A housing development in Austin, TX

Is the Capital City Still an Affordable Option?

The rugged, pioneer spirit that settled Texas and treasures individual freedom dwells richly in the human spirit. The Homestead Act of 1862 offered 160-acre plots for claimants who would live there and make improvements by cultivating the land for a variety of uses. Suburbs grew out from city hubs because people wanted to own and live in their own houses on their own land, even if it measured in feet of a lot size instead of acres. It is challenging to put a value on the satisfaction of owning a house or a condo or townhouse home. Affordable housing in Austin is still possible.

The whole idea of what is or is not affordable is a sticky wicket. On the housing front, there are guidelines in place which assist people who are not in the higher-income brackets to rent a very nice place or qualify for the homeownership slice of the American Dream.

Home Affordability in Austin

According to an article on Bankrate, around two-thirds of households over the past half-century have owned their homes. It is usually the largest expense of a lifetime and may well be a positive factor in building wealth. The long-term value can be significant, while the week-to-week responsibilities can offer anything ranging from feelings of elation when the lawn is sodded to discouragement when the sink won’t drain or the roof leaks.

The overall concept of homeownership is widely coveted, but there are also benefits to renting over a lifetime beginning with much more time and money not spent on repairs and maintenance. Tenants do not pay building insurance, taxes or upgrade expenses. Instead of using a sweet nest egg for a down payment, one might do as well or better long-term wisely investing in other places, building wealth and still owning all your weekend time to enjoy the plethora of outdoor and cultural life in central Texas.

With regard to the affordable issue, measures have been developed which assist the individual, couple or family whose income is not in the top tiers. The median annual family income in Austin is $110,000. Families with annual incomes of $75,500 or less are able to qualify for very nice affordable housing throughout the region. Some of these are still under development; others are open and may be running waiting lists.

Affordable Housing Options throughout the Austin Area

Rentals include Talavera Lofts in East Austin with garage parking, fitness center, rooftop terrace and bicycle storage in sleek, modern buildings. Foundation Village is a volunteer-powered, environmentally-sensitive, non-profit housing organization with several communities in the area.

Burnet Place offers rental units for households earning just 50% or less of the median family income, opening doors for many hourly wage earners in the service industries. The Alabi community of apartments offer upscale amenities like Energy Star appliances and granite countertops, along with a clubhouse, community kitchen and cyber lounge.

Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation [GNDC] has been supportive of affordable housing in East Austin for more than four decades. One of the most creative housing concepts is “Alley Flats”, small houses accessed from alleys which homeowners are permitted to build to generate income. Another project is the Community Land Trust homes in the Montopolis neighborhood. The homes are available to qualifying households which then pay a small land lease fee.

Contact Us

And there are more. Meet with us at Habitat Hunters to review the affordable housing options – both rentals and home buying possibilities. We can guide you through all the paperwork, as well as from first look to signing the lease or contract. We know the ropes and have the inside scoop on all the affordable housing regulations opportunities. And we also hang on tightly to our own rugged, pioneer spirits.