Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Anyone in Austin, Texas

Anyone in Austin, Texas

Old Feb 21st 2007, 8:13 pm
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 69
cruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to all
Default Anyone in Austin, Texas

Hi Everyone, what a great forum.
We are in the process of starting our appplication to move to the US I have a US passport hubby and kids are on UK passports.
If any of you are in Austin, I would appreciate your help with things like: What's it really like?
Are the people as friendly and open as they claim to be
Are ther gang and/or drug problems
Is Lake Travis drying up
What is the school system like compared to UK?
plus loads more.
Appreciate your help
cruickies is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2007, 8:15 pm
  #2  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 15,019
TruBrit is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

hiya and welcome to BE

check this out for peeps in your area http://www.frappr.com/beusa
TruBrit is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2007, 8:20 pm
  #3  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Toontje's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: 30°16'29" North 097°44'26" West
Posts: 22,151
Toontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond reputeToontje has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Hi Everyone, what a great forum.
Welcome to BE.

Originally Posted by cruikies
We are in the process of starting our appplication to move to the US I have a US passport hubby and kids are on UK passports.
If any of you are in Austin, I would appreciate your help with things like: What's it really like?
Hot in the summer. A liberal island in a republican sea.

Originally Posted by cruikies
Are the people as friendly and open as they claim to be?
I think so, so I would say YES.

Originally Posted by cruikies
Are ther gang and/or drug problems?
Every major city will have these kind of problems to some degree. Stay away from East Austin and you probably will be fine.

Originally Posted by cruikies
Is Lake Travis drying up?
Not yet.

Originally Posted by cruikies
What is the school system like compared to UK?
I can't answer that one as I'm dutch and not familiar with the school system in the UK, but there are plenty of your countrymen here in Austin who might shed some more light on this one.

Originally Posted by cruikies
plus loads more.
Appreciate your help
You're welcome.
Toontje is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2007, 9:35 pm
  #4  
Bob
BE Site Lead
 
Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 91,725
Bob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Welcome to BE

And yeah, that frapr map is a good thing to check out...and do a search of the forums as there are quite a few members in Texas that have posted various info in the past, it'll be a start anyway
Bob is offline  
Old Feb 22nd 2007, 4:58 am
  #5  
 
anabella's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Aspen, CO
Posts: 9,837
anabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond reputeanabella has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Welcome to BE
anabella is offline  
Old Feb 22nd 2007, 1:32 pm
  #6  
BE Enthusiast
 
TimFountain's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 903
TimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Hi Everyone, what a great forum.
We are in the process of starting our appplication to move to the US I have a US passport hubby and kids are on UK passports.
If any of you are in Austin, I would appreciate your help with things like: What's it really like?
Are the people as friendly and open as they claim to be
Are ther gang and/or drug problems
Is Lake Travis drying up
What is the school system like compared to UK?
plus loads more.
Appreciate your help
Hello and welcome. I have been coming to Austin for 18 years, and have lived here for the last 4 so still a newbie.

What's it really like?
Hot! It is like a sauna in the summer (think 100+F with 90% humidity, and not much cooler at night), which runs from mid April to mid Oct. There are really 2 seasons, hot and not so hot. The rest of the time is generally mild, today will be about 80, but that is unusual. A pool is a nice addition and makes the yard somewhere you might actually want to spend some time in during the height of summer. It can get cold here, as we are still sub tropical, in the winter we get very cold snaps as Arctic air blasts from the north.
I still find it a bit of a cultural wasteland, as I am not into any sports or hunting, fishing or some of the other popular pastimes here. Go 40 miles in any direction and you are truly in the boonies and surrounded by rednecks! Houses are cheap, but construction quality can be very poor, and they will cost a fortune to cool in the summer. Again they look nice from the road with brick or stone fronts, but it is stuck on to a wooden frame and ‘round the back is hardiplank siding! No state tax here, but huge property taxes. Our 4000sq.ft house is valued at $304K and our property taxes are over $8,500 a year.... Also don’t forget that you have to add 8.25% sales tax to any price you see and also you get to pay 6.5% sales tax on a used car, even for a private transaction! Your first couple of months here will be frustrating, as you will have to deal with lots of petty issues (driving license, USICS, social security, immunizations for the kids before starting school, credit history, electricity, gas, water, home owners association, etc. etc.)

