Austin based developer, Capsa Ventures, is creating a buzz in Austin surrounding the group’s latest venture in Austin’s incredibly popular East side neighborhood. The development, coined Fourth &, by Capsa Venture’s CEO, Rance Clouse, is named after the idea of endless possibilities. Rightfully so, the project is full of green features, technical building advancements and resident amenities (resort-style pool, club room, conference room, a lobby, key fob access, movie lounge, a dog wash and more). Situated within walking distance to popular eateries and bars such as Counter Café, Whislers, Chicon, The Grackle, Yellow Jacket, and many others, the project is being built to complement its surroundings.
The mixed use development includes residential units ranging from 510 sqft. micro lofts (efficiencies) to 1464 sqft., 2 story town home style units called urban walk-ups. Additionally, the ground level includes 42,000 feet of commercial space (for sale) so local businesses can own the space they work from.
While these amenities are sure to entice, the coolest features of this development are not apparent from an initial glance. The exterior of the building is built with a Syntheon Accel-E thermal panel wall system made from recycled steel. The panel system boasts 4.5 inches of foam that creates a thermal envelope that is virtually unbroken on the entire exterior. The interior is framed with light gauge steel and there is virtually no wood throughout the project. Solar panels line the roofs, LED lights are omnipresent, and the building uses variable speed air conditioning systems so you don't waste energy in heating or cooling your unit.
They are currently on track for an estimated completion date of late summer 2017, and are accepting reservations now. For more information on pricing for individual units, and commercial spaces, email me.
An innovative community is breaking ground in central Texas. Located about thirty minutes from Austin, a little less than one mile away from Elgin’s Main Street, a group of individuals is working to create Elgin Agrarian. The Elgin Agrarian community is designed to be just that, a community. The property will feature housing, an elaborate farm, a farm to glass brewery, and a wellness center among other unique elements.
Elgin Agrarian includes eighty cottage style homes that will be built in a series of stages, with some units expected to be completed later this year. The cottages range from one to three bedrooms, and the entire community will be structured as a co-housing community. This structure allows owners to finance homes using traditional lending methods while maintaining the structure of an intentional living environment with shared community spaces. Owners will pay a monthly HOA fee that will cover front yard care, common area maintenance and insurance, a weekly veggie bundle (and the wages for the farmworkers that grow the veggies), and a monthly share of fresh tilapia.
The community also includes solar on the rooftops, a large common house, trails, and dog parks. For an additional fee, owners can become members of the for-profit spa and fitness center. Since the homes tend to be a tad on the smaller side, there will also be guest suites that owners can reserve for guests.
The farm includes a one acre fruit orchard and a three and a half acre community-supported farm with aquaponics. As I hinted to earlier, there will be workers to maintain the farm, and owners would have the opportunity to help if they so desired. The brewery will be the first female owned and operated brewery in the Austin area. It will be a farm to glass brewery delivering thirst quenchers utilizing crops produced on-site at the farm. A beer garden is also rumored to be present.
All in all, Elgin Agrarian, seeks to create a purposeful community of like-minded people. They have worked diligently to listen to the needs of early joiners and to mold the community with the input of the future members. As we increasingly see consumers moving towards a preference for smaller homes and larger community spaces, I think we will see more and more intentionally designed communities sprouting up all across the greater Austin area and across the country. For more information on the Elgin Agrarian community, located about thirty minutes away from Austin, visit their website. If you are interested in learning more about purchasing a home in the Elgin Agrarian community, give me a call today!
The term comps refers to comparable properties. Whether you are buying or selling, you will want to know the sales price for similar properties. It's important to note I said sales price, NOT list price. You may think that the pricing of nearby properties is the only factor when you're looking at comps and trying to set a price for your listing. But, it's actually a bit more complicated. Here are five things that affect comps that you might not be aware of.
Property tax rates vary significantly across Austin and the many communities that make up Austin and surround Austin. When you are purchasing a home, investment property, or lot in Austin, it’s important to consider property taxes. We do not have a state income tax in Austin, but we do have property taxes. Often, I am asked, “what’s the property tax rate in Austin ?”. My response is usually, “what’s the exact address of property ?”. Within the same zip code, school district, or even street, Austin property taxes can vary significantly.
I was recently hosting an open house at a duplex on Spyglass Drive in the 78746 zipcode- great property, fully remodeled, right next to the greenbelt, and only one exit from downtown via Mopac. The property also happened to be in EANES ISD. A guest at the open house asked me what the tax rate was for Austin. I explained that rates vary significantly, and when I got home, I decided to do a little more research. This duplex had a total tax rate of 2.25% in 2016 (the latest available values provided by the Travis County Appraisal District). It is located within the taxing jurisdiction of the City of Austin, Travis County, EANES ISD, Travis County Healthcare District, and the Austin Community College (ACC) District.
A property on the other side of Mopac, less than 1 mile from this property, also in the 78746 zip code and also in the EANES ISD school district has a property tax rate of 1.98%. This property is located in the City of Rollingwood, and is not a part of the City of Austin or ACC taxing jurisdiction.
Approximately two miles from the duplex on Spyglass Drive is a hidden gem of a neighborhood called Westwood Terrace. This neighborhood is also in the 78746 zip code and in EANES ISD. However, this neighborhood is not in the City of Austin, the City of Rollingwood or the City of Westlake Hills. The property tax rate for Westwood Terrace according to the Travis County Appraisal District for 2016 was 1.8465%.
It is important to understand the taxing jurisdictions when you are considering buying or selling a property. As a buyer, you want to understand how much you will actually be paying in property taxes. As a seller, it is important to be able to tell prospective buyers what they will likely be paying. Usually the estimated taxes provided in the MLS, on Zillow and by the listing real estate agent are from the previous year. These estimates may or may not be close to the figures a new purchaser will pay. It is important to consider what exemptions the current owner takes and what the appraised value of the property is. The appraised value takes in to account the characteristics of the neighborhood and the physical conditions of the subject property. In Travis County, the appraised value of the property can be contested.
Another important concept to highlight is the fact that Texas is a non-sales disclosure state. What this means is that the appraised value is not necessarily the same figure as the sales price. The Travis County Appraisal District does work to determine the sales price of properties by contacting real estate agents and brokers as well as buyers and sellers. Through this process they receive some of the sales information, but not all.
If you are considering purchasing a property in the Austin area or selling your Austin home, please give me a call today. I’d be happy to walk you through the intricacies of taxing jurisdictions in the Austin area among other things.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.