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Old 07-24-2008, 11:31 PM
 
132 posts, read 400,976 times
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If I wanted to buy a house in the say, low 100s, and put some $$ into fixing it up, in what part of town would I look? What neighborhood strikes you, or have you read about, as being the "next hotspot" in a year or two? I don't want to buy a dump, fix it up, then live in the nicest house in a dumpy part of town. I want to be on the front-end of a trend. Any ideas? Cross streets would be helpful, as I'm not familiar with all of the neighborhoods (but I do have a map ). The closer to downtown the better. Looking for an urban vibe. Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:51 AM
 
187 posts, read 776,408 times
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Hilarious post.

Ain't gonna happen.

Do you mean that you want an investment, a sure thing, where you can flip it in 5 years at a great profit, even in this economy, so you can be ahead of the next thing or trend?

Or do you want to make a home for yourself and invest your energies in a community?

There is nothing in the low 100s with an "urban vibe" near downtown Austin that won't result in you living in the nicest house on the block and sticking out like a sore thumb. It's not possible.

Stick with Cincinnati. Great buildings, great neighborhoods, a real city developed in the 19th c with city planning.

Austin was not developed that way.... Most of the available housing stock was built post-1950, and much of it--especially what is available in your dream price-range, was built in the 1970s of poor, poor quality. There are older houses available, 1920s and 1930s cottages, on the east side of downtown, but those neighborhoods were "discovered" a long time ago already, to say nothing of the working-class folks who have been living there for decades, and who are currently struggling to keep their homes and their neighborhoods from gentrifying out of their reach.

Good luck, man...
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, TX
183 posts, read 617,892 times
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Not in Austin, but I would try Georgetown. We are kicking ourselves for moving to RR and not buying a fixer-upper in in GT. Many homes are around 100-150,000, they need some TLC, but in a few years the prices in GT are going to go thru the roof.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,410 posts, read 37,788,066 times
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I did a quick search of the MLS using just "House" and "$150,000 and under", within about 3 miles of downtown using map search (which takes you out to Ben White Blvd. south and Ed Bluestein east, so you can look on the map - forget about it west and north).

Came up with 21 hits. All but two of them in MLS Area 5 (east of downtown).
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:16 AM
 
264 posts, read 886,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coleslaw View Post
If I wanted to buy a house in the say, low 100s, and put some $$ into fixing it up, in what part of town would I look? What neighborhood strikes you, or have you read about, as being the "next hotspot" in a year or two? I don't want to buy a dump, fix it up, then live in the nicest house in a dumpy part of town. I want to be on the front-end of a trend. Any ideas? Cross streets would be helpful, as I'm not familiar with all of the neighborhoods (but I do have a map ). The closer to downtown the better. Looking for an urban vibe. Thanks for your input.
Yeah.....as if there weren't 50,000 other investors in Austin (most from out of state) who are looking for the same thing. You sound like a rookie investor who just bought Carlton Sheets program. Let me guess....you're looking to buy it with no money down?? LOL!!! Maybe you've watched too many "Flip That House" episodes and like 90% of the rest of the country, think Austin/Texas is a great place to move to/invest in. Move on, the state of California has beat you to the punch.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:40 AM
 
6,373 posts, read 11,523,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coleslaw View Post
If I wanted to buy a house in the say, low 100s, and put some $$ into fixing it up, in what part of town would I look? What neighborhood strikes you, or have you read about, as being the "next hotspot" in a year or two? I don't want to buy a dump, fix it up, then live in the nicest house in a dumpy part of town. I want to be on the front-end of a trend. Any ideas? Cross streets would be helpful, as I'm not familiar with all of the neighborhoods (but I do have a map ). The closer to downtown the better. Looking for an urban vibe. Thanks for your input.
This is tough. If we knew how to predict, we would already be rich. There is always some risk. One principle to stay ahead of trends is to understand what are the fundamentals? For stocks it is about future cash flow. For houses, I guess it is what do people fundamentally want. For families it might be safe neighborhoods, large houses with yards, close to things they want to do, good schools etc. For singles it might be different.

3 years ago we were looking on the north shore of lake travis, there were a few lake front properties there for under 150K. Those were great buys. I passed on a few that the next year exploded (doubled in price).

There was a house forsale at the north corner of rainey st downtown for 270K about 5 years ago. That was clearly a buy. I believe it is forsale now for 670K.

I have bought into other deals that were more aligned with what I want and are also good investments.


In every area of austin you can find deals but you have to understand what the value of that area is. The area around the mueller project is already expensive, but a couple of blocks out you may be able to find deals in your range as mueller gets fully developed it is likely the whole area within a few mile radius will be good too.

