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Old 03-28-2011, 08:37 AM
 
83 posts, read 81,484 times
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Why are y'all moving here? or Why did you move here? As a life-long Texan I'm just curious and I'd like to take an unscientific poll. Job? First time home buyer? Taxes? Please share if you would. Thank you!
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:43 AM
 
199 posts, read 365,891 times
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We are from CA. Moved here last year. Primary reasons for moving

1) Housing prices in Bay Area
2) Even with high home prices, public schools not as good as Austin, TX. So due to not great schools and competition with other kids you have to send yours to private school which is $15K-20K/yr/kid.

Other than above two reasons, CA (particularly Bay Area) is better than Austin. Even if one of the above is eliminated you will see significant decrease in number of Californians thinking about a move to TX.

>>>> As far as other finances go, I don't think there is a huge difference between Bay Area and Austin. TX doesn't have state income tax which saves about 10% of your income. However same experience/knowledge/field will fetch you ~15% more salary in Bay Area. I work in semiconductors, and a college graduate (with masters degree) will earn somewhere around 70-75K in Austin. Same person will earn around 85-90K in Bay Area. So the net (post tax) income is same.
>>>> We checked prices in Costco, Walmart, HEB (in TX) & Lucky(in CA), Randalls (in TX) & Safeway (in CA) and they are all same. Some item may be 5% cheaper here and some may be 5% expensive. Our grocery bill remains the same.
>>>> Gas prices are 40-60c less here. However I don't think that makes any difference
a) Nearly zero public transport option here compared to bay area. There were days when we used to hangout in San Francisco downtown and would take Caltrain. Here I don't see any option to save gas if I am visiting San Antonio. If someone works in SF there and lives in South Bay/East Bay they take Caltrain/BART. Here if you work outside Austin and live in Austin, you don't have any option but to use car.
b) One of the worst traffic congestion in US for comparable cities. Burns more gas.
c) I could count on finger number of times, we turned on car AC in Bay Area. Here we have to use it for good 4-5 months.

Last edited by infoseeker2010; 03-28-2011 at 09:08 AM..
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:44 AM
 
2,299 posts, read 3,376,488 times
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1. Cost of housing
2. Quality of public schools in the suburbs
3. Low crime
4. Weather
5. Entertainment offerings (music and outdoors)
6. Nice trails and parks (Zilker, Brushy Creek, etc.)
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:59 AM
 
2,285 posts, read 2,715,906 times
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Most of our family is in Texas. DH is a Texas native, and I am a UT grad. Spent 34 years in CA, but needed to return to help in the care of two family members. We had a great life in CA, but never lost the connection to TX due to frequent visits, family, etc.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:00 AM
 
199 posts, read 365,891 times
Reputation: 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark311 View Post
1. Cost of housing
2. Quality of public schools in the suburbs
3. Low crime
4. Weather
5. Entertainment offerings (music and outdoors)
6. Nice trails and parks (Zilker, Brushy Creek, etc.)

Hi Mark,

What part of CA did you live. We are from Bay Area and the ones in red above are much better in Bay Area than Austin.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:13 AM
 
2,299 posts, read 3,376,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infoseeker2010 View Post
[/color]
What part of CA did you live. We are from Bay Area and the ones in red above are much better in Bay Area then Austin.
I grew up in North County San Diego, but I lived in the South Bay for a couple years (San Jose/Santa Clara). I agree that 5 and 6 are better in some areas of CA. Crime levels (in the suburbs are what I'm comparing) are only better in the very expensive areas of CA. The problem is that if you can't afford a home or you can't afford to give your kids a good and safe education, then the rest of the reasons don't really matter much in my opinion.

The key isn't comparing the Austin area to CA because the cost of housing and the educational system there are unacceptable. The key is to compare the Austin area to the other areas that someone might consider moving to (ie. Portland, Seattle, Denver, etc). We ruled out anywhere that had snow because it's not something we felt we could adapt to. Austin ended up being the best alternative to CA for us and I don't think we would ever move back unless maybe to retire in San Diego someday.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:33 AM
 
83 posts, read 81,484 times
Reputation: 40
Thanks to everyone answering so far. It's really very interesting to me because Californians seem to continue to pour into the area in which I live and I don't see it slowing down any time soon. Welcome and thanks for keeping our home values from tanking! I'm married to one of you, so I have a soft spot.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:19 AM
 
140 posts, read 131,458 times
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Twice the quality of life @ half the cost IMO, frankly I'm surprised a lot more people have not left Cali for Central Texas...
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Broomfield, CO
1,448 posts, read 1,763,978 times
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See my comments in red:


Quote:
Originally Posted by infoseeker2010 View Post
We are from CA. Moved here last year. Primary reasons for moving

1) Housing prices in Bay Area
Housing prices in the bay area are INDEED expensive, no doubt about that. However, much of the "publicity" surrounding Austin as a viable alternative to the bay area, don't seem to take into account that any desirable parts of the Austin area are only SLIGHTLY cheaper. Sure, the suburbs are significantly cheaper, but that all boils down to "you get what you pay for"

2) Even with high home prices, public schools not as good as Austin, TX. So due to not great schools and competition with other kids you have to send yours to private school which is $15K-20K/yr/kid.
Many of the school systems in California are crappy, that is for sure. Lack of money, overcrowding, and poor overall test scores are big time problems. But Austin isn't dealing with much of the same problems? Money mismangement, layout off teachers left and right, cramming 40 kids into a classroom? Not really a huge difference. However, I believe the schools in the suburbs are a bit better.


