Texas has one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing economies in the world, and Williamson County had the fastest growing GDP in all the United States. Its proximity to the state capital of Austin has brought unprecedented growth and opportunity. Round Rock, Texas, sits just 20 miles north of downtown Austin and maintains a friendly neighborhood atmosphere despite rapid growth and easy access to the bustle of the city. Whether you’re a young professional relocating for work in the growing clean energy, tech, or life science industries – or are a growing family lured by the high quality of life and exemplary schools, relocating to Round Rock is for you!
Settled at the eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country, Round Rock offers abundant outdoor experiences in beautiful environments. During the hot summers, you can hike local trails to natural springs, and enjoy year-round events and festivals at beloved venues like Centennial Plaza, a public lawn and amphitheater. All of your hard work and play will be sure to build an appetite, and you can look forward to menus based on locally sourced ingredients at fabulous restaurants that feature flavorful seasonal dishes plus classic Texas Southwestern fare.
Living in Round Rock, TX: What to Know Before Moving to Round Rock
Gorgeous red, pink, and purple sunsets that span the horizon, friendly small-town charm, and exciting opportunities at every turn – this is why so many people are moving to Round Rock, Texas. Previously a sleepy suburb of Austin, Round Rock began booming with economic, commercial, and residential development in the 1990’s. But the city was able to manage that growth and maintain an exceptional quality of life that continues to all types of new residents. The population reached 125,000 in 2020, with a median age of 34 years old. Award-winning schools prepare students for bright futures while emphasizing community life, growing companies provide no shortage of employment opportunities, and delightfully designed parks and recreation offer adventure that begins at your doorstep.
Find the Best Home in Round Rock
Every new resident moving to Round Rock has unique needs for their new home. Robert Butler is a local Realtor who has lived in Round Rock over 10 years. His websites – Homes4Sale in Round Rock and Homes for Rent in Round Rock are very informative and useful. Robert even has a website just for new construction homes. Send him a call or text at (512) 758-9134 and you’ll find out why they call him “Mr. Round Rock.”
Pros and Cons of Living in Round Rock
You’ll want to prepare for your new life in Round Rock by learning about some of the major upsides and downsides of the area:
- Growing & dynamic economy – As Austin industries expand, opportunities increasingly take root in Round Rock as well. Major international companies including: Dell, Oracle, 3M, Samsung, Google, Indeed, Facebook, and Apple have locations in or just outside Round Rock. Health care and institutions of higher learning continue to grow their campuses in Round Rock, meaning the opportunities for employment and the room for professional mobility are plentiful.
- Exemplary schools – Round Rock Independent School District is recognized across Texas for its competitive schools that prepare students at every level with a quality education.
- Hometown atmosphere – This city has focused on creating a high quality of life, and that’s apparent in the way the community designs its friendly, walkable downtown, parks, pools, hiking & biking trails, playgrounds, and support for the arts.
- Traffic – While Round Rock has done an amazing job keeping cars moving within a fast-growing city, commuting into Austin can be a traffic challenge.
- Seasonal allergies – The entire Central Texas area has intense seasonal allergies with cedar pollen, oak, and mold a common concern.
- Hot, hot heat – While many love the short and typically mild winters, the summer can be quite hot especially for sensitive groups. Summer activities need to plan around the hottest times of the day.
- Property Tax: Round Rock property tax is 2.170%, That is the lowest tax rate for any city near Austin, Texas. Property tax on a home with a median value of $250,000 would be $5,425.
- Sales Tax: The combined sales tax rate for Round Rock is 8.25%, a total of 6.25% Texas state tax and 2% Round Rock tax. The US average sales tax rate is 7.3%.
- Income Tax: There’s no income tax in the State of Texas, a major perk for Lone Star residents.
Most people moving to Round Rock decide to purchase a home, and a wide variety of home types are available: smaller, older models built in the 1970s and 80s that have been recently renovated to large new luxury builds of four and five bedrooms to upscale condos. As of January 2021, the median price for currently listed homes is $320,000. And housing market is currently “very hot.” About 38% of those who are moving to Round Rock are renters. Homes for Rent in Round Rock average $1,650 for a house and $1,200 for an apartment.
Cost of Living
Livablity.com’s editors looked at cities across the country, evaluating not only cost of living but its own LivScore. According to the editors: “Most Round Rock residents spend less than 28 percent of their salaries on housing and about seven percent less on groceries and utilities than the average American, according to The Council for Community and Economic Research. Health care and other living expenses hover at or below the national average as well, leaving residents with plenty of money to enjoy the many things there are to do in and around Round Rock.”
