Austin neighborhoods (Round Rock, Spring, Georgetown: apartment complex, lease, new home)
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Location: I can see the Hollywood sign from my son's room
966 posts, read 574,712 times
My husband and I will be visiting Austin for the first time in just a few weeks to see if it's a place to which we'd like to relocate from the urban jungle known as L.A.
Was wondering if anyone could recommend some areas for us to check out. We plan to spend our 48 hours there just doing a lot of driving around to see what areas we might like. We're looking for a suburban community with good schools, parks (we have a 2 year old), shopping, restaurants, etc. (Home prices of $500k and up don't scare us as that's considered a deal these days in So Cal!)
From the little internet research I've done, Round Rock and Cedar Park look attractive to us but we want to visit many more neighborhoods during our visit.
We are headed out this coming weekend to look in the Steiner Ranch/River Place area, near the 2222 and 620 roads. I think it's just a ways away from Cedar Park. We like that the area has lots of rolling hills, and the Leander ISD seems to have a good reputation. A lot of people recommended Lakeway to me as well. We visited Dripping Springs area on our last trip and it is also very nice with some larger communities going in.We have a 3 year old and 1 year old and so schools and access to parks and shopping were important to us. I think where we'll be looking, the mall is about 15 minutes away (not bad, I drive 35 minutes to the closest one in Phoenix) and there's a Target and grocery within 5 minutes. I also like the proximity to the lakes.
We found that 48 hours was almost not enough time on our last trip to rule in/out areas because there are so many different areas of Austin. We look forward to going back! I wish you good traffic and good luck!
I've been in the Austin area since '81, and agree with a post I saw about living outside of Austin...home-buyers and even realtors tell me that homes in Austin proper are pretty over-priced compared to the very near outlying areas like Cedar Park...you'll get a lot more home for less there...others I'd recommend would include Leander, Round Rock, Georgetown, Pflugerville....all better schools than Austin, for sure.
Just between Cedar Park and Leander alone, there have been 10.0855 new homes built 2000-2005, and there are tons on the market here now.
If and when you think you're serious about a particular home(s), I'd be happy to enlighten you about Texas uniquenesses when it comes to home inspections....Welcome to the Great Lone Star State,
and best wishes for you!
mod cut (read forum rules)
Yes, Steiner Ranch Elem school has a long-standing reputation, rated as "Exemplary" (the highest ranking by the Texas Education Agency.)
If money is no object, the 630/3333 Steiner Ranch area is great!
If money is a concern, you can get a lot more home for the buck in Cedar Park, Leander, Round Rock, Georgetown, Pflugerville...all pretty good schools...MUCH better than Austin school district!) and certainly less expensive homes than in Austin proper (considerably overpriced, I am told.)
(Cedar Park and Leander have a humongous mall nearby, as well as all the other big chains: Home Depot, Lowes, WalMarts.....lots of shopping, and an ever-inceasing number of good eating places.)
If/when you get serious about a particular home,
If money is not such an object, check out Steiner Ranch area near junction of Highways 620 and RR 2222. It's a beautiful area near Lake Travis.
Steiner Ranch Elem. school has consistently been rated as "Exemplary" (highest rating) by the Texas Education Agency.
You can get more home for the buck in other nearby areas such as Cedar Park, Leander, Round Rock, Georgetown (all pretty good schools...MUCH better than Austin school district).
And all these have good shopping and dining.
If and when you get close to thinking you've found the home you wish to buy mod cut
First, I would highly recommend that you RENT for six months before you buy a house anywhere. In six months you'll be familiar with Austin and you'll have a much better idea of where you want to live.
Next, I would really like to recommend that you try and live close to where you will be working (do you know where yet??). You're coming from an "urban jungle" so do you really want to be spending an hour every day driving from work back to your suburban home? Just something to think about.
Yes, you definitely get "more house for the money" in Cedar Park and the other outlying cities, but the trade off is the long commute (assuming you will be working in Austin). Also, you'll be dealing with construction and traffic for a long time to come.
Central Austin is definitely more expensive but there is a reason for that. It's called a "hot market"! People want to live close to downtown where they can be in a nice neighborhood but close to restaurants and shopping, often within walking distance.
Lastly, I would like to recommend some "suburban" areas that are in Austin proper for you to check out while you're here. Check out Great Hills near the Arboretum area, Far West/Highland Hills area, and the Cat Mountain/Balcones areas. All of these are beautiful areas up in the hills. Also, drive out Capital of Texas Highway (360) and check out the various communities there and the ones off 2222 (Jester is a nice one). I think you'll be very impressed with these areas as far as beauty and amenities go.
You had some great advice and seem to know Austin really well.
I want to move to Austin (at least I think I do-never been) and I spent most of my life living in a large suburb 15 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh, so I am used to having every amenity around (grocery stores, Target, Mall, Home Depot, etc.).
I basically am looking for something similar in nature, close to the highway (as the jobs I applied to our downtown) but with affordable rent. I am considering a roommate and am looking online.
So basically I would like to know what areas I should be focusing on in my online search. A lot of apartments popped up in Arboretum. Is that a nice area? Can anyone give me some suggestions? I may also do a six month lease in a place close to downtown.
Please Help! Suggestions, suggestions???
You're definitely in luck cause Austin has some great places to rent. I would try to rent as close to your job as possible just so you don't spend all your time commuting. And don't worry about access to the big box stores. They are everywhere in Austin and there will be plenty close to wherever you live.
A great thing to do is to enlist the help of a FREE apartment locator. Just google Austin Apartments and you'll see a bunch of them pop up. You tell them what location you want, your budget, etc. and they find you apartments. Then when you come for a visit, they take you around to those apartments and you choose which one you want. They are paid by the apartment complex you end up choosing.
And yes, the Arboretum area is a good place to live and not too bad of a commute downtown. You'll be traveling on Mopac (aka 1) to downtown and it definitely gets clogged during commute time so you want to be as close as possible. Definitely, and I mean definitely (!) do not live where you will need to travel on I-35 into downtown (or anywhere else in my opinion). That road truly sucks any time of the day.
There is an area further south (toward downtown) than the Arboretum that also has tons of apartments. It's the Far West/Northwest Hills area.
You may also consider living just south of Town Lake. Town Lake is actually a damned up portion of the Colorado River and it runs right through downtown. I would look at apartments around the Westlake/Rollingwood (2244) exit off of Mopac.
You could also live in S. Austin but I'm afraid I can't give you any advice there. I really don't like S. Austin very much so I don't go there often. I'm sure someone else can give you advice there.
Not sure what your budget is but I'm sure you can find a nice apartment here. I rented for seven months before we bought a house and I am so glad I did. By then I knew where I wanted to live and where I definitely did not.
We are also thinking of relocating to Austin (although we'll be coming from Raleigh NC). We have a 9 month old an plan on adding another baby sometime next year. We would like to live near some parks, good schools, and a family friendly area. DH doesn't know where he'll be working yet, so we can't decide based on that. Any suggestion on good neighborhoods? We don't mind renting before buying.
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