Rent vs Buy in Austin>Question Details

acsura, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

Young couple with 6-month old looking to relocate to Austin area from San Francisco, CA.

Asked by acsura, Austin, TX Mon Jul 5, 2010

We are looking for a suburban area in a great neighborhood, but that is in close proximity to downtown and all the urban amenities. We would like to be able to do outdoorsy activities without having to go far, as living in San Francisco has made us a little spoiled! Any suggestions on areas good for young kids and/or good schools would be helpful. My wife went to UT but we are looking to rent initially, as we are unsure of what area we ultimately want to live in. Being in healthcare, we may have to work outside of Austin, so access to highways may be beneficial as well. We are outgoing and would love to be able to meet other young couples with children.

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Betina Foreman’s answer
Dear Acsura,
I just wanted to check back with you and see if your any closer to your relocation to Austin. It has been three months since your initial question. Have you gotten the answers you were looking for, or do you need more information? If I may be of help please let me know. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 7, 2010
Near medical pkwy is an area called Rosedale. It's older homes that have been updated. I grew up in Austin & got my degrees in CM Bio in SF, and am now a Realtor in Austin. Rosedale is similar to Noe Valley in that there are always people with strollers & puppies. There is a park nearby & it's a convient location to DT, major freeways, many medical practices & a major hospital. I'd be happy to help you.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
From everything you have said, and given that you are coming from San Francisco, I might suggest some of Austin's "original" suburban areas. If you want to be close to downtown and outdoor amenities like parks, hike and bike trails and greenbelts, I would suggest Barton Hills just south of downtown or Rollingwood/Westlake SW of downtown as well. Keeping close in but "suburban" might also mean something like Travis Country off SW Parkway. Also Northwest Hills, 10 minutes NW of downtown might work for you. All of these neighborhoods are within 5-10 minutes of downtown and adjacent to either Zilker Park or Barton Creek Greenbelt (except NW Hills)and are very near Lady Bird Lake trails and parks through the heart of the city. Communities like Steiner and Avery Ranch, Round Rock etc are indeed nice places but are a very long way from central city amenities and are really not convenient if you want to enjoy the in-town lifestyle but still want room to spread out. Additionally, you will find more interesting architectural styles and mature landscaping if you stay in these close in neighborhoods. I have spent a lot of time in SF, and assuming you enjoy living there, my suggestion would be to stay central in those areas I mentioned. Feel free to contact me if you want more info.


Jeff Harris
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 12, 2010
I won't give you a pitch. It does depend on your price range. I think leasing might be a good idea. There is a growing concern about the commercial market pulling the economy down even further as there are over a trillion dollars worth of commercial paper that needs to be refinanced. They are running out of ways to "extend and pretend" the current notes. Round Rock or the Southwest areas have the most road accessibility. The east side of Round Rock is currently one of the most "undervalued" areas on the market right now. The new roads, toll roads and SOMEDAY the connection of the lightrail commuter to downtown. The airport is only 25 minutes. Southwest has a lot of advantages also but is not as "undervalued." Most people move to Round Rock for the great schools and advantages of all sorts of activities and community.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 5, 2010
Hello Acsura,

Rent vs. Buy... One thing to consider as you make this move would be the current interest rates! Combined with the relatively flat prices in Austin at this time and the historically low interest rates it really is the perfect time to buy.

A good agent can plan a tour of Austin neighborhoods and can provide the background information about the schools, the community amenities, the personality of the area, etc. Recently I took a couple on a day long tour of the Austin area and we visited one or two homes in several neighborhoods. We went to the lake area, a new surburban neighborhood, a central neighborhood, etc. By the end of the day they were able to rule out several areas and were able to zero in on one or two areas that they'd like to know more about. If you have the chance to make a "fact finding" trip to Austin, I'd be happy to set up a tour like this for you that will focus on neighborhoods that are popular with young families.

Feel free to call or email!

Heather Kight
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Hello Ascura,
I just wanted to drop you another quick note to see if you have any questions about your upcoming move to Austin. Take a look at my relocation website below for some great statistical data, demographics, and property listings. Please feel free to call, text, or email if you have any question or if you need anything at all. Take care.

Kevin P. Scanlan
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
Dear Acsura,
Personally I think Steiner feels kind of remote and the traffic on RR620 to get out of the neighborhood can be challenging. If someone can get to ABIA in 20 minutes they must be in a helicopter, because you can't get to downtown in 20 minutes.

Any Realtor can help you with a lease as well as a purchase. I agree it is a very good idea to rent for a year first to be sure the neighborhood is really what you want. If you would like to see whats for lease in these areas just let me know and I can send you details for any area that appeals to you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
North Austin may be a good choice as there are several hospitals and medical centers nearby. If your not moving right now, you may wish to consider Lakeway as they are building two state of the art hospitals right now that should be ready in the next year or so. Lakeway is popular with parents and retired people as it is a quiet resort style life. It has a small town feel with all of the big city amenities.


Betina Foreman- Realtor
Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC

Your referral of friends and family is the greatest complement I can receive. Please know they will be treated with the care and attention they deserve. Thank you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 30, 2010
Hi Acsura,
I'd like to say I agree with most of the people answering this question. I have lived and currently live in Steiner Ranch. Some agents try to say or trick you into believing that they live in Steiner by what their ads or websites say, but don't be fooled. I have lived in Steiner for 10 years and still a matter of fact, I am building my 3rd house here, so you can see I have no plans to leave the area.

All your requests are the same reason I moved out here. With the new Toll Road, it makes Steiner about 25 minutes from just about any place in town. I lived central, but with the congested traffic there, I found that Steiner offered just about the same drive times and if you will be traveling for work, the airport is only about 25-30 minutes.

The schools are awesome as well. They just added their 3rd elementary school, all of which are exemplary rated. Some agents will tell you the schools are good, but they won't let their kids go there for one reason or another. Imagine that, an agent that will tell you anything so they can get a sale. Not here, I will back up everything with my actions. I will tell you I moved to Steiner because the schools were so good, the area has grown and evolved into more than I could have asked for. They added a new highschool this year as well.

The addition of the University of Texas Golf Club, the miles of hike and bike trails, the 3 swimming pools, parks, tennis courts, community centers, lake access. What else could you ask for. If you need any help, I would love to help. Just contact me and I would be more than happy to assist you.

There are other great areas, but I just helped another couple that moved from San Francisco and they ended up renting as well so they could decide exactly where they want to make a permanent home.

Wishing you luck,
Bryan Kelley
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
Hello Acsura,
Clearly, you have a lot of choices in terms of agents!! I agree that Steiner Ranch and Avery Ranch would be good choices for you, because of the family factor and the schools, as well. Westlake Hills is a very popular choice, because of it's proximity to downtown and the Eanes school district, one of the highest rated and best regarded school system in Central Texas. Check out this site to compare schools:

If you have a chance to make a trip here before your move, it's a good idea to take a few days to come up with a finalist list for the neighborhoods that appeal to you. I typically take my out of town clients on at least a two day tour....the first day, we don't look at that many homes, but we DO concentrate on finding the neighborhoods that you like the most. Then on the second/third days, we look at homes in those areas that do make the cut, so that you can see what you get for the money (works the same for renting or buying). Feel free to call, text, or email if you have any questions or if you need anything at all. Take care.

Kevin P. Scanlan
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Congratulations on your choice of moving to Austin. You won't regret it. If your wife went to UT then you must be familiar with the Hancock/Hyde Park neighborhoods just north of campus. I live in Hyde Park. I think it definitely has a great mix of suburban living with urban like qualities. It's a wonderful family environment and you can walk to everything.,_Austin,_Texas

We have the perfect mix of older homes, condos, town homes, apartments etc. Plenty of rentals. We have wonderful tree lined streets. Parks, grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, schools, US Post Office, in fact just about everything is in walking distance. Several bus routes run right through the neighborhood. It is as good as it gets. I personally love it. I would love to help you find the perfect place. Welcome to Austin!

Phillip Baird
Austin Real Estate Shop
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
One Hot-Spot that came to mind immediately when you mentioned you wanted an area with other "Young Couples with Children" is Avery Ranch.
I was just in Avery Ranch a couple weeks ago (at a pool party for my friend's kiddos) and I was blown away at how many young couples with children were there.
You can get into Avery Ranch for about $175,000 up to about $650,000 and it's location also strikes me as "super convenient" for Medical field positions (unless you happen to capture a position at the Downtown Med facilities, then it will be about a 25 -35 min commute.

My recommendation is to team up with a Realtor that can show you around while you are in town and help you get a feel for the area and all your personal preferences including:
Lake/Watersport Activities (kayaking, wakeboarding, sailing, canoeing, paddleboarding, etc)
Jogging/Fitness Activity (trails, flats, all-terrain, mountain biking, climbing, gyms, hiking, etc)
Shopping Needs (frequent shoppers or is it more of a bi-monthly event?)
Dining Preferences (indulge much? what's your favorite?)
Community Involvement
Scenery and Landscape preferences (any allergies to Cedar - for example?)

The Realtor you team up with that spends the time showing you around and helping you out should be whom you'll use to help you rent now and buy in the future (so long as you feel that person is doing a great job).
If you have any questions about the process of hiring a great Realtor to help you out, or any costs associated with the process, just shoot me an email or a call. You'll be happy to know that the seller and the landlord ultimately pays your Realtor, so shouldn't be a cost to you!

Shawn Monshaugen
Keller Williams Realty

Feel free to search Homes for Lease here:
and Homes for Sale here:
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Austin is a great place! I live in Lost Creek, a great community and close to Zilker Park and downtown. We are in the process of preparing our rental property in Lost Creek for the next tenant, a condo with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and with a community pool. This condo is located in the Eanes school district, highly rated in educational excellence! I think your plan to rent upon your arrival is a very good choice. Live here first, decide later since you have schools to consider.

Please give me a call if you need more information!
Barbara Brown, Realtor
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Hello and Welcome to Austin.

There are a lot of areas that meet your criteria from Master planned communities to little pocket neighborhoods. My personal suggestion for you would be Allandale. There are wide streets with gorgeous trees, park and pool, and it is central with affordable rent. You can also bike to the downtown and zilker park area.(In fact, I once saw Lance Armstrong on this path)

You are smart to rent for a year to get a better lay of the land before purchasing. I think the best step for you now would be to get as much information on lease homes and neighborhoods from a REALTOR and start exploring(whether it is online or in town).

I would be happy to help you with your search. Please feel free to contact me anytime with your size preference, price range, and any special features you are looking for in a home.

Steve Nusinow
(512) 922-7588
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Since your wife has lived here before you know that whle Austin is not SF it is a pretty good place to live. Welcome! I think it's a great idea to rent for a year so you can figure out what your needs are in a home's location. There are so many great areas of town that where ever you land a job you can be sure you
ll find a great neighborhood.
I'd be more than happy to help you find a home to lease. Contact me directly and we'll be off and running.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Hi there and welcome to Austin! I love San Francisco, but Austin is just so much fun, you'll barely miss it. I can definitely recommend my neighborhood - Barton Hills and Zilker. I moved here from NYC and have loved being so close to downtown, yet the greenbelt is right across the street. We just had our neighborhood 4th of July parade and it felt just like a small town except that our female fire chief was the grand marshall and singer Sara Hickman (with pink hair), was the emcee! Most of the homes are unique and full of character with great neighbors. Love to share more about my favorite neighborhood in Austin with you! The school is exemplary and is very small. We practically know everyone in the neighborhood.

Wendy Papasan
President, Barton Hills Neighborhood Association
Realtor (512) 297-9431
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010

I would be happy to assist you finding the ideal home in the Austin area. There are many nice neighborhoods and I would be glad to take the time to show you these neighborhoods and let you choose the home that best fits your needs and desires. In addition, I would be happy to provide you with a relocation package so you can become more familar with the area. Feel free to contact me, my contact information is available on my web site.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Austin is split north to south by the Balcones Fault (don't worry we're not active here). To the west is more hilly and where the Highland Lakes are. To the east is flat. More of your "outdoorsy activities" will be west. That also is where there tend to be better schools systems (particularly Eanes ISD). Coming from the bay area you will probably find our prices more affordable, but west tends to be the higher priced areas for Austin. Traffic can be an issue. To the southwest are US290 & Hwy 71 that lead into Austin. To the northwest are Hwy 183 & Parmer Ln. Both flow into MoPac (Loop 1) that goes north/south in Austin and a larger loop around, Loop 360. SW approach flows better. IH35 runs north & south, but is a very heavily traveled interstate and I would recommend avoiding areas that you need to travel IH35 to get in & out of town.

I'm the broker in my company and have helped many young families with a rental transition into Austin before finding the right home to purchase. Have lived and been a part of Austin as it has grown and know it well. My other half is in the medical profession also and would probably have some good advice regarding that profession too. Would love to show you Austin and what it has to offer.

Joe Bryson, CRB, CRS, GMS, GRI, SRS
Real Estate Alliance, Inc.
(512)203-4100 personal cell
(512)451-0711 office
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
I would be glad to help, call me at 512 522 4710, I am realtor in Austin.

Best Wishes,

Texas Land & Homes
Michael Falato - REALTOR®
1812 Eagles Glen Cove
Austin, Texas

Telephone: 512-512-522-4710
Fax: 512-366-9664
Cell: 512-639-3375
Skype ID: mfalato

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
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