18 Pros and Cons of Living in Austin, TX

Updated On October 9, 2023
Austin, TX

Located deep in the heart of Texas, Austin represents many things for many folks.

Austin is historic and represents a continued living history of the state and the city.

Austin also represents music and is often referred to as the “live music capital of the world.”

For others, Austin offers culinary delights which range from traditional Tex/Mex to international flavors, imported from all directions. See what unique specialties Austin can offer you. 

Capitol, Austin, TX
Capitol, Austin, TX

Pros of Living in Austin, TX 

1. Buying a Home in Austin Is a Great Investment

WalletHub rates Austin, TX as one of the top large cities for first-time homebuyers.

Another report, by SmartAsset, ranks this barbecue-loving city as the second-best city in Texas for home investment. 

The growth and stability of Austin’s housing market rival big city favorites such as Denver and Atlanta.

Home prices range from the low $200,000s to over $700,000.

2. Austin Is the Greenest City in Texas

Voted the “greenest city in Texas,” Austin is dedicated to doing its part to protect Mother Earth.

The city has devoted 15% of its land to open spaces, trails, and parks.

It has adopted other green practices, such as recycling programs, LEED-qualified new construction, and using renewable energy.

If you move to Austin, do not forget your reusable water bottle and grocery bags!

3. Healthy Job Market

One of the benefits of Austin’s green programs is the jobs they create.

The job opportunities do not stop there.

Austin has healthy education, government systems, and a thriving tech industry. 

Nearly 100 tech companies have relocated to Austin in the last two years.

With a job market expected to grow 47% in the next ten years, it is no wonder major companies like Apple, Google, and Tesla have moved to Austin. 

4. Austin Is a Major Hub for Startups

If you are an entrepreneur, Austin is an excellent place to launch a startup.

In fact, Inc. magazine recently voted Austin the number one city to start a business

The city attracts two billion in venture capital and corporate entity investments each year, making it the perfect place to launch a new business.

Did we mention Texas does not have a state income tax?

5. Austinites Are Happy People 

While Austinites have a reputation for complaining about recent transplants, it is actually a happy and welcoming community.

It was even recognized by National Geographic as one of the happiest cities in America

If you prefer a casual, laid-back atmosphere, you will fit right in Austin.

Whether you are a techie, foodie, or music lover, Austin has something for everyone.

6. It’s a Great Place to Get Outside

Remember all those Austin parks and trails we mentioned earlier?

The residents of Austin make use of these natural spaces as much as they can.

Whether it is swimming in the spring, biking next to Lady Bird Lake, or hiking one of the area’s many trails, there are plenty of activities to get you outside. 

The icing on the cake – moving to Austin means you will be perfectly positioned to explore the rest of the Lone Star State.

7. The Food and Beer

It is a good thing Austin has a plethora of options for keeping you healthy and fit.


You may ask.

Because Austin ranks in the nation’s top five for food and beer. 

The city, which is known for its barbecue, hosts some of the nation’s top food trucks.

It consistently ranks high on “best of” lists and even has a revered wine region. 

9. The Music 

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, there’s no shortage of live music in Austin.

The city has over 250 music venues and hosts popular events like SXSW, Austin City Limits, and JMBLYA.

You can even find live music at the city’s popular barbecue restaurants and international airport. 

Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Willie Nelson got their starts in Austin.

Whether you are an aspiring artist or just enjoy listening to music, there is no shortage of options in Austin. 

10. Austin Residents Are Educated

The capital of Texas is known as a city dedicated to education.

Tens of thousands of college students attend The University of Texas at Austin each year.

The school is ranked one of the top public colleges in the United States and also employs over 3,000 faculty members. 

Austin also has some of the top public school districts in the country, consistently given an A rating by the Texas Education Agency.

So, whether you are college-aged, have children in elementary school, or just enjoy intelligent conversation, Austin steps up to the plate.

Cons of Living in Austin, TX 

1. Austinites Are Resistant to Rapid Growth

As you wander through the city of Austin, you are likely to see residents wearing t-shirts that say “Welcome to Austin – Please Don’t Move Here.”

While Austinites are a welcoming group of people, they are resistant to the rapid growth that’s occurred over the last decade.

It is nothing personal.

Residents are just concerned with the influx of transplants and what it might do to their beautiful city.

2. It’s Hot 

It gets hot in Austin.

Very hot.

In fact, temperatures in Austin regularly exceed 100 degrees.

For some folks, this is an attraction; for others, it is a reason to stay away.

So, what do Austinites do to beat the heat?

They crank up the A/C and gather in one of the city’s bodies of water.

From Lady Bird Lake to Lake Travis and the Barton Springs Pool, you will not have any problems finding a place to cool off. 

3. Austin Is a Driving City

Public transportation is one area in which this green city is lacking.

Unlike other popular cities like New York, you will need a car if you move to Austin.

The city does have a bus system, but it is not robust enough to meet the area’s growing needs. 

The good news is, according to GasBuddy, Austin’s gas prices average about two dollars less per gallon than other major cities.

The bad news is…the traffic.

4. The Traffic 

Traffic congestion is a huge issue in Austin.

