If you’re looking to purchase a property in the Austin area, it’s important to consider property tax rates. Throughout central Texas, these rates can vary drastically from just under one and half percent to over four percent in some areas. These rates can make a big difference in your monthly mortgage amount and in your purchasing power. For a $300,000 home with a 1.5% tax rate your annual taxes would be around $4,500. With a 4.9% tax rate, you would expect to pay about $14,700 annually for a home of the same price. Of course, if you intend to use this home as a primary residence you would be eligible for a homestead exemption which reduces your annual property taxes. Regardless, if you’re considering moving to the Austin area you may want to look for homes in areas with lower tax rates. Thus, I have compiled this list of South and West Austin neighborhoods with property tax rates under 2%.
Sunset Valley (1.87%) is a small city about fifteen minutes southwest of downtown Austin. Homes in Sunset Valley are in the lowest tax rate on this list, and it is also one of the closest neighborhoods to Downtown. Unfortunately, the population is small (less than 700 residents according to the latest census), and that makes available inventory in Sunset Valley scarce. Click here to view all homes for sale in Sunset Valley.
Rollingwood (1.96%) is another independent city adjacent to Austin city limits. Residents of Rollingwood enjoy a great quality of life enjoying the benefits of a small town community feel while also being less than 10 minutes from downtown Austin. The median home price in Rollingwood is one of the highest in the Austin area. However, homes in this neighborhood do feed to the exemplary Eanes ISD. Click here to view all homes for sale in Rollingwood.
West Lake Hills (1.91%) is located just west of Rollingwood. It is another one of Austin’s most affluent neighborhoods. The median sales price was over 1 M last year. However, you can find homes in the 500-800s in this Austin suburb. Also, there are some unincorporated pocket neighborhoods where you can find homes that have lower property tax rates like this home in Westwood with a 1.846% property tax rate. Click here to view homes for sale in West Lake Hills.
Cuernavaca (1.86%) is located further west in Westlake off of Bee Caves Rd. The community is located between Bee Caves Rd (2244) and Lake Austin. This community is the most affordable area feeding to Westlake High School. Residents of Cuernavaca also have the ability to join the voluntary Lake Hills Community Association granting residents access to the lakeside park and swimming pool. Click here to view all homes for sale in Cuernavaca.
Rob Roy (1.84-1.95%) is a community in Westlake located between Loop 360, Bee Caves Rd. and Lake Austin. The gated community consists of a number of micro neighborhoods that were developed staring in the 80s with the original section of Rob Roy. Overtime additional sections were added to Rob Roy including Rob Roy on the Creek and Rob Roy on the Lake.
Deer Creek Ranch (1.98%) is a moderately-priced single family residence community in Dripping Springs, Texas located between Hamilton Pool Road and R R12. The area was first developed in the early 2000s and consists of Highland Creek Lakes, Mountain Creek Lakes, Valley Lake Hills, and Twin Lake Hills. Homes in this area are usually priced in the 300s. Residents of Deer Creek Ranch enjoy a number of community amenities such as walking trails, lake access, and fishing ponds. Homes in this area also feed to Lake Travis ISD.
Montebella (1.98%) is also located about 25 minutes west of Austin in Dripping Springs off Hamilton Pool Road. Construction began about 5 years ago in this community which features an array of styles with most homes boasting open-floor plans. Most homes in Montebella tend to be around 2,000 square feet and sell in the mid 300s. Montebella homes feed to Lake Travis ISD. Click here to view all homes for sale in Montebella.
Pedernales Canyon Ranch (1.98%) is a community in Spicewood, Texas located west of Hwy.71 and South of the Pedernales River. Pedernales Canyon Ranch is about 26 miles west of downtown Austin, and about 10 miles west of The Hill Country Galleria where dining and shopping opportunities abound. Residences in this neighborhood tend to be on larger lots and many offer gorgeous hill country views. Click here to view all homes for sale in Pedernales Canyon Ranch.
Angel Bay (1.98%) is a quiet gated community in Spicewood, Texas. Homes in Angel Bay tend to be on the larger side, between 4,000-7,000 square feet and usually are on lots of at least a few acres. Angel Bay is a waterfront community offering ample opportunities for residents to enjoy Lake Travis. Many homes in this neighborhood are also suitable for horses. Click here to view all homes for sale in Angel Bay.
