Market Conditions in Austin>Question Details

 Lili, Real Estate Pro in Las Vegas, NV

Zilker bubble?

Asked by Lili, Las Vegas, NV Sat Aug 15, 2009

I am looking at a property in the zilker neighborhood. The "certified" tax valuation have increased 20% or more for the last 4 years. I realize this valuation may not represent market value but i think it does follow market conditions. So is it a dumb time to buy for investment ? btw valuation history shows a 20% decline from 02 to 03.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Lili. Zilker is definitely one of the most sought after areas of Austin, because of it's close proximity to everything. Coupled with great schools and activities, this will remain one of the hottest parts of Austin.

If you would like to compare values on your own in the Zilker Park area, here is a link that will allow you to do so;

You can also create more specific searches and save your criteria by visiting

Keep in mind that BuyersHouseRealty works exclusively with buyers and firmly believes in buyer education, so much so, we pay you for that education.
Learn more>>

Congrats on the decision to buy an investment home in Central Austin, you are making a wise choice.


Gavin St.Louis
Texas Managing Broker/Realtor
"Why Buy a Home Any Other Way?"
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 7, 2009
Dear Lili,
Please note there is no actual subdivision called "Zilker" The closest named subdivision is the "Zilker Skyline" Condos on Melridge Place. These free standing condos were built in 1994 &1995. They average 2900 square feet and have downtown views, hence the name. The 78704 zip code encompasses many subdivisions or developments.

Most people think of the following subdivisions as being "Zilker": Lund, Horshoe Bend, West Park Addition, Fraizier Addition, Rabb Innwood Hills, Barton Heights, Sun Terrace, Cannizzo (where you find several A.D. Stenger homes) South Lund Park, Okie Heights, Morris E. Estates, Westend, Glencliff, and the Oak Hill Addition.

Betina Foreman Realtor
Keller Williams Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 7, 2009
Dear Will,
The home for sale close to the corner is a tear down, no question. However there are two small homes across the street that are on the same lot, but are being sold seperately. Both of these homes are smaller, but they have been updated. They could be great rentals or investment properties. If you need more information or photos just let me know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
To answer your question the only "dumb time" to buy in 78704 is later. Do it now while you can get the $8000 tax credit! I would buy it now and if its too rough, scrape it and build a custom home on the lot. Many other developers are doing this in the zilker area. I can show you some tear downs with nice lots in 78704.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 22, 2009
The Zilker and Barton Hills and Travis Heights areas are the south side of Town Lake (AKA Lake Ladybird). These homes are practically downtown and have the shortest commute to downtown. The lots in the Barton Hills area are a bit larger than many central Austin neighborhoods. This area has risen in value even during the last year. I think it shall remain a valuable area with solid appreciation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 16, 2009
Dear Will:

It's the price of the LAND! Land is a finite commodity so you must find a realtor that can help you with a statistical analysis not only on the subject property but on what properties of similar kind are selling for. It's a numbers game.

With kindest regards,

Mary Strickler
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 16, 2009
Dear Will,
There are a large number of mini sudivisions in the Barton Hills/Zilker area. Unless you live here its hard to know where one starts and the next begins. The first homes were built in the 1930's and about every ten blocks south you go the homes get a little newer. It took about a decade to build out ten blocks of homes.

I lived in Barton Hills and Lund for the first ten years I was in Austin. I can tell you from experience this area has seen dramatic appreciation in the last ten years and explosive growth/redevelopment in the last five years. Since the neighborhoods are so old there are not many HOA's or HOA restrictions.

I would be happy to help you find the right property. I can email you a chart I created showing the appreciation over the last 5 & 10 years. This is a hot market and about 1/2 the people I help find homes are looking in Zilker/Barton Hills. I will have a new listing in this neighborhood starting next month if your inerested I can send you the details pre MLS. My office is very close to Zilker/Barton Hills area at 1801 S. MOPAC, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78746.


Betina Foreman Realtor
Keller Williams Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 16, 2009
thanks for the reply's. I was referring to a property on kinny ave all the way down near where it meets lamar. Most of the comps I found were closer to zilker say under the 1000's(street number) while the property in question is 2106. Obviously property can't appreciate in double digits forever, as evidenced by the tax valuation 01 to 02 decline. I am just trying to determine where I am in the cycle, because if I purchase and develop (new house) I will be back on the market a year from now, with a hyothetical 2200 square foot home on a 50 x 125 lot and have about $440k into it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 16, 2009
Hi Will,

I live in the Barton Hills Neighborhood that borders the Zilker (most people think they are one in the same unless you live there). These hidden neighborhood gems are not so hidden any longer. It is true our tax evaluations have gone up 20% or more in the past 4 years, and I do not see that changing at all. Due to the location of the neighborhoods with the proximity to downtown and Zilker park, I see it continuing to increase. Let's just say, what my tax value is and what I would sell it for are two different figures. I have been in my home 7 years, and gladly do not dispute my tax increase because I can sell my home for much more than what it is appraised for by the city. We haven't even discussed the schools in the neighborhoods. Many young families are moving to the area not only to the proximity to downtown, but because of the great schools. I personally think it is a great time to buy, I haven'seen prices this good for almost 7 years!

Good luck on your decision, and let me know if you have any additional questions regarding the Zilker and Barton Hills neighborhoods.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 16, 2009
Hello Will! I actually office near Zilker Park and do quite a bit of business in that area. I'm not familiar with a neighborhood named "Zilker." There is a group of condominiums in that area named Zilker Condominiums. You are more than likely referring to Barton Hills or Barton Heights.

You are correct in that tax valuations do not represent true "market value" conditions. For instance, the area you are referring to has seen slightly over 51% in appreciation over the past 5 years! In 2007 alone the average sold price was $356,906 and in 2008 it was $385,345! Wasn't 2008 supposed to be a bad year for real estate!?

The Barton/Zilker area is a great area for investment. Whether or not that particular home is a good investment, only an experienced Realtor that works that area would know. There are many factors that determine whether or not a specific home would make a great investment, some of which only someone that knew the area and the "future" of the area would know.

If you have more specific questions, feel free to contact me. As long as you have the right team surrounding you, chances are you will make a wise purchase for investment. Good luck!

Richard Cain
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 15, 2009
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