First-Time Homebuyers Guide 2019
Money matters

10 affordable Austin-area neighborhoods for first-time homebuyers

10 affordable Austin-area neighborhoods for first-time homebuyers

Round Rock at sunset
Round Rock offers access to the highly rated school district and other amenities.  Photo by Riser Aerial

For many first-time homebuyers, one enormous obstacle stands in the way of purchasing a house: affordability. In a recent survey by LendingTree, 61 percent of first-time homebuyers in the U.S. cited the struggle to find affordable homes as their No. 1 source of stress.

So, if you’re among those 61 percent, know that you’re not alone.

To help you overcome the affordability hurdle, we’ve done some homework for you. We assembled 10 neighborhoods in the Austin metro area where you reasonably can expect to pay less than $300,000 for a single-family home (including a few that are actually within the city of Austin). That price point sits below the March 2019 median home prices of $305,000 for the Austin-Round Rock metro area, $355,000 in Travis County, and $375,000 within Austin’s city limits, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

Using the ABOR's home-price data, which covers the average sale price by ZIP code through the first three months of 2019, we analyzed the best places for first-time (or anytime) homebuyers. While this data includes new and existing single-family homes, it does not include condos or townhomes, and it's worth nothing that the average sale prices in two of the ZIP codes we chose are slightly above our $300,000 threshold.

Buda
Average home price: $280,431
Highlights: Easy access to Cabela’s, Buda Sportsplex, and at least six parks. Close proximity to Jacob’s Well, Salt Lick BBQ, and wineries. About 15 miles southwest of downtown Austin and 18 miles northeast of San Marcos.
Main roadways: I-35, State Highway 45, FM 1626, FM 967, South Loop 4
ZIP code: 78610 (includes Buda, Creedmoor, and Mustang Ridge)

Hutto
Average home price: $247,014
Highlights: Easy access to Golf Club at Star Ranch and Texan Cafe & Pie Shop. About 30 miles northeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: State Highway 130, Chandler Road, FM 1660, Limmer Loop
ZIP code: 78634

Manor
Average home price: $230,049
Highlights: Location of $2 billion, 2,062-acre Whisper Valley master-planned community. Close proximity to Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park and Travis County Expo Center. About 16 miles northeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: State Highway 130, U.S. Highway 290, Blake Manor Road, Webberville Road
ZIP code: 78653

McKinney Falls
Average home price: $250,703
Highlights: Easy access to McKinney Falls State Park and Onion Creek Greenbelt. Close proximity to Southpark Meadows and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. About seven miles southeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: I-35, U.S. Highway 183, State Highway 71, Stassney Lane, William Cannon Drive
ZIP code: 78744

North Lamar - Walnut Creek
Average home price: $264,120
Highlights: Easy access to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, Walnut Creek Greenbelt, Tech Ridge shopping center, and Dell’s South Parmer campus. Close proximity to the University of Texas' Pickle Research Campus and the Domain. About 12 miles northeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: I-35, U.S. Highway 183, North Lamar Boulevard, Dessau Road, Braker Lane, Parmer Lane, Runderberg Lane, Yager Lane, Wells Branch Parkway
ZIP code: 78753

Pflugerville
Average home price: $280,834
Main roadways: I-35, State Highway 130, Wells Branch Parkway, Howard Lane, Gattis School Road, Heatherwilde Boulevard, Pecan Street
Highlights: Easy access to Lake Pflugerville Park and Austin Executive Airport. About 19 miles northeast of downtown Austin.
ZIP code: 78660

Round Rock - Dell
Average home price: $271,037
Highlights: Easy access to main Dell campus. Close proximity to Dell Diamond. Access to highly rated Round Rock Independent School District. Roughly 20 miles northeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: I-35, State Highway 45, U.S. Highway 79, Gattis School Road, Old Settlers Boulevard
ZIP code: 78664

Round Rock - IKEA
Average home price: $300,766
Highlights: Easy access to Texas State University-Round Rock, IKEA, Round Rock Premium Outlets, and Bass Pro Shops. Access to highly rated Round Rock Independent School District. Roughly 25 miles northeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: I-35, U.S. Highway 79, University Boulevard, A.W. Grimes Boulevard, Old Settlers Boulevard
ZIP code: 78665

Southeast Austin - Onion Creek
Average home price: $289,369
Highlights: Close proximity to Southpark Meadows, Onion Creek Greenbelt, Circuit of The Americas, and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Roughly 15 miles southeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: I-35, State Highway 130, State Highway 45, U.S. Highway 183, Old Lockhart Road, FM 1327, FM 1625
ZIP code: 78747

Wells Branch
Average home price: $300,263    
Highlights: Easy access to La Frontera. Close proximity to the Domain. About 17 miles northeast of downtown Austin.
Main roadways: I-35, MoPac Expressway, State Highway 45, Wells Branch Parkway, FM 1325, Howard Lane, McNeil Road, Shoreline Drive
ZIP code: 78728