The area of north lamar by 183 is out of your price range (Crestview) but because of the train station will probably be good.

Same with the leander and cedar park downtown/train stations as the city is committed to controlling development.

I usually use a map based approach (trulia/austinhomelistings) and make a filter for properties with prices/sq ft in the bottom 10-25% of an area. Every year there are at least 3-4 that would be definite buys (I can obviously not afford to buy even a fraction of them).

There is a 150K lot in jester that backs up to greenbelt that looks interesting

There are some 150K houses west of 183, north of mcneil and south of 620. That area still needs to be discovered, but I think it will. They are in the round rock school district but way closer to town than cedar park, leander and round rock.

If I could get a downtown condo (not futher north than around 8-10th st) for under 250/sq ft, I would definitely buy one. Im starting to see those prices come down, so there might be opportunities next year.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:03 AM
 
132 posts, read 400,976 times
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Thanks for the input. To clarify, I ask because I like fixing up my house. Right now I have an 1880 house and have put a lot of work into it. It is rewarding. I never planned to leave the house, but have been transferred to Austin by my employer. I'm not looking for an investment, or a sure thing, but a neighborhood where I can buy, invest my time, sweat, and money, and not regret my choice of neighborhood in the future. I'm not an investor, not looking to flip, just a future Austin homeowner (who has plenty of $$ for a down payment, thank you).
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Warrior Country
4,577 posts, read 5,407,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
.....There are some 150K houses west of 183, north of mcneil and south of 620. That area still needs to be discovered, but I think it will. They are in the round rock school district but way closer to town than cedar park, leander and round rock.
I agree with this.

The area north of McNeil & South of 620 (if you're east of 183) & the area north of Anderson Mill & South of 620 (if you're west of 183).....is a relative value compared to the cr*p new construction being built 10 miles further out. (& being sold for 50K higher).

Lots of 3/2s built in the 70s & 80s that feed into good schools & less than 6 min. from the Arboretum. Some nice parks & stuff around Grisham MS too. The area will only go up.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:40 PM
 
187 posts, read 776,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coleslaw View Post
To clarify, I ask because I like fixing up my house. Right now I have an 1880 house and have put a lot of work into it. It is rewarding.
Well, there is nothing of that age anywhere near downtown that has not already been converted into office space for attorneys and CPAs.

However, there are lots and lots of small towns ringing Austin that will become suburbs, for those that have not already become suburbs, that are full of historic homes that need all levels of repair, from very little to quite a lot. If you find that kind of work rewarding, and you are willing to commute 20-35 miles, then you can look at Georgetown and Taylor to the north of Austin, or Bastrop, Lockhart, Smithville, etc., to the south of Austin.

Most buildings that old in Austin were destroyed a long time ago. It's a town that experienced a lot of postwar building, and as others have posted, there is plenty available within the city built between 1965 and 1990, especially in that price range.

I'm an architectural historian, so I value historic houses, too. I could not afford anything architecturally interesting to me within the city limits of Austin unless it was in jeopardy of falling down soon. If you are a handy DIY restorer, you might find something on the east side of downtown, area 5, as TexasHorseLady said, but it will need a lot of work. A lot. It would likely be well worth it when it's over.

As someone who wanted small, manageable projects over several years, but who also wanted something cool that was certainly ready to move into, I chose to move out to a small town, Taylor. There are architectural gems there for UNDER 100k. But you'll have a 30-mile commute into the city. We love it out there, but a small town is not for everyone, no matter how quick and easy city access is. Many of our friends feel we've moved to Mars!

Good luck....
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Old 07-25-2008, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Coffee Bean
659 posts, read 1,552,256 times
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Ummm... you might be able to find a fixer-upper crack house for under 100K near downtown, but I'm not sure what the financing options will be.

So you could try east Austin if you don't mind the occasional drug bust or crazy homeless person peeing in your front yard. If you're willing to go up to 150K, you could get a great fixer-uper condo in the weekend puke-fest student-run party central complexes near campus. You could change your geographic parameters and go down to the William Canon area and probably get something decent for around 150K and join the legions of other South Austinites who fool themselves into thinking they're living "downtown."

Or you could give up on the whole idea since the economy and the housing market is in the toilet and save your money in a buried coffee can.

Seriously - you're going to have to either double (or triple) your budget or completely change your geographic requirements by about 20-30 miles.

Sorry to be so sarcastic, but it's pretty laughable to even entertain such an idea. Although Texas hasn't suffered as much as the rest of the country with the whole housing bubble/mortgage crisis thing, we do still have expensive property in and around downtown. But hey - if you do find a decent place near downtown for 100K - let us all know so that we can call the Guiness people.
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