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Old 08-02-2011, 08:22 PM
 
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Hello Austinites!

We are relocating to Austin from NJ and are now trying to nail down a particular community to live! We have it down to 4 (although depending on the time of day we've been up to 10, but right now its 4 :-)) .... Falconhead, Lakeway, Steiner, and RiverPlace. We have two children (9 and 6). We are looking for a community where it will be easier to meet friends for both ourselves and for our children. We also both enjoy golf, and we would eventually like to join a casual, family friendly golf club.

So.....wanted to get your thoughts. From a few days out looking at houses:

1) FalconHead - We like the location a lot, especially so close to the galleria. It's also closer to work and the city. Taxes are low compared to the other 3, and we like the housing stock and prices. Our downsides: There is no community pool, and true or not, we feel the community pool would offer lots of chances to meet up with folks. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, FalconHead is public course, which is great if you just want to play (and I do), but given its not a club we wouldn't get the club (activities, leagues, etc..), plus the fact it doesn't have a pool.


2) Steiner - Have heard nothing but good things on the board about Steiner. Granted it may not be for everyone, but we think we'd do OK there. What about the UT golf club? I've heard its much more expensive than RiverPlace. Are folks in Steiner members there? OR do just as many live in Steiner and play in RiverPlace, or Lakeway clubs? The RiverPlace club seems to be more reasonable and casual. Note: I haven't played either. Housing stock seems good and prices are reasonable.

3) Lakeway - All I know about is the clubs. If we like Steiner, RiverPlace, and Falconhead, is there a party of Lakeway you'd recommend? This is a community we know little about right now.

4) RiverPlace - We like the fact a club is in the community. How would you rank (1-10) RP, Steiner, Lakeway, and Falconhead in terms of families with kids? Houses are a little older (mid-90's). We just haven't heard much if there are as many kids as in Steiner. Probably not, but maybe thats not a bad thing.

5) Rough Hollow (see I just added another community just like that!) - Thoughts on this for our situation? We visited it this weekend. Liked it, just new nothing about it and everything seemed so new.

Thank you! Our other problem we'll save for another thread is how to get into one of these communities in time for school starting Aug 22! Yikes.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,521,627 times
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Lakeway has been around a long time. It was once a resort and retirement area. It has changed significantly over time to become a very nice area to live. It is especially nice if you play golf, tennis, and want access to a private marina. It also has its own airstrip. Lakeway is a city so it has its own government and police. Lakeway is a controlling place - not HOA but city ordinances that do the same thing. It is not as overtly planned as Steiner.

We lived in Lakeway for 12 years and eventually moved out because we like a bit less control over our home (etc.). It is still a very nice place. The Lakeway community pool is nice and they have a waterfront park. The pool even has a sand volleyball court and concrete skateboard park. It is difficult to recommend a specific area of Lakeway because I have no idea what is important to you.

Falconhead is part of Lakeway's jurisdiction so it falls under Lakeway police and the city. Same with Rough Hollow. RH is newer and has its own marina. More $$.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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Thanks hoffdano for the info. In Lakeway, could you recommend a section/area that you would feel is less 'retirement' like?

Also, any experience with the golf clubs in Lakeway? It seems to be that there are two clubs, each containing two courses. One club is called the 'Hills Country Club' (Hills and FlintRock Falls) and the other being 'Hills of Lakeway Golf Club' (Yaupon and Live Oak). If that's correct, the names confuse me, with too many references to 'hills'. Does anyone have any comments about these two clubs? We wanted to know if we went with Falconhead or Steiner, could we become members at one of these two clubs (or RiverPlace). Do folks do that?

Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,521,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cking27 View Post
Thanks hoffdano for the info. In Lakeway, could you recommend a section/area that you would feel is less 'retirement' like?

Also, any experience with the golf clubs in Lakeway? It seems to be that there are two clubs, each containing two courses. One club is called the 'Hills Country Club' (Hills and FlintRock Falls) and the other being 'Hills of Lakeway Golf Club' (Yaupon and Live Oak). If that's correct, the names confuse me, with too many references to 'hills'. Does anyone have any comments about these two clubs? We wanted to know if we went with Falconhead or Steiner, could we become members at one of these two clubs (or RiverPlace). Do folks do that?

Thanks!
I am not a golfer. But "The Hills of Lakeway" is a separate gated community within Lakeway. The Hills course is a Nicklaus course and has been used in many tournaments. Yaupon and Live Oak are each 18 hole courses. In general homes in "The Hills" are more expensive and sit on larger lots. The Hills has a HOA.

I think the oldest areas of Lakeway are the most likely to have retirees, but that has been diluted significantly over time. The older areas are closer to the lake, the airstrip, and in general "further back." I would not really factor that into your decision. Instead I would simply shop for the kind of home you want.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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We live in Steiner and love it. My husband plays a lot of golf, but he never plays at the Steiner country club. He always plays public courses around town. He usually plays with people who live in all parts of Austin, so they try to find courses convenient for everyone.

