I am the Branch Manager for a company with a satellite office in Georgetown, which is a bedroom community to Austin. We are mostly commercial, maybe 10% residential, good contracts with schools, city and county governments, in addition to other retail customers. I could use a seasoned experience commercial HVAC and refrigeration man. I have several young guys, so anyone I hire needs to have about 8 years or so as a service tech. I will offer best pay in the area, decent benefits, good environment. I'm not desperate at this time, so I will be taking time and checking you out. Email if you are interested.
Those price ranges are pretty close, but you have to hunt. There were some houses that were 200k-280k a few miles from 78744 on the west side of 35. We had a huge building boom and a whole bunch of hurricane escapees stayed here. We get a ton of houston people. I've heard "I'm from houston, like everyone else in Austin."
I wouldn't jump into a house down here without really taking a look around. Austin is often called San Fransico, Texas. We have a lot of liberals, and the gay pride is everywhere. There's a homeless guy that runs for mayor and actually gets votes. He cross-dresses, frequently in a halter top and thong... It's not pretty.
Figure out what college students like: that's what's here.
Great food too. If you want it, it's here. If you've never had mexican this far south, you ain't had it yet.
Austin's Motto is Keep Austin Weird
If you like bars/clubs, there's tons of them. 6th street is party central. often. But you can't smoke in them, with one or two exceptions.
If you like music, there's tons.
Lots of little eccentric shops
Coffee shops with unique scenes
Golf Courses all over the place
Good hike & bike trails
The real bad news: Traffic is nuts, and occurs all hours of the day except for around 9-11am, and 3pm ish (except fridays, when it never stops). Around 4:30, if you're north of the river headed south, expect to go 10 mph. TxDoT is about 10 or so years behind where they should be. Avoid downtown from 2-3 AM. 2 am is closing time for the bars you can't smoke in (I'm not bitter, really).
http://austin360.com for the curious.