Bill and I moved to downtown Austin one year ago this month. We now have a decision to make: should we renew our lease or move back to the suburbs? We compiled the following lists to help us decide…
What We Like about Living in Downtown Austin
Lady Bird Lake / Hike-and-Bike Trail
Bill and I love our view of the lake. We have a front-row view for concerts, festivals, races, fireworks, Presidential visits and protests. We walk or run on the Hike-and-Bike Trail almost every day.
We definitely attend more concerts, festivals, races and other events since living downtown. We didn’t realize how much is happening downtown until we moved here. Since we don’t have to worry about driving or parking, we often decide to do something on the spur of the moment.
Bill and I walk all over downtown. My favorite destinations are Whole Foods, South Congress and the Capitol grounds. Bill likes to walk over the Alamo Ritz or Stubbs. We also walk to games and concerts up at UT. Some days when we don’t drive our cars at all.
We enjoy having friends come downtown to visit!
Austin Farmers Market (Janis)
Since it’s just a few blocks away, I try to visit the Farmers Market every Saturday morning. Then we enjoy fresh vegetables, quiches and breads for the next week.
Bill loved living downtown during South by Southwest in March because he didn’t need to fight traffic or worry about parking. He could go back to the apartment and relax in-between shows…especially nice since SXSW is always during the first round of the NCAA tournament. This is not on my list since I left town that week.
Movies within Walking Distance (Bill)
Bill walks to see movies at Violet Crown, Alamo Ritz, The Paramount and even The Long Center. I sometimes join him but this is not on my list either.
What We Don’t Like about Living in Downtown Austin
Traffic: Morning rush hour isn’t bad because driving north on Mopac is against traffic. Evening rush hour is bad in both directions. We try to avoid rush hour but sometimes we just have to deal with traffic.
Our two-bedroom apartment sometimes feels cramped. We still have a small storage unit in northwest Austin. We would love to have a little room for an office in the apartment.
Noise: We hear bands from Fourth Street on the weekends and some weeknights. At first this really bothered us, but we’ve gotten used to it now and sometimes sing along.
Cost: Our rent is high, but our overall costs are still lower than when we lived in a house. We aren’t building equity while renting but we won’t have to worry about selling in the future.
Parking Garage: We have to allow extra time to get to the garage and carrying things to or from the car can be challenging. It’s really a pain if you forget something. But we never worry about parking for a downtown event now.
No yard: I like gardening and miss my yard…although perhaps not this year. For the record, this factor is in Bill’s “Like” category.
Restaurants: No problem if I don’t feel like cooking…there are many excellent restaurants within a few blocks of our apartment. But after living here for a few months, we realized that eating out too much is not a good idea for a lot of reasons so I try to cook on week nights. Bill likes being able to run downstairs and get a smoothie or frozen yogurt.
So that’s our analysis. Stay tuned to hear about our Big Decision…