Austin, Texas is a city that has it all.

From its vibrant music scene to its beautiful natural surroundings, there's something for everyone in Austin.

But is it the best city to move to in Texas?

In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of living in Austin, and help you decide whether it's the right place for you.

And if you're considering a move to Texas, contact us today to learn more about the Austin housing market and explore the available housing options.

Pros and Cons Summary

Pros Cons
Strong economy and job market Higher housing prices
Thriving startup scene Extreme summer heat
Happy people and a laid-back vibe Lack of cultural diversity
Highly educated population Need for a car
Abundant outdoor activities and recreation Heavy traffic
Green living and sustainability focus Lack of professional sports teams
The diverse and delicious food scene  

Related:  Reasons to Live in Austin Texas

Pros of Living in Austin

A Great Place to Start Your Career

A variety of businesses including technology, healthcare, government, education, and hospitality, make up Austin's diverse economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in Austin was 2.4% in February 2023, which is lower than the national average of 3.7%.

That said, the city boasts a robust job market with plenty of opportunities for both entry-level workers and skilled professionals. If you are looking for a new career in real estate, Austin is a great place to start.

The city’s growing population and strong economy mean there is a high demand for real estate services. VIP Realty offers a variety of real estate career opportunities in Austin, including buyer and seller agents and leasing agents. Visit our careers section for more information if you’re interested in learning more about real estate careers in Austin.

Major Hub for Startups

Austin, Texas, is a major hub for startups. The city is often referred to as "Silicon Hills" due to its thriving tech ecosystem and a large number of startup incubators and accelerators.

In 2020, Austin had the highest rate of startup activity among the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the US, according to a report from the Kauffman Foundation.

This is because of several factors, including:

  • Access to talent:  Austin is home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Texas at Austin. This provides a steady stream of talented graduates who are eager to start businesses.
  • A booming technology sector:  Austin is home to several large tech companies, such as Dell, IBM, and Indeed. These companies have created a network of seasoned professionals who can mentor and assist startups.
  • A thriving and supportive startup ecosystem:  Austin has many resources available to startups, including incubators, accelerators, and venture capital firms. These resources help startups to get off the ground and grow their businesses.
  • A business-friendly environment:  Texas has a reputation for being a business-friendly state. This is thanks to low taxes and minimal regulation.

The Happiest City in America

Austin is also known as the "Happiest City in America," thanks to several factors, including its relaxed atmosphere, friendly residents, and close-knit neighborhoods. One of the reasons why Austinites are so happy is their strong sense of community.

Austin is a city where people are always willing to lend a helping hand. This sense of community is evident in the many available volunteer opportunities, as well as the number of community events that take place throughout the year. With a satisfaction rating of 7.0/10, Austin is the eighth-happiest city in the USA, according to a recent survey.



Metro Population (2021)

Happiness Score


San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA




Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV




San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA




Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA




Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI




Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX



A City Where You Can Learn and Grow

Austin is a city that values education. Over 50% of Austin's residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher, making it one of the nation's most educated cities. This is due in part to the many colleges and universities that call Austin home.

The University of Texas at Austin is the largest in the state, and it is ranked among the top public universities in the country. Other notable colleges and universities in Austin include Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edward's University, and Austin Community College.

In addition to its excellent colleges and universities, Austin also has a strong public school system. The Austin Independent School District (AISD) is the largest in Austin, and it has a graduation rate of 94.5%, which is higher than the state average of 90.9%.

Other school districts in Austin include:

  • Round Rock Independent School District
  • Pflugerville Independent School District
  • Leander Independent School District

A Great Place to Get Outside

Austin is a city that loves the outdoors. With more than 300 days of sunshine every year, there's always an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. There are a variety of outdoor activities to choose from in Austin, including hiking, biking, swimming, camping, and fishing.

There are also several parks and green spaces where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Some of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in Austin include Barton Creek Greenbelt, Zilker Park, Lake Travis, and McKinney Falls State Park among others. No matter what your interests are, you're sure to find something to enjoy in Austin's great outdoors.

Green City

Austin is a pioneer in sustainability and has a strong commitment to lowering its carbon footprint.

Below are some of the initiatives the city of Austin has put in place to promote green living:

  • Renewable Energy - One of the biggest producers of renewable energy in the United States is Austin Energy, the city's publicly owned utility company.
  • Bike-friendly City - Austin was recognized as a bike-friendly city in 2021 when it received a gold designation from the League of American Bicyclists.
  • Green Buildings - Austin has adopted a green building program that mandates new buildings to fulfill specific energy efficiency and sustainability requirements. The city already has over 260 LEED-certified buildings.
  • Sustainable Food - Locally-sourced, sustainably produced food is available in many Austin restaurants, Farmer's markets, and community gardens.
  • Recycling Programs - In 2021, the city reported that it had surpassed its 40% target by achieving a 42% recycling diversion rate, thanks to a thorough recycling program.

Diverse Food Scene

Austin is a city with a diverse food scene that is sure to please even the most discerning palate. From traditional Tex-Mex to international fare, there is something for everyone in Austin. One of the best things about Austin's food scene is its affordability.

Food trucks are a popular option for both locals and visitors, and they offer a wide variety of cuisines at a fraction of the cost of a sit-down restaurant.

If you're looking for something a little more upscale, Austin also has several high-end restaurants that offer stunning views and innovative cuisine. What's more, there are several budget-friendly options available for foodies on a budget.

The Live Music Capital of the World

Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World" for good reason. With over 250 live music venues throughout the city, Austin plays host to a wide variety of genres, including jazz, country, blues, rock, and more. The city's music scene has a long and storied history.

In the 1960s, the Armadillo World Headquarters was a popular music venue that featured some of the biggest names in music at the time, including Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Janis Joplin. In 1987, the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival was founded.

SXSW quickly rose to prominence as one of the biggest music festivals worldwide, and it has helped to put Austin on the map as a music destination. Today, Austin's music scene is thriving. Whether you're a fan of country, rock, jazz, or something else entirely, you're sure to find something to your liking in Austin.

Cons of Living in Austin

Higher Housing Prices

The cost of living in Austin, in particular housing, has increased owing to the city's recent rapid growth. The average home value in Austin is now $561,000, up 35% from five years ago. This trend is expected to continue, as Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.

A recent S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows that Austin has the highest home price growth rate among major American cities. A complicated interplay between population growth, supply and demand, and other economic factors has led to Austin's increasing home prices.

Although this trend presents a challenge for potential buyers, it also offers a significant benefit for local homeowners. Concerned about the housing prices in Austin? The city still has many affordable neighborhoods, and our local agents can help you find the perfect home for your budget.

Extreme Summer Heat

Austin is known for its hot summers. The average high temperature in July is 97°F, but during heat waves, temperatures can hit 100°F and above. Heat waves in particular are becoming more common and more intense due to climate change.

In 2021, Austin experienced an especially severe heat wave in June, with highs of 101°F for ten straight days. Extreme heat can be dangerous, especially for young children, the elderly, and people with chronic health conditions. It can cause heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition.

Lacks Cultural Diversity

Austin, Texas continues to struggle with challenges of diversity and inclusion. This is despite earning a reputation for its vibrant culture, live music, and thriving business community. One of the main areas in Austin where the lack of cultural diversity is most noticeable is housing.

According to research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), African American and Hispanic/Latino households in Austin are more likely to experience housing challenges compared to white households. This is due to several factors, including the rising cost of housing and the limited availability of affordable housing.

The lack of affordable housing has forced many minorities to live in specific areas, which has contributed to the segregation of communities. Austin's lack of ethnic diversity is also noticeable in other areas, including employment, community involvement, and education.

The City is Spread Out

Austin is a city that is spread out. This means that there is a lot of space between different parts of the city, and it can take a long time to get from one place to another. One of the main reasons for Austin's spread-out nature is its geography.

Austin is located in central Texas, which is a relatively flat area. This makes it easy to build roads and highways, which has led to the development of a car-centric culture in Austin.

Another reason for Austin's spread-out nature is its history. Austin was founded in the early 1800s, and it grew slowly and organically over the years. This meant that there was no master plan for the city's development, and it ended up with a mix of different neighborhoods and developments.

Austin's spread-out nature has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it gives Austin a sense of spaciousness and openness. On the other hand, the spread-out nature can make it difficult to get around.

If you don't have a car, you can be limited in your ability to get to different parts of the city. This can be especially inconvenient if you have to work or go to school in a different part of town.

Heavy Traffic

As Austin continues to grow, traffic has become a major issue. Rush hour in particular can be challenging, with crowded highways and long commute times. With an average annual commuter delay of 51 hours, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute's 2021 Urban Mobility Report rates Austin as the 14th most congested city in the US.

The following are some of the factors contributing to Austin's heavy traffic:

  • Population growth - Austin is one of the US cities with the fastest population growth, up more than 20% since 2010.
  • Public transit - Although Austin has a bus and light rail system, they do not meet demand as they are not extensive.
  • Road construction - As Austin continues to grow, constructing new roads and highways is necessary, and this might lead to temporary traffic delays and congestion.

Lacks Professional Teams

In case you're wondering, spectator sports fans in these parts love to barrack for the Longhorns football team, which represents the University of Texas at Austin. There are also several minor league sports teams such as the Round Rock Express, the Austin Spurs, and Austin Bold FC.

Despite the success of these teams, Austin is unable to attract any significant professional sports franchises. A smaller market size, inadequate stadium infrastructure, lack of ownership interest, and competition from other Texas cities are all factors that contribute to this.

However, with the city's growing population and the construction of new stadiums, Austin has the potential to attract professional teams to the area.

Is Austin the Best City to Move to in Texas?

The answer to that question will vary depending on your personal needs and lifestyle. If you're looking for a city with a vibrant music scene, beautiful natural surroundings, and a friendly population, then Austin is a great option.

However, if you're not a fan of traffic, heat, or lack of diversity, then you may want to consider other cities in Texas. Ultimately, the best way to decide whether Austin is the right place for you is to visit and experience it for yourself.

Our local agents can help you find the perfect home in Austin and make your move as smooth as possible if you decide to move. Are you ready to begin your journey to living in Austin? Get in touch with us to find your dream home in this thriving city.

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