Home Buying in 78737>Question Details

grk, Home Buyer in Dallas, TX

Is anyone familiar with the Belterra development? There seem to be several houses that have been on the market for almost a year. Is that normal?

Asked by grk, Dallas, TX Sun May 6, 2012

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Shannon Schmitz’s answer
As you've seen from many others, there are many factors that may affect the Days On Market in an area. Mainly Price, New Homes competing with Existing Homes, and location.

Balterra is actually in a great location and within a great school district.. Some may say it is too far from Austin, but it is perfectly located to enjoy the Texas Hill Country AND everything that is Austin.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 29, 2012
Everyone has provided great information to answer your question, but I wanted to add that I am a REALTOR that lives in Belterra. As with all developments there are different issues that affect price, days on market and affordability. In a relatively new development, there is strong competition between new home sales and existing home sales. The new home days on market is high in Belterra just as the other agents have said. The exemplary Dripping Springs ISD is what has drawn many homebuyers to this area--the higher tax rate is reflective of the exemplary school district. If you would like any additional information specific to this area, please feel free to contact me.

All the Best in your home search,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Sometimes homes are over priced and it takes 6-12 months of reductions to get it to the actual market price/selling price. Sometimes builders place a home in the MLS when they get the permits or lay foundation. It can take 4-8 months to build homes depending on a number of factors. These "spec" homes can take a year to sell as sometimes they are also seriously over-priced. I wish you luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 20, 2012
Great community with excellent location between South Austin and Dripping Springs. Belterra has wonderful walking and biking trails, excellent pool and exercise facility and low hoa fees. Housing market steady here with some homes on market longer than others but some go really quick if priced correctly or you can negotiate. Only negative, as noted in other posts, is the taxes are a bit high at slightly above 3 percent but no problems with water and sewer, so that is something I find worth it and new schools to be built in area in the next few years to accommodate the growth. Rooster Springs Elementary School, located in Belterra, is worth its weigh in gold if you have younger children. Moved here from Florida over 3 years ago and love it. New houses continue to be built and turnover here relatively calm except in some of the areas where speculators bought to make a quick profit, but it didn't quite work out for them here in Texas. Great community and no major problems with crime or vandalism. I would highly recommend Belterra for anyone moving into the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
Agree with the previous posts regarding higher tax rates being an issue for some buyers. That said, if one is looking for an excellent Master Planned Community near Dripping Springs its difficult to beat the Belterra offering.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
I too live in Belterra and have for almost 10 years. The tax rate is actually 2.91. The neighborhood has a lot to offer and I can see why some would want to live in Circle C because it is closer to shopping. Some people prefer not having all of that near them. My husband and I chose to live in the Dripping Springs School District because they are ranked higher than AISD. It was the deciding factor for us. If you would like to talk more to me then please call. I can answer some of your questions about the forclosures and short sales.


Thank you,
Heather Jones
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
Dear GRK,
While Belterra has great schools, not everyone realizes what the higher tax rate means. For example if you have a $250K home with a tax rate of 3.06% in Belterra your taxes are about $6550. The same price home in Circle C has a tax rate of 2.31% would only pay $4600 a year in taxes. Plus your going to spend a lot more money on gas driving into Austin. With gas almost $4 per gallon that is a significant annual cost if you drive in every day. Then there is the mandatory Belterra HOA fee which is between $425-$500 a year.

Right now there are 46 homes for sale in Belterra with an average price per square foot of $115. There are three Foreclosure/Short Sale homes with an average price per square foot of $110. The average number of days on the market is 62. In Circle C there are 29 homes for sale and no Foreclosures/Short sales. The average list price is $123.PSF which translates to $269K up to $675K. The average number of days on the market is 48.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 15, 2012
Dear GRK,
While Belterra is a lovely development and very popular with the influx of Californians relocating to Austin it has some issues. It is not actually "in" Austin, its in Hays county and lies within the Dripping Springs School District and its about 30-55 minute commute into Austin depending on the time of day. The Hays county tax rate ismuch higher than most of Austin, so that is also a consideration for many buyers. There is a combination of new and resale homes in the neighborhood. There have been a number of foreclosures in the neighborhood so sometimes you can pick up a nearly new home for a very good price. They have a wonderful community center and pool. While there are currently not a lot of shopping or dining options in Dripping Springs, there is develpoment and new places popping up from time to time. Right now the closest shopping option is the Hill Country Galleria about 15-25 minutes away from Dripping.

The number of days on the market varies widely as often the builders put homes into the MLS when they break ground or even before, not when the home is actually ready to move in. This can seriously skew the number of days on the market. Also some homes may be listed more than once so while the MLS may only show the most recent listing, if your Realtor does a little research you may find the home was previously listed. If you need help navigating the tricky waters of a home purchase I would be happy to assist you. I wish you the best on your new home purchase!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
The high tax rate in this development has always been problematic for my clients looking in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
My best friend live in Belterra. The neighborhood is lovely. All the below are all great "could be" answers for your question. Each house most likely has its own set of circumstances and reason...but the market is getting better and better. My BFF has a 18 month old and there are several othe young one's there as well. They have great "neighborhood dinner's" on their street and they love the sence of "community" they feel there...Enjoy your searh!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
The answer to your first question has been addressed adequately. The answer to the second one is a succinct "NO." It is not normal. There is very likely something abnormal going on, and it is just a matter of finding out what it is.

As a matter of course, the one thing I have learned in this business is to never try to guess what the situation is on the other side of the table. Whatever I think is going on, isn't. The only thing to do is to ask direct questions and listen carefully to the answers. But that's how I like to go through life anyway...

Peace in your home,

512-739-0457 (text me for the password)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
Hey there,
I have worked several transactions in Belterra over the past few years. To answer your question I did a quick search for properties that have moved recently (a total of 84 that have changed hands after 1-1-2012). I looked at the median number of days on the market, that if the properties were ordered from shortest to longest stay on the market which one was in the middle, number 42 and 43. Those properties reflected around 45 days on the market which is about what you would expect in a neighborhood like Belterra. I would suggest if you are bumping into properties that are on the market a very long time you are likely looking for a 'deal'... that is, are looking at the least expensive properties in the neighborhood and are thus finding places that have substantial work that needs to be done. While this can be a good strategy to find a good deal it also will almost without fail take you to properties that have some issue that make people not want to buy them, thus the long stays on the market.
I would be happy to do a more detailed study of the area for you if you would like. Feel free to contact me at 512-694-5232 (cell) and we can find a time to visit at length for a more detailed look at your target market.
Best of luck with the search!
Craig Tapley
Casa Grande Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012

While Belterra is a community that is much further out, with a longer commute, than many other choices in the Southwest part of Austin, homes do sell reasonable well. The average days on the market for the 47 homes for sale, but not under contract, is only 56 days, which is relatively strong.

Additional evidence to the strength of the market are the 33 homes currently under contract, especially when compared to the fact that over the past 6 months, there were just 42 sales. That is, it took 6 months to consume 47 homes, and 33 are in the process of closing. The new home market is also brisk, with 14 of the 33 homes under contract, being new homes. Of the 42 sales, 22 of those were new home sales.

The challenge with trying to make sense of homes being on the market for a long time in a community of so many new home sales, is that the builder tends to put the listing into the MLS well before they've broken ground, or at the very latest, when they've cleared the lot. This can make it appear as though homes are on the market for a long time, when in fact, they couldn't close until they are complete.

Hope this helps. If you'd like more info about 78737 in general, and other options that might meet your needs, please give me a call.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012

Belterra is a large community with new construction homes available as well as resales. During the previous 3-4 years Belterra has experienced the same slowdown that similar communities have experienced.

Finally, there is a significant increase in activity in 2012 throughout Austin including in Belterra.

Per the MLS activity for Belterra:

89 homes sold in 2011
21 homes have sold in 2012
18 homes are Sale pending
10 homes are Sale pending taling backup offers
5 Homes are Active contingent (Under contrac to sell subject to a contingency such as the sell of a current residence
47 Homes are Actively available for sale
Only 3 homes have been on the market for more than a year
The average time on the marlet for current listings is approximately 3-4 months, which is approximately 1.2 the time on the market that we experienced during the slowest period of the past four years.

Belterra is definitely experiencing renewed strong interest, just as other fine Austin Communities are. This is due to the fact that Austin, in many publications is one of the fastest growing cities in the Country.orrbes rates Austin #1. http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/americas-fastest-growing-c… Belterra is located in the highly rated Dripping Springs ISD.

Contact me at your convenience if I can be of further assistance to find the right home at the right price for you. Thank you.


Thomas J. Cantalini
Realtor(R) GRI, SFR, MBA
Century 21 HSK and Associates-Austin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
Most of those houses are not available now. If you're searching for property, MLS is the only accurate resource. Trulia doesn't update there database real time...in fact, it's not even updated daily or weekly.

Your best bet is to get a REALTOR to set you up with a client gateway into MLS. I'd be more than happy to help. Just call me if you're interested.

George Kountoupis
512 574-9100
Web Reference: http://GeorgeKRealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
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