Hutto (Austin, West: mortgage, buying a home, neighborhood)
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brattpowered - Yes we are looking at both the Hutto, TX area (because my brother's family of 5 already moved there). My brother keeps trying to get us to move there just so that we would be close by so I am trying to find an outside opinion and/or info about Hutto. We are also looking at Burlington, VT (because that is where my husband has always wanted to live). Talk about two really different places. lol If you can sum it up for me why do you feel Burlington or Vermont in general is a nicer place to live then Hutto, TX?
I have a co-worker whose husband's company closed down. They were trying to decide to stay in a very similar industry job in Burlington, or take on a realtively different job and stay in Austin. They ran over a lot of pro's and con's, but it seems it came down to a few issues:
Burlington was very good schools, Austin (their location) has good schools (IB program). They have two kids.
Winter in VT vs summer in TX
Wages/COL in VT vs Wages/COL in Austin.
Very close family in Austin, No family in VT.
Schools came out a wash. They were comfortable with the summers in TX, but were leary of winters up north. Wages were higher in VT, but COL was significantly higher, esp. considering housing - also ended up close to a wash. The real determing factor was family - grandparents in Austin that live down the street and have grown up with the grandkids. They really like the area of VT from an appearance standpoint, though, and if the GPs were not here, might have made the jump.
Reasons to live in Texas: Low cost of living, plenty of jobs, pleasant winters.
Reasons to live in Vermont: Breathtakingly beautiful landscape, very low crime, great education system, a tolerant atmosphere, unpolluted air, land and water, pleasant summers, charming and historic walkable towns, proximity to New York, Boston, Montreal, the Atlantic Ocean and endless mountains. Rivers and babbling brooks that aren't filled with trash and don't run dry, and an attutude of reverence toward the natural world.
Hutto is an extremely fast-growing city with many new homes and a lot of older (less than five years old) homes of modest cost. A lot of younger families with children have moved into the area. The police are reasonable, and animal control officers have hearts of gold. It behooves you to make contact with these people prospectively - the police, simply to see how they operate, and the animal control officer if you have a pet.
Real estate taxes are quite high as there is no state income tax. You can compare values of house vs property tax as compared your own area.
There has been tremendous growth of shopping centers, restaurants, Walmart, etc, in the area, and if you like to hear the train whistles and the rumbling of trains at night, this is your area. The downtown Hutto area has a flavor of the old west, with buildings right on the sidewalk in the architecture of the time. The traffic east bound from Round Rock has doubled in the last year, and the road consruction has anticipated this growth. Further, there is now a toll bypass near the city, which saves time in the long run, but can mount up.
The town has a great sense of humor, as someone has commissioned large hippopottmus as the area's mascot - which comes from a story of an escaped zoo hippo.
Texas electricity cost is quite high, compared to other areas, and the heat in Texas can be overwhelming.
For those who have never lived in areas that can flood very quickly, Texas is a place where you can lose your kid, if he is not only warned, but also is luck enough to survive. Water sometimes comes up very quickly, and never, ever drive through standing water. The deep gorges through which the rivers run are there even though there is a nice peaceful stream at the bottom.
While 19 inches of rain in certain areas is unusual, it does occur, and in the more modern, competently civil engineered areas, you're safer. New construction seems also to have planned for such infrequent deluges.
The most serious problem however, is that the schools in Hutto are overwhelmed, and can't keep up with the number of children coming in. This is a problem on both levels, but the grade and intermediae schools appear to have better leaders. There is the usual Texas Football night and the players and cheerleaders can do no wrong. It appears to me that there is a serious morale problem within the high school teachers, even early in the season, as it appears at least in a few instances where stress reactions by teachers are manifest in the first few weeks of school. If you are prepared to do battle with the senior high schools 9-12, and defend your child, while not putting up with the nonsense that your child can get into - by dealing with those problems at home, then fine. If you are not prepared to be very involved, and I don't mean being a "helicopter (hovering) parent," then you child (meaning teen) may have problems. The school website - look up Hutto ISD (Independent school district) is quite good, and one can find applicable local and Texas laws regarding the manner in which the school is conducted.
Hutto is a definite place to look - one can check available real estate values which vary from $1M into the $80K or less areas. However, look at the high school, the temporary buildings -- the newness is there for a reason!!!
We're getting a new high school. Ground for it has already been broken. I was at a party today, and one of the women there said Hutto is building 5 new elementary schools for the next 5 years (so, 1 a year for 5 years) because it's growing so much with families with young children.
New schools are just fine, but it is the leadership and the morale of teachers that seems to be more important. Things flow from the top. There is considerable KYA there, with a significant drop out rate, bullying, etc. If your teen is going to be in high school, be prepared to listen carefully, get involved with the PTA, and develop your connections. Teens are perceptive and quickly determine who is genuine. They also can give distorted information to parents, so independence and personal observation are needed.
There is selective enforcement of iron-clad rules, as well.
I think that could be said about any school. Believe me, though, I do plan on being so involved, they'll probably hate me there. But I guy in my church teaches in RR, and says he hates the school he teaches at because he gets no backup from administration at all, it took them all year to get him books. He got them finally near the end of the year. There is also no discipline there. So I think it's a little unfair to make it seem like Hutto is the only school in the entire Austin area that has some problems like that. It does good in the test scores and ratings, however.
Does anyone on here live in Hutto, TX? How is it there? How are the schools? What are the pro's and con's of Hutto, TX? We are considering moving there next year. Thanks for any help.
Hutto is growing very rapidly yet striving to keep a handle on that growth so that it remains a pleasant, liveable town. We are now around 18,000 people in the city limits, have very good schools (fastest growing school district in Texas), and a great deal of new growth and development going on, especially in retail and commercial. Hutto is a friendly town, easy to meet people and easy to participate in if you are so inclined.
Williamson County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas and there are many good business opportunities here. Hutto is just 8 miles from Round Rock, home of Dell Computer, and 20 miles from Austin.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by AustinTraveler; 07-04-2007 at 05:28 PM..
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