Austin Provides Former New Yorkers A Better Lifestyle

austin is better

Courtesy of Modern Relics

New Yorkers young and old are leaving the fast-paced lifestyle and high costs of the Big Apple in favor of what Austinites might call a more sensible way of life. New statistics show a jump in the number of New York residents who are moving to Texas cities, including Austin.

The numbers are admittedly modest, but the statistics show a significant rise. While a number of things account for New Yorkers wanting to move to Austin, the city’s established reputation as a fun and funky place and its growing reputation for a higher than average quality of life are among them.

The Money Factor

In 2005, IRS data showed that 328 New Yorkers moved to Texas, some of those to Austin. In 2010, the number was 643, according to research compiled by the Center for an Urban Future — a nearly 100 percent jump. More specifically, the number of Brooklyn residents who moved to Austin jumped from 83 in 2005 to 224 in 2010.

Austin Jobs

Courtesy of Fleur Design

Experts agree that the migration comes down to money and other quality of life issues. Some come for jobs — something Austin has and New York doesn’t at the moment. When they get here, they discover that their New York savings goes much farther toward the home of their dreams than it would have in their home state.

Also, larger homes are available here at reasonable prices. That includes homes with large yards. Even better, they find that everything from clothing to groceries and theatre tickets to baseball game admission is less expensive too.

The Quality Of Life Factor

While many of them probably expect that Texas is a cultural void, they find high-quality musicals, plays and other performing arts productions as well as the live music and fun nightlife that Austin is known for.

The culture here isn’t exactly like New York, and that makes for a nice change in some people’s eyes.

Some people also find that living in Austin rather than in New York is less complicated. Driving is almost impossible there, neighbors are always close by and winter storms further complicate everything.

In Austin, the weather is more agreeable for many — with freezes relatively uncommon and snow storms too rare to mention. Summers can get hot, but New York summers are hot too.

Life’s Better Here

About 60 percent of the New York residents who moved between 2000 and 2009 moved to a southern state, according to one study.

In other studies, people have listed high taxes, the high cost of living and problems finding jobs in New York as reasons to head for something different. One moving company study recently showed that New Yorkers are the fourth likeliest of all Americans to move out of state in 2013.

Although it’s too soon to tell if it’s made any impact, Texas attorney general Greg Abbott has also run ads in New York encouraging citizens to move to Texas for greater personal liberties protection.

Depending on who you ask, leaving New York for Austin is either about escaping or arriving.

While getting away from cold weather, high housing and living costs and a confining metropolis are great reasons to leave the East Coast, the same things that attract others to Austin make it a magnet for those seeking a higher quality of life outside the confines of America’s biggest city.

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Are Austin Home Selling Prices Rising Too High?

It’s no secret that Austin home prices are higher than comparable homes in other Texas cities, and that sounds like great news if you want to sell a home in this area. Buyers here must be willing to pay more than those in other cities so they can live, work and enjoy the most vibrant and interesting city in Texas, right?

But are home prices now rising so high that it’s impossible to sell a home at the current market value?

You Could Get Lucky

For some buyers, there’s no such thing as too much to pay. That’s because the price a buyer is willing to pay sometimes depends more on subjective personal criteria than on objective financial information. Some buyers may find your home absolutely perfect for them and be willing to pay as much as necessary to acquire it.

The right buyer might be willing to outbid three or four other buyers because of your home’s easy access to Mopac, its proximity to their new employer or the funky vibe of your close-in neighborhood. If you find a buyer like that, house price trends and market analyses don’t matter. You’ll sell high, and everyone will be satisfied.

Some buyers are willing to put a little more money at risk on a house that could decline in value or at least fail to increase in value so they can have the right home — if their mortgage lenders will let them. But how many buyers are there like that? And how likely is it you’ll get connected with one?

The Issue Of Affordability

There are a number of positive economic signs working to bring up housing prices in Travis County, including new employers coming into the area and a still-inadequate supply of existing homes for sale. This upward trend has been happening to some degree since the city first started its recovery from the economic downturn, but the market has shown particular strength in the last year.

In some cities around the country, there’s an issue with house prices rising more quickly than income levels. This declining affordability of homes is actually a positive sign for the economy in many ways, but it means fewer people are in a position to afford each house on the market, and that means fewer offers and more homes going unsold. This will inevitable lead to lower home prices in these areas in the long run.

But that’s not what we’re seeing in Austin. This is a growing city with lots of people moving to the area and a relatively limited supply of homes on the market. That means each home may get multiple bids, driving prices up.

It’s A Confusing Market

If you’re selling a home in Austin today, the market may be confusing to you. That’s because it’s an improving market. Some statistics indicate that home prices in the area are more comparable to those in other Texas cities than most think, but there’s still a perception that Austin home prices are too high.

Additionally, it isn’t known exactly how money those new employees who are moving to the area for jobs that haven’t been created yet will make, so you can’t be sure how much they can afford.

But this much is certain: Your Austin home is worth more today than it was even a year ago. And to those homebuyers who really like it, it’s worth even more than that. Just be aware there’s a danger of overpricing your home for this still-recovering market, and be willing to come down if you don’t get a bite right away.