For Sale: Affordable Homes in Competitive Housing Markets

exterior 1507 Wethersfield Rd, Austin, TX
ZillowThis home in Texas has curb appeal with a bright red door and tasteful front-yard landscaping.
By Catherine Sherman

Open houses and for-sale signs galore -- it's what you'd expect heading into the summer home shopping season. Unfortunately, a lack of inventory is squeezing many would-be buyers out of the market, particularly among lower-priced homes that are more frequently sought by first-time buyers. In the past 12 months, the Houston metro area has seen the biggest decrease in inventory (27 percent), followed by San Antonio (24 percent), Boston (23 percent), Austin (20 percent) and Columbus (18 percent).

Zillow's Make Me Move® listings allow homeowners to advertise the price they would sell their homes for without officially putting them on the market. For buyers, these listings are a way to avoid the competition and bidding wars often found in low-inventory markets.

To aid the search for affordable, family-friendly homes in low-inventory markets, we've gathered a traditional for-sale listing plus a Make Me Move listing in the five metros with the biggest declines in inventory over the past year.

Homes for Sale in Low-Inventory Markets
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For Sale: Affordable Homes in Competitive Housing Markets

12110 Woolford Drive
For sale: $123,000

Located in northwest Houston near good schools, this four-bedroom, split floorplan is on the market for 20 percent less than a median home in the area. The 1,860-square-foot house was built in 1983 and boasts high ceilings, wood-laminate floors, a sunroom and updated kitchen.

15918 Azalea Shores Court
Make Me Move: $340,000

This Make Me Move listing just hit Zillow on May 30. The owner would move if a buyer offered $340,000. Measuring 3,248 square feet, the Lake Houston residence is ideal for a family looking to be in a good school district.

411 Mesa Loop
For sale: $240,000

This Stone Oak home has been impeccably maintained with all of the bells and whistles, according to the listing description. Highlights include a spacious family room, crown molding, granite countertops and a grassy, fenced backyard. It’s on the market for less than the median Stone Oak home value of $245,000.

3403 Cardita
Make Me Move: $229,800

This three-bedroom home is located on a corner lot in the Vistas of Encino Park neighborhood near top-rated schools. According to the owner, who has set the Make Me Move price at $229,800, it’s also the best looking home in the neighborhood with a new roof, landscaping and windows.

688 Chestnut St.
For sale: $849,000

This inviting colonial is about seven miles from downtown Boston. The 1930-built home features beamed ceilings, a traditional sunroom and fenced backyard.

50 Greenough St.
Make Me Move: $725,000

Also near top-rated Newton schools, this two-bedroom is an off-market listing with a Make Me Move price of $725,000. In addition to a main-floor family room and deck, the home has a finished basement for more entertaining space.

1507 Wethersfield Road
For sale: $625,000

This home near downtown and the University of Texas has curb appeal with a bright red door and tasteful front-yard landscaping. Inside, original hardwoods, crown molding, a hand-carved wood mantel and designer backsplash add to the home’s character. The three-bedroom is also less than a mile from Austin High, which received a 7 out of 10 rating from

3316 Raspberry Cove
Make Me Move: $599,000

A Make Me Move listing, this Austin home is prepped for summer entertaining with a lagoon-style pool and outdoor kitchen. The large game room, kitchen island and built-in media center also make the 2010 construction well suited for a family.

2501 Wellesley Drive
For sale: $306,000

This charming Cape Cod-style home is for sale in Upper Arlington, a popular suburb for families in Columbus. It’s within walking distance of the local grocery store and is less than a mile from Jones Middle and Upper Arlington High, which received perfect ratings from

6962 Village Woods Place
Make Me Move: $289,000

The owner of this home likes having the playground, park and local community center across the street, but for $289,000 is willing to part with the place. The home has four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a new roof, updated kitchen and partially finished basement.

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