Sign up for the Austonia daily newsletter
×
becomeMemberIcon

become a member

(Homebound/Facebook)

A startup built from the ashes of the devastating California wildfires is now setting its sights on a new crisis: Austin's housing market.


It's no secret that Austin is the nation's current "boomtown," as billionaire resident Elon Musk said in January. With an exploding tech industry and a steady surge of newcomers, Austin's housing market is high on demand and recently devastatingly low on supply.

The median sales price in Austin rose 16.4% from 2020 to 2021, according to the Austin Board of Realtors' year-end report. As prices rise, many prospective buyers get boxed out of the market—if they can even find an available home in the first place.

California-based Homebound hopes to balance Austin's growing market.

The company, which offers a comprehensive online homebuilding service, was founded in 2017 after cofounder Jack Abraham lost his home in the California wildfires. Since then, the project has become a one-stop shop for customers looking to choose how their home is constructed.

While Austin has not been devastated by wildfires, it does have a dire need for new homes. By customizing the construction experience, Homebound hopes to give prospective buyers the option to build instead of buy.


With their team of construction, real estate and technology experts, Austin's newest contractors help buyers every step of the way- from finding a plot of land to adding final touches to the home. Customers can choose from a variety of plans that cover hundreds of steps within the financing, architecture and design, lot preparation, construction and move-in processes. Customers can find a lot of land through Homebound or purchase a lot already owned by the company.

With Austin's drenched market, it's sometimes less expensive to build than to buy. By giving homebuyers a simplified building option, Homebound can help create a more affordable alternative within the metro, according to the company's website.

"While home prices are skyrocketing, construction costs remain low, making Austin a builder's paradise," the website's Austin page reads.

Not including land cost, building costs start at around $300,000, CEO and co-founder Nikki Pechet told TechCrunch.

Eventually, the company hopes to bring affordability and simplicity to home markets across the country, including other tech hubs like Miami and Charlotte, Pechet said.

"This is just the start," Pechet told TechCrunch. "We're taking the platform to markets across the country to help exactly with this issue."

Popular

Austin native Samuel Grey Horse is giving love back to his community in the form of horses, music and positive energy. (Sam Grey Horse/Instagram)

No matter how long you’ve been in Austin, Samuel Grey Horse has probably been here longer than you and the spirit of his indigenous ancestors walked the land far before anyone living did. Born and raised in the capital city in 1961, the city has grown and changed all around him.

Keep Reading Show less

Women can use SafeUP to contact a "guardian" when in need. (Pexels)

For women who feel threatened while they’re out, an app that lets users easily call for help is now available in Austin.

Keep Reading Show less

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation contributed over $35 million to help add to the Community First! Village. (Community First! Village/Facebook)

It's the most (philanthropic) time of the year, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation added to Central Texas' $100 million Giving Tuesday donations by promising a $38 million commitment towards combatting homelessness in Austin.

Keep Reading Show less