Austin, TX — Recent Oakland, California transplant Emerson Kimble had to get out of the San Francisco Bay Area. The 32-year-old said he couldn’t afford to live in the most expensive metropolitan area in the United States. So when his technology employer, the San Mateo-based Neural Information Networks, offered him a promotion in their new Austin office, he jumped at the opportunity.
“It was the chance of a lifetime,” said Mr. Kimble reflecting on his decision to move to Austin. “Manager of Synergy Metrics is a job everyone wants. And I have up to three reports now. So that’s good. However, I was surprised to learn that Austin is in Texas.”
With median home costs approaching $700,000 and rents regularly exceeding $3000/month, many San Francisco Bay Area workers have considered moving out of the region to find lower living costs. Recently, Texas courted both businesses and workers, providing incentives to move to the Lone Star State.
“I head something about it being cheaper in Texas,” continued Emerson. “And that’s exactly what I needed. It turns out with all the fees and things like property taxes. It’s about the same cost.” Kimble began to chuckle. “About the same with fewer off-ramps on the freeways.”
If he had to do it again, Mr. Kimble says he’d think twice about moving to Austin.
“I mean, they made it sound like Austin wasn’t in Texas. They made it sound like a flat version of San Francisco. Liberal. Progressive. The capital. You know. And I suppose it’s all that as long as you don’t leave the city limits. So I guess in that case, it’s more like Alcatraz.”