5 Hot Austin ZIP Codes That Open Doors For First-Time Homebuyers
Potential buyers in the Austin area face an increasingly difficult hurdle. Austin-area homes hit a record median sale price of $476,000 in January, thanks in part to the expansion of big tech companies, as well as other factors such as low interest rates. mortgage interest, housing shortages and a booming state economy. Nevertheless, there are still options for those with an open mind about location and renovations.
Real estate agent Carlye Jane in Twelve Rivers Real Estate says hope for new homeowners lives in “pocket neighborhoods” — smaller subdivisions with a mix of older and newly built homes. February usage housing reports of the Austin Board of Realtors, Jane identified a roughly current median price of $565,000 for homes within Austin’s city limits. (This is higher than for the greater Austin area, with homes farther from downtown).
“I keep hearing people talk about crashes… Actually, as someone who’s been in it every day, I really don’t see that,” says Jane. Considering that the rental market is also under pressure, she suggests thinking about long-term costs. “My advice to anyone considering buying a home is to do it and do it as soon as possible.”
Jane chose five promising Austin zip codes for new homeowners, with listings near the median Austin price of $565,000. These pocket hoods are all located north of Buda and south of Pflugerville.
78748 – Buckingham Estates, Olympic Heights, Bauerle Ranch
This area is primarily concentrated on West Slaughter Lane and Menchaca Road, bounded on the east by I-35. Jane points to businesses that have made Austin’s far south exciting for a growing number of recent buyers, including Armadillo Den, Luster Pearl South and the Moontower Saloon. Even as Austin continues to expand south, this area contains two significant state parks. Buckingham Estates features smaller homes built in the 80s, while Olympic Heights and Bauerle Ranch feature newer, more modern homes.
78744 – Springfield, Dove Springs, crossing at Onion Creek
Check on Zillow and there are almost always homes listed around McKinney Falls State Park, a beautiful collection of pools located around Onion Creek. While Jane recognizes that parts of this ZIP code are in high demand, there are three neighborhoods where first-time home buyers will see more than one price range. These small, wooded subdivisions provide everyday opportunities for country living without sacrificing relatively easy access to downtown and major businesses along I-35.
78727 — Milwood, Streetlight Village
Austin residents who stay near offices in the north tend to concentrate around Parmer Lane, one of Austin’s last landmarks before Pflugerville. Although these neighborhoods are a bit removed from the city center, they are directly across from the bustling urban outposts of The Estate and The Arboretum. While these neighborhoods provide easy access to many businesses, they are also close to one of Austin’s vast green spaces, Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park.
78728 — Wells Branch
Most of these neighborhoods represent cute little homes that save money by squeezing into less land. Jane recommends Wells Branch to homebuyers looking for a little extra space without breaking the bank. That’s about as far from downtown as one could get without hitting Pflugerville, but also far north, Mopac and I-35 are only about 2 miles apart, so the journey is quite simple. It is also an opportunity to discover the less populated suburbs of Austin, Round Rock and Georgetown.
78754 — Pioneer Crossing
This northeast area is one of the most sparse in Austin, offering opportunities to expand without straying so far north. Pioneer Crossing homes border the Walnut Creek Greenbelt and Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms, a common destination for field trips and film shoots. This means daily walks can include longhorns, donkeys and the sound of blacksmiths at work. Many new developments are popping up around the area, which means something is always available and usually affordable.