Author Topic: Texas Hill Country - sort of update p. 15  (Read 2328 times)

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demarco

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Texas Hill Country - sort of update p. 15
« on: July 03, 2013, 10:51:59 PM »
We lived near Houston  for several years some time ago.  I grew to love it and was devastated when we left.  DH has recently shown signs of willingness to return to Texas when he retires which could be within the next couple of years.  The catch is, I would like to go back to the Houston area and he's more interested in the Hill Country.  We visited Austin and the surrounding areas several times and thought it was lovely but we don't know very much about living there.   
 
I've started doing some research but would really appreciate the thoughts of some ehellions who may live in the area or have visited and  know more about this than I do, just to give me some ideas. 

What can you tell me about the Hill Country?  (We would like to be within 60-90 minutes of Austin.)  Are there any particular towns you like? Any emerging problems, especially relating to growth? 

Finally, if you had your choice of living in Houston or Austin which would you choose? 
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 10:11:15 PM by demarco »

Roe

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 11:59:55 PM »
I am from Texas and lived in Houston for a few years. (Katy to be exact)  I'd choose Austin instead of Houston.  As a matter of fact, we plan to head back to Tx in a couple of years and Austin is our first choice. 


booklover03

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 12:11:21 AM »
I grew up in Austin. My mom, stepdad, bro and SIL live in San Antonio now and my sister and BIL live in Killeen. Dh and I lived in Killeen till the army moved us to the east coast. I haven't lived in TX for about 9 years, but we plan on going back when dh retires. I don't know if I would live in Austin again. It's changed so much since I left, but when I did live there, I loved it. I would probably choose San Antonio or New Braunfels now, but I think my first love will always be Austin. I was heartbroken when we left TX.


Acadianna

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 12:18:56 AM »
DH and I are originally from New Orleans and moved to Austin 27 years ago.  We live in northwest Austin, right about at the beginnings of Hill Country.  When we first planned to move here, everyone told us how wonderful Austin was -- and we quickly came to agree with them.  The people here are friendly and welcoming.  Austin has good access to plays, concerts, symphony, beautiful parks and lakes, fun festivals, excellent local music.  There are pretty little towns around us (such as Fredericksburg and Salado) with interesting shopping.  Gulf Coast beaches are a short trip away.  Cost of living is pretty good here too.

I'd choose Austin over Houston, but then I've never lived in Houston (though we drive through on our trips back to New Orleans).  Austin probably has more of a "small town" feel to it, even though we have around 800,000 population.  Houston is very flat, and we love the hills here -- quite a novelty for us, as New Orleans is also very flat.

ETA:  Being close to Schlitterbahn, all by itself, gives Austin the advantage!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 11:47:04 AM »
I think either depends on desired lifestyle. I live in Houston and have no desire to live in Austin. But when we retire we are probably going to head to an area between the two. La Grange is a fun small town. Closer to Austin, I really like San Marcos. If want north of Austin, I like Georgetown.

(To me, Austin has all the headaches of a large city, without the advantages of being a major city.)

XRogue

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 12:00:22 PM »
I grew up in Katy, in the Houston area, have an aunt in New Braunfels, a cousin in Seguin, etc. Given a choice, I'd live in San Antonio as opposed to Austin, if you want to go more small town, Seguin and New Braunfels are good ideas from this city kid's perspective.

Want to live in the Hill Country myself someday, NewDH and I are negotiating at the moment.

demarco

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 04:17:58 PM »
This is all great information.  I'm going to look into some of the towns mentioned.

I don't want to give up on Houston.  It seems like home to me and I like being close to the ocean.  I don't think DH is going to budge,  Though.  I suspect I could be very happy in Austin. 


andi

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 05:20:56 PM »
I lived in and around Austin for about 25 years - miss it (Dallas now). I loved Georgetown, I lived right downtown forabout 5 years.   Burnet and Marble Falls are nice too - smaller towns but not bad drives into the city.

