Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Cp, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

I am working in Cedar Park and would like to know the best area to buy a home that will ensure very good schools and low crime. Our limit for the

Asked by Cp, Austin, TX Sat Jun 12, 2010

house price is 500K and prefer new home if possible. Also we are looking for atleast 4 bedroom and 4 bath.

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Hello Cp,

As I mentioned before Cedar Park is a fantastic place to live and raise a family. Cedar Park is not as big as many of the suburban cities around Austin. Because of this almost any area in Cedar Park is going to be a good choice. There are plenty of homes to choose from in your price range and you will get a lot for your money right now.

If you are looking at buying a new Builder Home I just wrote a new Blog article on Trulia about some very important things to be aware of. You will often pay a very large premium to buy a new home over something that is almost new. My article talks about these issues and if you follow the advice you will save a lot of money. Another article I just published on Trulia and my website is titled How I Help my Clients Make an Educated Purchase Offer. This will also give you good ideas and tips in choosing somebody to work with.

When clients are looking to buy a new builder home I will always recommend we look at existing homes for sale that are comparable to the new home that they want to build. This is not to change their mind but to show them what similar homes are actually worth and selling for. It is also important to show actual sales as list prices can also be misleading and are not always an accurate reflection of what the home will sell for in the end.

Builder sales are not reported to the MLS so it is very difficult to determine the value accurately and the price of upgrades will often add tens of thousands to the price of the home. Upgrades are where builders make the majority of their profit and I talk about this in the article. If you are not working with a Realtor who will go the extra mile for you and really help you determine the fair value of the house you want to build there is a very good chance you will overpay for the home.

Good luck in your search and if I can be of assistance please let me know.

Don Groff
Austin Real Estate Scene - Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Great question. Cedar Park is a great area with lots to do and more coming in the near future. I have lived in Cedar Park since 1992. As far as crime goes, every area has it but Cedar Park happens to be lower than most. It also has newer and acclaimed schools. Check online or with the City of Cedar Park for more details. There are many areas in Cedar Park that would work for you if you would consider a slightly used home. As far as new, there are only a few that I would recommend at this time. One of which I just bought in and closed in May of this year. It is a great time to buy in your price range right now due to slow new home sales and of course low interest rates. That's why I bought. I know of 3 homes almost complete and 2 in the process all of which have 5 bedrooms and 4 baths.

Mike Cusimano,Broker
Premiere Team Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Christine Pura
Dripping Springs, TX
Locate a well qualified Realtor with a reputable Broker, look for a Realtor with local knowledge who will listen to your needs and desires. A Realtor who listens more and talks less will save you countless hours looking at homes you are not interested in.
Contact The Austin Real Estate Team for your choice of four great Realtors at your service for the price of one...added value = Availability, dependability, reliability and extrordinary service with a smile!http://www.theaustinrealestateteam.com
Surely you will find the home of your dreams!
Kind regards,
Chris Pura Realtor
Keller Williams
The Austin Real Estate Team
Austin Area Real Estate, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 20, 2010
Hi Cp,
Cedar Park is changing fast, as is Round Rock (named in Forbes magazine as one of 5 best places to live in America...taking into consideration lifestyle, employment, cost of living and other important factors). There are MANY neighborhoods that already have good schools and low crime in those areas, and others that you might want to consider. Lake Forest and Forest Creek is in RRE, both beautiful neighborhoods, but not often considered. They are getting a new high school in the fall, Forest Creek Elementary is exemplary. Also, in Cedar Park or any area, keep in mind the changes that are coming. One of my clients was looking in a particular neighborhood in Cedar Park and then found that the soon to be built water park would be just around the corner and traffic would change drastically. There is a LOT to consider when purchasing a home as you know, and many factors can quickly change, including low crime areas and school ratings. You need to be sure you are working with an agent who is on top of their changing markets, but keeping in mind that they can't "ensure" what the future will bring! Being prepared and gathering as much info as you can will help though...good for you for doing your homework. If I can help, call or text (512)217-8990 or email me (CindyCrawford@kw.com). Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
Hello.... Your question was directed to me from a very good friend. I personally like the Lakeline area. Homes are new, beautiful and extremely well priced. Close to everything... and.... low crime and great schools.
Call me if you are interested in looking.
Gary Jerome: 512-415-4246
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 14, 2010
If Steiner Ranch isn't too far from your work in Cedar Park, here are my "Fab Five" for you out there in Steiner.

And, closer to Cedar Park is Bella Vista, a neighborhood I think you'll enjoy. Bella Vista could cut 10-15 minutes drive time to your work, each way, compared to Steiner Ranch.
These are 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, but are nicely appointed and spacious homes (1-story, ranch style).

feel free to call or email with any questions.
Web Reference: http://www.ShawnMon.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 13, 2010
Hi CP,
Congratulations on your decision tp purchase a new home. The process is a journey but one well worth the time for it will bring joy to your family for years to come if done correctly.
Your question is broad and so is the answer. There are many communities and builders within the Cedar Park area and school district that offer great quality of life, good value long term, and great educational opportunities for your children. There is also daiily commute, access to major transportation corridors and other factors to consider. There are several reputable builders who have some really nice communities, product and GREAT deals right now. BUT you have to know where the best deals are and how to NEGOTIATE them. Focus west and northwest.
Your particular buyer profile is why I started Cornerstone New Home Solutions. We specialize in new home buyers from 1st time buyers to those buying Estate homes. With over 26 years experience in new home construction and sales we are the experts within the new home market place. Feel free to visit our web site- http://www.CornerstoneNewHomeSolutions.com where you can search for new homes and communities via several search portals without obligation.

If you need the services of a new home expert who can find you the right home and save you money feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Stephen B. McClain, Broker / Owner
Cornerstone New Home Solutions
512 876-3116
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 13, 2010

Good Morning! There are many great deals to be had right now on new homes. Builders are offering some amazing incentives, and prices (depending on the builder) can be quite competitive. Austin has some really good school districts and you will have many to choose from in the $500K price range. Steiner Ranch is a popular area, Westlake is a great area, and you might also consider a home in west Round Rock. It really depends on the age of your children. Another thing to conseider will be the tax rate, all of these areas are going to have different tax rates. There are so many different thing to consider when purchasing a home, each area will have different pros and cons, it is a matter of working through them and finding the area that works the best for you. I would be happy to discuss this with you either over the phone or via e-mail. You can send me an e-mail at pamela@kw.com. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Pamela Peck
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 13, 2010
Hello Cp,

Cedar Park is a great place as you already know. I have lived in Cedar Park now for almost 6 years and have watched it change over the years. Depending on the age of your children there are several excellent schools and areas to choose from.

You will want to be careful when buying a new build home as you will typically pay at least $20,000 or easily a great deal more than a home that is a new resale. I have many appraiser friends who do appraisals for new home builders and they have to get comps from the home builders that are not in the MLS. These home are other homes the builder has sold and are much higher than a typical existing home would be selling for. This is why builders always try to force you to use their financing because often times with a traditional lender the home will not appraise out for the sales price.

If you need help with financing I am also a mortgage broker and if I am helping you locate and negotiate your home as your Realtor I will do your financing for a flat fee of just $495. As of Friday 30 year interest rates with my best lenders were at 4.375% and at that rate they were paying you a credit of about 1/2 point which would be applied to your closing costs.

If you would like to talk further about Cedar Park and financing options please let me know.

I wish you the best of luck in your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 13, 2010
Cp, I just remembered that I spoke to you about Steiner Ranch last June (2009), but you had decided to build a home elsewhere and asked a drainage/foundation question before your closing this past March 25, 2010. Are you planning on selling your new home already, or did that fall through? I remember you had quite a bit down as deposit and it looked like it was going to close. Joe
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
Cp, depending on the ages of your children (I assume probably more than one since you are looking for 4 bedrooms), I would seriously consider Steiner Ranch. Great planned development with a lot of amenities, great schools (the only exemplary middle school in the Leander ISD, btw) , a great family atmosphere, and a comparably low crime rate as per the statistics. There are also quite a few quality New home builders I have worked with and some very nice new areas to choose from up to and including your price range. Also, your commute to Cedar Park wouldn't be bad on RR620.
If you prefer to live in Cedar Park , the schools there are also highly rated, but probably not as many new homes to choose from. If you'd like, let me know and I'd be happy to email homes in various areas that fit your needs (if you're not already working with a Realtor) and send you crime stats, how to actually read the school ratings, and any other information you may need. You can click on my name to the right to see my credentials and contact info. I would be happy to assist you in finding just the right Home at the right price, etc.
Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Co.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
The only LISD middle school with an exemplary rating for the 2009-2010 year is Canyon Ridge. The school is located in 78732 area code (off Quinlan Park Rd.).

As far as crime stats, I've attached to the overall crime data for your review. As you will note, that area code appears to be significantly less affected by criminal activity than most others.

Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
Hi CP!
Cedar Park is in the Leander ISD school district. Depending on the ages of your kids, I would stay around Cypress Elementary School (zip code 78613) as it's Exemplary; though most elementary schools in that district are. Middle school is when there starts to be a difference as all middle schools fall to an Acceptable or Recognized rating except one; Canyon Ridge (the only exemplary middle school). Cedar Park and Vista Ridge are the most popular Leader high school and both are Recognized.

There are currently about 25-30 homes in Cedar Park that have at least 4 bedrooms/4 bathrooms under $500k. If you want me to email you those homes with pictures and property details, I'd be more than happy too. I also have a .PDF I can send you on school ratings per area.

My email address is TaylorShults@gmail.com and my phone is 512.667.4738.

Hope I can help CP!

Taylor Shults, Realtor, GRI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
Golf and lake vicinity are not important. Exemplary middle school and low crime are important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
What area amenities are important to you? (golf? close to lake? proximity to airport for frequent travel?)

How much of a commute time is acceptable?
Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
Talk with Gary Jerome at gary.jerome@gmail.com. He knows that area better than most.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 12, 2010
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