Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Others Did!

The Surprising Truth About Moving to Austin in 2023 - Don't Make the Same Mistakes Others Did!

Want it in writing?

Video Transcript

Howdy, everyone! Are you considering to move to Austin? Maybe, you want to invest in Austin. Maybe, you already live in this area and you would want to be more familiar with it. Or maybe you are my mother, and you want to see me speak about the city I live in.

In this video, I am going to cover Austin from the numbers perspective, meaning like population, political agenda, growth, and then we are going to talk about the map like an overview of Austin. Well, what are the transportation routes, schools, areas, downtown, domain, all those types of things?

Then, we are going to talk about the pros and the cons per my subjective opinion, which is scientific. Because I am an engineer. So, stay tuned. Let’s do it.

For those of you who are new to the channel, my name is Oreo Cannon. I am a computer engineer and a licensed real estate agent. And I own the investors and end-to-end real estate service that covers everything for you. So, we can save you a bunch of money when you buy real estate.

All right! So, let’s deep dive into Austin and start with the numbers. Austin is the capital of Texas. We have four major metropolis in Texas. We have Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.

Some people are getting confused between Houston and Austin. But they are very different from one another. So, let’s talk about Austin in numbers. So in the Austin city limit, we have 1 million people, give or take. But within the counties, the main counties of Austin, which are Travis and Williamson County, we have about 2 million people. It’s interesting to note that in Williamson County, which is in the northern part of Austin, we have Leander and Georgetown, which are the cities with the fastest growth in the United States for 2021.

Austin has about 18% of foreign-born individuals. I am happy to help the statistics. Austin is on the shortlist for the best tech cities in the United States. Google it, and you will see every list has Austin ranked somewhere there. And when we will compare Austin to other tech hubs like San Francisco and San Jose, San Diego, Seattle, Reston, Virginia, Boston, Massachusetts, we see Austin being priced significantly below those other cities, which gives it a lot of value proposition given that we have a bunch of employers and a really good education system. Now, I am going to step on a landmine.

I know you are not supposed to talk about politics in the US. But, hey, I don’t have any political agenda here. But from a political perspective, we are seeing that in Travis County, we have about 70% democrats compared to 30% republican. In Williamson County, we have about 50/50 which means that Austin is relatively balanced, politically speaking.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Hey, I don’t know! It’s up to you. I am just here presenting the data. So, these are the main points I wanted to cover with regards to the numbers. Now, I want to go into the map. And in order to do this, I am going to bring my pal the iPad. So, let’s look at Austin. From the south to the north part of Austin, we have about 26 miles. I didn’t run the math. But I think if you convert it from squirrel shotguns per bald eagle, it’s about 42 kilometers for those of you who use the metric system.

Okay. Here we have Lake Travis. And then, we have the Colorado river flowing below it. The Colorado river goes right through downtown. And we say that everything south of the river is south of the river. And we call everything north of the river, north of the river. How interesting naming convention is. And if we are trying to understand what’s going on here... So, this is downtown. Here is the airport, approximately.

Here’s the domain. And the Galleria is about here. And then, what else is interesting. So they are actually... I am going to delete this thing here. They are actually building 2 other new domains quote, unquote. So, this is Indigo ridge. Here is going to be the second domain that will... There isn’t really a formal name to it. But it’s a $200 million development in Round Rock that is located here-ish.

I am not sure exactly where. So, what else is interesting here? Those are the main areas. There are couple of other things that I want to point out. We have the University of Texas. (UT) It is located there. We have Mueller. We have the Arboretum. And it’s located in those locations. There are, of course, many other areas. But those are of the main ones. Okay! I am going to put here downtown and the domain, the airport, and gonorrhoeae. Okay!

Let’s look at the main transportation routes. So, the main roads in Austin, we have the 183, we have Mopac. We have the I35. And then, in green, we have the 183-A, the toll road, then the 45 toll road, and the 130 is a toll road as well.

