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Old 03-15-2012, 05:05 AM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
3,813 posts, read 1,905,717 times
Reputation: 1904
The comps certainly support that price at the sq. ft. you want. CCR is a great place. Physically beautiful, great place to raise kids with good schools and nice amenities. Sufficient retail (except for the lack of a gas station!). MUCH easier commute downtown than any other similar development.

We built about the same size as your are looking at next door in Meridian since we wanted new, and the choices in CCR are limited for new. Haven't regretted it. Great house - exactly what we wanted as we built it. Nice neighborhood with decent amenities. Walk to elementary school. At your price point, you could even get a pool in a brand new home. You could build, or buy from the builder's inventory. Worth a look.
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:31 AM
cm4
 
90 posts, read 121,143 times
Reputation: 34
I've lived in Circle C for about 20 years. The prices when I moved there were something like $135K to $275K. So I'm a little out of calibration for $500K homes, but it seems like Circle C has always trailed some of the high end neighborhoods in pricing. So if you look at prices in the high end neighborhoods, there is still room to grow for prices in Circle C.

I do think the higher priced homes in Circle C are very nice, with bigger lots and better quality features. For me, it just makes my end of the neighborhood look like a bargain. I have no desire to pay 2X for what I have now just for what those high end homes offer. My taxes are high enough with a home appraised in the high $200K's. I would not want 2X the tax bill!

However, lots of people do want to pay extra for those homes. With interest rates low, and if you are bringing some equity from a home sale, it probably can look attractive financially.

If you are looking to flip the house in a year or two, who knows. Things may take off like the early '80s for a while, but like always, a correction will occur.

If you are looking long term, say 5 to 10 years out, I would say prospects are good since there is such a gap between high end homes in Circle C and the other high end neighborhoods.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
460 posts, read 594,789 times
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Having just looked at a lot of places in Circle C and ended up in Avana, 500k would still seem like the very top end. If I had 500k to spend I'd probably have gone to Cat Mountain or Westlake - not because we didn't love Circle C (we did) but because we wouldn't want to own the nicest place in the neighborhood. We wanted to be in the middle, which is right where we are.

As to the earlier comments about Circle C being bland and suburbia: I lived in Manhattan and then Brooklyn from 2004-2010. We have no kids and are late 20s/early 30s. I found central Austin to be overpriced and more reminiscent of Williamsburg in Brooklyn than, say, Park Slope -- that is, plenty of good places to visit and hang out but otherwise hipsterville. There were definitely exceptions (we liked parts of Clarksville) but after having experienced "the life" for a number of years, and particularly having seen suburbia done poorly in places like New Castle county in Delaware, Circle C is a welcome change.

I will say that parts of Circle C are more prone to the 'cookie cutter McMansion' appearance than others, but even the "worst" sections are still nowhere near as bad as what I saw popping up in the NE in the late 80s and 90s. Even then, it's a trade-off that's entirely understandable: you want to be able to sell the most house to the most people at the cheapest rate and you're going to sacrifice some things if you do that. Seems to me that the builders (particularly StanPac) have come a long way in terms of both exterior and interior design options that lend a bit more character to the subdivisions ... even if it's just a bit, it makes a difference to us.

