SD to Austin - 18 months later

It’s been a little over 18 months since we moved to Austin and this post about 6 months overdue. I apologize as It’s been quite busy since starting a new job shortly before the one year anniversary, but with the world on lockdown, I find myself with a little more time to devote to hobbies, back-logged projects, and self-improvement. Without rambling too much longer, I’d like to go over my thoughts on living in Austin over the past 18 months.

The People

As I noted in the original post on moving to Austin from SD. People being very friendly has held true. I’ve continually noticed that people will go out of their way to help you. Something I didn’t see quite as much in CA. Not to say people in CA are not friendly. I just felt it was less likely to have a random stranger offer help.

I do feel for the Austinites that have lived here for decades as the city is a shell of what it was before. The sheer growth of people from all over the country has changed the cities characted. For better of for worse is up for debate. Also, more and more people are being affected from the increased CoL and its apparent with the growing homeless population. It is more troublesome than what I have experienced in San Diego and hope solutions are put in place to help those affected.

The Cost of Living

Yes, I raved about the cost of living before and it is still a lot cheaper but not as much as I would have expected. There are still expensive areas and restaurants in Austin and it’s only getting more expensive. Housing prices are not much less than SD in desirable areas near the city center but significantly more so in the suburbs. I’ve benefited from not paying property taxes thus far and am not looking forward to doing so in the coming months when I move forward with purchasing property here. Most of the savings come in everyday expenses such as gas and groceries. There is also the added benefit of renting and not having state income tax. The extra cash pocketed has funded increased travel and savings which I’d take in a heartbeat over the so-called beach/weather tax in CA.

Job Market

Being a software engineer, I don’t think theres a better place to be. Sure there are other hot spots in SF, NY, Seattle, etc. but they are all very expensive CoL wise and I suspect don’t have the growing city vibe that I have grown to love in Austin. I have first hand experienced the job market when I lost my job last year and was able to land a gig with a company that I am very happy to be a part of. I don’t think I would have been exposed to as great opportunities had I stayed in San Diego. On top of it all I love that kolaches and breakfast tacos are regularly brought in for lunch.

Food

Outstanding. I haven’t found a shortage of any cuisine I am interested in. Sure there is better quality and diversity in food capitals such as NY, LA, or SF but there hasn’t been an issue as nearly everything is here that would satisfy my cravings. With frequent trips out to SoCal to visit family there is nothing missed. Not to mention foods in Texas that can’t be found elsewhere – BBQ, TX style Tacos, kolaches, and a wide range of fusion foods.

Traffic

It’s not nearly as bad as other major cities from what I’ve experienced, but very bad for the city size. The infrastructure is just not their to support the booming population. I do not look forward to the day I have to commute.

TLDR

Austin is a great city. It is struggling growing pains like increased traffic, homelessness, and an increasing CoL but the good has outweighed the bad and I look forward to planting some roots here and purchasing a home in the near future.