Texas — people come to the Lone Star State for a lot of reasons. Maybe it’s the state’s storied history. Perhaps it’s the wide open spaces. It may even just be to get out of paying state income taxes. Whatever the reason, people come to Texas. And when they do, they are on the hunt for TX homes for sale.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by population and square mileage, so it’s not easy to describe the Texas housing market at large without over-generalizing. The state offers a diverse range of cities, neighborhoods and homes. If you’re looking for it, you can find it in Texas. In other words, the housing market is hot for buyers of all kinds. And with 392,954 homes sold in Texas in 2020, it’s hot for sellers, too.
In this article, Neighborhood Score takes a look at Texas homes for sale and everything you need to know about buying a house in Texas. To learn more, keep reading. And to find the ideal neighborhood for you, take the Neighborhood Score quiz.
Types of Homes for Sale in Texas
With big cities and tiny towns, international industries and local businesses, tons of transplants and plenty of hometown folks across 268,597 square miles, Texas has just about every type of home you can imagine.
With that said, Texas is anything but a cookie-cutter state when it comes to housing. Sure, you can find rows and rows of Ranch-style homes in densely packed neighborhoods, but you can also find architectural gems that are coveted the world over, quaint cabins that would make the Father of Texas (a.k.a. Stephen F. Austin) proud and sleek penthouses that can go toe to toe with any spot from Dubai to Shanghai.
The ocean of home types for sale in Texas is bigger than the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s dive in.
Lakefront Homes for Sale in Texas
It may not top Minnesota’s proverbial 10,000 lakes, but Texas holds its own with around 7,000 lakes throughout the state. Not every resaca and man-made lake yields desirable lakeside real estate, but stunning lakefront homes for sale in Texas are quite common.
From Lake Travis to Lake Houston, prospective Texas residents can find lake homes of nearly every variety for sale. Many of the more affordable lake homes in Texas are smaller, cabin-style homes meant to serve as vacation properties — an especially common occurrence around some of the more remote and more scenic rural lakes.
But there’s more to Texas lakefront homes for sale than one-room cabins. Multimillion-dollar properties abound, too. And there’s plenty of real estate between both extremes.
Unbeatable views, access to fishing, boating and other recreational activities and unparalleled privacy are some serious selling points for Texas’ lakeside homes, but it’s important to keep in mind that many lake-adjacent properties can be subject to flooding. While it’s unlikely that your future home would flood — most of these properties are set at higher elevations to avoid this problem — you could be buying acreage that won’t be usable after heavy rains and during flooding season. Be sure to ask the homeowner, real estate agent and locals about this issue.
In a similar vein, read up on the specific lake you are considering. Many Texas lakes that look relatively serene and undisturbed actually supply water to nearby cities and towns. That means that the lake’s water levels could fluctuate by multiple feet at various times of the year. If your property comes with a dock, lowered water levels could mean your lake access is limited for weeks at a time. Fortunately, a little research can help you understand which Texas lakes might have this issue.
Beach Homes for Sale in Texas
Texas isn’t exactly known for its beaches, but that’s mostly because the state has a lot more going on than what you can find on the Gulf Coast. Still, with roughly 370 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline and much more shoreline mileage (which includes coastline around Texas islands), Texas is, without a doubt, a beach state.
That means there are plenty of beach homes for sale in Texas. Much like lakefront homes for sale in Texas, beach homes in the Lone Star State run the gamut — swanky mansions and bare-bones bungalows are available if you know where to look.
Corpus Christi, South Padre Island, Galveston and Port Aransas are some of the more prominent beachside Texas cities, but the coastline offers coastal acreage in rural and unincorporated areas, too. Beach homes are, for obvious reasons, attractive, but it’s important to weigh the very pretty pros with the potential cons — namely, hurricanes. The Gulf Coast has more than its fair share of hurricanes, so living on the beach in Texas is going to come with this risk. Make sure your risk tolerance and insurance policies are up to the challenge.
Historic Homes for Sale in Texas
In a state that’s steeped in history, it only makes sense that there would be a lot of historic homes and buildings around. In Texas, that’s certainly the case. And many homebuyers are highly motivated to purchase a little piece of Texas history.
When it comes to historic homes for sale in Texas, the Texas Historical Commission calls the shots. That’s true for homes that are technically historic, meaning they’re on the commission’s list of federal or state historic sites.
This is why it’s important to determine whether you are after a truly historic home or just one that has that historic look and feel. Texas has plenty of both. If you go the officially historic route, you will need to keep a few things in mind:
- If the historic home needs renovations, you may be able to get grants and tax credits to cover a portion of the costs.
