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Old 11-06-2007, 10:18 PM
10 posts, read 39,467 times
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Ok. I just returned from visiting Austin. We know exactly what we want, but need help finding it. We want one of those amazing hill country views and really great schools (preferably exemplary). We'd love high ceilings and a great outside living area/pool overlooking the views. We also don't want to live super close to our neighbors. We checked out Steiner Ranch, Westminister area (River Place?), and Grand Mesa. We loved the homes and neighborhoods. However, we soon learned the catch...association fees are high is Steiner Ranch's gated neighborhoods and Westminister. Grand Mesa school is rated just acceptable. We thought we could spend up towards 900K, but with those monthly association fees and property taxes...YIKES! We didn't have time to check out Twin Creeks, Georgetown, or Volenta. Any advice for me? Does our dream house/ neighborhood exist? We have considered building as well. Oh, my husband will be working in Round Rock but that area seemed too flat for us.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:31 PM
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Check out Jester Estate in NW Austin at 2222 and 360. www.FindYourCommunity.com
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:59 AM
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Jester is a good suggestion, maybe Courtyard, also Great Hills, if you are looking Northwest.

However, with your original budget and wanting the exemplary schools, I'm suprised you haven't looked at anything in the Westlake / Eanes ISD area. Plenty of pools and views. I'm thinking Barton Creek (some areas in Austin ISD though), Lost Creek, Davenport Ranch, Senna Hills.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:48 AM
Location: Austin TX
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I can probably shed some light. I think maybe you're getting some incorrect information.

River Place and Westminster Glen are two different neighborhoods that are connected by a road. River Place's HOA fees are small - $242/year, unless you live in the Greens area of RP, and then the fees are $168/month because it's gated. Westminster Glen's HOA fees are similarly small - somewhere between $275 and $300 a year. I'm not sure where you're getting high info on HOA fees in Westminster?

Westminster Glen's lots are nearly all 1 acre plus; however, these days there's not a ton available in there under $900K. There are a few homes here and there that come on the market.

River Place has a mixture of tract homes and custom homes. In the $900K and under price range, the lots range from the standard tract size to larger (1/2 acre) or more. For example, we paid roughly $500K for our house and we are on a 1/2 acre lot with a lot of privacy, a pool and canyon views. What you will not get in RP is an acre lot or home for under $900K. All of the acre lots are down by Lake Austin and are much higher priced. However, you can get a really nice home with great views, a pool and a reasonable amount of privacy from neighbors. The country club membership is an additional expense but incredibly cheap compared to nearly all other clubs in the area.

Westminster and River Place both feed into Leander ISD. If you look the feel of the Westminster area, then you should also check out Glenlake, which is the next subdivision over from Westminster, which also feeds into Leander ISD (elementary school is in River Place, middle school and high school should go in in the next several years right across 2222 - we voted on the HS bond yesterday).

Jester is very nice, as is Long Canyon, Greenshores and Bell Mountain - all along 2222 - and all have the big hills and views you are looking for - but all feed into Austin ISD so you have to investigate the schools carefully.

Another neighborhood would be Grandview Hills, just east of 2222 on 620. Leander ISD, large custom homes with views in the back of the neighborhood. I think they are still in your price range, but haven't looked lately.

not sure what the drive would be from Volente to RR. Twin Creeks is an awesome area as well. In Georgetown you might look into neighborhoods like Berry Creek and Cimarron Hills - but they are both really far out, IMO!

Senna Hills' HOA is about $70 a month and I would also suggest you look there as it is Eanes ISD. you might also look at Westview on Lake Austin. The lots average about 15,000 square feet or so, but it is Eanes ISD, very close in and you can get roughly 3500 sf for $825,000K backed to greenbelt. Westview will not have the topography of the River Place area. Senna Hills is much more hilly, but IMO, still not as hilly as the areas off 2222. Both Senna and Westview are awesome areas but they might make for a longer commute to RR for your husband.

Property taxes are definitely a significant factor here. We are fortunate in RiverPlace to have an excellent MUD that has reduced their portion of our property taxes AGAIN this year while still providing very good community services, wonderful parks and trails, and winning state awards for how it is managed. Definitely make an investigation into respective MUDs because they can help or hurt your budget as well!

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Old 11-07-2007, 07:57 AM
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Twin Creeks has some beautiful homes that back up to the Balcones Canyonland Preserve (beautiful views) that are between 600-700K, 4000+ square ft. The yearly HOA fees are $360 and the basic mandatory club membership is $80/month which includes pool, gym, aerobics classes, and eventually tennis courts. This area would be at least 15-25 minutes closer to Round Rock than Riverplace/Steiner. And the elementary (Deer Creek) is rated exemplary.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:05 AM
Location: NW Austin
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Westlake to Round Rock wouldn't be a fun commute, especially if your husband works on the north east side of RR.

If you want hills and good schools I think the Round Rock school district's Westwood high and Canyon Vista middle schools are the highest rated in the distict and were exemplary when we were looking. Generally this area would be North of 360, West of 183, and South of 620. Great Hills, and Canyon Creek are nice areas and will have the views you are looking for and a better commute to RR. A little mls investigation also turned up properties in Spicewood Hills, Spicewood at Bullcreek, and Windridge although I'm not familiar with them.

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Old 11-07-2007, 11:54 AM
Location: Texas Hill Country
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You might want to take a look into Crystal Falls also, very hilly and close to lake Travis but 20 min to east side of RR.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:05 PM
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Thanks to all that replied. I was misunderstood about the association fees. I thought that the yearly dues were monthly. This really threw me! I feel much better know.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:20 PM
Location: SW Austin
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You should also look at the reserve at twin creeks. It would be a nice commute for your hubby, and it has great schools.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 3girls&atraveler View Post
Grand Mesa school is rated just acceptable.
I know people on here have said this before (and others have disagreed with this), but the ratings in LISD are only because of the socio-economic mix at that particular school. Really, all the schools are great, have dedicated teachers, involved parents....don't worry too much about the rating
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