Navigating Downtown Austin

Central Library

Last week I spent a bit of time downtown for work and play. For work, I showed some condos in the Posada Del Rey condominium community at 505 W 7th Street. If you haven’t heard of this community, that is partially due to its small size and has units available for lease more frequently than for purchase. While searching for parking, I circumnavigated the old Extended Stay Hotel, which will be the home of the new 6 X Guadalupe tower at 400 W 6th Street. This will be a mixed-use tower comprised of office spaces, 349 residences and ground floor retail. After driving around in a circle for a bit, realizing my parking karma wasn’t with me that day – I settled on a parking garage. Continue reading

Halloween Treats in Austin 2015

Photo courtesy of

Zombies, Stormtroopers and Minions unite! Halloween in Austin is always a big day for kiddos and the young at heart.  This year it is going to be huge.  Not only is Halloween on a Saturday, but Comic Con in Austin will also be taking place as well.  Drivers need to be extra careful of bands of pedestrians like a zombie horde in The Walking Dead.

Trick-or-Treating in Austin

If you watch The Walking Dead, a band of survivors are currently living in the Alexandria Safe Zone, which is an ideal representation of a community for trick-or-treating.  The homes are situated on a low-traffic street and set within close proximity to one another, not unlike Austin neighborhoods such as Circle C, Legend Oaks, Cherry Creek, Barton Hills, Crestview, Tarrytown and Plum Creek in Kyle.  Halloween is all about time management.  Kids look for the most houses they can visit in the least amount of time.

Austin Events

In addition to candy collecting, night owls will be enjoying an evening parade in East Austin and the annual Zombie Ball downtown.

If you are: a pedestrian — stay safe, a driver — stay alert or home living in a zombie prone community — have candy.

Austin is for Lovers

Austin City Limits Music FestivalFall is one of the most diverse seasons in Austin for entertainment. Lovers of art, music, books, food, beer and even fast cars will find an event happening now and in the weeks to come.

Austin Events

Here is a list of some October/November Austin events.
For a complete list, go to:

Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/2/15 – 10/4/15 and 10/9/15 to 10/11/15

Texas Book Festival


Formula 1 Grand Prix

Austin Film Festival

Wizard World Comic Con

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival

Fun Fun Fun Fest


U.S. Vintage Racing National Championships

Ironman 70.3 Austin

East Austin Studio Tour
11/14-11/15/15, 11/21-11/22/15

Turkey Trot

Downtown Austin Market Data

Want to live in the heart of it all?
Here is today’s median data for active and pending single-family houses within 1 mile of downtown Austin:
Median List Price: $953,116
Median Size: 3 bedrooms / 3 baths at 2,459 square feet
Median Year Built: 1941

Median data for active and pending condos within downtown Austin:
Median List Price: $416,000
Median Size: 1 bedrooms / 1 baths at 852 square feet
Median Year Built: 2008

Lakeview and Lakefront Homes for Sale in Austin

viewSome of my clients are looking for lakefront property or at the very least, one with a lake view. Austin waterfront homes are scarce simply due to the limited real estate available that surrounds the lake. What can limit the search even further is the intended use one expects to gain by owning waterfront property.

Homes Near the Lake in Austin Texas

Lakefront homes do not always mean easy access to the lake. Even direct access can vary from walking across a lawn to descending a steep flight of stairs. Maybe you want to have a boat docked in the water or the potential to have one. All of these are points to consider including the biggest one — do you even need to access the lake? Sure, water access may be nice to have, but maybe you only really want the view.

For many, water activities are seasonal. A nearby public boat dock or neighborhood park may offer enough convenience for water access. Maintenance, on the other hand, is not seasonal. If a home has direct lake access, there may be a boat dock and a steep flight of stairs used to access the lake to maintain. These are added expenses that can be costly. Another data point to be mindful of is flood insurance. Flood insurance is often required, which is another expense a buyer will need to budget for.

Homes for Sale in Austin Texas

There is nothing like having the lake as your neighbor. The lake can provide constant entertainment like kayaking, stand up paddling and boating. For others, a lake view affords homeowners some added privacy and a peaceful setting. Just consider what you want and what you need from it — before starting your search. The greater Austin area touches Lake Austin, Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake.

Downtown condos can offer easy access to the Town Lake Hike & Bike Trail along with unparalleled views. Downtown lakefront condos like the Milago, offer the luxury of lakefront living without the maintenance of the expansive decking, stairs and dock. There is a waterfront page on my website that captures lakefront properties for sale or I can customize a search.

Negotiating Space when buying a Austin Downtown Condo

Downtown Austin
Many buyers are looking to live in the downtown area of Austin. Downtown condo buyers enjoy going to the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail, the convenience of living a close distance to a variety of eateries and entertainment venues and can often walk or bike to work.

Buyers choose living in an Austin condo because they don’t want the maintenance of a house and the yard that typically accompanies it. Every buyer is moving from somewhere, whether it is from an apartment, a house, a condo or even mom’s house. Knowing how much space you need can be challenging for some especially when downsizing.

Downtown Austin Condos for Sale

There are different types of space to consider too when deciding if condo living is right for you, specifically for living, storage and for guests. For most buyers, living space is easy enough for gauge especially if a unit is already staged. How does your couch or TV compare to the size that is there? How big is your table? Do you need a table? In other words, living space has parameters and within every given space you can either make it work – or you can’t.

Storage space is subjective which makes it a little harder to determine. This is when knowing thyself really well comes into play. Some of us are pack rats so unless a zen moment comes along, paring down is going to be a challenge. Sometimes we want that challenge. Downtown condos in Austin often have limited closet space but additional storage space may be available or assigned to a particular unit in the parking garage.

Downtown Condominium Amenities in Austin

Guest space is another thing to consider when moving into a downtown condo in Austin. There are some condominium communities that have a suite available for out-of-town guests. The suite is an amenity for residents and can usually be reserved several times a year at a rate less than a hotel room. The guest suite takes the question of where visitors might sleep when space is limited.

The typical Austin downtown condo buyer wants convenience and often enjoys the simplicity of limited space. Living with less space and more convenience is often a bit a negotiation. For those who can make it work – the trade-off is worth it.

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2012

The Austin City Limits Music Festival began Friday, October 12th as 75,000 people began to enter Zilker Park to the theme from Star Wars.  The ACL Music Festival, now celebrating its 11th year, brings world-wide attention to Austin, Texas as the festival plays host to 130 bands over the course of 3-days on 8 stages.

ACL Music Festival

An estimated 220,000 attendees were at the ACL Music Festival, while many more were able to enjoy the bands from home this year through a live YouTube which covered 2 stages simultaneously, so viewers could choose which act to watch.  Like year’s past, the Austin City Limits Music line-up included something for everyone.  ACL Festival 2012 headliners included: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Roots.

ACL Festival brings Austin to Center Stage

Austin’s local economy certainly gets a boost during the ACL Festival to the tune of about $73 million which includes revenue from hotels and restaurants.  The Austin City Limits Music Festival supports the Austin economy in the long term as well, by giving out-of-town guests an additional reason to move here and call it home.  Here are some direct pages to specific Austin homes for sale near Zilker Park in the Barton Hills neighborhood, the Central Austin area, condos in zip code 78704 and of course Downtown.

Austin 78704 Condos

I have been showing many condos lately in and around Austin’s popular 78704 zip code.  78704 condos offer the benefit of living 2 miles or less from downtown Austin, without paying downtown real estate market price tag.  Home of the SoCo, SoLa, and SoFi districts, 78704 provides a variety of unique urban conveniences filled with boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues.  Outdoor lovers enjoy Austin’s largest playground Zilker Park right in their backyard, along with additional parks that provide plenty of hiking, biking and other recreational opportunities. 

Austin 78704 Condos

Austin’s 78704 Condominiums come in a variety of price points which suit the needs of people who seek the convenience of an urban lifestyle.  Commuters find access to I-35, Mopac and Ben White very easy.  St. Edwards University is also in 78704, so students and parents often find it more cost effective to buy a little condo than live on campus.  78704 Condos come in all sizes, in as little as about 400 square feet.  The smaller condos often make for an affordable apartment alternative. 

One thing to be mindful of with condos is that they need to be FHA approved in order to be an option for buyers seeking an FHA loan.  FHA tends to only grant loans to condos and houses in good condition that meet certain building guidelines.  FHA loans are popular because they require less money down than a conventional loan, so they are often the only option for buyers with little to put down.  Non FHA approved condos can be an advantage for buyers who have enough funds to go the conventional loan route.   There is less of a buyer pool when a house and more often a condo is not FHA approved, because not all buyers can qualify. 

Search for an Austin 78704 Condo

View 78704 condos here.

I have many pages written for specific communities, with more to come. I can also set up a custom search if you have specific criteria.