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Agave - Cons and Concerns

by Ware Wendell last modified Jun 30, 2011 02:41 AM
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Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Ware Wendell at April 10. 2006

Many thanks for all of the great posts in this forum on the Agave development going up off of East MLK. The information presented on this site, including CapMetro plans for the area, has been incredibly helpful.

Like many of you, my wife and I are interested in living in a well-designed, green, modestly priced, modern home in the Austin area. For that reason, the Agave development is attractive. The homes going up appear to have great design and are being listed at relatively affordable prices. There is a lake to the northeast and golf courses in the general area, which add to the quality of life. There are certainly a number of pros on our pro/con sheet as we evaluate this area.

However, I see several serious drawbacks to the development and would welcome any comments from LiveModern viewers:

1. While not terribly far away from downtown (6 miles), this stretch of MLK/969 doesn't have many amenities -- or even necessities -- at this time (grocery stores, etc.). If we bought in Agave, we'd probably live in the home for 5-8 years, and I'm not convinced that enough development would have taken place in that time to make the area more liveable or to help the property appreciate in value. This is especially concerning given the fact that we will likely experience a bursting of our housing bubble in the next year or two. Too many investors and boomers driving up demand by buying investment properties and second homes, as well as working class folks locked into risky adjustable rate mortgages, will likely spell doom for the housing market in the foreseeable future. The question is: How hard will this hit Austin and what will it do to new developments (as opposed to established neighborhoods)? Stated simply, will the Agave homes be worth much more in 5 years than they are today (during the development's honeymoon phase)?

2. There are other negative factors that also could affect development -- and thus the appreciation of the property's value -- which appear to be constant and unchangeable. For instance, there is a water treatment plant located immediately to the south of the Agave development and a state prison located just a half mile east. The infrastructure associated with these facilities means that they likely won't be moved, even if the rest of the area should explode with development. I have to think that a water treatment plant and a prison in the immediate vicinity have to be considered a drag on the area. Who wants to invite friends over by saying, Take a left at the water treatment plant; if you see the prison, you've gone too far?

3. There is a gas pipeline running alongside the northwestern edge of the development. (If you look at a Google Local hybrid map of the area, you can see the path of this pipeline. It's indicated by a lighter green/brown diagonal line.) People are legitimately antsy about living right next to such a hazard. It's rare, but pipelines have been known to explode. What will the presence of this pipeline do to property values?

4. A train runs directly alongside the western edge of the development. Don't get me wrong: I like trains. I think we need more rail in Austin, especially light rail. I would commute by train if I could. But are people really willing to live right next to noisy rail lines?

5. I'm a product of public schools and want to send my (future) kids to public schools, if at all possible. The Manor ISD schools are not great, and I don't know if it's accurate to even characterize them as good. I'm not sure that enough tax dollars will flow into this area in the next 10 years to really make a difference in this important area.

6. It appears as if the developers and real estate agents are setting up a no haggle pricing situation for these properties. We were recently informed that the homes are selling at the listing prices, which have jumped since October, and that the developers really aren't budging on price. (There was a lot of talk about roughly a third of the properties already having sold without much effort on the developers' part.) For those of you who have already signed contracts at Agave, were you able to negotiate the prices down, and if so, by how much?

I welcome any comments you may have. Please tell me why I'm wrong. Tell me what I've missed. Tell me if I'm right.

My wife and I want to make as informed a decision as possible and thank you in advance for your help.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Robert M. Carnochan at April 10. 2006

All valid concerns, several of which can only be answered with the passage of time. I and my wife (and 2 kids) have placed a deposit and are taking the risk even after considering all your concerns. Here are my thoughts to your questions . . .

1. EAST SIDE: The east side is the only side of Austin that remains to be significantly developed - I doubt a HUGE gain will be made in the next 5 years, but as you said, considering the prices have jumped at agave in the past couple months is a good sign. Austin is fighting the housing battle quite well - the markets are down in a lot of other places, but experts have said that Austin's housing market looks good for the foreseeable future - again only time will tell the truth on this one. Oh yeah, and the the toll road (130), could make the property inside that much more valuable - but the traffic on MLK heavier.

2. Water treatment/Jail: those are simple facts, you're either willing to deal with these or not. I've lived close to a water treatment plant before (closer than agave) and can deal. I've been out there A LOT and have only smelled nasty things one or two times. As for the jail - that's a new one on me.

