FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — The least affordable place to live in Texas, based on minimum wage and the median home price, isn’t Austin. Or Dallas. Or Houston.
Instead, according to financial website WalletWyse.com, the most unaffordable place to live in Texas is Fredericksburg, with a median home price of $305,600.
That comes in just over Austin’s median home price of $304,200.
"It's the Mayberry RFD of the Hill Country,” Fredericksburg realtor Mimi Bartel said.
Bartel is the owner of Century 21 Sunset, Realtors.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” she said.
And in that time, Bartel has seen the incredible growth in Fredericksburg on Main Street and with the addition of several dozen new wineries and distilleries.
Many of her buyers, she said, are also looking for vacation homes, investment properties or future retirement homes.
"Half of the properties that are registered in the Gillespie County appraisal district are non-homesteaded, which means they are second homes for people,” Bartel said.
Bartel said the home prices can lead to sticker shock for some potential buyers.
"Some people are shocked when they walk in the door and they think, ‘Oh I can buy something for $150,000, what do you have?’ And it's sad that we have to tell them we don't have anything even close to that,” she said. “But people from California come and they're like, ‘Wow, what a bargain! It's half of what it is where I came from!’”
When asked if the home price increase is beneficial or hurtful for longtime residents, Bartel said she thinks it's a mix of both.
"The taxes continue to increase as the value of properties increase, and so that can hurt our longtime homeowners," Bartel said. "But, on the flip side of that, when they're ready to sell, their property is more valuable than it was 10 years ago."
To create more affordable housing for people working and living in Fredericksburg, Bartel and her company worked with several other local businesses to get the city to approve what they refer to as “attainable housing.”
Called “The Beginning,” the new 53-plot development will give more affordable options for homeowners, with home prices not to exceed $260,000.