Southwest Austin Real Estate Blog

8th Annual Candy Cain Holiday Lights Contest

Every year, The Cain Team rewards one very lucky Southwest Austin resident with a custom exterior holiday lighting package from Dennington Decor.  It's one of our favorite events we put together every year, and we love showing up at the winner's doorstep to surprise them with the fantastic news.  

We begin accepting entries in November every year, and we usually surprise the lucky winner the first week of December. Residents can only win once, so make sure you fill out the entry form below to throw your name in the hat.

Click here to fill out your entry form!

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Southwest Austin Times Coloring Contest Winner!

Congratulations to the Southwest Austin Times Coloring Contest winner, Ethan! Ethan won a $20 Toys-R-Us gift card for his awesome "Back to School' entry. 

While it is always hard to pick a winner, Ethan's entry stood out with bold creativity. Thank you to everyone who entered, we look forward to seeing, even more, entries for next months contest! 

Be sure to be on the lookout for the next issue of Southwest Austin Times and get those coloring entries in! 

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South Austin Open House!

We are proud to host an OPEN HOUSE this Sunday for this gorgeous South Austin home! Join us November 5th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 809 Cardenas Lane Austin, TX 78748

Lennar Giallo Plan! Gorgeous 1.5 story home featuring an open floor plan that offers the master bedroom on the main floor, office/study down. Game room/bedroom and powder room upstairs. Gorgeous open kitchen with granite counter tops, breakfast bar and plenty of cabinet storage. Full sprinklers and a fenced yard. This home has many fabulous features. One of the best lots in the community with a green space and park on one side instead of a neighbor. Walking trails and community pool!

For more information on this South Austin home click here.

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Community Spotlight: Belterra

About Belterra

Belterra is a neighborhood located on the southwest side of AustinTexas. Living at Belterra means you don't have to choose between the Austin city experience and the Hill Country lifestyle, Dripping Springs affords community members the best of both worlds. Big skies and bold topography surround a thriving community already engaged in exciting events and outdoor adventures.

The community also brings the lifestyle of nearby Austin to the forefront. Residents bond together over live music and entertainment, food truck block parties, and poolside movies.

Belterra is recognized as Austin’s premier master planned community real estate option. At the 16th Annual Business Journal’s real estate awards luncheon, Austin's most successful Realtors and homebuilders were identified and honored.

Belterra was recognized because of the lifestyle provided by the community. This Dripping Springs real estate gem showcases all of the amenities you would expect in an award-winning community. Complete with a recreation center, aquatic center, state of the art gym, and trail system; there is always something available to connect with nature, friends, and family. Also within the community are award-winning schools and programs that bring families together.

If real estate in Dripping Springs Texas is something you are considering, there is no better community than award-winning Belterra.

Belterra...

AISD's Proposed $1 Billion Bond Aims to Bring 21st-Century Learning Spaces To District

Austin ISD's proposed $1.05 billion bond aims to deliver 21st-century learning spaces to campuses across the district.

In preparation of the bond's approval, the board of trustees deliberated about a bond construction delivery plan in order to deliver the proposed bond projects in the most effective and efficient way. The Texas Local Government Code requires the board to consider a construction contract method other than the competitive bidding before advertising solicitations for proposals.

Delivery methods include:

  • Design-build—A single entity is responsible for both the design and construction of a facility. Design of discrete packages of work can be submitted for permitting individually, and construction starts early while the design is still ongoing, resulting in a shorter project delivery schedule.
  • The construction manager at risk, or CMR—An architect and a contractor are hired at the same time, well before the design is complete. The contractor provides preconstruction services, including cost estimating, constructability reviews and other valuable input during design. The contractor will provide a guaranteed maximum price, or GMP, for each bid package, of which there are likely to be several for each project. CMR is particularly relevant for projects with complex building and/or site conditions. The work is typically broken up into phases with the contractor providing a GMP for each phase.
  • Competitive sealed proposal—Price and other factors, such as qualifications and experience, are considered in determining the best value for the district.
  • Job order contract—A job order contracting firm or a cooperative firm is used to provide prices for specific tasks as they occur....

