Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Apple Employees Moving to Austin--Where Should You Consider Living?**

Austin, Texas
If you are moving to the Austin area and wondering where you should consider moving, which communities near the NW Austin Apple campus offer the most to you--keep reading. Of course, your needs are most important when considering a new home and new community, so let's explore what you may be considering and talk about where I would recommend that you start looking first. And if you want to call me and talk about where you fit into the bigger picture of Austin Real Estate--give me a call. I am always working. 

Let's start with where the campus is located. This information does not just apply to Apple, as there are a number of prominent employers in the NW Austin area. The Apple expansion is planned for the Riata Trace campus off of 183 North, just south the 620 and I-45 tollway intersection. The 183 corridor is a main corridor running north-west and south-east from the Airport to Cedar Park and beyond. And the I-45 toll/620 is another main corridor road running East and West across the northern area of Austin city. 

Now let's look at Austin area schools. Since many of you will be most concerned with getting your children into the best schools in the area, let's talk about recommendations for some of Austin's best schools and the commute time to campus for these schools. Starting in the immediate vicinity of the campus, we have one of the nation's most recognized High Schools and related feeder Elementary and Middle Schools. Westwood High. Westwood is considered on many lists to be among the Top 100* High Schools in the USA today. With over 24,000 pubic high schools in the nation--this is really incredible. (Westwood is located in Austin and is a part of the Round Rock Independent School District; although all of these communities have Austin addresses, none of these schools are located in the Austin ISD. In fact, these schools are in three different Austin area school districts).

There are a number of wonderful communities to chose from in the Westwood High area. Prices range from around $200,000 for a humble dwelling, to around $600-700,000 for something in the Austin luxury price band. Homes tend to be older, mostly built in the 1970's and 1980's in this part of the city. 

Next, we move a little further south to the Eanes School District. Westlake High in Eanes is also a Top 100* pubic high school located in the Austin area. Double incredible. Because of this school status and because it is located just minutes from downtown Austin on the West side of the city, prices are enhanced by this proximity to downtown. Considerably. The median priced home in Eanes ISD is going to run you about $650,000, but houses that sold this year, YTD, have sold for up to $5.65M. The average home price in Eanes? Just short of $900,000. But if you want quick and easy access to downtown and don't want to sacrifice in the public schools--Eanes is definitely the place to consider (if budget allows).

The next place that I would want to take you is west, across the 620 corridor. There are a number of great schools in Greater Austin and great communities and one of my favorite areas is River North. This area is composed of a few upscale communities where prices are favorable and the schools, though not in the top 100 nationally, are some of the best in the state and probably some of the best in the nation. Let's start with Steiner Ranch.

Lake Travis, Head of the Dragon and Lake Austin--from the Colorado River
Steiner Ranch is one of Austin's most recognized master planned communities. Started over 20 years ago on a working cattle ranch owned by the prominent Steiner family, this master planned community of over 4000 homes may have more to offer its residents than any single community in the Greater Austin area. Four exemplary rated schools inside the community, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, running trails, hike and bike, natural protected green belts, lake access, world class golf and amenities scattered from end to end of this renowned master planned community. 

Steiner is not the only golf community with outstanding schools in the 620 corridor, just 20-25 mins from NW Austin's Apple campus. Another outstanding community where many home owners have found comfort and beauty for more than 20 years is River Place. These two communities offer homes starting in the upper $200's and very quickly getting into the $400-600,000 range. Both communities also have subdivisions of homes in the $MM range and River Place has a hand full of homes that have Lake Austin frontage, boat docks and estate sized properties. 

There are several additional communities, golf and non-golf centric neighborhoods along this corridor, all located in the Leander and Round Rock Independent School districts. Each of these communities have something unique and different to offer home owners. Amenities. Golf. Shopping. Proximity to downtown, the lakes and NW Austin. So, depending upon the trade-offs that you are interested in making in price, location and home features--there is probably something exciting for you not too far away from where you want to be.

If you have questions or would like to talk about your particular needs...give me a call. Let's talk.

*Note: There are various lists that rate schools across the USA; Westlake High and Westwood High consistently tend to show up on these lists in the top 100 and top 200 public high schools--though not all lists look at the same criteria or rank in the same way. Rankings change from year to year. 

**Disclaimer: This article is not intended to direct you to "the right community", but rather to provide you with some robust options based on popular purchase criteria for families moving into the area who are looking for homes in good school districts that are an acceptable commute distance to/from the NW Austin area. 


  1. You should mention that Westwood HS is located in the Anderson Mill neighborhood, which is also a very nice planned development.

    It's a short commute to Apple.

  2. Yes, indeed, a very nice community. One of the largest master planning communities of that generation in Austin. There are a number of very nice communities in the Westwood High surrounding area. Thanks, Jim!


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