Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Dallas verse Austin Update

Dallas verse Austin Update

As of today, it looks like we're probably going to stay in Dallas.  We have been running the numbers constantly, nonstop for the past few weeks.  Mike and I have talked more in the past few weeks than we've talked in our 5+ relationship... well, not really, but pretty darn close to it.

We've even found a house in Austin we've put an offer on.  We had decided on Falconhead West. The house will be complete in October time frame...

After running numbers, even though the cost of living calculators show Austin is less expensive than Dallas, it's really not.  To get a comparable home to what we have currently, we will have to pay about $120k more.  Plus, our current interest rate is 5.375%.  We would probably get something like 6.5-6.75% to close in October, if the Fed doesn't drop rates before then. 

Then, our current tax rate is about 2.1%.  Most of Austin has rates about 2.67%.  Falconhead West actually has the lowest tax rate of only 1.98% but with the price of home being significantly higher, the taxes are a wash.

Anyway, no matter how we ran the numbers, it would cost about $10k more a year to live in Austin than to continue to live in Dallas.... Mike has asked for a raise in order to move.  That will probably be denied. If it's denied, we're staying in Dallas.  We won't know for a few weeks because they're going to try to sucker someone else into going first.

It's still a waiting game...

**Pictures coutesy of the Falconhead website.

Comment balloon 22 commentsDonna Harris • June 25 2008 09:36PM

Comments

Sorry for being selfish but GOOD.  Dallas wants you to stay anyway.

Posted by Leonard Thomas (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) over 10 years ago

Donna, sounds like you did your "home work". Good luck on the decision.

Posted by * Rate A Home (Rate A Home) over 10 years ago

Donna - From what I know, Austin is definitely more pricey than Dallas with regard to housing.  I was born and raised there in Dallas (I may have told you that before - not sure), but I have been here in Austin since 1988.  It's a wonderful place to live, but so is Dallas, frankly.  I know you were not looking forward to moving and starting all over with regard to your business.  If you stay put, you can just send me referrals, right?  :)  Whatever happens, I'm sure it will work out fine for you.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 10 years ago

I will say a little prayer or you.

Good luck!!

 

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) over 10 years ago

Donna:  I am sure there is more to just comparing home prices of what you have and what you made the offer on, and the salary there as compared to the salary here.  In which place would you be better of living in... in five years, for example ?  Also... Drees is a great builder... I used to work for them... but they are "very proud of their homes."  I am sure you could probably still get a great home, but with more square footage with a builder other than Drees.  Now, I don't mean a drop in quality... it's just that I know Drees often can be above the market.

And, resale in five years is a concern, too.  Where would you guess the better appreciation would be ?  Hopefully you were using a local Austin Realtor with super market knowledge to assist you ?  That would be worth a lot.  Whatever you do decide... I wish you the absolute best !  I hope my ideas were not too off-base... I just had some thoughts that I thought I'd share with you.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 10 years ago

Leonard,  You know you want to buy my database and jump your business 1000%!! Maybe we should both join that new office and run the area!!

Duane, Yes, tons of homework.  We drove down about 4-5 times in the past 2 months, and I've been sicker than a dog most of that time.  102.6 temp just this weekend.  Steroid shot in the buttock yesterday.  I'm exhausted with homework!

Jason, Austin is supposed to "only" be about 4% higher, but that's not what we found if you compare apples to apples in size and quality of house.  We cannot replace our 3607 sqft 4/4/3 with 3 living and 2 dining on a creek lot and HUGE yard for anywhere near the same price there and get the quality of this home.  Yes, referrals would be great up here too ;)

Tom, Thanks! You just want me here for all my referrals!  Did our sisters buy yet?

Karen Anne, I completely agree about Drees.  Drees is not the house we put an offer on as I had to explain the same thing over and over again to my husband about how it's hard for me to buy the most expensive builder in a neighborhood.  They are very proud of their homes, and sometimes they deserve the price, but they're about $30k more than the builder we were going with on a less desireable lot.

 

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Donna, good luck with this decision.  My sister lives in Dallas but has sometimes thought about a move to Austin.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 10 years ago

Donna, glad you ran the numbers. When we have people move to MI, they get a large raise. Then they come for a visit and realize it was not really a raise. Taxes are higher, insurance higher, gas higher, state income tax, it goes on and on.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 10 years ago

Christine, Thanks!  And if your sister ever does move, let her know I can help her sell her house!!

