You don't have to be making mega-bucks to afford a place in the country's hottest tech hubs
To say that buying a home in one the top tech hubs in the country—from San Jose to Austin to Boston—is competitive is an understatement: Trulia’s research shows that homes sell quickly and prices can be up to 80 percent higher than the national average. If buying a place in a high-tech hot spot is a goal for you, be assured that although the market moves fast, good deals can be found.
These homes are listed at or below the median cost of living for each tech hub, making them budget-friendly buys:
1. Modern touches in Seattle, WA
8426 9th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98106
The house: This three-bedroom, one-bath home in Seattle’s Highland Park neighborhood has an open feel, pops of color and custom built-ins that give it a modern look. The move-in ready interior (including hardwood floors), open-space kitchen, and fenced-in backyard with fire pit and patio make this property a must-see.
The neighborhood: Seattle is home to Amazon and Microsoft, not to mention half a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including Boeing, Expedia and Nordstrom. But residents aren’t all work and no play: in Highland Park, the local “Improvement Club” hosts movie nights and potlucks when the Seattle Seahawks are playing. It’s also home to Westcrest Park, which has the largest dog park in the city, and is just a short drive from Georgetown and its fun and trendy food scene. (Think larger than life pizzas and burgers topped with fried eggs.)
2. Room to spare in San Jose, CA
3119 Andora Dr., San Jose, CA, 95148
The house: This five bedroom, two-and-a-half bath San Jose home has plenty of room for growing or extended families. Updated kitchen and bathrooms give the interior a move-in ready feel and amenities include a fireplace and private backyard with covered patio. The oversized two-car attached garage with new doors, new hot water heater, and copper pipes are updates that make this a home worth putting on your list.
The neighborhood: Located in Alum Rock, in the desirable East Foothills, this home is near a 50-acre lake, jogging and bike paths, and a playground. Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park, the largest in the state, is just a few minutes drive away. And even though San Jose is home to big tech companies like Adobe, Cisco, PayPal, and Hitachi, nearby Alum Rock residents embrace a slower pace of life; the neighborhood is known for having one of the best farmer’s markets in the area.
3. Luxury living in Lexington, MA
27 Farmcrest Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421
The house: This four-bedroom, two-bath home is located in one of Lexington’s classic neighborhoods. Built in 1938, the home is full of thoughtful, modern updates that do not sacrifice its classic charm. Lots of light and a beautiful backyard and patio complete its stylish makeup. Priced at just under $900,000, you can call it your own for a bit less than the area’s median home price of $1.1 million.
The neighborhood: Lexington, MA’s proximity to Boston makes it an ideal, tech-adjacent suburb to live in with home prices that are slightly lower than some of the surrounding communities. The neighborhood is a 25-mile drive or 40-minute train commute into Boston and is part of Middlesex County, which encompasses Boston, Cambridge and Newton. MIT and Harvard, well-known universities involved in technology and engineering, sit along alongside tech newcomers including General Electric, which recently moved its headquarters to Boston, and Amazon.com, which is expanding its footprint in the area.
4. Townhouse style in Raleigh, NC
8231 Primanti Blvd., Raleigh, NC
The house: This coveted two-story Northwest Raleigh end-unit has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and an updated garage complete with vinyl floors, ceiling fan, TV and speakers. The spacious master bedroom has a walk-in closet, master bath, and separate shower.
The neighborhood: Northwest Raleigh is only a short (think 15 to 20 minutes) commute by car to Research Triangle Park, one of the country’s most well-known R&D parks in the U.S. The area employs tens of thousands of tech employees, who report into companies like IBM and Cisco. When you’re not on the job, enjoy amenities like luxurious Brier Creek Country Club, which includes a golf course, swim and tennis pavilion.
5. Family living in Frederick, MD
6595 Fellingwood Court, Frederick, MD
The house: Four bedrooms and two baths make this single-family Frederick home on a quiet cul-de-sac ideal for growing families. A large lower level bedroom can function as a second master and a fenced in backyard and deck offer added privacy.
The neighborhood: Forbes.com once ranked the Frederick-Bethesda corridor the second smartest city in the U.S., and no wonder. Frederick is filled with top-rated elementary, middle, and high schools, and is only a 15- to 20-minute to Washington D.C. Frederick is also home to TEDCO, a partnership that connects emerging tech companies with seed capital and business acumen. When locals aren’t working, they enjoy frequenting a mix of independently-owned shops housed in historic buildings, unique museums, and innovative restaurants and bars.
6. Updated cottage charm in Austin, TX
12209 Barras Branch Drive, Austin, TX
The house: This cute, cottage-style Austin home has three bedrooms and three full bathrooms. A new, open concept kitchen and living room and updated bathrooms add to the appeal. An added bonus: there’s a community pool and the HOA maintains the yard, so you don’t have to!
The neighborhood: Austin‘s Barker Ranch At Shady Hollow neighborhood is one of the most desirable sections of the city, given its close proximity to downtown and 10-rated schools. And while downtown Austin is known for its singles scene, Shady Hollow has a close-knit community and family vibe. Families can swim in the community pool, play tennis and basketball, hang at the community center, or have their choice of four playgrounds. Austin overall is home to a booming Texas tech scene and is host to the annual SXSW interactive media and music festival.
7. On the bay in Oakland, CA
6065 Old Quarry Loop, Oakland, CA 94605
The house: This Oakland end-unit feels like a detached home with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half-baths. A gourmet kitchen, bay and city views, and oversized master suite with walk-in closet completes its spacious feel.
The neighborhood: Oakland has quickly become a less-expensive option for technology employees priced out of both San Francisco and the Bay Area Peninsula, where median house prices are in the millions of dollars. However, even Oakland is seeing its prices rise, making this Caballo Hills home a good deal. Nestled between two parks—Leona and Leona Heights, which offer hiking and views of the Bay—Caballo Hills offers plenty of diversity, access to nearby Merritt College, and low crime rates, making it a desirable and affordable neighborhood in Oakland.
8. Move-in ready in Washington, DC
11 Underwood Street, NW, Washington, DC 20012
The house: This semi-detached DC home features three bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths, tons of natural light, hardwood floors throughout and stainless steel appliances. It’s move-in ready, with plenty of options to personalize.
The neighborhood: Lamond Riggs is a middle-class area where residents look out for one another and often have keys to each other’s homes. Close to the Fort Totten Metro station, the neighborhood is experiencing an influx of new developments and young homebuyers. For techies, the Washington, D.C. area is a land of opportunity; recent reports show hiring in the tech sector is set to rise in the second half of 2017.
9. Ready for relaxing in San Diego, CA
4261 Menlo Avenue, San Diego, CA 92115
The house: This 1927 two-bedroom, one-bath cottage-style home may have been completely remodeled, but it still retains classic details like its original hardwood floors. An inviting front porch beckons guests to take a seat and relax, while a backyard deck and lawn make for ideal outdoor entertaining.
The neighborhood: The Teralta East section of San Diego is one of 16 neighborhoods that make up City Heights, known for its ethnic diversity and authentic cuisine. With a median home price of $296,000, the neighborhood is less expensive than San Diego overall, whose median home price has climbed to $545,000, thanks to the presence of long-standing tech giants like Qualcomm and dozens of newer startups, like the crowdfunding company GoFundMe.