Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Austin vs Dallas- I need Honest Opinions

Austin vs Dallas- I need Honest Opinions

It looks as though I might "have to" relocate to Austin.  It a really bad time for me because my business is BOOMING, but my husband might be told that he has an option of being laid off or move to Austin.  He's from Austin (well, lived there from when he was 8 years old), but has been in Dallas for 10 years.  He doesn't understand how much Austin has changed and thinks it's the same 'ol small town, though he voices his frustration of the growth each time we go to visit his family.

I am looking for opinions from people who have lived in both Austin and Dallas and need honest opinions about why you like whichever one better, and Austin being a "slower pace" means nothing to me because I am high energy and a slower pace will frustrate me even more.

Also, if you're living in one of these places but would love to move to the other, why?  All opinions are welcome so I can fight to keep my business in Dallas!

Comment balloon 19 commentsDonna Harris • May 18 2008 08:36AM


Gee, I can't imagine no reponses from some Austin people. I have friends outside Houston that moved from Austin and they miss it terribly. The hard part would be starting over again. But, life happens and if your husbands job is in danger who might have too. Can you sell your business in Dallas so you can get referrals ?

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 12 years ago

Missy, I'm also surprised no Austin people have chimed in yet... but no Dallas people either.  I can see people liking Austin over Houston as I will get a divorce before moving to Houston, but I guess no one has opinions to share, but it's still early.  Let's wait until people are home from Brunch.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Hi Donna... I lived in Dallas from '91-'00 and then I lived in Austin for 2 years before moving to NYC and then back to Dallas in '03.  Both Dallas and Austin are GREAT cities with a LOT to offer,  and I think you would LOVE Austin as much as I did.  There is so much to do there and as far as your concerns about a slower pace, I did not think there was a different pace of life as much as I would say that people were not as tightly wound.  All of the lifestyle elements I love in Dallas are also found in Austin and I will admit that Austin offers a better outdoors lifestyle than Dallas as well as some of the most beautiful scenery in Texas. 

In my opinion this is a decision between two choices where you can't lose! :)

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 12 years ago

Steve, Than you for your comments.  When moving back, why did you come back to Dallas instead of Austin?  If you could move to Austin tomorrow, would you?

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

I hope it all works out for you.  I read the post about being sick and that is the worst. I ahte being sick and I hate moving!

Posted by Nyles Courchesne, Massachusetts Real Estate Attorney (Peskin, Courchesne and Allen, P.C.) about 12 years ago

Austin is horrible with big mosquitoes and lots of crime and a horrible place to raise daughters ... guess you have to stay now!

Posted by Leonard Thomas (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) about 12 years ago

Donna - You need to talk with Jason Crouch.  He grew up in Dallas and now lives in Austin.  I'm sure he could give you a good comparison.

Posted by Linda Box Taylor, Your Plano, TX Realtor (Castle Connections Realty) about 12 years ago

Sure Donna... just feed me to the wolves here!  Ask me to PUBLICLY come out on AR as liking one city over the other!  LOL.

The honest truth is I like things about both cities and in all honestly I would say they are pretty equal in my heart (or at least within the statistical margin of error as the pollsters would say).

I came back to Dallas instead of Austin for one simple reason... when I moved back I was pursuing a business opportunity with two other former colleagues who happened to live here, so that was why I moved back from NYC.  The other opportunity did not work out so I re-focused on real estate.

If you have any questions or would just like to chat about both in greater length feel free to give a call!  I'd be happy to meet you at Starbucks and we can chat over a Latte! :)

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 12 years ago

Donna:  We moved to Austin from DFW in 2000...  And if I can help it, I will NEVER go back!  I love it here and so does my whole family.  Call me if you want to know more!  Be happy to evangelize for the Austin area, particularly for Round Rock/Georgetown.  Plenty of business here for everyone!

Posted by Steve Homer (The HBH Group (Keller Williams affiliate)) about 12 years ago

Nyles, Thank you!

Leonard, Do you have the two cities confused??  LOL!  The mosquitoes are HUGE at my house!  We need to talk about you possibly buying my business so my database doesn't go to waste.  And did you see the new Re/Max office right behind my house?? I wonder who the broker is.

Linda, Thanks for the suggestion.  I hope by "growing up" that includes some "adult" time to compare apples to apples.

Steve S, I didn't mean to feed you to the wolves. Thank you for your honest opinions. I'll probably give you a call, but it won't be until next week as I'll be in Austin Wed-Sunday.

Steve H, Georgetown compares to McKinney and I could never live that far away from things.  My husband used to live in Round Rock, so that's an option, but the southern area of it.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Donna... call anytime.  It's a standing offer, as is the Starbucks offer. :)  Enjoy Austin... it really is a great place.  And if you are there on Sunday for brunch, be sure to check out the Creme Brulee French Toast at Chez Zee off of Mopac at 2222... it'll have you packing to move to Austin before you even get back to Dallas!

