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!

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

2300+ Client reviews!

Working with Meaghan Marks was a great experience! As a first time home buyer, I was oblivious to the process and she helped every step of the way. I would definitely use her again!

Prior to listing my house I was carefully guided on preparing the house to show at its best. We received immediate calls on the listing and sold the house in 2 days. Closing was a breeze. The experience could not have been better.

April was great, she made herself on a Sunday for a viewing and anytime of the day when we had any questions. As first time homeowners, she really helped make the buying process easier than expected. We felt she really wanted to help us get the home we really wanted and we did! She made sure we did everything we needed to get done on our end.

We jumped into the home buying process faster than we expected when the interest rates started to climb and the housing market shifted. April quickly setup viewings and coordinated with us. In the negotiation for the new home, April contacted the seller’s agent and any inspector services needed along the way. She also coordinated with our lender. We closed just 4 weeks after we started looking, and with April the process was simple and efficient. We will absolutely go with April in the future, and we recommend her to anyone looking for an agent.

April was the best!!! When we first spoke I told her that I had a few houses I wanted to look at in the Austin area and she built out a schedule for the day for us to see them all. I then ended up falling in love with one of the homes which would end up being my first house! Being from NC the process to buy a home is very different and April walked me through the process in detail and was there to answer any questions that I had… which were a lot! I was very thankful to have April as my realtor and able to find me my first home which I’m in love with! If you’re looking and want to be taking care of you need to work with April!

I recently had the pleasure of working with Patrick Hallett as my real estate agent, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience. From start to finish, Patrick demonstrated a level of professionalism and expertise that truly sets him apart in the industry.

Patrick’s excellent communication skills stood out immediately. He was not only responsive to my questions but also proactive in keeping me informed every step of the way. Whether it was a quick question or a detailed update on the progress of our purchase, Patrick was always just a call or message away. This level of responsiveness made me feel like a valued client.

His knowledge of the local real estate market was impressive, and he was able to provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the process. I felt like I was in the hands of a true expert.

Patrick’s dedication to his clients doesn’t stop when the deal is done. He’s the kind of real estate agent who genuinely cares about the well-being and satisfaction of his clients. His follow-up after the sale was not only professional but also heartfelt, reinforcing my belief that I made the right choice in working with him.

In conclusion, I would 100% use Patrick Hallett again for any future real estate needs, and I cannot recommend him more. If you’re looking for a real estate agent who is highly knowledgeable, incredibly helpful, and a pleasure to work with, Patrick is the one to call. Thank you, Patrick, for making my real estate journey a smooth and enjoyable one!

This was our first time selling a home and Tyson was incredibly patient with every single question we had about how things were done. Trust me, we had A LOT of questions. He gave us sound input and information to make educated decisions, but at the end of the day it was just that: OUR DECISION. Tyson let us make the calls on pricing, price-cuts, staging, etc. I can’t speak highly enough about Tyson. As friendly as he is, he lived up to his promise of being “a bulldog in negotiations”! He did not accept anything less than what he would’ve accepted for his own home. I truly believe that. There were several times he told agents and unrepresented buyers alike “no” and that their offers were unrealistic or “no, my clients will not entertain that”. Loved it!

Kasey Gilliam did a fantastic job of showing us around Austin and helping us select the right apartment to call home. We were only in town for the weekend and she showed us multiple apartments on the same day to accommodate us, each with their own character. She was extremely responsive and answered all of the questions we asked. We would most definitely recommend working with her if you’re looking to call the Austin area home!

I had the good fortune of meeting Ruth twenty-one years ago when she was my agent and I bought my first house. Her knowledge of Austin communities and surrounding areas was so helpful. Since then, she has been our realtor as we have bought and sold 4 houses. She has also helped us lease one of these houses for over 15 years. She’s very personable, professional, smart and her previous 14 year background in corporate finance and MBA is an asset to her clients. She’s very hard working and meticulous both in buying and selling. Her connections with trustworthy contractors, landscapers, stagers, , handymen, you name it, proved to be a great resource. She provides outstanding service and expertise throughout the entire process. Now that we’ve moved out of state and are looking for a house, we miss her tremendously.

Kasey Gilliam was a delight to work with! Our friends recommended her years after their home purchase and we will be doing the same with any friends or family that move to the Austin area. Kasey was prompt, professional, and direct throughout the whole process. We were working on a tight timeframe to find and close on a house, and Kasey was extremely responsive and helped us rapidly run thru many showings. Kasey helped us greatly filter down our preferences on neighborhoods and home types which was crucial to us quickly finding a home we loved. She helped keep us on schedule for our rapid closing by quickly preparing the various offers/documents/responses to the sellers. Overall we had an amazing experience and would highly recommend Kasey!

We had a fantastic experience working with Kasey Gilliam to buy our home in Austin and regularly recommend her to our friends and coworkers. Kasey has a great eye for details/neighborhoods and a very polite but direct manner of speaking which proved invaluable during our search for houses. She was very direct and honest about the pros and cons of homes we went to see, often finding issues of concern that we may have personally missed without her (like a nearby train that infrequently ran thru the area but she caught on video because she arrived early, or pointing out the possibility of traffic noise when we visited a house in off-peak hours). She was efficient and direct in negotiating and coordinating our closing process, and always promptly responded to our calls and texts when we needed her. Highly recommend Kasey Gilliam for any home purchase or sale in the Austin area!

Kasey and Kim were extremely helpful through the whole search. They were able to find my exactly what I was looking for, and did so before it was even on the market.

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