3. GAS LIINE: I heard that the pipeline is not operational and there is talk of the development gaining control of the land from the city. Anyone else heard of this?????

4. TRAIN: I live as close to the tracks now as I will in agave and the train schedule is light enough that it is not a big deal - never trains in the middle of the night or anything like that. Light rail is proposed for the tracks, which will increase traffic (during the day), but will also make rail commuting a possibility and potentially increase property values.

5. SCHOOLS: This is the toughest one for me and my family. I and my wife have been public school teachers and also believe in that route. We're betting on the charter school nearby for at least elementary school years (it's still a public institution) and don't have a plan for middle or high school yet - hoping that the growth in the area will bring up the standard in the area.

6. PRICING: Yes, the no haggle price does seem to be in place and I assume will remain that way until demand drops to the point where they need to negotiate. And, with over 40 homes under contract, none of which are built and they have yet to spend a dime on advertising, that time does not seem to be near.

If this were any other standard development, I wouldn't even think about buying, but given the nature of Austin (Keep it Weird), the fact that the east side is hot and has the most potential for significant new development, and the price for what we're getting, the risks are worth it. I am also VERY excited about the personality of our future neighbors - artistic, creative, and friendly seem to be the common traits of agave owners - that's cool and worth a lot!!!!

Good luck in your decision, it is a BIG deal!

Rob
7301 Ava Ln

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Ware Wendell at April 11. 2006

Rob,

I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

I'm sure the people who are settling in Agave will be great neighbors and will quickly develop a tightly knit community.

All the best to you and your family.

Concerns

Posted by Robert M. Carnochan at April 11. 2006

No Problem - good luck to you too.

Rob

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by James Coggeshall at April 11. 2006

Similar to what RMC says, I can add my two cents (caveat: I got my house in Agave in January, so I am a bit biased).

1. True, the nearest grocery store appears to be an HEB just down 183. It's a pain not having anything really near, but on the other hand, it means that there won't be a lot of driver through shopping traffic clogging the streets. I live next to an HEB and Andersons now where that's sometimes the case. It's also nice not having to look at stores on the drive home.

As for appreciation in value, I'm convinced (as someone who is stuck one way or the other) that this property will only skyrocket in value. First, take it from someone who house-hunted in Austin for 6 months: there is no other neighborhood like this one. As Austin grows, there just isn't room to put more housing near downtown, so the only new developments are way south in Buda, way east in Manor, or way north in Round Rock. I don't think the fact that there is really only to be housing in the area will have any affect.

As to Austin in general, I lived in Houston (which is about 10 times as big) and people have been predicting a housing bust for the last 10 years. It ain't gonna happen: there's just too many people with more money who want to live near downtown. I think the same is true for Austin. The only bust will be for all the condos being built near Riverside, but since most of those are already pre-sold, I don't see any kind of decline soon. If you're going to wait for prices to drop, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

2. The water treatment plant really doesn't look that bad. I thought it was a small gym when I first say it.

3. There are gaslines running all over the place in Texas. I'm not aware of that affecting prices in this area. There are much bigger problems to worry about than gas explosions.

4. The train goes by twice a day. I was there, and it really doesn't make that much noise. This could be different for those who own houses right next the tracks. I have also always been a train fan, so it is something to consider.

6. There indeed was not much haggling for my price. I just asked for a few different things, like a garage, and got a price I could live with. If anything, the fact that over 40 houses have been sold under that system shows that this a neighborhood that people are really excited about. Especially since, as RMC notes, there has been NO advertising. They haven't (to my knowledge) even put any of the houses in the MLS system.

Just my two cents.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Ben Phenix at April 12. 2006

I think they are fine investments. I do think the prison is a bit of weight on the area (as noted, it isn't going away anytime soon). Hopefully they can do somethings to make it less noticable. However, there are more valuable (though not modern in the slightest) going up even further out near Walter Long Lake (Decker Lake) so clearly many feel the area will support Agave levels and higher.

I think a huge boon is the excitement of the initial owners. It is rare you see that in a spec development. It counts for a lot and indicates a group of people involved with where and how they live.

Overall, they aren't my thing. Nor are the metrohomes. However, both clearly speak to quite a few people and admire their efforts to actually make affordable homes.

Especially since, as RMC notes, there has been NO advertising. They haven't (to my knowledge) even put any of the houses in the MLS system.

