I can certainly wax as lyrically as the next TREC licensed real estate agent about the boons of a large university presence, the burgeoning ecomony and the major employers and the low costs of living here in Austin, TX. But it’s June and my lyrical wax is about to melt, and I thought I’d blow off some steam. Here are some reasons that some don’t move to Austin:
Austin is hot. Not just a little toasty. Resolve-breaking hot. If you look at average temperatures in Austin, the moderate sounding 84 degrees in July and August might not seem too bad. If you look at the average high for August though, it’s 96 degrees, and the sun is pretty fierce – we’re at the same latitude as Cairo. Really.
Good news for sun-lovers, solar-power lovers, and cold blooded animals who like complaining about the weather. Bad news for pale English people like me who scurry between air-conditioned spaces and large bodies of water. Luckily Austin is replete with lakes, pools, rivers and swimming holes, and large shade trees.
Property tax is relatively high. Of course the flip side of their being no state income tax in Texas is that the property tax is a little higher than in other states. For example, my property tax rate in 2009 was around 2.2% of appraised value.
The good thing about homes in Austin are that the prices are lower than in other large US cities. If the median house price in Greater Austin in 2009 was under $190,000 it was still only around $300,000 within the city limits (equating to around $6,600 in annual property taxes before exemptions)
Pollen Sometimes referred to as the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World, there’s another long-winded phrase I sometimes use: The Fall Allergy Capital of the US. While I’m in whining and griping mode, I’ll spit out that I never suffered from allergies until I moved to Austin, and then after about three years I got snookered by them. All it took was a minor change in diet and a bit of education and I don’t even notice them any more.
Too many top ten lists. OK, I’m scraping the bottom of the top of the barrel here, but Austin does get a lot of “greenest city”, “best City to get a job”, “best city for meeting smart, attractive people who will gladly lend you ten dollars” and other accolades. If you don’t believe me, check out the Austin wikipedia page.
The glorious TedXAustin unveiled its 2011 theme last night – “Right Now”, with a mention of Austin’s crowning as City of the Next Decade. Which means that there’s going to be alot going on here, and alot of other people moving here too.
If you think you can handle the pollen, greatness, property tax and heat, then you could consider a move to Austin. Lots of people do – the population doubles every 20 years.
Garreth Wilcock is an ex-patriate Austin Realtor ®. You can search Austin homes for sale at his website, and get in touch to take the heat and pollen test to relocate here. Heck, if you’ve had enough of all the new people, heat and property tax, he can even sell your home so you can leave.
The City of Austin has some great map tools for the public to use. One of them allows you to view flood plain, zoning and other geographic information on an interactive map.
If you’re thinking of buying a home and are curious about the zoning of the property, or whether the vacant lot next door is a prime target for a condo development, you can do a little investigation. The same goes for investors who want to know what they can build on a lot.
If you go to the City Of Austin Development Map Viewer, you will be presented with a map of Austin. You could read the instructions on how to use the map viewer, or use the shortcut below to find out zoning information.
What Zoning is that Austin property?
This gets you to the part of the map you want to see. You can use the Zoom tool on the left hand side to get a clearer picture of the lot boundaries which come in the default view.
After you identify the zoning, it appears in the middle of the screen at the bottom, in this case SF-3-NP, which is single family 3 with a neighborhood plan.
If you think that the public GIS viewer shows plenty of Austin development information, wait until you see the one that the City uses. If you have questions about zoning, you can drop by their offices at 505 Barton Springs Road between 9am and 1pm each weekday.
You don’t often get a chance to live in a condo like this one, or these four! Four condos have been combined and remodeled to give a luxury pad right in the heart of downtown – the most walkable neighborhood in Austin. I™m delighted to present this Pinnacle Group listing:
80 Red River Austin, TX, 78701
- 5 Beds, 4 Baths
- 5 Living, 2 Dining
- 3800 sqft on three floors!
- Austin ISD (Mathews / Henry/ Austin)
- MLS# 6319105
- Gated community
- Back yard!
- Spiral staircase
- Virtual Tour
See more information on 80 Red River, Austin TX 78701 at my Austin MLS site
This condo has everything you need – four condos worth of parking spaces for you and your visitors, easy walking access to Austin’s renowned entertainment districts and direct access to LBJ Lake’s hike and bike trails.
Inside the home has top of the line appliances, and has been thoroughly and thoughtfully remodeled to a fantastic level of detail – from the wine cooler to the elegant master spa suite.
Check out walkscore.com to see how you can thrive in Downtown Austin.
For more information on this unique condo in downtown Austin, please contact Garreth Wilcock: 512 694 8873