Over 10 years we helping companies reach their financial and branding goals. Onum is a values-driven SEO agency dedicated.

Housing Guide

Moving To Austin From California: Laws, Benefits, & Tips


Moving to Austin from California can be an exciting but challenging experience. Austin, the capital city of Texas, is a dynamic and vibrant place that offers a unique lifestyle, culture, and environment that stands out from California. To ensure a seamless transition, it’s crucial to understand some factors before you pack your boxes and hit the road.

In this guide, we’ve compiled 7 essential topics that you must know before relocating to Austin from California. From the cost of living and job market to the weather and transportation, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your move successful. Whether you’re moving for a job or a change of scenery, our guide will help you navigate the process with ease and confidence.

Austin takes great satisfaction in being a peculiar and varied city. Austin is well-known for its food trucks, live music scene, and thriving arts community. People often characterize Austin’s culture as “weird.” If you embrace the distinctive spirit of the city, you’ll discover a friendly community that celebrates individuality and creativity.

Austin’s climate differs greatly from California’s. While Austin has a more humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters, California typically experiences a Mediterranean climate. Summers can be extremely hot, frequently reaching temperatures above 100°F (37.8°C) in Austin.

Be ready for the heat and think about modifying your wardrobe appropriately. Even though winters are milder, it’s still a good idea to have a variety of outfits for different times of year. Not only does Austin experience extreme weather but gets natural floods and tornadoes.

Before moving to Austin from California, you must do your research on neighborhoods. Although Austin’s cost of living is generally less than that of many Californian regions, it’s important to investigate individual neighborhoods to find one that best suits your needs both financially and lifestyle-wise. While housing costs may be higher in some areas, there may be more affordable options in others. When selecting a neighborhood, take into account elements like accessibility to amenities, schools, and places of employment.

Related: Exploring the 13 Best Neighborhoods Near East Austin

The population of Austin has grown significantly in recent years, which has resulted in more traffic congestion. Since commute times can change, it’s important to make appropriate plans. Investigate other modes of transportation like walking, bicycling, and public transportation. To reduce commute stress, you should also take the distance between your home and place of employment into account when selecting a neighborhood.

Austin boasts a diverse culinary scene and is a haven for foodies. Although California is well-known for its fusion food, Austin has excellent barbecue and Tex-Mex. Try the regional specialties, such as queso, brisket, and breakfast tacos, to get a taste of the cuisine. Take a look at the food trucks, farmers’ markets, and other dining establishments that make Austin a popular destination for foodies.

Moving to Austin from California is a big thumb when considering outdoor activities. Austin is a nature lover’s paradise with an abundance of outdoor activities. There’s no lack of outdoor activities available, from biking and hiking trails to water sports on Lady Bird Lake. The parks and green areas of Austin offer a welcome diversion from the bustle of the city, whether you’re an experienced hiker or just like taking a stroll.

Related: Top 10 Things to Do in Austin in February

Austin is well-known for its thriving local economy as well as for its annual calendar of events and festivals. There’s always something going on in the city, from live music performances to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. Join clubs or organizations, go to events, and take advantage of the many cultural opportunities. Austin offers to get involved in the community and make it a vibrant place to live.

For several reasons, Californians are moving to Austin in large numbers. To begin with, Austin offers a more affordable way of living than many regions of California.

  • Cultural Diversity: Austin also has a thriving and diverse cultural scene. The city is well-known for its culinary offerings, outdoor recreation, and live music scene. It’s a creative hub that draws people from the tech, music, and other industries.
  • Budget Friendly: People can spend their money more wisely because houses and apartments are more reasonably priced. This is especially tempting to people who want to get away from expensive cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Weather: Another attraction is the warm weather, which is a pleasant diversion from California’s occasionally erratic patterns.
  • Job Opportunities: Austin’s job market is growing rapidly, particularly in the technology industry. Numerous large corporations are moving to the area or expanding, creating a large number of job opportunities. This, along with the fact that there is no state income tax, draws people looking for stable finances and professional advancement to Austin.
  • Fresh Start of a New Life: Austin is a popular destination for people looking for a fresh start because, in essence, Californians are relocating there for a better quality of life, affordability, a vibrant culture, and promising job prospects.

No, compared to many areas of California, Austin is usually less expensive. Living expenses are high in California, particularly in San Francisco and Los Angeles, when it comes to housing. But Austin has a more reasonably priced way of life. In contrast to California’s pricey real estate markets, housing costs are comparatively lower, and you can find homes or apartments at a more affordable price.

Moving to Austin from California is more affordable. Compared to California, everyday costs such as groceries, transportation, and services are frequently less expensive. One of the main things that draws Californians to Austin is its affordability, which enables them to live comfortably without experiencing the same financial strain.

It’s crucial to remember that, despite growing popularity and somewhat higher housing costs as a result of increased demand, Austin still tends to be more affordable than the expensive areas of California, where living expenses are very high. Thus, Austin presents a strong alternative for individuals looking for a more affordable place to live.

Citizenship and Taxes

Recognize that Texas may have different requirements for establishing residency than California does. Note that Texas differs significantly from California in that there is no state income tax.

Registration of the Vehicle and Driver’s License

After moving, schedule a time to update your driver’s license and vehicle registration with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Gun Regulations

If you own a gun, become familiar with Texas gun laws because they may differ from those in California.

Homestead and Property Laws

Find out about Texas’s homestead laws and how they might impact your primary residence’s protections and property taxes.

Education System

If you have kids in school, learn about Texas’s educational system and be aware of any enrollment or curriculum requirements.

Medical Care

Texas may have different insurance and healthcare laws than California, so be aware of them.

Rules Regarding Animals and Pets

Verify any pet-related local ordinances, such as those about leash laws and license requirements.

Local Laws

Become familiar with any laws and rules that are unique to your city and could have an impact on your day-to-day activities.

Services for Emergencies

Be familiar with the emergency services available in your new area, including the numbers for the local fire, police, and medical departments.

Is Texas or California a better place to live?

In the WalletHub 2022 “best states to live in” ranking, Texas came in at number eleven, and California took the second spot. The study took into account various factors such as weather, work hours, road quality, and commute time. The results showed that New York was ranked first and Alaska last.

Is it smart to move from California to Texas?

Texas’s lower sales tax range of 6.25% to 8.25 percent and absence of state income tax make it a wise move for those considering relocating from California. Texas also does not impose a corporate income tax, which is another reason why it is a desirable option financially.

California or Texas, in terms of economy?

After rising from $23.315 trillion in 2021 to $25.463 trillion in 2022, the US nominal GDP represents the entire economic output of the country. At $3.6 trillion, Texas came in first place, followed by New York at $2.356 trillion and California at $3.6 trillion.

In conclusion, moving to Austin from California, Texas, offers the chance to fully embrace a new way of life. People can successfully transition by recognizing and appreciating the unique culture, climate, and way of life that Austin has to offer. A less stressful moving experience can be achieved by keeping in mind to investigate neighborhoods, factor in traffic, and maintain an open mind. “Keep Austin Weird” encourages you to embrace uniqueness and creativity as you set out on this exciting journey. Relocating from California to Austin, Texas, represents not only a change in geography but also an opportunity to live in a community that values openness, diversity, and culture.


Sue Mercado

Native Austinite | Austin Real Estate Broker | Authentically Austin Style l Certified Luxury Home Specialist l Certified Negotiator

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *