Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

courtney rob…, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

Looking to move my fam to Austin. Husband at Seton, me at Dell Childrens and kids 3 and 4 yrs. Public schools and 400K ceiling/house. Where to start?

Asked by courtney robinson, Austin, TX Sun Jul 17, 2011

Coming from the Woodlands Tx. House 3000 sqft.
Any places to build?
Remodels ok

Help the community by answering this question:


Tom Peel’s answer
I have a very large duplex 2,400 sq ft. with one side for lease Early Sept.
It is located south of Lady Bird lake and 8 minutes to Seaton on a bad day.
This same unit could be for sale for a little above your budget.
I do suggest trying out the commute from any area of town prior to purchase.
The traffic is a bear to the point of planning your life style around it.
512 804 2772
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 23, 2014
I would begin by contacting Ryan Reber at Keller Williams. He is knowledgeable in all areas of Austin and very through in his searches. He just put me in my first home in Round Rock. Working with him was educational, pressure free and fun!

I advise riding in the car with him so he can point out the history and interesting facts of each neighborhood such as; restaurants, nature trails, parks, etc. Having an intelligent and lighthearted tour guide helps this timely decision making endeavor just that much easier!

Good luck and welcome to Austin!

Contact Ryan at:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
If you don't have hope, what do you have? I'm BUSY!! The market here is sooo.... much better than other places. 6,000 new people are going to move here before school starts! I'm just sayin'...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 20, 2011

Unfortunately there aren't really any communities in the Austin are that compare with The Woodlands, completely self contained with all the amenities and the amazing schools. There are some planned communities,mostly north (Round Rock) and southwest (Circle C/Oak Hill area). Neither are easy commutes, especially during high traffic times. The roads here are not as well planned as in Houston and while it may not be as long in mileage, the time and lack of alternative routes is frustrating.

That said, there are some great choices in Austin. The Mueller community is in the same neighborhood as Dell Children's and not too far from Seton. It's still new, but there is a lot of building going on there so you need to plan on staying for awhile. Leaving any neighborhood where there is still a lot of building going on makes selling an existing home much harder.

If a new home isn't a priority I suggest looking Northwest Hills or Great Hills. You might (but don't count on it) find something in the Eanes school district or Tarrytown, but it will be smaller than 3000. Allandale & Crestview have older homes, but more convenient and ranch style, lots of remodeling happening in these neighborhoods. Steiner Ranch is a possiblity, straight shot in on 2222, but still a long commute. But it's similar to the Woodlands, and the buildling is almost done for the smaller homes which helps resale..

Is there a time constraint on how far away you can live from the Hospitals? I know that in some instances that's the case. If so then living out is not an option. Realistically staying within 20 minutes rules out a lot of newer communties.

What does your family like to do? Is being near restaurants important? or parks, golf courses? That will all figure into your housing decision.

Feel free to contact me with any questions, home, job, school or anything else. My contact information is below.

Susan Avant 512-917-9936
Web Reference: http://www.SusanAvant.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Dear Motherhen,
I still think Nortwest Hills is a great area and there is no HOA. The newer communities will all have an HOA with either monthly or annual fees. If you are in an older subdivision that is typically not the case as HOA's did not become very popular/common until the early 1990's.
I just did a quick search of north Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville and Cedar Park and found 92 homes with at least 3000SF or more, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, .20 of an acre lot, and at least two car garage all priced between $300-$400K. If you want more details I am happy to send it to you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
Here is another website that was published yesterday with all the new ratings for the schools. I hope you find this useful.. Any questions you can call me 512-750-5716.


Warmest Regards,

Vanessa Nunez
VOX Real Estate,LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 30, 2011
I agree with Perry. I have sold a few houses in Mueller. People love Mueller for its proximity to downtown. Plus, it's the only affordable area left in central Austin in which to build. And if you're both going to be at Dell and Seton, I couldn't imagine a better location.

If you haven't already found their site it's http://www.muelleraustin.com.

Best of luck to you!

