First Person: Real Estate Is Still Cheap in Central Texas

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I was certain that at some point in my life, I would roll the dice on the ever evolving real estate game. Having just witnessed the bursting of the latest housing bubble, I felt it was time to dip my toe in to the property pool. My testing of the real estate water landed me in Hutto, TX; a suburb 20 minutes outside of Austin. Sporting a population of fewer than 37,000 , I felt this was the place for me, especially after my stunning realization as to what I could get for my money in the Austin Metro Area.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, the average home price in the U.S. is just under $250,000. Fortunately for me, this is not the case in Hutto, as this quaint little town boasts a modest median home price of $169,623. Realizing my toe felt quite comfortable in the warm waters of Central Texas real estate, I decided to cannon ball into a lovely two story, four bedroom, two and a half bath, 2,141 square foot home on a fifth of an acre for, wait for it, $95,400. Okay, so it was a foreclosure and it's really worth $140,000, I just wanted to toot my own horn.

So, what does $250,000 get you in Hutto? How about four bedrooms, three and a half baths along with a bonus room all under the roof of a 3,200 square foot brick home . Isn't that just majestic? Unfortunately, the drive into to the center of Austin will not only cost you gas, but also, square footage. In downtown Austin, that quarter of a million dollar budget will fetch you one bed and one bath in a 749 square foot condo . Luckily, that cozy condo is situated in the middle of the city, allowing for ambulatory exploration of the finer side of the Austin.

If your looking for space, low key living and the occasional 6' Boa Constrictor in your garden (a story for another time), then Hutto is your place. If it's convenience you're after, head downtown and trade space for the ability to stumble home after a raucous night out.

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