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Moving to Austin: The Cost of Living

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Overview:

Austin, Texas is the home of the home of the original Whole Foods, the Drag, and the bats of Congress Bridge. For those who are looking to move to Austin, the downtown high-rise condos and midtown mid-rise apartments might be daunting. The Austin real estate market is competitive, though, with a wide range of options.

In 2007 the average cost of living in Austin was lower than the average cost of living nationwide. Still, Austin still ranks among the priciest cities to live in Texas. The National Association of Realtors reported that the median home price in Austin was $183,700 while the national median was $217, 800.

Facts and figures: Living in Austin:

  • The median home age is 23 years. The median home value is $283,959.
  • The median income is $48,703.
  • The median age is 38 years.
  • Unemployment is 4.2%.
  • 1.2 million people live in Austin. The population is expected to pass 2 million in the next decade.

Austin rates a 101 on the cost of living index. This mean that living in Austin, Texas is 10% more expensive than the cost of living is 1 percent more than the average cost of living. Other major cities in Texas rate: Houston (74), Dallas (90), El Paso (79).

Taxes:

Taxes in Austin stack up well against the rest of the nation. State and local taxes per $1,000 of income are lower than the national average. Property and sales taxes ranked higher in Texas than the national average; however, Austinites are not subject to pay individual income or corporate income taxes. In 2008, property taxes for the Austin metro area averaged at 2.18 percent.

Schools:

Austin has been called one of the most educated cities in the country. It is home to innumerable charter and private schools. Austin Independent School District is the largest school district in the Austin area. It serves nearly 80,000 students. During the 2004-2005 school year the student/teacher ratio was 14.4:1. The TEA rated the district “Academically Acceptable.”

Austin proper is also home to the University of Texas, St. Edwards University, and Concordia. Austin is also very close to Texas State University (San Marcos) and Southwestern University (Georgetown).

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