General Area in Austin>Question Details

Tricia.c.bai…, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

Where should we look for a home if my husband's job is in Cedar Park, but we want to live closer to the city?

Asked by Tricia.c.bailey, Austin, TX Thu Nov 15, 2012

We're a family of 4 moving to Austin this spring or summer for my husband's job, which is located in Cedar Park. We're currently living in the exurbs of Washington, DC. and are ready for a change - we want to be closer to the city, but don't want a horrific commute for him. We also have two kids aged 4 and 6 and want to make sure they get a good public education. What are some neighborhoods that will allow us to have the best of both? Our price range is fairly high - probably about $750K max.

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Hi Tricia,

I think you should get in touch with a good real estate agent. I am sure you will be able to find suitable house for your family.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 18, 2012
Traffic will be reverse commute from some areas back to Cedar Park. Now, when you compare commute times and traffic and around Austin with the DC Suburbs, we're going to be relatively light both in terms of actual traffic volumes and times for average commutes.

Now, specifically to your question. I'd need some more details on your desire to be closer to 'the city' There are plenty of areas in Central Austin that you could look at along the Loop 1 / Mopac Corridor. I'll place a link to show homes between $600 - $750K in this area below.

Another choice would be to look along RR620 (River Place or Steiner Ranch) or in Twin Creeks if you wanted to fore go the closer to Austin requirement.

Please let me know if you have any questions. 512-522-8470
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Steiner is a great community yet have super restrictive CC&R's. Avery Ranch is a great community and 20 minutes from downtown and 10 minutes from Cedar Park. You can find a beautiful home for $500k in Avery Ranch easily!

I can put you closer to downtown in Mueller Park or Highland Village in your budget no problem however schools in these areas wont rank as high as they do in West Lake, Lake Travis or other parts of North Austin.

There are many options available to you within your budget and getting your children into a good school district is nit a problem. Give me a call at your convenience and I can help you.

Joe Casey
Goldwasser Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2013
Some neighborhoods not far from Cedar Park that you might like are Steiner Ranch, River Place, Glenlake, Westminster Glen. If you would like to discuss your home search further, please call me at 512-695-5144 or email me at I have a listing in Glenlake that you might like listed at $574,500 (9800 Glenlake).


Kristee Leonard, REALTOR®
Broker, GRI, SFR
512-695-5144 Cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
Northwest Austin is very nice. Best to go directly to a local pro at "Find a Pro" in the header of this website for local advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 22, 2012
Seems like my colleagues have covered a good amount of ground. With the price range you are looking in, most of those areas will have options for you. I am going to add to those options with the Travis Heights area as well as Hyde Park. Both subdivisions are close to the city, but still have a family oriented feel to them. As far as the commute is concerned, your husband will be heading North for work, as opposed to most of the traffic heading South. The evening commute could be a little more time consuming seeing as both of these subdivisions are much closer to town.

If you would like some additional information, or would like to discuss any othe facet of your relocation process feel free to conact me @ 833.884.7738 or

Thank you!

Leslie Negron
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
There are some beautiful homes in this search I set up for you. You might be surprised how much you can get for your money here! Austin is a great place :)…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
I think the areas that would suit you best(hands down) would be Jester Estates, Northwest Hills, or the Great Hills area.

This is going to be in the middle of Cedar Park and downtown. Although the distance in actual miles might be a little longer to Cedar Park, your husband will be going against the grain of traffic.(most people are going to the opposite direction)

Well within your price range, these neighborhoods will offer a terrific home, sweeping views, and a premium location.

I would be happy to discuss your situation anytime without obligation.

Steve Nusinow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Hi Tricia,
I agree, Eanes, Round Rock and Leander are all great school districts with homes in your price range. West Lake and nearby will be closest to downtown while still having great schools. Take a look at the Cuernavaca area. Cuernavaca is still affordable, very close to downtown and lake Austin, and in the highly desirable Eanes school district.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Definitely agree with the comments about the commute times (and limited options) from Lakeway and Steiner Ranch and based on your responses it would appear that the West Lake Hills (Eanes) area should be an area of focus during your visit.

Rosedale and Northwest Hills would both offer excellent choices for your children and as you've found in your research the schools are well rated..

I also agree with the comments below that you have several excellent choices in terms of representation. I'll suggest what has worked well for several clients we've represented who have moved into Austin.

Interview several agents (either by phone initially or in person during your first visit) to determine who you will want to work closely with over the course of your relocation. Austin is a relatively 'hot market' even in the price ranges you're looking at with limited supply.

Once the agent you choose is very clear on your desired property in detail, they will become a very critical part of you finding the right home (especially from out of state). We often shoot video, preview and are in new listings for our out of town clients - once we understand their requirements clearly - and we do this often well before the first showings and potential offers could occur.

Happy to have a conversation about our relocating client representation plan or meet with you during your next visit to Austin. More information and background available at the link below.

Kevin Cottrell
Team Lead, Cottrell Relocation Team
Re Max Austin Skyline
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012

Given the age of your kids, while you may expect to be in your home for a long, long time, you might consider focusing on the quality of elementary and middle school, before worrying about high school. It will be 9 years or so before you have to consider high school.

If they were in middle school now, you'd expand your choices of where to rent, but with 1 in or entering elementary school, that substantially reduces the choices for where to rent, without then having to possibly change schools.

Rosedale and Northwest Hills are both nice, and you have good choices for primary and secondary education. But again, this is getting ahead of the game without getting an idea of the home, lot, and amenities you're looking for.

Jeffrey Schnabel
Broker | Partner | Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Yes, West Lake Hills could definitely work for your desired location. Commute back to Cedar Park would require some navigation and I'd suggest driving from any potential home / neighborhood to the work location during a visit to the Austin area. Make sure the drive is during commute time so your husband can confirm whether the drive will work. West Lake Hills is very close to downtown and the other areas you've mentioned.

I've setup a separate link for you that covers that specific area below.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
I had thought about renting - we did that when we relocated from Boston to DC and it worked out well, but my oldest was an infant at that time. Since they will both be in school in the fall of 2013, I would hate to move, rent for a year, and then move them again and possibly have them change schools.

Lakeway and Steiner were off my list when I saw where they were on the map. I was quite interested in Rosedale and Northwest Hills, and from my research, it looked like they both fed into decent AISD school pyramids. Is AISD unilaterally not recommended? Anderson HS looked quite good, and the elementary schools were all rated Exemplary.

I know it's early, but I would like to have a chance to just drive around and check things out - we'll be visiting in the next few weeks (and will probably visit a few more times before moving).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
I live in Rosedale and highly recommend it , it's wonderful - I would be delighted to talk to you about it and show you houses when you come to town. In the 750k range I would also recommend Tarrytown - more high end homes but perhaps somewhat less "neighborly."

Anderson HS is very highly rated but I will not that it is considered very "intense" - lots of competition. If your children are high achievers and want to go to Ivy League schools it's great. My children are zoned for Lamar Middle (aka junior high) and McCallum HS. The both have great fine arts programs. I like that the are lower pressure and represent a more diverse student body and, honestly, less competition = higher class rank!

From Rosedale/Tarrytown to Cedar park it's a 20 minute drive w/o traffic, so figure 30 minutes during rush hour - you'd take MoPac (Loop 1) to 183 to Cedar Park. To downtown Austin outside of rush hour it's 10 minutes or so, depending on exactly where you want
Flag Mon Dec 24, 2012

I would not recommend Lakeway, nor Steiner Ranch. There is only 1 way from those communities to Cedar Park, and the commute to and from Cedar Park would be terrible in both the morning and evening. Lakeway is a long way. Lakeway, and Steiner are excellent communities, but the only way to Cedar Park is along 620, and the traffic can get backed up for a mile or more in the mornings. Let alone the fact that both of these are not close to downtown.

You have other excellent choices besides these two locations.

Jeffrey Schnabel
Broker | Partner | Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
You have plenty of options, Tricia. I love that you are asking this question today, instead of in the spring or summer (on top of your move).