I disagree with this. I think the homes have been marketed quite well via PR and word of mouth. An article in the Statemen is better than any MLS listing. Also through stoking their buyers, the word of mouth campaign is very strong. I've noticed trends via the search engines queries which provides a glimpse the PR aspects.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Universal Constructor at May 08. 2006

Hi VivaAndo,

Some thoughtful inquiries there.

I'd just add that Agave is a nice addition to the Austin scene. In many ways it is atypical of what is happening generally in town but that is kind of nice. It sort of spreads the market open a little bit.

To some extent I think the best thing to do is to drive around Austin Neighborhoods, check out Agave and decide which environment suits you. Their respective nature's are pretty different in many respects.

That said, the relative scarcity of new modern homes in town cause a lot of my Clients to simply decide to add on to their existing home, as they oftentimes cannot find new construction available that suits their space needs AND aesthetic needs.

Just as an aside, I think far too few prospective homeowners take advantage of the opportunity to have an architect or designer consult on a home purchase. Be nice to get the macro and micro analysis all at once, I sometimes think.

Keep us up to date on your decision.

Most Sincerely,

Jonathan Chertok

Universal Joint Design Associates
Jonathan Chertok. Principal
Austin, Texas 1 512 407 9628
Development + Design + Construction
www.universaljointdesign.com

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by adam whatley at May 10. 2006

A few thoughts from someone who has recently purchased in Agave.

The Prison – My thought was “hey look there is a prison …that is a giant lawn they have with a long road. I wonder if they would let me go out there and throw a Frisbee.”
The water treatment plant - My thought was “hey look there is a water treatment plant …that is a giant lawn they have with nice trees. I wonder if they would let me go out there and sit under one of those trees and eat a sandwich.”
I never really have any thoughts of prisoners breaking out and taking over Agave and after visiting Agave about 30 times I am yet to smell anything – morning noon and night.
The Train – If it was some major train line that was rolling at all hours of the night and day it would probably concern me but from what people seem to have found out it goes up and down the track maybe three times a day. My wife and I actually kind of dig it.

“While not terribly far away from downtown (6 miles), this stretch of MLK/969 doesn't have many amenities -- or even necessities”

I live right next to Central Market south now and two HEB’s and a couple of other grocery stores. I will be able to pay my mortgage with all the money I will save by not going to CM every other day on my way home from work and buying imported parmesan cheese and coffee from Madagascar. I figure I can hit the HEB that is about half a mile from my job or if I forget – open a can of soup and rough it till the next day.

“gas pipeline running alongside the northwestern edge… It's rare, but pipelines have been known to explode”

Exploding pipeline? What do you think the chances are of a 500 mile pipeline exploding right in Agave? I’ll take my chances. There are gas lines running all over the place – there is one running into every house on my block and I am yet to see one explode.

Whatever gets me out of my 3/2 ranch home in the burbs and into a custom home with polished concrete etc. etc. bla bla bla is fine with me – I don’t care if they build it right on the pipeline and the sewage treatment plant. lol

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Hope Turner at May 11. 2006

Just got back from visiting Agave and we decided against it. We didn't like the ghetto to the north, train to the west, sewer plant to the south, powerlines to the east. Of course the gas lines and jail, lack of retail were considerations as well. I REALLY wanted to like it but it was disappointing.

I'm sorry that I won't be neighbors with all the cool folks I've talked to that have signed contracts. I was really looking forward to hanging out with you all...

We're going to up the ante and pay more to live in the NW hills. We won't have a cool green-built house but we'll feel more comfortable.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by paul schuster at May 11. 2006

Hope,

I don't think you should have to discount cool or green-built to look NW of town. as you stated, it will just cost more.

we chose to build just West of town, westlake hills. it's very beautiful in that direction and lots of amenities. if you have kids, you might want to search in the eanes school district. depending on how far out you can go, you might look into the cuernavaca area. it's a lot more affordable than most out there. or for being VERY close to downtwon and zilker, check out rollingwood.

paul schuster

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Robert M. Carnochan at May 11. 2006

Sorry Agave didn't work out for you Hope and I wish you the best of luck finding the house/area that's right for you. The NW Hills/Westlake are very nice, if I had the resources, I'd buy over there too, but unless you're willing to pay a minimum of $400K you'll have your work cut out for you.