Finally, it's tough for me to blame Circle C homeowners or even the builders for the "environmental and fiscal" history of the area, particularly when Earth First was behind the environmental opposition. What is the desirable view of a prospective buyer? That we should shun the whole area out of principle because it's in a recharge zone? There is no development that could have occurred in Cirlce C's location that would have been acceptable to them, and that brand of environmentalism is just NIMBY on a planetary scale. I guess you could say I'm biased because we just bought in Circle C but no more so than someone who takes the position that nothing should ever have been built there. The original plans for Avana did look pretty crazy but the recent ones put a ton of land back in the hands of whomever it is that owns the nature preserve behind us, and Circle C as a whole has a lot more green space than most suburban divisions I've seen in the Northeast.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,625 posts, read 17,401,323 times
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Quote:
Finally, it's tough for me to blame Circle C homeowners or even the builders for the "environmental and fiscal" history of the area, particularly when Earth First was behind the environmental opposition. What is the desirable view of a prospective buyer? That we should shun the whole area out of principle because it's in a recharge zone? There is no development that could have occurred in Cirlce C's location that would have been acceptable to them, and that brand of environmentalism is just NIMBY on a planetary scale. I guess you could say I'm biased because we just bought in Circle C but no more so than someone who takes the position that nothing should ever have been built there. The original plans for Avana did look pretty crazy but the recent ones put a ton of land back in the hands of whomever it is that owns the nature preserve behind us, and Circle C as a whole has a lot more green space than most suburban divisions I've seen in the Northeast.
The contentions, litigious, messy business that was SOS, the city council, and Gary Bradley 'back in the day' was probably one of the best things that could have happened to Austin. It is a glass half-empty/half-full (no one completely 'won'), but the amount of green space and the impervious cover limits have really helped the area aesthetically as well as environmentally, and also raised both public and builder awareness.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
460 posts, read 594,789 times
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If that whole process is what gave Circle C the green space it has, then it sounds like the environmental and fiscal history is a reason TO buy, not a reason not to!
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:10 AM
cm4
 
90 posts, read 121,143 times
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I think the City of Austin owns the land in the nature preserve. Or at least they bought it as part of buying up land to prevent future development. I just remember the Yates Cattle Company family saying they never wanted to sell their ranch, but was willing to take the millions from the city to make it a preserve.

While I'm here, is Avana part of CCHOA? I think Meridian is not.

Any word on opening Mopac / SH45 to FM1626 over near Manchaca (the town)? I think if that ever happened, AISD would want to send some Circle C kids over to Bailey Middle School again since it would be so close via the new road.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
460 posts, read 594,789 times
Reputation: 329
Esquel (the first subdivision of Avana and the only one currently built AFIAK) is part of Circle C. From what I've heard and read, parts of Avana may not be part of Circle C, and StanPac plans on building some amenities just for Avana, I guess at which point maybe the whole thing could up and separate from the CCHOA? I assume that would be up to the developers as well as the current owners. CCHOA's fees are pretty low and a smaller HOA would probably charge more so I don't know where I'd fall on that.

The StanPac agents told us that the land about 150-200 yards behind Esquel (the nature preserve) all belongs to a private owner who gets big tax breaks from the city. They didn't say who the owner was or mention that the city owned any of it, plus it's just what the sales agent said, so who knows if it was accurate.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:17 AM
cm4
 
90 posts, read 121,143 times
Reputation: 34
I think the environment/development legal battles have helped slow down the pace of growth so that the balance is better maintained.

Compared to other places in the area, the pace of development has been so fast that the balance swung too far in the developer's favor, with big box stores, cookie cutter neighborhoods and strip malls popping up overnight. I almost don't even recognize most of Williamson County any more.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,625 posts, read 17,401,323 times
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Quote:
I almost don't even recognize most of Williamson County any more.
I grew up in WilCo, and ya, it is waaaay different than it was when I was growing up. RR pretty much got steam-rolled in the late 70s/early 80s by the housing boom. G'town was fortunate to be just a wee bit further out, so although it boomed, not nearly as violently. It is only more recently that G'town got the box stores and frontage roads that define the "Modern American Interstate City".
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:08 AM
 
3,134 posts, read 3,272,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cm4 View Post
I almost don't even recognize most of Williamson County any more.

"most"? I seem to get defensive about where I live. Williamson county is huge! It has vast areas of farm land and open space. I would argue there are concentrated areas of growth but those areas, compared to the overall span of Williamson county, are limited to certain areas.

Parts of Travis county are the same way. There are some breathtaking spans of undeveloped land and then there are concentrated areas of growth, (strip malls, McMansions that ruin majestic views of the river, et cetera).

Parts of Williamson county are now blending in with the city of Austin.

Having said all that my sister, (she used to live in Round Rock before the growth), makes the same comment: "I don't even recognize some of the area any more."
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