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Old 06-25-2008, 11:25 AM
 
6 posts, read 24,063 times
Reputation: 16

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We have decided to buy in the Lake Travis ISD. We're considering homes in The Preserve, Alta Vista, The Hills, and Falconhead. Here are the pros and cons we've identified so far. I would love other's thoughts -- particularly on schools!

The Preserve -- The new custom homes in the Cardinal Hills area that backs to the Preserve are beautifully built, unique, and have magnificent views! Just from a home perspective, we love these the most. However, this area still has a lot of development left to do and is in a tough market these days (but also good for us for price). The cons appear to be tax rate (but the HOA is very low) and the schools aren't as good. This area goes to Lake Travis Elementary and Hudson Bend Middle School. What do you think about these schools? How are they changing for better or worse?

The Hills -- Much more established area with unique homes. This area also goes to Lakeway Elementary, which is supposed to be outstanding. The cons are the tax rate, HIGH HOA, and very hard to find a home we can afford that really has a view (turning your head to the left when you look out the window doesn't cout).

Alta Vista -- Not terribly unique homes but some have good views. Lower taxes. This area also goes to Lakeway Elementary. The cons are the homes feel more like McMansions, some of the interiors of the homes are not as nice, and it seems like it's in a high-traffic area.

Falconhead -- Nicer finishes on some of the homes but not terribly impressive views. Lowest tax rate out there! This area also goes to Bee Cave Elementary. The cons are the homes feel more like McMansions with limited views, there is still A LOT of building to be done in Falconhead West and it seems like it's in a high-traffic area.

If there are people who live in the area, especially if you have young children, what do you think?
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:51 AM
 
124 posts, read 563,921 times
Reputation: 25
I live in the Preserve. Love it. LOVE it. We also love that it's a small neighborhood. We lived in Steiner and got tired of the hugeness. Don't know what to tell you about the schools as we don't have kids.

The views are great! We also like, and this will sound mean, that the market is slow enough to have slowed growth to keep us all in a small little neighborhood back here. Quiet and peaceful!

Send me a message if you have any other questions about The Preserve.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:25 AM
 
45 posts, read 173,384 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtucker97 View Post
We have decided to buy in the Lake Travis ISD. We're considering homes in The Preserve, Alta Vista, The Hills, and Falconhead. Here are the pros and cons we've identified so far. I would love other's thoughts -- particularly on schools!

The Preserve -- The new custom homes in the Cardinal Hills area that backs to the Preserve are beautifully built, unique, and have magnificent views! Just from a home perspective, we love these the most. However, this area still has a lot of development left to do and is in a tough market these days (but also good for us for price). The cons appear to be tax rate (but the HOA is very low) and the schools aren't as good. This area goes to Lake Travis Elementary and Hudson Bend Middle School. What do you think about these schools? How are they changing for better or worse?

The Hills -- Much more established area with unique homes. This area also goes to Lakeway Elementary, which is supposed to be outstanding. The cons are the tax rate, HIGH HOA, and very hard to find a home we can afford that really has a view (turning your head to the left when you look out the window doesn't cout).

Alta Vista -- Not terribly unique homes but some have good views. Lower taxes. This area also goes to Lakeway Elementary. The cons are the homes feel more like McMansions, some of the interiors of the homes are not as nice, and it seems like it's in a high-traffic area.

Falconhead -- Nicer finishes on some of the homes but not terribly impressive views. Lowest tax rate out there! This area also goes to Bee Cave Elementary. The cons are the homes feel more like McMansions with limited views, there is still A LOT of building to be done in Falconhead West and it seems like it's in a high-traffic area.

If there are people who live in the area, especially if you have young children, what do you think?
The preserve: yes, some great views once you get in the back, i personally dislike the way you have go in to the neighborhood and trying to get out on 620 is a pain with no traffic light. zero amenities in the neighborhood and you have to cross 620 to get to any--what in the world are you paying hoa fees for? the main part of lakeway has No HOA--the taxes are high enough.

