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Jay, Home Buyer in Cylburn Arboretum, B...

What are some affordable green housing projects in Austin?

Asked by Jay, Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD Mon Aug 13, 2007

So far, I know about Fiore at Nine Sixty Nine in East Austin. Surely, there are more green building projects underway. I'm a first time home buyer looking for a new house, contemporary with low ecological footprint. Willing to go North as far as it is close to the new commuter rail. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Hey Jay,

Someone should also point out that Green has a two fold meaning, its not cheap to live green. Solar panels alone cost around 20k! You will pay a premium to live in an eco-friendly home, but your monthly utiltiy bills will be lower along with your ecological footprint.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Here is a better site to start with!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
So it appears that SMART housing only requires a to meet minimal standards for green building design, which I imagine is not what you have in mind. However, SMART housing have community features that might best other properties' individual features; for example, proximity to transit.

At any rate, this might be a great place to start.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2007
Dear Jay,
I just wanted to follow up and mention a new Green project in south Austin. Its called Verde Homes and is just east of Brodie Lane and Davis. The homes are very "green" and have rainwater collection, passive solar features, hi efficiency HVAC, and rainwater collection. You may follow this link to check out their FaceBook page. If your interested I would be happy to assist you.


Betin Foreman- Realtor, C.N.E.
Austin Home Girls Realty
1601 West 6th Street
Austin, TX 78703
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 2, 2012
The Mueller Affordable program is open again - it's income qualified and provides energy efficient homes in the old airport redevelopment. Qualifying income is less than 80% Austin Median Family Income.
Web Reference: http://homesAtMueller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 11, 2010
Dear Jay,
You can find homes that are not listed for sale with the MLS on http://www.DwellGo.com. You can create your own search criteria and add green or green built to the features you want. Today there are 565 properties listed in the Austin metro area. I found several tht are 'green'. If you are interested in leaving the Far West area, call me and I can hlep you find the home that is the right shade of 'green' for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008
Call Cindy Dietz at Green Bulders Inc. They have a few new development sbring built in the greaster Austin Area. 512-583-4323. Please tell her I refered you to her. THX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2008
As far as affordable, that is up to you! Every person has their own limits to what is determined as affordable. Most buildings that are new construction are paying attention to GREEN BUILDING and there are different systems in place to rate them. There are LEEDS (a national program for Green Building practices) as well as a local GREEN building program here in Austin. Most builders place signs out front of their projects to indicate that they are GREEN BUILDERS. Cruise around and look for the signs or see the local sites. Search "Green Building or ECO building" GOOD LUCK. HAVE AN OUTSTANDING DAY!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2008
I suggest you place a Buyer Profile on Dwellgo.com, identify the geograghic area(s) you are looking in and in the comments box address your desire for green. There are +/-130 unlisted properties on Dwellgo.com as of today. No promises but I remember there were at least 2Green builders on the system building in 78723, 78721, 78722, 78704..................Good Luck!
Web Reference: http://dwellgo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2008
Hey Patty, that is great information. Thanks to you and everyone else who contributed answers. For now, I have bought a condo in Far West that is on the Shuttle and Metro route and is big enough for my needs. I will do what I can to make it more energy efficient. I will look into these newer developments a few years later.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2007
There is an upcoming affordable green housing conference happening in Austin as well.

Near the commuter rail lines, one community is Macmora (near the upcoming Braker/ Burnet commuter rail stop). Its a new development, fairly reasonable, but more of the craftsman style. The area along Burnet there has also been rezoned for vertical mixed use (ie. a second 'downtown').

Low footprint wise, you might want to look at the higher density option of townhomes/condo's and hunt for key words like " energy audit" "energy efficiency" double pane windows metal roof etc. I get reports every day, I'll let you know if I see one that fits what you're looking for.

I do know of a condo coming on the market next year- its S. Austin but on bus lines to downtown/UT. Current owners bus to work every day. It has been upgraded green to the max.

By the way- what is the affordability range you are looking for?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2007
With the point system you use to certify a "green building", a 1938 Hyde park home can earn at least a 3 star rating with new windows and insulation. you can get lots of what you are looking for in central austin, but an old house will seldom get a 5 star rating. Usuallly the smaller than 5700 sq ft lot, is unheard of in an older fixed up contemporary and that's worth a lot of points.

My personal view of green building are that they are luxuy items that pay for themselves and are environmentally friendly.

Try the Belair. http://www.thebelair.com as the 969 product (agave and fiore) has lots of issues with construction timelines and quality control.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 30, 2007
Hi Jay,

Great question!

Green building is a vague, unregulated term which usually means that the builder (or owner) has adjusted the home to be more energy-efficient that normal and to use the environment in a positive way (ie, using trees to shade during the summer, or capturing passive solar energy for winter heating). Another answer stated that solar panels are quite expensive but that doesn't keep in mind the energy savings over the life of the panels. Most energy-efficient modifications start showing savings fairly rapidly. Some studies show that consumers consider energy and the environment to be a consideration close to 90% of the time when purchasing, so we will be seeing more of this.

(I am a certified EcoBroker, which means I have additional training in these issues; which has been a real treat. Please go to http://www.Ecobroker.com for more information.)

Also, to answer your original question, there are new communities going up in Georgetown and Buda. The company's name is "Green Builders". They are on Bee Caves in West Lake. (No, I do not work for them! I just learned about these communities.) Houses are similar to Agave, mentioned previously.


Kimberly White Erlinger
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 30, 2007
Hello Jay,
Have you seen AGAVE in East Austin? They start in the mid-high $200's.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 17, 2007
Hi Paul, I agree that solar panels are not cheap. I am looking at options that use passive solar features really well. I can install the panels later. I would also like to live near transit station if possible to avoid using the car.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Thanks for all the answers. I checked Belair. It looks nice but it is a little too expensive. I couldn't find and reference to Swanee 21. Is there a website? Do you have an idea of the price? Thanks again!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Check out the Belair in Soco.... It's really hip and cool.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
The 969 development in East Austin is good as well as a cool loft project called Swanee 21... They advertise "Imagine a HOA that pays you". It's all about the solar power there....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Jay, the city of Austin provides Safe, Mixed-income, Accessible, Reasonably-priced, Transit-oriented (SMART) housing that, to my knowledge, meets the city's green building standards. Mueller is one, and others are referenced in the site below. That being said, it's not clear as to what level of green rating the SMART designation requires. I'll do some digging on that and let you know what I find out.

Here is the city's description of smart housing:

The S.M.A.R.T.HousingTM (Safe, Mixed-income, Accessible, Reasonably-priced, Transit-oriented) policy initiative is designed to stimulate the production of affordable housing for low and moderate income residents of Austin. S.M.A.R.T. HousingTM meets the City’s Green Building standards and is located in neighborhoods throughout the City of Austin.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2007
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