Realtor: More people move here after SXSW

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by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 12:18 PM

AUSTIN -- SXSW doesn't just mean thousands of visitors; it also means thousands of people who end up in Austin for good.

They come for the music, the film premieres and the BBQ, and a lot of them stay permanently.

Forbes named Austin the fastest growing city in America, and an average 150 people move here every day. According to a local realtor, Austin may see the biggest growth right after SXSW.

"About 20 to 25 percent of our buyer clientele have actually come to Austin for a festival,” said Theresa Bastian, co-owner of Keepaustinweirdhomes.com.

Bastian is a realtor who moved to Austin after attending ACL.

“It was that (ACL) that made me say 'Oh, there's got to be a way to move here,” Bastian told KVUE.

Bastian believes people are attracted to the area for the views and the price, which is good news for local sellers.

“They’re moving from areas that cost more to live in than Austin does, so they're not really negotiating too hard on the price of homes," she said.

However, not everyone is as welcoming. You may have seen a popular t-shirt with the words “Welcome to Austin: Please don’t move here.”

Local screen-printing company Kong actually meant for the t-shirt to be a joke.

“We originally wanted to make a funny shirt for our friends,” said Kong co-owner Bruce Braden.

However, after a fan uploaded the shirt to the website Reddit.com orders started flying in.

“It was right before SXSW and things just took off from there,” said Braden.

Despite what the shirt says, Braden embraces the change.

“Economic development is good, people moving here. But at the same time you want to work to retain the things that make Austin a unique place," he said.

After all, Braden decided to move after attending SXSW.

“I moved here two weeks later,” Braden said.

Bastian said the best way for Austin homeowners to take advantage of the growing market is to schedule open houses during SXSW, and to maximize Internet exposure while demand is high.

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