Take care,
Rob

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by sydney rubin at May 15. 2006

Hope,

Two thoughts:

1. Check out the areas of Barton Hills and adjacent Barton Heights. I bought a 1952 house last fall for about the price of the Agave houses but with half-century old Oaks, walking access to Barton Springs, biking distance to two lovely elementary schools and five minute drive to Sun Harvest. (I'm also trying to ween myself from the imported parmesan and $10 melons at CM.) You do not have to drive out six miles east to find a nice, MCM-style house at a reasonable price, although you may have to be patient and search for a while. The homes out there are terrific, but the prison, adjacent train, water treatment plant, etc. are facts that you either don't mind or you do. They are what is helping keep the price down now and they will continue to. For me, it was just too long a drive and I wanted trees and a short walk to Shady Grove.

2. I do national marketing PR for a living and the marketing of Agave is one of the most impressive guerilla marketing campaigns I've seen in a long time. Green Mango has done a fabulous job, really. But don't think they haven't marketed -- they've just been much much smarter about it. The enthusiasm of the new neighbors has been a marvel to behold, the Statesman article worth 100 paid ads and the word of mouth buzz just golden.

Good luck with your search. You'll find just the thing, I'm sure.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by June Richard at January 04. 2007

Previously paul schuster wrote:



Hope,

I don't think you should have to discount cool or green-built to look NW of town. as you stated, it will just cost more.

we chose to build just West of town, westlake hills. it's very beautiful in that direction and lots of amenities. if you have kids, you might want to search in the eanes school district. depending on how far out you can go, you might look into the cuernavaca area. it's a lot more affordable than most out there. or for being VERY close to downtwon and zilker, check out rollingwood.

paul schuster



Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by June Richard at January 04. 2007

Previously Hope Turner wrote:



Just got back from visiting Agave and we decided against it. We didn't like the ghetto to the north, train to the west, sewer plant to the south, powerlines to the east. Of course the gas lines and jail, lack of retail were considerations as well. I REALLY wanted to like it but it was disappointing.

I'm sorry that I won't be neighbors with all the cool folks I've talked to that have signed contracts. I was really looking forward to hanging out with you all...

We're going to up the ante and pay more to live in the NW hills. We won't have a cool green-built house but we'll feel more comfortable.



Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by June Richard at January 04. 2007

Previously Hope Turner wrote:



Just got back from visiting Agave and we decided against it. We didn't like the ghetto to the north, train to the west, sewer plant to the south, powerlines to the east. Of course the gas lines and jail, lack of retail were considerations as well. I REALLY wanted to like it but it was disappointing.

I'm sorry that I won't be neighbors with all the cool folks I've talked to that have signed contracts. I was really looking forward to hanging out with you all...

We're going to up the ante and pay more to live in the NW hills. We won't have a cool green-built house but we'll feel more comfortable.



Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Chong Shin at March 22. 2007

I've been told that there is an attorney working with some of the agave residents who are still waiting for their homes to be built.  If anyone knows how to contact this attorney please let me know.  I would very much like to talk with her.  My e-mail is cshin6@yahoo.com.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Alana Chandler at April 09. 2007

I design marketing and advertising pieces within the mortgage business.  Agave and Mueller Airport are the two big investment buzz words right now that come up in every seminar and forum.  In fact. Keller Williams is going to do a huge forum for all agents from here to San Antonio at the end of April specifically to talk about those two developments as the hot investments to show buyers within the Austin area.  East Austin is right now the biggest buzz for investing in real estate. How do I know?  I was hired to design all the flyers for these...and, as an investor, we are now the proud owners of a house on Bentwood right next to Mueller, and of course, in Agave as well. 5416 Agatha Circle. 

I bought a home in Rowlett Texas with nothing around it but in a "hot" neighborhood.  In 1.5 years the ammenities surrounded the once isolated neighborhood--if you build it, the ammenities will come!  Especially to the kind of consumer the neighborhood dictates. If you want to pick an investment rich in price increases, the key strategy is to "follow the artists".  East Austin is just that...you find an inexpensive yet Bohemian area.  It is eclectic so there is a draw to consumers yet artists populate less costly areas.  Once others begin moving in, the prices increase dramatically. It's a basic investment principal but fairly constant.

I don't see the prison as a hinderence...on the contrary, I figure anyone escaping there or who is presently into crime is going to run as far away from it as they can.  So...I figure it's the safest neighborhood really.

snicker. snicker.

