Stuck in the Middle: Finding affordable homes for sale in North Texas

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Dallas Business Journal reporter Korri Kezar has done a lot of driving this year. She’s driven to Flower Mound, Garland, Frisco, McKinney, Grapevine, Plano, Irving-Las Colinas, Denton, The Colony, and Allen in recent months—and she is still driving—to find out how much home your money can buy around DFW. Kezar has found pockets of affordability, “Like Anna, Celina, even Prosper”. But she has also found some surprising surges, “There were some where I scratched my head at the price tag”.

According to data kept by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, since about 2012, median home prices here have soared, reaching record highs. In some of those years, prices rose by double digit percentages. Meantime, income here has gone up nicely in some years but hardly at all in others. For many potential homebuyers, making those ends meet requires finding a home that is $150,000-$250,000.

40-45 percent of people are probably in that price range and most all of these homes are under contract. These listings get bought quickly, and it’s a very competitive, very furious market—so if you are in that price range you definitely want to get your offer in sooner rather than later”.

Insider tip: If you want a lot of homes to choose from around that $200,000 mark, it all points to one city, We’re looking at homes currently available in Garland. You can pull up a large screen of listings of nearly 100 houses in Garland right now at that price point. A 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with an asking price of $225,000. That same house–several miles away–might list for $100,000 more.

Garland, with big pluses like school choice, good mass transit options, and a family-friendly atmosphere, hasn’t been fully discovered like some local cities that have skyrocketed in price. But even in the hottest spots here, the housing market is cooling off.

We are recently seeing a lot of price reductions across the board, starting to see the signs, signals, or indications that the buyer’s market is returning. A ‘buyer’s market’, where prices are pressured downward, would be significant. North Texas has been in a ‘seller’s market’ for the better part of seven years.

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