Are the people as friendly and open as they claim to be
People have a veneer of friendliness, but underneath are quite conservative and wary of strangers and especially foreigners. Also relegion is a big divider IMHO, if you are in their "club" great, if not then you are not worthy of their attention. Also you will meet people who appear to be very friendly, but they are really just out to see what you can do for them (i.e. who you know etc.) and their "friendship" is usually just one meeting before they find out that you don't have a ski lodge in Aspen, a private jet ot a big stash of dosh. Maybe I am being cynical, but see the thread on "Who has any real friends here" for more insight. Also there is quite a lot of aggressive driving, be wary of trucks and very wary of young women driving trucks. Some of the most aggressive and downright rude driving I have seen is from this particular set of drivers. Don't ever expect common courtesies or acknowledgement of mistakes or even your presence from other drivers and you won't be disappointed!


Are there gang and/or drug problems
Yes, but this is the same in every city across the US. Like most cities there are places you shouldn't go. In Austin this is east of downtown and some close-in southern parts of town. In general though Austin ranks very highly in terms of low crime and desirability as a place to live.

Is Lake Travis drying up?
Well we are in a stage II drought, and the lake is 23ft below normal. About 1/2 full right now. It was almost in the same state about 3 years ago, and was full 1 month later after a short period of heavy rain, so it is probably not something to worry about just yet. The news was saying that things will start to get critical if we don't have significant rain before August, as the rate of evaporation will start to rapidly increase as summer comes.

What is the school system like compared to UK?
My 2 children are still too young for school, so I can't comment directly. I do know of other people from the UK who felt that the schooling was not as good as the UK, not as in depth, and was more focussed on passing the various tests and on sports. I'll let others with more experience comment.

Overall my post might sound like I do not like Austin, which is certainly not the case. It is one of the best places to live in the US, low crime, relatively affordable housing, good schools, good employment, and relatively compact and visually appealing (just go to Houston or the sprawl that is Dallas to see what I mean). Of course things can always be improved, and Austin or for that matter the US is no different.
I am glad I live here....

- Tim

PS ping me if you need more specific information, good luck!
TimFountain is offline  
Old Feb 22nd 2007, 1:48 pm
  #7  
Sue
BE Co-Founder
 
Sue's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 25,928
Sue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond reputeSue has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Tim, thats great info, if you have time could you add it to the wiki?
Sue is offline  
Old Feb 22nd 2007, 1:55 pm
  #8  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 15,019
TruBrit is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Originally Posted by TimFountain View Post
Hello and welcome. I have been coming to Austin for 18 years, and have lived here for the last 4 so still a newbie.



!
good accurate synopsis tim.
TruBrit is offline  
Old Feb 22nd 2007, 2:11 pm
  #9  
BE Forum Addict
 
Texas Mom's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: EK to DFW
Posts: 1,725
Texas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Welcome to BE! I have only seen Austin on TV unfortunately but it does look more picturesque than where we are in DFW!
My son will start school this fall so I can't offer any advice there!
Good luck with the move.
Texas Mom is offline  
Old Feb 22nd 2007, 7:16 pm
  #10  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 169
Britdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud of
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

No offenc(s)e, TimFountain, but your response seemed unduly negative to me, so I thought I'd chip in:

>What's it really like?

A great place. Experiencing high growth, but still has plenty of small-town charm left. Lots of municipal (= cheap) golf courses, large parks, green belt with hiking and biking trails. Plenty of quirky restaurants, bars and shops, as well as all the usual chains. Lots and lots of live music! I've lived all over the world, and this is my favourite place.

>Are the people as friendly and open as they claim to be

I'm not sure who is claiming to be friendly or otherwise, but I've lived here eight years and haven't met an unfriendly person yet (regardless of religious orientation btw).

>Are ther gang and/or drug problems

Compared to other, larger US cities, no, not at all. There are certainly one or two peripheral parts of town that you'd want to steer clear of at night, but I do not have the impression of living in a violence-ridden city.

>Is Lake Travis drying up

Technically, no. The primary purpose of Lake Travis is as a water reservoir, not as a recreational lake. Since central and southern Texas have experienced unusually (for us) high drought conditions over the last couple of years, much water has been released both to supply Austin residents and to irrigate farmland downstream. So the lake level's low right now, but we all hope for rain. There are, however constant-depth lakes in the area which are easily accessible.

>What is the school system like compared to UK?\

Well, there will always be differences between the US and British school systems, but I can tell you that the schools in Austin have a pretty good reputation versus other Texas cities. However, the quality does vary by school district, and if this is an important issue for you, you would want to be sure and live in the correct district for the school you wish to choose.

Feel free to PM me with more questions.

Cheers!
Britdrinker is offline  
Old Feb 22nd 2007, 9:20 pm
  #11  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 69
cruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to all
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

Thanks everyone. It's interesting to get all views. My brother lived in Austin for a few years before moving to China and he says it is a wonderful place to live. We know a few Austinites (my sister in law is from Austin so we have been adopted by her family) and they seem wonderful but the sceptic in me (or maybe it's just how you get after living in London for 11 years) wonders if everyone is like that for real!

