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Old 10-08-2010, 05:37 AM
3,679 posts, read 5,523,071 times
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Originally Posted by aroy3 View Post
Where did you end up settling?

Hutto. In your search you will hear people on this forum say negative things about certain areas, Hutto is one of them. Take it all with a grain of salt.

http://www.hutto.txed.net/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectionid=1 (broken link)

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Old 10-08-2010, 05:56 AM
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For the record, there are no high schools in Austin ISD that are rated exemplary. None. There are 2 magnet schools, but there is no guarantee that you will get into them.

Essentially, you will not be able to find what you're looking for in your price range. The closest may be Allendale, but you may be pushing it money-wise.

And generally speaking, Austin is not a very walkable city. So unless you live REALLY close to downtown (which will cost more than $300K), you really won't be able to walk anywhere anyway.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:43 AM
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I agree with mm, Austin isn't really a "walkable" city except in a very few places if by "walkable" you mean you can do most things you need to do by walking. If all you want to do is walk around in a safe neighborhood for some exercise, you can get that almost anywhere. If you want to have walkable access to grocery shopping, a reasonable selection of restaurants and other stores, access to parks and maybe nightlife, you only really get that downtown and even then you'd want to be in Clarksville probably (near the Whole Foods). (Rosedale might qualify too and Hyde Park if you don't mind groceries from a little store.)

There are many neighborhoods outside of central that are in Eanes or Round Rock ISD that have better schools and are in your price range. Those neighborhoods aren't as "charming" as the older central areas, but that's how it goes.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:52 AM
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imonfiya is giving you excellent advice. You are asking for the holy grail in Austin real estate - central established neighborhood with good schools for under 300K. My unhelpful advice is you are 25 years too late. It won't be easy now but it might be possible. 80% of the city is the kind of suburban sprawl you say you want to avoid - that's also mostly where the better schools are, and is consequently very family friendly. It is also much cheaper. If you have not already, go to austinhomesearch.com, which provides the listing of nearly all Austin area houses for sale. The older walkable neighborhoods are nearly all in the following zipcodes: 78701(downtown - entirely walkable, VERY expensive older houses and not many of them, mostly new highrises for residential, useless for your purposes), 78702 - walkable pockets, mostly small old houses, schools a problem for many people - cross off your list as well), 78703 - walkable sections, mostly tracks to good schools, the only houses you are likely to find in your price range probably back onto MOPAC - very noisy and congested highway, but worth a search anyway), 78704 ( probably your best chance of getting lucky - some parts track to good schools, some parts very walkable, mostly family friendly), 78705 (close to campus, very walkable, don't know about schools, worth a look, but 300K puts you at the very low end for a SFH) 78731 and 78757 - imonfiya has you covered there - totally worth a search, 78722 - along with 78704 and imonfiya's recommendations probably your best shot. Austinhomesearch.com should give you a better sense of the lay of the land in terms of p[rices and neighborhoods. I would search houses under 325K ( the market is not as robust as it was, and you could get a deal) in 78704, 78722, 78731 and 78757, and then find out which schools the ones you like track to. Happy hunting!
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:55 AM
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But remember, school boundaries often change.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:50 AM
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I guess to me it sounds like you are totally unfamiliar with Austin. As such, it makes no sense for you to move your family immediately into a house to buy versus simply renting a house for maybe a year or so and THEN deciding where to live. I say this because my wife and I- who don't have kids- plan to do exactly the same thing. I've lived in the Bay Area, San Francisco for 11 years and it took me probably a good 3-4 years to get super familiar with the area. We now rent in a pretty nice, walkable, safe neighborhood that is (gasp) also quite affordable ( at least rent is). It took me a year to find the neighborhood. When we move to Austin, we'll do the same. Had I decided to move there and buy a house immediately, who knows where I would have wound up living?

Its just something to keep in mind because if this is supposed to be THE house the you plan on living in for 30+ years... then wouldn't it make more sense to rent and look around and really get familiar with the area before you buy a home? Sure- it might be a little inconvenient but in the end it seems like a better plan to me.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:56 AM
Location: Austin, TX
2,102 posts, read 3,741,745 times
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Originally Posted by aroy3 View Post
Anyway, that's a lot of rambling questions. I'll sum it up:

1. Exemplary or recognized schools through all grades (or known to be good by the locals. I know that standarized testing can be a bit misleading)
2. Old, well-maintained homes (No HOA neighborhoods)
3. Pedestrian friendly, very walkable
4. Central, commute within 30 minutes (accounting for traffic, as much as can be)
5. Family-friendly part of town

Thanks so much!
Originally Posted by aroy3 View Post
Yes, I suppose those are definitely key questions. Our budget is $300,000 max. And, as for the location of my husband's potential job, I'm not absolutely sure. I will get back to you on that very soon. I will be teaching eventually, but I haven't applied yet. So, I could end up anywhere. What I was thinking, and forgot to mention, was getting into a location no more than 30 minutes from the downtown area. I think, but need to verify, that is where his potential job is. So...what I'm looking for is all those things mentioned in the original post, just focusing on an area within a 30 minute radius (approximately) of downtown and a $300K max budget. Thanks for your time!
It sounds like either Tarrytown or Rosedale would be perfect neighborhoods for you, but you won't be able to afford anything in those areas for $300k unless you're willing to rent. Either you're need to bump your budget up to at least $500k, or you'll have to be willing to live a Plano-style suburbia.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:59 AM
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78749 could meet your needs if you are willing to compromise. There are some older homes that were built in the 1970s that are very well maintained, good school districts, somewhat walkable, family friendly, etc. But much of that zip code is HOA central. It leads to homes that look nice & retain their value and those neighborhoods are often involved in issues that might affect the value or safety of the neighborhood (that can be a good thing). But if you are absolutely against that sort of area, there are pockets closer to Oak Hill that I don't think have an HOA that will still meet most of your other requirements. Walkability starts to become an issue with those homes. If you went closer to Dripping Springs or an older neighborhood off of 1826, you might be able to find what you want though your commute would be longer & you probably couldn't walk to anything. At this point, there are tons of master-planned communities towards Dripping Springs but there are older homes that way as well.

Also, I want to second the idea that getting a teaching job around here is not easy. You might get lucky but you might not. I wouldn't buy a home that you can only afford with your salary because there's a decent chance you may not be employed right away.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:14 AM
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
3,407 posts, read 4,978,153 times
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Originally Posted by mm57553 View Post
And generally speaking, Austin is not a very walkable city. So unless you live REALLY close to downtown (which will cost more than $300K), you really won't be able to walk anywhere anyway.
Not that it meets the OP's other criteria but for the record East Austin is very walkable and can be had for less than $300k. As proof I'm going on a month since my last trip to the gas station and that's not with a hybrid or diesel............
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:18 AM
Location: central Austin
6,921 posts, read 12,203,789 times
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Well, parts of close in east Austin track to McCallum HS and parts track to Austin High! It would take careful looking and a bit of street savvy but it could be done!
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