First time home buyers are often scared away from South Austin’s 78704 zip code when it comes time to buy. They drive by homes in Travis Heights, Zilker and Barton Springs and see $500,000 price tags and immediately rule it out. But, in the words of Lee Corso… “Not so fast!”
What are the Best 78704 Neighborhoods for First Time Buyers?
There are still a few neighborhoods in 78704 that are affordable for first time home buyers. Here are our top three neighborhoods for first time home buyers in South Austin.
- South Lamar, or SoLa
Neighborhood #1: South Lamar
South Lamar Blvd has recently been revitalized and is becoming a formidable opponent for South Congress. There are new restaurants, shopping and entertainment options popping up all the time indicating business owners believe in the area and believe in its potential for growth.
Good news for home buyers is real estate prices haven’t quite caught on to this new trend, so housing is still affordable.
Downtown is just about 5-10 minutes away depending on how far south you live, yet you’re also close to major big retailer shopping in Sunset Valley and east/west travel on 290 or 71. If you travel, the airport is only 15 minutes.
For more about SoLa and to search South Lamar homes for sale, check out our South Lamar Neighborhood Guide.
South Lamar Homes for Sale
Neighborhood #2: Dawson
Dawson is located in the middle of two of South Austin’s most popular and established streets, South 1st St and South Congress making it an easy commute to Downtown, Highway 35 or 290. Dawson is also known for having a very active neighborhood association – in fact, we have Dawson residents to thank for the revitalization of the SoCo area.
You’ll get a little bit more for your money in Dawson and a little bit bigger house, with the average size being 1,300 sq ft. With the proximity to the shopping, restaurants and nightlife on S 1st and SoCo, Dawson residents enjoy a very walkable neighborhood.
For more about Dawson and to search Dawson homes for sale, visit our Dawson Neighborhood Guide.
Dawson Homes for Sale
Neighborhood #3: Galindo
Galindo is another option for first time home buyers in South Austin. Though not as walkable as South Lamar or Dawson, the area is still popular among buyers looking for a bit more space. On average, homes in Galindo are 1,500 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Basically you’re looking at the same price per sq ft as Dawson, just with some additional space.
The train tracks do tend to isolate Galindo a bit and make it most accessible to South 1st which is great if you’re commuting Downtown but not so great if you’re looking for walkability. Its not that Galindo is not walkable, its just not as walkable as South Lamar and Dawson.
For more info about Galindo and to search Galindo homes for sale, visit our Galindo Neighborhood Guide.
Galindo Homes for Sale
School Quality is Important
South Lamar and Dawson are tops on the list because they’re in superior locations and have the best schools. All three neighborhoods share the middle and high school, so elementary school is the only difference. Zilker is the highest rated of the three schools and serves most of South Lamar. Dawson is the second best rated school and serves Dawson. Galindo Elementary School is the lowest rated, though still has a good reputation among parents. Galindo serves the Galindo neighborhood kids. If you’re looking for a home in 78704 and schools are most important, check out Zilker and Barton Hills Elementary school districts.
What if You Don’t Have Kids?
Even if you don’t have kids, or don’t plan on having kids, its always important to evaluate the schools in the area. Historically, homes in good school districts have held their value much better than homes in inferior school districts. And, buyers are willing to pay more for homes in excellent school districts, so schools are a way to protect your investment. That being said, if schools will never be important, homes in inferior school districts are generally cheaper. So, if you’re looking to save some cash, those areas might be the best place to start your search.
Would You Consider a South Austin Duplex?
There are several duplexes in 78704 that are often much bigger than the single family homes and provide an opportunity for you to get some help with your mortgage payment. Not to mention, if you decide to keep it as a rental, you could potentially have an income stream when you’re ready to move out. Think of it as an investment in your retirement.
For more info about the pros and cons of South Austin duplexes, check out our Duplexes near South Congress article.
Duplexes for Sale Near South Congress
You May Also Enjoy…
Here are some other posts that may interest you.
- Best Neighborhoods for Dogs
- Best Neighborhoods for Kids
- Best Neighborhoods for Shopping
- Best Neighborhoods to Live
- Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals
Considering a Move to South Austin’s 78704 Zip Code?
We are experienced buyer’s agents with 60+ years of combined experience representing home buyers. We know the market and know how to save you time and money, even in Austin’s strong sellers market. For more info about who we are and how we work, check out our Austin Buyer Representation Program. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation to see how we may be able to help you in your search.