Moving from Seattle to Austin can be a great choice if you are looking to relocate to a more affordable city.
The good news is that both Seattle and Austin have booming economies and offer a lot of diversity to their residents, so there will be no change on that front. There are a lot of incredible things to do in Austin, and the cities unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird”.
So if you plan on trading in the Emerald City for the Silicon Hills, this guide will share some helpful tips to assist you with making the right choices before your relocation.
The Moving Process From Seattle to Austin
How Far is Austin from Seattle?
The distance between Seattle and Austin is 2,119 miles. The driving time of this journey is approximately 33 hours by car, depending on traffic.
Are you planning on attempting a DIY move and driving the journey yourself in a rented moving van? Or are you just planning on flying, and hiring a professional moving company to move your stuff for you? Whatever you choose, you must know that it’s an extremely lengthy drive.
But this long drive could be made into a fun road trip, as you would get the opportunity to pass-through Boise, Salt Lake City, and Albuquerque on the way!
The flight time is roughly 4 hours long, so if the idea of sitting in a car for 33+ hours on a cross-country road trip doesn’t sound like fun to you, you should consider flying.
What is the Average Cost to Move From Seattle to Austin?
The average cost to move from Seattle to Austin is between $3,400-$7,000, depending on a wide variety of factors.
These include the number of items being moved, the dates of the move, whether you’ll want to add packing and unpacking services to your professional moving service, or whether you choose to do the move yourself.
Should I Move From Seattle to Austin?
This move can be a huge change, but there are some clear benefits. Austin boasts more live music venues per capita than any other city in the US and the huge rental decreases are two of the greatest benefits. If this sounds good to you, then you should move from Seattle to Austin.
How Seattle Compares to Austin
Living Costs Compared
The first thing a new resident will notice when they arrive in Austin is how affordable it is compared to Seattle.
The rental and real estate prices in Seattle can be pricey, so the housing costs in Austin will be a pleasant surprise.
The median rent in Seattle for a 2 bedroom apartment is around $2,724, while in Austin it’s only $1,540. Another great thing about Austin is that you can find a diverse mix of homes on offer, ranging from Victorian-style homes to modern contemporary homes.
If you’re planning to buy, you’ll be delighted to hear that buying a home in Austin is 2.3 times cheaper than buying a home in Seattle. The median sale price of a 3-bedroom house in Seattle is a whopping $826,200. Whilst the median sale price for a 3-bedroom house is only $347,906 in Austin.
You can also expect cheaper utilities, groceries, and healthcare costs in Austin too since the cost of living is around 44% cheaper in Austin than it is in Seattle.
Capital Metro is Austin’s public transport system, which is comprised of metro rail, metro buses, and commuter trains that serve downtown Austin and the surrounding areas.
Austin isn’t necessarily a city where you need to drive, especially if you live downtown, but most residents own their own vehicles. The great difference between Austin and Seattle is that you won’t have to worry about needing to cross the water and take ferries to get to where you need to go.
In Seattle, a monthly pass for the King County Metro is $99, and a one-way ticket is $2.75. In Austin, a metro rail Commuter 31-Day Pass costs $96.25, and a One-Way Ticket costs $3.50.
If you don’t enjoy the 155 rainy days that Seattle gets per year, Austin will be a great choice for you, as Austin only gets around 79 rainy days a year!
As you know, Seattle experiences milder summers, so it’s great to live in Austin if you prefer hotter weather as Austin’s summer temperatures can hit the high 90’s. Austin also gets around 228 sunny days per year, so you can expect to spend a lot more time outdoors in the sun.
On average, Seattle gets roughly 5 inches of snowfall every winter whilst Austin gets no snow! So you’ll also prefer Austin’s weather if snow isn’t your thing.
Moving From Seattle to Austin DMV
If you plan to move from Seattle to Austin, you will need to obtain a new driver’s license.
As a new resident in Texas, you can drive with an out-of-state driver’s license for up to 90 days after relocating to the state. After these 90 days end, you must apply for a Texas driver’s license at a driver’s license office.
If you need more information about what you will need to bring with you to complete the process, you can find it here.
Buying a Home in Austin
As mentioned previously, buying a home in Austin is 2.3 times cheaper than buying a home in Seattle. These are the best neighborhoods to consider if looking to buy a home in Austin.
Old West Austin
If you’re a lover of all things history and architecture, Old West Austin is a great neighborhood for you. This area is made up of three separate neighborhoods; Pemberton Heights, Bryker Woods, and Old Enfield. The architecture styles of the houses in this area are from the mid-1800s to the 1950s.
Are you an outdoorsy person? Well, Old West Austin is perfect for you. Not only does this neighborhood boast incredible architecture, but it also has plenty of hiking and biking trails and ease of access to Lake Austin too.
North Loop is a neighborhood that helps Austin stay weird. The neighborhood is filled with vintage clothing stores, trendy restaurants, cool bars, and record shops.
This neighborhood can be found in a quaint part of Austin, and the housing stock is mainly made up of Post WW2 single-family houses.
If you are looking for a neighborhood with a diverse community feel, North Loop is perfect because the locals here are an assorted mix of artists, young professionals, and long-term residents.
East Oak Hill
East Oak Hill is the best neighborhood to buy a home in Austin, according to Niche. So it’s a perfect choice for expanding familes who are looking for an area where the public schools are highly rated.
One part of the East Oak Hill neighborhood has large, expensive homes that boast views of the Austin scenery, and the other side of the neighborhood has tree-lined streets with houses in rows. So whichever side you choose, you’ll have a nice place to call home.
And if you’re looking for a neighborhood that has a high percentage of homeownership, a sense of community, and friendly neighbors, East Oak Hill is an excellent choice for you.
Selling Your Property in Seattle
The first step you must consider when planning to sell your property in Seattle is finding the right realtor for you.
You then have to consider when to sell your home. Housing prices can fluctuate by thousands of dollars depending on what time of year you decide to sell your home.
November is the best month to sell your home in Seattle, and you can expect to get 3.27% more if you sell in this month. It usually takes around 3 months to close on a sale, so you should aim to list your house in August.
Before listing your home, you must figure out how much your house is worth to ensure a financially favorable and speedy sale.
By gauging your home’s value to the area’s market, you can confidently price your home. An experienced real estate agent can guide you through the process.
Finding a Job in Austin Before You Move There
Before you move to Austin, you should try to find a job so that your move can be as stress-free as possible. Here are some great places to begin the job search
City of Austin Jobs
If you are looking for a job within the City of Austin, this page provides a lot of information on where residents can find job opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Indeed is an excellent place to find new job listings no matter what industry you work in and no matter where you are based. Try using the tools to filter your search to certain areas of Austin.
To see the jobs currently available in Austin, check them out here.
Word of Mouth
Do you know of any friends, family, or acquaintances living in the area? Try reaching out to them and asking them if they know anyone looking to hire.
Moving From Seattle to Austin Checklist
The following checklist will allow you to assess what needs to be done before trading the Emerald City for the Bat City.
At Least 4 to 6 Weeks Before the Move
– Organize a professional moving company.
– Let your health care physician, dentist, and other service providers know that you are moving.
– Order moving supplies or ask your moving company to provide them as an additional service
– It is a great idea to sell or donate your unwanted items. You can sell on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Or you can donate them to the Salvation Army and they will pick items up at no charge.
– Begin packing; clearly mark boxes with a marker indicating which room they will be going into at delivery.
– You will need to make your change of address known to several different places, such as wherever you do your banking, the DMV, your workplace, any other financial institutions (such as credit card providers), the post office, your utility provider, and, saving the most important for last, your friends and family.
– Sort plane tickets if you’re planning to fly.
2 Weeks Prior to the Move
– It is imperative to clean and/or make needed repairs on your old home before moving out, since leaving your place an absolute mess may leave your security deposit in jeopardy.
– Because of the abundance of fragile items in your kitchen, you’ll want to pack these items away long in advance, with protective bubble wrap to ensure nothing gets broken in transit.
– You will also want to begin packing your things from bedrooms and bathrooms, except for the essential items that you will be using until you move.
– If necessary, you will want to arrange a babysitter for your kids and/or pets for parts of the move that you need to be able to focus and get things done.
A Couple of Days Before Your Move
– Clean up your home completely, double-checking any cracks and crevices that may have your stuff hidden away.
– Unless your movers will do it for you, disassemble your furniture to make your move a smoother process, and ensure to keep any screws, brackets, or other small items that are needed for reassembly. Pro tip: tape these smaller items in a bag to the bottom of the furniture.
– Print out the floor plan of your new home and have enough for the movers as well.
– You may want to hit the ATM before moving day, as you’ll need to have enough cash to tip your movers. Generally speaking, you’ll want to tip $20-$30 per mover.
– Make sure that you confirm with your movers the details of your move. The last thing that you want is to have moving day come around, and you and your movers aren’t on the same page.
– Get in touch with the landlord or current homeowner of your new place, and ensure that you’ll be able to get the keys to your new place when you arrive.
– Document the condition of your old place through pictures and videos, to ensure that you have proof of its state. This will come in handy if your landlord tries to keep your deposit, based on incorrect facts.
– Hand over your old home’s keys to the necessary people, such as landlord or building management.
– Do a quick run-through of your home to ensure that nothing gets left behind, whether it’s just a smaller item, or an entire box of stuff.
– Ensure that everything you packed up is in your new home before unpacking everything.
– If the moving company you are working with is going to assemble your furniture, make sure that they reassemble it in the correct room to avoid unnecessary work.
– Be sure to thank everyone for helping you move, and leave them a tip!
You did it! Congrats and enjoy your new home!