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 12 years ago

I just always considered it a good place to visit. I don't know it well enouh to comment past that.

Whatever happens, I am sure you will get yoour business up to speed fast.

Good Luck!!

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) about 12 years ago

Steve, We didn't stay for Sunday brunch, but we did go to the Oasis for a drink on Friday night.  Apparently you're supposed to applaud when the sun goes down,  but even Mike didn't know why.  I guess it's saying to the sun, "job well done"?

Tom, After this past week, I'm not sure I want to do real estate in Austin.  Maybe I'll go the title company route instead... lots to think about.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Donna, the Oasis is ALL about the view and especially the sunset (and the alcohol).  The food there has always been overpriced (for what it is) and underwhelming (for what it could be without much effort).  It was a great choice for a drink though... sort of an Austin institution.  How did you enjoy the trip from a "move" evaluation perspective?

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 12 years ago

Austin slow? lol. Not hardly. They have one of the best real estate markets in the country right says even the media.

We plan on retiring to the area in a few years. Not in Austin but northwest of Austin.

My honest opinion. Here is my brutally honest opinion. Dallas is not pretty to me. Austin has some BEAUTIFUL areas that just can not be matched in Texas. Austin has plenty of fast paced action and then again if you are more sedate it has those areas too. Think Round Rock. Dallas is all about big business. It seems dirtier and more crowded to me than Austin. If I had to choose between Houston, Dallas and would be Austin by a landslide but for now I am living outside of Houston.

I know that sounds harsh but having spent a lot of time in both places...that is my opinions of them.

I was in Austin yesterday off Mopac. My brother lives in North Austin.



Posted by Cheri Smith, Realtor Prudential Gary Greene (Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX) about 12 years ago

Steve, Not really sure how I enjoyed the trip from a moving aspect.  Prices are all over the board, and seem overpriced for what you get in most of the areas.  We're going to have a lot to talk about before making any move. Because of the lack of infrastructure, I don't really see myself doing real estate out there.  I'm fast paced and am always on the move.  If it takes me 30 minutes to go 5 miles, Donna isn't going to be a happy, patient person to deal with.  We'll see...

Cheri, Dallas has some pretty areas, mostly south of downtown like Cedar Hill, which is why "hill" is in it's name.  It's just not a great place for resale though you can buy huge houses for fairly cheap.  Schools are also not the greatest in that area.  Scenery doesn't really mean anything to me.  I could really careless about it... but maybe it's because I've never had the choice for it before.  We have a lot off the Brazos river and Mike can sit there for hours staring at the "rock" cliff across our lot, and I can stare at it for about 30 seconds before my eyes are moving on.  But it's not just about beauty, it's also about health, and I suffer from migraines which is why I can never live in Houston, and Austin has higher humidity than Dallas.  Again, we'll have to wait and see what happens, but I love hearing everyone's opinions.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Well, it's all about what you like and don't like. I am into all things out doors. I love hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, etc. I am uncomfortable in malls and I prefer sandals or flip flops over high-heels. I didn't even know what Coach was until I was given a wallet by my broker a couple of years ago. lol. So Dallas is a good fit for one type of personality but not my personality. I still believe it offers a little of both worlds depending on what area you are in.

Sandra Bullock supposedly lives there if that makes a difference. lol.



Posted by Cheri Smith, Realtor Prudential Gary Greene (Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX) about 12 years ago

Donna:  I have been to Austin a few times, and it always seemed to me to be a very confusing place to drive around it.  That might have changed if I went there more often.  The traffic on I-35 could be absolutely horrible.  It reminded me of Central Expressway (75) back when it was two lanes each way... before it got widened.

I agree that home prices in Austin, at least from my perspective in Fort Worth, and also from having lived in Plano for a few years... that Austin was "overpriced."  But, then again, all real estate is local... so pricing simply follows supply and demand.  There is also a slogan for Austin... "Keep Austin Weird."  For me, that is ok, because I see weird as just another word for "special."  LOL.

Houston... the only area I am familiar with is the Northwest 1960 area, and a but further out like in Spring, Texas.  I also love the Woodlands, which is on the upper edge of Houston.

Whatever happens, best of luck on your move if it takes place.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 12 years ago

Cheri, I dated a guy who lived across the walkway from Sandra at an apartment complex years ago.  I think I heard she built a house in the far suburbs a couple of years ago.

Karen, It's confusing because all the streets curve around that dang river they call a lake.  I can't keep my north and south straight and that's irritating when trying to figure out if the west sun will be setting in the backyard or the front of the house.  I think we're going down again this weekend to look at southern areas like Bee Caves and Falcon's Head.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago