A new list of America’s best cities to live in was featured on the TODAY Show and guess who was numero uno. Austin! “Okay, okay. We already know it’s awesome, Amber…”

This is great news for Austinites and anyone relocating to the Austin area (including Bee Cave and Lakeway). While your first reaction might be to worry about more congestion on our highways, that’s not necessarily the case.

The number of people moving here has actually decreased, but Austin scored high in desirability and its net migration score was still higher than that of most cities.

Determining factors on ranking

U.S. News and World Report evaluated the country’s 125 most populous metropolitan areas. They considered several factors: affordability, job prospects and quality of life. Data such as crime rates, availability of health care and median household income was used in conjunction with results from polls.

For example, they asked 2,500 people from all over the country where they’d prefer to live to create a desirability index. Net migration, as mentioned above is about how many people are moving to or away from each metro area. This was a significant factor when coming up with the final ranking.

The bright side

We can all name the downside of being on this list, but lets’ look at the positives. Our quality of life is great! We have access to the things we need like hospitals, specialty doctors and plenty of senior living facilities for our aging loved ones, especially in the Lakeway/Bee Cave area. On the flip side, new preschools have been opening to support children that are pre-elementary age.

We have wonderful schools that attract terrific teachers. Many of the school districts in Austin and surrounding areas like Round Rock, Lake Travis, Cedar Park have exemplary schools. The school districts are aware of impending growth and working hard to make sure schools aren’t overcrowded. Whether you agree with Bee Cave Middle School boundaries or not, from a high-level perspective, these news schools are a step in the right direction for future growth.

We attract big name companies, which means more jobs and more opportunities. We also have plenty of Austin-born companies that are thriving and expanding, so Austin has a nice balance of both. Forward-thinking when it comes to technology and happy to support local homegrown businesses.

We live in one of the most beautiful places and we’re lucky to call it home. Austin has a neighborhood for everyone. Young or old or right in the middle, there’s a perfect home waiting to be discovered. And with a skilled Realtor like me, who knows exactly how to navigate the luxury market, I can make that dream home a reality. It’s what I do.

What’s shaking in other cities

While the majority of the top 25 best places to live are located in the middle of the country, the Pacific Northwest is still popular thanks to its tech boom. San Francisco — which moved up from No. 20 to No. 7 — Portland, Oregon, and Seattle all took spots in the top 10.

Incredibly, only one Northeast city cracked the top 20. Washington, D.C., dropped to No. 19 after ranking No. 8 last year due to a decrease in housing affordability and net migration. Portland, Maine, was the next closest city, coming in at the 23rd spot, while New York City sat way down at No. 90 on the list.

So let’s lift a glass and toast to Austin for being fabulous, yet again. Cheers!


1. Austin, Texas

2. Denver, Colorado

3. Colorado Springs, Colorado

4. Fayetteville, Arkansas

5. Des Moines, Iowa

6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

7. San Francisco, California

8. Portland, Oregon

9. Seattle, Washington

10. Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina

11. Huntsville, Alabama

12. Madison, Wisconsin

13. Grand Rapids, Michigan

14. San Jose, California

15. Nashville, Tennessee

16. Asheville, North Carolina

17. Boise, Idaho

18. Sarasota, Florida

19. Washington, D.C.

20. Charlotte, North Carolina