Whether you are moving to Austin to begin your career or looking for the perfect school district and neighborhood to raise a family, buying a home is a huge decision. On the positive side, if you are going to establish roots and become a homeowner you could not pick a better city. From 2000 to 2006, this was the nation’s fastest-growing city, which had a positive effect on the real estate market. Before you jump in and start house-hunting though, there are a few things to consider before buying your first home in Austin.
Overview of the Market
There are thousands of new and resale homes available for purchase in Austin. There are also an abundance of auction, pre-foreclosure, and bank-owned houses, so there is certainly something for everyone. As of November 2013, the average listing is priced at $581,283, which tells you that there is a wide variety of houses available in every price range. Interestingly, in October 2013, the average price was $21,988 lower, which accounts for a 3.9 percent increase.
Austin is separated into a multitude of diverse neighborhoods, and regardless where you live, you can almost always count on there being a grocery store, café, or friendly neighborhood bar nearby. Downtown there are bike lanes on most streets, and for a large city, there are an abundance of parking opportunities.
- Dwell Realty – Don Powers at Dwell Realty is known for his friendly disposition with clients and aggressive negotiating skills when bidding a home. He has lived in Austin for 20 years and became a licensed REALTOR® in 2002.
- Homesville Real Estate – Paul Reddam started this small brokerage to give clients a less stressful buying experience. He grew up in Austin, so if anyone knows the area, he does.
- Barton Hills Mortgage – Suzanne Michaels began her career in the business in 2007, and built her clientele by providing the highest level of customer service.
- Roots Real Estate – Wendi Anderson is a master negotiator and is not afraid to put in long hours to find a client their dream house. She treats her clients the same whether buying a multimillion dollar mansion or charming starter home.
- Steiner Ranch – This planned community boasts 20 miles of hiking trails, three pools, and access to Lake Austin. Living here feels like you are on vacation every day. Median home price is $495K.
- North Burnet – Here is a neighborhood for the movers and shakers. Average listing is $264K, but there are plenty of apartments here, too. It is a fairly walkable neighborhood, but does not have many bike lanes.
- Windsor Park – This neighborhood is only 6 miles from downtown Austin, and has a beautiful 57-acre park with splash pad, pool, and disco golf course. You can find affordable housing and apartments, and the average home listed is around $268K.
- Dittmar Crossing – Houses average $190K here, but there are a lot of very affordable homes to be found. This is a wonderful, affordable area, with a strong sense of community.
Do also consider Downtown, West Oak Hill, South River City, Bee Cliffs, and Austin Lake Estates.
If you are moving to Austin from a northern area, it may take a while to get used to the heat. It is hot, but most find it comfortable after a while. You do not want to be carrying boxes in the summer heat if you are not used to the weather though. Do yourself a favor and hire movers.
The city has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers. It is almost always at least a little sunny, as you will enjoy an average of 2,650 hours of annual sunshine. About every two years the city experiences a random ice storm that thaws out rather quickly. Snowfall is quite rare.