The hills: great homes, harder to find views, i would suggest getting a tour from the hills club of the amenities available (you can stop by the hills country club or lakeway clubs) which you can join no matter where you live.

alta vista: part of lakeway so you better recheck what you think the tax rate is currently, not my favorite houses, very boxy but can get a lot for the $$$ and bigger yards in general. great amenity center in the neighborhood, dislike that you have no great parks and lots of traffic so hard to walk around.

falconhead: actually, check out the new boundaries for this fall school year--they will be going to lakeway elementary not bee cave. i think this is an undervalued area because all of the amenities are not here yet. definitely the lowest taxes you will find in the area. yes, it has the public golf course and playground but no pool or community center which will be available once they build the hotel (they were suppose to start this spring but obviously got delayed). just my opinion but i think these homes have more variety and character than alta vista. i would personally stay off the main road but traffic not so bad otherwise and i think falconhead west is going to be a fantastic area with some really nice views. i have good friends with 16 month old and she loves the location, but she has several dogs and a baby and their yard is on the small side.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:59 AM
 
3 posts, read 15,443 times
Reputation: 11
Just stay from buying a Toll Brothers home. I live in one, trust me.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX (Lakeway)
80 posts, read 346,502 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtucker97 View Post
We have decided to buy in the Lake Travis ISD. We're considering homes in The Preserve, Alta Vista, The Hills, and Falconhead. Here are the pros and cons we've identified so far. I would love other's thoughts -- particularly on schools!

The Preserve -- The new custom homes in the Cardinal Hills area that backs to the Preserve are beautifully built, unique, and have magnificent views! Just from a home perspective, we love these the most. However, this area still has a lot of development left to do and is in a tough market these days (but also good for us for price). The cons appear to be tax rate (but the HOA is very low) and the schools aren't as good. This area goes to Lake Travis Elementary and Hudson Bend Middle School. What do you think about these schools? How are they changing for better or worse?

The Hills -- Much more established area with unique homes. This area also goes to Lakeway Elementary, which is supposed to be outstanding. The cons are the tax rate, HIGH HOA, and very hard to find a home we can afford that really has a view (turning your head to the left when you look out the window doesn't cout).

Alta Vista -- Not terribly unique homes but some have good views. Lower taxes. This area also goes to Lakeway Elementary. The cons are the homes feel more like McMansions, some of the interiors of the homes are not as nice, and it seems like it's in a high-traffic area.

Falconhead -- Nicer finishes on some of the homes but not terribly impressive views. Lowest tax rate out there! This area also goes to Bee Cave Elementary. The cons are the homes feel more like McMansions with limited views, there is still A LOT of building to be done in Falconhead West and it seems like it's in a high-traffic area.

If there are people who live in the area, especially if you have young children, what do you think?
The Preserve - great value in there compared to the rest of Lakeway. But no amenities, low taxes, elementary school is Lake Travis Elem.

Falconhead - nice custom built homes with tile roof but known as a golf course community. There is a hotel that is coming in there that is suppossed to include a lazy river where homeowners can use. Check into that.

Alta Vista - Get alot for your buck! Nice amenity center, low HOA fees, low taxes and awesome views! Gated community. Talk to a homeowner in there if you are highly considering the neighborhood.

The Hills - Love the manned-gated community, low HOA! Don't know what your price range is but prices have dropped. All homes have tile roof, close to Lakeway Swim Center.

Have you considered Lake Pointe? That is also Lake Travis ISD and has great amenities, pool/tennis/playground, low HOA's. Can get a home in the high 200's or low 300's.

Good luck and let us know where you have decided to buy!
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:59 PM
 
184 posts, read 1,007,314 times
Reputation: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA2ATEX View Post
Just stay from buying a Toll Brothers home. I live in one, trust me.
Would you mind elaborating what you mean? I have a friend about to start building a house in Alta Vista.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX (Lakeway)
80 posts, read 346,502 times
Reputation: 20
At any new build, regardless of builder reputation and experience, it is a good idea to hire a phase inspector.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:58 PM
 
4 posts, read 17,992 times
Reputation: 11
When I relocated to Austin 3yrs ago, I drove ALL over the western side of Austin. I went as far north as Cedar Park and as far south as Circle C and Dripping Springs. I checked out new home builders such as Wilshire Homes, Taylor/Woodrow, Drees, Meritage and others.

