From the many fun things to do around town to the great properties, Austin has quickly become one of the most popular cities in America.
Austin is the capital of the Lone Star State, home to the flagship campus of the University of Texas, and is perhaps best known for its legendary live music scene that includes country, blues, and rock. Because it’s adjacent to the rolling green hills of the Texas Hill Country, there are many parks and lakes that provide residents with plenty of recreational opportunities.
The Austin real estate market is also bursting at the seams. Like many other cities around the country, demand for housing is rising as people move in from other states and the economy recovers from the pandemic shutdown. Add low mortgage interest rates, and Austin is experiencing a seller’s market as inventory tightens.
Home values have been growing for years, but the recent surge has been staggering. According to the Austin Board of REALTORS
, the median home price hit an all-time high of $465,000 in May.
Driving the surge are employees from big tech companies like Oracle, Google, and Tesla who are relocating here to enjoy the state’s business-friendly atmosphere.
Types of Houses in Austin
When new residents arrive and start shopping for Austin real estate, they find houses in architectural styles that are as varied as the city itself. Among the popular styles are Hill Country, modern Spanish and Mediterranean, Queen Anne homes that date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, and another favorite style, the Craftsman.
Here’s a look at the different types of houses in the Austin real estate market:
This style probably resonates the most with Texans. It's a historical style with a look all its own that began when European immigrants skilled in stone masonry and carpentry settled in the area and built homes out of available materials. Those materials included cedar beams, white limestone, and brown sandstone. The homes were well-built and simple. Modern examples of this home style are simple yet sophisticated and highly detailed.
Two related styles are Texas Country and Texas Regional, which also are built using local materials. There are updated versions of these homes with contemporary comforts. Found in and around the city, they have a decidedly Texas look.
Head to Hyde Park and some of Austin’s other older neighborhoods for several examples of this fabulous style. These classic homes built with Victorian architecture might at first seem out of place in the heart of Texas, but they are actually a nod to the city’s early days.Queen Anne homes
were popular around the country from the mid-19th century into the 20th century, and Austin was no exception. Many of these homes were built by leading residents eager to show off their wealth. The Queen Anne style includes gables, towers, large windows, and covered porches.
Two remarkable examples of this style are the Elizabet Ney Museum
, which looks like a castle, and the Oliphant-Walker House. The Elizabet Ney Museum was built in 1893 by the eccentric German sculptor who moved to Austin in 1882. Her many works are on display, as are creations of other artists. The grounds also feature a historic prairie landscape restoration that gives visitors an idea of what the area looked like when Ney bought the land in 1882. The Oliphant-Walker House was built in 1894 by local resident and noted photographer William J. Oliphant.
Both houses are in the Hyde Park National Register Historic Neighborhood.
Queen Anne homes can be found in other neighborhoods besides Hyde Park.
There are also homes known as Queen Anne cottages, which are smaller, one-story versions of the traditional Queen Anne homes. They also have gables and cantilevered roofs, as well as iconic wrap-around porches.
Craftsman and Bungalows
There are many examples of this popular home throughout the Austin real estate market, including in the Hyde Park, Brentwood, Allandale, and Crestview neighborhoods. The American Craftsman style is a simpler version of the much-fancier Victorian homes. They became popular with middle-class families at the turn of the 20th century. Craftsman homes usually have two stories and feature open floor plans and covered porches. They have less of the pretentiousness of the Queen Anne style and thus were more suited to the middle class.
A similar style to the Craftsman is the bungalow. These smaller homes have also been referred to as the Craftsman bungalow and the California bungalow. They, too, were built for the middle class and are usually simple, one-story homes with big covered porches and large windows. They can be found in neighborhoods throughout Austin.
Spanish Revival and Mediterranean
This being Texas, Spanish-style homes are another nod to Austin’s past and have been popular in the area for as long as anyone can remember.
This style of home fits in perfectly with Austin’s nice weather and can be found in many neighborhoods. The homes are built of stucco and stone and have distinctive tile roofs. They are known for their airy interiors, courtyards, and porches. These homes feature lush landscaping, another tie-in to the pleasant lifestyle available in Austin.
Befitting its status as a hip, growing city, Austin real estate also has many examples of modern architecture. Many of these homes are built with smart technology that includes wireless, Internet-connected components and environmentally friendly green systems such as solar energy and rainwater collection systems. These sleek, aesthetically pleasing homes bring a contemporary look to many neighborhoods in a city that embraces the new and the old.
Austin has housing styles for all tastes and needs. Although prices are on the rise, the area is still cheaper than some other parts of the country, where residents are either priced out or feel that they need a change in both lifestyle and location.