- Any work you do on the historic property will be subject to a strict set of guidelines and standards meant to preserve the historic value of the property.
- By purchasing a historic home for sale in Texas, you may be buying into an official historic district that has its own rules about what you can and can’t do with your property.
Log Homes for Sale in Texas
There’s a lot more to log homes for sale in Texas than one story and four corners. You would probably have a lot of trouble building anything close to the log cabins Texas has to offer with your standard set of Lincoln Logs.
Indeed, Texas’ log homes for sale are so diverse that the only thing that really ties them all together is the fact that they’re built with logs. You can find simple, remote log cabins and multilevel log mansions and everything in between.
The idea to keep in mind when shopping for a log home in Texas is that you’re buying a look. Everything else about the home can be as modern as you like. If you are truly going for the log-cabin-in-the-woods feel, do pay special attention to the unique issues that log cabins can face.
For example, take a look around the exterior of the log home. Are any of the logs making direct contact with the ground? This would be a problem because direct contact with moist soil can lead to rot. Similarly, check for faded staining or other issues with the logs themselves to ensure you’re not going in for something that’s going to cost a lot of money to repair and maintain. Most log homes for sale in Texas, however, are modern, clean, safe and downright charming.
Farm Homes for Sale in Texas
The word “farmhouse” means a lot of different things to different people. For some, it’s quite literally a house on a working farm. For others, it’s a style of home in a rural setting that is more about a simple, peaceful way of life and less about milking cows and plowing fields.
In Texas, you can find both extremes. There is no shortage of farm homes for sale in Texas — a state with more than 130 million acres of agricultural land, much of which is devoted to raising cattle.
If you’re in this to buy a working farm and live on it, you will need to research much more than property taxes and home value. You will need to understand the viability of the land for raising cattle or growing crops, the historic profitability of the farmland and the access to services you’ll need to make your farm operation work.
On the other hand, if you’re going more for the look and feel of a farmhouse, you will face a lot fewer hoops to jump through. Farm homes for sale in Texas are typified by porches, siding, painted wood walls, mud rooms, open shelving, barn doors, vintage lighting and a host of other charming features.
Townhomes for Sale in Texas
In Texas and around the U.S., townhomes offer a more affordable alternative to single-family homes. With shared walls, small footprints and limited outdoor space, townhomes for sale in Texas can be the perfect starter homes for young families.
Townhouses tend to be in or near the larger urban areas in Texas, such as Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. This can be an enormous perk for those who value a short commute and access to big-city amenities. Also, the lower price of townhomes makes them a good option in the more expensive housing markets of Texas’ larger cities.
However, keep in mind that townhomes sometimes come with mandatory HOA fees and tricky mortgage terms. This isn’t the case with every Texas townhouse for sale, but it’s important to do your research to make sure you’re buying what you actually want.
Condos for Sale in Texas
Like townhomes, condos for sale in Texas offer lower price points and central locations in Texas’ bigger cities, as well as potential HOA fees. Pay special attention to access to public transportation, on-site amenities and maintenance policies when looking at Texas condos for sale.
For a required monthly condo fee, you get maintenance when you need it without having to break the bank. This can be a big bonus for people who are too busy to handle maintenance issues themselves or older residents who would like to have less home management on their plates.
Highrise Apartment Homes for Sale in Texas
Texas highrise apartments and luxury highrise condos are most often found in the state’s most populous cities: Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Outside of these areas, you’re unlikely to find a highrise home for sale in Texas that truly fits the “highrise” definition.
In the larger cities, you can find a diverse array of highrise apartment homes, most of which are going to be of the luxury variety. “Highrise apartment” and “luxury” are not always synonymous, but the two terms tend to apply to a lot of the same properties. What you get for the money is an unbeatable bird’s eye view of your chosen city, on-site amenities, a convenient downtown location, nearly unshakeable resale value and less street noise than a ground-level house or apartment.
Being high up comes with some drawbacks, too. You’re unlikely to get a lot of easy access to outdoor areas, your home may feel small for the money, it’s likely to be expensive and you may find yourself waiting for the elevator a lot more often than you would like. Whether a highrise apartment or condo in Texas is right for you will depend on your unique wants and needs.
Penthouses for Sale in Texas
Penthouses make up a relatively small portion of TX homes for sale, but when you find the right one, it’s heaven. In cities that have crowded downtown skylines, such as Dallas, a penthouse gives you an unobstructed view of the city below. And if you hear noises coming through the ceiling in your penthouse apartment, there’s someone on the roof — you won’t have any upstairs neighbors. Speaking of upstairs, many Texas penthouses for sale offer rooftop outdoor access.
