Moving From Seattle to Austin – A Complete Guide
Moving from a bustling city like Seattle to the country lifestyle of Austin will be a huge change for you. Austin and Seattle are cities with booming economies, diversity, and opportunities alike. But when it comes to lifestyle, weather, culture, and way of living, both cities are very different from one another. The unofficial motto of Austin is “Keep Austin Weird” and the city has a lot of entertaining and outdoor activities to engage in.
Also known as the Silicon Hills, Austin is one of the best cities in Texas to live in. It’s no surprise that a large number of people have been moving here in recent years, and you’re probably someone considering this move! We have a guide that will show you how both Austin and Seattle are similar and different from one another in different aspects. It will give you a clear picture as to whether moving from Seattle to Austin will be a good idea for you.
The weather in Austin and Seattle is the complete opposite of each other. It is one of those things that will take you some time to warm up to. Austin experiences humid and subtropical weather whereas Seattle is known for its gloomy, gray sky.
The summers in Austin are extremely hot and humid, and carrying around sunscreen to protect your skin is very important. The month of July is the hottest month and the temperatures during this time reach a high of 96°F. Comparatively, the weather in Seattle during summers isn’t as harsh. The average temperature in Seattle during the summers is 75°F at its highest.
The winters in Austin are brief and mild. Winters last from November through February and the temperature reaches an average low of 38°F in the city. The winters in Seattle have the same average temperatures but are longer and accompanied by rainfall and some snowfall. Austin experiences snowfall in very rare cases while Seattle experiences about 5 inches of snowfall a year.
Austin is usually always hot and humid with hot winds. Taking a dip in the pool is going to be a common occurrence for you if you aren’t used to the heat!
Both the cities have a real estate market that is competitive and on the steeper end of the curve. However, buying a house in Austin is not as expensive as in Seattle. Moving from Seattle to Austin will be a better change financially, as you can buy a house at a comparatively affordable rate here. It is partially a reason why over 51% of the residents in Austin are homeowners. Additionally, you find a variety of homes here; you have apartments, condos, family homes, and even townhomes.
With the help of Zillow, we’ve put down a table with the median home values in Austin and Seattle.
|Austin, Texas||Seattle, Washington|
|Median Home Value||$625,906||$900,085|
Just like buying a house, renting a house in Austin and Seattle is very expensive. Renting a house in Austin is much more affordable compared to renting in Seattle. 48% of residents in Austin live in rented homes. Most neighborhoods in the city have ample houses for rent. You can find shared rental spaces as well as bungalows and houses that you can rent out in most neighborhoods.
To help you better understand what the rent in each city is like, we have listed a table below.
|1 Bedroom||2 Bedroom||3 Bedroom|
Texas is one of the nine states to not impose income tax on its residents. Thanks to this, you will be exempt from paying any kind of income taxes when moving from Seattle to Austin. This is one tax where you will be saving some amount of your salary.
But don’t get too excited–Austin soon catches up with its high sales tax. The sales tax in Austin is 8.25% which is much higher than that of the national average of 6.5%. Comparatively, the sales tax in Seattle is much higher at the rate of 10.1%. The property tax in Austin, on the other hand, is 1.97%. This rate is higher than the national average and also Seattle’s average.
Your utilities and other household expenses are some of the bigger expenses that need to be paid in due time each month. According to Payscale, your monthly utilities and other expenses in Seattle are 49% higher than the national average. But when it comes to your expenses in Austin, they are 3% lower than the national average.
Your basic utility bills that cover water, garbage disposal, electricity, cooling, and heating bills for the month are lower in Austin than that in Seattle. In Austin, your utility bill averages up to $143 a month. Also, if you want a decent internet connection, you can add an additional $63 a month.
The food and groceries that you need on a monthly basis are also a part of your household expenses. And, thanks to lower costs, moving from Seattle to Austin means you can finally start to eat healthier! According to Payscale, your groceries in Austin are 12% lower, while in Seattle, they are 27% higher than the national average. In Austin, a gallon of milk costs you $1.60 and a loaf of bread costs you $2.94.
Your healthcare expenses are some of the most important expenses to consider. According to Payscale, healthcare expenses in Austin are 1% lower, while in Seattle they are 24% higher than the national average. Your one-time visit to the doctor’s office costs you $110 in Austin and a one-time visit for your pet in the vet’s office costs you $52.
If you look at the crime rates in Austin and Seattle, Austin is a much safer place to live in. In Austin, the crime rate is 43 per 1,000 residents and in Seattle, it is 59 per 1,000 residents. Seattle is safer than just 2% of the cities in the US, whereas Austin is safer than 5%. This is not a very big difference, but it does matter when you look at the overall crime rates in the cities.
The violent crime rate in both Austin and Seattle is higher than the national average of 4. In Seattle, the violent crime rate is 6.6 while in Austin it is 4.8. Living in Austin, you have a 1 in 205 chance of being a victim of violent crime.
The property crime rate in Austin is 38.04 which is twice the national average of 19. But, at the same time, the property crime rate in Seattle is skyrocketing to a higher level and is at 52.5. This makes Austin a relatively safer city to reside in.
Overall, your chances of being a victim of either a violent or property crime in Austin is 1 in 23 people while that in Seattle is 1 in 17 people. So if you weigh your options, it is evident that moving from Seattle to Austin will be a wise decision for you.
Also Read: Moving From California To Oregon
As you may know, Seattle has one of the best economies in the USA along with an exceptionally well-rounded employment market. But, Austin is not too far behind either. The economy of Austin has been growing at a consistent rate and the GDP of the city was $168 million in 2020. The technology industry in the city has been a huge contributor to the economic growth of the city.
It is also one of the major reasons why there are ample job opportunities available for professionals and fresh graduates in the city. Due to its advancements in the tech industry, Austin is also known as the ‘Silicon Hills’. Real estate, IT, food and production, technology, healthcare, design, development, engineering, life science, data management, and space technology are some of the other industries in Austin that contribute to both the economy and the job market.
|Austin, Texas||Seattle, Washington|
|Average Income Per Year||$74,000||$83,000|
The unemployment rate in Austin is 2.9% which is lower than the national average. This goes to show that the city has ample job opportunities available for all. Some of the top employers in Austin are SoftServe, National Instruments, EZ, Keller Williams Realty, Whole Foods Market, Celestica, Arrow Value Recovery, Firestone Holdings, Harden Healthcare, etc. Alongside, some top companies like Dell, Apple, and IBM have their headquarters in the city.
Education is an important factor to consider if you are moving from Seattle to Austin with your family and children. The quality of education in both cities is extremely well maintained. Both cities have some of the top-rated schools and universities that provide education to students from preschool through to their postgraduate degrees. Austin is very well known for the University of Texas that provides some of the best postgraduate courses to students from across the country.
We have listed down some of the best schools and colleges in Austin with the help of Greatschools.org.
- Hill County School
- Elsa England Elementary School
- Canyon Vista Middle School
- West Lake High School
- Harmony School of Endeavor
- Chaparral Star Academy
- Concordia University
- St. Edward’s University
- Austin Community College
- University of Texas at Austin
- Huston-Tillotson University
If you think that traffic congestion when moving from Seattle to Austin would make a difference, you are wrong. Unlike the empty roads that you find in Texas, Austin is known for its bad traffic congestion in most areas. The lack of public transport in the city is a big contributor to these constant traffic jams across the city.
The public transportation in Austin consists of MetroExpress, MetroBus, MetroRail, and MetroRapid. All of these systems are a part of the Capital Metro Transit in Austin that covers routes in, around, and across the city. These systems run consistently during the rush hours and have a more restricted schedule over the weekends.
You can hop on any of these transportation systems using the CapMetro mobile app. It is the easiest way to get hold of tickets and passes if you are going to be a regular user. The tickets are affordable but navigating the system can be a bit tough. So, it’s best to use the app and figure out the routes and transit systems most convenient to you.
So, if you’re moving from Seattle to Austin, we recommend you get yourself a car or live in a neighborhood that is closest to your workplace or university. That will make traveling a bit easier for you.
Allandale is a quiet suburban neighborhood in Austin. It is a few minutes away from downtown Austin and is full of amenities that you’ll need to have a bustling lifestyle. Life in this area of Austin is quiet with beautiful scenery and a tight-knit community. It is an overall attractive neighborhood, apt for retired couples and families alike. It is very accessible from the rest of the city as well.
Median Home Value: $478,021
Annual Median Household Income: $102,516
Monthly Median Rent: $1,477
Barton Hills is one of the most developed and established neighborhoods in Austin. Located in the southern parts of Austin, the neighborhood is well connected with the rest of the city and the downtown regions as well. There is no lack of amenities here. It is a neighborhood that combines old-style homes with modern and updated interiors; you will find homes dating back to the 1930s but also homes that are built in the past few years. It is a neighborhood of diversity occupied by families, professionals, and retired couples.
Median Home Value: $522,698
Annual Median Household Income: $83,675
Monthly Median Rent: $1,885
Bluebell Ridge is a small community that is family-friendly with a proactive lifestyle. It is a safe neighborhood that has some good schools, biking trails, parks, playgrounds, creeks, and great outdoors. It is perfect for families with children to call home. The neighborhood also celebrates festivals, food truck festivals, pool time, and music concerts together. It is a great place to also visit for a small getaway. The suburban life and close community celebration are what make it stand out from the rest of the neighborhoods in Austin.
Median Home Value: $743,000
Annual Median Household Income: $78,900
Monthly Median Rent: $1,561
Downtown is one of the busiest neighborhoods in Austin. With cars and buses bustling all day long, the neighborhood is almost never quiet but always busy. It is a popular destination among youth and professionals to live in. It is close to some of the best companies in the city. There are ample job opportunities here for professionals seeking to excel in their careers. You will also find all kinds of houses to live in here but to give you a fair warning, the real estate market here is on the higher end.
Median Home Value: $831,905
Annual Median Household Income: $119,345
Monthly Median Rent: $3,131
Moving is a big expense that you need to consider before you make any concrete plans. When moving from Seattle to Austin you will be covering over 2,125 miles of distance. This is not a small distance and moving will be an added expense. The average cost of moving from Seattle to Austin will cost you anywhere between $3,400 to $7,000. This cost depends on how many services you avail of and what company you hire as well.
Also Read: 11 Best Austin TX Neighborhoods to Live In
The city of Austin is a beautiful place to live in. It’s very unlikely for you to not like the warm and sunny Austin better than the rainy and cloudy Seattle. Just like the culturally diverse Seattle, Austin too is a buzzing metropolitan area with job opportunities, lower cost of living, and a slightly better transportation system than Seattle.
The friendly and lively neighborhoods, quality education, affordable real estate, and bustling nightlife all contribute to the attraction people have towards Austin. If you like the charm of the city and the friendly and warm minds that ‘Keep Austin Weird”, moving from Seattle to Austin will be a great idea for you.
The cost of living in Austin is 3% lower than the national average and that of Seattle is 49% higher than the national average. The real estate, utilities, housing expenses, and healthcare expenses in Austin are all lower than the national average and Seattle as well. This makes Austin fairly cheaper than Seattle.
Moving from Seattle to Austin is quite a long-distance move. A move over such a distance costs anywhere between $3,400 to $7,000. This will change if you go the DIY route completely or just hire a moving company to take care of everything. So, make sure you consider all your aspects carefully.
Like any other two cities, Austin and Seattle are both very similar and yet different in their own aspects. But both Austin and Seattle are very similar cities when it comes to the vibe of the city. Both cities have steady economic growth, a great job market, good schools, and universities, and also ample amenities.
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