I'm not sure where work will be for you, but Falconhead is not closer to downtown than Steiner. Yes, it is closer to the Galleria, but they are building a very similar shopping center just down the road from Steiner which is scheduled to open in 2012. The lack of community pools and distance from town ruled it out for us.

River Place is right around the corner, but there are no community pools, you have to join the country club and pay money on top of your HOA fees to use the pool. The HOA there is ridiculously strict as well. Steiner's is strict too, but nothing like River Place. You can't even park you car in your own driveway overnight in River Place. It also just didn't seem to have the community feel that Steiner does.

Lakeway is nice, but again the commute to town is longer than Steiner. The Hills is a beautiful area. But again, it seems to lack the community feel that Steiner has.

Steiner just seemed to have the best of everything. 18 miles of hike and bike trails, 12 playgrounds, 3 community pools, tennis, just about every organized sport imaginable (for adults and kids), events for just about every holiday, etc. There are also a lot of shops actually IN Steiner. We have nail salons, 5 restaurants, a wine bar, market, ice cream / coffee shop, hair salon, doctors, dentists, gym, etc., all of which I can walk to. And none of them are chains; they are all owned by Steiner residents, which I think is pretty cool. We have not regretted our decision at all, and we've been here for 6 years.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
7,183 posts, read 16,264,333 times
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Might also look at Lost Creek.

Eanes ISD, golf & country club (has pool), family oriented and no HOA fees. Casual and laid back for Westlake.

Also closer to town than any of the other places you are looking at, if that matters.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:21 PM
 
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Thanks all for the comments. I do like Lost Creek, and the club, I don't think we can afford it. We drove by 'the Hills' tonite (actually looking @ Lakeway in general) but due to the gate we couldn't get in to drive around. We'll do that this weekend with our realtor.

We need our house to sell back east before buying, so now we are looking to rent for a bit before buying. That being said, we don't want to move our kids twice in school. Which is interesting, because now our home search is driven by where we can find rentals in the 4 mentioned communities. I know that doesn't have to be the case, but it will be easier in the transition to not switch schools once we buy.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Austin
7,191 posts, read 17,771,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Falconhead is part of Lakeway's jurisdiction so it falls under Lakeway police and the city. Same with Rough Hollow. RH is newer and has its own marina. More $$.
Sorry, but Falconhead, as well as Falconhead West fall under Bee Cave. We have our own city police, city hall, library, and everything. It's like we're our own little city... (tongue in cheek). Falconhead is not in Lakeway. Our taxes are much lower than Lakeway.

Basically, you've named all "subdivision" names except Lakeway you named an entire city. Rough Hollow is part of Lakeway. They are building their very own water park right in the community and only residents will have access. I wish they would give everyone access, for a small fee, because some of us, as you mentioned, don't have community pools.

Lakeway, average home is 1991. Steiner, average home is 2004. Big difference. Do you like older or newer? Lakeway, average home is about 2000 sqft. Steiner, average home is about 3000 sqft. Do you like bigger or smaller?

Riverplace is a little like Lakeway in that there are different ages of homes, but mostly under 20 years old. Many homes, like Lakeway, are dated and might need a bit updating.

You are putting a lot of emphasis on the club, but are you really going to be at the club 24/7? Or are you looking for a neighborhood where your kids can have friends next door or down the street?

Lakeway doesn't have sidewalks. Is that a concern? Parts of Riverplace doesn't either... it's not just about the clubs, it's about the neighborhood and what you want where your house is.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
10,775 posts, read 9,406,760 times
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Steiner is geared towards families. Great community parks and pools, great schools, and great people.

Riverplace is geared towards DINKS (double income no kids) or wealthy empty nesters that just want to play some golf or some pickup basketball but in a serene hill country environment.

Lakeway was formerly a retirement mecca but some families now live there. There are no sidewalks, lots are small, and the government rules with an iron fist there.

I don't know anything about Falconhead West, it was never on my radar screen.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,521,627 times
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FalconheadWest - my mistake about Lakeway control vs. Bee Cave.

The Lakeway pool and the Lakeway water front park (across from Hurst Harbor) is open to non-residents. I'm not surprised Rough Hollow is more restrictive since they are aiming much higher $$$.

I am not sure I believe the Lakeway average home is 2000 sq. ft. unless you are including condos. My 3BR house was 2050 and one of the smallest I have been in. I did a quick search of homes < $400K and 57 of 88 were between 2000 and 4999 sq. ft.

cBach, there are more than a few families in Lakeway. When I moved into Lakeway in 1986 - I thought we were one of the few homeowners under 30. But it is far different now. Two elementary schools serve the area now - Lakeway elementary and Serene Hills.
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