Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Melissa, Home Buyer in Houston, TX

Where is the best place in Central Austin for a family of three, with a nearly kindergartner?

Asked by Melissa, Houston, TX Wed Jan 2, 2013

We are headed to Austin in the late spring/early summer. Our family of three includes a techie hoping to work at the Apple campus, a lawyer who will work from home but may also commute to downtown (hoping to have easy access to the metro line) and a four year old about to start school. Priorities are great schools, being immediately near downtown, a charming 3/2 home with established trees (or a fixer upper with room in the budget), a vibrant and walkable neighborhood and an easy reverse commute to the burbs for the hubs. Our budget is $4-550K. Dream neighborhood is Hyde Park. Can this be done?

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Welcome Melissa! I agree with other agents that it can be done. I live and work in Hyde Park so I'd be happy to keep you in the loop about the market. (Though as others have noted - a lot more will become available in a couple of months.) Your wish for trees really spoke to me, so you may want to add Cherrywood, and a section within Cherrywood called French Place (I call it "Hyde Park East") to your watch list. If your hubs commutes to the north 'burbs more often than south you'll want to stay north of downtown so add in Allendale too - great trees and schools.

Juice Homes is right on 53rd & Duval in Hyde Park so if you visit Austin anytime soon, please stop in and chat with me. I'd be happy to talk on phone too: 512 571 6020 or email: jayne@jaynesaustin.com

Have fun researching! -- Jayne
Web Reference: http://www.jaynesaustin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2013
Yes it can be done. In fact there is a pretty cute foreclosure in Hyde Park right now. Consider the area of Rosedale as well. The $550 will get you a small place but you won't regret the location and family style neighborhood. You are going to love Austin -- welcome!

Anne Johnson
512-917-5260 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2013
Melissa and Family;

Hyde Park, as you seem to know, is a very vibrant and walk-able area with many restaurants and the Fresh Plus grocery store. Lee Elementary is exemplary so it would meet your needs for your 4 year old. - http://www.lee-elementary.org/

Within your price range for a 3 bed/2 bath.... there are 3 in the immediate area now that are on the market. Spring and early Summer is when a lot of homes go on the market. We can also show you homes that are privately listed.

The rail doesn't stop in Hyde Park but it would be an easy bike ride or drive to either the MLK station, the Crestview Station, or the Highland Station.
Here's a map of the current Redline stations - http://www.capmetro.org/schedulemap-rail.aspx

Here is the PDF Guide to Austin Schools: http://tinyurl.com/ap3y9md

You may also consider looking into the Zilker, Bouldin, and Tarrytown areas as well, because their elementary schools are exemplary too. There are plans for an expansion of the Capital MetroRail so knowing the future expansion routes would also assist you. http://tinyurl.com/aas4x6p

I or one of my team would value the opportunity to speak with you in person to provide you with the information you need and desire. We treat all of our clients with respect and truly listen to your needs and will assist you in finding a home that best suits your needs.

Discover the difference our Art of Real Estate can provide,

Shannon T. Schmitz
Shannon Schmitz Real Estate Group
1611 W. 5th St., Ste 100
Austin, TX 78703
PH: 512-794-6704
EM: shannon@shannonschmitz.com
Web Reference: http://shannonschmitz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2013
Thanks for all of the helpful information! I would be interested hearing about homes FSBO or otherwise, but we aren't moving until June or July.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2013
I live in the 78704, Galindo Neighborhood which is across the street from the Bouldin Neighborhood. Both neighborhoods offer great pricing homes. Taxes in the Bouldin Area are greater than Galindo. Consider looking at the tax records in both areas. You might also like the Travis Heights Area. Older homes similar to TarryTown and Hyde Park. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2013
Is a house in your budget, close to a school, close to downtown, in the 78704 Zip-code, built in 2005 three bedrooms big fenced yard two driveways is a corner lot, three bedrooms, two baths and a half,covered porch and big covered porch on the back with extended deck, with iron gate around perfect for entertening and small children, beside iron fence around the house. will be available in March. Price $550,000.00 If interest the address is 716 W. Mary Austin, Texas . My email is: alarconmary716@gmail.com Serious inquires only will be answered.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2013
I have a house for sale in Alendale Terrace, North Cental Austin, that I think will fit your needs.It is currently for sale by owner. Please give me a call at 512-348-9138 for more information. It has been completely renovated with many up grades! Easy access to hike/bike trails, parks and schools. Not to mention proximity to downtown.
Please contact me so that we can talk about this great opportunity!
Greg Neff
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2013
Absolutely, Hyde Park can be done. Feel free to visit my home page where there is a quick link for all available listings in Hyde Park.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you would like additional information on any Central Home.