The median household income in Round Rock is $80,637 compared to the US average of $61,937 annually.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Round Rock, Texas is located in a unique transitional zone between the dry southwest and the lush, humid southeast. Drive towards the west, and you’ll soon see cactus plants. Head east to find green prairies and forests. Depending on which way the wind is blowing, it can either dry, humid, or a happy middle ground – but never as humid as Houston and never as dry as El Paso. The summers are hot, with temperatures occasionally over 100 degrees. The winters are short and mild. December and January usually are the coolest months, with highs of 62 degrees and average lows of 42 degrees. It occasionally freezes, and snows once or twice every few years. The city experiences all four seasons with beautiful leaves falling in the autumn, and fresh greenery in the spring.
Hurricanes and tornadoes are a slight threat as this region of Central Texas lies outside the official “Tornado Alley” and too far inland for tropical storms to do much harm. Strong rain storms can cause flash floods in low-lying areas and flood insurance is recommended. There are no active earthquake faults.
Traffic and Transportation
Round Rock’s primary thoroughfare is Interstate 35, which runs north and south. US Highway 79 runs through the east of the city, while Highway 45 runs along the southern edge, providing easy access to Austin’s Loop 1 – locally called “Mo-Pac“, and the regional airport. Round Rock is a car-dependent city, with moderate accessibility for bikes and public transportation. Some commercial areas like the downtown and the Round Rock Premium Outlet Mall is made for easy walking.
What To Do
Round Rock is the self-proclaimed Sports Capital of Texas, a moniker that makes sense, given the city’s seemingly endless recreational opportunities. Dell Diamond is home to the Round Rock Express, a Triple-A Pacific Coast League baseball team. Settler’s Park is a 640-acre space with courts for baseball, softball, soccer, golf, as well as pavilions to host picnics and barbeques. Seven playgrounds sit throughout the park, as well as 3.3 miles of trails, and even a pier for catching bass, catfish, and perch.
For more outdoor adventure, several stunning state parks are a short drive away, perfect for a day trip. They include McKinney Falls State Park, Pedernales State Park, and Enchanted Rock. Each offers a unique combination of hiking trails, natural features such as canyons, and natural swimming options in rivers and creeks.
When you need to find some great outdoor gear, head over to Round Rock’s Premium Outlets, a beautiful outdoor plaza-style mall, or to the nearby University Oaks Shopping Center.
Schools and Universities
Round Rock Independent School District serves the Round Rock area, with 55 schools spanning grades K-12. In recent years, the city’s leadership has concentrated efforts to provide greater and more varied higher education opportunities. Austin Community College provides students with over 100 areas of study in associate degree and technical certification programs. Texas State University’s Round Rock Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fields spanning Computer Science, Education, and Health Science. Texas A&M’s Health Science Center provides its medical school students with third and fourth-year clinical training in regional clinics and hospitals.
According to bestplaces.net, Round Rock has a lower crime index than the state of Texas and neighboring Austin. Violent crimes occur at a much lower rate than the national and state averages – at an index of 10 compared to the US average of 22.7. Nonviolent crime, at 32, is just under the national average of 35. The areas with higher concentrations of reported crime are focused in downtown, central north, and the southwest and southeast regions, while all other surrounding regions exhibit a lower crime rate.
- Gas service – Contact Atmos Energy, the designated gas provider for Round Rock, to activate your service.
- Electric service – Electricity in Round Rock is deregulated, meaning you’re able to choose an energy plan from providers based on rate and plan length. Browse Power to Choose to select a provider that suits your budget.
- Water service – The City of Round Rock provides water, wastewater, and drainage utility. You apply for these services at RRTXWater.com.
- Trash pick-up/recycling service – The City of Round Rock also provides garbage collection once per week with recycling every other week. You can also apply for these services at Garbage and Recycling. Brush and Christmas trees can be recycled at the Brush Recycling Center. Round Rock residents (bring water bill and drivers license) can pick up free mulch at the center: 310 Deepwood Drive, Round Rock, Texas 78681
- Internet/Cable service – Choose from a variety of internet providers to service your home, selecting among plans for speed and value. AT&T, Century Link, and Spectrum are three popular options.
Best Neighborhoods in Round Rock, TX
Everyone wants to know where the best neighborhoods in Round Rock are. That really depends. There are so many considerations that each person may make: budget, lot size, home size, age, schools, etc. Homes 4 Sale in Round Rock.com is a great resource for reading about each neighborhood in Round Rock. Many of the neighborhood descriptions include photos and videos of homes in each community. The best way to make an informed decision is to do your research at homes4saleroundrock.com.