Then, the other roads that are not as nice in my opinion... So, we have Palmer. We have the 620. And we have the 79. I should also mention 71. That connects Austin with be cave and the 290. That is going towards dripping springs. Those are the main transportation roads. And you might ask yourself. Hey! But why do we care? We are here to talk about real estate.

And the answer is you really do care. Because if you go from the main roads, and you are trying to connect somewhere, it’s a pain in the butt. So I think, it’s important to know. Because if you are located, for example, here, it is very different compared to be located here.

For mechanic TV perspective, how long does it take you to get to downtown? How long does it take you to get to the domain and those type of things? It’s really important to know how far out you form your transportation route. Even when you live in the suburb, you want to know how long does it take you to get there. Because if you are driving 10 minutes in the suburb itself, then every time you go to downtown, or basically anywhere else, it’s going to take you 10 more minutes. It is something to consider. Okay! So with that in mind... Oh! I forgot to mention one more word here actually. And the 360...

So, I marked those words in different colors. And it’s pretty much arbitrary per my experience. But I would say that the blue ones, the main roads, the green ones are very important as well. But they are tall. The red ones, they are main. But they are not as nice to drive. So, it’s something to just be familiar with. So from those areas, if we are looking at the main cities that are surrounding us. So, we have Austin that is about here. And then we have Cedar Park. And we have round rock. And we have the under... Those interlab... We have in this area here, a place called Brushy Creek.

And Brushy Creek is a municipal district. So, it’s both Round Rock, Cedar Park, I think to a degree and Austin. So it’s interlacing between one another. Okay. Let’s clear the map and start talking about the main employers in the area. We want to talk about who’s who and what’s what. So, we have Dell here. In the domain, we have Facebook. And we have Amazon. We have IBM. We have Indeed and a bunch of others. And Samsung is located here. But then in Taylor, they mentioned that they are going to put a $200 billion investment.

So, I will put the Samsung tag. We have Tesla moved to HQ here. We will have Google, Oracle, Intel, and AMD. I think, it is about there. We have Whole Foods headquarters. And then, as I had mentioned earlier, we are going to have another center here and another center here. So, this is the main 2, and this is Indigo.

That has been zoned. Who did I forget? We also had here... Of course, how did I forget them? Apple! And we had PayPal as well. I think, they moved from there. Maybe, they still keep an office there. We used to have Oracle there. I think, they moved the office from there as well. The main thing is with a bunch of employers in the area, I forgot about Texas Instruments. I didn’t mention them. Silicon Labs, TikTok Facebook, by the way, also have in downtown. They bought a building.

So, let’s talk about those employers. And what do we know according to today, which is August 2022. So if we are talking about those employers, and about the expansion, we will say the following: Apple here, they already had a campus. And they built a second campus for about 1.5 billion. And Samsung had a facility there. But now they are investing $17 billion in Taylor, but in effect is going to be about 200 billion according to the latest reports.

Tesla, they moved their headquarters to Austin, near Hornsby bend. Then, we have Google. They used to have marketing. But now they have R&D center near south of the river. And then we have Oracle, they move their headquarters here as well from California. I am not sure about Intel and AMD. I am not following. But then Whole Foods, their headquarters have been here for quite a while now. Facebook is interesting. When I used to work for Amazon, Facebook had just a couple of QA floors, as far as I know, in the domain. But now they are building a whole building in the domain. And they rented an entire new building south of the river in downtown as well.

TikTok join them, by the way. They hired something 6 floors in that area as well. Then Amazon, my old employer, when I worked there, we had about 7 stories in the domain. Last time I checked, they have about 15. So, they double their endeavors in 2 years. And so as you can see, there is a trend here. Oh, PayPal used to have an office here. And if I am not mistaken, I believe they are moving here. Oh, they have edited office. I am not sure. The main thing is PayPal is spending that as well. And the other point is, well, everybody here are expanding rapidly. So, a lot of employment moving into Austin, and a lot of opportunities and growth that is coming with it.

So, let’s talk about schools. And I am going to start with elementary. And as you can see, the screen shifted a bit. It’s not my finest work. But you will forgive me, I hope. What we are seeing here, the elementary schools that are top graded in Austin. I took only those with the highest grades. And then, what do we see here? So, we see Round Rock ISD in Brushy Creek and Cedar Park. They have great schools there. Here we have Spicewood. So another great neighborhood, more expensive! But then, we have here Eanes ISD in Westlake. It is the top school district in Austin, and one of the best in the nation. So, it’s a great system that we have there.

Here we have Lakeway. And down below, we have the area of Circle C and some other neighborhoods. So, these are the best. Oh, I forgot almost to mention Pflugerville. So in Pflugerville around Blackhawk community, we also have good schools here in Black Hawk. So, these are the best elementary public schools only. I did not take private schools into consideration when I am doing this map. So from here, let’s move to middle school. So in those middle schools, around Round Rock and Spicewood...

I am sorry for my handwriting. So Round Rock, and Spicewood is still there. We have Eanes. We have Lakeway and circle C. But then, we see that in wells branch. We also seem to have a relatively good middle schools. And also in central London will have decent schools as well. Again, numbers are not everything in the world. But I know that this is a question that is repeating every time I speak with clients of mine. So, I just wanted to present this into one presentation. And then, if we are looking at the high schools, now we have also Terra Vista.

And it’s appearing here. And then, we have Wellesbourne Still. We are seeing Eans. We are seeing the Central last in here. So great heels, Allendale, Crestview, those are good high school as well. Right! By UT, we have another one. So, that’s what we are seeing with high schools. And if we are trying to consolidate everything into one. So with my amazing photoshop skills, I tried to put those pictures into one and see the areas.

So, you can see the locations that have strongest consolidation, Round Rock and Spicewood. By the way, Spicewood I think belong to Leander, I don’t know. So guys, I also forgot to mention, this here is actually Leander ISD. And here is Round Rock ISD. So, if I wasn’t clear before... Eanes, Lakeway, those are the areas that you can have. These are great schools for all ages. And then, central Austin, wells branch, we have great schools for middle and high school. You don’t see it. But we have good middle school here too. So in that area of Louisville, we also have great schools. And of course, of course, Circle C down below also had great variety of schools for all ages. So from the school perspective, I think those are the main areas to focus on if public schools are really important to you.

Also, it’s a driving factor for with regards to investment. So even if you don’t live in the area, typically speaking, great schools drive up the valuation of the properties. Because you have more demand in those areas for high caliber people that are migrating there. All right.

So with the map out of the way, that was probably a nightmare to edit. I am so sorry. But with the map out of the way, let’s talk about the pros and cons of Austin. Again, to my subjective opinion, the way that I look at things.

All right! So, let’s start with the cons. So the first thing I want to mention is the weather. Austin is hot. It’s really hot. It’s not crazy hot in my opinion. But it is hotter than optimal. And also in the winter, it’s not super cold or anything, but it’s volatile. And I like to joke that Austin sometimes reminds me of my daughter. She’s just all over the place. And she’s not sure what she wants. And sometimes, it’s going to be very hot and very cold a minute later. And it goes from 0 to 100 really fast.

The heat in Austin, in the hottest summer times, I would say it gets to about 100 and something degrees. It’s not 100 degrees for the entire summer. But in June until August, we do see months that are a bit too hot. Now with this heat, we typically have mosquitoes. That’s the other thing I really hate about it. With the heat, like I can be outside in the heat. But when you have a bunch of mosquitoes, it sucks. There are treatments for it. And it’s not as bad every time. And they come in waves or whatever. But it’s something that I want to point out. So don’t take it as like, Oh My God, I am not going to be able to be out. But I want to put it on the map there.

I am pretty sure this is the biggest con that I have. And I am not even that con... Like I am not even that worried about it. It’s also important for me to mention that Austin is built for the heat. So the houses have central HVAC system. So the house is typically comfortable throughout the year. It’s funny for me to mention, but when I lived in California in the past, and California is pretty much the pinnacle of weather. It wasn’t as comfortable for me personally, because it was so friggin expensive there and my apartment didn’t really have an AC. So in the summertime, I suffered way more than, that I am suffering in Austin. But it’s very, very subjective and it’s changed from person to person. If you have HVAC in California, well good for you.

The other thing I want to mention is the airport. So compared... Like when we compare Austin to another strong metropolis like Seattle or San Jose, or San Francisco or New York, or Boston or Virginia or whatever, but those cities have a better airport. In Austin the airport is fine. I find that I have direct flights to everywhere in the US. But if you are flying internationally, sometimes you will have to take a connection. Something you wanted to be aware of.

Another con, in my opinion, when I compare Austin to others, like similar graded cities is the nature. Now don’t get me wrong. Austin has nice nature, you have some parks, you have the lake, which I absolutely love. But it is not comparable to California, it is not comparable to Washington, in my opinion. Because when you are able to drive three hours and get into a national park, that’s kind of awesome. I don’t really have this here in Austin. So if you are super outdoorsy, if you are doing hikes every weekend. This is a downgrade that you should be aware of.

Lastly, I want to mention the public transportation. Now, public transportation in general, is not the best like in the New York, I think at least you have a metro or how do you call it here, I forgot subway. But in Austin, the public transportation sucks. It just is, like, I don’t know who’s using public transportation here, definitely not me. I am not really a public transportation guy anyways, so it’s not a big bottle thumb thing for me. But I want to point it out.

Traffic wise, if you are not driving in the rush hours to downtown or out of downtown, you are kind of fine, I don’t really experienced traffic in my life, I am driving a lot, like I put a lot of miles on my car. But if I am not driving in these exact times, that’s totally fine. If you are working from office in downtown and you live in Leander, then you are going to experience some traffic, it’s going to take you something like 45 minutes, maybe even an hour sometimes to get to work. And that’s kind of unfortunate. When I compare it to other major cities, that’s not crazy, bad traffic. But it’s something again, and the one thing to be aware of.

Then speaking about the things that I am not sure if they are good or bad, because it’s kind of up to your opinion. But I had mentioned earlier that politically speaking, Austin is relatively balanced. Now don’t get me wrong. In downtown, it’s very liberal. And then in the outskirts is actually like, I don’t know, it’s relatively balanced. If you go to the outskirts of the outskirts, they are like the farther you go away from downtown, it will get a lot more conservative.

And so that’s something that I want to point out, per my personal experience as somebody that is not very strongly biased either way. I like it. I like that it’s more balanced. I have Republican friends and Democratic friends. And I think that it’s a lot better to have people from all varieties. And just to focus on a very small echo chamber, that basically resonates my thoughts back to me, I like to be challenged. I like to speak with other people. I like to hear different opinions. And the people saying, “Oh, chill.” Like so that’s a benefit as far as I am concerned, but maybe it’s not a benefit to you.

Alright, so let’s talk about the pros. So the first pro that I feel like in Austin is the cost of living. This is one of the major thing that I consider a pro. Now granted, I know it’s kind of funny to say because cost of living is very subjective. Some people will say that Austin is really expensive, especially with people that have been living here for a while now. But for me, living in California in the past, living in Israel in the past, Austin is significantly cheaper. And the cost of living here is significantly below what I was used for. So for me, it was like I was running with weights on my feet and now I can jump a lot higher. I think that, comparatively speaking, if I am comparing the type of city that Austin is to cities of a similar caliber.

