1. 78704 - Has experienced the most appreciation out of the three. It's location is a place that many people want to be. The location to dowtown, south congress shops, restuarants, clubs, etc... is awesome. The housing market in this area is still red hot. 2006 and 2007 saw incredible appreciation and sky high prices. There are a few more homes in 2008 and prices have not escalated to the levels that we have seen in the past.
2. 78751 - between Mopac & 35 - This is another area that people want to be. You will get some more house for your money over the 78704. This is an area that has seen a longer run of appreciation, but not to the levels of the 78704 phenomna. Again, an area that people want to be because of location and access to all that Austin has to offer. It depends on what which homes you are looking at for whether or not the deal is good for the area.
3. 78723 - is probably the hottest candidate for longer term appreciation opportunity. It is an area that has undergone a major transformation over the last couple of years. It approximate distance to the University makes it a candidate for those looking for someplace that is close enough to UT. The redux's are in progress and there are more homes to redux.
The best answer is to work with a Realtor(r) that you like and trust. They can help you zero in on a list of homes that exactly match your criteria. The good news is now is a great time to buy in Austin.
These are all good neighborhoods. Personally I sell more 78704 than anything else, as the neighborhood is so close in and the lots are a decent size, clients seem to gravitate to this area. So if your planing to buy or sell for the short term or long term I would suggest 78704. The are has seen some very solid and consistant escalation in property values.
The other two neighborhoods are also good choices, however some parts of Hyde Park are difficult to sell due to the high level of student occupancy, and the houses are often much smaller and older (some as petite at 700SF) and the close proxemity to I-35 (free-way noise).
Some parts of 78723 have really large lots bigger than a quarter acre with trees, which appeal to many buyers. However you should check out the schools before you buy a home. Even if you don't have children, when you try to sell your home it may become an issue. I suggest you go to http://www.SchoolMatters.com and look up Reagan HS and compare it to other Austin schools.
It sounds like it has been several days since you spoke to your agent. I would try calling his office/Broker and find out if something happend to him. If your agent still won't call you back, you may always cancel the Buyers Representation Agreement and obtain a new Realtor. I would read your Buyers Rep and see the details on termination. Your agent works for you and if he is not cutting the mustard, I know that you can find one who will. I wish you luck!
If there is anything I can do for you please don't hesitate to call me, 512-771-6318.
Good luck with your relocation!
You picked a great city! Congratulations on your decision. Regarding your question about areas...78751 is a great area, close to UT, downtown and the South Austin nightlife. 78704 is the very desirable South Austin area...both being really hot and convenient, both being very good income-producing areas. I work with investors, as well as owner-occupied and am more than happy to help with your real estate acquisition. You can call my cell anytime or send me an email. I can also email you properties to check out and gather more information on the ones you like best. I look forward to hearing from you and have a great day.
Let me know if you have any additional questions.
I'm now interested in moving forward on 1 of these properties, but my realtor is AWOL, and hasn't returned my emails or phone calls for over 3 days. Any advice?
Can I make an offer - on 1 of these properties - with another realtor? How long should I wait (ethically) before finding someone else?
1) When you are working with a real estate request to see the past 3 years of houses sold in that area and within your purchase price point should assist in further answering your questions
2) You can google zip code search which will break down per area more info about that particular zip code.