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Planning a Move to Austin -
The Pride of Central Texas

Are you moving to Austin? Congratulations! You're so lucky, you're riding a gravy train with biscuit wheels, as a Texan saying goes.

Austin tops many of America's best cities lists. Named the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's 2013 most business-friendly U.S. city and The Business Journals' 2013 best place for young adults, Austin, Texas-ATX-is a wise choice indeed.

Expect company, though.

With an estimated annual population growth rate of three percent in 2012 and 2013, a three percent rate of job growth in 2012, 4.9 percent unemployment and an economy that expanded 6.3 percent in 2012, Austin takes the top spot on Forbes' annual list of America's Fastest Growing Cities for the third year in a row.

But a city is much more than statistics. What else makes Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World, such a draw?

An Austin Howdy

Located in central Texas with the Colorado River running through it, the capital city of Austin was settled in the early 1800s by people who called the village Waterloo, perhaps because lakes, streams and creeks abound. Austin sits at the junction of Texas Hill Country, the Blackland Prairies, the Balcones Escarpment and the Colorado River, making the landscape and temperate weather as unique and varied as Austinites themselves.

Austin is home to the University of Texas, one of the nation's largest and most venerated colleges, which ranked a spot on U.S.News and World Report's 2013 list of 10 universities with the most undergrads. Although most things in Texas are big, Austin's 2011 population was only 820,611.

No doubt you've heard words like progressive, tolerant, diverse, eclectic and down-to-earth to describe Austin. Informal and friendly, Austin lives up to its state motto-friendship-welcoming one and all. When you combine natural beauty, education, music, diverse folks, no state taxes and Texas pride, you get ATX, an excellent place to live.

Unequaled Quality of Life

Several other factors make the college town of Austin one of America's best places to live.

  • Low cost of living; it's three percent below the national average.

  • Reasonably priced housing; the median home price is $199,000.

  • A safe environment; Austin boasts the third lowest rate of violent crime among major U.S. cities.

  • Fitness and health; the city ranked America's 10th healthiest city in 2012 by the Huffington Post.

  • Clean air; 77 percent of days have good air quality.

And according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin "has more than 800 churches [and other places of worship] and prides itself on maintaining the atmosphere of a tolerant, diverse and open city."

Affordable Housing

Austin's housing costs for 2013 are an astonishing 12 percent below the national average. Whether you plan to rent or own, Austin Home Search's website can help you find your new residence.

Are you interested in living downtown, close to the university or in the suburbs? With its cosmopolitan-meets-small-town-feel, Austin has several varied neighborhoods to choose from. Use the austintexas.gov website to help navigate and, once you've moved and/or put your things in storage, make connections.

Finding good schools can be a daunting task, but not in Austin, where the schools are top notch. On the Great Schools website, you can read ratings and parents reviews. "An EXCELLENT school. The teachers are always willing to help," says one parent about Austin High School.

Texas-Sized Culture

Austin is the cultural center of Texas. Its affordability leaves extra money in your pocket to spend on its many museums, art galleries, theatres and restaurants, which serve up portions as big as Dallas.

Austin is world famous for its music festivals, like South by Southwest and Austin City Limits. The city also boasts more music venues (and restaurants) per capita than any other U.S. city, which a stroll along downtown's historic Sixth Street will prove.

With so many events available, how do you choose? Events websites like Austin360.com and Frommer's can help you make the most of your leisure time. While out and about, keep in mind that Austin's strict no-smoking laws apply to all public places, restaurants and buildings.

Austin Hits All the Marks

With so many stars in its crown, it's no wonder Austin is described as an oasis. Enjoy your new digs. You are in Austin, Texas, one of the nation's finest cities.

Once you've moved, if you are in need of storage, you can find a convenient location near you by searching online.

"Small Businesses Rate Utah and Alabama Friendliest States, California and Illinois Among Least Friendly", Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation - http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/small-businesses-rate-utah-and-alabama-friendliest-states-california-and-illinois-among-least-friendly.aspx

"Austin, San Jose and Washington Are the Best Places for Young Adults",The Business Journals - http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/on-numbers/scott-thomas/2013/03/austin-san-jose-and-washington-are.html?page=all

"America's Fastest Growing Cities", Forbes.com - http://www.forbes.com/sites/morganbrennan/2013/01/23/americas-fastest-growing-cities/

"10 Universities With the Most Undergraduate Students", U.S.News and World Report - http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2012/11/06/10-universities-with-most-undergrad-students

"State & County Quick Facts", U.S. Census Bureau - http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48/4805000.html

"Cost of Living Calculator", PayScale, Inc - http://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator/Texas-Austin

"Best Places to Live", CNN Money - http://apps.money.cnn.com/bestplaces_2011/compare_tool_2011.jsp?id=PL4805000,&view=g

"Austin's Violent Crimes Rate Third-Lowest in the U.S", Statesman.com - http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/austins-violent-crimes-rate-third-lowest-in-the-us/nSynR/

"American Fitness Index 2012: The Nation's Healthiest Cities", The Huffington Post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/american-fitness-index-fittest-cities-healthiest_n_1537239.html

"Best Places to Live", CNN Money - http://apps.money.cnn.com/bestplaces_2011/compare_tool_2011.jsp?id=PL4805000,&view=g

"Quality of Life", Austin Chamber of Commerce - http://www.austinchamber.com/austin/live/quality-of-life.php

"Austin High School", GreatSchools, Inc - http://www.greatschools.org/texas/austin/522-Austin-High-School/?tab=reviews

"All About Austin, Texas", AustinTex.com - http://austintex.com/

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