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Austin unaffordability: The good, the bad and the ugly for homeowners

For all the good that comes with Austin's growth, there is an equal amount of worry. Demand makes property values rise, which is good for your investment, but it also makes property taxes go up and up.

Terri Gruca

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AUSTIN -- The average Austin homeowner will pay $517 more than they did last year for the same home, and that has a lot of people who bought modest homes wondering if they'll be able to afford to stay in them.

People like Austin musician Dale Watson.

His music helped put Austin on the map, so this may be the last thing you expect a man who’s made a name for himself in the Live Music Capitol of the World to say.

“I'm actually building a studio in Memphis,” he said.

Watson is worried about rising property taxes in Austin.

“You want a house, you want to be able to live here in the city and they keep raising it so much you can't afford it,” he said.

His East Austin home is a modest 1,400 square feet. He was able to build a studio on his less than one acre, but his property taxes have nearly doubled in five years.

It's a sad thing someone who was born and spent generations in Austin can't stay here,” said Watson.

Watson hears from music lovers that are being forced to move out.

He said one girl in her 20s told him that it “broke her heart that she can’t get a house in Austin because it’s too far out of her price range. Her parents had to move to San Marcos. They’re 70 and love Austin.”