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Navigating the True Cost of Living in Austin: A Comprehensive Guide

Wednesday, February 7, 2024   /   by Julie Hutchison

Navigating the True Cost of Living in Austin: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the True Cost of Living in Austin: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the True Cost of Living in Austin: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction:
Are you contemplating a move to the vibrant city of Austin and eager to uncover the real expenses of living in this dynamic Texas locale? Look no further! In this detailed guide, we'll break down the costs of housing, utilities, healthcare, groceries, transportation, education, and more. Stay tuned until the end for some valuable insights into hidden expenses you might not have considered. Let's dive into the heart of Austin, Texas area living.

Cost of Living Overview: Austin, often perceived as a more affordable Texan city, has seen a surge in costs due to its tech boom. Ranked 89 out of 304 cities by NerdWallet in terms of expenses, it's essential to understand the breakdown.

1. Housing:

  • Average house cost in Austin City limits: $535,000
  • Suburbs like Williamson County: $426,000
  • Hayes County (south of Austin): $400,000
  • Caldwell County (including Lockhart): $289,000
  • Bastrop County (east of Austin): $340,000

Consider options like condos for lower budgets and be cautious with property investment due to high competition.

Rentals:

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom: $1,560/month
  • Average rent for a two-bedroom: $1,870/month
  • Apartments range from $977 to $1,869

2. Utilities:

  • Electricity: $147/month (average)
  • Water: $36/month (average)
  • Internet: $50/month (average)

Austin experiences extreme temperatures, affecting utility bills. Consider energy-efficient homes and explore solar options.

3. Groceries and Food:

  • Average monthly grocery cost: $300
  • Popular grocery store: H-E-B
  • Average fine dining meal: $36-38
  • Average cocktail: $13

While groceries are 10% lower than the national average, the temptation to eat out may increase expenses.

4. Healthcare:

  • Health insurance: $478/month (average)
  • Average doctor visit: $110
  • Dentist visit: $95
  • Optometrist: $130

Austin boasts quality healthcare but is slightly above the national average in costs.

5. Transportation:

  • Average gas cost: $2.60-$3/gallon
  • Limited public transit; a car is advisable
  • Average auto insurance: $979/year

Consider factors like traffic and the 2016 bond for bike lane expansion when budgeting for transportation.

6. Education:

  • Choose between private and public schools
  • Average private high school cost: $11,000/year
  • UT Austin tuition (Texas resident): $11,000/year
  • UT Austin tuition (non-resident): $38,600/year

Austin offers a mix of highly-ranked private and public schools, influencing educational costs.

7. Entertainment:

  • Average movie ticket: $12.50
  • Average live music ticket: Varies
  • Explore free local events
  • Budget for increased entertainment costs due to Austin's vibrant scene.

8. Taxes:

  • No state income tax
  • Higher property taxes; research neighborhood-specific rates
  • Sales tax: 8.25%

Hidden Costs:

  • Fitness and recreation expenses due to Austin's active lifestyle
  • Local, quality food may be pricier than expected
  • Increased entertainment spending
  • Potential salary adjustments; local salaries might not match national averages
  • High utility bills in older homes during extreme weather

Conclusion:
Moving to Austin offers a rich cultural experience, but it's crucial to plan your budget wisely. Consider not just the apparent costs but also the hidden ones to ensure a seamless transition into the vibrant Austin, Texas lifestyle. If you're still in doubt, reach out to Hutchison Property Group for expert guidance on finding the perfect place to call home in Austin. Good luck with your move!

eXp Realty | Hutchison Property Group
Julie Hutchison
9600 Great Hills Trail, Suite 150W
Austin, TX 78759
512-309-1991

Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS (alternatively, from ACTRIS) for the period through 2024.® IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use. It may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. The Austin Board of REALTORS®, ACTRIS and their affiliates provide the MLS and all content therein "AS IS" and without any warranty, express or implied. Data last updated: March 2, 2024
mls-CTXMLS.jpg IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use, and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. The data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.
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