Your best bet is to sit down with your family and discuss your priorities. As you can see from my colleagues below, Austin is a very eclectic city and you can get just about anything you want, anywhere you want. There are some things you will need to consider before your trip in order to help YOURSELF feel like you aren't wasting time. This is a familiarization trip for you, so let's help you make the most of it. Check it out.
1. Pull up a map of Austin and find the potential place(s) that you will be working.
2. Draw a radius of 10 miles (this will be about a 20 minute commute if you are in town).
3. Draw a radius of 15 miles (30 minutes and up for this range).
4. Figure out a commute that is comfortable to you and start looking in those areas (write these down).
5. Google pertinent info on them (i.e. school districts, median income, crime rate, whatever is important to you).
6. Budget out an acceptable home price range, size, amenities, etc.
7. Check the MLS (you can access it on just about any Realtor's site, including mine).
8. This will give you a head start on what to expect in the specific markets you have found so far.
9. Once this is done, contact one of us a day or two before your trip to let us know what your general needs are and maybe an area of interest. We will work feverishly to accommodate you and make your experience seamless and pleasant.
10. Most importantly, see what Austin is all about. Check out austintexas.org or austin360.com and brush up on what we have going on down here. There are certainly some places you won't want to miss on your visit. This place is certainly a far cry from Staten Island, man.
The good thing about looking ahead is that it gives you more time to focus on areas that YOU are interested in without a Realtor taking you to places you KNOW that you aren't interested in. This, in turn, will make you feel much better about your trip and Austin in general. And hopefully, when the time is right, you will come on down.
When you call a Realtor, it may be a good idea to list your needs and preferences. I have provided a sample list below for your reference. Be safe on your trip and feel free to contact myself or one of my esteemed colleagues if we can be of service. Our contact info is on our profiles.
1. Size: 1400-1600sf
2. Price: $180-220k
3. School: son in HS, daughter in ES
4. Location: North or South, 15 minutes from town
5. Miscellaneous: Prefer Golf Course Community
.....add or revise as you see fit. And remember, it's OK that you weren't born in Texas, just get here as fast as you can. Have a good one.