Moving to Austin: Housing Guide

We naturally meet lots of people moving to Austin who are at different stages in their decision making process. Very often, we hear questions like "Where are the best neighborhoods?" or "Where are the best schools?" The answer is "Austin has a lot of great options!" but it really depends on where you decide to live. Here's a handy guide to help you approach your housing search.

Step 1

Do you plan to buy, rent a house, or rent an apartment?

  • Buy

    If you plan to buy your new home, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent who specializes in purchases. You can search through many different databases on your own, but it’s best to have a great agent set up searches for you after you’ve talked with them about location, budget, home size, schools, and any other needs.

  • Rent a House

    Houses are generally owned by private individuals (as opposed to apartments owned by corporations) and you can access these options on sites like Zillow, or the Austin Board of REALTORs search portal. A real estate agent who specializes in leases is a great resource for you and can save you a lot of time. (We don't provide leasing services but we can send you great referrals!)

  • Rent an Apartment

    If you plan to rent an apartment, you’ll want to work with an awesome apartment locator. There aren’t any great, publicly accessible databases for you to search (which is very frustrating!) To make things more complicated, apartment pricing changes all the time and the same floorplan in the same complex can have different prices. A locator can help you navigate this and will usually have an internal database of options they can send you. (We don't provid apartment locating services, but we can send you a great referral!)

Step 2

What's your budget?

You’ll usually start with a budget range in mind and you’ll look at your options within that range. Rental properties (apartments or houses, duplexes, etc) will generally want you to make 3-3.5X the rental amount to qualify. If you plan to purchase, then you’ll want to convert different purchase prices into down payments and monthly payments. A great mortgage broker can help you here.

Step 3

Where do you want to live?

Most of the time, you’ll want to be within a certain distance of work, a certain school (or schools), or some other point of interest (maybe you’re super into hiking, kayaking, or something else interesting.) You can usually convert your ideal commute (No more than XX minutes!) into a distance.

Step 4

What do you need in a home?

You’ll want to establish how large of a home you’ll need (square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms) as well as the year built you’d like. Special needs like 1 vs 2-story, 2 vs 3-car garage, etc are important to establish. If you’d like any special amenities (like a neighborhood pool) it’s great to note that. If you have school age children (or plan to) then the quality of schools will likely narrow down your search.

Step 5

Set up your searches!

If you’re already working with an agent or a locator, just relay this information and they’ll get everything set up for you. If you aren’t yet working with someone, this is a great point in the process to engage with an agent who specializes in purchasing, rentals, or apartments.

Step 6

Get some feedback!

After you’ve seen your search results, you’ll want to get feedback from friends, family, and this community on each area where you have options!

Step 7

Get out and find your new home!

Now that you’ve established your searches, your options, and you have feedback, it’s time to confidently buy or sign a lease. Let’s hit (or keep hitting) the ground running!

Are you considering buying or selling in the Austin area? We'd love to help!

*Don’t worry, we hate spam as much as you and would never sell or share your information. Our privacy policy is available here.

Buyer Resources
First Time Home Buyers CLICK HERE
Relocating To Austin? CLICK HERE

1800+ Client reviews!

Chandler Wieberg

Kathryn Strand helped me in summer of 2021 to find my first home. She is very professional and easy to talk to, which was very comforting during such a stressful time to buy a home. I appreciated how honest she was with me and led me in the right direction when deciding on houses. She is extremely trustworthy to do business with. I would recommend her to anyone! Thanks again, Kathryn!

Dave Vanyek

I was in the market to buy a condo in the North Austin area. Shaun Duffenbach was a terrific agent. He is very knowledgeable, and was very quick to respond to all of my questions from the beginning through to closing. I would would not hesitate to work with him him again for a future purchase.

Lacey J.

The experience of buying a home from out of state, in a competitive market felt overwhelming at first. Working with Craig McGuire and team helped us feel secure and heard at every step of the way. Stacy was able to video tour us through potential homes. When we did visit Pflugerville to tour in person we were well taken care of and found our new home the very first day!! Then Craig hustled to get our offer in fast and secured the deal. Very happy and appreciative of the team.

Jen H.

Erin Szczerba encouraged us to view a house we had written off based on how it was listed. It ended up being our dream home. We are so grateful Erin had the understanding, based on her expertise in real estate, to steer us in the right direction. We would have missed this incredible home if hadn’t been for Erin’s guidance.

Jordan Fleischer

Kasey and her assistant Kim were amazing to work with. They were great communicators and always available to show properties. We appreciated her knowledge and transparency throughout the buying process.

Nancy Baynes

We worked with Tara McGuire to sell property and she was fabulous. All of the parties involved lived in different states and she was able to make selling easy for all of us. She was knowledgeable about the current market to aid our decision about the sale of the property, and I highly recommend her for any of your real estate needs!

Campbell Ringel

We could not be more pleased with the help we received from Patrick Hallett and the folks at Bramlett Residential. As first time homebuyers in the very difficult Austin market Patrick helped us remain optimistic and ultimately find and secure the perfect house for us to call our first home. We are so grateful to have had your guidance during this trying process. Thank you again for all of your help!

Cameron K. Brown

Patrick has been absolutely excellent all the way through the process of selling my home. Very knowledgeable, responsive and great to work with

Wenli Zhou

I originally planned to have Eric Enberg help me to buy a house in Northern Austin area, he ended up helping me to buy a condo in Austin downtown recently. He is fantastic to work with. He is very responsive, calm and masterful in the process. Austin downtown area may not be his focus area, but he still managed to provide the best service to me. Thank you Eric.

Michael K

Bought my first home with Eric Engberg. He was amazing to work with and helped guide me through the whole process. He was always available to answer questions and generous to share his experience and knowledge with me. Would recommend him to anyone!

Lukas Bui

We were first-time home buyers from California in the hot Austin market.
We have an opportunity to with with Kathryn Strand and it was an ease and professional experiences for us. Kathryn is excellent and delivered a good communication in timely manner. She is patient, professional and knowledgeable to advise us to get our dream home. Although we have been through a very competitive market, Kathryn walk us though the buying process and remove all blockage and concerns. Moreover, she was very responsive and was able to set up viewings for us on short notice.

Looking forward for our next property with Kathryn and the agency. Amazing experience !

Jody Sloan

Kathryn was very knowledgeable of the market and professional. She was responsive and prompt in communication. Her input into discussions about the sale of my house was informative and helpful regarding decision making. Overall, it was great experience, and I would highly recommend Kathryn Strand for real estate needs.