McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The secret is getting out about cities across Texas that might have fallen “under the radar” as the housing market heats up.

(Courtesy of Orchard)

According to a recent report, communities far from Texas’ Hill Country should be getting a second look from real estate investors.

Real estate brokerage firm Orchard this week released its ranking of Texas’ top 15 “under-the-radar” communities that might not be at the top of mind but are worth a look for anyone hoping to balance value with various quality of life factors.

The brokerage defined under-the-radar cities as those that offer homebuyers more options and leverage in cities with a high quality of life, less competition in the home-buying market, and relatively lower home prices.

“[Because] not everyone looking to buy a house in Texas can afford a mansion in Dallas or a bungalow in Austin, we decided it was time to update our ranking of the best under-the-radar cities in the Lone Star State,” Eric Goldschein wrote on behalf of Orchard.

This map shows Orchard’s listing of the top 15 under-the-radar communities in Texas’ real estate market. (Courtesy of Orchard)

The 15 top under-the-radar cities in Texas

  1. Amarillo — Overall score: 97.1; Price per square foot: $137; Public school rating: B
  2. Longview — Overall score: 95.7; Price per square foot: $138; Public school rating: B
  3. Pearland — Overall score: 95.1; Price per square foot: $155; Public school rating: A-
  4. McAllen — Overall score: 92.1; Price per square foot: $139; Public school rating: B+
  5. Lubbock — Overall score: 88.3; Price per square foot: $136; Public school rating: B-
  6. Midland — Overall score: 88.3; Price per square foot: $166; Public school rating: C+
  7. Odessa — Overall score: 88.2; Price per square foot: $142; Public school rating: C
  8. Brownsville — Overall score: 86.2; Price per square foot: $144; Public school rating: B
  9. Beaumont — Overall score: 85.2; Price per square foot: $122; Public school rating: C
  10. Mission — Overall score: 81.6; Price per square foot: $130; Public school rating: B
  11. Pharr — Overall score: 80.2; Price per square foot: $129; Public school rating: B+
  12. El Paso — Overall score: 80.0; Price per square foot: $142; Public school rating: B
  13. Edinburg — Overall score: 79.9; Price per square foot: $144; Public school rating: B
  14. League City — Overall score: 78.3; Price per square foot: $160; Public school rating: B
  15. Laredo — Overall score: 74.7; Price per square foot: $143; Public school rating: B

The top 20 cities were rounded out with Mesquite, Conroe, Wichita Falls, Arlington, and College Station.

To create this ranking, Orchard’s methodology considered factors such as home prices, average days properties stay on the market, schools, employment rate, commuting times, and internet access.

“Thanks to rising interest rates and a decline in buying power, the housing market in Texas isn’t as red-hot as it was in 2021 and the first half of 2022,” Goldschein wrote. “That being said, as we live through a constantly shifting market in a post-pandemic world, it’s important to know the best cities to buy a home to live comfortably while still getting great value. These under-the-radar cities in Texas are perfect for that.”