Steve Nusinow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 3, 2013
Hi Melissa, I have personally viewed most of the schools in Austin since I was a teacher and Educational Diagnostician. I have some good beliefs about certain schools. I have also watched the develepment of the neighborhoods since the early 70s. I know which ones will give you the best value and potential for future increase. Call me anytime to discuss. I would love to talk to you. Thank you! Nell Hanson 512-426-5080 http://www.nellsellsaustin.com or for information on specific neighborhoods please look at http://www.jbgoodwin.com (my broker's website). My license number is 451723 - licensed in the State of TX. JB Goodwin Co.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 3, 2013
Hi Melissa--

Here are the neighborhood assocation websites for the rest of the Central Austin areas that I mentioned on the other thread, with a few additions.

Hyde Park:
(Note their links to The Pecan Press. Hyde Park has its own, groovy little newsletter. It is a wealth of information about ~many~ things in Central Austin.)


(They also have a newsletter.)


North Loop:

These organizations keep their websites up to date, and their list-servs are usually very chatty (though you usually have to be living in the area to join the list-serv). But looking around on the NA websites is a great way to get a sense of the community in each area.

For access to the metro, if you want to walk to the station you should probably focus your search on Brentwood, Crestview, North Loop, and Hyde Park. However, the Highland station has plenty of parking, so that's always an option.

Please know that in Austin, these HOAs are not as strictly defined as in many parts of Houston (my hometown). Technically, they're all Neighborhood Assocations. Their websites will give you their street boundaries, but all of these Central Austin groups are volunteer-based. They are STRONG groups, especially in Hyde Park, but all are non-compulsory -- so there's no HOA transfer fee, and there are no required HOA dues. Most people join because the dues are often something like $5 per YEAR, and people in these areas like to be active in the community, but it IS voluntary.

You might also want to go to the City of Austin Parks & Rec website to read about the parks in each of these neighborhoods. Their site gives a great overview of the amenities in each park.

And as others have said, this can definitely be done with your budget. Things move fast in this part of Austin, though, and the market is about to pick up major steam again once the holidays are over. I strongly suggest getting a pre-qual letter before you fall in love with a house!

Last but not least, for online searching that pulls data every 24 hours from our Multiple Listing Service, check out AustinHomeSearch.com. It is run by the Austin Board of Realtors (our governing body that every Austin Realtor is required to join), and it's got a very nice user interface.

Good luck , and have fun house hunting!

Julie Holden
Realty Austin
News tidbits and real estate chatter at julieholden.com
512-771-9139 (cell/text)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 3, 2013
Melissa, glad to hear you're coming to Austin… I think you will find it a little cooler and drier, and quite a beautiful city to live in.
Based on your criteria and your budget, I believe you can get something in the Hyde Park area or very close by that would suit your needs all the way around. I have seen a few properties lately that might fit your criteria that are in your price range as well.
What I can do to help you is set you up with an automated Real-Time MLS Search website that would notify you of any currently listed homes that fit your criteria, update you daily with any new listings, and also update you immediately with any price drops as well. You'll also be able to jot notes about any property, save them to your Possibilities or Favorites folders, and to run your own searches outside of the initial criteria and save them as well. Most of my clients find this an invaluable tool. It will link you to maps, schools, etc. and streamline the search process for you online.
I also have a great team of lenders, inspectors, etc. to assist us throughout the process, and am one of the top rated agents with the #1 Real Estate company in Austin, Keller Williams Realty.
Also, if you have a property in Houston to sell, I know a couple of great Realtors in your neck of the woods as well if you would like a referral.

Feel free to click on my name and review my Credentials and Client Testimonials and contact me if you would like some professional assistance at no cost to you. I would be happy to assist you, and work very hard seven days a week to help my clients find just the right Home and then negotiate it to just the right price!

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, 512-261-4415
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2013

There are homes priced under $550k in Hyde Park. There is a home at 308 W 39th priced at $549k with 4 beds, 3 baths, and 2,315 sqft. The elementary is Lee which is exemplary. Please call me at 512-695-5144 or email me at kristee@theleadersrealty.com to discuss your home search further.


Kristee Leonard, Broker, GRI, SFR
512-695-5144 Cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2013
Hello Melissa,

Congratulations on your move to the great city of Austin! Central Austin is a great place to live with it's rich architectural history, great schools and the best Austin has to offer just minutes away. I have helped several clients find their dream homes in this part of town and I know the area well. I think that what you are looking for and with your budget, you should have several options. I would love the oportunity to help you and your family make the move to Austin as enjoyable and stress free as possible. Please call me or email me with your information so I can set you up on a free market watch which will allow you to see everything that is available.

Sal Zuniga
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2013
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