Are you thinking about moving to Austin? Did you hear that our summers are HOT, and realize a waterfront home or a house with a pool might be the way to go? Well, spending some time on the lake is a great way to cool off from the Texas heat.
There are two main lakes in Austin: Lake Austin and Lake Travis. First off, while Austinites refer to these as lakes, both lakes are technically damned portions of the Colorado River. Lake Austin is a constant level lake meaning the depth of the lake does not fluctuate. Conversely, lake levels on Lake Travis do fluctuate. Lake Austin is much smaller than Lake Travis; however, Lake Austin is much closer to downtown than Lake Travis.
If you are considering purchasing a property on Lake Travis, you certainly want to be aware of the lake level fluctuations. During severe droughts in recent years, some waterfront properties on Lake Travis turned into desert front properties. As you might imagine, such conditions cause drastic changes in property value and can lead to very hot home owners. Homes located on the main body of Lake Travis were less affected by the droughts than homes located on the arms of Lake Travis. If you are considering buying a home on Lake Travis, it would be prudent to look at the historical lake level data near the property site.
If you are buying a property on Lake Travis with a septic system, a Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) septic inspection is required. If you are planning on buying a property on either Lake Austin or Lake Travis and remodeling/adding on to it you will likely need the approval of not only the municipality, but also the LCRA depending upon the extent of the renovations.
There are many waterfront neighborhoods located in Austin. Each neighborhood has unique pros and cons that a real estate professional can explain. Generally speaking, homes on Lake Austin tend to be a bit pricier than homes on Lake Travis. It’s challenging to find a decent home on Lake Austin for less than 1.5 M. On the other hand, you can locate a property on Lake Travis for under 500K with relative ease. This is primarily due to the proliferation of moderately priced waterfront homes on Lake Travis’s north shore in areas like Lago Vista. While these homes may look appealing from a first glance it is important to know they are relatively difficult to get to from Austin by land. There is no bridge across Lake Travis, although I’m sure many residents wish there was, and thus, you must go all the way around Lake Travis to get to the City of Austin, oftentimes an hour long trip.
Whether you are looking for a permanent residence or a vacation home, Austin has plenty of options to suit your needs. You can view current Austin waterfront homes for sale here, or contact me today and we can discuss the best waterfront Austin neighborhoods for your specific needs.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.