Austin is priced low. And I know you might not agree with me, but it’s really up to you to determine whether Austin is more resembling to something like Redmond or Reston, or whether it’s resembles something like Phoenix or Salt Lake City or perhaps I don’t know, Indianapolis, or Charlotte, North Carolina. You need to understand like what are you comparing, and then decide whether it’s overpriced or underpriced. It’s kind of up to you. But for me, I think the cost of living is one of the big benefits of a place like Austin.

The other thing that is great about Austin is the education system. The public education system in Austin is great. A lot of my clients that came from other cities that take pride in their public school systems are actually reporting an upgrade, which was kind of interesting to me. I didn’t think it’s going to be the case, but apparently it was.

Another pro is the no income tax. So yes, granted, you have higher property taxes. But when the property is cost half, it’s not as expensive. We need to remember the math, if the property cost four times less, and the tax is two times higher, you will still come up ahead. But no income tax is definitely more money in your pocket from that perspective. And basically, when I moved to Austin, I got a pay bump of 10%, immediately without doing anything, take the real estate prices, the cost of leaving, the pay bump was more significant than I actually hoped for.

Employment opportunities in Austin are excellent. I covered it a bit before. But we are seeing a lot of companies that are moving to Austin, if you are in the tech industry, then definitely have a bunch of options here. If you can work from home, well, it doesn’t really matter all that much. But it’s good to be in a place when you have a lot of development and a lot of opportunities, because it’s a good breeding ground for startup companies like myself, and other companies that can get high quality individuals, because the area attracts high quality individuals by having a lot of opportunities available for them.

Another pro is diversification. I personally have friends from I don’t know many nationalities. And I love it. I love that I have American friends and Israeli friends and people that came from other areas as well. And I find it’s awesome. I like to be in an area that is diverse, that you get various type of opinions, various type of backgrounds. This is something that I personally like. I hope that it’s a pro for you as well.

Another thing I want to mention is transportation, not public transportation, but just then general transportation. For me, I don’t really experience traffic in my life, even though again, I drive a lot. And every time I go somewhere, I always have parking place, and I don’t have to worry about that. The roads are paved, relatively okay. Not the best sometimes. But the infrastructure is there and we see the infrastructure developing year over year rapidly. So when I just moved here, for me getting to the airport took something like 40 minutes, and today it takes me something like 28 minutes. So that’s a nice improvement. And I think other improvements are coming.

Another thing I love about Austin is the food and the music scene. So speaking about food like barbecue here is just top notch, something that they have never tried before getting to Austin when I tried barbecue and other places it wasn’t even close. But you have other types of cuisines here. Like Japanese if we are talking about Soto, Uchi, Uchiko, those are great places we have great pizza’s here like Buffy lino via 313. The ramen here is top notch. Ramen Tatsuya is one, I think probably the best ramen I ate outside of Japan. And then the one thing that I am kind of missing is a really good mediterranean place, we have TLV in downtown, which is excellent. I would like to have some more. So if you are opening a restaurant, do me a favor and invite me.

And the last thing I want to mention is Lake Travis, which is kind of awesome. I like it a lot. I go there with family and friends something like once a month, we rent a boat, it’s relatively cheap. And then we know we jump into the water, the water are clear, the warm, the fun. So that’s something that we really enjoy doing. And the other thing and again, it connects back to the cost of living. Because it’s not as expensive here compared to other places. I have more friends with pools. So we kind of hang there as well. And it’s kind of cute that you can actually do it while being like a regular person and you don’t need to be rich, like, I had to be in order to get to this type of lifestyle had I lived in Israel.

Alright, so those are the main things I had to mention about us. And I am sure that I forgot a lot. If you have other insights about the city, leave it in the comments. I would like to hear your opinion. What are the things that you like about it? What are the things that you don’t really care for? And if you find this content valuable, I would really, really appreciate it. If you would leave a like, subscribe to the channel, share it with somebody else. And I will see you on the next one. Thank you so much. Somebody say something I am not sure how to end this video. Now we need to clean up this mess.

Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *