Joe (and I'd be glad to re-run the #'s, etc. that got deleted from my earlier answer for you as well!)
After having lived in Southern California, I do not think the traffic is that bad. You will not be going on MOPAC if you are in Lakeway and going to bee caves/360.
I assume you already have an Agent you are working with here in Austin, or do you?
Here is my Top 10 List of homes for you, each for different reasons (without knowing your style of course).
Contact me when you are ready.
The big question is what is your budget? Westlake is in the EANES school district. Eanes is considered the best in Austin. So, if you can afford Westlake, go for it. It is a closer communte and has the best schools.
BUT.....Lake Travis ISD ranks very high as well and stands right next to EANES in school scores. It is more affordable and perhaps you will get more bang for your buck. You may also get close to the lake which has more appeal to some people.
I'd love to help you. I can even give you lists of rental homes with pools in both area.
Contact me from my website: http://www.austinlakeandland.com
If you are at $1m+ comfortably, you can certainly land in westlake depending on your final criteria/needs, and of course you can get much more in Lake Travis for this range.
I know of a great 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath near Lake Travis right now that has a nice pool, good views of canyon/hill country with a peek at Lake Travis. It also has a 4-car garage and is in the $700K range.
What's your price range? If it falls under $500K, I can point you to a great alternative area as well...
You have chosen two great places to live, both have many wonderful attributes. I would suggest you choose the school district and then look at homes that feed into those schools. You should take a look at http://www.SchoolMatters.com and see how the area schools perform.
Any Realtor can set up a lease search and later a residential purchase search on the MLS to show you homes that feed into these schools. Westlake can be out of range for many home buyers, as the homes are more expensive. I think Lake Point might be a good option as it is a little closer to downtown than Lakeway (which may be a consideration if your husband is commuting), It is still close to the lake and they have homes starting in the $300K's with pools as well as a lovely neighborhood pool and park close to the elemenatry.
If I can be of further assistance please let me know.
I highly recommend googling the TEA (Texas Education Agency) website. It will give you detailed accountability results by school districts and campuses.
The fact that your husband will be working in that area, makes Eanes ISD attractive, depending on your priorities, like schools, budget and location you will have to make a decision due to the higher prices in that area. Although I have seen a lot of remodeled homes built in the 80's that are selling under $500k in that area, it may not have enough room for your familiy it just depends. I have clients in Lake Travis ISD and they love it, the drive is further west, and the lights do make commuting a bit of a challenge, but the new mall, retail and restaurants out there do make it easier to live in that area.
If you look at the TEA website and break it down by campus you will see that there are differences between Hudson Bend Elem. for example compared to Lake Travis Elem. Also if you compare Lake Travis ISD vs Eanes you will find some similarities so very comparable. Given that we are a non-income state tax state you will pay higher property taxes than you are used to from Alabama, my last clients from there are still complaining about high school taxes (they are lumped in together.) Hope that helps, so much more to cover but wanted to give you some more detail info.
The Live Well Downtown Team
Joe Jarusinsky, REALTOR/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Co. & ranked #1 by Buyers 2 years in a row! (JD Powers & Assoc.)
I'm a Realtor and have lived in the Austin area my whole life, so I have lots of insider tips for you. :) I have lived in Lakeway for the last 8 years and can tell you that the schools are terrific. My daughter attends Lakeway Elementary and we are very pleased with our experience. There are a few other great districts around Austin, but they all place emphsis (and funds) on different aspects of your child's education. Please give me a call/shoot me an email anytime and I'm happy to help. I can pull leases in areas that may be great for you to eventually purchase a home.
Capital City Sotheby's Realty
I think you'll find Austin to be a good place to live. Both areas you mentioned are very good. I'd add Dripping Springs (area & ISD) & Steiner Ranch (subdivision)
If I can be of assistance to you feel free to call or email me directly.
512-709-6343 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
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