The best deal for the money was at Alta Vista. It can always be a difficult experience building a home. Our home, built by Toll Bros., was our second home to be built. The experience with Toll was remarkably better than our first. The quality was significantly better as well.

Are there things that could have been done better? Yes.
Could it have happened on a quicker time-line? Yes.

Could we have paid alot more $$? YES!

All things considered, I am very pleased with our new home in Alta Vista. The views are amazing (argueably the best around.) The school district is first rate. We even took the state championship for our division in football! The neighbors are great and there are alot of similarly aged children my kids like to play with.

We have a wonderful amenity center with pool/exercise room that is still going through growing pains, but as homeowners take control, will only get better.

As others suggested, if you are to build, invest in a 3rd party inspector to keep tabs on what's going on through out the build process. This would be highly recommended regardless of who builds your home. Hire an inspector for a resale as well.

Good luck!

Last edited by Austin_Fan; 07-04-2008 at 01:07 PM.. Reason: clicked submit too soon.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:31 PM
 
184 posts, read 1,007,314 times
Reputation: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin_Fan View Post
When I relocated to Austin 3yrs ago, I drove ALL over the western side of Austin. I went as far north as Cedar Park and as far south as Circle C and Dripping Springs. I checked out new home builders such as Wilshire Homes, Taylor/Woodrow, Drees, Meritage and others.

The best deal for the money was at Alta Vista. It can always be a difficult experience building a home. Our home, built by Toll Bros., was our second home to be built. The experience with Toll was remarkably better than our first. The quality was significantly better as well.

Are there things that could have been done better? Yes.
Could it have happened on a quicker time-line? Yes.

Could we have paid alot more $$? YES!

All things considered, I am very pleased with our new home in Alta Vista. The views are amazing (argueably the best around.) The school district is first rate. We even took the state championship for our division in football! The neighbors are great and there are alot of similarly aged children my kids like to play with.

We have a wonderful amenity center with pool/exercise room that is still going through growing pains, but as homeowners take control, will only get better.

As others suggested, if you are to build, invest in a 3rd party inspector to keep tabs on what's going on through out the build process. This would be highly recommended regardless of who builds your home. Hire an inspector for a resale as well.

Good luck!
If kid friendly community and top class schools are most important, I question if it makes sense to spend upwards of 500K in Alta Vista when new houses in the nearby Senna Hills (in Eanes ISD) can be built around for just a little bit more?

The builders in Senna Hills have a superior reputation. Senna Hills has one of the best views (no lake views though but neither Alta Vista or Falconhead have lake views). The streets are much wider and walkable and look very professionally landscaped. Senna Hills is closer to Downtown as well, about 6 miles from 360 on Bee Caves. It is also closer to the new Hill Country Galleria.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:18 PM
 
45 posts, read 173,384 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by austin_momma View Post
The Preserve - great value in there compared to the rest of Lakeway. But no amenities, low taxes, elementary school is Lake Travis Elem.

Falconhead - nice custom built homes with tile roof but known as a golf course community. There is a hotel that is coming in there that is suppossed to include a lazy river where homeowners can use. Check into that.

Alta Vista - Get alot for your buck! Nice amenity center, low HOA fees, low taxes and awesome views! Gated community. Talk to a homeowner in there if you are highly considering the neighborhood.

The Hills - Love the manned-gated community, low HOA! Don't know what your price range is but prices have dropped. All homes have tile roof, close to Lakeway Swim Center.

Have you considered Lake Pointe? That is also Lake Travis ISD and has great amenities, pool/tennis/playground, low HOA's. Can get a home in the high 200's or low 300's.

Good luck and let us know where you have decided to buy!
Be aware that in The Hills of Lakeway & Flintrock Falls that there is a mandatory social membership on top of the hoa, so figure $130-150 a month.
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