Austin is the capital city of Texas so not surprisingly, the government is a major employer in Austin. It’s also the home of Dell, the flagship Whole Foods store and a host of other good sized companies. The University also hosts 40,000 students which creates an additional boost to the population and to the services required to service these students!
This economic diversity makes it an appealing place for a real estate investor to buy a property. It’s also weathered the economic storm gracefully. Texas as a whole has not been hit as hard as many states, but Austin has felt the crunch even less. House prices have come down, rental rates have come down, but overall it’s really holding pretty steady. Yet another good indicator for an investor.
Before heading to Austin, I did quite a bit of online research on the City. I basically followed our Location Research Checklist and looked at the trends … and tried to understand the driving forces behind them. When we arrived in Austin, we hit the ground running … looking at areas and talking to experts. Two of the people we sat down with are Steve & Sylvia Crossland of the Crossland Team at Keller Williams.
Steve runs the property management side of their business and Sylvia is the realtor. They are a great team and full of great information for investors! We had the pleasure of learning from them for about 90 minutes … then we set out and saw the sites around Austin … the real estate sites that is.
First, we spoke to them generally about their experience. Steve has a couple of great tips for real estate investors in general in this video:
Then we got into the juicy numbers of the Austin real estate market … what’s happening with the sales, the price per square foot, rent rates and more:
So, why Austin, and why now? And what specifically should you know about real estate investing in the Austin market right now?
We then set out doing a walking tour of several of the areas around Austin which is something we always recommend an investor do. If you’re thinking of buying in an area, go out there and walk it. Imagine you were your tenant … where would you work? Where would your kids go to school? How would you travel to and from work? Where will you shop? How easy is it to live there and do all of these things? Drive around and get a sense of which streets seem better … it really doesn’t take much time to get a feeling for an area and identify potential opportunities. Of course, finding good resources for your team like Steve and Sylvia would be helpful as well!