A Moving to Austin Guide with resources, the Austin area’s most popular neighborhoods and movers, and moving-to-Austin routes to help you as we move into the busiest moving season of the year.

While population growth in the city has slowed over the past year, Austin is still one of the country’s top relocation destinations, becoming the 10th largest city in the U.S., according to the 2022 U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates.

The real growth in our area, though, is in the ‘burbs, especially those north of Austin: Leander, Liberty Hill, and Georgetown.

The reason everyone wants to flock to our area rests mainly in the job opportunities that come with the relocation of major companies like Amazon, Tesla, Space X, Google, among many others. 

But that’s certainly not the only draw. Austin’s reputation as being laid back, culturally diverse, and entertainment rich – we are known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” after all – makes it a daydream destination for young professionals.

I should mention here that Austin and its surrounding suburbs couldn’t be more different. A neighbor who recently moved to Central Texas from Ohio told me when she and her husband were considering areas to buy their home, the realtor told her – and I can vouch for its accuracy – that Austin is like a blueberry in a bowl of tomato soup. This is important to note if you’re considering moving to “Austin” for its diversity, culture, and politics, but looking to its suburbs for their more affordable housing options.


Summertime is the most common time to move anywhere, of course, because it’s when the kids are out of school. But moving to the Austin area during the summer will prove to be the worst experience of your life, especially if you are heat-averse. The later in the summer your move here, the worse your experience with the heat will be. I would say that moving here in August will make you want to set yourself on fire, except that you will already BE on fire just from the outside air.

If you have the luxury of relocating here any time you please, might I suggest an October or an April move? These two months gift Austinites with the most delicious weather: cool, crisp evenings and bright, blue skies. Even better if you can swing a move in March, when you’ll have the added benefit of Texas wildflowers lining the path to your new home.


Like any large city, Austin has many different neighborhoods to choose from, and since I only have so many words I can use in this article, I’m going to limit this section to Austin’s four most popular so that I can include information for you, dear reader, about some neighborhoods in the aforementioned suburbs you may also want to consider relocating to.

Here are the four most popular Austin neighborhoods, according to my research.

Downtown Austin

The central business district of Austin, Downtown is bordered by Lamar Blvd on the west, MLK Blvd on the north, I-35 on the east, and Lady Bird Lake on the south. The bloc encompasses the capitol building, a swath of the city’s famed 6th Street, and the trendy Warehouse district. 

Housing in downtown is a mix of rentals and owned properties, from condos and luxury highrises to – although much harder to come by – quaint vintage bungalows and freshly built three-story homes where quaint vintage bungalows once stood.

This neighborhood is pricey, but boasts walkability that many other area neighborhoods don’t offer, thanks to numerous coffee shops and restaurants, nearby Whole Foods and an incredible farmers’ market, and the availability of scooters and bicycles throughout the neighborhood. 


The city’s historic district, west of Downtown, is home to the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, a lively graffiti park, lush, sprawling parks, and the state landmark, Treaty Oak, a 500-year-old oak tree on Baylor Street between 5th and 6th Streets. 

Although it’s pricey, for those considering relocating to this area, there are beautiful historic homes, restaurants, boutiques, and bars, making it suitable for families and singles alike.


Nestled on the shores of Lake Austin, this prestigious area (and one of Austin’s most expensive) has gorgeous homes of varying architectural style under ancient oak canopies, a spring-fed pool, 23 acres of nature preserve with free-range peacocks, and the historic Lions Municipal Golf Course.

This neighborhood is suitable for young families, with its proximity to the lake, parks, and nature preserve.

East Austin

This area has experienced a rebirth over the last 20 years and is now one of the liveliest and culturally rich areas of the city. Home to the famous Franklin’s Barbecue and bordered on the southwest by the Rainey Street District, East Austin has a mix of historic homes and new construction giving the neighborhood a quirky vibe that explains why it’s quickly becoming one of the city’s most coveted areas to live. 

