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<p>(mostly x-posted in the NC/SC/TN Tribe)<br><br>
What are the pros and cons to living in/around Austin?<br><br>
I would love to live in an area that's actually walkable. Websites will say that Fredericksburg is walkable, but it's really not. Only the area around the college is walkable. Unfortunately, we live in an apartment that's on the wrong side of a busy four-lane highway. There are no crosswalks and no pedestrian lights. I've crossed over the highway, but I would not do it with a kidlet in tow. I would love to be in walking distance (bus service is also fine) of grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, etc. We do have a bus system around here, but it's really limited. I would also like to ride a bike around town without the fear of death or serious injury. There are no bike lanes or trails around here and cars tend to (unintentionally) mow down bicyclists.<br><br>
Also, a city with culture and unique features would be great. I love ethnic and veg restaurants and we both like independant bookstores.<br><br>
How is the COL in Austin? Is the Austin area kid-friendly and family-friendly as far as HS/US, babywearing, and socializing?<br><br>
Thanks in advance!</p>
 

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First off, let me say, I absolutely LOVE Austin. My fiance and I moved here at the end of Feb, but have been visiting/ commuting here for the past three years. I am so glad that we moved here and do not regret it what so ever. We live more on the outside of the city, but still close enough to the main part of the city. There are several things to do here, from parks, outings, cool independent stores, to unique resturants. When we do go out to eat, we barely eat at any chain resturants. There are several parks in and around Austin, including Zilker Park, which is a state park that has TONS of things going on. This city is culturally diverse and is really open to any and all walks of life. I am currently pregnant with our baby boy and I am planning on doing babywearing with him as well as some AP. I see and know a lot of moms here who do b/w, hs/us, cd, and ap. I am a part of a bw group as well as a couple of other meetup groups here in the area.<br><br>
As far as the walking and getting around, it's fairly easy. The bus system here is extremely good and pretty easy to get around on. There are bike trails/ lanes everywhere and you don't have to worry about getting hit by any unruly cars. The people alone are very friendly here and you see tons of people bike too and from places. There are also sidewalks everywhere so people can walk, if they choose.<br><br>
The COL doesn't seem too bad here, but then again, I don't know what it's like where you live. It's a little more than what we were paying back in Ft. Worth, but totally worth it. We pay around $695 for our rent and then our utlitlies are probably another $200 or so. So it's not terrible. Our apartment is over 1000 sq feet and very nice. There are several areas in Austin to choose to live and a lot of them are more "vintage" (built in the 20's and up). You can even find a good house to rent for not that much.<br><br>
We've had no problems with our internet either.<br><br>
I hope this helps. Good luck with everything.
 

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<p><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> Thank you!<br><br></p>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pepper-gina</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15392348"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The COL doesn't seem too bad here, but then again, I don't know what it's like where you live. It's a little more than what we were paying back in Ft. Worth, but totally worth it. We pay around $695 for our rent and then our utlitlies are probably another $200 or so. So it's not terrible. Our apartment is over 1000 sq feet and very nice.</div>
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<p>I'm packing up and moving to Austin this week! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
That's amazing for rent! Austin sounds great!<br><br>
Congratulations on your pregnancy!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></p>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aquarius aspiring</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15392646"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> Thank you!<br><br><br><br>
I'm packing up and moving to Austin this week! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
That's amazing for rent! We're currently paying around $1,000 for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment, probably about 950 sq. ft. I'm not sure about utilities, but we pay extra for sewage, electricity, and the gas bill for heat/AC.<br><br>
Austin sounds great! I will definitely mention it to DH and it might be a possibility!<br><br>
Congratulations on your pregnancy!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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There are several areas around here that offer different price ranges and you can usually find what fits into your budget. Like I said before, we pay $695 a month for our rent, and then there are the normal sewage, water, and trash fees on that. So normally, we pay around $740-$760 a month, which still isn't that bad. Plus, we get basic cable included. LOL Then our utilities have been holding around $70- $100 a month for electricity (we lucked out, none of our windows face east or west). We have other bills on top of that, but nothing that we haven't been able to handle. Everyone's budget is different, and we have done our for $1600 a month, and that's being on the generous side.<br><br>
Hope you can talk DH into moving here. It's great, once you get used to the heat. LOL That would have to be my only complaint.
 

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I grew up in MD/VA, and I'm telling you, you'll die when you see what you can get here in Austin housing-wise compared to the DC area.<br><br>
IMO its a very crunchy town--no one bats an eye at me when I'm wearing or BFing my toddler. No big deal.<br><br>
Weather-wise, when you hear "Texas" you think HOT, but really the DC area is more miserable for me. 65 one day, 90 the next, then cold again. The humidity, the sloshy slushy winters, the awful commutes if you work in the city, ugh. While there are places I'd rather live, I like the weather here better than the DC area.<br><br>
Good luck with your decision!
 

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austin is a great place to homeschool, even unschooling. the support groups here are numerous. if you need an imbetween, we even have a Sudbury model school now (<a href="http://www.clearviewsudburyschoolorg" target="_blank">www.clearviewsudburyschoolorg</a> ).<br>
everywhere has AC, you have to here.
 

