For many, the path to home ownership is a huge milestone, and from escrow to contracts to inspections, there’s a lot to process. Even just finding a home can be downright overwhelming, with new neighborhoods popping up and home values continuing to rise. While skyrocketing prices may intimidate buyers, there are still some Austin neighborhoods that remain affordable for those looking to get out of the renting rat race.
Sure, the Austin market is as hot as these brutal summer temps, but there are still plenty of places you can call home without breaking the bank. You just have to know where to look. Here, some of Austin's top realtors share their picks for affordable neighborhoods for first-time buyers. Go forth, prosper, and pray you can avoid a bidding war.
Spanning from Stassney to Slaughter lanes, Cherry Creek is a great place for buyers to look for affordability in South Austin, says Laurel Seymour of Keller Williams Realty. With homes that were built from the 1960s to the late 1990s, a wide variety of remodels keep the neighborhood interesting. And at a median price of about $320,000, buyers should be able to get into something good for their budget.
Enclave at Brushy Creek
Most buyers know Round Rock and Pflugerville well, but scooting over just a bit to Hutto opens up an array of options in the always scarce $200,000-to-$250,000 price range, says Realty Austin's Tom Thornton. With so much dining, shopping, and entertainment now in nearby Round Rock, you're still only 10 minutes from the northernmost outpost of Veracruz All Natural and four minutes from H-E-B.
Once family-owned, Goodnight Ranch is now a community geared toward fostering connectivity and spending time outdoors. Located in southeast Austin, Goodnight Ranch is located near 35 miles of hike-and-bike trails, and fosters a walkable environment including a pedestrian tunnel that reduces the need to cross busy streets. With gorgeous, modern finishes, and prices starting in the mid-200s, these new construction homes are a can’t-miss for first-timers, says Kim Wolle of Realty Austin.
Manor may not be the first place Austinites look when they're buying a new home, but it's a surprising value play. Land is inexpensive, and at 22 minutes in non-peak traffic, it's no further to downtown than, say, South Austin’s Shady Hollow, notes Thornton. Home prices average from the high-100s to the mid-200s, and with casual dining aplenty, it’s an attractive option for those comfortable with heading outside the city limits a bit.
Once Southwest Austin’s most hidden gem, this is a subdivision nestled into a grove of amazing trees and connected directly with Barton Springs/Zilker Park by a greenbelt path. Many young families who flock to this area are looking for good schools (it feeds into Austin High School), a neighborhood with two pools, a neighborhood garden, and green space without breaking the bank, says Mary Daniels of Papasan Properties Group. Homes start in the low $400s, but prospective buyers better act fast — values are rising by the month.
Another one of Daniels' picks, this area is close to downtown, but buyers can still snag three-bedroom single family home in the high $300s. The area’s proximity to the Domain means that residents don’t need to get on the freeway for access to shopping, dining, and more. And with culinary favorites flocking to Burnet Road for their secondary locations and North Austin’s abundance of top-notch Asian food, this area is a great spot to find a first home.