Oh, by the way, did you know the prices just increased 25grand last weekend? The day after I signed the papers...wow, talk about instant equity, right?  They continue to move upward QUICKLY and aren't even listed in the mls yet!!

Alana

artistalana@hotmail.com

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Thomas Bryant at April 09. 2007
My understanding is that there are going to be more trains coming on those tracks, especially if the light rail takes off.  A real estate agent that took me over there mentioned that it could be a concern. 

My main concern is that for that cost, none of the units really have a dining room.  They all have area that you could eat, but there is nothing even remotely close to being a formal room that you can have a dining area in.  In fact most seem hard pressed to have any dining table of size in them, most seem ok for the eat in kitchen style.  Not having a dining room for 200K+ is out for me.

Also while having all of the modern homes around is great, but one charm I find is that having a modern home is unique in a given area.  You lose that with this, which isn't bad, but not that good either to all look the same.

Kix

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Chong Shin at April 17. 2007

My name is Chong Shin, I have a contract for a house at Agave.  I am working on a law suit against them and I am looking to see how many people are having problems with getting their house built on time, or built correctly, or them making changes to it without your approval.  If you are having any of these problems can you please contact me at cshin6@yahoo.com.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by J.P at April 25. 2007

Hi everyone,

I am about to draw up a contract in Agave but I am having second thoughts. My impression is this so far and I would love to hear youropinions or feel free to correct me on anything you might think differently on!

The people: The people who buy in agave will make it a great place, no doubt it is going to be a great illustration of Austin and its sophistication

The Houses: The first 20 + houses seem to have the best lots and largest. They have great views of the city and large back yards. The lots not developed yet, like the ones I am looking at, I am told the design I have chosen wont look much like the model I based it after. Not to mention all of those windows will be looking it seems staight into someone elses house and vice versa. Most of the lots NOT developed yet are flat and won't have the decks and porches seen on the first generation.

The second developement I am told will start at 350,000$ and be higher on the hill. If you request a larger lot than those offered right now for the first developement currently underway you can expect to add 50$K. The no haggle price translates to me as they can tag what they want on it and you can take it or leave it?? Not exactly the attitude I was looking for when building a house. But I can handle it

The materials don't seem pricey to me, in fact just the opposite. Akia and Lowes pretty much makes everything used by the builder outside of the concrete floors and for 320,000$K in Austin Texas, you have options.

The location is great, but Agave is not as far as some other developements on MLK but it is not as close as say the Mueller or Chestnut neighborhoods.

Thoughts, comments, remarks are welcomed. I would like to buy in Agave but it seems like it is a "take it or leave it" deal, which I don't respond well to when there are many vague details on the build.

Not sur eif the market will really reach out as far east as agave but I plan on living there for 5-7 years at least and location and materials are more important to me than the investment itself. However, I don't see houses selling fast in Agave for more than 350$K in the near future

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Robert M. Carnochan at April 25. 2007
I was told by an agave employee that they sold the double lot where they're going to put the 2015 sf KRDB design for $450K. IF that's true, that gives me hope of higer end sales prices in the future.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Alana Chandler at May 01. 2007

Check out the Casa Bella 1590, It is common that many modern homes have areas that overlap...this flows from the kitchen to a very large dining area suitable for a massive table, into the living room...

oooo...wait, they aren't building that one anymore.  They retire certain plans after they build a few of them so that the neighborhood isn't cookie cutter...

I'll keep thinking on it...

I will add that the builders convention did note that the two areas that are expected to be eliminated in "homes of the future" due to the decreased desire now are livingrooms and dining rooms...people are just having "dining areas" rather than "formal and informal"...kind of making their everyday dining a bit formal, but somewhere in between.  Probably doesn't help you now if you have a dining suit you wish to keep!

Previously Thomas Bryant wrote:

My understanding is that there are going to be more trains coming on those tracks, especially if the light rail takes off.  A real estate agent that took me over there mentioned that it could be a concern. 

My main concern is that for that cost, none of the units really have a dining room.  They all have area that you could eat, but there is nothing even remotely close to being a formal room that you can have a dining area in.  In fact most seem hard pressed to have any dining table of size in them, most seem ok for the eat in kitchen style.  Not having a dining room for 200K+ is out for me.

