I am a software engineer working in San Francisco. I am planning to move to Austin in next 1-2 years. In the meantime, I am planning to buy a condo or townhouse in next 3-6 months as an investment before I move there.
If the rental pays for the real estate mortgage then I will buy a house, otherwise, I might just move in. Where would be a good place to start to look into condo/townhouse that is close to tech market?
I don't know the price point(s) or specific type of condo/townhouse that you're targeting. However, I'd probably point you to the E. Riverside & Montopolis area of Austin (78741). The median condo/townhouse sells there for around $200k currently with median rents around $1,450/mo. This area has undergone tremendous post-recession change and continues to the present day. Moreover, Oracle is well under construction on a massive new campus off of E. Riverside:
This is sure to spur continued development, especially in mixed use commercial. Here's one such proposal:
I would expect other tech companies to piggyback on Oracle's new presence in the Riverside area.
Austin has a couple of tech clusters. For startups, it is closer to downtown, for more established tech companies, a little further out. Here is a cool infographic that shows a lot of them on a map: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/517491813413874175/?...
An area I think is good is a little north of downtown, near the Domain (an outdoor mall like Santana Row in San Jose) or thereabouts. Keep in mind that traffic is getting worse in Austin, with traffic flowing towards downtown in the morning and away from it in the afternoon/evening. So if your commute doesn't rely on I35 or Hwy 183, that is ideal. You may even want to be near a metro station if you want more commute options.
Traffic in Austin is a beast, no doubt. Proximity to work is everything, imo. I would hate it if I bought a place in the Riverside area and my job was at Dell in Round Rock. Good grief. That drive would be almost an hour a day, one way. No thanks. Imo, I would prefer to be closer to work.
Buying as an investment is different than buying to live in and commuting to work. I am selling a condo for $125k in the Riverside area as the broker. I also manage a condo in the same community. At the condo that I am selling it can generate rents of $1k easily. I think we have a contract on the place though. There are other deals like that for sure in the area.
North central is also good area. There are parts of Austin that is doing exceptionally well and some other areas that are relatively not as good. According to the Austin board of Realtors latest report, the median single family houses rose 5%. Well, that is the median. Some areas blew away the median and some areas were lower than 5%. Overall, the city is doing very well and so should you if you buy here.
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