Just ten years ago, buyers had many more options when looking to invest $200 K in the Austin real estate market. The median sales price of residential homes in 2008 was only $192,000. You could buy a cute little Bouldin cottage, pretty much anything east of I35, or a modest sized home in Lakeway.
Today, options are far more limited. In my opinion, with a $200,000 budget in Austin you have four options: a condo, a home in the suburbs, a fixer-upper in a less desirable area or land.
If you’re thinking about putting that $200K into a condo, you’re in luck. There are quite a few condos available for that price today. Unfortunately, the majority of them are 1 bedroom units, and they average around 600-700 square feet.
Need a little more space? You will likely need to go farther out to find the right home. New construction neighborhoods in Buda and Kyle have three plus bedroom homes starting at under 200K. You can also find move-in ready homes at this price point in northern suburbs such as Round Rock, Hutto, Pfluggerville, and Leander. East of Austin in Manor, you can also find homes at this price point.
Considering going the fixer upper route? If you want to be as close to downtown as possible. Your search will likely occur mostly in the East Austin neighborhood of Montopolis. Approximately five miles from Downtown, you can’t find another pocket with this many homes for sale under 200K so close to the city’s center.
If you want to follow the wisdom of Mark Twain and buy land, you have a few options with a $200K budget in the Austin area. You could buy a tiny, postage stamp lot in Crestview or close-in East Austin. Or, you could have your money go a little further and get almost half an acre in Oak Hill. Take your money up north, and you can likely find an acre or more in someplace like Hutto or Liberty Hill.