Moving From San Diego to Austin, TX: A Comprehensive Guide

Moving From San Diego to Austin, TX: A Comprehensive Guide

Apr 24, 2024

The fact that so many people are leaving California is no longer unheard of or surprising. High taxes, higher cost of living, and congested traffic are the main reasons. For many moving out of the Golden State, Texas is the ideal destination.

So, if you’re moving from San Diego to Austin, TX, you’re likely on the right side of decision-making. But you’ve just got one part right. The other part is about successfully planning the move. And that’s what this article is about.

Learn how to plan your move from San Diego to Austin, TX, in a few easy steps.

Aerial view of the Texas State Capitol Building In the city of Austin, Texas.

Part I: Research

When embarking on a new journey to Austin, start with research. This may sound cliché or even archaic, but research is fundamental.

You wouldn’t set off on a road trip without a map, would you? The same goes for moving across state lines. Research is the cornerstone of a successful relocation.

Start your research with the neighborhoods. Austin is a big city and has several neighborhoods, with no two neighborhoods being the same.

Clarksville and South Congress are closer to a Californian lifestyle. Clarksville is a historic district directly bordering downtown that offers a vibrant nightlife scene, eclectic shops, and charming bungalows reminiscent of some California neighborhoods. Likewise, South Congress is a great choice for young professionals who crave an energetic scene. Neighborhoods like Mueller, East Austin, and Riverside are great options for budget-conscious people.

So, if you haven’t already, pin down a neighborhood for yourself. “Moving to Austin” is pretty vague.

Check Cost of Living Differences

Many people leave behind California in pursuit of a destination with a lower cost of living. So when moving to Austin, TX, it’s necessary to calculate the cost of living differences.

The average cost of living in Austin stands at $4,187 per month for a family of 4. This is lower than that of San Diego, which is around $4,853 per month. If you’re a single person, expect the cost of living in Austin to be around $1,169 monthly, again, lower than $1,400 a month for San Diego.

Of course, the cost of living depends on the neighborhood you settle in. Mueller offers a lower cost of living, and you may get it down to as low as $3,500.

Therefore, allocate your income realistically based on the anticipated costs in Austin. You might find you have more wiggle room for savings or discretionary spending.

Also, unexpected costs can arise during a move. Factor in a buffer in your budget for unforeseen circumstances.

Girl learning about taxes

Learn About the Texan Tax System

One of the biggest financial advantages you’ll experience is the difference in state taxes. Texas is a no-state income tax state, a major perk for Californians accustomed to a high state income tax.

You won’t pay any state income tax on your salary in Texas, a significant savings compared to California’s graduated income tax which can reach up to 13.3%.

Texas, however, has a state sales tax of 6.25%. Cities and localities can add an additional local sales tax, bringing the total sales tax in Austin to 8.25%. This is still lower than the combined sales tax rate in most California cities, which can reach over 9.5%.

Also, note that property taxes in Texas are generally higher than in California. The average effective property tax rate in Austin is around 1.8%, which might seem higher than what you’re used to in San Diego. However, keep in mind that the no-state income tax often offsets higher property taxes.

Learn About the Schooling Options

Finding the right school for your children is a top priority. So, if you’re moving in with your family or intend to raise a family here, research the schooling options, too.

The main public school district in Austin is the Austin Independent School District or AISD. It offers a variety of programs and campuses across the city. While AISD schools have a mixed reputation, some schools consistently rank high in the state.

Austin also has a significant number of charter schools, which are public schools with more autonomy over curriculum and operations.

Besides that, the city boasts a robust selection of private schools, ranging from religious institutions to Montessori programs. Private schools generally offer smaller class sizes and potentially more resources, but they come with tuition costs. St. Stephen’s Episcopal, Austin Peace Academy, and Griffin School are some prominent private schools in Austin.

For higher education, you have the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas State University, and the St. Edward’s University.

So, it is safe to say that Austin is great for growing and learning students.

Check Crime Rate

Austin has a total crime index of 5. This means it is among the 5% safest cities in the US. In contrast, San Diego has a total crime index of 17. While San Diego is indeed among the safest cities, you’ll be moving to a safer city.

But crime rates keep changing, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest crime statistics. Keep an eye on the official announcements and take safety precautions.

Check Labor Market

Texas is known for its vibrant job market. And you can safely say that for Austin as well. In 2023, the city added 51,000 jobs at a rate of 4.1%. This trend is expected to continue for 2024 as well.

Leisure and hospitality is the fastest-growing sector, followed by professional and business services. Other sectors like retail, manufacturing, and construction are performing well, too.

So before moving in, spend some time researching the Austin job market.

Couple moving in

Part II: Packaging

The second part of a successful cross-state move is packaging. People often go about this not-so-glamorous task in a hurry. But that approach is prone to making mistakes. Instead, you need to devote enough time to it.

Here are the steps involved in packaging:

  • Prepare a moving checklist – A checklist is the holy grail that keeps you organized during a move. So prepare one (or borrow one) and tick the boxes as you go about the process.
  • Declutter and downsize – This move is the perfect opportunity to purge unwanted items. So cut down on things you need to transport.
  • Gather packing supplies – Stock up on essential packing materials like cupboard boxes, packaging tapes, markers, heavy-duty trash bags, etc.
  • Pack room by room – Packing room by room keeps things organized and prevents chaos. So start packing from the room you feel comfortable with.
  • Label and document – Clearly label each box with the room it belongs in and a brief description of the contents. This will save you time and frustration when unpacking.

Part III: Settling In

The last step to a successful move is settling in. But it doesn’t have to be quick. Instead, you should settle in at your own pace.

However, there are a few things you should note.

Austin (and the rest of Texas) is unsparingly hot and humid. Temperatures routinely soar into the high 90s (°F) and can even reach triple digits (over 100°F) for several days in a row.

The humidity adds an extra layer of discomfort, making it feel even hotter. Morning humidity can be quite high, although it tends to drop somewhat in the evenings. So be prepared for it.

But there are plenty of amenities in Austin to keep you entertained. These include:

  • The Texas State Capitol
  • Zilker Metropolitan Park
  • Congress Avenue Bridge
  • Lady Bird Lake

All in all, there’s so much to look forward to in Austin. Planning the move, knowing what to expect, and having a clear timeline can significantly reduce stress levels and make the move a smoother experience.

Atlas Allied moving truck

Move From San Diego to Austin, TX, With Us!

When the time comes to move from San Diego to Austin, TX, it’s crucial to enlist the help of a professional moving company. Atlas Allied offers top-notch, full-service moving solutions with a rich history dating back to 1925. Rely on our expertise to ensure a seamless transition. Whether you’re a senior needing specialized moving services or embarking on a long-distance move, our comprehensive services will meet your needs and make your relocation a success.

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