Dreaming about living in Austin? Not only is Austin one of the best U.S. cities for jobs, but it also offers countless outdoor activities, concerts, funky bars, food trucks, and more, so it’s no wonder why this Texas city is rapidly growing! But all this expansion means the once inexpensive city is seeing a rise in housing costs. So where can you find a budget-friendly area with low crime rates? Check out the five safe, affordable Austin neighborhoods and suburbs below!
- Cedar Park
- Garrison Park
- North University
- Quail Hollow
- Home Price: $230,900 median purchase price; $1,195 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
Find a beautiful home with a perfectly manicured lawn in one of the best Austin suburbs! Cedar Park is a top spot to find affordable new construction—if you’re willing to live farther outside of Central Austin, that is. What the area lacks in urban amenities, it makes up for with close proximity to the unbeatable natural beauty of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Travis. Families will also love living in Cedar Park for its top-rated schools in the Leander Independent School District. As one of the safest areas within the Austin metro, Cedar Park is a great place for anyone who wants small-town charm, friendly neighbors, and spacious housing.
Things to Do in Cedar Park
Take your children to splash in the water playground, swim in the kiddie pool, or take a ride on the drop slide at Veterans Memorial Pool. Learn about art while enjoying nature at Cedar Park Sculpture Garden, where you’ll see creations made from aluminum, steel, copper, and Texas limestone. Find something new to wear at White House Black Market, get a stuffed animal for your child at Build-A-Bear Workshop, or stroll through the Texas Farmers Market each Saturday at Lakeline Mall. Stop by Morning Sunshine for hand-rolled kolaches, Salted Maple donuts, and nitro cold brew on tap. Sample Flash Fried Oyster Shooters and Heirloom Baby Trout or try Green Pork & Eggs for brunch at Blue Corn Harvest. Or spend a night out at The Rotten Bunch tasting wines and sipping on local beer.
- Home Price: $295,020 median purchase price; $1,147 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 31% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
Looking for a quieter spot to raise kids? Cherrywood is one of the best neighborhoods in Austin for families. Having great schools like Maplewood Elementary School, Kealing Middle School, and McCallum High School within walking distance are part of the reason this area is so popular with young families. Residents hoping to call Cherrywood home will find unique bungalows with funky-colored front doors at much lower price points than in nearby Hancock. The East Austin neighborhood also has lower crime rates than surrounding Central Austin neighborhoods like Windsor Park. Despite the fact that Cherrywood has a more residential vibe, local residents don’t have to travel far for dining, nightlife, and family-friendly activities in this safe and affordable neighborhood.
Things to Do in Cherrywood
Go for a run around the loop, catch a concert at the amphitheater, or take the kids to the interactive playground at Mueller Lake Park. Head to The VORTEX to see a show by a local playwright, send teens to the Summer Youth Theatre program, or watch an aerial arts performance. Pick up handmade earrings, find the perfect baby shower gift, or snag artisan coasters at take heart. Visit Cherrywood Coffeehouse and take a free yoga class, grab a dark roast to go, or munch on breakfast tacos or a burger. Try the Ranchero breakfast plate, feast on Chicken Mole Enchiladas, and sip on horchata or a Thai Margarita at family-owned Mi Madre’s Restaurant. Or hang out in the evenings at Skylark Lounge, where you can play billiards, see a blues band live, and enjoy a few beers on the patio.
- Home Price: $189,400 median purchase price; $1,232 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 46% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
If you’re willing to trade some hip amenities for more budget-friendly housing in South Austin, Garrison Park is one of the best neighborhoods in Austin for finding an affordable single-family home! Families in Garrison Park love having access to public schools in the popular Austin Independent School District, as well as charter schools like Wayside Eden Park Academy. This Austin neighborhood is perfect for anyone dreaming of safe streets, having a home with an ample yard, and a tight-knit community of diverse neighbors.
Things to Do in Garrison Park
Go for a swim, catch a little league game, or take your dog for a walk at Garrison Park. Head to Altitude Trampoline Park for a little out-of-the-box fun or host your child’s next birthday party. Pick up a gently-used book, find an original concert poster, or attend a signing with a local author at South Congress Books. Dine at Cherry Creek Catfish Company and enjoy Fried Green Tomatoes, Blackened Catfish, or a Shrimp Po’Boy. Treat yourself to a night out full of Shrimp Tempura, Squid Salad, Rainbow Rolls, and Plum Ice Cream at DK Sushi South. Or get your fill of decadence at Helene Park Chocolates, where you can choose between Peanut Butter Milk, Orange Zest Dark, Cappuccino Milk, and more!
- Home Price: $212,500 median purchase price; $980 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 62% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals
Searching for cool neighborhoods in Austin with affordable homes? Check out North University—also called North Campus! Here, you’ll have your pick of single-family homes, condos, and one-bedroom apartments for slightly lower costs than rowdy West University. University of Texas at Austin students also call this eclectic and tree-lined area home, thanks to its proximity to campus and the downtown area. And with walkable streets, access to bike lanes, and stellar public transportation, residents can leave the car at home. This is also one of the best places to live in Austin if you want safe streets without moving to the suburbs—plus, there’s always somewhere open to grab a late night coffee or bite to eat!
Things to Do in North University
Head over to the Hancock Recreation Center to do yoga after work, play a game of basketball, or practice your swing at Hancock Golf Course. Spend some time near the lake picking up local honey, fresh produce, or finding breakfast at the Texas Farmers Market at Mueller. Get a broken spoke replaced, shop for a new helmet, or buy your first-ever fixed gear bike at Clown Dog Bikes. Eat at Black’s Barbecue to get your fill of brisket, pork spare ribs, smashed sweet potatoes, and chunky potato salad. Try a new food truck parked in the outdoor patio, swing while sipping on a frozen margarita, and listen to live music at Spider House. Or indulge in chocolate-covered strawberries, shortbread cookies, and unique ice cream flavors at Amy’s Ice Cream.
- Home Price: $124,975 median purchase price; $1,114 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 44% of Texas cities
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees
When it comes to affordable Austin neighborhoods, it’s hard to beat Windsor Hills! Once considered an area too far from exciting things to do, the development of North Austin by the tech sector means that restaurants and shopping are now abundant here. Young professionals in particular are drawn to the area for its affordable rental properties and quick commutes, but Windsor Hills is also one of the best neighborhoods in Austin for families looking for a quiet place to buy a home at a low price. What Windsor Hills lacks in the “weirdness” that Austin is famous for, it makes up for it with clean streets, friendly residents, and a lively community spirit.
Things to Do in Windsor Hills
Try your hand at rock climbing, enroll in a Taekwondo class, drop kids off at an After School Program, or spend some time exploring the park outside of the Gustavo “Gus” L. Garcia Recreation Center. Stop by the Little Walnut Creek Branch of the Austin Public Library to attend an All Ages Storytime, play in a gaming tournament, or pick up some new picture books for bedtime. Drive to the The Domain to go shopping at stores like Anthropologie, Madewell, and Cole Haan. Go out for a Shrimp Chimichanga, Enchiladas Verdes, or a Mushroom Quesadilla at Los Potrillos Restaurant. Or spend the evening at Fairweather Cider Co. and try their original Common cider or spiked seasonal EZ Tea.
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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes