Archives for September 2009

Take The CAMPO Survey

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is presenting the three possible concepts for investing in the transportation system between now and 2035.

Give your feedback here and help positively impact Central Texas for decades to come!

Thanks to the Thomas Butler with the DAA for the link!

-Jude

Repost: The Best Panorama Of Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin Panorama Photo by TXAlex at SkyscraperPage Forums

Downtown Austin Panorama Photo by TXAlex at SkyscraperPage Forums

high res version.

-Jude

There Are Downtown Austin Condos That Are FHA Approved

(UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 25TH 2013)

To qualify for an FHA loan in Travis County the purchase price of the residence must be under $288,750.  For FHA loans, you only need at least 3.5% down payment.  Consider downtown Austin condos like the Avenue Lofts or the the Shore Condos, two of the five downtown buildings that are FHA approved condos.

FHA approved downtown Austin condos:

FHA approval has ZERO to do with the quality or desirability of a building.  In fact, it is smart Home Owner’s Associations and developers that open up their projects to as many financing options as possible.

-Jude

Defining Austin's Urban Core

Defining Austin's Urban Core

Maybe this is unique to my peers in the real estate world, but how often do you hear the term “urban core” as it relates to Austin?   Some people just say “Central” Austin, but to many that doesn’t imply South Austin, or East Austin.  Generally, when I write about the urban core of Austin this is the area I’m referring to.

How do you define Austin's "urban core"?

How do you define Austin's "urban core"?

For some of you this might be too narrow, but I suspect most of you will accuse me of drawing too broadly.  Notice that UT is excluded as UT is always referred to as UT.  Arguably, it’s one of the most urban areas of Austin – most university settings are dense, walkable, and active – but in my opinion it doesn’t compare well to the other neighborhoods due to the narrow demographics.

Oltorf is still a boundary to the south.  Lamar is no longer a boundary to the west.  To the north, MLK is a natural border between UT and downtown.  To the east I’ve chosen Pedernales, but I could be convinced to include Pleasant Valley.

More importantly, what does it mean to be inside Austin’s urban core?  Well, generally this is how I see it…

1) you can expect to find mixed-use development
2) you can find remnants of Austin’s history
3) you can find urban infill projects
4) decent transit (a generous term for Austin)
5) You could walk to downtown
6) There are no malls

Of course you could find some of the above items miles from downtown, but as a bundle of characteristics I think they work pretty well.  Austin’s “urban core” is a nebulous term that is as flexible as it is convenient.  This map shows what would have not only been the core, but most of the city at the turn of the century.   The boundary will likely grow as our city matures.   Let me know what you think.

-Jude