Yeehaw, we are moving to Austin!
March 20, 2016 10:23 AM   Subscribe

My husband and I are relocating from Philadelphia to Austin. We are headed there this weekend to scope out neighborhoods and get a handle of the city. We plan to move this summer and are interested in hearing about apartment locator services and general tidbits about the city. We are an early 30's couple, no kids, are will both be affiliated with UT Austin. We would like to live in a highrise building downtown or loft close to campus. Have you done this? Do you have building recommendations? This is what we know so far: traffic on I-35 is horrendous, summers are brutally hot, and housing prices are high... but the city is awesome! We want to get excited about the move -- tell us where to set down roots so we can explore the new city!
posted by allthingsconsidered to Travel & Transportation around Austin, TX (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What's your housing budget?
posted by dinnerdance at 10:56 AM on March 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: between 2 to 3k for 2 or 3 bedrooms
posted by allthingsconsidered at 10:59 AM on March 20, 2016

THIS weekend? Like today, Sunday March 20th? SXSW is finishing up, traffic will be nightmare and everybody in every service industry is going to be wiped out. Bad time to form an opinion about a city.

Hopefully you mean next weekend.
posted by intermod at 12:26 PM on March 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

You should know that UT runs its own bus system so you can easily live in other parts of town and just walk to the bus stop. The buses are free for UT people.

You should also know that virtually all of the apartments near campus operate on 12 month leases that always start in August to match the start the academic year. The entire area near campus (with some minor exceptions) is basically a gigantic dorm, which is either a great or awful thing depending upon your point of view.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 1:09 PM on March 20, 2016

Traffic is horrid on I-35, but also around campus and downtown. As mentioned above, living around campus is going to be very college-y, and likely overpriced and not very pleasant. I would personally want to separate my living quarters from the UT area.

Rainey St. might be an area for you to check out if you are set on living in high rises. It does have a drinking/partying/slightly bro-y vibe. There's also a few loft type of places on the east side if you change your mind and want to stay out of downtown/campus.

Moving in the summer's going to be rough. Don't forget to visit the springs often!
posted by monologish at 1:18 PM on March 20, 2016

Eep, living on Rainey sounds like a nightmare to me. I recommend you check out the Mosaic at Mueller if you want a large community.
posted by dinnerdance at 1:34 PM on March 20, 2016

Welcome to Austin! You should avoid both West Campus and North Campus. If you'd like to be near campus, but remove yourself somewhat from students, you could look in French Place and Cherrywood, but those aren't really places with large, high-rise apartment buildings. Hyde Park is similar to both of these, but does tend to have more students.

A co-worker of mine (I work at UT) lives downtown and has a very easy commute to campus (she bikes and takes the bus - city buses are free for UT employees and students) and she is very happy with her living and commuting arrangements. A two bedroom downtown is probably going to put you close to the upper end of your budget, but it should put you in a high-rise.

I HIGHLY recommend renting away from 6th street if you'd like to be downtown. Also, closer to Lamar generally means less bars. 6th street (dirty 6th, not East or West 6th) is a nightmare of drunk out-of-towners, college students, and bachelor(ette) parties every weekend (maybe y'all are into this though?). Downtown (West) Austin (where my co-worker lives) is sort of yuppie-ish (to me), which also might not be the vibe you're going for.

If you're interested in being close to many things, but not necessarily IN downtown, you could look at some of the new complexes that have gone up just east of 35 (the east/west bus routes in the city can be somewhat lacking though and y'all will probably not want to drive to campus every day) on East 5th and 6th. I've seen units in these buildings advertised as lofts, but generally Austin does not really have lofts in the same way the Northeast does.

Mueller has many positive aspects, but think someone interested in living downtown might find it a little staid and families-with-kids-oriented. Also the 37 is the worst bus route (though biking to UT from there is relatively easy).

Good luck and enjoy your visit!
posted by vakker at 2:28 PM on March 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I-35 isn't your problem, really. I mean, yeah, it's bad. But literally every major road except 290 is bad in Austin. Mopac (loop 1) is also horrendous.

I work downtown and live off of Lamar near an area called The Triangle. I picked that area specifically because it is just far enough (north) outside of the "college-y" part of downtown. It really can't be overstated how college-y all of downtown is. It will feel like college students everywhere, like the entire housing and food and shopping economy is all students, all the time. And mostly undergrad students. Where I live (near Triangle) reaches the tipping point of "more young professionals than students, and students are mostly grad students." Also, I get to just drive down Lamar to work, which is nice. (And by nice I mean, still bad, but way nicer than Mopac or I 35.)

Other options besides doing what I did include getting outside the college bubble by going in the other direction, IE South Austin. South Austin is pretty happening right now, it's bit pricier than north Austin but livable.

The only other affordable area close to downtown is East Austin, which is rapidly gentrifying right now and where you may actually be able to rent or buy a real house and still have a bearable commute downtown.

You are probably not going to get anything nice downtown for your budget. Austin has a very split apartment market- it's either old-ass stuff that has been renovated but was originally built in the 60s and has some of the structural problems associated with that (and is still overpriced), or brand spanking new glistening luxury condos that are inanely overpriced and were all built in the recent real estate/housing boom.
posted by quincunx at 8:10 AM on March 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Mmm courgetti   |   Removing cable / telephone box from property Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.