Milam Ranch (1.98) is a community in Spicewood located between Old Ferry Road and the Pedernales River. Homes in Milam Ranch also feature large lots usually of at least a few acres. Milam Ranch feeds to Lake Travis High School. Click here to view all homes for sale in Milam Ranch.
Shady Hollow (1.91%) is a community in South Austin located east of Circle C and about 15 miles from Downtown Austin. Homes in Shady Hollow were built from the 70s to the early 2000s. The median home price in Shady Hollow is just under 400K. Shady Hollow is located in Austin ISD with homes in Shady Hollow feeding to Bowie High School. Click here to view all homes for sale in Shady Hollow.
South Grove (1.86%) is a community of free-standing condos in Manchaca, Texas about 12 miles south of downtown Austin. Homes in South Grove were built between 2015-2017 and usually sell in the high 200s - low 300s. Most homes in South Grove have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths although there are some 2 bedroom and 4 bedroom homes. South Grove feeds to Austin ISD and Akins High School. Click here to view all homes for sale in South Grove.
Enclave at Estancia (1.87%) is a planned gated community in South Austin. Homes in this community are relatively new with Lennar beginning development of this neighborhood in 2015. Residents in the Enclave at Estancia enjoy community amenities such as parks, trails, a community center, and pool. Homes in the Enclave at Estancia range from around 1500 sqft. to 4,000 sqft. and usually sell for between 350-450K. This community is located about 20 minutes south of downtown Austin and also feeds to Akins High School. Click here to view all homes for sale in the Enclave at Estancia.
If you’re looking to invest in Austin, you may be considering purchasing a property to use as a short term rental. Oftentimes, you can earn significantly more renting your property out short term than you can long term. Unfortunately, it has become more and more difficult to find properties you can use as vacation rentals in Austin as the city limits the number of permits available for short term rentals.
The City of Austin classifies short term rentals into 3 categories: STR Type 1, STR Type 2, and STR Type 3. Type 1 refers to primary residences used occasionally for vacation rental purposes. Type 2 refers to non-owner occupied single-family investment properties, and Type 3 refers to multifamily short term rentals. Take a look at this article to learn more about the different types of short term rentals.
The City of Austin is no longer issuing Type 2 permits. So, if you want to purchase a property to use solely as a vacation rental in Austin, you have two options. You can look outside the city limits to find a single family property or you can find a unit in a multi-family building to use as a short-term rental.
If you want to buy a single family home, consider the type of people that would like to procure a short-term rental in the Austin area. Austin has become a very popular wedding destination. Consider looking for homes outside the city limits near wedding venues. Areas like Dripping Springs, Driftwood, and Bee Cave are all outside the city limits of Austin and popular for tourists coming into Austin for weddings or simply for a weekend getaway to check out the breweries/wineries. A home with a pool tends to perform well as a short term rental as well. Guests are willing to stay a little bit further out if they can envision a group get-together with plenty of room to relax and play poolside. A number of tourists also come to Austin to enjoy the lakes. Consider looking at lakefront communities in the Austin ETJ such as Apache Shores, Volente, Hudson Bend, and Cuernavaca.
If you want to purchase a condo to use a short term rental, you will want to make sure the condo allows for short term rentals, and that there are STR Type 3 permits available for the building. Below is a list of downtown condo buildings that have units which have been issued STR Type 3 permits in the past. This list is for informational purposes only, please note that condo regulations can change and that permit availability is not guaranteed.
If you are interested in purchasing a property to use as a short term rental in Austin, contact me today. My background in vacation rental management coupled with my real estate experience is sure to give you the upper hand in procuring a solid vacation rental investment property.
Yesterday, I was at a closing, and my client and I decided it would be funny to track exactly how many signatures were required to officially sell the property. I always make jokes about closing saying “you sign your life away” or “you’ll practically get carpal tunnel in the process”. But, we were curious, exactly how many signatures would it take.
As my client continued to sign a variety of forms, many of which seemed to cover the same thing, I started tallying. All in all she signed her name 24 times yesterday, and initialed 6 times. This was part of a 1031 exchange so I speculate she may have endured a little less pain had it not been.
This process got me thinking. I wonder how many signatures and initials are required in total from the listing to the closing. I looked back through my records and uncovered these stats:
All in all my client signed her name 29 times and her initials 28 times. Keep in mind this was for one seller client. Also, this was a multiple offer situation and there was no countering on the contract. All in all, these numbers were actually less than I thought, and, as my client pointed out, almost all signing before the closing was done electronically which makes it a lot easier than by hand.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.