Austin is one of the most attractive cities in the United States, capitalizing on the beautiful landscapes of Texas, offering a dense and thriving central city, and still offering a variety of suburbs and neighborhoods to serve a wide range of demographics and families. Of course, choosing to move to Austin is just the first step of the process.
According to a U.S. News and World Report, Austin was the number one best place to live in the United States in 2019, 2018, and 2017. Factors considered included affordability, job prospects, and overall quality of life; but how do these factors stack up in different neighborhoods? And how can you decide which neighborhood to call home?
Top Neighborhoods in Austin to Consider
These are some of the best neighborhoods in Austin you’ll want to consider:
- Downtown. Downtown Austin is full of luxury condos and loft condominiums. It’s ideal if you’re looking for an upscale lifestyle—or if you want to be closer to all the action in downtown Austin. There are lots of options for entertainment as well, including restaurants, bars, bike paths, and paddle boarding options.
- Clarksville. Bordering downtown Austin, Clarksville has a long and rich history, with a wide range of different types of homes available—including both renovated and modern homes, and older options. It’s an eclectic neighborhood, with plenty of art galleries and local boutiques, and you’ll also have access to the Lady Bird Lake Trail on the south side.
- South Congress (SOCO). Closer to South Austin, there’s SOCO, where you’ll find an eclectic range of boutiques, antique stores, and small streets. It’s also a hotbed of developments in music and fashion.
- Mueller. Mueller is on the east side of Austin, but still fairly close to downtown. It’s full of modern developments with both homes and condominiums, and both buyers and renters. It’s also home to Thinkery, a children’s museum.
- Barton Hills. Barton Hills is a few minutes from downtown, and has a historic feel—but you’ll still be able to find plenty of modern and newly renovated homes. It’s also less densely populated than many of the other neighborhoods in this concise list.
- Tarrytown. In Tarrytown, you’ll find an amazing school district, beautiful views of natural scenery, and homes that have been built from the 1930s to today. There are also lots of unique restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy.
- Westlake. Coming to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, Westlake is only a few minutes’ drive from Austin, and it has some of the most beautiful views and best access around the city. It also happens to be one of the more expensive neighborhoods to consider.
- Belterra. Belterra is further from Austin—about 17 miles to be more specific, and roughly 7 miles from Dripping Springs. It’s only 1600 acres, but it’s a vibrant community with lots of trails, parks, creeks, and family gatherings.
This list is far from comprehensive, skipping over some popular options like Avery Ranch, Circle C Ranch, Cherrywood, and South Mechaca, among others, but it helps you understand the diversity of neighborhoods that Austin has to offer.
The Most Important Questions to Answer
If you want to choose the best neighborhood for you and your family, you’ll need to answer these questions confidently:
- What’s the most important quality of a neighborhood? We might be able to reach a generic consensus about what makes a “good” neighborhood overall, but each individual will have varying factors for what matters to them, personally. For example, you might consider a good school district as being the most important quality to look for, while someone else might consider access to parks as the most important factor. Consider your priorities carefully.
- How close do you want to be to downtown? Some neighborhoods are minutes away from downtown, while others are a 30-minute drive. You can also consider living in downtown itself. The closer you are to downtown, the closer you are to the action of the city—for better and for worse. If you work downtown, this is going to be even more important.
- How densely populated should the area be? Densely populated cities offer a lot of advantages, including more thriving communities and in many cases, greater access to resources. However, sparsely populated neighborhoods offer more space, and more peace and quiet. It’s mostly a matter of personal preference.
- Do you want a modern or older home? You should be able to find at least some modern options in every Austin neighborhood, but some neighborhoods are newer than others. New homes are more energy efficient and more polished, but older homes offer more personality and charm in many cases.
- How important is a neighborhood’s character? Some Austin neighborhoods offer great food, music, fashion, and art—but these things aren’t equally important to all people. How much character do you want your neighborhood to have?
- How much are you willing to pay? As you might imagine, neighborhoods that have beautiful, modern homes, great school districts, low crime rates, and access to wonderful amenities also tend to be more expensive. How much are you willing to pay to get the neighborhood you want?
- Which amenities and benefits do you prefer? Every neighborhood has something interesting to offer. The question is, what do you want? Do you prefer a scenic backdrop for your home, or would you rather be close to public transportation options?
No matter how you answer these questions initially, you’ll want to spend time looking at all of Austin’s best and most popular neighborhoods; every neighborhood has something unique to offer, and after visiting, you may have a very different impression than what you gleaned online.
If you’re interested to start looking for a home in the Austin, Texas area, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent with experience in Austin. Contact Green Residential today to get in touch with one of our buying real estate agents, or to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect home.