In our guide – moving to Austin, we discussed extensively things to know when moving to the great city.
Texas is the second-largest state in the United States by area. It offers varieties of landscape, both as regards terrain and cost of living.
To catch an idea of the total cost of living in Texas State, you need to get into state-wide metrics, as well as those of personal municipalities. Even though there are many large cities in Texas, there are also locations where prices and wages are much lower.
The cost of living in Austin ranked 153rd of the 248 Teleport cities in the country. Average living costs are much higher compared to other cities, especially in the housing market.
The cost of living in Austin is kind of lower than that of major cities from the South. Yet, it is very difficult to obtain a clearer picture when approaching this generally.
So, let us take a friendlier look at the cost of everything when you live here.
1. Housing Cost
Even though most cities in Texas have housing prices that are much lower than the national average, housing costs in Austin are much higher. Home pricing in Austin is almost 20% higher, at about $369,000.
These prices are continuously rising too, increasing as much as 4% per annum. This trend is expected to remain so in the coming years, as this area draws more residents.
For people who don’t want to purchase a home, or are not prepared to do so, there are numerous great single-and multi-family houses to rent.
Rental cost starts from $1,100 to $1,700 per month, which is much higher than most mortgages for the same properties.
Renters don’t have to pay for maintenance and repairs, costs of homeownership, homeowner’s insurance, and other related costs.
2. Utility Cost
Homeowners and renters both have different kinds of utility bills to pay every month. They may have to pay for gas, electricity, water, and removal services based on the style of their home.
These utilities are just below the country’s average, although it still adds some dollar amount per month to the cost of housing.
Only electricity runs around $150 per month on average, with costs increasing during the summer months when there is a need to leave the air conditioning on all through.
If gas is being used in the home to power furnace, oven, or other appliances, electricity costs can reduce a bit. Gas costs are typically between $20 and $50 per month for medium-sized homes with various appliances running on that fuel.
Phone bills for most homes cost about $154, while trash removal services only cost $25 to the monthly bills.
The water cost is solely dependent on usage, although homes spend a minimum of $35 per month.
3. Costs of Groceries
Based on the stores in Austin where people shop, their groceries from 7 – 15% lower than the country average. On their trips, they may discover that apples are about $2 per pound, while bananas are just $0.50 per pound.
If they decide to pick up 5pounds of rice, they will spend just $7 on the bag. A dozen eggs will cost them around $2.50 while a pound of chicken breast will cost just $3.50.
When residents don’t want to make a meal at home, they can eat at an affordable price at local restaurants. Fast-food meals usually charge below $8 total and dinner at a cheap sit-down restaurant is not up to double that amount at $15 per person. Two people can enjoy at a mid-range restaurant for below $50 and eat a three-course meal of their choice.
4. Transportation Cost
When paying for transportation costs, residents can prepare around 10% higher than the national average. Gas prices are about $2.40 per gallon and consistently rising.
When the weather is warm, and at the beginning of the travel season, gas prices begin to increase even rapidly, making it more costly for drivers to move around town. The cost of owning a car is beyond the prices of gas alone.
Drivers also have to pay for maintenance and repairs, including new tires that could cost more than $1,000 for some vehicles. If residents would prefer to take public transportation to where they are going, they will need to spend $1.25 per ticket.
This fare is only for a single ride across the city. When residents are traveling to their destination and back to the initial location again by bus, it is usually better for riders to get the day pass for $2.50.
And if they are commuting to work and back every day by taking the bus, then they should take up the 31-day pass as their best option. That pass will cost them more than $41 per month and allow many rides every day.
The good news is that there is no state income tax or estate taxes in Texas. This is why it is a good location for retirees to relocate to. If you want to find out about the potential; difference to your finances in Texas, we suggest that you speak with a financial advisor.
Sales tax in Texas State starts from 6.15% to 8.25%, with a gas tax of 20% a gallon. Similar to many states with no income tax, the property taxes in the Lone Star State are alarmingly high. The average valid property tax rate in Texas is 1.86%. Property tax rates in certain taxes even exceed 2.00%.
6. Healthcare Cost
When there is a need for residents to visit the doctor, they can do so cheaply in Austin, Texas. Even though the costs of procedures are not the same, the exact visit costs only about $110 for cash payment.
A visit to a dentist is priced the same at about $94. To get checked up by an optometrist, they can prepare to pay around $103, although that is excluding the price of corrective lenses if required.
The care providers may suggest medications, treatments, or lab work during these visits and that can increase the healthcare costs significantly. Most people spend an average of $440 for their prescription medication every month.
7. Childcare Cost
To make a living, a lot of households need to add childcare into their monthly costs. Residents may spend about $1,000 to the care providers to have one child attend daycare for a whole day.
This cost varies based on the level of care needed by the child. Children in diapers normally have expensive childcare costs than ones who are trained for potty already.
Childcare costs for children in school are lower since the care they need is only for half the day. Residents can save money on childcare by sharing a private babysitter or a nanny with another family.
Average Rent in Austin
Rent prices are affected by the dining scene, quality of schools, work commutes as well as other factors. Austin, Texas has a lot to offer in the employment market as a large technology hub.
Austin City Limits and South by Southwest present more entertainment to the city, and its outdoor activities, historical roots, and food scene keep it a nice choice. Even with the increase in housing demand, 1-bedroom in Austin is still $1,518 per month.
We’ve gathered average rent data all over the neighborhoods in Austin and analyzed them to figure out the most expensive and cheapest neighborhoods of the city.
The Most Expensive and Cheapest Neighborhoods in Austin
Closeness to trendy coffee shops, food trucks, older architecture, and arts and cultures has drawn the crowds to these areas. You can get the most expensive average rent around the city center, including Rosedale, Downtown, and Bouldin Creek.
Bird Lake runs across Downtown and with hiking, paddle boating, canoeing, and great views available for those living nearby.
Not up to 10 minutes from Downtown Austin, Mueller is the location for the most costly average rent in the city. The neighborhood that took the place of Robert Mueller Municipal Airport is now closed.
This is expected as the planned community has public transportation, a high score in walkability, and many retail and businesses.
Ways You Can Afford Living in Austin Texas
If you are planning to move or retire to Austin, below are a few tips that can assist you in stretching your budget.
- Try to share your space: Most of us might not find it friendly to our budget to own a house in the Downtown area. If you are young and want to boost your living options, try sharing your space by getting a roommate or rent out part of your space in your home. This option is considered by some older adults to be a great option as it also provides them, companions.
- Choose Austin apartments: Buying a home in Austin, unless you need something outside the city limit, can be expensive. Rather than getting a full house, you can get an apartment in Austin that has all the necessary amenities you need at half of the annual costs. The up-front cost is also highly affordable.
- Want to buy a home? Consider older homes: If you still prefer moving into your own home, consider older properties with fairly lower ceilings and fewer windows. You may have to buy more quality insulation, but the cost is small as compared with buying a much newer property. These little touches will enable you to keep your utility costs low and your money in your purse.
- Consider suburb living: As you go further outside Central Austin, you are open to more affordable living. If there is no obligation for you to live Downtown, one of the greatest neighborhoods or surrounding cities in the Austin area could be a perfect choice for you. You can also get many free activities and outdoor space to further extend your budget in these areas.
- Cook at home: Austin is home for food lovers, but that can come at a cost. If you plan to save money, include grocery shopping on your weekly task list, and save the eating out experiences till you have a special outing.
The Average Cost of Hiring Movers in Austin
The easiest moving option is to hire a full-service moving company, but you need to consider the costs before you decide whether or not it’s worth it. So, let’s look into the average cost of movers in Austin, Texas.
No of Movers
Don’t forget that these are average costs and are meant to provide you a rough idea. Your location and destination together with the item you are moving will affect the cost. Your costs will increase when the move involves dragging a huge item down several flights of stairs.
Also know that homes with multi-levels and managed apartments will usually need a copy of your moving company’s insurance.
You will want to take care of this before your move to avoid unnecessary stalling while your moving company messed up for their proof of insurance.
You should consider doing some work to reduce the cost of hiring a mover due to the high price tag.
With the knowledge of the cost of living in Austin, Texas, you can go through your budget to find out if moving to Austin is possible. That will make sure prospective residents are not shocked by the gaps in the cost of housing, transportation, and others.
To know whether moving to Austin, TX is the best option, read Why Are Californians Moving to Texas?