Hot Hoods

Real estate experts weigh in: 10 best neighborhoods to buy in Austin right now

10 of the best neighborhoods to buy in Austin right now

University Hills home for sale Austin Texas
2410 Loyola Ln. in University Hills.  Courtesy of Realty Austin

In Austin's highly competitive — and increasingly expensive — real estate market, where should you buy? We reached out to local real estate experts to get the scoop on which neighborhoods have the best potential, value and appreciation. Below are 10 hot Austin neighborhoods — from the up-and-coming to the iconic — that buyers should note. 

When you're ready to buy, Urbanspace's CEO Kevin Burns offers an important piece of advice: "Find a great realtor that specializes in the neighborhood you want to purchase in." With many sales happening off-market, having a realtor who is an expert in your chosen neighborhood will help you find — and buy — your dream home. 

Windsor Park
Situated just east of I-35 and north of 51st Street, Windsor Park is consistently growing in popularity. "It's a great place to buy [and] I do still think there's enough room for appreciation," says Brandi Wyman of Turner Residential. "I don't think the neighborhood has topped out yet." 

University Hills
Located in Northeast Austin, this area offers some of the charm of Windsor Park at a lesser price. Although the walkability isn't as great, the homes are very similar in style to Windsor Park. (Think '50s and '60s ranch homes.) "I think that's an area to watch," Wyman says. 

Cherry Creek
"I refer to 78745 as the new, affordable 78704," says Holly McCormick of Realty Austin. "For those who want to be closer to downtown but not pay downtown prices, this is a great alternative where you can purchase a home in the $200,000 range and not be far away from the action." 

Just south of Ben White Boulevard and north of Stassney Lane, this is one of the few neighborhoods in 78745 where you can get a true bungalow, explains Wyman. In this eclectic neighborhood, you'll find chickens, yard art, big trees and big lots. 

Western Trails
Also located near Manchaca, this little neighborhood is tucked behind Central Market South. Western Trails is made up of really cool ranch-style homes, plus, notes Wyman, it's zoned to Sunset Valley Elementary School. 

If you're interested in Eanes Independent School District, this is a great place to buy for its proximity to Lake Austin and its diversity — Cuernavaca maintains a "Keep Austin Weird" vibe. "Buyers can purchase at a much lower price point than the rest of Westlake," says McCormick. "The average price of homes sold in this area in the past six months was $587,000."

Also in the Eanes Independent School District, Rollingwood is a complete gem, says Burns, who champions its proximity to Zilker Park. "That neighborhood has seen some very strong appreciation in the past two years," he says. 

The neighborhood near 183 and McNeil is sought after for its "affordable housing for Austin with good schools," says Tammy Young with Realty Austin. "You can still get a smaller home in the high $100,000 range and buyers will have lots of great options in the $200,000 range. This location has many good opportunities to buy investment property to start a real estate portfolio," explains McCormick. 

Close-in East Austin
Burns suggests the Southeast portion of close-in East Austin. "The Park and trail along Lady Bird Lake is a jewel that is completely untapped," he says. Young concurs. "The best neighborhoods to buy in right now are anywhere in East Austin, but especially around the French Legation, between Seventh and 11th streets. This pocket of East Austin is even zoned for Matthews Elementary [in Clarksville]," she notes. 

Shoreline of Lake Austin 
78703, 78746
"The hottest higher-end market right now in Austin would be anything along the shoreline of Lake Austin: Tarrytown, Central Austin, Westlake," says Realty Austin's Todd Grossman. Shoreline property is in extremely high demand because of its "close proximity to downtown and lack of waterfront inventory on Lake Austin."