One of the big draws for us to Austin is the outdoor lifestyle - hubby and I are originally from South Africa and are looking for somethinhg a little more like that for our kids.

We have kind of finalised our interest in North West Austin inzips 787750 and 78759. The Round Rock school district seems to have high quality schools - most are rated "exemplary". Do any of you know anything about those areas. We are lucky to be coming across with a fair amoutn of $$$ - we have alot of equity in our house in London - it's appreciated 300% since we bought it.

Thanks again for you thoughts.
cruickies is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2007, 1:42 am
  #12  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Posts: 62
Hank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of lightHank Hill is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

I have to agree with britdrinker - I found people generally very friendly when I lived there (spent 5 years there) maybe Timfountain has had some bad experiences but I have a lot of friends there still and will most likely move back there rather than stay in California. If I were you I wouldn't choose to live in Round Rock though, a bit soulless imo, but each to their own.
Hank Hill is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2007, 1:22 pm
  #13  
BE Enthusiast
 
TimFountain's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 903
TimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond reputeTimFountain has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

I don't think my post was unduly negative, just realistic, but thanks for the counterpoint. I've not had bad experiences, just my experiences, likewise I respect yours.

I have also met lots of great people, but as I mentioned I have met a higher proportion of people who trump either personal wealth/assets, religion and your potential connections above genuine friendship than I ever did in the UK or France (where my wife is from). Just my experience. I didn't sugar coat my reply, I could have talked about the the friends I have made, but that could be any place. I am sure I would have had the same experience in any US town....

And on the religion thing, that is a red flag for me. When a conversation starts with "what church do you worship at?" I know that things will go downhill from there, as religion is a real polarizer in the US, and increasingly so the more south you get. Again just my experience, but the evangelical monkey running the show certainly hasn't helped.
TimFountain is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2007, 1:50 pm
  #14  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 169
Britdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud of
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

I see where you're coming from, I'm just surprised that you encounter these people in Austin. These are the sorts of attitudes you encounter in Plano or Dallas. Then again, I live practically downtown, in "old Austin", so maybe I don't meet these people. Is it possible that you live further out in the suburbs?

Originally Posted by TimFountain View Post
I don't think my post was unduly negative, just realistic, but thanks for the counterpoint. I've not had bad experiences, just my experiences, likewise I respect yours.

I have also met lots of great people, but as I mentioned I have met a higher proportion of people who trump either personal wealth/assets, religion and your potential connections above genuine friendship than I ever did in the UK or France (where my wife is from). Just my experience. I didn't sugar coat my reply, I could have talked about the the friends I have made, but that could be any place. I am sure I would have had the same experience in any US town....

And on the religion thing, that is a red flag for me. When a conversation starts with "what church do you worship at?" I know that things will go downhill from there, as religion is a real polarizer in the US, and increasingly so the more south you get. Again just my experience, but the evangelical monkey running the show certainly hasn't helped.
Britdrinker is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2007, 1:54 pm
  #15  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 169
Britdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud ofBritdrinker has much to be proud of
Default Re: Anyone in Austin, Texas

The outdoor lifestyle in Austin is tremendous. There's really something for everyone, and most of it free to boot. As TimFountain has mentioned, it gets unholy hot and humid here in summertime, so be prepared to get a lot of your outdoor activities over with early in the day!

As for Round Rock, it's a small but growing town about 20 miles north of Austin, the home of Dell, and has become a sort of enlarged suburb of Austin. A good school district, but little similarity to Austin. Chain restaurants and shops only, 'cookie-cutter' homes with no trees, plus it's in Williamson County which is far more old-school than Travis County. In fact you're likely to meet quite a few of TimFountain's religious zealots in this part of the world.

So, I'd recommend it for the school districts but not for much else.


Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Thanks everyone. It's interesting to get all views. My brother lived in Austin for a few years before moving to China and he says it is a wonderful place to live. We know a few Austinites (my sister in law is from Austin so we have been adopted by her family) and they seem wonderful but the sceptic in me (or maybe it's just how you get after living in London for 11 years) wonders if everyone is like that for real!

One of the big draws for us to Austin is the outdoor lifestyle - hubby and I are originally from South Africa and are looking for somethinhg a little more like that for our kids.

We have kind of finalised our interest in North West Austin inzips 787750 and 78759. The Round Rock school district seems to have high quality schools - most are rated "exemplary". Do any of you know anything about those areas. We are lucky to be coming across with a fair amoutn of $$$ - we have alot of equity in our house in London - it's appreciated 300% since we bought it.

Thanks again for you thoughts.
Britdrinker is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.