Finding an Austin Home
Your Austin home search can be an enjoyable experience. Whether you prefer a new home or an apartment, Austin offers many desirable choices.
Photo Courtesy of Grand Haven Homes
Finding a place to live is one of the most exciting experiences a newcomer to the Austin, Texas area can have. After all, Forbes has rated Austin as the top city for economic growth among the country’s largest 100 metros.
Top reasons for the honor include the city’s status as a tech hub, close proximity to universities, thriving arts and entertainment scene, affordable housing, and a growing population. With the help of a real estate professional and a little research, those new to the area can find a great home or rental in one of the Austin area’s many diverse neighborhoods and enclaves in no time!
Beginning your Austin home search
Finding a realtor and becoming educated about the Austin area and the amenities offered in the different neighborhoods being considered, will go a long way toward making your Austin home search experience an enjoyable one.
Get realtor recommendations from friends, co-workers, family, or by contacting the local board of realtors to find a real estate professional in the area. Real estate agents know the neighborhoods, the schools, the extracurricular activities, and the tax bases of different school districts
Location is important, too – and a lot has changed around the city in just the last few years. For example, SH-130 is the new 49-mile toll road located east of I-35 that runs through Williamson and Travis counties, and extends from I-35 north of Georgetown to U.S. 183 southeast of Austin. SH-45 is approximately 13 miles long, and extends from Ridgeline Boulevard west of U.S. 183 eastward to SH-130. SH-45 is a four to six lane divided roadway, with major interchanges at U.S. 183, Loop 1, I-35 and SH-130, and includes limited frontage roads.
Austin homes for sale, diverse options
The Austin home market is thriving and is still an excellent investment opportunity. Most Austin homes for sale are single-family homes, garden homes, condominiums and zero-lot line homes built on individual lots with surveyed and plotted boundaries. Depending on the development, these homes may be subject to certain legal rules and restrictions regarding the physical specifications of the home, including later housing alterations made to the home.
Like single-family homes, garden homes and zero lot line homes are built on individual lots, but have little or no yard and therefore no yard maintenance. Instead, these homes offer their owners small terraced areas or patios they can choose to landscape. Two attached single-family homes on one lot are considered a duplex, and give residents options for rental property.
Townhomes are one- or two-story homes constructed in rows that share side walls, with unobstructed front and back entries and small lawns or patios. Townhomes may be one-story structures, depending on the lot size, but generally are constructed as two-story homes to avoid that ‘bowling alley’ feeling in the design.
Condominiums and lofts offer a homeowner even less outdoor upkeep. While the homeowner is responsible for indoor maintenance, the exterior is largely the responsibility of a management company appointed by the homeowner’s association of the condominium complex. The downtown Austin market has become flush with high rise lofts downtown and in the University of Texas campus area, making them good investments for students, young professionals and empty-nesters.
Buyers want more options, and Austin homebuilders have responded by building more townhomes, garden homes and condos to accommodate those desires. Find garden homes, zero lot line homes and condominiums in heavily populated areas like Round Rock, Cedar Park, downtown and south Austin. Find duplexes throughout the city, usually sprinkled throughout a development in to maximize development versus higher property costs.
The inner city loft and condo developments have become also more popular as the warehouse district has rejuvenated downtown, especially for those relocated from larger cities like Chicago and New York, where they live in the same building they office out of, or don’t care about a yard or living in an isolated format. Lofts in the Austin downtown and West Campus areas have also become viable options for students attending the University of Texas at Austin.
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