All that luxury often commands what can amount to a jaw-dropping price tag, of course, but if it’s a fit for you, it’s a fit.
Texas Homes for Sale by Numbers of Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Maybe you aren’t as interested in the types of TX homes for sale and would instead like to find a home of nearly any type that has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Unless you’re aiming for bedrooms and bathrooms in the double digits, you won’t have any trouble finding plenty of homes for sale in Texas that meet your specifications.
The following are some bedroom-bathroom home combinations that are widely available in Texas:
- Two bedrooms, one bathroom
- Three bedrooms, two bathrooms
- Four bedrooms, two bathrooms
- Four bedrooms, three bathrooms
Of course, many more combinations exist, and you can also look for half baths and basement or office bedroom spaces, but the above house types are the most commonly available in Texas homes for sale.
TX Homes for Sale by City
Even if you fell in love with the entire state of Texas, you likely have a particular city or region in mind. Particularly if you’re coming to Texas for a job, you’re going to be looking at a particular city. Texas boasts more than 1,200 incorporated cities and countless more unincorporated areas, so it’s not exactly possible to cover every city, but we take a look at homes for sale in the Texas cities with the highest populations below.
Homes for Sale in Houston, Texas
In 2020, 99,270 homes sold in Houston for an aggregate value of more than $32 billion. The average price was $322,403. More than 2.3 million people call Houston home, and if you plan to join them, you’ll find a wide variety of types of homes for sale.
The vast downtown area is the best place to find condos and luxury apartments, but you will have to look to the outer edges of the city or even cities in the metro area to find many affordable single-family homes. Notable cities in the Houston metro area include Sugar Land, Pearland, League City, Humble, Baytown and Katy.
Homes for Sale in Dallas, Texas
Since 2011, the average price and number of homes sold in the Dallas/Fort Worth area has been on the rise. In 2020, 112,596 homes were sold in the metro area, and they had an average sale price of $351,962. Around 1.3 million people live in Dallas proper, while more than 7.5 million live in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area.
In the densely populated metro area, you won’t find a lot of cabins or farmhouses, but Dallas is the northernmost city in Texas and a hub for a vast rural population in North Texas. The more rural areas where you might find TX homes for sale with access to the DFW area include McKinney, Denton, Weatherford and Waxahachie.
Homes for Sale in Austin, Texas
Once the fastest growing large city in the U.S., Austin comes in at a healthy pace behind Houston and Dallas in terms of total home sales at 40,332 in 2020. However, the average price of homes sold in Austin was much higher in 2020 — at $437,303. Unlike some metro areas, the county doesn’t offer a much lower housing price point. In 2020, the average price of homes sold in Travis County was $531,027.
If those prices are in your wheelhouse, you’ll find that Austin has a lot to offer in terms of neighborhoods. From the family-oriented Zilker Park, Circle C and Barton Hills areas to hip South Congress and East Austin, there’s no shortage of homes for sale. Those looking for less traffic and somewhat lower housing prices may want to check out nearby Round Rock, Cedar Park, Bee Cave and San Marcos.
Homes for Sale in San Antonio, Texas
Just an hour and a half southwest of Austin is San Antonio, where 40,201 homes were sold in 2020. The average price for San Antonio, TX homes for sale was lower in 2020 than in the other major Texas metros at $290,956. More than 1.5 million people call San Antonio home, and many millions more visit the area each year to see the Alamo, the beloved San Antonio River Walk and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
Many of the buildings and homes in San Antonio reflect the city’s Mexican and Spanish roots, with tile roofs, half round arches and stucco over adobe brick. But meteoric growth in recent decades has led to the construction of plenty of more modern homes. Nearby New Braunfels, Seguin and Fredericksburg offer a slower pace and even some historically German cultural attractions.
Things to Know Before Buying a House in TX
You’ll need to know more than the state motto — it’s “Friendship,” not “Don’t Mess with Texas,” by the way — before buying a home in Texas. Texas isn’t so different from other U.S. states, but in some ways, it’s like its own country or even its own planet. Here are a few nuggets you need to know while browsing Texas homes for sale:
- Texas is hot. The average high in June, July and August is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and even September’s high weighs in at a sweltering 89 degrees F.
- Everything is bigger in Texas — except taxes. There’s no state corporate or personal income tax in Texas, and even the sales tax comes in lower than many other states. It’s all about encouraging businesses to set up shop, and it’s working.
- The energy market is deregulated. When you’re setting up utilities at your new home, you will have your choice of electricity providers. That’s because Texas has deregulated its electricity market to allow consumers to choose an electricity provider that best fits their needs.