Community Spotlight: Granada Hills

About Granada Hills

Granada Hills features homes, built in the late 70’s and 80’s that sit on large lots, and are shaded by mature trees since the neighborhood is well established. The homes are mostly ranch style, with brick exteriors. Granada Hills’ homes for sale are priced from the $200’s to the high $400’s and range in size from 2,500 to 4,500 square feet.

Granada Hills is perfect for those looking to live in a more country/rural-style while being close to city indulgences. Granada Hills is located about 13 miles from the heart of downtown Austin. The entrance is situated near the intersection of RM 1826 and Circle Drive off Highway 290.  The zip code for Granada Hills is 78737.

 

Useful Granada Hills Links

Granada Hills School Links

Community Spotlight: Deer Haven

About Deer Haven

Bordered by the Blowing Sink Preserve, Deer Haven is a small community of homes built in the early 2000s. Featuring brick exteriors and spacious floor plans, all surrounded by dense greenery, this community is a popular place to call home. Homes tend to range in the $200s and $300s, and range in size from 2,200 to 3,200 square feet. Deer Haven residents are in one of the best parts of South Austin. Whether they are biking at the 3-mile long Veloway trail, catching a new film at the neighborhood Alamo Drafthouse, or taking their kids to Nature Nights at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, residents can always enjoy South Austin’s many attractions. Just across the street from the neighborhood, homeowners can be found hiking at the Goat Cave Karst Nature Preserve in hopes of catching a glimpse of the protected bats located within the preserve. There's alsoDick Nichols Park, the summer hangout spot for neighborhood kids that boasts a sparkling pool. Deer Haven puts residents right in the thick of it, literally and figuratively. With numerous outdoor parks and other fun things to do and see, Deer Haven homeowners never have to travel far for classic Austin entertainment.

About Deer Haven

Deer Haven is a beautiful community located in Southwest Austin established in 2003.  This small community features award-winning David Weekley Homes, with many of the homes sitting...

Community Spotlight: Ridgeview

About Ridgeview

Ridgeview is a Pulte and Ashton Woods development a stone’s throw away from Y in Oak Hill. With home prices ranging between $300,000 and $500,000. There are many perks to having a home in Ridgeview; the location is strategic, the community has wonderful recreational facilities like pools, playgrounds, and parks, and it enjoys one of the lowest tax rates in the area.

Just minutes past the Y in Oak Hill sits Ridgeview Austin, a new neighborhood by Pulte and Ashton Woods. With brand new homes ranging from the low $300s to around $500K in popular Southwest Austin, the neighborhood has taken off since its late 2012 opening. Homeowners will appreciate the neighborhood's location, community pool, and park, as well as one of the lowest tax rates (est. 2% in 2013) in the area.

 As Southwest Austin is rapidly growing, it's no wonder Ridgeview is a desirable community to call home. Ridgeview Austin is located off South View Road. From the intersection of Highway 71 and Highway 290 (the Y in Oak Hill), turn left on South View Road, then left on Vantage Point Drive. The zip code for the Ridgeview is 78737.

Useful Ridgeview Links

Ridgeview School Links

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Community Spotlight: Circle C Ranch

About Circle C

Circle C Ranch, or simply Circle C as locals call it, is a large master-planned community in southwest Austin, Texas. Development began in 1982 and the first homes in the community were built in 1986. Today, Circle C Ranch is a community with over 4,800 homes. It has its own golf course, tennis club, swim centers, a fire station, and 500 acres of dedicated park land (Zilker Park).  Since 2011, Circle C Ranch has seen a steady increase in median housing values. In 2013, the recorded median value of Circle C Homes was $335,000, with its new value recorded to be 9.7% higher than that of last year.  

