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Old 05-02-2015, 09:27 PM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
5,184 posts, read 5,728,031 times
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I'm not going to tell you what to do, or not to do. Just some things to think about.

1. I don't know of a neighborhood in Austin that is a "good mix of young and more "mature". The demographics just don't support it. This is a young metro area. It may exist, and I can be wrong. Would love to have someone point to it.

2. The issue you are going to face is that moving here, at your ages, you are going to want to have a circle of friends that like what you want to do, and have your lack of obligations with the attendant freedom to do things. The issue is going to be, most that have lived here for a while have a circle of friends and don't need to add new ones. I don't want to be overly pessimistic, but you are in a tiny sliver of the new arrivals. Many of the neighborhoods, especially suburban, are full of corporate relos, who need to build new support networks. Their kids are in schools and kid activities with people that they have plenty in common with. You don't have that. Making new friends is going to be difficult.

3. The property tax issue is real. You can expect a $12K bill on that $450K house. Worse is, it will go up every year.

4. Don't discount how much Austin has changed, in ways you can and can't see. I second the idea of renting for a year.

Again, don't want to be pessimistic. You asked for advice.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,760 posts, read 3,165,240 times
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We have a regular poster who moved here in retirement, maybe she will step in and give a first hand account of her experience making friends in Austin. Parks and Recreation offers senior activities, including bridge, and I imagine you'll find several others in your research. One that comes to mind is the JCC.

The Allandale neighborhood is young, but has always had a decent sized mix of young families and old. Very friendly neighborhood. I know of many there who are much older than you, or about the same age. We lived there a long time. My experience there was in an older section, east of Shoalcreek. As in any neighborhood, things could vary by area and street. Just the luck of the draw. I suspect you would love Upper Crust bakery as your coffee spot.

However, I second the suggestion to rent until you see if you still like what Austin has become. In some ways, it's more fun, in many cumbersome ways, not. My world has become smaller due to the traffic and new driving temperaments here. Traffic in town on surface streets isn't too bad. I can just no longer travel on major roadways to other parts of town when I want to visit old haunts, shop, and try new places, reasonably stress-free.

One good thing, though is that you aren't likely to lose money on a house if you choose wisely. Property taxes are another matter. It's difficult to part with $1,000 a month (based on the 450K price tag) to live in a place that's become increasingly inaccessible.

Last edited by capcat; 05-03-2015 at 11:14 AM..
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:10 AM
 
1,509 posts, read 1,395,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capcat View Post
We have a regular poster who moved here in retirement, maybe she will step in and give a first hand account of her experience making friends in Austin. Parks and Recreation offers senior activities, including bridge, and I imagine you'll find several others in your research. One that comes to mind is the JCC.

The Allandale neighborhood is young, but has always had a decent sized mix of young families and old. Very friendly neighborhood. I know of many there who are much older than you, or about the same age. We lived there a long time. My experience there was in an older section, east of Shoalcreek. As in any neighborhood, things could vary by area and street. Just the luck of the draw. I suspect you would love Upper Crust bakery as your coffee spot.

However, I second the suggestion to rent until you see if you still like what Austin has become. In some ways, it's more fun, in many cumbersome ways, not. My world has become smaller due to the traffic and new driving temperaments here. Traffic in town on surface streets isn't too bad. I can just no longer travel on major roadways to other parts of town when I want to, and reasonably stress-free.

One good thing, though is that you aren't likely to lose money on a house if you choose wisely. Property taxes are another matter. It's difficult to part with $1,000 a month (based on the 450K price tag) to live in a place that's become increasingly inaccessible.
It is impossible to get into allandale (outside of a fixer upper that the OP specifically doesn't want) within their stated budget.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,760 posts, read 3,165,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Tex View Post
It is impossible to get into allandale (outside of a fixer upper that the OP specifically doesn't want) within their stated budget.
I just saw some for sale that would meet their qualifications. Small, nice inside and out, well under the price range, unless the homes go into a bidding war.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:22 AM
 
1,509 posts, read 1,395,690 times
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Originally Posted by capcat View Post
I just saw some for sale that would meet their qualifications. Small, nice inside and out.
MLS numbers? Remodeled? In Allandale proper and not North Shoal Creek? I'm not seeing anything.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,760 posts, read 3,165,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Tex View Post
MLS numbers? Remodeled? In Allandale proper and not North Shoal Creek? I'm not seeing anything.
I won't get into a research project today, just enter homes for sale Allandale, and then the addresses to get a better view of interiors if you like. One, I recall is on Joyce.
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,722 posts, read 40,876,986 times
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Originally Posted by A-Tex View Post
Austin is about the last place anyone should come to retire. Retirement age people are fleeing in droves because of the unchecked upward spiral of property taxes. Your $450K will not go very far in the city -- especially as a "non-fixer upper." And you'll be paying close to $12,000 per year to the government for the honor of living there.
I disagree with everything A-Tex says above, it is highly exaggerated. I'm 65, retired, have lived in Austin since 1977 and still think Austin is a great place to live. I have allergy problems (cedar and mold allergies can be very difficult here) that have prompted me to consider moving to other places and am honestly having a hard time finding an alternative that I think I would like as much as Austin. Are there cheaper areas to live in, certainly, but few offer all of the amenities, features and lifestyle that is available in Austin.

I don't see retirement people fleeing in droves. Most of my friends around my age love it here and are planning on staying. In fact I can't think of anyone who has moved away. I don't know of any neighborhood in Austin that has a concentration of retired people. My neighborhood Legend Oaks (south end of 78749, SW Austin) is pretty mixed with families of all ages, but I know 9 retired households that live within two blocks of me. This is a great neighborhood with nice shared amenities such as swimming pool, tennis courts and lots of oak trees and excellent hike and bike trails thru the green belts. All of the houses here are well maintained and nicely landscaped. HOA fee this year was $480.

Property taxes on my $330,000 house (appraised value, it might sell for $370k), 2349SF, 4bdrm, mostly brick exterior, built in 1989 in a great neighborhood, 10 miles from downtown, with no exemptions is estimated at $7,136.88 for 2015. But with the Homestead exemption and age 65 exemptions the tax is only $4,065.67. Since there is no state income tax, that helps offset that cost. The City is also looking into adding another exemption for homeowners and other measures to help keep the city more affordable.

Since I don't have to drive in rush hour traffic anymore I plan my trips to avoid that. During the middle of the day I can drive from SW Austin to Allandale in North Central Austin (14 miles) in about 18 minutes. I rarely need to drive anywhere near that far as there is lots of great shopping, restaurants and just about everything that I need near my home. I only put about 4,000 miles/year on my car the last several years.

For access to outdoors recreation, SW Austin provides easy access to most of the hill country and gives you an edge when you might want to drive to San Antonio or the Texas coast. Its about 3.5 hours to Rockport or Port Aransas.

I'm not sure what you mean by "tight-knit community", but the neighbors here look out for each other when anyone is away on a trip. My next door neighbor recently powerwashed my drive way and sidewalk for me, unasked when he learned that my powerwasher had broken, which was very nice of him. I would have been happy to borrow his and do it myself, but he insisted on doing mine when he did his own, saying he was already wet and sweaty, why not? I gave him a good bottle of wine to thank him. My wife belonged to a neighborhood bunco club and a book club for several years. I don't know of any bridge groups but you can probably find some on Meetup.com. My house is 1.2 miles from the nearest HEB grocery store and shopping centers that include banks, restaurants, etc.

If you go to the City-Data data webpage for Austin http://www.city-data.com/city/Austin-Texas.html you can click on any zip code and see a graph showing the age distribution of people who live there. I you scroll down further to the map that is there you can select "Median resident age" and the map will display color coded overlays indicating that data for each area of town. It helps you visualize what areas tend to have an older population.

Mueller has a Median resident age of 34.8.
Legend Oaks has a Median resident age of 41.7.
Circle C (south of Legend Oaks) has a Median resident age of 36.3.
78704 has numerous small pockets with a Median resident age varying from 25 to 40.
Alandale, a portion in the middle has a Median resident age : 52.3

Last edited by CptnRn; 05-03-2015 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:43 PM
 
Location: San Angelo, TX
1,775 posts, read 2,974,285 times
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Austin is NOT a retirement destination, one can retire here though, of course. I second the Allandale area, there are usually a few houses for sale in the $450K range. But most of the houses for sale in the central Austin area are fixer-uppers or tear-downs, as the lots are valued from $500K up... You can look to the suburbs like Leander (north) or Buda (south).
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,762 posts, read 2,152,496 times
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It may be counter-intuitive to those of us who aren't retired that Austin would be a retirement destination, but for many people (including my own in-laws) it is, and it shows up on all kinds of 'best retirement locations' lists with the giant caveat of property taxes.

Quote:
1. I don't know of a neighborhood in Austin that is a "good mix of young and more "mature". The demographics just don't support it. This is a young metro area. It may exist, and I can be wrong. Would love to have someone point to it.
This is totally anecdotal and I'm still new to Mueller but it's the only place where I've encountered this kind of mix. The cost to get in and the school situation means it's young folks renting, wealthy less younger folks who either don't have kids or can afford private schools or else are happy with the AISD track there (which is not bad, just not as good as elsewhere), and semi-wealthy to wealthy retired folks.

Mueller has only been 'around' since 2007 and it's only 50-60% finished, so take this with a grain of salt. I wouldn't cal it a retirement community at all but the current mix of location + cost + amenities seems to make it attractive for some older folks.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
4,753 posts, read 12,306,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm53 View Post
2. The issue you are going to face is that moving here, at your ages, you are going to want to have a circle of friends that like what you want to do, and have your lack of obligations with the attendant freedom to do things. The issue is going to be, most that have lived here for a while have a circle of friends and don't need to add new ones. I don't want to be overly pessimistic, but you are in a tiny sliver of the new arrivals. Many of the neighborhoods, especially suburban, are full of corporate relos, who need to build new support networks. Their kids are in schools and kid activities with people that they have plenty in common with. You don't have that. Making new friends is going to be difficult.
I totally disagree with the idea that people age 60+ have all the friends they need and aren't looking for more. I work with people in that age range and some of them are very open to making new connections via shared interests.
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