Also while having all of the modern homes around is great, but one charm I find is that having a modern home is unique in a given area.  You lose that with this, which isn't bad, but not that good either to all look the same.

Kix

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Alana Chandler at May 01. 2007

That last reply I wrote about Casabella was in reply to no dining rooms, not the sales price...

That sales price seems accurate now with the new pricing...1590 is over 300grand.  It started 100 grand below that...so if 1590 sf is 300g...yeah, we'll see lots of 400s now I think.  They changed the website to read "pricing starting at high 200s" rather than "pricing starting in 100s...then it was pricing starting in low 200s..."  it's jumping with the demand

Previously Alana Chandler wrote:


Check out the Casa Bella 1590, It is common that many modern homes have areas that overlap...this flows from the kitchen to a very large dining area suitable for a massive table, into the living room...



oooo...wait, they aren't building that one anymore.  They retire certain plans after they build a few of them so that the neighborhood isn't cookie cutter...



I'll keep thinking on it...



I will add that the builders convention did note that the two areas that are expected to be eliminated in "homes of the future" due to the decreased desire now are livingrooms and dining rooms...people are just having "dining areas" rather than "formal and informal"...kind of making their everyday dining a bit formal, but somewhere in between.  Probably doesn't help you now if you have a dining suit you wish to keep!



Previously Thomas Bryant wrote:


My understanding is that there are going to be more trains coming on those tracks, especially if the light rail takes off.  A real estate agent that took me over there mentioned that it could be a concern. 

My main concern is that for that cost, none of the units really have a dining room.  They all have area that you could eat, but there is nothing even remotely close to being a formal room that you can have a dining area in.  In fact most seem hard pressed to have any dining table of size in them, most seem ok for the eat in kitchen style.  Not having a dining room for 200K+ is out for me.

Also while having all of the modern homes around is great, but one charm I find is that having a modern home is unique in a given area.  You lose that with this, which isn't bad, but not that good either to all look the same.

Kix


Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Thomas Bryant at May 02. 2007

Modern or not, eventually you get into a price range that certain things are really needed.  At 400K, modern or not, there is an expectation of a dining area that is not shared in a common space.  And no offense, but the area is pretty cookie cutter modern.  There are 5+ copies of the same house, some next to each other, so you cannot expect to have something unique.  While I love a lot of the designs, there is absolutely no reason to pay that much money for things that are lacking important factors for a home in that price range.  Designers may think that a formal dining room will go away, but the idea it is not shared with other areas and we don't live in the future.  We live in the now, and people generally expect more.  We will just have to agree to disagree on the value of that area and the quality of what goes in those homes.

Previously Alana Chandler wrote:


Check out the Casa Bella 1590, It is common that many modern homes have areas that overlap...this flows from the kitchen to a very large dining area suitable for a massive table, into the living room...



oooo...wait, they aren't building that one anymore.  They retire certain plans after they build a few of them so that the neighborhood isn't cookie cutter...



I'll keep thinking on it...



I will add that the builders convention did note that the two areas that are expected to be eliminated in "homes of the future" due to the decreased desire now are livingrooms and dining rooms...people are just having "dining areas" rather than "formal and informal"...kind of making their everyday dining a bit formal, but somewhere in between.  Probably doesn't help you now if you have a dining suit you wish to keep!

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by J.P at May 10. 2007

allow me to illustrate my logic around the issue. I came to Austin to find a property around 200-250K When I was shown agave I was very much attracted to it for all the same reasons you are.When the price went from high 200s to mid 300s for my design and lot, I immediately became shocked and felt as though i was being taken for a ride. Then I contacted about half a dozen investors, real estate agents, did my homework on Austin's projected population growth, building prospects in the next 4 years east of 35 as well as the condos downtown that start at 300-500K

Then I decided 300-350 I could stomach. It will acquire value and Austin will not get any cheaper period. I am told the plan for downtown as it have about 25,000 people per block in the next 8 years. Considering the location, the type of people who will live in this area, the price will only rise.

Yes you can get a very nice place for 400+ but time has changed expectations and builders requirements. Your expectations must change with the increase in price and value as theprices go higher you will start to see the poverty east of 35 slowly be moved out and replaced by houses that are even smaller and older than agave with the price of what we are paying now.


