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Cost of moving: Ups and downs in two top towns

Seattle is an up-and-coming city for the next decade, one group suggests.

Seattle is an up-and-coming city for the next decade, one group suggests.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? It's a rhetorical question commonly asked during job interviews to determine a candidate's level of ambition, but what if it were applied to geography? Literally, where do you see yourself in 10 years? Whether it's California, Texas or Washington, D.C., one organization has laid out some top picks for the next decade.

Over the course of his or her lifetime, the average American will move 11.7 times, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's 11.7 calls to a moving company, 11.7 trips across town or across state with all your worldly goods in tow, 11.7 new beginnings. So while you may not be considering a move right now, odds are there's one in your future.

If new jobs are your thing, then Austin, Texas, might be the place for you, Kiplinger's suggests. The city combines all the necessary factors to ensure business growth, including community programs to help entrepreneurs, a number of local business associations and plenty of educational opportunities. Austin is also a mecca for independent art and music, and plays host to the South by Southwest music and arts festival each year.

Unfortunately, Austin is one of the more expensive cities in the country for renters, so if you're thinking about packing up and moving to the capital of Texas, you had better pack some extra cash. The average two-bedroom apartment costs $990 per month between rent and utilities, meaning workers must earn an average of $19.02 per hour to afford housing in the city, according to the Austin Chronicle.

Another good option for the next decade is Seattle. Kiplinger's notes the trendy city is home to a remarkable number of well-educated people, and boasts innovative companies and high-quality educational opportunities. All these clever characters have set the city up for a renaissance in the coming years. 

The cost of living in Seattle is roughly 49 percent more than the national average, and the median home price is $424,600, according to real estate guru Bert Sperling. 

Traffic patterns in Seattle can also throw some new residents for a loop, according to RainCityGuide.com. Traffic conditions are a frequent topic of conversation, and the way in which streets are named is enough to make you want to scream. For example, the intersection of NE 50th Street and 40th Avenue NE is about a mile away from 50th Avenue NE and NE 40th Street, according to the Guide, so make sure to give your moving company very accurate directions.