Austin or San Antonio???

5 Replies

Hi Everyone,

I need your help! I am scheduled to arrive to Austin, TX in about one week and had originally planned to work remotely for my company while flipping houses on the side with the hopes of eventually transitioning to full time investing. However, after speaking with many other investors and realtors, I know that the market is fully saturated at this point. Now I am having a 24th hour internal crises on whether I should settle down in Austin or San Antonio since I still have the ability to go either way!

Does anyone have any insights into the current state of flipping in San Antonio, which zip codes are good prospects and how it compares to other cities in Texas? Is it just good compared to Austin or is it strong overall for flipping? If I pull the trigger I would like to live in the northern part of the city.

Thanks for your help and support!

Brian

My preference is San Antonio.  It has a higher population, increasing number of retirees, one of the cheaper cities in the US.  The economy seems to be more diverse having a good number of military stationed there, quite  a number of hospitals, tourism, oil, gas and growing a little in technology.  Taxes are lower.  Actually have you considered the Obama promise zone area?  If I am not mistaken I do not think you pay taxes in those neighborhoods located on the east side.  Its easy to get around as well.  The people in Alamo Reia seem to be real supportive, you should go check them out. The people who I met there that were doing flips had some issues with contractors but they made it through.    I have never been to Austin so I am very biased.  I just know that the average income is higher and unemployment is lower.  My tenants in my NY home are from there and so far they pay on time every month. 

If you are working remote then why pick either? Why not something like Canyon Lake? It's between SA and Austin, and it's basically a resort area.  Or a smaller town in the orbit of SA/Austiin, like Blanco, Marble Falls, etc? Lot of Hill Country options you might want to consider.

Canyon Lake is pretty small. Good inventory is low in SA just like many other places. You can find cheap houses but the size and condition will be sub optimal. Direct marketing is the best way to find deals but there is some pretty good competition going on with mailers. There is a strong Spanish speaking wholesale market that does a good job uncovering deals. East side San Antonio is a hit or miss. The good news it is fairly easy to recognize the areas to avoid. Outside both loops is doing good. North West, North and outside 410 are good. Competition is getting strong in some of the smaller towns. If there are a lot of houses on the MLS in certain areas then you know those are low demand areas. You can do some secondary research on Zillow and define your own target market. That will be better than getting advice. If wholesalers are working certain areas then direct marketing is not going to be as effective. Don't follow the herd. Instead define what you are looking for and work backwards. If your target house is 3/2/2 1965-1999 100-175k then that eliminates a lot of areas. Look at what schools are getting better. Look at areas that have low unemployment and new jobs. Are there areas that are being revitalized. Road, construction projects? If you get answers from here then you and twenty wholesalers will be marketing to the same people. Outside SA are great areas to look. In this market you really need to know what you are looking for. Beware of buying cheap just because it is cheap. Good deals are hard to find in Austin or SA, the only difference is that bad deals in SA are 200k cheaper.

@Brian Upton I have been investing in SA for a couple years and flips are not easy to find but its a great rental market. Austin is a lot better for flips but extremely expensive to get deals. Running flips "on the side" is really risky if you don't know the area. I'm originally from NY and we have a completely different expectation for contractors, here they're terrible and hard to find a good one. If you have any more questions let me know I can put you in contact with really savvy investors in Austin if you're leaning that way.