Could I throw a wrench in the mix? Have you considered renting over the short-term in Austin? One thing I believe every buyer should possess is patience. You are afforded plenty of time between today and the ultimate move to research areas and possibly visit, and that is a patient plan. Yet you may not get a feel for the right neighborhoods until you get to know Austin a bit better. Take time to research and walk or drive through the areas that appeal to you and your family and you'll know if there's a fit (or not). The benefit is long-term satisfaction and happiness. And in our accelerated market right now - where it's weighted heavily in favor of sellers with little inventory across most areas - this is a big bonus.

Take your time selecting a broker or agent, as well. Plenty on this site offer great service and you'll want someone you trust and like.

Welcome to Austin and good luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012

If you keep your search to 78746 that will keep you in the Eanes ISD (Independent School District). If you stay well north of Bee Cave Road, you can come out of West Lake Hills onto 360 and then travel up to Cedar Park. Still a rather long commute just because of distance. But you can take 360 to 2222 and come into Cedar Park the backway (although when you get to 620 it can gets backed up heading north into Cedar Park), or you can go up 360 to 183, and then take the highway into Cedar Park.

Depending on where in Cedar Park your husband is working, you'd be looking at a typical commute time of about 30 to 40 minutes on average. If instead you considered the western edge of Round Rock ISD (Great Hills, Spicewood at Bullcreek), your husband's commute would be more like 15 to 20 minutes, and still very, very good schools.

But West Lake Hills will be closer to downtown.

Jeffrey Schnabel
Broker | Partner | Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012

I depends on what part of West Lake Hills you're looking at. It's quite a long neighborhood, coming out onto 360 and going up 360 to Cedar Park is doable. Note, this is one of the most expensive areas of town to live in, so your money will not go as far as some other locations. But it does have it's merits.

Call me when you get a chance and I can run down several equivalent options, again, very much dependent on the size of home you're looking for, amenities, size of yard, etc.

Jeffrey Schnabel
Broker | Partner | Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012

Knowing what kind of home you're looking for, the size, quality of finish out, size of yard, and other details, will really help nail down what the home is going to cost in various areas of town. As in any city, the closer you get to downtown, the higher the price. But a $750K budget will buy you considerable more than what most people are use to in DC.

If it would help, without any obligation, I can setup a custom website for you with searches in various parts of town that specifically meet your needs, rather than hunting around on generic internet sites. If you find something you like, I can preview the homes for you, send you panoramic pictures and videos of each, so that you get a feeling for what it's like, well before you ever get here.

Let me know if this would be helpful.

Jeffrey Schnabel
Broker | Partner | Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
I can't call right now, but would something like West Lake Hills work? I know that would mean crossing the lake, but I don't know how bad that would be for a commute.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Tricia, in that price range you will have many options that will be close enough to both Downtown and Cedar Park, as well as having very good public schools available for your children! I would recommend the northwest area in and around Austin, which should satisfy all of your needs.

If you're not yet working with a Realtor, as I imagine since you are asking a question here on Trulia, please feel free to click on my name and review my Credentials and Client Testimonials, and see if we might be a good fit to work together. I help relocating families on a regular basis, do not charge anything for my services, and have a great team of lenders, inspectors, etc. to assist us throughout the process. I try and make the transition as smooth as possible and am available 12 hours a day seven days a week for my clients! I also have a worldwide referral network and can help you find a great Realtor near you if you need to sell your home, assuming you have not yet found one or have one you work with.

Please feel free to contact me so we can discuss some more specifics on exactly what you're looking for, and I'll be happy to start the process with you. One thing I afford my clients is a great real-time MLS website that allows you to start your search from there online, and see every single available property that fits your criteria. That website is updated daily with new listings, price changes et cetera. Initially I set up the automatic search for you with your criteria, but it can always be modified, plus you can run your own searches and save them, make notes, etc., as well and look outside of your original specs. It is a great tool that my clients find very very useful!

I hope to hear from you and will do all I can to assist you!