Places to See, Things to Do

Circle C Ranch properties are conveniently located near the famous Barton Springs of Zilker Park-- a perfect place to beat the summer heat. Circle C Ranch is also home to an 18-hole golf course called the Grey Rock Golf Club, where annual competitions are held. The Circle C Swim Center opened in 2012 and offers an Olympic-size heated pool and a more family-oriented swimming pool for both formal and informal swimming events. Aside from these wonderfully-maintained amenities, there are also privately-managed spas, wellness centers, and local bars conveniently located nearby.

For your shopping needs, Circle C Ranch is home to the Escarpment Village Shopping Center and...

Coloring Contest Winner: July/August 2017

Congratulations to our July - August coloring contest winner, Emmelyn Chavis (6). Emmelyn received a $25 Toys R Us gift card. Congratulations Emmelyn! 

This months contest was hard to judge, as we got many submissions for this cute gang of critters! Be sure to keep an eye out for our 'back to school' themed coloring contest next issue! Thank you to everyone that submitted their artwork, and we look forward to seeing more next month!

If you haven’t received your issue of the Southwest Austin Times, please fill out this contact form and let us know that you’d like to get this month’s issue sent to your home. We will contact you to arrange delivery.

    

 

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Community Spotlight: Beckett Meadows

About Beckett Meadows

Built in the early 1990s, homes here are made with brick exteriors and attached garages, giving the neighborhood a very suburban feel. Mature trees shade almost all of the yards in Beckett Meadows and most residents add their own vegetation to enhance the nature surrounding them. Homes in Beckett Meadows vary in size between 2,000 and 2,700 square feet, with prices mostly in the mid $200’s.

Residents have a wide variety of options open to explore, as Dick Nichols District Park is right next door. The park includes basketball, tennis and volleyball courts as well as a community pool. Beckett Meadows is the perfect neighborhood for an affordable living just outside central Austin. Beckett Meadows Austin is located less than a mile west of Mopac at the intersection of Beckett Road and Convict Hill Road. The zip code for Becket Meadows is 78749.

Useful Beckett Meadows Links

Community Spotlight: Maple Run

About Maple Run

Maple Run is located at Davis Lane and Brodie Lane with a number of different entrances. They were built in the 1980s and average about 1,800 square feet with open 3 or 4-bedroom floor plans. Homes in Maple Run typically range in price from the high $100s to $200s. Many houses feature covered entries, 2-car garages, and decorative front doors. High-vaulted ceilings, large kitchens with dining area, family rooms with fireplace and glass doors that open onto lovely, fenced yards are just a few of the amazing interior amenities offered. Maple Run's charming suburban location with access to modern conveniences make it a great choice to call home. 

Useful Maple Run Links

Burn Ban Implemented in Travis Country post 4th of July Celebrations

Travis County announced the implementation of a burn ban with the release of a Press Release on July 6, 2017. The press release states “the Local Government Code allows the Travis County Commissioners Court to prohibit outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of Travis County. The burn ban expires on August 7, 2017, unless further action is taken by the Travis County Commissioners Court or Fire Marshal prior to that date.”

 

Fire Marshal Tony Callaway said that the county has been on the cusp of a burn ban for the last few weeks but each week the county has received a little rain. About two-dozen grass fires were reported July 4, which is slightly lower than previous years, and about 25 percent of those were a result of fireworks.

 

“We have recently experienced an increase in grass fires in both our county and neighboring counties,” said Travis County Chief Fire Marshal Tony Callaway. “We strongly urge the public to help reduce fire dangers by not throwing cigarettes out of vehicle windows, not parking running or recently driven vehicles on dry grass or operating poorly maintained machinery on dry grass.”

 

If you have questions about the burn ban, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 512-854-4621, or contact your local fire department.

Sign up for burn ban status and alerts!

 

To read more about the burn ban, visit TravisCounty.gov 

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Southwest Austin Events: Weekly Update

There's always something interesting going on in Southwest Austin, and this week is no exception. Here are some updates/ events Southwest Austinites should know about going into this next week!