The city’s major freeways are notorious for heavy traffic.

So much so that drivers have been known to abandon their vehicles in traffic to get food.

If this doesn’t deter you, heed our advice.

Prepare to be flexible, leave extra time to get where you need to go, and choose a neighborhood close to work. 

5. Limited Big Sports 

While Austin is a major player in music, food, and beer, there’s one area in which it is lacking – sports.

If you enjoy professional sports, you will have to travel to see a pro game. 

Austin is home to the University of Texas.

So if you enjoy college sports, you can always attend a Texas Longhorns event. 

6. Austin Is a College Town 

Speaking of college.

Each year, more than 50,000 college students attend the University of Texas at Austin.

If this concerns you, we recommend choosing a neighborhood away from campus. 

7. Lacks Cultural Diversity

Austin is world-renowned for a number of exceptional things.

One unpopular area it excels in is gentrification.

With almost 75% of its population being white, Austin lacks the cultural diversity that many major cities are known for. 

Do not let this deter you, though.

Austinites recognize this issue and are working hard to overcome it.

If you value cultural diversity and all that it has to offer, move to Austin and be part of the change.

8. The Housing Market

The housing market in Austin made our list for both pros and cons.

Like most cities, investing in a home in Austin should be a long-term investment.

The market is stable and has seen a steady increase, year after year. 

In 2021, the city’s median sales price rose to almost $540,000 – an annual record increase of almost 28%.

Sales dollar volume also hit a record, increasing by almost 31%. 

If you plan to buy in Austin, expect to pay close to $5000,000 for your new home.

Fortunately, the city has a diverse selection of homes to choose from. 

Austin, TX
Austin, TX

Pros and Cons of Living in Austin, TX – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Austin, TX Cons of Living in Austin, TX 
1. Buying a Home in Austin Is a Great Investment1. Austinites Are Resistant to Rapid Growth
2. Austin Is the Greenest City in Texas2. It’s Hot 
3. Healthy Job Market3. Austin Is a Driving City
4. Austin Is a Major Hub for Startups4. The Traffic 
5. Austinites Are Happy People 5. Limited Big Sports 
6. It’s a Great Place to Get Outside6. Austin Is a College Town 
7. The Food and Beer7. Lacks Cultural Diversity
9. The Music 8. The Housing Market
10. Austin Residents Are Educated

Austin Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Austin Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Austin Texas a Good Place to Live?

Austin’s nearly 967,000 residents believe their city is a great place to live.

Austin consistently earns a top spot in “Best of” lists, including U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live in the U.S.

It has a thriving job market and is sunny almost 365 days a year.

There is no shortage of things to do, including music and outdoor activities.

What Salary Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Austin Texas? 

Recent reports indicate a single adult would need to net just over $55,000 annually.

Couples would need to net $87,300 to live comfortably in Austin.

This number should increase for each child in the household.

For more detailed information, check out the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

Is It Better to Rent or Buy in Austin?

has a stable and growing housing market.

While this is positive in the long run, it does mean you will pay a hefty price for a new home.

According to a 2021 Lending Tree report, it is cheaper to rent than to buy a home in Austin.

What Makes Austin So Great?

There is no shortage of things to do in Austin.

Whether you enjoy getting out in nature, hunting for the best barbecue in town, or attending music concerts, there is something for everyone.

What Should I Know Before Moving to Austin? 

There are two major things you need to know before moving to Austin.

It gets hot, so prepare for the financial expense of air conditioning.

Austin is a driving city, so prepare to sit in traffic.

A lot.

3 Comments on 18 Pros and Cons of Living in Austin, TX

  1. ‘52_ says:

    Pretty spot on except for the cultural diversity bit , if you base that just on demographics that’s really misleading, every orientation, skin tone, can feel at home here , that barrier 35 use to be is near non existent … love that you had the housing market on both pros and cons the double edge sword is your house value will likely go up, unfortunately that might price you out

  2. Pretty much agree with the list and above comment but as an Austin resident for 40 years the diversity has taken a huge dive and gentrification is the reason. Missed from the list is the radical extremist policies of the state itself and that’s driving people away……myself included.

  3. Don’t forget the homeless on display under all of the bridges that all of the drivers have come to act as though they are invisible. Sunny days year round make for a better place to live if you are homeless. Someone should do a YouTube post of all of the encampments and people sleeping in alleys, parks, and more. Just another expensive gentrified big city. Only thing “weird” are the high property taxes to make up for the so called no state income tax.

    It’s a great place if you are coming from somewhere more expensive like the cities mentioned. Sell your 1000 square foot studio and come to austin and buy a house more than twice the size for cash only 40 minutes from downtown and have more than half a million cash left over to put in the bank.

    You could do worse, especially if you just ignore the urban planning that is always always 10 years behind. Austin always has been and always will be a developers town . Next Austin development disaster just outside of town in a pristine hill country are is Steve Wynn’s, yes Vegas mega projects Steve, Mirasol Springs luxury development for 70 families on 50 acres of pristine hill country that looks like something out of Middle Earth less inhabitants with creeks, streams, hills, and canyons.

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