Moving from Los Angeles to Austin? You're in for quite the adventure. Trading palm trees and ocean breezes for Texas BBQ and live music might seem daunting at first. But trust me, it's a change worth making.

The vibrant culture in Austin is nothing short of amazing. Imagine swapping LA's traffic jams for paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake or catching an impromptu concert downtown instead of battling the 405 freeway.

Plus, let's not forget the financial perks. Housing costs alone can be nearly half what you'd pay in LA! Whether you're drawn by tech opportunities or simply craving a slower pace with friendly faces around every corner—Austin has it all.

Key Insights for Moving to Austin from LA

  • Cultural and Lifestyle Adjustments: Austin boasts a vibrant culture with a "Keep Austin Weird" mentality, thriving music, arts scene, outdoor activities, and unique food options like Texas BBQ and breakfast tacos.

  • Financial Benefits: The cost of living in Austin is significantly lower than in LA, with housing costs nearly half as much, and lower utility, transportation, grocery, and entertainment expenses.

  • Job Market: Austin's job market is booming, especially in tech, with major companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook establishing a presence. The city also offers opportunities in healthcare, education, and government sectors.

  • Neighborhoods: Austin offers diverse neighborhoods, from trendy spots like East Austin and South Congress to family-friendly suburbs like Cedar Park and Bee Cave, and luxurious areas like West Lake Hills.


Cultural and Lifestyle Adjustments

The vibrant culture in Austin is nothing short of amazing. Imagine swapping LA's traffic jams for paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake or catching an impromptu concert downtown instead of battling the 405 freeway.

  • "Keep Austin Weird" Mentality: Austin's slogan embodies the city's love for all things unique and quirky. Supporting local businesses, celebrating creativity, and letting your freak flag fly is the norm here.
  • Music and Arts Scene: Dive into the legendary music scene with shows at hole-in-the-wall bars and massive festivals like Austin City Limits. The arts scene is thriving too, with galleries, museums, and public art installations.
  • Outdoor Activities: With stunning green spaces like Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pools, hiking and biking trails, and water sports on Lake Travis, there's always a way to enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Unique Food Scene: From mouth-watering BBQ to breakfast tacos and an innovative culinary scene, Austin's food offerings are diverse and delicious.

barton springs

Moving to Austin involves a rich blend of cultural and lifestyle adjustments. Embracing the city's vibrant music scene, diverse food culture, and the welcoming spirit of its residents can make the transition smoother and more enjoyable. With its warm climate, numerous outdoor activities, and a strong sense of community, Austin offers newcomers an exciting and fulfilling new chapter.

Financial Benefits and Cost of Living Comparison

Moving to Austin comes with significant financial perks.

  • Lower Housing Costs: Housing costs in Austin can be nearly half of what you'd pay in LA. This allows for more disposable income and the potential to save for a down payment on a house.
  • Utility and Transportation Expenses: Utility bills and transportation costs are more reasonable in Austin, reducing the financial burden of daily living.
  • Grocery and Entertainment Costs: Even grocery shopping and entertainment are more affordable, making it easier to enjoy life without constantly worrying about expenses.
  • Overall Cost of Living: Austin's overall cost of living is 16.2% lower, giving you more financial freedom even if salaries might be slightly lower than in LA.

When you look at the overall cost of living index, it's clear that Austin comes out ahead. Housing, utilities, groceries, transportation - across the board, it's just more affordable.

The average home value in Austin is $548,654, and in Los Angeles, it's $967,128. If you take a look at the different between their average rent, there's a significant difference too. In Austin, the average rent for a one-bedroom home is $1,449/month and in Los Angeles, it's $2,123/month. Even if you compare the home value and rent prices in other major cities in California such as San Francisco or San Diego, Austin appears to be the lowest among the three.

Of course, salaries in Austin may be slightly lower than in LA. But when you factor in the lower cost of living, it more than evens out. 

Job Market and Economic Opportunities

Austin's job market is booming, especially in the tech industry.

  • Tech Industry and Startup Scene: With companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook setting up shop, and a thriving tech startup scene, career growth opportunities are abundant.
  • Salary Ranges and Job Opportunities: Salary ranges in Austin are competitive, especially when factoring in the lower cost of living. Job opportunities are plentiful, with a low unemployment rate.
  • Other Major Industries: Austin also has major industries in healthcare, education, and government, along with a vibrant creative sector.
  • Networking and Professional Development: The city offers numerous events, workshops, and meetups for professional growth and networking.

tech scene in austin

Speaking of salaries, let's talk about the job market in Austin. Because honestly, that was another huge factor in my decision to move. Austin has become a major hub for the tech industry in recent years. Companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook have all set up shop here, and the startup scene is absolutely booming. The opportunities for career growth and advancement are incredible. And the community of like-minded professionals is so supportive and collaborative.

Finding the Right Neighborhood

When moving from California to Texas, specifically LA to Austin, finding the perfect neighborhood was key. It's essential to consider what matters most, such as schools, commute times, amenities, and the overall vibe.

Overview of Popular Austin Neighborhoods

Exploring trendy spots like East Austin and South Congress revealed undeniable quirky charm. The peaceful, tree-lined streets of Tarrytown and the friendly community vibe in Hyde Park were equally appealing. Austin boasts numerous great neighborhoods, each with its own unique personality, making it all about finding the right fit.

Suburban Options for Families: Cedar Park and Bee Cave

For those moving with kids, suburban options are worth considering. Cedar Park and Bee Cave offer more square footage for the money, highly-rated schools, and family-friendly amenities. The excellent schools are a significant draw for young families putting down roots.

Luxury Living in West Lake Hills

For those seeking a taste of the high life, West Lake Hills provides luxury living, Austin-style. This neighborhood features stunning hill country views, sprawling estates, and a quick commute to downtown, making it the crème de la crème of Austin neighborhoods. In addition to West Lake Hills, neighborhoods like Barton Creek, Davenport Ranch, and Lost Creek offer similar luxury living experiences, with beautiful landscapes and top-tier amenities.

Neighborhoods with Top-Rated Schools

Schools can make or break a neighborhood for families, and Austin has some top-notch options. Eanes ISD consistently ranks among the best in the state, with Westlake and Rollingwood feeding into it. Lake Travis ISD, serving Lakeway, Bee Cave, and Spicewood, is another excellent choice. Finding the right Austin neighborhood is a personal journey, involving understanding priorities and exploring various options. Don't hesitate to explore and get a feel for different areas; the perfect spot is out there waiting.

central austin neighborhood

Austin has so many great neighborhoods, each with its own unique personality. It's all about finding your tribe.

Navigating the Moving Process

Moving cross-country is no joke; it's a logistical challenge and an emotional rollercoaster. However, with some smart strategies, one can keep the stress to a minimum. Here's what you can  learn in the trenches:

  • Professional Movers vs. DIY: Decide between the convenience of professional movers or the cost savings of a DIY move.
  • Estimating Moving Costs: Use a moving cost calculator and create a budget spreadsheet to track expenses.
  • Packing and Preparing: Purge unnecessary items, invest in quality packing supplies, and label everything clearly. Pack a first-night box with essentials.
  • Transporting Vehicles and Large Items: Consider driving your car or using an auto transport company. Hire specialty movers for large items like pianos.

woman writing on a box

Moving, especially cross-country, is not cheap. Using a moving cost calculator to get a ballpark estimate and then creating a budget spreadsheet with columns for estimates and actual costs can help prevent overspending. It is important to factor in things like gas, lodging, and meals if driving, as those costs add up quickly on a 1,400-mile move. 

Settling into Your New Home

Once in Austin, take your time unpacking and arranging your new home. Explore your new neighborhood, get involved in the community, and build your social network. Embrace the adventure and enjoy getting to know your new city.

You made it. Now the fun part begins - making your new house a home. Take your time unpacking and arranging furniture. Resist the urge to do it all in one weekend. Explore your new neighborhood. Find your new favorite coffee shop, grocery store, walking trail. Get involved in your community. Join a rec sports league, volunteer, attend events. Building a social network takes time but it's so worth it. Moving from LA to Austin is a big change. Give yourself grace as you adjust. Embrace the adventure and enjoy getting to know your new city. Before you know it, you'll be a true Austinite, breakfast taco in hand.

Deciding to Move to Austin from Los Angeles

Considering a move from Los Angeles to Austin? You're stepping into a city with great food, fantastic music, affordable living spaces, and burgeoning tech opportunities. Whether you crave downtown excitement or suburban peace, Austin has a spot that feels right for you. This move could transform your daily life, making it more enjoyable and financially freeing. Now, if you're looking for a guide that will help make your moving experience stress free, visit our moving to Austin checklist!

Ready to make the move and embrace the Austin vibe? Our experienced real estate consultants are here to help you every step of the way. Click here to speak with a real estate consultant and start your exciting new chapter in the heart of Texas!


Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on
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