With kind regards,

Angele Moyseos
Vox Real Estate LLC
mobile 512.466.8252
fax 888.692.0213

Referrals are the highest compliment. If you know someone who needs assistance buying, selling or leasing real estate, please remember us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 30, 2011
This is the best deal in the Mueller Development.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMt_3cP6RWQ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Which Seton campus will your husband be working at? Circle C is great, but the commute to Dell would be kind of a bear unless you are working off hours. Northwest Hills and Highland Hills are wonderful established neighborhoods with beautiful old oak trees and exemplary elementary schools. I can send you a school guide if you'd like.

Best Wishes,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Hello Motherhen! Circle C is a wonderful family development with excellent schools and numerous amenities including a day care center, olympic size swimming pool and swim center, soccer fields, and a veloway for biking. The housing you described as your target can be found there and I think you would be pleased with the subdivision; however, the commute to Dell Childrens Hospital is not ideal. Will your husband be at Seton central or Seton Southwest? Our office specializes in Circle C but because of my tenure here in Austin, I'm also qualified to help you with properties central, NW, Jester, etc. Would enjoy the opportunity to visit with you about all of your options.

Les Sherman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Here is two sites that should help you find what schools you want to know about. If you need anything let let me know.


Warmest Regards,

Vanessa Nunez
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Does anyone have a populated list or know where to get one of "Exemplary" elementary schools in AISD, and Leander?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
I've included answers to you recent questions:
Few more questions...
Jester Estates: More of an In Town/Congested but a great place if that's your style.
Great Hills: Wonderful oldr section of town. Really kind of the first Suburb of Autsin
Northwest Hills: Quite similar tgo Great Hills.

It appears that Steiner Ranch is wonderful for families, yet commute looks painful.
Would be a painful commute for sure. At the best of times about 45 minutes to Dell CH.
If it's raining or a wreck...yikes!

More thoughts on Circle C? Large master planned community. A lot of amenities for the community.

Bill ~ 512-709-6343 ~ baustin.realtor@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 28, 2011
Thank you so much for the numerous responses! I looked at all suggestions, will be coming into town next month to narrow down our search. Still have not connected with an individual agent.
Few more questions...
Jester Estates, Great Hills, Northwest Hills> Comments/Thoughts?
It appears that Steiner Ranch is wonderful for families, yet commute looks painful.
More thoughts on Circle C?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 28, 2011
I would highly recommend North West Hills. Try to stay in the Doss or Hill Elementary schools. This is a very established neighborhood with generations returning to raise families. You will find convenience to everything you need while being part of a close COMMUNITY. Stop and ask around the neighbors and you will be surprised how many people have returned after growing up in these schools. Caution; Don't get dragged into a debate over which is better Hill or Doss because this can get ugly. LOL I wish you all the best of luck and hope you grow to love Austin as many of us do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 26, 2011
Hope is not a strategy I use for investing or advising my clients...typically I want more than that. Don't get me wrong, I have great hope but not for the sake of having hope. I have hope because I recognize that there are deals out there and anytime is a good time to buy IF you're buying right. I also know lots of folks who were very busy in early 2007....right before they could barely find a way to tread water financially. Texas and Austin, as desirable as they may be, are not exempt from the laws of economics. If 100K people move to Austin, it really doesn' t matter since only a small portion of them can get loans. Read between the lines...it's an eye opener.

Ryan...love that Moxy. Two years in business and you're already helping the less fortunate brokers. Thanks for the help but forgive me if I seek my advice elsewhere. I've seen far too many Ryans come and go because they didn't have the foresight to see the big picture and understand that not just national, but global events affect our economy. But to each his own.

Here's my tibdbit for you. Time is a great, albeit harsh teacher. Lets hope you don't learn lessons the hard way.
Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 20, 2011
Yes, I agree Austin's market is in a Neutral market which means it is not a sellers or a buyers market. I would consider purchasing. I just got a great listing passed on to me for Eanes school district in West Lake for $375K. Great deal great interest rates great school district. What more can you ask for! Hope this helps! Have a great Day!

Warmest Regards,

Vanessa Nunez
VOX Real Estate, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 20, 2011
Cindy, you're statements follow the industry trend that if we have enough hope, then things will change. I remember when I was selling off my real estate investments in 2007 when things starting getting jittery in the market, and yet agents were still advising their clients to buy, buy, buy. It was a great for agents because they got checks, but the owners got the bad end of the deal. In spite of the fact that agents were all saying the economy would be back by 2008 my instincts were telling me a far different story. In fact, many of those same agents who said the market was coming back in 2008 are now out of business. I guess my instincts and experience served me better than the rest of the crowd's instincts. Since 2008 lenders have been saying buy now, buy now, buiy now before rates go up. Hogwash...it's self serving at best. As both a broker and investor, I can assure you rates won't see a measurable long-term increase until after the election cycle. And no one can deny there are over a million foreclosures sitting on the sidelines waiting to hit the market. REO's won't hit the market at one time but instead will be stretched out over the next 5 years which will continue to keep resales flat at best. In fact, several prominent economists (including a fellow named Shiller who coincidentally predicted the mortgage meltdown...something few if any mortgage professionasl predicted so forgive me if I don't take lenders at their word) are saying it is very likely we'll see another 20% drop in values. I don't think we'll see anywhere near that in Austin, or even in Texas as a whole, but we're not out of this mess yet and things will surely get worse before they get better. As much as I'd like to beat the drum, I don't think it's fair to do so when other peoples money is as stake. Since you've been in business a relatively short period of time and haven't experenced market cycles, my guess is you soon will. My 13 years in business has taught me much and caution is in order depite the cries that great things are just around the corner. I'm just saying....
Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 20, 2011
I respectfully disagree with Guy. The market is already improving in our area, interest rates are going to climb according to every lender I've spoken with, and home prices are still at bargain prices. If interest rates increase only one half percent, your payment on a $320K loan (based on $400K purchase price with 20% down) would increase about $1200 per year, one percent is approximately $2400 per year. And, you still have the mortgages interest write off on taxes, rent is money out the window! I don't disagree with a short term rental to get the feel for the area; however, a good agent will spend time with you to help you with that up front! Too many agents have fallen into the internet trap and just let buyers come up with areas on their own and then show them what they have discovered online and miss the personalized experience of getting to know their buyers and getting clarity on their wants and needs! Find an agent who will take the time and energy to get to know you and help you identify the right home, area, et al.
Best Regards and Happy Shopping!
Cindy Crawford
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 20, 2011
Have you considered renting for 6 months to a year so you have time to get acclimated to the Austin area and it's traffic patterns, schools, your jobs, etc? The market will not change for the better for another 4 to 5 years so there will be plenty of inventory from which to choose even if you wait a year.

If you choose an immediate purchase, just remember that there is no reason to pay retail in this economy so no matter where you choose to live, demand a great deal. Think logically and not emotionally when buying and you will be glad you did in the coming years.

Guy E. Gimenez ABR, CRS, GRI
Broker / Owner / Investor
The PowerHouse Group
Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 19, 2011

Congratulations on your decision/opportunity to move to Austin and the Texas Hill Country. I am confident you will come to truly appreciate the quality of life our area has to offer. Granted you are leaving a very pretty and upbeat area but I think you will find the pace and lifestyle of the Austin environment to be equally fulfilling. There is so much here to offer young families- so much for children and parents. Austin is cool place to call home!
Ok, so let's talk housing. Great Question! Where do I start? If you have visited the Austin area before you will probably have some frame of geographical reference to utilize in terms of areas I liked/disliked. Think about those. With a 3 and 4 year old, schools are not the absolute priority yet but you are getting close. Think about how long you want to stay in this 1st Austin home? If longer than 2-3 years then schools need to be at least part of the factor.
I would suggest sitting down with your spouse and listing the 4-5 factors you consider to be critical in the decision process. Then rank (weight) those according to your specific needs/situation. For instance, work commute- Depending on which Seton facility your spouse will be working at, this factor may or may not heavily affect the decision process. You will be working downtown. That may/may not be a factor depending on your hours and/or schedule flexibility. Daily lifestyle- shopping access, access to Malls, etc. needs to be considered. With young ones you probably are not experiencing a lot of night life or "out of house" entertainment at least without the children so where does access to downtown entertainment or entertainment in general factor into the location and /or the decision process. Are you a water oriented family? Do you want to be near the lake or have reasonable access? Of course then there is the investment aspect itself. What type of or how much home do you desire? What general price range do you want to target? Where are the best communities within that price range? Do I desire a resale or new home product? All these things should be considered in order to make a sound decision for what is best for you and your family? Focus on the critical questions/factors I mentioned earlier. Let that guide you. You will still have questions and need answers and good information to make an informed decision.
You mentioned possibly building? Now that opens up a whole other world. There are great locations for building and some really quality builders within the Austin area. Regardless of location or builder, I tell every one of my building clients the same thing- even in the most perfect situation building a custom home is a pain in the rear. You really need to have a thorough understanding of the building process.
I invite you to visit our web site- Cornerstone New Home Solutions where you can search both resales and new home products at your convenience and without obligation. We also offer a specialized service to clients seeking to buy new or build custom homes. If you have questions or need further assistance please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Happy Hunting,
Stephen B. McClain Broker/ Owner
Cornerstone New Home Solutions
512 876-3116
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 19, 2011
Motherhen, you have received many answers to your questions. I just want to add this one area of town that has not been mentioned and that is Onion Creek off of IH 35 South. A few miles north of the new Seton Hospital in Kyle and not that far from Dell Children's. School district is Austin but the community is close to Southpark Shopping Center which has everything just about.
Traffic is hectic during rush hour but other than that South Austin is a great place to live.
Interview several REALTORS, find one you like, and happy hunting. Be sure to have your pre-approval from your lender already in place.
I can help you just as well as anyone else.
Virginia Michael
EXIT-Options Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 19, 2011
In Austin, the integrity of the school district ensures home equity growth and retention. As a native of the Memorial area, I would advise you to focus solely on the Lakeway/Westlake area. You may be able to find something in the Westlake area under $400K, but I don't think it will have the square footage and newer finishes that the homes in the Woodlands have. Still in Eanes, but not in Westlake proper, are some areas that are at $400K. Lakeway lies in Lake Travis ISD and Westlake and area surround lie in Eanes ISD. According to a Forbes report a year or two ago, Eanes was the #2 ISD and LTISD was the 52nd highest ranking ISD in the United States.

You must have a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender authorizing you to purchase up to $400K before you can even enter the game here. Be prepapred for extreme sticker shock. Austin is the most expensive city in Texas -- far more so than Houston and Dallas.

I know of pocket areas in Eanes and LTISD that are right under $400K; however, they will cap at 2500 sq ft. Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock are "Katy-like."

Mary Strickler
Realtor GRI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 18, 2011
Welcome to Austin! If you are looking for 3,000 s.f., close to Dell and Seton (within a 15-20 minute commute), in what most consider good school districts, you may have trouble staying under 400K, especially if you are wanting new construction or remodeled older homes. To stay within those parameters you will have to plan for 2,000 to 2,300 s.f. of living area, in general. If 3,000 s.f. is an absolute, your best bet will be to look a little farther north (20-30 minute commute) to Round Rock-Pflugerville areas or look Northwest along the US183 corridor. There are a lot of options for you but it is impossible to narrow it too much more without getting your opinion on some of the areas. Builders control most of the lots that are available and there ARE some builder selections that I can recommend. Taxes will vary from 2.17% to 3.6% depending on location. Most newer subdivisions will have HOA's and most older areas will not. I would enjoy the opportunity to visit with you and see if you think I would be able to help you. My 30 years experience in the Austin area and 15 years of appraisal experience come in handy! :) You may reach me at Les@Les-Sherman.com or call me at 512-947-8333.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Dear Motherhen,
Congratulations on deciding g to relocate to Austin and best wishes on the new jobs! I have been here over 20 years and know many neighborhoods that could work for you. I would suggest choosing g a good school for your children first. That can help you decide on a specific neighborhood. You may compare schools on two good sites: http://WWW.schoolmatters.com and http://WWW.greatschools.net. I would be happy to help you find the perfect home for your family.
Austin Home Girls Realty
WWW. AustinHomeGirlsRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
I deal with a lot of families relocating and they want the best possible school districts. There are a few questions I would have for you to help make the best possible choices based on your criteria. However, based on this brief criteria if schools are a first priority I would suggest you look in the Ianes school district that would be Westlake area if you want to live in Austin, then Leander school district which opens you to homes in Cedar Park, Leander and Steiner Ranch and Avery Ranch. I would consider some parts of Round Rock and Pflugerville as well. The later two have higher taxes and Ianes school district the least and most desired area to live as well. My company specializes in relocating and our website can assist you http://www.escapesomewhere.com

If you have questions and would like some answers with no pressure please call and I will be glad to help you. I can be reached 512-750-5716 or email vanessanunez.realtor@gmail.com

Austin is the #2 city in 2011 to raise families. This is the second year in a row we stay at #2 and we just hit #7 on Forbes list in business. Welcome to Austin, TX

Warmest Regards,

Vanessa Nunez
VOX Real Estate, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Hi Motherhen!
Which Seton is your husband going to be working in? I volunteer at the Seton Foundation in the Round Rock hospital, and specialize in the Round Rock area. There are many neighborhoods up here that are similar to the Woodlands. Tax rates vary from about 1.9% to 3.1%. I know the neighborhoods, schools (Round Rock has exemplary schools by the way!) and price ranges specific to Round Rock and Pflugerville.

I also donate 10% of my net commission to the Round Rock Independent School District Foundation (you can pick the school and the program you want the money to go to). If you are looking in this part of town, I would truly love the opportunity to help you and your family relocate.

Call, text or email me anytime - I answer my phone!
Cindy Crawford, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty-WCMC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Welcome. Your work site are truly awesome. Housing as you describe is readily available. Almost any location is available and in truth, new housing with all the bells and whistles are also available. Diustance from most locales to your work area are about 10 minutes except during rush hours during which time travel is anything but rushed. Contact a realator of your choice and arrange for him or her to be your buyer agent. I would be honored. Please check my web site at: readyrealesate.com. Please feel free to contact me at: rwilson@readyrealestate.com and by phone: 512-534-7865. Again, welcome,

Bob Wilson, Ready Real Estate, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Hey Allison,

Thank you for that glowing recommendation.


Like Allison said, I pride myself in knowing the ins and outs of this great city. I relocated here myself and love helping other people find their way in the city. Please feel free to contact me if you would like some help with your next step in life.

Cell: 512.554.1106

I am happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, check out my site Welcome to Austin, it should help answer some of the questions you may have.

Web Reference: http://www.WelcometoATX.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Hello Motherhen. Looks as though you have generated plenty of interest. I have relocated many Dell employees and would love a chance to interview for the position of your REALTOR. Your location may depend on at which Seton location you will work. I am an independent broker and an Accredited Buyer's Agent. You may check me out by visiting my Web site at http://www.robinscottrealtor.com where you can find links to information on schools and my blog at http://www.robinscottrealtor.blogspot.com. If you'd like to chat and ask questions, call me at 512.589.7988 or email me at robin@robinscottrealtor.com

Look forward to hearing from you,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Hey there, Motherhen!

I think the best place to start is to more narrowly focus your needs/wants within your new home. i.e. - # of beds/baths, preferred square footage, neighborhood amenities and walkability, commute, etc... Many of these requirements will help dictate location, per your price point. Once we've narrowed down areas that suit your needs, just head out and tour to allow you a better feel for each neighborhood. See where your family fits best! Obviously, further out you go, the more you get for your dollar. As others have mentioned, Avery Ranch, Steiner Ranch, and countless others. Some phenomenal opportunities in Central Austin, as well.

With the plethora of online, MLS searches, I'm sure you already have a bit of an idea of what is out there. With all the options, I can certainly understand how confusing it can all become. That's what an agent does for you, though. I tell all my clients, "You're the coach, I'm just the quarterback." I can help you choose all the right plays to get you in the end zone, but you make final calls. Having the right team (lenders, inspectors, transaction coordinators, contractors, etc...) behind you and your quarterback is just as essential. Working at the "#1 Residential Real Estate Company" (voted by Austin Business Journal - 2010), ensures you have that team behind you!

Good luck, Ms. Motherhen! Here to help when need be. With so many fantastic agents in the Austin area, you have your work cut out for you. Interview a couple that stand out for you, and go with the one that just feels right. You'll know. Mom always does!

Aaron Marcus
Austin City Living

Voted #1 place to work among small businesses in Austin (2010) - Austin American Statesman.
Voted #1 residential real estate company in Austin (2010) - Austin Business Journal.
Web Reference: http://austincityliving.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Hello Motherhen,

Thank you for your inquiry. Do you have a preference as far as school districts go? There are some great opportunities to build in all parts of the city. I personally office in the northwest area and have many of my clients pick homes in the Round Rock, Leander and Austin school districts. Let me know how I can assist.

Bryan Faircloth
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Where to start, indeed? So many people want to help you. I suggest you start with me. I work a lot with relocation home buyers (had someone from the Woodlands a few years ago, they bought in Avery Ranch) and am used to long distance clients. I know where the best rated schools are and where the nice homes are in your price range. If you want someone like a Realtorhen, let's talk.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Mother Hen, I see you received a lot of responses very quickly already! I too would be happy to assist you in your transition. I am a Buyer's Agent here in Austin and do not charge you a fee for my services. I have a great team of lenders, inspectors, Title co's.etc. and know many areas that may work for you, with respect to location, schools, etc. I have experience with builders, remodelers, and even have some agents I can refer you if you need assistance selling your current residence in The Woodlands (have some friends there too!). I can assist you in ALL phases of your transition and make things as smooth and stress free as possible. Please take a moment to click on my name, review my Credentials and Client Testimonials, etc. and let me know if I may be of assistance. I also set my Buyers up with a great Web Site that automatically searches for properties with/for you and gives you direct access to the Austin MLS! It is a great tool my Buyers love. You can even run your own Searches and save properties, write notes, etc. Good choice moving to Austin, btw!!!

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty (512) 261-4415
Austin's #1 Real Estate Co. ranked #1 by Buyers 3 Years in a Row (JD Power & Assoc.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
I just authored a blog post yesterday which would address all your questions for any city across USA


Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Motherhen, I have moved my family many times for work and moved to Austin 9 years ago. I have 2 kids too. The important decision for me was to decide the school district I wanted my kids to go to. You can go to the Texas Education Agency website to compare the school districts. I'm sure you also want to live within easy driving distance to both of your work places. I would suggest check out Eanes ISD, Austin ISD, Round Rock ISD (the Great Hills area, close to Arboretum). Look for Elementary schools with 'Exemplary' rating.
Next is to look for neighborhoods within the schools you have shortlisted. Every area has an average price and square footage of a home, which will give you an idea of the kind of house that is realistic in your budget.
The main task to do now would be to make a list of the most important things for your family in the order of priority, e.g. minimum size of home within your budget, school district, commute time, area amenities, childcare, proximity to friends/family living here, etc. focusing on what you NEED to have and what is NICE to have.
I am an investor in the Austin real estate market and also hold a real estate license, so I know the market well.
Good luck with the move. It probably seems daunting but by focusing on your priorities, this process can be simplified.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Start with a buyer's agent. I can set up searches for you and we can begin exploring the possibilities. There are a lot of great deals on new builds as well as resales in this market, it's all a matter of what fits your lifestyle best. The new development at the old airport might be perfect for you. You could literally walk to the Dell Children's hospital. Give me a call or an email, I would love to help you find the perfect place.
Hope to hear from you soon,

Phillip Baird
Keller Williams Realty
fax: 512-623-6032
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Welcome to Austin,
A suggested starting place is to send you some of the listings that are active, so that you start to get a better feel for some of the neighborhoods. There are currently many resales available and many new homes that have been built, depending on where you ultimately want to live, can then check into available lots in that particular area.
Still many questions I would like to ask so, if interested in communicating further, please feel free to call or email me directly.
Would enjoy working with you.
Sonia Roberts, Realtor
Canady Realty
512)709-1811 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011

Step 1: Go to http://www.myagentsforchange.com and sign up for an Agents For Change Market Snapshot. It will show you what is for sale and what has recently sold (with sales prices) in any area you choose. It also provides local school and community information. To look at ZIP codes, go to http://maps.huge.info/zip.htm and start with 78751. That's pretty much the middle of the city, and you can look from there.

Step 2: Read the answers you receive from this post carefully. Choose at least two and preferably three agents to interview for the job. Have a list of questions for which you would like answers and don't make any decisions until you have interviewed all of your candidates. If none of your first choices resonate with you, pick a few more. You are going to spend a lot of time with and put a lot of trust into whomever you hire.

Step 3: Go with your heart. You will feel it when the right person connects with you. Don't feel pressured to make a rash decision that you or your family will later regret.

Good luck and peace in your home,

Doug Vogelsass
doug [at] myagentsforchange.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Congratulations on your upcoming move to Austin! There are many great choices in terms of neighborhoods and public schools.

It would be my pleasure to assist you and get you started.

Please contact me...days or evenings.
Jenny Rosas
Zip Realty
800-225-5947, ext 4052


I look forward to speaking with you.

Web Reference: http://www.jennyrosas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Hello Motherhen!
If you would like to stay in a home near the same square footage as your Woodlands house there are several neighborhoods to consider. We are very fortunate to have excellent public schools in the Austin area, both within some areas of the Austin ISD and in several suburban neighborhoods. The ceiling of $400K does soemwhat limit your ability to buy in the urban core neighborhoods that have excellent schools so you'll need to go just outside the core, especially if you'd like to stay in a home similar in square footage to the one you live in now in the Woodlands.

As a former teacher I make sure that I can provide buyers very solid information about the elementary/middle schoo/high school tracks in our area and I would be more than happy to spend some time with you on the phone sharing knowledge that could help you make a decision about which areas to target. Once you've determined which schools you most comfortable with it's a matter of narrowing your search to the type of home you'd like. LIke the Houston area, we do have numerous school districts and the boundary lines are pretty crazy!

My phone number is 512-789-1871 and my email is heather@heathershomes360.com

Heather Kight
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Good afternoon Motherhen
I have helped many in the medical profession in the past 20 years. A few of the favorite neighborhoods have been, Crystal Fall in NW Cedar Park, Steiner Ranch, Forest Creek or if you are looking to be in more of a inner city neighborhood, Rosedale and the Jefferson area have been big hits also.
This being said, if you are looking to find a home in a neighborhood similar to the Woodlands, Steiner or Crystal Falls would be most similar with the price you have given,
Certainly feel free to contact me and I will set up a few searches to give you an idea.
Have a great weekend and welcome to Austin. If you would like a personal reference, speak to Kip Holmes at Dell Children’s. She is the CMN liaison for RE/MAX and has been a business acquaintance of mine for years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Look like you've conditions that you might want to work with a Realtor to get them answer. Call me and I can help get those questions answer and find you dream home in Austin.

Tony Mai
(512) 507-8120
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Many options of course. Most people rate the top 3 deciding factors as to location as schools, commute, life style. I'd be happy to send some examples if you'd like. Send me directly some of your basic requirments. Beds ~ footage ~ garage ~ pool...
Bill Austin ~ baustin.realtor.com ~ 512-709-6343
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Start with a great buyer's agent with experience in relocation. We can assist and would count it a pleasure and a privilege! Call today at: 512-241-1745!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
Start here and ill engage with the details. I look forward to helping out.
Web Reference: http://shawn.austinkw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 17, 2011
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