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Old 01-15-2019, 08:10 AM
 
Location: East TX
2,090 posts, read 1,893,582 times
Reputation: 3180

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When you come to interview, have a scheduled appointment with a realtor and see what the options are. Nothing beats in-person information and actually seeing the neighborhood you may end up considering.

Only you can decide what is worth giving up to get out of the cold. We all make our own decisions based on our own preferences. For a non-drinker, looking for warmer climate but on a slightly above average salary, Austin would not be my first choice. It seems to me other cities may have more “shows” and cultural activities than Austin at a more reasonable cost of living for a single person. That’s just me.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,093 posts, read 36,899,672 times
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Not sure what's actually available, but there are one bedrooms on South Lamar north of Ben White in several complexes that would be closer to your price range. We used to live in a house in that area and at that time it was five minutes to downtown - these days maybe triple that depending on time of day because then it was 20 minutes to my husband's business at Rutland and Burnet Road in far north Austin.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:44 AM
 
339 posts, read 76,572 times
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That salary range will put you square in the house poor category. If you can afford a mortgage, can you sustain the tax and cost of living increases? The rent here will eat at least 1/3 of that salary very quickly. But plenty of people are wasting their money here doing that. But people are dumb and flock to new shiny things like birds.

My suggestion is to move to a city that is inexpensive now but with great up potential so you can be ahead of the cost curve.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,322 posts, read 9,608,863 times
Reputation: 13438
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
I say I live pay check to pay check with about that income, but I could easily cut out my two gym memberships (Golds and Camp Gladiator), get rid of a few of my subscription services (hulu, amazon), get rid of Amazon Prime, get some cheaper car insurance, etc to be able to be more comfortable. Like someone else said, that's hopefully for a household of more then one and poor budgeting. In addition, if that person you're speaking of would move closer to where they work (do they work in town?) they'd save on gas. I have a hybrid and drive about 450 miles a week (filled up for about $18 this weekend!) My gas is cheaper of course due to the mileage, but if you're driving from 25 miles out of town to in town plus all your other driving habits, that's a lot of money.





I'm living in a newer apartment complex (built 2016) on the far south side of Austin for $1240 a month. With the extras they give me (a month of free rent plus a 3% school district discount) it comes down significantly. I also have a small yard for my dog. If OP is okay with a bit of a drive (30 minutes or so north or south of the city center) they can find something newer within their budget. If they want to be close to downtown the could find something in the Hyde Park area or 78745 very easily. It wouldn't be big by any means, but its doable.
Yeah. Yet again people make it sound like Austin is out of reach. No, it's not. It is more affordable than many big cities and has remained so. How much longer who knows. You definitely can live decently on 55-60k here. That's a decent salary and there are MANY people in Austin who aren't Google employees and make less than that. Of course you won't live smack in the middle of downtown without a roommate, but you can find a place close to downtown at a doable price. It really depends on what matters to the OP - if having a shorter commute is important to him, then he needs to up the budget to 1500-1600. If he'd rather spend his paycheck on other things and spend less on rent, then he should expect to commute. Though it doesn't have to be "soul crushing". For many, especially people in places like the Northeast, commuting is a part of life.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
5,776 posts, read 8,239,652 times
Reputation: 3018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpacked View Post
That salary range will put you square in the house poor category. If you can afford a mortgage, can you sustain the tax and cost of living increases? The rent here will eat at least 1/3 of that salary very quickly. But plenty of people are wasting their money here doing that. But people are dumb and flock to new shiny things like birds.

My suggestion is to move to a city that is inexpensive now but with great up potential so you can be ahead of the cost curve.
Are you sure about that? 30% of 54000 is 18200. Divide that by 12 and you get $1350. Thirty percent of 61k is 18300. Divide that by 12 and you get 1525. That is not house poor by any stretch. You might even get an okay duplex in 78745 or 78723 for that price, both within an easy commute of downtown. (I know a couple renting a great 2/1 duplex within a block of the Hanks on Berkman for $1200).
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:41 PM
 
339 posts, read 76,572 times
Reputation: 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
Are you sure about that? 30% of 54000 is 18200. Divide that by 12 and you get $1350. Thirty percent of 61k is 18300. Divide that by 12 and you get 1525. That is not house poor by any stretch. You might even get an okay duplex in 78745 or 78723 for that price, both within an easy commute of downtown. (I know a couple renting a great 2/1 duplex within a block of the Hanks on Berkman for $1200).
Definitely. That is a base amount mortgage. No insurance, taxes or general maintenance added here. That is somewhere around 250k and is likely somewhere in Hays or Williamson counties. So, the transportation costs and loss of free time is certainly costly. Which will only get worse, not better.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:44 PM
 
35 posts, read 37,339 times
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Thanks for all of the input. As much as it killed me, I declined the interview. I talked to my property manager last night and I couldn't break my lease... with seven months left. That was the tipping point. I'm not gonna pay like $7,000 not to live here.

If I was a 20-something with nothing to lose, it might be different, but when you're older with savings, living comfortably, no debt, retirement plans, etc., it's much harder to do things on a whim.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:43 PM
 
36 posts, read 11,735 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by petsounds View Post
Thanks for all of the input. As much as it killed me, I declined the interview. I talked to my property manager last night and I couldn't break my lease... with seven months left. That was the tipping point. I'm not gonna pay like $7,000 not to live here.

If I was a 20-something with nothing to lose, it might be different, but when you're older with savings, living comfortably, no debt, retirement plans, etc., it's much harder to do things on a whim.
Wise choice. You did the right thing imo.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:51 AM
 
339 posts, read 76,572 times
Reputation: 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
Yeah. Yet again people make it sound like Austin is out of reach. No, it's not. It is more affordable than many big cities and has remained so. How much longer who knows. You definitely can live decently on 55-60k here. That's a decent salary and there are MANY people in Austin who aren't Google employees and make less than that. Of course you won't live smack in the middle of downtown without a roommate, but you can find a place close to downtown at a doable price. It really depends on what matters to the OP - if having a shorter commute is important to him, then he needs to up the budget to 1500-1600. If he'd rather spend his paycheck on other things and spend less on rent, then he should expect to commute. Though it doesn't have to be "soul crushing". For many, especially people in places like the Northeast, commuting is a part of life.
Why enter into something near the market peak? There is to much to lose. This town has gone from solid wood to veneer. It is doable, but why waste that much money on rent or mortgage. It is like feeding bears.
People need to do more research or risk leaping into the shallow end of the pool.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:32 AM
 
35 posts, read 37,339 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpacked View Post
Why enter into something near the market peak? There is to much to lose. This town has gone from solid wood to veneer. It is doable, but why waste that much money on rent or mortgage. It is like feeding bears.
People need to do more research or risk leaping into the shallow end of the pool.
Aside from the "not being able to break my lease" thing, that was an issue, too. I could definitely live on $60k, but how much "living" can you do after you pay your bills? For example, I'm about to drop about $1k on a new bike, which doesn't hurt me here, but I would definitely not be able to do that if I moved; at least not for awhile. So, it would be like "Hey, I'm here with nice weather and tons of bike trails, but I still have to ride my crappy bike that is falling apart."

Also, if I actually already lived in Austin, I think I'd have a far better understanding of how one can live with X amount of salary. Obviously, I've been to Austin, I have a lot of friends there and I was even put in touch with a realtor, but until you're experiencing it, it's all facts and figures. The consensus seems to be under $70k is tight if you actually want to enjoy the city, so that's what I went with. Again, thanks for the input.

Also, it this reminds me of how cheap it is to live in the Midwest. Thankfully, I don't hate where I live. I live right in the middle of downtown in a big city. I'm not fond of the winters or the crime or the lack of more liberal ideologies, but it's not the worst.
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