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Average Cost of Living in Austin, TX: An In-Depth Guide

Cost of living includes more than just the price of your home. You have to consider taxes, insurance, and various state-specific expenses. Many people move to Austin because of its real estate but don’t consider the whole cost of living there, so here’s what you need to know.
Cost of living includes more than just the price of your home. You have to consider taxes, insurance, and various state-specific expenses. Many people move to Austin because of its real estate but don’t consider the whole cost of living there, so here’s what you need to know.

Thirty-five people are moving to Austin every single day, according to CBS Austin. It’s no secret as to why the city is growing at such a high rate. The area is great for people of all ages and families of all sizes.

There is an endless activities from Austin City Limits Festival to Truck by Truckwest Food Truck Festival. It’s also known for being an environmentally friendly city full of endless job opportunities.

Texas is a cheap state to buy houses in, and Austin is no exception. May data from NeighborhoodScout shows that 70.2% of the homes in Texas have a price of $247,000 or less; Austin home values are only a little higher than that.

The best resource for anyone interested in moving to Texas is a top-notch real estate agent currently in Austin. Your real estate agent will not only be able to give you the low-down on the cost of housing, but also inform you of other region-specific expenses that you will need to consider as well.

Typical Home Prices in Austin in 2019

Surprisingly, home prices in Austin have always been affordable. While they are certainly more expensive than homes in smaller cities like Lubbock, they’re relatively cheap considering the median household income.

As of June data from Zillow, the median home value in Austin is $368,600. The market has been a warm seller’s market for quite some time but should cool down in the fall. Austin home values have gone up 6.5% since 2018 and will rise another 3.4% during 2019. Homes currently stay on the market for an average of 49 days. In a market like this, you need to act fast.

If you look at cheaper parts of town you can find many new housing developments at affordable prices starting in the high $100,000s. Some of the more popular builders are D.R Horton, Centex, and Pulte Homes, which are known for environmentally friendly and affordable, single-family homes.

How Much Are Austin Property Taxes?

Texas alone has one of the highest property tax rates in the entire country, with only 13 states levying higher property taxes.

Counties in Texas typically collect an average of 1.81% of a property's assessed fair market value as property tax per year. To give a specific example, a house in Travis County, specifically Austin, with no exemptions and a home value of $368,000 will leave you owing $8,451 annually in property taxes. The median property tax in Texas is $2,275 per year for a home worth the median value of $125,800.

This is a very high expense that not a lot of people consider. It might be in your best interest to rent until you know you can afford the property taxes on a house in Austin.

Average Homeowners Insurance in Austin

Texas also has some of the most expensive homeowners insurance. And again, Austin is no exception to these rates. Usually, the priciest states in which to insure your home are the states most susceptible to large scale natural disasters. As we’ve seen in past events, Texas is prone to flooding, tornados, and hurricanes.

The average cost of home insurance in Texas is $1,945, $717 more than the national average. However, in Austin, you can get the same coverage even in the most expensive areas for only $1,185.

Homeowners insurance is not a requirement by law, but if you finance your home with a mortgage, your lender will most likely require you to have home insurance coverage.

Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in Austin

If you own a home you’re going to be responsible for paying for all repairs and upgrades.

With a new construction home, everything is typically under warranty. For homes that have been around for quite some time, you’ll eventually have to make some repairs. In Austin, you typically hear of people repairing air conditioning units and windows. Summer seasons there are extremely hot and it’s cost-efficient to make these repairs.

Homeowners spend an average of $5,114 in Austin to install new windows. To replace an air conditioning unit you can expect to pay an average of $335. But know the time of HVAC professionals is at a premium during the hot summer months.

Other Costs of Living in Austin to Consider

Another unexpected cost of living in Austin to is toll road fees. Austin has one major toll road that many residents use every day. The price of this toll road varies depending on if its rush hour or the weekend.

Depending on the neighborhood you live in you’ll have homeowners association (HOA) fees. On the east side of the city, there are many affordable builders who also keep the HOA fees low.

Find a Top Austin Real Estate Agent

The first thing you should do before buying a house is to consult an expert. If you’re making the move to Austin, work with an experienced real estate agent. In addition to helping you get the best price possible, they can set realistic expectations about how much it will actually cost you to live in the neighborhood you’ve picked.

By working with Clever, you will be paired with top agents in Austin. In addition to helping buyers find and vet prospective properties, Partner Agents handle the logistics and offer support throughout the entire process, from house hunting to mortgage pre-approval to closing. This includes offering expert advice, drawing up paperwork, and offer letters.

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Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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