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Old 07-17-2008, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Austin TX
956 posts, read 3,228,889 times
Reputation: 450
Default Pros/cons of living in Austin vs Cedar Park vs Round Rock?

We are down to favorite homes in SW Austin, S Cedar Park, and SW Round Rock and the decision is going to be tough (all great houses!).

I was hoping to hear pros and cons of living in each of these cities with regards to anything that is determined solely by where you live.

Property taxes
Utility costs
Libraries
Parks (must you live in the city to use public parks or get lower fees?)
YMCAs
Events
Activities
Classes
Anything else I'm not thinking of?

A million thank you's!!!!
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Plano, TX
540 posts, read 1,121,785 times
Reputation: 246
Where are you going to work, what industry are you in? I wouldn't live in SW Austin if I was working in North Austin. Yet, at the same time I know people that work in far South Austin that live in Round Rock because their friends live there, etc. Guess they like wasting money on gas and spending time in traffic.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Austin TX
956 posts, read 3,228,889 times
Reputation: 450
Oops that was a mistake, I meant NW Austin, which is where my husband works. You could find a more polite way to suggest people live closer to work though. For example - "you may want to consider living closer to work to minimize your time commuting, lower your gas bills and wear and tear on your car, and maximize your time with your family." Reasons why our house hunt this week only involved homes within a 15 min drive of work.

Does noone have any input on the pros and cons of living in any of these cities?
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,292,663 times
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It's such a hugely broad question...I'd need so much time to write a novel about it all. Can you narrow your q's down? I mean there are activities and classes and events everywhere...what type do you like? What type of neighborhood or area do you like?

Only think I can say about living in the city of Austin vs. the other smaller towns around is that they have more money for libraries (though you can pay $30 or something for a card if you're not a resident), recycling programs, and energy rebates.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,687 posts, read 17,643,517 times
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That is very broad, but there are some statements that are GENERALLY true (with RR/CP considered together):
  • The property tax rate in Austin proper is usually lower, but the appraisals are higher. Hard to say where you would actually pay more taxes, really, BUT - if you spent the same $$$ in RR or CP as you would in Austin, you would end up paying a bit more in RR or CP. If you bought the same house (sq. footage, or whatever) in RR/CP or Austin, then you would pay less in RR/CP. The problem is trying to resist the urge to expand you housing space because the prices are lower.....
  • Utility Costs - not sure what you pay in RR/CP, but I do know that the COA essentially owns its own utility and is not subject to a lot of the deregulation. As such, it is much cheaper than some areas (such as the Pedernales Elec. Co-Op areas). Not sure about water/waste/etc. The COA does have a more extensive recycling program than many of the smaller surrounding cities.
  • As for the rest of your items, they are way more specific to a specific neighborhood or area than to a particular town. I don't know of any park that charges access. Some pools charge access fees, but completely independent of residency, I think.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,629 posts, read 15,997,252 times
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I live in Hutto, not Round Rock, but I can tell you what I do like about Round Rock.

property taxes:I'm not sure. My husband says property taxes west of 35 are higher than they are East. But I am no math genius so I won't go on about this.

Utility costs: again, don't live in RR, only live next door. Think they're the same anywhere. I know that you can choose what power company you want, you don't have to have Txu. I know lots of moms in our playgroup who live there who have switched power companies. Water is less expensive in RR than in Hutto.

Libraries: Hutto just got a new little library this year, so I haven't been to the Round Rock one except to turn in a puppet a few days ago. I have no problem with the Round Rock library. It has great story times for kids and it's age divided. They have a good selection of all types of books and audio/visual stuff.

Parks: Most parks are free around here, unless you sign up for some sort of sport or swimming lessons or something and then you have resident and non resident prices. Round Rock has lots of parks. We spend most of our time at Old Settlers Park. There is also a water park there called Rockin River. You can fish in the pond/lake and feed the ducks.

YMCA: There's one in Round Rock on Mays. It offers all sorts of classes and it has a kid care area as well. Sort of like a moms day out. Clay Madsen Rec Center is on Gattis School Rd. and has tons of stuff for kids and adults.

Events and activities: Lots of them in Round Rock. Fourth of July parties, Dell Diamond for minor league baseball, swimming pools, festivals, farmers market.....much more than what I listed is offered, its just stuff off the top of my head.

Classes: More than you can shake a stick at. In addition, out near TeraVista it is turning into school central. Round Rock Higher education Center, Texas A&M Nursing School, ACC Round Rock, and a branch of SW out there as well, plus 2 new hospitals.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:23 PM
 
947 posts, read 2,032,711 times
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I live in RR and Love roses gave great answers.

I think the only thing I can add is that RRISD is also going to be part of the ACC college district so we will have lower tuition but we will be paying for it with increased property taxes. It's not supposed to be much but we'll soon find out when we start getting taxed for it. I don't remember when the campus is supposed to be built.

Also in RR there is a shopping center it feels like on every other intersection so you'll have access to whatever you need.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Plano, TX
540 posts, read 1,121,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigoblue View Post
Oops that was a mistake, I meant NW Austin, which is where my husband works. You could find a more polite way to suggest people live closer to work though. For example - "you may want to consider living closer to work to minimize your time commuting, lower your gas bills and wear and tear on your car, and maximize your time with your family." Reasons why our house hunt this week only involved homes within a 15 min drive of work.

Does noone have any input on the pros and cons of living in any of these cities?
Oh, I thought you might have chosen SW Austin because of the Eanes or Lake Travis schools. Personally, I don't mind a little commute (used to live/work in Dallas and San Jose, and when I've lived close by I've usually commuted by bicycle), but to each his own; I consider it a waste based on usage frequency (assuming they're driving 4-5 times a week to/from work, and hitting any other place 2 times a week or less). There are some areas in NW Austin that are good, with good schools, but they're going to be older and pricier than Cedar Park and / or Round Rock. If you have kids or plan on having kids I would choose that area (look into sites like schooldigger.com & greatschools.net for specific neighborhoods). As far as libraries, UT is a great academic library, but the Austin library system seems spread too thin. Too many smaller locations, rather than a few larger sites. I guess it's less of an issue nowadays (online access, translibrary shipping, etc.), but not really good for browsing, etc. Growing up, I mainly used the downtown library (or UT). As far as parks, should be lots of smaller parks, but I also took the long route and typically went to Zilker.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:27 AM
 
Location: RR
225 posts, read 578,945 times
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Property taxes-VERY HIGH in most of RR, everyone complains.
Utility costs-our bill past few months has been high 180.00 for 2100 sq. ft. house and I don't like it cold.
Libraries- I prefer Cedar Park, because it is bright and well lit, RR seems a bit confining, drab. You may have to pay in some areas. They have a TEX share card, so you can go to any library, you just have to ask.
Parks (must you live in the city to use public parks or get lower fees?) I am not quite sure, but believe only st. parks have a fee?
YMCAs-RR, Cedar Park, both have them and we have had a great exp. at RR.
Have done swimming lessons and classes through them.
Events- Always something going on, if you have kids, you can keep them quite busy.
Activities-plenty- have many websites if you would like.
Classes-'Cooking' I know at Whole Foods, Central Market.

I like living closer to 183, 35 is full of big rigs that take over the road and is quite scary, I avoid.
And if you want to pay there are many toll roads to make it even easier to get places now.
If I could afford to live in a good school district, I would live in Austin in a heart beat, great vibe
Good luck~
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Up in a cedar tree.
1,618 posts, read 4,292,303 times
Reputation: 498
I just wish everyone pays State and Federal income taxes so that the city will stop &^%$ing w/ property taxes for the home owners here; And I mean EVERYWHERE in the whole state of Texas!!!
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