Missy, The good thing is it's the same state so the no state income tax doesn't come into effect for our decision, but I deal with it everyday with my relocation clients who don't understand they're better off with higher property taxes and no state tax.  I had clients move from VA last year and with a modest $265K house, they saved over $3000 by having no state income tax with higher property taxes.  Amazing how it all adds up.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

My husband and I have moved several times and of course had to weigh the pros and cons just like you did. Sometimes, it's not about the dollars and cents. Sometimes, the best decision is a lateral move or even to take a pay cut, if the position is a stepping stone to some future desired position. Personally, I try to take the number crunching out of it and focus on what would make me (and my family) happier. Either decision will be the right one, because you've taken the time to really think things through! :)

Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 10 years ago

Kelly, Actually, you hit something right on the head.  It is about quality of life as well.  My husband has always thought he wanted to move back to Austin and retire there and how great it is and he had to convince me of all this... but how can we have a better quality of life if it costs an extra $10k a year just to pay the basic mortgage, taxes, propane (not gas), and daycare is even significantly higher.  We calculated that our retirement ages would have to increase by 3 years.  Is working 3 extra years a better quality of life?  At this point, no.  So it does come down to money when thinking of it in those terms.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

LOL.... the sisters. ugh

i will tell you all about it. that realtor is pulling his hair out

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) about 10 years ago

Tom, I've lost enough hair the past few months, so I guess it's a good thing I'm not involved anymore... I wanna hear all about it!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) about 10 years ago

Donna, is that what they consider a shot in the dark? lol. Hope you are feeling better.

Duane

Posted by * Rate A Home (Rate A Home) about 10 years ago

Duane, YES!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) about 10 years ago

Donna, good luck in whatever you and your husband decide. I don't have stats on either area but having lived in Texas since 1979 I think the median sales price of a home in Austin is significantly higher than Dallas, the traffic I think now is worse in Austin than Dallas, but Austin definitely has the plus of the Hill Country and the nature. That's my thumbnail sketch of the two places. Air travel around the country naturally is better out of DFW.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Donna - Thanks for the update!  I bet that you will be so happy when this is settled one way or another.

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) about 10 years ago

Gary, Nature "bites", literally... I hear there are scorpians and tree roaches.  What's a tree roach?  Gross!

Debbie, Yes, I'll be happy because I can figure out which way I'm supposed to rev up my business. 

New update:  It looks like we'll be staying in Dallas for now... until we go through all this again in September.  His company made some more changes, and we felt it best to stick around for a couple of more months to ride the wave.  Maybe this house we found will still be available. According to "national" stats, houses aren't selling... LOL!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) about 10 years ago

Here's an update...
http://activerain.com/blogsview/632027/Are-We-Moving-to

 

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) about 10 years ago

As I tell my clients who move to the Austin area from other cities, Austin is the most expense city int the state. We are constantly increasing because the high volume of relocation's to the Austin area. When I am driving around, I see a lot of CA, FL, WA, CO, NY and DC plates on the road. With the constant relocation's to our AREA, the homes are going up in value, especially in the downtown area. Just to give you an idea, downtown Austin is no longer central Austin anymore. The Arboretum area is central but as people from the south call it (South Dallas) because it takes them about 40 to 45 mins drive to get there without traffic. Suggestions from Austin area, yes falconhead is the lowest tax area us, but knowing what I know and selling in Austin for about 8 yrs that area is changing so fast because of the toll road that opened not to long ago. It is about 30 to 40 mins drive to downtown without Traffic and with Traffic, your looking about 1 hour. I know this because I live close to Falconhead. In regards to Drees, the builder here in Austin is struggling really hard to stay open and maintain their prices. The higher homes are not selling that much but everything is the middle between $180,000 to about $350,000 are. Good Luck and if you do decide, welcome to my city, but I am glad that you have done your home work.

Posted by Victor Montalvo Bilingual Realtor Sí, hablo español (Exit Realty Associates) about 10 years ago

Victor, We did decide, and Falconhead West was the final decision.  Thank you for your input of the different areas.  It will definitely help as I learn the area.  I'll probably close up shop in Dallas in December, and start in Austin come January, so I have a few months to begin learning.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) about 10 years ago

Cool, and good luck. Have you decide on what office that you might be transfering to in regards to RE/MAX? I used to be with RE/MAX for 6 yrs. I know all the offices very well and brokers, too. Maybe, I can give you some advice on them.

Posted by Victor Montalvo Bilingual Realtor Sí, hablo español (Exit Realty Associates) about 10 years ago

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