Neighborhoods in Austin’s Most Popular Suburbs


Block House Creek – Leander

Photo credit: Ursula Logan

Tucked right in between the Cedar Park and Leander city limits lies this dreamboat of a neighborhood. I’m partial because I used to live there, and it’s where I raised my boys, and made my very first friends when we moved to Central Texas from the DFW Metroplex. 

Block House Creek is the oldest of the neighborhoods listed in this article, built in the 1980’s, with its newest section, The Vineyards, being completed in the 2010’s. It’s a master-planned community of more than 2,100 homes on curved, manicured streets. The neighborhood is home to gorgeous parks dotted with enormous oak and pecan trees, two community pools, a disc golf course, sport court, dirt track, nature walking trails, and the historic Walker House, built in 1838. 

The community has a warm community vibe and is perfect for families. The commute into Austin is about 30-45 minutes via Highway 183A (toll), which is accessible right into the subdivision at Scottsdale.

Bar W Ranch – Leander

One of the city’s newer developments, Bar W Ranch sits on Leander’s easternmost edge, with Ronald Reagan Blvd serving as the border between Leander and Georgetown. Another master-planned community with attractive curved streets, this neighborhood surrounding the San Gabriel River is still being constructed, and will have about 1,400 homes at completion. 

Students living in Bar W Ranch are zoned for Liberty Hill ISD and elementary students will enjoy attending brand new Bar W Elementary School, which opened in August 2023.

The commute into Austin from Bar W Ranch is about 30-50 minutes.

Wolf Ranch – Georgetown

This master-planned community is located on the west side of IH-35 at TX Hwy 29. It has two enormous amenity centers, one that overlooks the San Gabriel River. With amenities like a resort-style pool, an event hall with outdoor BBQ grills and a large lawn with a stage, this community gets high marks from residents as being an amazing, family friendly neighborhood. And you can’t beat its proximity to the iconic downtown square, home of the annual Red Poppy Festival, which fills the streets with shoppers, live music, delicious food, and entertainment every spring.

Stonewall Ranch – Liberty Hill

One of the largest master planned communities in Liberty Hill, Stonewall Ranch is situated adjacent to the US Hwy 183/Texas Hwy 29 junction. While the neighborhood has modest amenities with just one pool and park, the neighbors are very friendly, with an active, positive vibe in their Facebook group, and a strong sense of community.

Clearwater Ranch – Liberty Hill

For those looking for a more rural Texas feel, this subdivision of luxury custom homes features acreage homesites, curved streets, beautiful, mature trees, and the most incredible Texas sunsets. Located off County Road 200 on the northwest side of town, Clearwater Ranch is 600 acres of Texas Hill Country living.


Garlic Creek – Buda

Located off Hwy 967 about two miles from downtown Buda, Garlic Creek is a mid-priced neighborhood of about 850 homes and encompasses the 31-acre Garlic Creek Park. The community offers family oriented amenities like a 75-foot pool, exercise room, parks and playgrounds, a splash pad, and community meeting rooms. 

Sunfield – Buda

Situated on 2,700 acres on the east side of Buda, Sunfield is billed as a “resort-style community,” with hike and bike trails, a dog park, stocked fishing pond, a community garden, a lap pool and 1,000-foot lazy river, and many more amenities that make it a great neighborhood for families. 

Plum Creek – Kyle

In doing research for this article, I got so many rave reviews for Plum Creek! A few current residents say it’s their favorite place they’ve ever lived because it not only has “adorable houses,” but it’s the most community oriented, family friendly place.” There are parks all over the neighborhood, plus a dog park, fishing pond, golf course, pickleball, walking trails, and two pools – one with a giant splash pad. 

6 Creeks – Kyle

Gorgeous 6 Creeks is a luxury master-planned community surrounded by Texas Hill Country. It has family-friendly amenities like a resort-style pool, pond with a fishing dock, pickleball court, and playground is just minutes away from the famous Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole Regional Park. Downtown Austin is just 20 minutes away.

Anthem – Kyle

More than 30% of this subdivision is surrounded by permanently protected lands and sits at the gateway of the Texas Hill Country on 422 acres. Just 30 minutes from Austin, the Anthem neighborhood is located near recreational parks like the Five Mile Dam and Plum Creek Golf Course.

