GUEST POST - Movers.com

In the last few months other bloggers, expats and readers have begun to get in contact with me via my blog, some with positive messages about my writing and we compare stories, some soon-to-be expats looking for advice on their move to the US and some readers from around the world who are interested in becoming expats, I have answered everyone honestly to the best of my ability and knowledge but of course I do not have all the answers!

One day I was contacted by a company called Movers.com, this company are experts in the business of free moving quotes, and offer a complete library of moving guides, relocation advice, and tips to help settle people into their new home. It has taken Movers.com fifteen years of intensive industry research, robust cutting edge technology, and careful attention to relocation trends to get to the top. Now they are proud to be the Internet's best moving resource.

When Movers.com approached me and asked if I would host a guest post about Austin I was more than happy to do this I felt it could help my current and future readers make a choice about Austin or relocating in general.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of expataustinmum.com. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made in the post are not guaranteed. I accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

A Guide To Moving to Austin

Guest Post by Mike Sannitti. Mike Sannitti is a writer for Movers.com and its sister site Topmoving.ca. He writes guides, blogs, and other content to help make moving easier for readers. In his spare time he also podcasts at allyoucangeek.net.

Moving to Austin? You’ve heard a lot about this uniquely Texan capital here at Expat Austin Mum, but are you really prepared to move to the city? Here are some things to consider when deciding if relocating to the “Live Music Capital of the World” is right for you.

Austin's Climate
Austin is located in central Texas, so it is quite hot and dry. The sun shines all year with very little rain to interrupt it. The average annual precipitation is a mere 2,184 mm.

Summers in Austin have average highs around 30 degrees Celsius, but the temperature can frequently reach over 38 degrees. So, be prepared for some heat!

Winters are milder, with highs that range from 10-18 degrees and lows rarely reaching the freezing point of 0 degrees. Snowfall is rare in Austin, but when it does happen, it’s sure to be made a big deal (even when it really isn’t).

Austin's Neighbourhoods
New Austin residents can choose from a variety of neighbourhoods. Downtown Austin is the heart of the city and full of the most urban hustle and bustle. There are usually condos available right in the downtown area if city life is what you want.

A little farther away from downtown is a stretch of residential neighbourhoods along the Mopac Expressway. Tarrytown, Clarksville, Enfield, and Rosedale are home to some of the city’s wealthiest residents. It’s a nice place to call home if you can afford it.

Registering Your Car In Austin
If you’re moving to Austin from somewhere other than Texas, you’ll need to register your car. You have 30 days to do so after you arrive.

  • Have your vehicle inspected at any certified Texas Department of Public Safety inspection station.
  • Get Texas auto insurance. You are required to have coverage of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
  • To get your plates and registration, you'll need proof of ownership (a title or previous registration), proof of insurance, and inspection papers.
  •  The Texas DMV doesn’t issue new driver's licenses, so you’ll have to transfer your existing license at the Department of Public Safety. You have 90 days to do this.

Austin Schools
Austin residents can send their children to 29 different school districts which include 17 charter schools and 69 private schools. The Austin Independent School District serves the majority of the city’s students.

As for higher education, the University of Texas at Austin is the biggest school in the area. It has over 38,000 undergraduates and over 12,000 graduate students. Other Austin universities include: Austin Community College, Concordia University, Huston-Tillotson University, Austin Graduate School of Theology, and The Art Institute of Austin.

Austin Economy
Austin is one of the best cities in the United States for growing businesses. It boasts an impressive unemployment rate of only 4 per cent compared to 6 per cent for the country. In 2012, Forbes ranked Austin number one among all American big cities for jobs, while the Wall Street Journal ranked its metropolitan area the best for growing businesses.

Some of Austin’s biggest employers:

  • Austin Independent School District
  •  The City of Austin (government)
  • Dell
  • IBM
  • The State of Texas (government)
  • University of Austin at Texas

Cost of Living in Austin
The median home value in Austin’s metropolitan area is approximately $345,000, but can go up to the multi-millions for larger homes and properties.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment can start at approximately $850 per month, but reach beyond $1,400 depending on the quality of the location.

A 3,000 square-foot home can have a monthly electric bill that costs $60-$70 in the winter and $200-$300 in the summer. However, it is difficult to estimate a realistic range for electric bills in Austin, as residents report varying prices due to the types of air conditioning used, and frequency. Just be aware that the bill will go up significantly in the summer when you use more air conditioning. It is a necessary expense in Austin, so remember to budget for this.

Austin Transportation
If you need to utilise public transportation in Austin, you’ll probably travel by bus. The bus system is operated by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) and is the most common means of public commuter transportation in the city. The alternative is Capital Metrorail’s train service: a 51 kilometre commuter rail system.

If you have a personal car, keep the traffic in mind when planning your commute. There is usually heavy congestion on the freeways during commuting hours. You could consider bicycling to work if you can stand the heat.

Austin's Attractions
Moving doesn’t have to be all work and no play. After you’re settled into Austin, you deserve to have some fun. Perhaps the city’s most noteworthy event is its huge annual concert, South by Southwest. This March concert helps earn the city its “Live Music Capital of the world” title.

Downtown nightlife is focused on Sixth Street, which is lined with bars, clubs, places to eat, and galleries. There are some interesting exotic restaurants in this area, so keep an eye out for your favourite foreign cuisine.

If you’re looking for a little more natural diversion, Austin has you covered. Barton Springs is the country’s largest natural swimming pool. Deep Eddy is another popular spot for swimmers. If you prefer physical challenges on the land, there is the Capitol 10,000 10K, the Austin Marathon, and the Capital of Texas Triathlon

Helpful Link's

Hopefully, you now have a better idea if Austin is right for you. Ready to move there? You probably can’t do it alone, which means hiring movers. Don’t settle on the first estimate you get. Instead, get multiple quotes from different companies to find the best price and mover possible.

Want more tips, moving company reviews, and moving advice? Head to Movers.com for all your moving needs.