Austin has become ‘the’ place to be over the past few years, making finding reasonably priced housing in Austin, and the surrounding areas, very much in demand. Living in Austin, Texas, is living large, if simply for being in Texas, where everything is reputed to be bigger than elsewhere. The state itself is huge, the largest of the lower 48 and more than 50% greater in square miles than the one behind it (California). Three Texas cities fall into the U.S. top 10 for population, with Austin squeezing itself into the number 11 spot, with a city population just a whisker under a million.
The greater Austin area, however, includes around 2.2 million residents scattered throughout suburbs and small outlying towns. Housing choices run the gamut from luxury high rises to bungalows, ranchers, new construction, condos, duplexes and townhouses. Depending on one’s inclination for more reasonably priced neighborhood living vs. expensive urban life, there are a variety of options.
Is Austin and the Surrounding Area Affordable?
“Reasonably priced” means different things to different people. Minimalists, for example, are not interested in spending any more than necessary for a roof over their heads, while young professionals might be willing to spring for life in the fast lane on the high rent districts with all of the modern amenities.
When the first public housing regulations were released in 1969, it capped rent at 25% of a tenant’s annual income. That evolved to 30% in the 1980s, and that’s often a rule of thumb cited for a sensible portion of a household budget for the crib.
Another generalization is the 50/30/20 budget. Here, half of after-tax income is designated for housing, utilities, groceries and transportation, i.e., things which are fairly stable and predictable. Then 30% is for non-essentials like entertainment, jewelry and clothes. The remaining 20% goes into savings or paying debt. These budget suggestions, while still prudent, were implemented prior to student loan debt, retirement savings and more expansive credit card use.
Reasonably Priced Areas Outside of Austin
Still, housing is likely the most costly line item in anyone’s budget and the greatest expense over a lifetime, unless you have a Lamborghini habit you cannot break. Wherever housing falls in your budget and lifestyle, rest assured there are more economical places in the Austin area, beyond the city limits, but not too far for a comfortable commute.
Single family homes in charming neighborhoods with highly ranked schools, nice parks, fun shopping and diverse dining options dot the landscape all around Austin. Public transportation, including busses and trains, is available, and each one is inhabited by friendly folks, some local Texans and others from far-flung places across the country and around the globe.
On the northwest side of Austin, Cedar Park and Leander are little cities which offer a small-town atmosphere and family-friendly environment where Texas Hill Country meets the edge of urban opportunities. Hutto and Manor are east of Austin, while Round Rock, Georgetown and Pflugerville are north. You will find Kyle and Buda, Dripping Springs and other areas south.
This is not an exhaustive list by a long shot, and our professional staff at Habitat Hunters can direct you to the best housing in the greater Austin region to meet your needs. We all live, work and play right here. We have the inside scoop on new construction, negotiable factors, neighborhoods and pretty much everything there is to know about housing in your budget.
People choose reasonable housing for many reasons, and not always connected to their income. Many prefer less expensive dwellings to permit themselves classier vacations, private school for their kids, assistance with grandparents and to save for an early retirement or a Lamborghini. We can assist you in meeting your affordable housing goals in the Austin region, and help you settle into the best, most comfy residence for you.