curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/31/08 6:32 a.m.

Austin in particular. There are websites that tell me its kid-friendly, pet-friendly, and vegetarian-friendly, but nothing that says "hotrodder-friendly."

I'm moving from CA and I grew up in PA. I actually find PA to be nutso difficult and CA to be mildly frustrating. PA was pretty strict, as in few loopholes. They also have that yearly safety inspection that is pretty strict. Registration was cheap, insurance was expensive, titling things was pretty streamlined but strict. CA seems pretty nazi, but the loopholes and dumb folks at the DMV made it pretty easy if you know the system. Registration was expensive, but they didn't care what it was as long as it didn't pollute too much. You could drive a tin can with a V8 as long as it is smog exempt. For that reason I rate CA very high on the rodder-friendly scale.

How does TX stack up? I'm specifically interested in what years are smog exempt, what fuels, and how easy things are to register and title.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
5/31/08 7:03 a.m.

Check out NW Arkaknsas. It's kid-friendly, pet-friendly, vegetarian-tolerant (is any place really vegie friendly besides a few nutso areas on the left coast?), and hotrodder-friendly with zero inspections, including zero so-called safety inspections. Titles on your home built are fairly straight forward, if the process is a bit bizzare. Vehicle registration is about $20/yr. You pay a property tax on your vehicle separately. Tax on a '97 Camry was about $40 last year, tax on my 86 Toyota Truck was $5.49. Housing will be cheaper than Austin. Half the people up here are from Texas. The other half are from California. That should tell you something.

Oh, I like Texas and it is much better than the PRC. I lived there 18 years. The people are very friendly. The weather is a bit brutal. But the government has gone money and regulation crazy, which is driving people out of the state. It costs you money at every governmental interaction. And not a little money either. There's no state income tax, but they make up for it that way.

I like to say that Texas is 20 years behind California, and Arkansas is 20 years behind Texas. That's an advantage, as I see it.

Thinkkker
Thinkkker SuperDork
5/31/08 7:11 a.m.

Dr. Hess, what regulations and governmental are you refferring to out of curiosity.

Though I have a little different outlook I guess. The "bad" places that I see are those that require emmissions testig and such. This is DFW, Houston, Austin, the major metropolitan areas. I have been able to avoid living in one of these places so I do not have to worry with that. Normally you can avoid a bit of the inspection garble by marking friends or just finding the right shop. Then they will make sure you have the cat, or what not you need :grin:

If you put something back on the road off of a salvage title it is not to bad. You can get a lost title without a lot of issue also.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
5/31/08 7:44 a.m.

Thinkkker, it's just every little governmental interaction, and the big ones too. Everything from a medical license fee to going to the park is gonna cost you, and cost you big. Every single town regardless of size is a speed trap. You want to know where the speed traps are? Look at the map. That's it. Like I said, I like Texas and we still have a lot of friends and family there. My step-grandchildren are there, etc. I just prefer to live in Arkansas, even though it has its own issues as well like being kinda weird, but not as weird as East Texas.

Thinkkker
Thinkkker SuperDork
5/31/08 7:57 a.m.

OH EAST TX! :nice:

Yes speed traps are EVERYWHERE. There are not any of those out here, its to flat so its all instant on. I carry a CB now in the car and leave off the V1. It actually works better, if I were to speed.

carguy123
carguy123 Reader
5/31/08 8:57 a.m.

I live in Fort Worth and have had kids in Austin for years and I have no clue what Dr. Hess is talking about. It sure isn't Austin/Texas.

That's not to say that you won't find a speed trap anywhere -try Plano for one. The WHOLE town!!!

You will have emissions testing in the big cities, but not outside the cities. I live 1 mile outside what is considered the big city area and don't really have emissions testing although I have heard they'd like to make it the whole state. But with that said there are tales all over of people running test pipes passing emissions testing. They don't do the California visual test.

We don't have a state income tax (yeah!) which only means that they get their tax money from property taxes (boo). You can't get away from it, they need their money so they will get it one way or another.

