail my assistant Heather for a speedy response at LindaGravesTeam@cs.com

Happy Trails!
Linda Graves
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Did your company go bankrupt? Anyways, I bet Austin is a lot cheaper than San Francisco. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
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