So I did a thing… my boyfriend and I decided to spontaneously move to Austin, TX from NYC during a global pandemic. Haha! What a ride 2020 has been so far.
Start from the beginning
OK so the move to Austin, TX wasn’t something that was originally planned. Let’s rewind a bit to where the little seed got planted…
In March, Yan and I hopped on a plane and headed to California to visit our lovely friends Sharon & David in Palm Springs! Reuniting was so much fun and long overdue. During this time, we explored LA, San Diego, and model homes… which led us to stumbling upon an amazing home opportunity in Palm Desert that we fell head over heels for. We also met an amazing realtor, Joe Chung.
Shortly after flying home (and by short, I mean just a few days), we decided to bite the bullet and put an offer through to buy the property. While this occurred, news of COVID-19 began spreading. The severity of COVID-19 didn’t really cross our minds yet, because we were gonna be homeowners! We anxiously shared the decision with our families and jobs, then went forth with the home buying process.
Coronavirus had a change of plans
As we got deeper into the home buying process, COVID-19 got worse and worse. Cases started spreading everywhere and affected so many individuals and families. My job went remote and Yan was furloughed. If we were on schedule, we would have closed by end of April and packed our bags (and lives) to relocate by early May. With all the COVID-19 delays, plus a sticky lender situation that caused us to switch to a new one mid-process, the closing date was being pushed further back.
Unfortunately what originally seemed to be like a “this too shall pass” situation with the coronavirus, cases kept climbing and it got to the point where we were getting very nervous about buying a property in the midst of a global pandemic. After a few meltdowns (all me) and conversations, we decided to rescind our offer on the house and stay put.
While this decision was very hard to make, and really truly disappointing, we knew it was the best one and the smartest thing to do in this situation. With COVID-19 still so prevalent, it’s really hard to judge where the economy will go and how we’ll get back to a new normal.
So, what led you to move to Austin, TX?
Ah yes, the golden question. So a couple years back, Yan had brought up the idea of moving to Texas in the future. My initial thought? Are you nuts? I’m a New Yorker true and true, I’d never leave! But I’d always take a look at houses and boy do you get a ton of real estate for cheap, compared to NYC. I warmed up to the idea, but it was always a meh, sure I’d consider it type thing. At times, I would even show house listings to my parents and talk about maybe moving to Houston someday.
Fast forward to two years ago, I worked on this project and visited Houston, TX. Let me tell you, I was embarrassingly shocked that Texas was not just a bunch of cowboys and hillbillies. It really opened my eyes to the fact that there are cities, maybe not like Manhattan, but definitely civilization LOL. And what did I do when I visited? I looked at model homes HAHA. Those things are dangerous, I tell you.
In the month of May, we were so depressed that we were “stuck” in NYC after all. I guess we had the “moving” bug so Yan somehow wiggled the idea of Texas again and then that’s when we really started considering this as a reality. The idea of a lower cost of living, better weather, more real estate, nicer people, and having a true place to settle down and build a family was what really got us invested. We came to the conclusion that we would likely move by EOY after our lease was up and went back and forth on Houston and Austin A LOT.
We started talking to some real estate agents and looking at properties and in June, we decided that we wanted to move to Austin, TX. Shortly after, Yan found a job opportunity. This meant we had to scramble to break our lease, find a new home, retell our families and jobs, and pack in a matter of three weeks. Anxiety and stress levels were CRAZY high. We barely slept.
We really decided to move to Austin, TX in the middle of a global pandemic. A city in which neither of us know anyone and have ever visited (Yan never even visited TX before).
We did it!
We managed to break our lease without any serious penalty (we only forfeited our safety deposit), packed all our stuff with the help of friends and family (THANK YOU! 🥺🙏), took turns driving across state borders in a rental Penske truck with a dog (Wolfie) and a bunny (Tiger Lilly), picked up our new car in Houston (named Toastie), and made it all the way to our new home in Austin, TX. The drive was done in about two and a half days (it really wasn’t bad) and we unloaded and unpacked everything in two days (we like to move fast).
Verdict? It’s been a little over a month and we absolutely love it here and are genuinely super happy. Even Wolfie and Lilly are SO happy and that couldn’t make us more thrilled on our decision. The only thing I’d say that we miss is our friends and family (and maybe a few food spots 😉) otherwise, surprisingly, we don’t miss NYC at all. Despite all of the stress, anxiety, and ups and downs, we’ve learned so much from all of this! We also befriended such an amazing guy (thank you for everything, Joe!)
I’m a huge believer in passing it forward, so if you have any questions at all, need a realtor, or just need advice, I’d be delighted to share what I’ve learned and any insight that I can! ❤️