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Old 06-23-2008, 12:16 PM
 
33 posts, read 166,240 times
Reputation: 11

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Here's the summary.... (sorry for the novel)

Currently live in Portland, Oregon

Lived in Dallas in 1997 - honestly hated it... (maybe it was the 40 strait days of 100+ degree weather with no AC) BUT people always said then that we need to go to Austin or San Antonio... so now we are not just going to visit, but move!

The Family - Overall pretty conservative, laid back, like the outdoors, the park, dogs, camping, shopping... and of course MUSIC

Job - ME - Not quite a licensed Architect (4+ yrs. exp.) How is the market there? I wouldn't be transfering but would have to find something. WIFE - server. What are some good restaurants to work at. Is it still that SUPER low server wage that I remember?

Schools - we have a 3rd grader and kindergartner (girls)... what is the BEST district. Not what you like the best but honestly what is the best (if you were to move there) This is the MOST important factor.

House - We'd love to find something between 150K and 200K and with 3 bdrms. I'll be working in or near the downtown most likely since most architecture jobs are in or near the city. I'd like to keep the commute to less than 20 miles and I'm more than willing to use public transportation.

Neighborhood - Near that great school and great job... we love older homes but would love new construction too.

Thanks for ANY insite you all may have.... We look forward to meeting you.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,774 posts, read 18,256,126 times
Reputation: 3636
Well, if you want the best schools, most people will say Eanes, and I won't argue. You will NOT find a house (probably not even a lot) for 150 -200k in Eanes school district. So moving on.....

Round Rock has some highly rated schools that seemed to be very good (no personal experience) and you can probably find something in that price range and size. Same for Cedar Park or Leander, which have good school districts. Dripping Springs also has very good schools, but not sure about finding your house. SW Austin has some very good schools, but again, you are pushing it on house price.

As for server jobs...still $2.125/hour, so you will have to make your money on tips, so the higher dollar places generally make more money. Of course, it sounds like your wife has experience and knows the impact of station size, turnover time, etc. and how all that figures into your take home. If you are looking for long term work, I would recommend a family owned place (or at least locally owned) where you get along with their 'philosophy'. Austin Land and Cattle (not Tx Land and Cattle) is somewhat famous for their good treatment of their employees, but I suspect that is hard to get in to. Widening the criteria, I know people that have made good money at Houston's, Roy's, PF Changs, and Sullivan's, to name a few. Chains, but good reputations and potential for good money if you are good at your job.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
Reputation: 2337
I recently heard the best school, hands down, in the State of Texas is the Ann Richards school for girls. I don't know what district it is in though. Otherwise, I'd second everything Trainwrecked says.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:55 PM
 
Location: NW Austin
1,133 posts, read 2,774,196 times
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Check out greatschools.net and you'll see the ratings of the schools. We like the SW -- and are looking at houses in a few different neighborhoods.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:00 PM
 
Location: central Austin
4,704 posts, read 6,995,017 times
Reputation: 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by love roses View Post
I recently heard the best school, hands down, in the State of Texas is the Ann Richards school for girls. I don't know what district it is in though. Otherwise, I'd second everything Trainwrecked says.
Well, that is pushing it. See today's Statesman for an article on the school. They have only been open for one year, and they are only a middle school. They are in AISD and entry is limited and controlled to create a balanced school that matches the district in ethnic identity and has a certain number of students from low performing elementary schools. Looks like they may earn an exemplary recognition though . . . not too shabby but hardly the best in state. (Perhaps in time).

The Gullett-Lamar-McCallum sequence and the Highland Hills-Lamar-McCallum sequence as well as the Doss-Murchison-Anderson and Hill-Murchison-Anderson in AISD are all excellent. But unless you get very lucky, they will be out of your price range.

The market for architects is slowing particularly CRE. I hear that only area where there is growth is educational and institutional (this is nation-wide and in Austin as well). Finding a job in Austin can take time. I'd definitely have a well-endowed emergency fund in hand before making the move.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
Reputation: 2337
I'm just repeating what I heard on the local news one night. The reporter doing the story said it is rated exemplary, but has higher scores than other schools and that it beat out every school in the state. Other than that, I know nothing of it. Cedar Park/ Leander would be closer to public transport and they have highly rated schools, although its not THE best. Those would be Eanes & Lake Travis.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Austin TX
1,209 posts, read 4,561,708 times
Reputation: 381
As far as server jobs, I would go right to Eddie V's and Truluck's - high end seafood restaurants that have very good service and I imagine a good tipping situation. You might also have your wife try the country club area. I know at our country club, the tip pool ends up being about $13/hour for servers.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:28 PM
 
33 posts, read 166,240 times
Reputation: 11
By all means..... I'd like the best schools.... but GOOD ones are certainly more than fine.

Just like here, the best schools are in areas where the median home price is around $500k... and I don't live there....

We can swing up to about 225+/- but the cheaper the better. Just as long as its a nice safe/walkable place to live with tons of kids to play with our kids.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,642 posts, read 16,468,700 times
Reputation: 2337
Austin and surrounding areas are actually really safe. There are a few sketchy areas, but mainly that is East of downtown, across from 35. Probably East Braker Lane and some areas around the airport. But other than that, it's extremely kid friendly, lots of young families and safe.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,530 posts, read 23,097,471 times
Reputation: 12850
I'd say look closely at Cedar Park/Leander, given your requirements. The only iffy part is the commute, and once the rail line goes into play, that shouldn't be much of a problem.
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