- T is for Texas — and traffic. Traffic jams are a part of life in many Texas metropolitan areas. In particular, Houston and Austin have some of the worst traffic in the state and even on the national level. When looking at TX homes for sale, consider your commute and plan accordingly.
- The Texas job market is solid. If you’re looking for a new job, you have a good shot at finding one in Texas. In fact, eight Texas cities — Plano, Austin, Grand Prairie, Amarillo, Irving, Garland, Houston and Fort Worth — are on WalletHub’s list of top 100 U.S. cities for jobs in 2021.
TX Homes for Sale FAQ
Moving and buying a home in any new place brings up a lot of questions. It’s no different in Texas. To help, we have answered some of the most common questions about homes for sale in Texas below.
Why Are Houses So Cheap in Texas?
Texas offers similar lifestyles, housing options and job opportunities to what you often find on the coasts, but it is well-known for being much more affordable than living on the West Coast or East Coast. This is due in large part to the lower cost of housing in Texas.
The reasons why houses are more affordable in Texas are diverse and complicated, but a lot of the affordability boils down to a few key factors:
- Texas is enormous, so it has a virtually unlimited supply of land. With more supply, prices tend to go lower.
- Texas has no state income tax, so incomes go further.
- Texas tends to have much more lenient and affordable permitting fees to build homes.
How Much Is It to Buy a House in Texas?
TX homes for sale can vary widely in price, depending enormously on location and home type, but the median price for a home in Texas in 2020 was $259,500, according to Texas A&M University’s Texas Real Estate Research Center.
Is It Cheaper to Buy a House or Rent in Texas?
Like anywhere else, Texas offers home buyers the benefits of building equity, deducting mortgage interest and turning a profit when they sell their homes for an appreciated value.
However, the initial cost of a down payment and other costs associated with buying a home in Texas can be prohibitive to individuals and families who don’t have large cash reserves. In that sense, renting can be more affordable than buying in Texas, but ultimately, buying a home — particularly in a growing state like Texas — is often a wise choice.
What City in Texas Has the Lowest Cost of Living?
Excluding tiny unincorporated towns that are affordable due to low populations and no municipal taxes, El Paso is the Texas city with the lowest cost of living, according to a study published in 2019. The median cost of a home in El Paso was $130,900 in 2018. That’s just over half of the national median home cost of $255,000 that year.
Why Don’t Houses Have Basements in Texas?
It’s not exactly true that there are no basements in Texas — even the state capitol building in Austin has a basement. But it is true that you will be hard pressed to find TX homes for sale with basements.
The reason for the lack of basements in Texas homes is different in different parts of the state. In many parts of Texas, the bedrock is too close to the surface of the ground to allow a construction crew to dig a basement. Elsewhere, the water table is too high, meaning a basement would constantly leak and sometimes flood.
Do Homes in Texas Have Storm Shelters?
With North Texas at the foot of Tornado Alley and hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast on an almost annual basis, Texans have plenty of reason to take shelter. While basements do double-duty as storm shelters in many parts of the country, you won’t find many basements in homes for sale in Texas.
However, with notable tornadoes and hurricanes in the state’s recent history, many homeowners and home builders have begun to see a storm shelter as a value-adding asset for any Texas home. Many Texas companies offer in-home and in-ground shelters to meet this demand.
What Are the Requirements to Buy a Home in Texas?
The requirements to buy a home in Texas are largely the same as the requirements to buy a home anywhere else. You will need decent credit (a credit score of at least 620 for standard loans), a sizable down payment, a low debt-to-income ratio, official documentation to support your financial position and an appraisal on the home you intend to buy.
For first-time home buyers in Texas, the requirements are the same, but you may be eligible for a few programs that could make the process easier. National programs from the Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture offer home loan and mortgage assistance to first-time home buyers.
Additionally, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs offers closing cost and down payment assistance to first-time home buyers in Texas, but you will need to meet a few requirements, including a minimum credit score and a maximum home purchase price.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House in Texas?
The housing market in Texas fluctuates rapidly and often, so determining whether now is the time to buy a TX home for sale is not easy. For the most part, it will depend on your individual financial situation and needs, but it’s important to look at all the available information about the market and speak with a trusted financial advisor before making any big real estate purchasing decisions.
The Best Texas Homes for Sale in the Best Texas Neighborhoods
Whether you are looking for a particular city, type of home, price point or general vibe, you can find plenty of TX homes for sale that meet — and exceed — your expectations. Find out what 29 million Texans see in the Lone Star State by finding the perfect home, neighborhood and city in which to build your future.