Fires and Carbon Monoxide
A smoke alarm is a battery powered device that produces a loud piercing noise if it detects any smoke in a house or apartment. Every house or apartment should have at least one smoke alarm on every floor. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless toxic gas. High levels of CO can be fatal. Every home should be fitted with at least one CO detector.
Water and Electricity: For water and electricity utilities, you must register with the City of Austin. Be sure to bring a passport and a security deposit when you go to register. Most apartment complexes require that you register for utilities before they will authorize your lease.
There are two basic standards for voltage and frequency in the world. One is the North American standard of 120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz, and the other is the European standard of 220240 volts at 50 Hz. If you have European electrical appliances then you will need a converter in order to charge or operate them in the U.S.
The link below outlines the various standards of voltage and frequency for each country.
There are a number of mobile phone companies in the U.S. Typically a person can set up a pre-paid plan or enter a 6 or 12 month contract with a mobile phone service provider.
See below for a link of the major phone networks in the U.S. Each company offers different rates and plans. Be sure to pick the one that best suits you (i.e. international calls) before committing to any.
U.S. Cellular: http://www.uscellular.com/uscellular/
For a detailed review on all the mobile phone companies in the U.S. please follow the link below. This may give you a better indication of what service provider is best for you.
There is no shortage of grocery stores here in Austin from the massive chain stores to small family owned and operated Austin stores. Listed below are the major supermarkets here in Austin and where to find them.
Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
Fiesta: This store has food products from all over the world. It is especially popular among the International community. http://www.fiestamart.com/about-fiesta/store-locator/
If you prefer to take your custom to local farmers markets then we have just what you need right here in Austin. The link below specifies where to find these markets and when they take place. http://texasfarmersmarket.org/
One thing you will notice quickly about life in the U.S. is just how important a person's pet is. It is not uncommon to see pets brought into bars or onto public transportation. However there are a number of laws that must be adhered to for pet owners such as rabies vaccinations or keeping your pet restrained in public.
The link below briefly touches on all the laws you need to be aware of for pet owners. http://centuryanimalhospital.com/site/view/220814_LawsforYouandYourPetinAustinTX.pml
If you are looking for a pet be sure to check out animal rescue centers. Austin Animal Center, the largest municipal animal shelter in Central Texas, provides shelter to 23,000 animals annually and services to Austin/Travis County. This facility accepts stray and owned animals regardless of age, health, species or breed.
See below for more information. http://austintexas.gov/department/animal-services
City Information Hotline
For any information about Austin we strongly recommend that you call the City Information Hotline. You can do this by simply dialing 311 from any Austin phone. You will be able to speak to dedicated and experienced personnel who will try to answer any questions you may have about living in Austin.
Here are some things to know before moving to Austin that will help you when considering moving to Austin:
1. Contact a few Austin moving companies before you make the move. If youre shipping your entire household across the country, check the prices with different relocating companies.
2. You may need to put some of your belongings in storage before you move into your new home. In this case you should get many quotes before making a decision on a storage utility. If youre putting furniture into storage, make sure you have movers that you trust. Expensive tables, lamps, and couches may be damaged in the hands of unprofessional movers.
3. Since youre most likely moving from somewhere else in the country, you wont have to worry about transporting vehicles. Pack your car with precious items in the household, like laptops and other personal belongings.
4. Finally we may agree that, Austin is sunny, warm, and full of opportunities. However, before you take the plunge into the Austin lifestyle, make sure you have a job nailed down and resources at your fingertips. Save some cash ahead of time and use the online resources to connect with people and business in Austin city. After youve gotten settled, youll be happy with your choice to settle down in the Lone Star State.
These tips were taken from http://www.mymovingreviews.com/move/austin-moving-guide
Shipping overseas can be very expensive. The best way to find the most affordable deal is to go through each shipping company's website and see which one is offering the least expensive service.
See below for a list of the shipping companies in the Austin area.
A2 Global Shipping: 4109 Todd Ln #70g Austin (512) 518-6741
Navis Pack & Ship: 9232 Research Blvd Austin (512) 634-8120
PostNet: 3571 Far W Blvd Austin (512) 231-1321
US Post Office: 3903 S Congress Ave Austin (512) 441-6603
WEST LAKE MAIL: 3736 Bee Cave Rd #1 West Lake Hills (512) 328-3062
DHL Express: 9401 Cargo Ave Austin (512) 389-0611
BONVU.COM: 4509 Hudson Bend Rd Austin (512) 351-1588
Buying a House
Housing in Austin is very affordable. First-time home buyers and renters will find a great selection in Austins neighborhoods. Working with a realtor is possibly the best way to save time and help you find a house in a neighborhood that meets your needs and budget.
Here is a list of some of the realtors in the Austin area:
JB Goodwin REALTORS: 1613 S Capital of Texas Hwy #101 Austin (512) 502-7600
Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors: 801 W 5th St #100 Austin (512) 457-8884
Realty Austin Downtown: 1209 W 5th St #300 Austin (512) 241-1300
Texas Association of Realtors: 1115 San Jacinto Blvd Austin (512) 480-8200
Eric Bramlett, REALTOR / Broker Austin: (512) 942-7770
Austin City Realty: 715 W 23rd St Austin (512) 477-2489
West Campus Living: 504 W 24th St Austin (512) 588-2969
If you are interested in building a new home please see below for a list of some of the homebuilders in the Greater Austin area.
D.R. Horton Homes, Inc.: 10700 Pecan Park Boulevard Suite 400 - Austin, TX - 78750 Phone: 512-345-4663
David Weekley Homes: 9000 Waterford Centre Blvd. - Austin, TX - 78758-7673 Phone: 512-821-8800 Homes By Avi: 815 Brazos Street Suite 204 - Austin, TX - 78701 Phone: 512-382-5229
Lennar Homes: 12301 Research Boulevard Building 4, Suite 100 - Austin, TX 78759 Phone: 512-382-5229
Scott Felder Homes: 6414 River Place Boulevard Suite 100 - Austin, TX - 78730-5459 Phone: 512-418-5400
KB HOME: 10800 Pecan Park Boulevard Suite 200 - Austin, TX 78750 Phone: 512-721-3543
Village Homes 17325 Highway 21 West - Dale, TX - 78616 Phone: 512-385-9700
Here are some more informative links on housing in Austin: