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Gated Communities and Property taxes in Austin Area
We are looking for a gated community in the Austin Area, it does not have to be in town. It would be nice if it had a golf course or lake. Prefer the golf over the lake. We are retired so we do not need to commute or be near any particular city.
Some names of developments or some pro and cons on some the developments would be very helpful.
I have a brother in the area so I am familar with the weather patterns and social climate, however he has not lived in the area long enough to be familar with all the housing developments in the Austin area, and what might be considered good and what areas we should stay away from. We are looking for something in the $350K to $550K range.
Austin is just one of the area around country we are considering.
Can anyone explain how property taxes are assessed in Texas. They seem to differ from most areas around the country because of the absense of state income tax. What counties might have the lowest property taxes?
I haven't seen very many gated golf communities here in Austin so I got curious and did some research. I found Spanish Oaks which sounds wonderful but is probably out of your price range. Homesites alone start at $250K. But, what is interesting is that they bill themselves as the only guard gated golf community in Austin. If that is true, it may narrow things down a little for you.
If you can do without the gates, I'm sure you would have many more options.
Since you don't need to be in town, you may want to check out Horseshoe Bay, about an hour west of Austin. I think it probably has everything you are looking.
Property taxes aren't hard to understand. They are high! You will pay anywhere from 2.7 - 3.0% of the appraised value. That is not always the price you paid for the home since as of right now (but probably about to change) the selling price is not revealed to the appraisal district. They will send you a survey when you apply for homestead exemption and ask for the sales price then, but it is voluntary.
Do a search on this site for property tax and you'll see lots of previous posts that do a good job of explaining.
Check out our neighborhood...River Place. Most of it is not gated, but there is a small pocket of homes in River Place called The Greens that is gated (no guard, just keypad entry)and I believe there are homes at the high end of your price range in there. We have a really nice golf course and golfing community and the memberships seem reasonable (we don't have a golf membership, but we do have a social membership). It's a very active community.
If you don't need the gate, as Austin Traveler said, you probably have more options. There are plenty of homes in River Place in your price range that aren't in the gated section. Shoot, we'll sell you our house! hee hee.
I also believe there may be a gated community or two west on Bee Caves from the 360 in the Balcones Creek area (I believe that is the name of it, you'd have to do a drive by as I've only been there once). Not sure what their pricing is. it looked pretty tony to me.
Thanks for the information,,,,, we can probably go as high as $650K,,,,and the gated part is a preference not a "Have To Have",,, we are flexable,, the important part is the HOA, is it strong and well managed, is the development well maintained? secure, and of course are the people friendly,,,,,,,,,, but what else would they be in Texas,,
I am still confused about the taxes, I have read some of the threads on the subject and their seems to be a lot of differences of opinion,,,especially on the apprased value,,It is hard to believe that if this is the main source of State imcome that they don't watch it more closely?????
Does it vary from county to county? If so where are the taxes the lowest?
What makes one county higher or lower than the others,,,
Aside from a home owner exemption, is their any exemptions for disabilty or age? or any other category of exemption?
Thanks again to everyone for your comments they are very helpful..
I can't imagine why you're confused about property taxes!
Property taxes vary county by county and city by city but you can basically count on anywhere from 2.7 to 3.0% like I said before. In my opinion, you really ought to be looking for the best place to live according to what your needs are and not worry so much about the property tax. Don't get mad, that's just my opinion. When you find a community, ask about the taxes. If they are above the norm then you can decide whether or not it's worth it.
There is a homestead exemption ($15,000 here in Travis County - not sure if this varies between counties) and an exemption for seniors (65 and over) and disabled. You can take the senior or disabled exemption but not both. I believe this exemption does vary between counties.
Here is a website which lists the tax rates for Austin and surrounding communties:
Like I said, property taxes will be high no matter where you buy in Texas. Just think of it as a nice federal tax deduction at the end of the year.
As for golf communities, there are so many nice ones in Austin. You really ought to come for a visit and have a realtor show you the ones that fit your criteria. I think you will be impressed with the beauty of Austin.
Austin Traveler,, Thank you very much for our insight,,, I really do appreciate your advice and we will be coming out to Austin in the very near future,,,
Your explanation is very clear and concise unlike some other explanations I have received,,some people are of the opinion that taxes are different from one county to the next,,,and can vary from 1% to 3%,,, depending on the school districts,, your explanation makes more sense,,,,
Studies have shown that gated communities do nothing to curb crime rates... they are mostly just something that makes people "feel" secure. I would look around at other communities as well if I were you. Hopefully they'll do away with gated communities (and those god awful cul-de-sacs) one of these days.
I realize that a gated development will not stop crime, but it is just one of those things that makes it more difficult for criminals to commit "crimes of opportunity." It is like locking your car or house,, you can't stop someone from stealing your car or breaking into your house if they are determined, but there is no point in making it convienient for them. A lot of property crimes are often crimes of opportunity and a guarded gate, good lighting, locks and even cul-de-sacs reduces those opportunities. Gated communities often help improve your equity, which is good thing if you want to protect your investment.
America is great becasue we have choices,,, and gated communities and cul-de-sac are some of those small choices we can cherish,, additionally I will always respect everyones difference of opinion,,
Merry Christmas,, and Happy New Year,,,,, I wish you all good health and happiness,,,,
If you are looking for a gated community and golf course consider Steiner Ranch. There is a community inside of it that overlooks the golf course and has a 24 hour guard. Crime is not an issue there, but the gated community is still very nice. Your price range should not be an issue, infact you should find something very nice. The houses in the gated community vary. HOA fees are not too bad, but I came from California so I am used to paying these and actually prefer it.
Taxes...are taxes. I don't think they are high, but again, I came fro m California so I am used to paying them. Plus don't forget about the No State Income Tax. For me, that balanced it out and made them comparable to what I was paying in Cali.
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