Other than above two reasons, CA (particularly Bay Area) is better than Austin. Even if one of the above is eliminated you will see significant decrease in number of Californians thinking about a move to TX.

>>>> As far as other finances go, I don't think there is a huge difference between Bay Area and Austin. TX doesn't have state income tax which saves about 10% of your income. However same experience/knowledge/field will fetch you ~15% more salary in Bay Area. I work in semiconductors, and a college graduate (with masters degree) will earn somewhere around 70-75K in Austin. Same person will earn around 85-90K in Bay Area. So the net (post tax) income is same.
THat is correct. With the exception of housing prices, you really aren't paying too much more in other items, such as food, utilities, and transportation. I would say slightly higher in all those categories.


>>>> We checked prices in Costco, Walmart, HEB (in TX) & Lucky(in CA), Randalls (in TX) & Safeway (in CA) and they are all same. Some item may be 5% cheaper here and some may be 5% expensive. Our grocery bill remains the same.
Although I haven't compared the prices like you have, I would suspect you are fairly accurate.

>>>> Gas prices are 40-60c less here. However I don't think that makes any difference
Yes, gas prices are significantly higher in California, but that has more to do with the additive requirements than higher taxes. All fuel sold in California costs more because of additives to help burn cleaner and pollute less.

a) Nearly zero public transport option here compared to bay area. There were days when we used to hangout in San Francisco downtown and would take Caltrain. Here I don't see any option to save gas if I am visiting San Antonio. If someone works in SF there and lives in South Bay/East Bay they take Caltrain/BART. Here if you work outside Austin and live in Austin, you don't have any option but to use car.
Yes, public transportation is excellent throughout a good chunk of the bay area. However, some areas still need work. Caltrain and BART are great alternatives as well as great bus systems mostly within metro bay area counties. VTA, Samtrans, Golden Gate Transit, SF Muni area a few that come to mind. However, they are all having budget problems over the past few years. Yes, i am well aware of the laughable financial failure of CapMetro in Austin. Never seen such a waste of tax payer dollars before.


b) One of the worst traffic congestion in US for comparable cities. Burns more gas.
Yes, Austin is the most congested medium size metropolitian area in the nation. That coupled with some of the highest gas guzzling SUV and trucks on the road, make it one of the most polluting metro areas in the nation as well.


c) I could count on finger number of times, we turned on car AC in Bay Area. Here we have to use it for good 4-5 months.
Yes, the weather is pretty much as good as it gets out there. I have often told my buddies back home that we have 5 California days in Austin per year. It's amazing to me how many crappy weather days that you have here. Long streches of overcast weather, windy weather, hot, humid weather, up/down cold winter weather....like I said, that classic 72-75F, light winds, clear skies, great visabilities happens here about 5 times per year.

And wanna see a sunrise in Austin?? Forget it, except 5 days per year without clouds in the morning!


The unfortunate fact here is that many people are moving to Austin based on misinformation. If people realized these items:

* Worst medium size traffic congestion in the nation
* Highest home prices in Texas
* Among the highest property taxes in the country
* Not very family friendly - No zoo, no aqauirium, no amusement/theme parks

They may think twice about moving to Dallas or Houston instead. It's ALL about the media campaigns!!
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Broomfield, CO
1,448 posts, read 1,763,978 times
Reputation: 852
Yes, i agree. Obviously Austin couldn't compare overall to the bay area on it's WORST day, but we should compare Austin to similar size or slightly larger metro areas like Portland, Denver, Sacramento, or Salt Lake.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mark311 View Post
I grew up in North County San Diego, but I lived in the South Bay for a couple years (San Jose/Santa Clara). I agree that 5 and 6 are better in some areas of CA. Crime levels (in the suburbs are what I'm comparing) are only better in the very expensive areas of CA. The problem is that if you can't afford a home or you can't afford to give your kids a good and safe education, then the rest of the reasons don't really matter much in my opinion.

The key isn't comparing the Austin area to CA because the cost of housing and the educational system there are unacceptable. The key is to compare the Austin area to the other areas that someone might consider moving to (ie. Portland, Seattle, Denver, etc). We ruled out anywhere that had snow because it's not something we felt we could adapt to. Austin ended up being the best alternative to CA for us and I don't think we would ever move back unless maybe to retire in San Diego someday.
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