Austin is a lively city with many amenities, so it’s a very desirable area to put down roots. Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin has more than 250 venues and almost 2,000 musical acts. There is no doubt that Willie Nelson, who was born here, was influenced by the vast music scene. Food is also a popular pastime, with restaurants and food trucks on virtually every street selling Austin's local favorite food, BBQ, and Tex-Mex.
A Storied Local History
In the late 1870s, the Spanish set up temporary missions in the area after the Native American tribes disappeared. The first Anglo settlers arrived in 1830 and named the village Waterloo. Nine years later, the name was changed to Austin, and it became the capital of Texas. As the population and economy grew, Austin transformed from a wilderness on the Colorado River to a major regional center for higher education, government, and technology.
Vibrant Local Population
The current population is just under 1,000,000. This includes the 50,000 students that are enrolled at The University of Texas. The median age of an Austin resident is 32 years old. 44% of the residents are married, and 49% are married with children under the age of 18. 54% of the residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. The area is gaining favor with the senior population and 14% of people living here are over the age of 60.
Plentiful Job Opportunities
Austin is a hotbed for technology and startups and has been nicknamed Silicon Hills since Apple, Facebook, Google, Oracle, and 3M have opened major offices here. The job market is plentiful. The unemployment rate is lower than the national average and in the rest of Texas. The median household income is $60,000, which is 10% higher than the national average.
Austin Real Estate: The Cost of Living
If the abundance of music and food isn’t enough to entice you to the area, note that in the last decade Austin has been chosen as the No. 1 place to live in America, the fastest-growing large city, and one of the best cities to start a business. The median home price is $369,000, which is about $130,000 more than the U. S. median price; however, there are many neighborhoods that are affordable and safe where homes can be purchased for less than $200,000, such as Garrison Park and Windsor Hills. The average rent ranges from $1,017 for a studio apartment, up to $1,897 for a three-bedroom residence.
Austin real estate had an average annual appreciation rate of 6.57%, which puts it in the top 10% nationally for home appreciation, making investing in real estate here very attractive. The 2020 sales tax rate for Austin is 8.25%, which is the total of state, county, and city sales tax rates. Groceries, utilities, and health care costs are a little less than the national average. Texas does not have a state income tax.