You have 3 options.
1) You can do downtown, SoCo, Central Austin and pay a good deal more. Your place probably won't cash flow but it might come close and it will most likely appreciate. Keep in mind that is what the numbers say, I nor any other Realtor to my knowledge has a crystal ball (that works). In the mean time, renters are paying most of your larger mortgage.
2) You can go east Austin and hope the slow gentrification continues as it is the only place you can get fairly cheap real estate close to Downtown. Here your cost is low, you have a better chance to cash flow, and appreciation should be there eventually.
3) NW Austin up through Cedar Park - They are projecting a million more people to move to Williamson County which will then be equal to Travis County. That is the projection for like 2025. So if you believe that and you like appreciation then the 1431 corridor is where you want to be. Low costs as long as you are further northwest than actual NW Austin (Travis County). Should cash flow and if the numbers are correct, will appreciate significantly.
Happy to email you options in any or all of these or discuss more details at your convenience.
Dan Burstain, Realtor
JB Goodwin Realtors