I do my daughter's taxes who lives in Cali and it costs her much more than it does us here.

There are hot rodders galore here. If the car is over a certain age it is exempt from all kinds of tests and license plates, etc. Kit cars are easy to get licensed.

Austin used to be my kind of town, but it has grown and now there are at least 2 Austins. There's the old town that has hwy 35 going thru it and the newer NE area (basically) which has the loop and a lot of not quite complete roads. Traffic is nothing like Dallas, but more than Fort Worth. And coming from Cali you might not even notice it.

slantvaliant
slantvaliant New Reader
6/2/08 10:45 a.m.

The hill country has its appeal, but Austin is weird and proud of it.

As far as emissions testing, they pushed to get that here in Lubbock (West Texas, base of the Panhandle) a few years ago based on the amount of crap they found in our air. It seems, however, that the primary "pollutant" was dust. Oddly enough, somone figured out that strict vehicle emission testing would have no impact on dust storms. No testing yet!

rob_lewis
rob_lewis GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/2/08 11:13 a.m.

http://www.lonestarroundup.com/

That should tell you what the Hot Rod scene is like. Prices aren't bad if you stay out of Austin proper and instead are in the 'burbs. Emissions are better out of the city.

Austin is a great place to live. Very laid back. However, it's still a small town. The only thing I never liked about it (and I've been here about 15 years) is the lack of nationwide things. Movies are usually the larger ones (not little indies, although it's getting better.) Show (musicals, plays, concerts) usually go to San Antonio/Dallas/Houston rather than Austin.

Not a big deal unless those things are important.

Just know it's hot. 100 yesterday, 100 today and high 90's the rest of the week.....

-Rob

MitchellC
MitchellC New Reader
6/3/08 3:28 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: is any place really vegie friendly besides a few nutso areas on the left coast?

Gainesville is. I can think of a few restaurants that serve only vegetarian and vegan food, as well as many places that have real vegetarian entrees (not just a plate full of sides).

I would have to guess that Austin is pretty vegetarian friendly;most towns with a large college student population seem to be.

slefain
slefain Dork
6/3/08 7:32 a.m.

Atlanta has lots of places, even vegan restaurants. My brother-in-law is allergic to everything (in a bad way) so he's vegan by non-choice. He takes us to all the good spots. I then go home and snack on some ham to make up for it....

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
6/3/08 9:13 a.m.

I've been a lacto vegetarian for about 20 years now. We eat cheese, avoid eggs. I never liked eggs anyway. I don't think I've ever been in a vegie only restaurant. It's getting easier now than it used to be. Even Burger King has a vegie burger. Austin is the probably about as good as it will get for that. It's the Berkeley of Texas.

Not trying to discourange you from moving to Texas. Compared to the PRC, it's heaven. I lived for 13 years in Bryan and 5 in League City. I'd recommend you consider Bryan/College Station as well. College town, not as expensive as Austin, MUCH BETTER UNIVERISTY (Gig Um, and Beat t.u.!) there. But, take a look at Arkansas, too before you decide.

GlennS
GlennS Reader
6/3/08 2:03 p.m.

I dont know, the peoples republic of congo has some nice rainforests. You wont find thos in Texas. Just try to avoid the ethnic warfare and you will be fine.

drc
drc New Reader
6/3/08 3:51 p.m.

how about san marcos

carguy123
carguy123 Reader
6/3/08 4:44 p.m.

San Marcos, definite small town atmosphere.

Good swimming, diving and tubing river that runs right thru it.

Good University, I have 2 kids who graduated from there. Excellent communications, mass marketing school.

Close to San Antone and Austin.

Jack
Jack SuperDork
6/4/08 9:38 a.m.

I travel to TX regularly and there is one word that will keep me from every living in TX. . . . HOT! Then again, some parts of CA and be pretty miserable too.

Consider visisting during the warm 1/2 -3/4 of the year first.

jack

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
6/4/08 10:07 a.m.