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I could have written the OP's post!<br><br>
That's pretty much what we are looking for as well, except we are coming from CA. I want a total lifestyle change. I'm tired of living in the burbs but don't exactly want super urban. I like how nature friendly Austin seems to be.<br><br>
Another really great site to get into on COL etc is city-data.com. There are also forums there that are extremely helpful!<br><br>
I really want to move soon! Especially after I have learned so much about the Austin area. My DH has applied for a few positions there and has a telephone interview on Monday. I'm hoping it works out... some other jobs he has applied for are government jobs in the DC area. I'm not as excited about that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Don't want to burst the bubble, but I can't imagine where PP is getting rent for $695. We're paying $1200, and have discovered after months of hunting that it's a MEDIAN price, or even on the low side. The lowest I've been hearing for a good apartment is $900.<br><br>
I've lived in Austin since 1995 minus a few years in Florida. It has so many wonderful aspects. Creativity, energy, nature, etc. Plus that wonderful "cosmic cowboy" undertone.<br><br>
Things that drive me bonkers: city management and city politics. I suppose that will be anywhere, but it's tough when you're on the opposite side of the dominant ideology. Also, the newness of the town bugs me. There isn't the sense of mom & pop, family roots, etc. But heck, we're still here. And I think this is going to be one of the best economies left in the country. We'd be foolish to leave at this point.<br><br>
I guess I should mention how ungodly hot the summers are. Eek.
 

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Ok, so hubby and i just moved to Austin (NW Austin to be exact) last month from the DC Area and the rent is LOVELY here! We are paying $885 a month right now for a two bedroom, two bath (3 showers!), HUGE kitchen with dining room. In Maryland, we were paying nearly $1400 for a one bedroom, so yea, lol. My job relocated me here and many of my coworkers who are opted for 1 bedrooms are paying well under $700 a month. I mean, you CAN pay more in Austin, believe me, there are plenty of "luxury" apartment homes were you can paying upwards of $1200 to $1400 a month, but really, that's not the norm throughout Austin (and yes, i do know this as i had an apartment locator and me and my coworkers cross referenced between each others assigned locators and most of the apartments were VERY affordable, the only expensive apartments we heard about were from higher paid coworkers looking to lease high end housing...obviously the closer you get to downtown, the higher things are though).<br><br>
So far, we love it here. The weather is lovely, people are lovely, lots of things to do, lots of shopping, nicely laid back quality of life (its different from the D/MD/VA area, you can tell people here care much more about their personal lives than their careers lol). We will probably begin having kids in the next couple of years (working on becoming financially stable after that high COL in the DC area lol).
 

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I lived in Austin from 97-2001 and loved it. I moved to finish up college and now live in a small town on an island in south TX. I would move back to Austin in a heartbeat if it were on the coast. Both hubby and I are avid surfers so to be away from the water is out of the question. We recently "lived" in Austin for 2 months to have our baby. We used the Austin Birthing Center and LOVED it! Austin has a huge variety of culture due to the university. Tons of amazing places to eat, lots of vegan/veggie options, several farmers markets, an amazing food co-op, and tons more to offer. I was way over my due date and was walking about 4 miles a day to spur it. They have a great park system and the whole city is very pedestrian, bike, dog friendly. When I lived there I never drove and relied only on the bus system and was able to get to work, play, food, etc. Tons of music, festivals, and events. The city (population) is very good about supporting local business too. There is a huge 2 story indie bookstore downtown.<br><br>
The COL is more than most cities in TX but far less than say CA. When we were there to have the baby we rented a duplex for $850/month. It was 2 bed, 1 1/2 bath, a little on the small side but it was all bills paid.
 

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I would also recommend San Marcos. its in between Austin and San Antonio. Its very crunchy and GREEN! I moved here from Austin so I could walk or bike everywhere. That was 12 years ago and you still can! There is a university and a few libraries(I actually delivered one of thier babies a HBAC) It is full of trees and wildlife. The people are friendly and I know 95% of my neighbors. Rent is much lower than Austin.<br><br>
TX Mama Hey I need to know you womyn! I am also a surfer and bring my kids and my airstream to the gulf anytime I dont have someone due. Lets hang out maybe you can help me be a better surfer! Im on facebook as wholistic midwife .
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wholisticmidwife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15543925"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would also recommend San Marcos. its in between Austin and San Antonio. Its very crunchy and GREEN! I moved here from Austin so I could walk or bike everywhere. That was 12 years ago and you still can! There is a university and a few libraries(I actually delivered one of thier babies a HBAC) It is full of trees and wildlife. The people are friendly and I know 95% of my neighbors. Rent is much lower than Austin.<br><br>
TX Mama Hey I need to know you womyn! I am also a surfer and bring my kids and my airstream to the gulf anytime I dont have someone due. Lets hang out maybe you can help me be a better surfer! Im on facebook as wholistic midwife .</div>
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We're going to discuss our game plan for our move to the Austin area tonight... We've had two home/water births and we'll be looking for a midwife next time around as well! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 
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