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Old 11-01-2009, 07:42 AM
 
Location: stone oak part of san antonio
9 posts, read 40,399 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi. We have 2 kids - oldest is in elementary. We will both be commuting downtown at rush hour. We currently live in Stone Oak in San Antonio and would like a similar neighborhood:

- exemplary/recognized schools (great through Middle and High School, not just elementary - but elementary needs to be exemplary)

- commute to downtown AT rush-hour approx 45 minutes (not more than 1 hour)

- neighborhood near shops, grocery, restaurants, kid stuff like gymnastics/dance studios, etc. (don't want to have to drive 15 minutes just to get to a grocery store)

- neighborhood with tons of families and young kids

- new-ish type (not more than 20 yrs old) house approx 3000 sq ft or more with community pool

- Our price range is $400,000

We have only visited Austin a few times and we looked at Avery Ranch and a new neighborhood in Cedar Park. We really liked both but worry that the commute will be horrible.

Cedar Park had tons of kids on bikes and parents walking with strollers, which we loved. We didn't see that as much at Avery Ranch....saw a few older families with grown kids.

I have researched a few others on the web - Grandview Hills, River Place, Great Hills and Barton Creek - but we haven't visited these in person.

We know we would be on the low end of Barton Creek with a smaller home but seems like we would have great schools and a good commute....but have heard this is a snobby area...we want to make family friends and that would be a turn-off.

Looks like we would be on the low end of River Place too but we think the commute might be better than Cedar Park and Avery Ranch.

Don't know much about Grandview Hills and Great Hills...

Any comments, advice, or suggestions on where to live are appreciated! Thanks!!!
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
9,247 posts, read 24,838,280 times
Reputation: 2826
I thought Avery Ranch actually does have lots of families with small kids. We have a lot of kiddos and moms from there in our moms group.
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:13 PM
 
Location: stone oak part of san antonio
9 posts, read 40,399 times
Reputation: 10
that's great...thanks. do you know how long the commute is to/from down town during rush hour?
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
2,393 posts, read 9,087,128 times
Reputation: 799
You might want to look into circl C also on the SW side of town, I got that old Stone Oak feel of it when I went for a visit down there. They feed into some of the better schools in the Austin ISD I hear. I live in Leander ISD and love it. I think you would enjoy Avery Ranch also but it might be at the edge of your commute time. The thing that bugs me about Austin is the lack of freeways here compared to SA. no real loops to get anywhere...
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Round Rock
372 posts, read 1,067,445 times
Reputation: 74
You might look in Round Rock. Round Rock has lots of new neighborhoods with young families. Last year, Round Rock was ranked as the fastest growing city in the country. There is a reason for that. Lots of new affordable neighborhoods, lots of shopping and amenities, close easy commute to Austin, and very good schools. The 2 big more upscale and relatively new neighborhoods near me are Forest Creek and Lake Forest. Both neighborhoods go for 300K to 700K. Forest Creek feeds into Forest Creek Elementary which was rated Exemplary. Lake Forest Feeds into Blackland Prairie which was Recognized. They both feed into Ridgeview Middle school that was rated Acceptable and their will be a new high school opening in 2010. The best schools in Round Rock ISD are in the the Westwood High School area with Canyon Creek Elementary and Laurel Mountain Elementary, Canyon Vista Middle, and Westwood High all ranked Exemplary. These schools actually reside in the northwest area of Austin before you get to Cedar Park. The neighborhoods in this area are mostly older built in the 80s with a few new homes sprinkled in but there is lots of shopping in this area. Most of the homes in this area go from 300K an up.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:42 AM
 
37 posts, read 75,640 times
Reputation: 19
Wow, you sure you want to drive 45 minutes each way? What is 45 minutes now could easily become an hour in just 5 years or so given the growth we are experiencing as a city. It's hard to imagine that you all would want to collectively spend 15-20 hours a week commuting. I definitely would look into Great Hills while you're at it - much closer in and a great area.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: stone oak part of san antonio
9 posts, read 40,399 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks...this was all very helpful!
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:57 AM
 
172 posts, read 318,068 times
Reputation: 84
Great Hills is snobby so is Barton Creek, but if you don't mind that I would shoot for Anderson Mill and 183 that kind of looks like Stone Oak because HWY 183 past Mopac looks like parts of 281 That is near Westwood.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:24 PM
 
18 posts, read 40,123 times
Reputation: 10
Lots of kids in the Red Oaks community (Master Planned in Cedar Park). It's conveniently located just west of 183 off of Cypress Creek, within 3.5 miles of schools. I work for David Weekley Homes, and we've built homes in there up to $550k; now we have new plans from the low to upper $300's (2800 - 3700 square feet). Might want to check it out.

P.S. I know Stone Oak well - used to sell homes in there at Canyon Rim for Weekley.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: SW Austin & Wimberley
6,295 posts, read 16,605,647 times
Reputation: 5436
You should check out SW Austin. Circle C, Villages at Western Oaks, Legend Oaks. There are 4 exemplary elementary schools feeding into a brand new middle school. By the time your oldest hits high school, there will be a new one also, probably SW but no guaranty. But Bowie HS is a good high school. Scores are not as high but the school is very good for the kids who want to do well.


Main advantages of being SW:
1) Commute much easier into downtown than from Leander or Cedar Park. You also have many optional routes if one starts to get slow or boring.

2) 20-30 minutes to airport. May or may not be important to you, but I only fly 2 or 3 times a year and sure do appreciate the 20 minute drive.

3) Lower property tax rates. You'll have to double check your exact NW candidate neighborhoods, but for example, Circle C is 2.18% ($8750/yr on a $400K home) while Steiner is 2.66% ($10,640 on a $400K home) which is a $1,890/yr difference, or $157/mo.

4) Commute to SA. If you have friends/family that you'll want to drive down and see in San Antonio on occassion, you'd have to drive an additional 27 miles from Steiner vs. Circle C. From CC, you could take a nice country drive down 1826 through Driftwood, or just go straight to IH35 on Slaughter, or take Hwy 290 west out to 281 and go that way.

5) Better shopping/amenities at your doorstep. The HEB at Slaughter/Escarpment is almost as good as a Central Market, but with HEB prices. Anything you can think of is less than 3 miles away, 5 at most. In some parts of Steiner, you have to drive 3 miles just to get out of the neighborhood.

That's my take, from a biased lover of SW Austin. Nothing against the northies. If I worked at Freescale, I'd be all over Steiner or Brushy Creek, but as a downtown commuter, I personally wouldn't even consider living out that far and dealing with 183 evey day.

Welcome to Austin.
Steve
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