Over the past decade or so, Austin has become a highly desirable destination for people from all over the US. And for good reason: for the second year in a row, “US News and World Report” named Austin number one on its “Best Places to Live” list. Austin’s natural beauty, friendliness and vibrant culture have put our fair city front and center on the national stage.
Young professionals make up a significant portion of Austin’s newest residents. For those who have young children or who want to start a family, buying the perfect home in the right neighborhood is a top priority. Access to amenities such as parks, good schools, restaurants and community spaces is, of course, a major factor in determining where to buy. Fortunately, there are a lot of Austin neighborhoods that can help homebuyers meet their goals.
Average Home Price*: $572,000
Best for: Those who seek a new urban lifestyle in a close community
Based on a masterfully planned, award-winning community designed in accordance with new urbanist principles, Mueller is a vibrant part of the Austin scene. With a range of home styles from traditional houses with yards to condos and row homes, Mueller attracts people of all ages and backgrounds. Being just minutes from downtown and close to major employers like Dell Children’s Medical Center makes this area a great option for reducing your commute. Restaurants and shopping – including the fantastic Mueller H-E-B grocery store – are accessible, while The Thinkery children’s museum and year-round activities at Mueller Lake Park help keep this community a favorite for families.
Area: Shady Hollow
Average Home Price*: $408,900
Best for: Those looking for a slice of small-town charm
If you’re seeking an easy-going neighborhood with a dose of nostalgia, Shady Hollow might just be for you. Think backyard BBQs, Fourth of July parades and kids playing among gorgeous, mature trees. One of the area’s first-ever master planned communities, Shady Hollow offers the ideal combination of modern design and roomy older houses perfect for families and those who work out of the home. You’ll also have access to exemplary schools, parks and pools, and nearby entertainment and restaurant options, all in a location just 10 miles south of downtown.
Average Home Price*: $464,400
Best for: Those who want to live in a funky community close to local hot spots
Cherrywood is an eclectic, established neighborhood with close proximity to hip Austin restaurants, coffee shops and local businesses. The shady, tree-lined streets and friendly atmosphere attract a diverse group of residents, including families, students and professionals. Spots like Cherrywood Coffeehouse are within walking distance and perfect for meetings or settling down with a cup of coffee and your laptop. Nearby eateries like Contigo, Mi Madre’s and Unit-D Pizzeria are great for adults and kids alike. Plus, you’re just minutes away from downtown and The University of Texas, making any local commute a dream.
Area: Windsor Park
Average Home Price*: $344,570
Best for: Those who seek an established yet up-and-coming neighborhood
Comprised mainly of mid-20th century ranch-style homes, Windsor Park boasts large lots on neat, tree-lined streets and a close-knit community. While still home to many long-time residents, younger singles and families have been moving into the neighborhood, attracted by the affordability and convenient location. Windsor Park residents enjoy being near good public schools, multiple parks and a city library. Paco’s Tacos, Nomad and Corona Coffee are neighborhood favorites, and newer, popular spots like Hank’s will likely attract more business, further enhancing Windsor Park’s desirability.
Area: Circle C Ranch
Average Home Price*: $505,000
Best for: Those who want access to plenty of top-notch amenities
Located in the beautiful hills of South Austin, Circle C Ranch is one of the most sought-after of Austin’s master-planned, family-friendly communities. Brimming with amenities including a swim center with a heated, Olympic-sized pool, an 18-hole golf course, a highly-rated tennis club, basketball courts, soccer fields and miles of hike and bike trails, Circle C Ranch is a boon for active families. Residents also have access to top area schools and a number of restaurants and entertainment venues, such as Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater, Satellite Bistro & Bar, District Kitchen + Cocktails, North By Northwest Restaurant and Brewery, and many more.
Area: Avery Ranch
Average Home Price*: $387,800
Best for: Those who prefer a more contemporary suburban lifestyle
Avery Ranch has something for everyone. In this well-maintained, well-managed neighborhood, residents can choose from a variety of amenities like an 18-hole golf course, multiple event centers, an amphitheater, community pool and tennis courts, and eight miles of outdoor trails – not to mention access to highly-rated schools. Avery Ranch is perfectly situated for professionals who work in North Austin or the nearby thriving city of Round Rock. And if you want a traffic-free visit to the city center, Cap Metro’s MetroRail Red Line connects you directly to and from downtown Austin.
No doubt Austin will continue to grow in the coming years, thanks to the friendly people, strong economy, vibrant culture and top amenities that residents enjoy. If you and your family are considering a move to or within Austin, you might discover your perfect home in one of these beautiful, family-friendly neighborhoods.
*Figures are based on Austin MLS data for homes sold in the last 6 – 12 months.
3 Tips for Discovering the Perfect Home
- Determine how much home you can afford and start saving for a down payment. Use an online calculator like the one at nerdwallet.com to help you estimate.
- Consider how your new home can support your personal AND work needs. For example, will a shorter commute be more beneficial to you in the long run? Do you need room for a home office? Access to good schools as well as co-working spaces?
- Hire a realtor who understands your needs and is willing to support you before, during and after closing.
by Tarek Morshed an Austin Platinum Top 50 Realtor and entrepreneur.
Photos by Sherida Mock