Austin Sound & Cinema - June 28, 2017

  • The four-show series showcases live bands paired with classic Hollywood movies at the Long Center. Doors and food trucks open at 6 p.m., with live music beginning at 7:30 p.m. and the movies beginning at 9 p.m. Free Admission 

Setting Goals for Small Business Excellence Seminar - June 29, 2017

  • Setting Goals for Small Business Excellence provides a hands-on, step-by-step instructions for establishing goals & strategies, defining core values. The purpose of this class is to provide business owners with exactly what they need to discover their most important goals and how to go about achieving them. Attendees must register here! (6/29/2017)

El Chilito - Grand Opening! June 30, 2017

  • El Chilito is an East Austin taquería boasting a delicious selection of Tex-Mex & interior Mexican tacos along with a full espresso bar, and a whole lot of local charm. The Grant Opening will include a pig roast on Friday, June 30th from 6-8pm. CLICK HERE to check out their menu!

Texas Artist Series:...

Hamilton Pool Reopens to Swimmers Today

Austin's famous Hamilton Pool reopens to the public today, May 1, after closing last year due to separate drowning incidents that occurred in the famous tourist spot in 2016. The natural pool located at 24300 Hamilton Pool Road in Dripping Springs was a favorite local attraction where Austinites can visit to beat the gruelling heat of summer until authorities decided to close down the park to determine how to best mitigate future drownings after two consecutive drownings occurred.

The Travis County Park Department reopened the pool with additional safety features offered to the visiting public. Loaner life jackets in varying sizes are offered at the pool entrance, and throw rings have been placed around the pool for easy access in case of an emergency. The effort was made to ensure that visitors planning to escape Austin's typical summer heat would be safe from any untoward incident while enjoying the natural water formation.

Authorities also reiterated that they may close the pool at certain times to check the water quality, especially if high bacteria counts are present. To make sure that you enjoy the day you set for your outing to the area, please make reservations ahead. The official website where you can check out the latest Hamilton Pool updates and make reservations can be accessed here.

Are you planning on taking a trip to Hamilton Pool? Do you think the safety features provided by the authorities are sufficient to keep tourists safe? Let us know your thoughts! Also, please feel free to share this article to your friends! Have a fun outing this upcoming summer season!

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Learn About Austin's Strategic Initiatives for 2017 Here

The Austin Neighborhoods Council outlined four strategic initiatives for 2017 in its monthly meeting held last Wednesday, April 26. 

This year's strategic initiatives are:

1. CodeNEXT - the redevelopment of the city's land use code is the priority of the ANC.

2. The ANC wants to have “a clear, equitable and metric/data-driven land use regulation that adequately addresses problems such as affordability, displacement and lack of public input.” Developing such a system will be discussed in next month's meeting.

3. The ANC also wanted to prioritize the creation of a department of neighborhoods within city government. ANC also insisted that the Austin City Council should publish a tabulated record of council member votes after each council meeting, for transparency.

4. Lastly, the topic of affordable housing has been brought forth for further discussion by the council in efforts to recognize the magnitude of the problem and how it can be solved through community-level intervention. The initiative calls for "result-driven policies for improving affordability for everyone," with special consideration to families living at the 50% limit of median family income.

Interested to know more about the other topics discussed in the last meeting? You can access the article that first appeared in Community Impact Newspaper here. What are your thoughts on the initiatives listed by the ANC? Let us know your opinion in the comments!

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Latest Updates on Transportation Projects in Southwest Austin

  1. Proposed street improvements to St. Elmo Road and Redd Street
    • Both streets will be resurfaced prior to proposed improvements, which include completing sidewalk gaps on Pack Saddle Pass near Redd Street, shortening and improving the visibility of pedestrian crossings on Redd and St. Elmo Road, and upgrading bicycle connectivity to improve active and Safe Routes to School for both St. Elmo and Joslin elementary school students.
    • Timeline: summer 2017-TBD
    • Cost: $178,000
    • Funding sources: city of Austin Transportation and Public Works departments
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Here's What You Need to Know about CodeNEXT and New Zoning on Council Districts

Here's What You Need to Know about CodeNEXT and New Zoning on Council DistrictsNew zoning maps that were released last April 18 show how the city of Austin’s land development code rewrite will affect area neighborhoods.

The purpose of CodeNEXT is to rewrite "the process aimed at providing framework for future development". It will also serve as the basis to help achieve goals set out in Imagine Austin, the city's comprehensive plan. 

CodeNEXT draft maps indicate where new housing density can be developed to coincide with the city's major corridors. While there have been doubts about the amount of density these corridors could absorb to reach the goal of 135,000 new housing units by 2025, the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint is insistent with its growth plan for Austin.

Mandy De Mayo, a member of the CodeNEXT advisory committee and executive director of advocacy group HousingWorks Austin, says that “we will have failed if the maps come out and they show 20,000 new units. Well, that’s not going to work. Our housing plan is calling for 135,000 new units in 10 years.” The organizations she represents want to learn about future plans for housing, and how these plan will be feasible and work toward the cities advantage in the coming years. Thus, preliminary meetings or deliberations have been set according to district to gather insight on this important concern.

If you want to stay updated with the deliberation on CodeNEXT by the city council, you might want to take note of the following deliberation schedules as announced in ...

Southwest Austin County Ranked Fifth Healthiest

County Health Rankings has released its ordered list of the healthiest counties in the state of Texas on March 29. Out of 243 total counties that reported data to County Health Rankings, Travis County ranked fifth. Here is how County Health Rankings got that number:

1. Residents of Travis County have access to high-quality clinical care and are ranked eighth throughout the state. The county has a ratio of 1,170 residents to 1 primary care physician. The ratio for dentists is 1,470-to-1 and the ratio for mental health providers is 450-to-1. About 84 percent of residents are monitored for diabetes and 62 percent receive mammography screening. Roughly 19 percent of residents are uninsured, which is below the state average.

2. According to County Health Rankings, Travis County residents have the 10th highest quality of life. About 15 percent of residents are in poor or fair health, compared to 19 percent throughout the state of Texas.

3. Travis County also ranks eighth among health behaviors of residents. Approximately 13 percent of adults smoke in comparison to 15 percent throughout Texas. In the county, 20 percent of residents are obese, in comparison to 28 percent throughout Texas and 26 percent among top performing U.S. counties. About 24 percent of residents exhibit excessive drinking habits, which is higher than both...

Austin's Proposed Gondola System is 'Hanging in the Balance'

The proposed gondola system in downtown Austin is hanging in the balance, as challenges to the urban cable concept were brought to light by a recently-concluded feasibility study of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Funded by Capital Metro, the city of Austin, and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority for $5,000 the feasibility study concluded last February and official results were released last week. 

The main challenges to the implementation of the concept are the financial resources and aesthetic issues required to complete the 8.7 mile-long gondola line and its 19 stations. The estimated cost to execute the entire plan is estimated to be anywhere between $287 million and $555 million-- a significant portion of this budget will compete for local, state, and federal dollars.

The report indicates that the challenges outlined in the report can be addressed by the body who submitted the proposal, Wire One Austin, but the study itself did not provide any recommendations because of the lack of information about the concept presented in the original proposal. The analysis indicates that sponsoring agencies have found insufficient information presented that would warrant further assessment. Concepts need to be clarified and additional details need to be supplied should Wire On Austin desire the project to be considered in the future.

The proposed gondola system which we also featured in a previous blog, will run along Lavaca and South First streets between UT-Austin and Slaughter Lane in South Austin.

In the joint statement, the three agencies stated that funding a gondola system would not be more expensive than any other transportation option. The agencies also do not plan to advance the concept because of a lack of details on alignment, estimates demand, capital costs, and operations and maintenance costs.

“The Wire One proposer (sponsor) would need to perform this work to further develop the proposal and...