Headwaters – Dripping Springs

This master-planned community boasts a “preservation-development” approach, designed to preserve the natural landscape and to protect the Barton Creek watershed. It sits on 1,000 acres about 25 miles south of Austin. As you’d expect, the community has walking trails and parks, but it also has amenities like a community center with a split-level pool and fitness center. 


A quick Google search will give you a long list of movers that serve the Austin metro area. Those listed below are a few that I personally have used and recommend and/or were recommended by our Austin Moms community.


California to Austin

The U.S. Census shows that Texas population has grown by four million over the last decade, with a large number of those coming into our state coming from California. 

Why are people moving here from California? The growing job market is the main reason. This Forbes article points to a number of Fortune 500 and tech companies relocating to Dallas and Austin, in particular. The cost of living in Texas is considerably lower than that of California, making it more attractive to companies and their employees.

For housing, you’re definitely going to get a lot more for your money than you do in California. We have big houses here and lots of land to spread out.

Here’s what you’re leaving behind when you come from California, though: your temperate, even-keeled weather. Here in Texas, we have wild swings: our summers are brutal and they last from about May until September – a good half of the year is sweltering. Then the opposite is true in January and February, when we get bitter winds straight from the north. 

Illinois to Austin

Again, the booming Texas economy is why people are moving here from Illinois, but the appeal of never again having to shovel snow certainly is one for the “Pros” column. 

The winter weather in Central Texas is usually crisp and gorgeous, although many people mistakenly believe it doesn’t ever get cold here. January and February can get bitterly cold. We don’t usually have precipitation mixed in with that icy cold air, but there have been a few instances in the last few years where we did. 

And you should know that we Texans are not built for that kind of weather. Our homes aren’t built for it and our infrastructure isn’t built for it. So our world shuts down at the very threat of a wintery mix. The rest of the country laughs at us for this, but we happily snuggle in front of a fire and enjoy our surprise day off.

We don’t have state income tax in Texas, giving you almost 5% more of your income than you get in Illinois. We do have higher property taxes, though, so it may be a wash. 

Tennessee to Austin

Depending on where you’re moving from in Tennessee, you may find that Austin has a similar vibe to where you currently live – Nashville, for example, has a bit of an Austin vibe, with its live music and laid-back feel. 

The reason, then, to move to Austin from Tennessee is usually because – again – the job market and our state’s lower taxes. 

Houston to Austin

The Austin-San Antonio metropolitan areas are on track to “blow past” the populations of DFW and Houston by 2050, according to KVUE’s Boomtown report. The Texas Demographic Center shows that Austin is growing by the fastest rate of all the metro areas in Texas. 

While Houston has a lower cost of living than Austin, they have two completely different vibes. Houston is fast-paced and slick (no pun intended), with the majority of its industry oil and gas. Austin – while still somewhat fast-paced – is far more laid-back and kitschy. 

What people who’ve moved from Houston to Austin say they miss: mass transit, professional sports, arts and culture (although Austin does have a bit of an arts scene, it’s nothing like Houston’s), and diversity. 

What people who’ve moved from Houston to Austin say they love about it here: traffic is much easier here than Houston (I know Austinites will disagree with this, but I moved here from Dallas, and while Austin traffic stinks, it’s nothing compared to that of DFW’s. I said what I said.)

They also tend to love the relaxed, funky vibe of Austin as compared to Houston, its outdoor activities, and access to live music. Oh and the weather – the humidity is far lower in Austin than Houston.


People are moving to the Austin metro area faster than almost any other place in the country. The pros certainly outweigh the cons and we hope we’ve given you lots of resources to help you feel comfortable with your move here. 

You’ll see on social media lots of people saying, “Don’t move here – we’re full!” But don’t let that give you the wrong idea about us. The majority of us Texans are friendly and welcoming and happy to have you. Please let Austin Moms to be the first to say, “Welcome to Austin!” We know you’ll love it here.

P.S. If you’re still looking for a realtor, we have a few on our team!

Chalimar Chieza | Sotheby’s International Realty

Bianca Segundo | Realty Reimagined Group


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here