Allandale vs. Northwest Hills

November 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm 4 comments

We work with a lot of buyers looking in central and north central Austin who want a decent yard, 2-car garage and good schools.  If these buyers are north-of-the-river focused, over $300k and definitely if over $400k, then our focus quite often falls on Allandale and/or Northwest Hills.  A sometimes typical buyer in either of these neighborhoods is a couple who has been living in their small first home, quite often in Crestview, and they now need more space (children & stuff) and desire a 2-car garage (more stuff).  This same buyer may also be considering a move out to the burbs (more house for the money and better school options) but if they want to stay urban, then that translates into south of 360 & 183.

In running through this assessment, we use a generally accepted public boundary definition of these neighborhoods vs. actual legal subdivision; for example, the public perception of NWHills includes the sections of Great Hills that are on the south side of 360 (we don’t expect you to know the legal subdivisions but we study it all the time).  Here are the boundary outlines for this project:

   Allandale – north of 2222/Koenig, south of Anderson, west of Burnet, east of Mopac (yes, some of Allandale is east of Burnet but for this analysis we are using the westerly sector)

   Northwest Hills – south of 360, west of Mopac, south to Far West (not including Highland Hills, not including Cat Mountain)

Northwest Hills is Allandale with hills, limestone, better schools & higher property values.  Grade schools are attractive for both neighborhoods but most folks lose confidence with Lamar Middle School which serves Allandale.  Murchison Middle School, serving west of Mopac, is highly rated.  High schools:  Anderson for NWHills and McCallum (fine arts magnet) for Allandale.

As for pricing, if you want to be in the $300’s, then we’re looking at Allandale; $400’s, Northwest Hills.  Yes, there are exceptions worthy of consideration but the average price for these two sectors is $100k apart.

How are these neighborhoods doing right now?  For the most part they are holding their value and are only down about 3-5% from 2008 to 2009.  Days on the market (DOM) are down a bit in Allandale and up almost 14% in Northwest Hills … notice they both are holding at 30-40 days for 2009 and that is solid.  The best homes priced right in both of these neighborhoods are selling quickly sometimes in less than two weeks.  Low DOM is a solid reflection of the stability and investment outlook for these neighborhoods.  Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two areas for the past 2 years:

  Allandale     Northwest Hills  
  2009 2008 % Diff 2009 2008 % Diff
# Sold 60 68 -12% 90 103 -13%
Avg List $325,605 $343,330 -5% $468,820 $472,503 -1%
Med List $318,500 $318,000 0% $425,000 $439,000 -3%
Avg Sold $314,571 $333,558 -6% $448,909 $458,566 -2%
Med Sold $303,500 $310,250 -2% $411,250 $429,000 -4%
High Sold $536,000 $630,000 -15% $1,175,000 $817,000 44%
Low Sold $152,000 $237,500 -36% $265,000 $195,000 36%
Sold/List % 97.4% 97.8% 0% 96.0% 97.2% -1%
Avg SQFT 1785 1827 -2% 2604 2546 2%
Med SQFT 1754 1775 -1% 2419 2428 0%
Avg $ SQFT $180 $185 -3% $173 $183 -5%
Avg DOM 55 50 10% 68 51 33%
Med DOM 33 35 -6% 41 36 14%

If you are interested in homes in the area, here are a couple search links:

   78759 (Northwest Hills plus):  http://www.thenelsonproject.com/atj/user/AdditionalGetAction.do?pageId=124743

   78757 (Allandale, all of area 2):  http://www.thenelsonproject.com/atj/user/AdditionalGetAction.do?pageId=124745

Also, if you want to follow ongoing sales data for these (or any particular area), you can set that up for a monthly report at www.TNPmarket.com (you get a monthly report from your financial advisor, why wouldn’t you want the same for your real estate?).

On the softer side of assessing these neighborhoods, both have excellent commuter travel access to Mopac, downtown, UT and all points north (if you work north, your commute will be against traffic) and you have decent access to the new tollways.  Commute to the airport is about 30 minutes unless you run into traffic then allocate 45.

Both neighborhoods are attractive to the cycling community … Shoal Creek & Great Northern run north-south through Allandale and Mesa and the 360 corridor are NW favorite bike routes.  We have a client who is buying in Allandale right now so he can commute via bike to IBM … nice.

Your thoughts?

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Entry filed under: Austin, Neighborhood Navigation. Tags: , , , , , , .

The Case for Being Nice Homebuyer Tax Credits at a Glance

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul Pedraza  |  December 1, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Very good article on these two neighborhoods Julie – especially that last comment on commuting to work 😉

    It would be interesting to know about trends/numbers of they types of buyers for each area i.e. families buying in one particular neighborhood vs. people more property investment focused.

    While these neighborhoods are almost right next to each other there is a very distinct ‘feel’ to each which is interesting, unique, and cool for people wanting to stay close to town.

    Reply
    • 2. nelsonproject  |  December 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm

      @Paul … we”re always interested in studying the buyer profile of the different neighborhoods but little data on it besides Realtor opinions & our experience. The investor buyers are sticking to the “steals” and bank-owned properties neither of which are dominant in these two neighborhoods, which contributes to the area stability. There are some original owner fixer-uppers available in both of these neighborhoods and those properties may attract investor buyers.

      Reply
  • 3. Heather Hill  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:58 am

    J-this is so interesting. How about resale value? Is it easier to sell a home in Allendale, or easier in Great Hills? Five years down the road, would I be better off selling in Northwest Hills, or Great Hills?

    Reply
    • 4. nelsonproject  |  December 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

      @heather … resale is always such a critical question. Both of the neighborhoods are solid for resale and a general response to that topic is that is the buyer / new owner can confidently say they will stay in the house 4+ years, then they should be in good shape. Resale is always a bit dependent upon how much the onwer put down in the first place as that plays significantly into current equity. (Note: 20% down is the historical recommendation and less than that has caused serious problems in 2009 for a lot of homeowners around the country as they found themselves with zero or negative equity … we call that upside down.) Because both of these neighborhoods have the location, location, location factor, they will always be well situated for resale. But of course the big disclaimer … if you have little equity to begin with or overpaid or over-updated or back to the freeway or do not maintain your house or or refinanced all your equity away or want to sell in only 2-3 years, then you may be compromised for resale.

      Reply

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© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2016-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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