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Old 03-03-2010, 07:04 AM
 
17 posts, read 20,282 times
Reputation: 11
Unhappy Can I afford to move to Austin? Help

My company is wanting to relocate me to the Austin area to help service Freescale. I currently live in central Louisiana. I have been looking online and I'm beginning to wonder if we can afford to make this move. I make 50K, not sure if there will be a raise involved, I should know soon. My husband makes about the same, if he can find a job. He is a machinist. We have two children. Daycare seems to be outrageous! I pay $400 a month for my 10 month old at a home daycare. It looks like it will be at least $800 in Austin. We have a 3bd/2ba new brick home on 1 acre that is worth about 180K. We do not want to live downtown. We do not mind subdivisions, but we would like to have a decent size lot. Would like to live somewhere with good schools, my oldest son will start 2nd grade next year. Not sure what will be practical as far as commute time and such.
Please help. I need to know if this will be a huge mistake to make this move.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,889 posts, read 9,429,049 times
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Your husband's income would qualify you for a $1250/mo. mortgage, or a bit more if you rented. Yes, you could afford to live in the outskirts, such as Leander, and attend good schools and even stay at home yourself instead of working, unless you have other debt and bills to pay.

You won't have an acre, but your kids will have plenty of social activities and other kids around.

Go to this site:
Lease (http://austinhomesearch.com/Search/Lease.aspx - broken link)

and select Leander and/or Round Rock schools and plug in yout home criteria and you'll get a look at the rentals available. I would definately start by renting for one year due to your level of uncertainty. Then a year later if things are working out and you like it here, you can decide if you want to buy.

Good luck,

Steve
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:34 AM
 
1,150 posts, read 1,458,977 times
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Theres some houses on large lots(1+ acre) East of town in subdivisions that would probably suit you well.
Also there are homes in subdivisions South of town around the Dripping Springs area that have large lots though those tend to be pricier.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:38 AM
 
17 posts, read 20,282 times
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I can deal with less than an acre, but I don't want .10. Know what I mean. I have been looking, housing seems to be much cheaper. However, the lots are smaller and the taxes are insane.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,624 posts, read 17,401,323 times
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Quote:
However, the lots are smaller and the taxes are insane.
Yes, but also figure in no income tax, so overall taxes might not be quite so insane.

You might want to do a basic 'cost of living' comparison calculation (lots online), and while they are not necessarily completely accurate, they might serve as a basis for pushing for a slight raise, as well.

Do you know what Freescale site you will be working with mainly? There is one to the east of town and one to the southwest (plus a few minor ones here and there).
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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They need to up the homestead exemption in Texas to something like it is in Louisiana to make it fair. Something like $75,000. If you lose your job in Texas for a span of time the property taxes are unaffordable on unemployment and become downright punitive.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:24 AM
 
1,150 posts, read 1,458,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by questa98 View Post
I can deal with less than an acre, but I don't want .10. Know what I mean. I have been looking, housing seems to be much cheaper. However, the lots are smaller and the taxes are insane.
If you find a place that is maybe 5 acres that was previously used for farming you can get an Ag exemption which is a huge boon for taxes. Of course you'll have to have some horses or livestock.
The place to look is up and down East of Austin from Taylor to Bastrop all that area.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
73,364 posts, read 33,588,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orbius View Post
If you find a place that is maybe 5 acres that was previously used for farming you can get an Ag exemption which is a huge boon for taxes. Of course you'll have to have some horses or livestock.
The place to look is up and down East of Austin from Taylor to Bastrop all that area.
Travis county (Austin and some subdivisions) requires 10 acres for ag exempt. Don't know what Williamson county requires.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,889 posts, read 9,429,049 times
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Quote:
The place to look is up and down East of Austin from Taylor to Bastrop all that area.
They want good schools.

If you'll be near the freescale in NW Austin, that's going to be where you find the best combination of affordability and good schools. Most subdivision lots are .15 to .22 acres. The older the subdivision, the more likely the lot will be bigger. Also, a 2-story house provides a bigger yard due to the smaller foorprint.

I just leased a house I own in Leander which is a 4/2/2 single story for $1195/mo. That same house lease for $1325/mo. in 1999, so rents are very cheap in Austin compared to a decade ago during the tech boom.

Steve
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Back home in California
593 posts, read 1,010,135 times
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I would suggest that you start with salarydotcom. They have a salary/cost of living comparison calculator that will give you a dollars and cents idea of the cost compared to where you are now. Take care.
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