Do you ever catch yourself dreaming of the rolling pastures of Central Texas, catching the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair?
These five luxurious ranch houses will make you want to invest the millions they cost to be surrounded by Texas' beautiful Hill Country flora. Each one of these countryside villas is within an hour of Austin and on the market.
17301 Flintrock Road | 28 acres | $6,500,000
This six-bedroom, eight-and-a-half-bathroom cabin-like estate has views and wood paneling for days. The 11,000 square foot "Colorado style Mountain Lodge" blends in seamlessly with the surrounding Lakeway nature and lies outside of Austin city limits, for utmost privacy. Wraparound decks and porches let you take in the view of the luscious Hill Country from above the treetops and the outdoor firepit lets you take it in from inside the trunks. This gated space is massive and waiting for a new owner to bring it back to life.
11949 Escarpment Blvd. | 20.5 acres | $4,900,000
Down by Circle C Ranch, a sprawling four-bedroom, five-bathroom estate gives you the privacy and perks of the countryside without removing you from the city. With a 20.59 acre lot and a 4,529 square foot home, you won't be confined to the cooped-up real estate in the city, but since it's only a 15-minute drive to Lady Bird Lake, you'll never be too far away. Rustic stone finishes and exposed wood accents give the house that familiar Texas feeling, while the white cabinetry and enormous windows keep it modern, plus it gives the option to overlook your pool and firepit. Just a few steps away from the main house are a guest house, greenhouse, fruit orchard, raised garden and barn. Play your cards right and you might never have to leave.
300 Thomassen Ranch Road | 45.5 acres | $4,500,000
This secluded Dripping Springs ranch house has everything Central Texas has to offer, from proximity to the Hill Country wine trail to the shroud of greenery that keeps this property so elusive. Each of the five bedrooms has a bathroom to match on the 5052 square foot property. The outdoor pool and corresponding jacuzzi are comfortably situated near a covered veranda and kitchen, ideal for entertaining guests, plus over 2,500 square feet of outdoor living space, for those who just can't get enough of Texas nature. Trees are spotted all over the property and a fenced-in pasture nearby will support livestock or horses, if you so choose. If that isn't enough, the barn onsite can be used as a workshop and the property comes with its own basketball court.
488 Shovel Mountain Road | 172.5 acres | $4,400,000
This home is built for the true rancher, so don't move in without your farm animal friends in tow. Light-colored walls juxtaposed with dark cabinetry, exposed wood beams and tasteful wood paneled accents characterize this home, which sits on 3,727 square feet of gated property. The open floor plan supports four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms plus an outdoor covered kitchen with space to keep guests. The real beauty of this house is the capacity to keep animals, with a massive 11,000 square foot livestock show barn, because your animals deserve only the best, complete with grooming stations, pens, feed storage and a vet room. With three ponds and two wells on the property, the proliferation of land leaves so many opportunities to farm, ranch, graze and grow.
Sanctuary Cellars 14145 Bear Creek Pass | 5.5 acres | $3,695,000
This modern ranch house is the perfect place to start your hobby farm without deviating from a life of luxury. You don't have to leave your Austin lifestyle behind since the house sits only 20 minutes away from downtown but 5,300 square feet, six bedrooms and five bathrooms allow you to claim some space. Clean lines, white walls and simple fixtures give this home a timeless look, and the wildflowers surrounding the property keep it looking vibrant. A Napa-style pool overlooks a Spanish Tempranillo vineyard and equestrian barn to either raise horses or turn into an entertainer's dream venue.
Who said country living couldn't be glamorous?
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Move-in has started for a new 300-foot tower a few blocks away from the University of Texas at Austin.
Known as Waterloo Tower, the fully leased building totals 229,728 square feet and is located off of the Drag, along 24th Street. The Austin-based developer, LV Collective, says this location offers easy access to West Campus restaurants and shops and connects residents to the UT campus.
With 241 units and 796 beds, residents have perks like Daydreamer Coffee in the lobby and a rooftop amenity level. The rooftop has unobstructed views of downtown Austin and the UT campus, plus private cabana-style seating areas, a hot tub and waterfall edge pool.
The building broke ground in 2020 near the start of the pandemic and was completed ahead of schedule. LV Collective CEO David Kanne noted the particular care to the interiors that ensured the building was "thoughtfully-designed with spaces that capture the vivacity of UT Austin students, as well as provide our residents and guests with an amenity-rich experience designed to accommodate and enrich the college lifestyle.”
The tower came to be through an amendment to the University Neighborhood Overlay in 2019. It allows developers to build more units than are allowed by a site's base zoning if they agree to set aside a portion of units for income-restricted affordable housing. So Waterloo Tower allocated two floors of the 30-story tower to affordable housing.
The architecture of the project was taken on by Austin-based architects BOKA Powell and TBG Partners for landscaping while interiors were carried out by Chelsea Kloss.
Other student developments by LV Collective include West Campus buildings The Ruckus and Moontower.
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When it comes to the 2022 Austin mayoral and City Council election set for Nov. 8, voters can examine the actual performance of the two incumbents seeking reelection. But what of the other 31 candidates whose names may be on the ballot and vying to be the new mayor or one of the five council members on the dais?
Aside from what these candidates say on the campaign trail, publish on their campaign websites, or post on social media, how do we judge their fitness for office? This article focuses on how much and how often each of the 33 candidates have participated in democracy by casting their votes at the ballot box.