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Old 10-31-2013, 03:37 PM
 
772 posts, read 1,060,751 times
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Hi Cd'ers

I've gotten so much help and information from you guys and really appreciate some more of your insights as we get closer to our Austin move. I cant forget to give a big shout out to coach Rick who has been beyond helpful in helping me think through neighborhoods. So here goes

Initially, hubby and I were moving with our current jobs to Austin - him downtown and me around Riata Corporate Park. AT that point, it was all about finding a house that was easy commute for me and not too difficult for him so we were leaning towards very Ranch so he could take the train, we liked Canyon Creek but was told that getting out on 620 during rush hour can be brutal.
Anyway, hubby just accepted a new position and its located in the NW area as well, its just slightly past 183 on Mopac going south - very close to the Shoal Crossing Event Center according to the map.

With 3 young children (4 years and under), we are looking for great schools especially elementary school, great community with young children, amenities and manageable commute. Within our price range, we've shortlisted houses in the following areas. We will be in town next week to view the houses and hopefully decide on 1 and place an offer. There just doesn't that there is much inventory available now compared to just a month ago.

- Cat Hollow (Great Oaks ES) - Like this house the best (at least on the screen) - 16.5 miles to hubby's job (google map 22 minutes)
- Avery Ranch West (Rutledge ES) - The houses that we are looking at are just "okay" but closer to 183 ~12/13 miles (google map 18 minutes)
Cedar Park neighborhoods (all around 22/24 minutes according to google maps)
- Forest Oaks, (Cox ES)- a couple of the houses just seem awfully close to 183. ~16/17 miles (20
- Silverado Ranch (Reagan ES) - nice house. Same as above
- Deer Creek Ranch / Cypress Bend (Deer Creek ES)- nice houses but realtor feels that the neighborhoods is too far from 183 and that having Anderson Mill road wont help much. Same distance 16/17 miles



The neighborhoods closer to his job are either above our price range ($350K) or the houses just look bad or the school isnt that great.

So looking for insights on these 5 neighborhoods. How are they as per community, general condition, potential appreciation, diversity, amenities and finally commute to slightly south on Mopac past 183. My understanding is that all the elementary schools on the list are good to great

Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:21 PM
 
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You should know that they are currently meeting to re-draw Leander ISD elementary boundaries. The proposed changes haven't been approved yet, and last night there was a public meeting to talk public comments. This is the proposed new boundary map (with the old boundaries visible as blue lines) : http://www.leanderisd.org/users/0001...ecomPublic.pdf A few of the places that you have mentioned will most likely be in the zone of the new school, Reed. I've heard that the Cox people being re-zoned to Reed aren't happy. I think it might have more low income? I'm thinking that the Forest Oaks house might be affected since you said it was close to 183. Also, possibly the Avery Ranch West house. Don't know about the commute from Deer Creek, but that would be a very desirable school area. We live in Silverado Ranch and like it a lot. The zoning to all of its schools should never change because it's within walking distance to Reagan, Henry, and Vista Ridge. Reagan is overcrowded, but the re-zoning will take about 150 kids out, so that should help. I'm happy with the school so far. The neighborhood is very convenient to shopping (a nice HEB and Home Depot are very close). The pool is really nice, with lots of old trees surrounding the adjacent park. My husband takes Parmer down to the Mopac intersection and it's fine since he leaves at 9:30.
When I was researching moves last spring, I remember looking at Great Oaks ES because I was pretty sure that it would feed into a new middle and high school in Pearson Ranch, would would be desirable.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:57 PM
 
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The delta between those two schools will be so negligible a survey couldn't detect it.

Find the house and the commute you like (oh, double the google maps bull****). The differences between all the areas you mentioned are so small that you wouldn't notice when buying a house off the damn Internet.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:05 PM
 
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With the exception of the house zoned for Great Oaks, all of those schools are in Leander ISD.

I think you need to decide if you have a district preference (compare and contrast the 2 districts) and go from there.

All of those areas are pretty quick turn over right now and all afford an easy-ish commute either on Parmer or 183.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
8,977 posts, read 17,557,651 times
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My pleasure COCUE
One thing about the Cat Holler homes is the age vs most of the other areas you mentioned. I'd say CH averages a good decade older than most of the others on your list...give or take. That's not good or bad, of course. More mature neighborhood vs newer construction...your call.

One big plus for Avery Ranch is the amenities 'package'...five pools with all homeowners having access to all.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:17 AM
 
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My opinion

best neighborhood & schools for the money - Deer Creek Ranch

best commute would be Avery Ranch West
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,983,890 times
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I say in your situation now, find the house you want in any of those neighborhoods and buy it. The difference in commute will be negligible and totally dependent on traffic on any given day, which does change on a day by day basis. We live in Walsh Trails which is on Brushy Creek Road right behind Avery Ranch, and I cut through Cat Hollow to 620 to I-35 to get to work....yesterday it took over an hour. Today, it took less than 45 minutes AND I stopped for gas and coffee. So you just never know. Sometimes I have a meeting in the Shoal Creek area and it is a FAST commute there via the tollway. You'll be fine with any of the above!
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:42 AM
 
2,627 posts, read 6,575,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COCUE View Post
Hi Cd'ers

- Cat Hollow (Great Oaks ES) - Like this house the best (at least on the screen) - 16.5 miles to hubby's job (google map 22 minutes)
- Avery Ranch West (Rutledge ES) - The houses that we are looking at are just "okay" but closer to 183 ~12/13 miles (google map 18 minutes)
Cedar Park neighborhoods (all around 22/24 minutes according to google maps)
- Forest Oaks, (Cox ES)- a couple of the houses just seem awfully close to 183. ~16/17 miles (20
- Silverado Ranch (Reagan ES) - nice house. Same as above
- Deer Creek Ranch / Cypress Bend (Deer Creek ES)- nice houses but realtor feels that the neighborhoods is too far from 183 and that having Anderson Mill road wont help much. Same distance 16/17 miles
As others have stated, all of those neighborhoods should be fine, but the Parmer to MoPac commute down from that area has gotten to be pretty ridiculous in the past two months. It is the worst that I've ever seen it in the past 8 years. It's bad enough that I've been cutting through Avery Ranch in order to take 183 instead of going down Parmer or even braving I35 instead.

