Tell me about Oak Hill please (Austin, Canyon: HOA, daycare, how much)
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The area with the park is Villages at Western Oaks VAWO. We're looking there too -- I think it's a good place for you to look although they do have a HOA. Trainwreck can tell ya more since it's his hood.
It's a great place to live. Very family oriented. You have Dick Nichols Park but also many other parks around you. Also a hiking trail off Beckett, the Westcreek Preserve (caves) park off Davis for some hiking around as well. Escarpment Village has the best HEB grocery store in Austin with tons of variety as well as some really decent restaurants and a cool local Austin ice cream place. Then on Slaughter there's Circle C Metropolitan Park which is awesome and huge.
The area just south of William Cannon are older houses built in the 1980s. THey look dated on the outside but the the yards are big and the trees are enormous and beautiful. It's got lots of character. Then you go further south and the houses get newer. Also up off Kenosha Pass there are some really gorgeous older houses in a more hilly environment.
William Cannon has gotten a lot of shopping lately which has been a plus for the area. I'd say it's a good investment.
Commute time to exiting for downtown is 10 minutes. If there's bad traffic, it can be more like 18 to 20.
I prefer it over Circle C because it's closer into town, and it doesn't have the Circle C HOA or politics. Also I think it might be a better investment because it's closer into town, but Circle C is probably a good investment too, actually.
Our realtor is directing us to several interesting houses in Oak Hill, south of William Cannon and between MO-Pac and 290.
This is generally Legend Oaks and the Villages at Western Oaks (VAWO). I am not sure if there are other neighborhoods in the area closer to Wm Cannon, but if you keep going south you get to Circle C. You can search and find lots of stuff on the forum under VAWO instead of Oakhill, which encompasses a pretty broad area.
What's that area like in terms of family stuff - The DN pool is great, as well as the park (which has a covered pavallion, sand volleyball courts, and a large playscape). The pool is free to the public (the VAWO HOA has historically spent money to provide lifeguards for an additional month of supervised swimming) and the pool has recently gone to year round operation for lap swimmers. The pool is also heated in the winter (barely, and I don't know the specifics). There is alos the Circle C park, which has disc golf and soccer fields. There is a branch library off of Convict Hill near Beckett which is by no means huge, but it is convenient. There is the usually couple of the typical tiny parades a year (4th of July, and something else). The schools are generally Mills Elem., Clint Small MS, and Bowie or Austin HS, which is a very nice set of schools. Politics - Hard to say, exactly, since it is by no means 'in your face' politcal (which is true of most areas of Austin). If you count the signs, I would say most are Obama, followed by Hillary, then McCain, with a smattering of Ron Paul thrown in. Of course, that is just based on who puts up signs, and the close democratic race probably impacts that more than anything. I would say it is mostly liberal republicans and conservative democrats, although I think there is a fair bit of independents. community- It is what you make it. We live in the newer section of VAWO, which has a higher proportion of young families than the older VAWO or Legend Oaks (just from my observation, could be wrong) and we get along very well with several of our neighbors. Our particular street (or section of the street) has a very pleasant 'in the street' social hour atmosphere ~5 in the evening. Not sure about other streets or other areas. diversity - Racially, mainly caucasian, with a very significant Indian minority. There are a few AA, Asian, and Hispanic families, but not as much as Indian. Economically, this is a very middle class area, with a leaning toward the 'upper' middle class (of course, I have no idea on the definition of these terms ). If is very affordable, and the more affluent tend to move into Circle C, or Meridian, or into the Eanes ISD, or closer into town. There are a LOT of hi-tech workers out here. etc? - If you like to go out to eat, the area has improved in that respect recently. Also, the new HEB is a nice alternative to the Randalls or the old HEB on Brodie/Wm Cannon. Escarpment village has a couple of (locally owned) places to eat, a nice playscape, and a few misc. stores. I think there is a walgreens or a bank (or both) on every corner of every intersection...no idea why. Nice place to live in general? - If you don't mind small 'tract' lots (which I don't), the neighborhood is great. I love being able to walk to the school, the daycare, the grocery store, or to a restaurant. The pool is a little far to walk for us with small children, but is easy biking distance. The main 'artery' (Excarpment) has nice bike lanes and a divided median, and wide sidewalks, so it makes walking/biking much nicer. Commute times - From Wm Cannon/Escarpment to downtown is probably about 15 minutes in non-rush hour and about 25-35 in rush hour. I don't go anywhere near dowtown on a regular basis in rush hour, so I don't really know exactly. The location is inside the 'Y' (which is convenient) and you have the choice of taking Wm Cannon to MoPac, or Taking Wm Cannon to 290 and then to MoPac.
The above is interesting to me. I think of VOWO as very much upper middle class. I'd say most people who live there are highly educated, make at or more than 100K per year, are very aware of their surroundings and current events, and are engaged in occupations like doctor, attorney, teacher, professor.. basically jobs where they have to do something conceptual, as opposed to working with their hands or at hourly jobs.
Yeah, I was kind of wondering about that, but I am not sure what is considered the breakpoints....it may have more to do with, umm, practicality? The houses are generally less than $300k, and usually noticeably less than Circle C, et al. I guess, in reality, it has nothing to do with how much you can afford, just what you chose to spend .
To restate it a little different, VAWO and Legend Oaks generally have people who live in less expensive houses but could probably pay more if they wanted to .
So, I just purchased a house in VOWO (the newer area) and I was finding that they were all right around 300K or more, sometimes a lot more. I also looked in Circle C and it's amazing how different things are now than they were two years ago when I last looked.
In Circle C, the brand new areas, around Clayton Elementary, are definitely more expensive than VOWO. But the older parts of Circle C, south of the Circle C pool, as well as the north parts of Circle C (like off Bartsow) suprised me that they are the same price as VOWO or less. In some cases, a lot less. Like a 3 bedroom house down in the older parts of Circle C might be 240K. In VOWO a similar house would be 286-300K depending on location, yard size, trees, etc.
Anyway my point is, I don't think you can really make the statement that Circle C is more expensive than VOWO these days, unless you are comparing the newer areas of Circle C (built post 2003), like Alta Mira or the stuff right around Clayton.
I don't know why this has happened. I also noticed that these older Circle C houses were on the market a LOT longer than VOWO houses. And, prices had been reduced. This is the reason that I said earlier, I think VOWO might be a better long term investment than Circle C... generally speaking.
Again, there are some areas of Circle C that are holding their value and going up, very well. Places like Vintage Place, or Alta Mira, or the area off Lacrosse as you drive toward Spruce Canyon. Of course that stuff is all brand-new.
I sometimes wonder with these suburbs. As you get further out, I've noticed a trend where when new houses are built, the older ones in the same areas that are the same size, suddenly drop in value.
Thanks so much to everyone for the fabulous information, especially Trainwreck for your detail and consideration.
It sounds like the kind of area we could live happily in, so I'm glad our realtor has found some potential houses there.
And yes, she knows to avoid an HOA situation. I don't think one could very easily get into one accidentally since one must sign papers agreeing to the CC&Rs and other governing documents.
She tried to convince us on some supposedly "inactive" or "benign" HOAs but we put our foot down and told her the one we're in now was both of those things when we bought this house, and now it has been taken over by psychotic parkingnazis and weednazis. It's unbelievably ugly. We're talking people who make death threats against the children of residents who have the gall to park their cars in front of their homes. DEATH THREATS AGAINST CHILDREN. It can happen to any HOA, so we're being super-careful!
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