Austin Suburbs for House Hacking - Kyle vs. Leander

9 Replies

Hi all, 

As I continue my search for my first house with which to house-hack, I'm leaning more towards the suburbs as opposed to in the city (I think the % rent to price is probably better per room in the suburbs - although I'm open to other opinions). I'm thinking about Kyle and Leander primarily, but am also asking about the broader North Austin and South Austin markets. 

I'm more familiar with South Austin, as I used to work in San Marcos. I feel like Kyle seems like an up-and-coming family, suburb type area. I think that's a good sign, as long term I might rent to a family.

However, it seems like North Austin has better schools. I'm not sure if that's a sign showing that area will attract more families, and/or more people in general? I'm hearing the Domain is where a lot of jobs are coming to, and that's in North Austin I believe?

I'd love to find a multi-family still, but it doesn't seem I can find a good deal on one, so I'm considering house hacking in a SFR. Would love to hear your thoughts on the two markets, and am happy to hear any other thoughts as well. Thanks!

P.S. Zoning restrictions seem like 4 unrelated adults are the max that can live in one residence in many cities in this area. This makes Multi-family that much more appealing, but again, still very hard to find. But it makes me reconsider a 6 bed house, and instead target a 4 bed. 

@Dave Kay First of all, house-hacking is one of the best strategies to get into the Austin market right now. There is a lot to consider in your decision beyond price. Leander and Kyle are two completely different towns with different attractions for residents. The Domain is in central north Austin, and while Leander is closer to it than Kyle, it is still approximately 30 minutes away. Where do YOU want to live? That would be my #1 recommendation for your search. House-hacking will also give you an opportunity to get closer into the city versus the outskirts as roommates can help lower your overall housing costs. I've had several client's house hack this year if you want more details.

That's a great point, thank you @Ryan Kelly ! It's been a while since I lived in the area (just moving back now), but I did like the Kyle/South Austin area feel. I prefer living in a more suburban area too, I'm just not too familiar with Leander and what North Austin has to offer. It seemed like things like grocery stores were more sparse in Leander when I went to look, but perhaps that's due to it being earlier in it's development? Looking forward to hearing more. Thanks!

@Dave Kay Leander is actually larger than Kyle now (68,000 vs 54,000), so it has a lot to offer if you haven't been there lately. Both cities have great options and more affordable price points. What is your timeframe?

Thanks @Ryan Kelly ! I am flexible time-wise. Sooner rather than later is better of course, but I'm not in a rush. I have my pre-approval as well and I've gone out to many properties (resale and new construction) to see what the options are. I'll see if I can take a closer look at some of the activities available in Leander. Would you say house hacking is similar in those two cities? 

@Dave Kay If you are more familiar with Kyle and Buda, I would stick to that area. You already know WHY people want to live there and what jobs they tend to have. You will get the opportunity to vet each roommate and some could be people you already know.  

Agree 100% with everything that @Ryan Kelly has said, and would add that the Austin-San Antonio corridor is growing quickly and I like that additional fact for you.  It's also a quick trip up 130 to the Airport and the future Tesla assembly ecosystem.  Leander & Cedar Park are growing quickly, too, of course, but I'd say Kyle for you too.  Good luck!

@Dave Kay I am assuming you will rent out a bedroom or two. Who do you see yourself living with? And where will you work? I would consider Parmer east of I35 for house affordability and as kind of central to tech jobs (Parmer and up Parmer to Domain then further up to Apple)...but I think many of those jobs pay well enough for an apartment to be affordable and apartments are abundant around the east side. Years ago I bought an almost new washer/dryer set from a young lady selling her house in Hutto after her boyfriend moved out. She told me she couldn't get anyone to room with her because of the drive. She couldn't afford the house on her own. What jobs are there in Kyle or Leander? Leander has a train station so that might help attract a roommate. suburbs are for families imo.