Your findings on those neighborhoods seems to be pretty right on. Less of a house in Avery at your price point, but better amenities and location. A good portion of the Avery Ranch West homes are DR Horton. The rest of Avery Ranch has better quality homes in general, but the DR Horton homes in Avery are much nicer in person than the DR Hortons in Forest Oaks for example.

You almost need to separate Forest Oaks into two different neighborhoods. The ones that look like Craftsman Style Homes are packed together like sardines with narrow streets that are tough to navigate. The side closer to Cox is more like a normal neighborhood, but part of it backs up to 183A.

Silverado Ranch is still pretty new, but it's a KB home neighborhood. I think it will be about 3 or 4 years before we know if it's a "good" KB neighborhood in regards to structure of the homes or if these homes will see quality issues common with some other KB neighborhoods. It looks good so far, but I would do as thorough of an inspection as possible on those KB homes.

Here is the proposed map for the new Elementary school zoning for LISD linked below. This is just a proposal so I'm sure there is going to be some heated arguments going on. This map sets Cox up to be an elite school as it cuts out a lot of the low income areas on the other side of 183A and while it does add apartments, the apartments that it adds are the high end Colonial Grand ones. And they are proposing to steal away some million dollar Breakaway Park homes from Reagan as well.

http://www.leanderisd.org/users/0001...ecomPublic.pdf

I don't know much about the actual homes in the Deer Creek/Cypress Bend area, but I don't think I agree with your realtor on it being "too far" especially the way Parmer has looked the past two months for traffic. Definitely visit Elizabeth Milburn park near there as there are always family events going on there plus I think most of those areas feed into both Cedar Park Middle/Cedar Park High School which could be argued to be the top Middle/High school combination of all the areas that you're considering. Good luck.

Forgot to mention Cat Hollow, but there are great values in there. I forget the name of the park in there, but we often find ourselves at that park for great community events as well.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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I lived in Cat Hallow for 10+ years, and as one poster said, it is perfectly nice enough, but the houses are a bit older. It's probably cheaper than Avery Ranch, which has a bit more higher end housing. The schools are right in the neighborhood, which is nice. The little Cat Hallow park is nice. It's getting pretty hectic though. That HEB there is packed. As for commuting, the toll road was right down 620 so it was never that bad.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:04 AM
 
772 posts, read 1,060,751 times
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Thanks all for your insights... Keep them coming, please!

Janineg & Mark- thanks for the new proposal map. Is the thinking that the new school Reed would be sub par relative to Cox and Rutledge which are the current schools for the 2 areas in our short-list that may be re-zoned? Just want to understand why some parents are unhappy?

Janineg - what other amenities does Silverado have? Is it the same as Creekview as in do they share amenities since its difficult to see on the map the demarcation. How long does it take your hubby to get to Mopac and Parmer intersection that you mentioned at 9:30

EzP - did you mean the delta between Cox and the new school Reed would be negligible? If that's the hypothesis, why then are some parents supposedly unhappy about the move. I always thought that rule of thumb was that brand new schools are on average better since hopefully things should have been well thought out in the planning stage. But not yet at the school stage since my kiddos are still so young so my thinking may well be flawed. Also are you saying that travel time to Mopac and 183 could well be 40 - 50 minutes at rush hour? That's crazy

Sloppy meg - based on our research, there doesn't seem to be any big differences between the districts and have been told to rather look at the individual schools. I have talked to 2 ISDs particularly about preschool speech therapy that one of my kids needs. Assuming she continues to qualify, service would be provided at our local ES in either of the 2 districts and folks on here familiar with that say there are likely not going to be much difference.

Texasgirl1- thanks. Will be looking at the deer creek home and hopefully the neighborhood is nice.

Rooceleste - not sure where your work is located, but are you saying it can take up to an hour to get to 183/Mopac intersection?

Mark - yep, thanks again, all great info. anything happened in the last 2 months on Aparmer to cause the change in traffic patterns? do you live in Avery Ranch? will definitely do a looksee at the Milburn park. The area looks nice.

DbSteel - so would you say, your general impression of Cat Hollow is positive? Yes, the house in Cat Hollow is definitely older than the rest, I think built in the 90s but looks nicer than the rest on the screen and the layout seems the most optimal for us.how were the amenities when you lived there? And how long did it take you to get to 183/Mopac. Schools right there is great too

Rick -as usual, Merci beaucoup :-) is newer always better? I'm curious. It tough for us because we've never owned a house less than 10 years old. The last home we owned in London was a Victorian over 100 years and we loved it and it was totally gutted on the inside. Right now, we live in. 60+ year home, also totally rehabbed inside but I totally get the attraction. I once lived in a brand new apartment, and the "everything he" smell was great, even removed some of the plastic coverings in the fridge.
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