There's a lot to learn about Austin, but probably the most pertinent to you at the moment is the red hot real estate market. Over 150 people a day move to Austin! We're projected to add about 70,000 jobs in 2015 and 2016, and the supply of houses just can't keep up. No place is booming like Texas in general, but some experts consider Austin to even be the hottest market in America... and thus the hottest market in the world! There is a dire shortage of inventory, and even though builders are working feverishly to compensate, the increase in new homes are still unable to keep up with demand. Think I'm exaggerating? Jump in the market, and you'll see first hand that a big percentage of homes are sold in two weeks or less. If you're not pre-approved for a loan and ready to pull the trigger on the right house, then the race will go to the swift. Many realtors will suggest you don't even bother looking at homes until you know your financing is secure. In the current state, I think there is a lot of wisdom to that strategy.
Even if you're from out of state, you've probably still heard about Austin's culture. There are not many places that can compare to Austin's rich music, art, and technology community. You also get this mixed with a lot of traditional Texas culture, so Austin can be a very eclectic place. The area that you live will also influence how you experience Austin, and there's no way I can begin to give a sufficient overview here. I'd love to mail or hand deliver you an "Austin Relocation Guide" or "Austin Newcomer Guide" for free. They're both very thick, thorough, and well made publications that summarize the metropolis area and help you start to peel apart this onion that is Austin.
I wouldn't be Texas straight shooter if I only prepared you for the good. Austin has had more growth than it was ever prepared for, so the road system is not as master-planned as it should be. Mitigating traffic frustrations can be a real consideration for your home search, and I can help you navigate this challenge. Another thing I personally also suggest is having an allergy test. West Austin hill country is covered in cedar, and if that is what you're very allergic to, that knowledge might influence either A) the area you choose to live, or B) the strategy you formulate with your doctor.
As mentioned on my page about JBGoodwin, I suggest making this site your "go to" for Austin home searches. It's the #1 austin real estate site for a reason, so there's no need to reinvent the wheel and have a home search feature on this site too. As for a break down of areas and neighborhoods, the two publications mentioned above are some of the best resources around which I'd love to send you. Additionally, these links contain more information to learn about each area of Austin individually.