Hello all, I am hoping to get some help with relocation questions. My fiancé is going into Pediatrics and is in the process of determining which programs to interview with. We’ve decided this would be a good opportunity to try someplace new for a few years- we’ve both only lived in or around the Richmond, VA area our whole life. I won’t waste your time with questions I can find the answers to anywhere on the net, but I am hoping the Austin residents and those familiar with the area can help with some specific inquiries.
BTW, other places we are considering at this time are Denver, CO, Chapel Hill, NC, Charlottesville, VA, and Portland, OR. Don’t know much about any of them other than Charlottesville but I’m taking them 1 at a time. Ok, now for the questions:
1) We’re both big nature lovers, and Austin seems to have a good park system and lots of outdoor activities. Would the residents/those familiar with consider Austin an ‘outdoors’ town like Boulder or Denver? Is there a good variety of nature trails/lakes/scenic points within city limits or close by?
2) How is the market for IT professionals in Austin? I am not very high up the ladder so my current ‘level’ would be available in most towns, but I am hoping to jump up a rung or 2 in the next few years and it will take a town with a good IT market for that to happen. Can anyone tell me some medium to large companies with a presence in Austin? Denver for example has plenty of tech/telecommunications companies but they seem to be making a slow recovery from rough recent years.
3) Biggest question: housing. My fiancé would be working at the Children’s Hospital of Austin on IH-35 (zip 78701). We’d be interested in finding something no more than a 30 minute commute from there and to wherever I’d be working, with a price range of 175-240k to work with. There seems to be plenty of good housing choices/prices in some areas of Austin, but I don’t know where those zip codes correlate, I can only guess they are a good ways from downtown and the college. I did a search on realtor.com for 78701 earlier today and it was all very expensive, for us at least. Can anyone recommend specific zip codes, cities, neighborhoods, whatever that fits the above and is also considered a nice, safe area?
4) Can anyone comment on the reputation of the Children’s Hospital?
5) I’m sure Austin has its congestion issues like most larger cities… is the average commute for most though an exercise in patience (LA, Denver) or is it more manageable than that? I get the impression that it is busy but more of a distance issue rather than congestions.
6) If you were coming to Austin for 2 days to see if it was a place you’d like to live, where would you go and what would you do to get a feel for the city?
Thanks in advance, this forum has been TERRIFIC for assisting me in this process (God bless forum search functions!!)
Anyone who was planning to respond to the housing question: can you also post your opinions on the area and your guesttimate median cost there, similar to what The One did so well here http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=19317