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate company, Ranked #1 by both Buyers and Sellers! (2012 JD Power & Associates)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012

You have several very good locations to choose from with a budget like that. The benefit of your husband's work being in Cedar Park, and you wanting to be closer to the City of Austin, means that your husband will have a reverse commute, going against traffic at all times, without much of a commute at all. As long as he stays north of downtown Austin, you have it made.

That said, recommending neighborhoods really depends on what you're looking for. Since you have children, schools should be paramount. School districts do not follow city boundaries, so don't be confused when I recommend the western section of the Round Rock ISD. It has the closest proximity to your husband's commute, and very, very good schools.

You may also find that you would be happy living in the northern section of the Eanes school district (best in Austin). Or you may prefer the Lake Travis ISD, although that creates some commute issues to Cedar Park.

This could be a long discussion, so if you would do me the favor of calling me, or emailing me, we could have a more indepth discussion.


Jeffrey Schnabel
Broker | Partner | Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
The neighborhoods would be Rough Hollow, Bella Montagna, Serene Hills, Lakeway, The Hills

If you have other specific questions please let me know.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Hi Tricia,

The Lakeway area is a nice place to live in a great school district with many great homes in your price range. There is a link to my website below where you can search for homes in the Lakeway area.

Stuart McWilliams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Good afternoon Tricia!

I'd be happy to assist you in finding the perfect location, I agree with some others here avery ranch is wonderful but the HOA fees can be a tad high.

Thank you for your time,
Michelle Adams

Ultima Real Estate
Real Estate Advisor
8 + years experience in the Austin and surrounding markets
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Hello, Tricia,

I live in Cedar Park myself and maybe am partial to it. There are some great neighborhoods where you can buy a beautiful home way below $750K. Home prices are a lot lower here than in Washington DC. Getting to downtown Austin in rush hour is at least 35-40 minutes. Probabl to be inbetween would be the best solution for you. Central North or NW Austin are great areas with a relatively easier drive to downtown and even faster to Cedar Park since your husband would drive against normal traffic. I'd be more than happy to send you home listings and information about several areas that you may like even though it is very early considering your move will take place next spring or summer. But it's good to be informed and when you actually move to know where to look for a home. Are you planning on a house hunting trip before that?

Feel free to contact me by email or phone, I'd like to find out more about your real estate needs so I can help you better.

Vivianne Dordea, Realtor GRI
Sierra Homes Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
There are going to be some really nice properties available in the range, North West to West will be your best bet, if you would like to send me your email I will be glad to send you a sample of properties that are in that area/price range...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012

you would want to look into Canyon Creek, Walsh Trails, Twin Creeks, Avery Ranch Subdivisions and well as a few others that all have great schools.
I'm an expert who can help you with all your real estate needs.
Feel free to contact me and I can supply you with other information.

Best regards,

David Drayer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
Thank you! Definitely don't want to forego the "closer to the city" thing, though. That's a strong must have for me. By closer to the city, I mean that I'd like to be able to go in for live music, family events, etc. without it being a hassle. Right now the drive from our area in NoVA to DC is about 45 minutes - way too far. I'd love 20 minutes or so.

I will also be looking for a job and don't want to rule out downtown as a place to look for work - but I can handle traffic better than my husband can. ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 15, 2012
I'm not a real estate agent, but I did live in Austin for several years and now live in DC. 183 is going to be a pain in the neck during certain parts of the day - even if he's reverse commuting - especially in the afternoon. The traffic is DC is incredibly bad, but Austin's isn't all that much better - the city is not really equipped to handle the recent influx of people and the highways suffer because of it. I am really biased, but I hate I-35 with the fire of a 1,000 suns and think y'all should both avoid having to get on that for a commute. As a bonus, I also worked in the Austin-area schools and think AISD is perfectly fine. It's not going to be as good as some of the schools on the east coast, but that's Texas for you. The high schools and middle schools are more of an issue, so I'd recommend that you try to find a house that's zoned for McCallum or Anderson. I wouldn't bother with Westlake - it's faaaar from the city and the commute to CP will be brutal.
Flag Tue Nov 27, 2012
Okay, that corridor that I suggested would allow for those two - along with a nice reasonable reverse commute back to Cedar Park.
Flag Thu Nov 15, 2012
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