San Marcos, home of The Party School. The Hill Country is nice. But, like Jack says, visit in August before you decide.

For a real laugh, read Austin's descriptions of Texas to people he was trying to get to move there. It's like a page right out of Marketing 101. Baffle them with BS. The wonderful Mesquite Tree and Prickley Pear Cactus. Why, it's like mana from heaven. You can feed your cows the leafs of the Prickley Pear and you can eat the Mesquite beans. He doesn't mention that you'll have to because it is so hot and dry that there is nothing else that will grow. No mention of the Comanche, who'se primary occupation was robbing and killing their neighbors, something they were very good at and they were only defeated by developing a taste for the corn tortilla and beans. You can't eat a diet of bean burritos if your main job is raiding.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 Reader
6/4/08 10:19 a.m.

Don't mess with Texas....They might not get it.

carguy123
carguy123 Reader
6/4/08 5:23 p.m.

We don't, and we will get you.

drc
drc New Reader
6/4/08 10:14 p.m.
rob_lewis wrote: http://www.lonestarroundup.com/ That should tell you what the Hot Rod scene is like. Prices aren't bad if you stay out of Austin proper and instead are in the 'burbs. Emissions are better out of the city. Austin is a great place to live. Very laid back. However, it's still a small town. The only thing I never liked about it (and I've been here about 15 years) is the lack of nationwide things. Movies are usually the larger ones (not little indies, although it's getting better.) Show (musicals, plays, concerts) usually go to San Antonio/Dallas/Houston rather than Austin. Not a big deal unless those things are important. Just know it's hot. 100 yesterday, 100 today and high 90's the rest of the week..... -Rob

Whoa wait. Isn't austin the live music capitol of texas? SXSW? Austin City Limits? they get alot of shows that don't make it down to houston (pretty sad live music scene here)... and they've got the alamo draft house too.

Many years back, had an ex who lived in Georgetown (north of Austin). it seemed nice out there, kinda boring / quiet. But moderately close to Austin. Money magazine recently ranked it as the #2 place to 'live and launch' http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fsb/0803/gallery.best_places_to_launch.fsb/2.html http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2007/snapshots/PL4829336.html

I think austin / san marcos / gtown are pretty nice if you're into that more bohemian / outdoorsy vibe to some degree or another. Lots of nice hiking areas. And A town is definitely as close to TX gets to being 'bike friendly'.

FWIW, I love Houston and this is probably the only major Texas city that I could see myself living in for the long term. Sugarland and the Woodlands are nice planned communities on the outskirts of town, if you're into that sort of thing. good museum district, fine arts, etc. crappy public transit.

protip : Texas is hot. Houston is humid. Austin is full of hippies. San Antonio is boring.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/5/08 11:02 a.m.

Yes, SXSW and "The Live Music Capitol of the World", but that's about it. If you're a huge music buff and will be going to bars and venues everynight to hear the newest local band or think that Stevie Ray Vaughn is the second coming, it's the ONLY place to live.

I was never into the hardcore music scene and am even less so in my old age.

The real question (as I go back and read it) is how hard is it to register. Yes, Austin is full of hippies, but we are still in Texas, so anything older than 25 years is pretty easy to register and get inspected. ("Does it have wipers and lights?" "Yep!" "Does it stop?" "Yep.", "Here's your inspection sticker.")

-Rob

drc
drc New Reader
6/5/08 12:03 p.m.

apologies, i misparsed 'shows' to mean bands and whatnot, and not musicals and stuff.

slantvaliant
slantvaliant New Reader
6/5/08 5:14 p.m.
Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
6/5/08 6:24 p.m.

Having had many inspections in Texas over 18 years, virtually never on anything newish, I can personally tell you that having no inspection at all is much better. Also, the vehicle inspection is a perfect example of my earlier statement of everything costing you. How much is it now? $20? $30? That's every year, and it only goes up.

Thinkkker
Thinkkker SuperDork
6/6/08 8:19 a.m.

They made the max at 25 I think. Most of the places here charge 14.50 for it though.

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