It's finally fall, meaning cooler weather and a better time to buy a home. As of August insights, total home sales are down by 4%, according to the Austin Board of Realtors, and inventory is up.
Austin's current median home price is $470,000, so here's a sampling of what that amount can get you. Of course, if you're seriously considering a home, you'll probably be up against other buyers that could hike that market price up.
$400,000 4504 W. Village Ct., Austin, TX 78744
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom home in South Austin comes in at 960 square feet in the Franklin Park neighborhood. The house itself may be fairly small but on a 6,403 square foot lot, spacious front and back yards give the home an outdoorsy feel. This house was built in 1977 but has been updated with modern fixtures, and features 100-year-old reclaimed hardwood floors and oversized bedrooms with flooding natural light.
$425,000 9715 Hansford Dr., Austin, TX 78753
In the Windsor Hills neighborhood, this four-bedroom, two-bathroom home has been remodeled with current fixtures and an eye-catching exterior. With a modest yard and shed for gardening in North Austin, this house is all white on the inside with new quartz countertops and tile flooring throughout. The house has a massive open kitchen and fireplace—I can already smell the holiday cookies baking in this house.
$445,000 7220 Cherry Beam Path
In far South Austin, this asymmetrical house built in 2015 has sky-high ceilings all throughout the house. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms across two stories and 1,672 square feet, the house features quartz countertops, dark cabinetry, walk-in closets and wide-open spaces to sprawl out. Stay away from this house if the skewed roof bothers you—it's tilted all throughout the home!
$470,000 807 Kavanagh Drive
In South Austin's Buckingham Estates with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on 1,537 square feet, this little green gem has some unique features. The trim and built-in shelves give this home a rustic feel, a fireplace and wine rack give it character and the attached sunroom is an Austin summertime dream. A converted garage has two spare rooms and in the backyard, a shed with electricity.
$479,900 1041 Broadview Street
Feel like you were born in the wrong era? This house is for you. Built in 1954 with three bedrooms and one bathroom on 1,138 square feet, this house is a blast from the past. A checkered tile kitchen with retro-looking appliances, original hardwood floors, open concept and proximity to the Mueller area make this home special. On top of that, this house includes a covered patio in the backyard and Google Fiber internet.
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By Jonathan Lee
The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.
The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'
Historic preservationists, for their part, overwhelmingly support historic zoning, which would preserve the buildings in perpetuity. The Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic zoning in July, citing architectural significance, landscape features and association to historic figures. City staffers recommend historic zoning, calling both structures one-of-a-kind examples of vernacular architecture.
Tarrytown neighbors have also banded together to stop the demolition. Many have written letters, and a few spoke at the meeting. “How could anyone buy this property with the intent of destroying it?” Ila Falvey said. “I think it’s an architectural treasure.”
Michael Whellan, an attorney representing the property owner, said that the claims made by preservationists are shaky. The buildings are run down, he said, and have had substantial renovations. A structural engineer hired by the owner said any attempt at preservation would involve tearing down and rebuilding – an undertaking Whellan said would likely cost millions.
Whellan also argued that any historical significance derived from the property’s association with Delisle and longtime owner C.H. Slator is dubious. “These men are not noted for any civic, philanthropic or historic impact,” he said.
What’s more, according to Whellan, Slator likely participated in segregation as the owner of the Tavern on North Lamar Boulevard between 1953 and 1960.
A city staffer, however, said she found no evidence to support the claim. “We would never landmark a property where a segregationist lived, or there was a racist person,” Kimberly Collins with the Historic Preservation Office said.
Commissioner Awais Azhar couldn’t support historic zoning in part due to lingering uncertainty about Slator. “Focusing on that factor is not here to disparage an individual or family. It is not about playing the race card. This is an important assertion for us to consider as Planning commissioners,” Azhar said.
Commissioner Carmen Llanes Pulido said that allegations of racism should come as no surprise. “We’re talking about white male property owners in the 1950s, in Austin, on the west side – and of course they were racist,” she said. But she argued that allowing the house to be demolished based on these grounds does nothing to help people of color who have been harmed by racism and segregation.
The question of tax breaks was also controversial. Michael Gaudini, representing the property owner, said that the tax breaks associated with historic zoning would exacerbate inequality by shifting property tax burdens to less affluent communities. City staffers estimate that the property, appraised at $3.5 million, would get either a $8,500 or $16,107 property tax break annually, depending on whether a homestead exemption is applied.
Commissioner Grayson Cox preferred the commission focus not on tax breaks but on whether the structures merit preservation. “To me, nothing in the historic preservation criteria lists, is this person deserving of a tax break or not?”
Azhar, on the other hand, said he plans to propose a code amendment getting rid of city property tax breaks for historic properties.
The commission fell one vote short of recommending historic zoning, with six commissioners in support and three opposed. Azhar and commissioners Claire Hempel and Greg Anderson voted against.
The odds of City Council zoning over an owner’s wishes are slim. Nine out of 11 members must vote in favor, and there have only been a handful of such cases over the past several decades.
What's new in Austin food & drink this week:
- Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
- Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
- Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
- Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
- Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
- Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
- The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
- Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
- P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.