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Luxury 1/1.5 at The Austonian
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Guide to Short-Term Condo Rentals
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Research Different Types of Austin Condos
High-rise living didn’t come to Austin until recently, but did it ever take off quickly! When 360 broke ground the reaction was very mixed, as many people didn’t want to see the skyline change. However Austin has a very vibrant downtown and people from all over the country were taking notice. That demand drove development very quickly, and before we knew it more towers were racing to the sky. High-rise living in Austin has already become a common lifestyle and more buildings are planned for the near future. We even have the tallest residential building in Texas - The Austonian, and others like Spring and the W that rival bigger cities.
Although Austin is one of the most historical towns in Texas, there just aren’t that many historic condos and lofts. Many of the buildings in the warehouse district were converted into restaurants and clubs instead of residential units. There are a few like Brazos, Avenue and the Brown Building, but for the most part condo and loft living in Austin is limited to buildings that have been around less than 30 years.
In addition to the high-rises, Austin has seen a huge surge in development of 2 and 3-story modern condo developments. These condos have loft elements like high ceilings, exposed ductwork and concrete floors but they also have the conveniences of recent construction. Many of these modern condos are found in the East side and SoCo. The Pedernales Lofts were the ones who really started the trend, and now we have many more like Este and 41 Waller.
Austin is not the biggest city in Texas, but it sure feels like the most metropolitan. While downtown Dallas and Houston are still relative ghost towns on the weekends, downtown Austin comes alive. This is the live music capital of the world, and living downtown means walking to your favorite food truck and your favorite club without having to get behind the wheel. Pity the poor folks sitting still on I-35 while you enjoy your Torchy's Tacos.
It’s just across the bridge from downtown but SoCo feels like a different city. Laid back living, good food and some of Austin’s most unique shops await you when you call SoCo home. Like East Austin there are great modern condos for sale here, but the area is a little more established so the price points are higher.
It was only a matter of time before developers ventured East of I-35. Now that they have it’s become a struggle to keep the original feel of the neighborhood from getting lost amongst the condos and restaurants. So far we would argue they’ve done a good job balancing it. Some might wish it was a little more developed as there are still petty crimes and other issues, but we consider those growing pains while the various communities learn how to live with each other. The East Side is where you can get some of the best values for your condo buying dollar.
UT Campus Condos
It’s a common rule of thumb that buying rental homes near universities and hospitals is as near a sure thing as you can find. Fortunately in Austin you can do both by buying a condo or loft near the UT Campus. If your son or daughter is starting college at UT why not purchase a condo for them to live in rather than donating even more money to the university for housing? When they graduate you can continue renting it out or sell it and hopefully recoup your investment. We’ve helped many parents invest in a UT condo and we can help you too.
These are quickly disappearing. You might still occasionally find a foreclosed Austin condo on Highrises.com, but they are few and far between. Our economy hasn’t been hurt nearly as much as other markets so we didn’t see foreclosures flood the market. If you do find one, you should be ready to pay cash as most banks just want them off their books and do not offer financing.
The Austin Condo Market
What does buying in a city with limited inventory mean to you? Competition is keen, with sellers only willing to consider contracts from qualified buyers or those paying cash. It’s critical to have a Buyer’s Agent representing you and guiding you through the process. Also, your agent can alert you to properties that are coming on the market, but not yet posted in MLS. An experienced downtown Broker, Ellen Noble has been representing buyers in the Central Austin market since 2002.
As Downtown Austin REALTORS, we offer our experience and expertise in finding you the perfect home in urban Austin. If living in downtown is not for you, we’ll expose you to central Austin’s beautiful, walkable neighborhoods with a variety of housing options.
Living in Austin
For better or for worse it seems everyone is moving to Austin. We are still in shock over the recent news that Austin is now the 11th largest city in the nation. Over 100 people per day are moving to Austin, and we just ranked second on the Forbes Top Ten Cities for Finding Employment. But it’s not just young, recent college graduates who are moving here. The retiring Baby Boomers are flocking to this laid back lifestyle and the appeal of carefree condo living. Forbes continued its love affair with our Capital city, naming Austin as one of the best places to retire. This trend continues, resulting in high demand for housing and low inventories. This fast paced real estate market is seen all around the city, but especially in downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Cranes are once again dotting the skyline with new highrise apartment buildings and luxury hotels on the way up.
Even with all the growth, the downtown area still retains its small town charm but with big city amenities. The downtown core is located on the north side of Lady Bird Lake, with most condos within a block of over eight miles of hike/bike trails. On the south side of the lake, you’ll find the 350 acre Zilker Park, home to the annual Austin City Limits Festival. Within a mile of downtown is Barton Springs, a three acre spring fed pool with bracing 68 degree water. Downtown Austin has evolved into a vibrant, walkable area offering an incredible variety of dining experiences, retail services, two movie theaters, music venues and live performances at the Paramount Theater. The Whole Foods 80,000 square foot flagship store opened in 2005 and is now surrounded by galleries, boutiques and restaurants in the Market District at West 6th and Lamar. Second Street District is home to locally owned boutiques, restaurants, the Violet Crown Cinema and the Moody Theater, where Austin City Limits (ACL Live) is produced. Most of the highrises provide stunning views of Lady Bird Lake, the Capitol dome and the Hill Country to the west. But the horizon is changing, so you’ll want a Broker who can keep you informed of new projects that may alter the current view.