BatCity

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2013, 08:27:00 PM »
We lived in Austin for 16 years and just moved away last year.  We also loved it and would move back in an instant.

If I could choose to live anywhere, it would be in the hill country south west of the city. I like Dripping Springs, Wimberly, Kerrville and Fredericksburg. All depends on whether you'd rather be a bit close in tow town or farther out.

lcmamom

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 08:40:35 PM »
I live in NW Houston.  You could split the difference and choose a town along Hwy 290. Do you want the rugged beauty of west Austin or the beautiful rolling hills of Brenham (Not to mention the home of Blue Bell ice cream!)?

If you get closer to Houston you will find that the city is exploding. You know we have the 610 loop, and Beltway 8, but did you know there is a 3rd ring being built around the city called the Grand Parkway?

Bandu

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 09:42:52 PM »
Native Texan here, Austinite for 20 years, then lived in a bunch of little towns east and west of Austin in the 18 years since. You've gotten good advice here.
I did want to bring up two things: price, and cedar fever. Desire for Hill Country living has exploded, and you will pay much more for a home there than one on the Houston side of the Balcones Fault. Cedar fever that attacks Austinites every winter is hard on a body (allergy to blooming juniper trees that are everywhere). So you might have to boost your Claritin budget!
That said, for Hill Country rural, I recommend Burnet, Marble Falls and anything along the Highland Lakes chain (Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, etc. thru to Austin), excepting Granite Shoals. Also lovely are the towns around Boerne/Bandera/Medina. Fredericksburg is awesome, as are Llano and Blanco.
However, once you cross the fault, your trip to the beach grows quite a bit, simply due to congestion surrounding I-35. It's four hours from Austin to Port Aransas (nearest beach), more like six from somewhere like Burnet or Bandera.
Over time, I've grown fond of towns east of Austin, like Giddings, Elgin, Brenham, La Grange, Smithville. They are still more "country" than the more gentrified Hill Country towns. But that's purely a personal preference.
Have fun pondering the possibilities!

demarco

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 10:55:11 PM »
Bandu, the price differential does concern me.  Nice thing about Houston is the real estate prices which are remarkably cheap for a top ten city.  We expect to pay more near Austin but I think we'll have to go out there and look around to get a good idea of how much we 'd have to pay for what we want.   

Cedar fever!? Egads, never heard of it.   DH and I both have allergies  to certain growing things.  It wouldn't surprise me if we got cedar fever, too.   I already buy Clariton in the biggest box they have.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 10:58:44 PM by demarco »

andi

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2013, 12:28:58 PM »
Yeah and if you think cedar season is bad - wait till oak hits you (my hubby and son get both)

But I'd still move back tomorrow if asked

JustEstelle

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2013, 02:22:30 PM »
If you want to be in the Austin area but would prefer a smaller town, Lockhart is a nice small town and close enough to the city that you could make trips in for shopping, sight-seeing, etc.  There is also Georgetown a little north of Austin and Saledo near there.  Saledo has a lot of historical charm, etc.  Also in the area is Round Rock, which is close enough to Austin to be an extension of the city.


whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: Texas Hill Country
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2013, 02:00:28 PM »
I live (sorta-kinda) between both cities, although I go to Houston a lot more than Austin. Houston pros- close to the coast, shopping in a lot of outlying areas without having to go into the city proper, and cheaper than Austin area, or so I hear. The cons are gnarly traffic, crime rate, and pollution, and flooding like crazy in low-lying areas when it rains. Houston is more conservative; Austin, more liberal, which could be a pro or con either way, depending on your own political leanings. Austin area pros- culturally very eclectic, and a prettier area IMO, but I'm told that real estate prices are high in the surrounding region due to people living outside the city and commuting in. And the hill country area can be prone to flash-flooding as well. As for allergies, well... it's Texas. Fexofenadine, pseudoephedrine HCl and fluticasone spray are my best friends in the spring and fall, wherever I go!