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Old 11-08-2007, 07:22 PM
110 posts, read 523,763 times
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Are any of you familiar with the Alta Vista neighborhood? The entrance street is Aria Drive and it's across from Lake Travis Middle and High Schools. I'd appreciate any comments, anything at all ...

I understand it's a new community surrounded by a bird sanctuary; houses by Toll Brothers (any comments about them re quality?); no sidewalks but some pretty-good sized lots (0.4 acres; big by SoCal standards!!). No sidewalks seem strange; is this common in the Austin area? ... the new neighborhoods?
Lots of resales and some new lots also.

How about comments on Lake Travis High School or Middle School? I heard that there might be a substance abuse issue ... any inside info there?

FYI -- We've considered Steiner Ranch but backed away due to it being too remote for our tastes; also considered Bella Lago in Eanes ISD but declined due to price (mainly). So, we're bouncing around and Alta Vista is our latest research target.

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Old 11-08-2007, 07:30 PM
Location: Austin TX
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I am familiar with Ridge at Alta Vista. Toll Brothers is known to be a very well respected builder, IMO. There are really large homes in there. It seems to be a nice community; not overflowing with amenities - I think a basic community pool and clubhouse and maybe some tennis courts. The one negative I personally find about the area is that there are no trees over there. it's a personal thing with my husband and I; we love big shady trees and there are virtually none. It's as if the whole area ws stripped by bulldozers a la CA. One of the things that attracted us to Austin was the prevalence of trees and mature neighborhoods, so Ridge at Alta Vista lacked some appeal for us.

I can't comment on the schools at all.

however, if you ruled out Steiner Ranch as being too remote, I think you'd find Ridge at Alta Vista pretty remote as well. Yes, it's in Lakeway and therefore some shopping/services are closer by than in Steiner, but as far as proximity to downtown and such, you aren't getting a step up. In fact, you're beholden to the 620/71 intersection which can get really ugly at any given time of day.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:58 PM
110 posts, read 523,763 times
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Thanks Gigi -- I'm coming out soon (again) to look at the area; we noticed there was lots of Juniper (?) but not much Live Oak; we like the Live Oak much better and consider the Juniper weed-like scrub. But that aside, we'll plant trees in the back and likely build a pool, so that may be OK.

Remote to downtown isn't a problem as long as it's around 30 minutes, which this probably is (without too much traffic). From deep-in Steiner (where we were looking) it took 20 minutes to get to pretty much anything; this area looks like it's closer to some restaurants and shopping and the ever-important movie theater. And we love the middle and high schools being so close.

How ugly is the 620/71 intersection, and does anyone know of there are plans to widen or split this in some way to ease congestion? They (politicians) have to know about this area being a big problem ... I thought that part of the deal with allowing the Galleria would have been to improve the surrounding infrastructure, but no??

How about the sidewalks? It seems to me in order to have a walkable neighborhood you would have to have sidewalks, but perhaps this is too Chicagoan of me? Geez, I even have sidewalks where I am right now ... Not a showstopper; just curious.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:12 PM
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Alta Vista is offering huge discounts on new construction. There are many resales as well in 450-650k range. We were seriously looking into building ours in Alta Vista but decided to invest a little more and build in Senna Hills (in Eanes ISD) which is about 6 miles closer to the city on Bee Caves Rd.

LTISD is as good as any school district in Austin - except Eanes ISD which is the highest rated in Austin (and in TX I think). Personally I think Falconhead (also in LTISD), across Alta Vista on 620 is much more attractive, mature with great golf course views and miles of walkways and low tax rate. Taylor Woodrow who builds there (as well as Drees) is typically considered more upscale builder than Toll Brothers.

LTISD has a huge number of new houses on sale currently, so this is something you need to keep in mind for house's resale/appreciation. If you go northeast on 620 about a mile or so from Alta Vista to Dave Dr., you'll find tons of new homes from Plantation homes with steep discounts and great views.

Take your time to study LTISD carefully before you jump. We spent about 6 months comparing builders, location and schools. I hope we made the right choice with Taylor Woodrow/Senna Hills/Eanes. We love our future neighborhood!!

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Old 11-12-2007, 12:33 AM
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I have friends that live in that neighborhood and they love it. Although when I went there, it seemed as if it was an area where many people where keeping up with the appearances, but the schools were close by.

I also heard about the huge discounts to clear inventory in this neighborhood.

I also heard that there is a strange battle brewing with drainage issues with a portion of the neighborhood and Toll Brothers are not being very good in resolving the issues that they created.

Toll Brothers is well-known and respected, but YMMV in Texas from what I heard about the Austin branch.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:33 AM
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education is my passion. Eanes traditionally/historically has been hands down the best school district in the austin area. however in the current enviorment, a case can be made that leander isd is on par and in some aspects better than eanes. i encourage anyone that is trying to chose a neighborhood based in part by the school system that you research your various schools via just4kids.org.
at this site they compare each campus to others that have the same demographics which gives you a much more telling view of the school's ability to maximize their student's achievement.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:47 AM
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I lived on Hudson Bend for the last ten years until our home flooded. Don't worry though, it was waterfront, you will be on much higher ground!
Steiner Ranch is quite a bit closer to Austin than Alta Vista. Both neighborhoods are beautiful.
That intersection has already been widened but it is still congested at rush hour.
The schools are excellent although not very diverse in ethnicity. My daughter received an excellent education at Lake Travis Elementary School and Hudson Bend Middle school.
This is hearsay, but I have heard that there is a drug problem at LT High. Access to too much money and daddy's ski boat at too young of an age equals too much partying.
There are two new shopping areas at 620 S and 71.
Also look at Costa Bella and Lake Wind.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:04 PM
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I live in Ridge at Alta Vista and I don't know about drainage problems as we haven't had any and neither have anyone on our street.
The issue with Toll is trying to build too many massive homes in too quick a time. The key, at that time, was to stay on them over everything...they didn't love us, but we have a very solid home without a lot of warranty work to be done after closing.
Now, however, they have slowed down production, hired more professionals, and are offering discounts - a pretty great combination if you ask me!
As for schools, I have kids in top rated LTISD elementary schools - Lakepointe and Lakeway elementary.
I haven't heard of more of a drug problem than I had at my High School in the 70's. It all depended on the kid, his life and family.
The Mean Girl problem is bigger, in my opinion. And Football is king - but it's Texas, right?
As far as Eanes goes, that is a great school district. Notoriously the best, but we saved $100,000 by going for the 2nd best who is competing to be the best (along with Leander). We thought that was the best position for our children. Eanes also has thousands of kids in it's High School as all the Westlake people cant stand the idea of a new school because they are scared their kids won't graduate from Westlake but "Westlake light."
But I'm no knucklehead, I know everyone thinks their neighborhood is the best and if I could afford my house on Lake Austin, I'd be all over it!!!!
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by lodilynn View Post
Now, however, they have slowed down production, hired more professionals, and are offering discounts - a pretty great combination if you ask me!
Do you know what kind of discounts are being offered at Alta Vista? Cash, upgrades or both?

Is your house in the Estate Collection section? What is the difference between Reserve and Estate Collection besides price?
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:01 PM
15 posts, read 61,191 times
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Default Difference between Ridge at Alta Vista homes

The Estates have more finishes as standard. And the lots are supposed to be 1/2 acre or more. Estates back to green belt/nature preserve. All of this is for the most part. On those lots that meet size and preserve, you pay a big premium.
I don't know specifically about the discounts but understand it's a total buyer's market here now.
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