Austin Newcomers Guide
Big city amenities, Hill Country beauty, a healthy economy, great schools and a warm Texas welcome – they’re all waiting for you when you move to Austin. Located in Central Texas on a meandering stretch of the Colorado River, Austin is the seat of Travis County, the capital of the Lone Star State and the eleventh-largest city in America. It boasts one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, access to world-class universities, medical facilities, shopping and restaurants. Entertainment and recreational opportunities abound, ranging from water sports on Lake Travis to major music festivals and college athletics, with plenty of cultural attractions for good measure. If you’re moving to the area or interested in new homes in Austin, this Newcomers Guide is the perfect place to start your journey.
The area that is Austin today was once home to nomadic tribes of Comanche, Tonkawa and Lipan Apache tribes. In the 1830s, Anglo settlers established a tiny village here and called it Waterloo. In 1839, it was chosen as the capital of the new Republic of Texas and renamed in honor of the Father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin. The town grew, retaining its position as capital when Texas became part of the United States in 1845. The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883, and the state capitol building opened two years later. The construction of the Great Granite Dam on the Colorado in 1893 enabled the electric power that brought manufacturers to the area. It was later replaced by a series of federally-funded dams under the leadership of future U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Following the Great Depression and World War II, modern Austin began to take shape. The city attracted research laboratories, think tanks and high-tech companies. The economy prospered, funding public services and amenities, and drawing residents from around the country and the world. Today, Austin is a thriving, vibrant city with an exciting future.1
Relocating to Austin
Austin is the anchor city of a five-county metropolitan area commonly referred to as Greater Austin, with a population of over 1.8 million. The city itself has nearly 850,000 resident, representing an increase of more than 28% since 2000. AreaVibes.com rates it as exceptionally livable, citing its sunny weather and stable housing market, and giving Austin an A+ for amenities and cost of living.2 In 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Austin among its “40 Strongest U.S. Metro Economies.”3 And Kiplinger included Austin in its “10 Best Cities for the Next Decade,” in 2010. They wrote, “Austin is arguably the country’s best crucible for small business, offering a dozen community programs that form a neural network of business brainpower to help entrepreneurs…a dozen venture-capital funds and 20 or so business associations, plus incubators, educational opportunities and networking events… [it is] a breeding ground for start-ups.”4
Austin Real Estate
Within its 271.8 square miles, there are over 50 zip codes encompassing an amazing variety of master-planned communities, urban enclaves and suburban neighborhoods. Depending on where you look, you can find new homes in Austin ranging from the mid $150,000s to the multi-millions. Award-winning homebuilder Taylor Morrison has an excellent selection of Austin homes for sales including many that are move-in ready. Lakeview at Steiner Ranch is in one of the most successful and popular Austin-area master plans. Choose from 11 one- and two-story floor plans ranging from 2,067 to 3,711 square feet and priced from the upper $300,000s. Reunion Ranch is South Austin offers 14 unique floor plans in two collections, ranging from 2,509 to 4,200 square feet and priced from the mid $300,000s. Interest list are forming for Senna Hills, a new community in the majestic Hill Country. To learn more about these communities and sign up for email updates about pricing, special events and incentives, visit Taylor Morrison’s Austin web pages.
With one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, a diversified economic base grounded in technology and a business-friendly environment, Austin is at the forefront of the Texas boom. The Silicon Hills is also the Live Music Capital of the World and an educational mecca attracting major research and development funding. Major industries include technology, pharmaceuticals, biotech, construction, and educational services. Several Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters or regional office in Austin or nearby suburbs. These include Apple Inc., eBay, Google, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, 3M, Whole Foods and Dell. Small wonder Forbes.com lists Austin at #2 in job growth, #14 on its list of Best Places of Business and Careers, and #15 for education out of all American cities.5 If you’re ready to take it easy, Austin was also ranked in the top 10 best places to retire by CBS Money Watch in 2012.
Austin is served by seven different public school districts: Austin Independent School District; Leander Independent School District, Del Valle Independent School District, Eanes Independent School District, Manor Independent School District, Pflugerville Independent School District and Round Rock Independent School District. The districts and many of the campuses within them have received awards and recognition for academic excellence. There are also many fine private schools in the Austin area.
Austin is renowned the quality of its colleges and universities. It is home to the flagship campus of the University of Texas system, UT at Austin, ranked thirteenth among U.S. public universities by U.S. News & World Report and has the highest-ranked law, business and engineering programs in the state. Other institutions of higher education include St. Edward’s University, Austin Community College, Concordia University, Huston-Tillotson University, Acton School of Business and Austin Graduate School of Theology.
Whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find it well represented in Austin. The self-proclaimed Music Capital of the World, whether your interests run to culture and the arts, outdoor activities, minor league and college sports or world-class dining and shopping, Austin has it. Here’s just a short sample what the city has to offer.
- Downtown Austin’s SoCo shopping district – an eclectic mix of stores, food trucks, restaurants and street entertainment.
- Music, music, music – Austin lays claim to the title of the live music capital of the world and there are literally hundreds of performance venues. But there’s also the South by Southwest, an annual event that draws more than 2,000 performers to downtown Austin.
- Museums you won’t want to miss include the Austin Museum of Art, the Blandon Museum of Art, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Texas Memorial Museum and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum.
- If you love live theater, Austin won’t disappoint. There are dozens of venues large and small including the Paramount, Long Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Austin, ColdTowne Theater, The Hideout and The New Movement Theater.
- Sports fans can choose from UT Austin Longhorn games at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium or Texas Stars hockey and NBA development league Austin Toros at Travis County Expo Center.
- There are dozens of public parks including Zilker and Hippie Hollow, more than 50 public pools and nearby Lake Travis, as well as Hill Country hiking and biking trails.
You’re sure to find your own favorite spots for fun and relaxation.
Make Yourself at Home in Austin
For more information about homes for sale in Austin, Austin real estate and Travis County homes, or to schedule a personal viewing appointment at a Taylor Morrison community in Austin, contact Internet Home Consultant Heather Fox at Heather Fox - 512-845-7350.