Austin is the “Most Polite city in America.” Here is $40,000 to buy a home there.

By Housing Nonprofit

The music capital of the world is building affordable homes and offering up to $40,000 in down payment assistance to home buyers.

The Bullock Texas History Museum in Austin, TX

Whether you love blues, jazz, hip-hop or rock ‘n roll, you’ll quickly find a favorite music haunt in Texas’s 11th largest city, where a tech boom is underway. Great food – from restaurants to food trucks – are also abundant. Parks, trails and the Colorado River offer outdoor adventures in this laid-back, friendly community.

Living in Austin

In 2022, Austin earned notable mentions as “Best Taco city in America,” “Most Polite city in America,” and as one the “Best Cities in the United States.” And it ranked No. 1 for job opportunities in the United States in a recent LinkedIn analysis.

The city’s Silicon Hills tech hub provides an abundance of opportunities among big companies and startups alike. And as the state’s capital, Austin is home to numerous government entities, including the Railroad Commission of Texas, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Education Agency. There are also numerous job offerings in the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

The Austin Central Library

The Austin International School District educates more than 74,000 students among 125 school communities. The city is also home to several colleges and universities, including University of Texas – Austin, Texas State University, St. Edward’s University, Southwestern University, and Concordia University Texas.

In Austin, TX, the five-year median owner-occupied property value in 2020 was $358,600.

Don’t let Austin’s laid back attitude fool you. New and inventive venues are always emerging, offering city-dwellers an impressive selection of places to eat, drink and play. Try a wagyu beef burger from Not a Damn Chance Burger. Take in the Austin skyline and Lady Bird Lake views from Nido, a rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar at the Loren hotel. Find from-scratch Oaxacan dishes at Chapulin Cantina. Order Japanese sandwich boxes from Choo Sando. And if you’re on the hunt for non alcoholic drinks, try Sans Bar in east Austin.

Take in the latest art installations at The Contemporary Austin, the city’s modern art museum. Give high tech shuffle board a try at Electric Shuffle, where you can also order food and drinks. Or watch competition-level bull riders at the Moody Center Arena.

The People

According to the U.S. Census bureau, Austin has a population of 964,177. The median household income is $75,752, and the five-year median owner-occupied property value for 2016-2020 was $358,600.  Home prices have increased sharply recently, with the Austin Board of Realtors reporting a median home value of $555,000 for the month of October, 2022.

Austin residents practicing yoga at the Viva St. festival near downtown

The city is addressing affordable home ownership by offering developers incentives to create affordable housing options for first-time buyers within new housing developments.  Additionally,  several programs are available to help home buyers with closing costs and down payment assistance.

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation offers low, fixed-rate mortgage loans to qualified buyers, which include up to 5% toward down payment assistance and closing costs. Down payment assistance of up to $40,000 is available, and the purchase price for the property cannot exceed $380,000.

The City of Austin and The Austin Housing Finance Corporation offer home buying assistance in the form of forgivable, zero-down second liens. Up to $15,000 is available as a deferred loan that is forgivable after five years. Up to $40,000 is available as a deferred loan that is forgivable after 10 years. Learn more about the city’s Down Payment Assistance program here.