Austin isn't shrinking and prices won't drop unless there is a national economic disaster, which is possible given our leadership but unlikely. The 7-10 minute drive to get to UT and downtown will insure this to be a popular area. Hopefully allteh build quality issues have been resolved and the workers will have a renewed committment

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Alana Chandler at May 14. 2007

Previously Thomas Bryant wrote:

Actually the homes aren't 400k.  WAYYYYYY WAAAAYYYYY under that for mine for mine with the upgraded lot.  They have gone up about 30k since then, (bought it a month ago) but subtract the prime lot (mine is bigger and overlooks trees) and you are still soooo affordable!  in the 200s actually...There are only 2 that went for 400k or up so far, but those have double lots and are very large.  So if you want a dining room, for the extra 150,000 you'd have left over after buying in Agave...well you could add one on! :) 

We currently live in the Mueller area and are moving to Agave.  We actually looked all over Austin for what we are getting and were looking at 400k homes til we saw Agave and were floored by it.

In addition to a house we love on an incredible lot, I have said many times that you also buy a way of life in Agave...it's like a country club...they haven't even broken ground yet on my home and I know almost all my neighbors, have been invited to get-togethers, dinners, monthly happy hours...

We have had our current home for 8 years and I know 2 neighbors.  I have only a lot with grass on it and I know about 20 in Agave.  There is a safety and comfort factor to that as well when everyone in the neighborhood knows you and how to reach you and cares.

There is something to be said for that. The excitement, the commonality, the all-modern mindset...it brings some other things with it.

We actually could afford more but would never trade out of Agave; and adore the home already.

Just my 2 cents

Actually, The homes aren't 400k,


Modern or not, eventually you get into a price range that certain things are really needed.  At 400K, modern or not, there is an expectation of a dining area that is not shared in a common space.  And no offense, but the area is pretty cookie cutter modern.  There are 5+ copies of the same house, some next to each other, so you cannot expect to have something unique.  While I love a lot of the designs, there is absolutely no reason to pay that much money for things that are lacking important factors for a home in that price range.  Designers may think that a formal dining room will go away, but the idea it is not shared with other areas and we don't live in the future.  We live in the now, and people generally expect more.  We will just have to agree to disagree on the value of that area and the quality of what goes in those homes.


Previously Alana Chandler wrote:





Check out the Casa Bella 1590, It is common that many modern homes have areas that overlap...this flows from the kitchen to a very large dining area suitable for a massive table, into the living room...







oooo...wait, they aren't building that one anymore.  They retire certain plans after they build a few of them so that the neighborhood isn't cookie cutter...







I'll keep thinking on it...







I will add that the builders convention did note that the two areas that are expected to be eliminated in "homes of the future" due to the decreased desire now are livingrooms and dining rooms...people are just having "dining areas" rather than "formal and informal"...kind of making their everyday dining a bit formal, but somewhere in between.  Probably doesn't help you now if you have a dining suit you wish to keep!





Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Alana Chandler at May 14. 2007

And considering Villa Muse is going in as a neighbor to Agave which is, essentially, planned to replace Hollywood...well, it even strengthens that argument. It's 700 acres of upscale and new schools...

and Hollywood land aint cheap...so...if it does work as planned...

woooo hoooo! EQUITY!

Villa Muse breaks ground in 2 mos.


allow me to illustrate my logic around the issue. I came to Austin to find a property around 200-250K When I was shown agave I was very much attracted to it for all the same reasons you are.When the price went from high 200s to mid 300s for my design and lot, I immediately became shocked and felt as though i was being taken for a ride. Then I contacted about half a dozen investors, real estate agents, did my homework on Austin's projected population growth, building prospects in the next 4 years east of 35 as well as the condos downtown that start at 300-500K



Then I decided 300-350 I could stomach. It will acquire value and Austin will not get any cheaper period. I am told the plan for downtown as it have about 25,000 people per block in the next 8 years. Considering the location, the type of people who will live in this area, the price will only rise.



Yes you can get a very nice place for 400+ but time has changed expectations and builders requirements. Your expectations must change with the increase in price and value as theprices go higher you will start to see the poverty east of 35 slowly be moved out and replaced by houses that are even smaller and older than agave with the price of what we are paying now.



Austin isn't shrinking and prices won't drop unless there is a national economic disaster, which is possible given our leadership but unlikely. The 7-10 minute drive to get to UT and downtown will insure this to be a popular area. Hopefully allteh build quality issues have been resolved and the workers will have a renewed committment


Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by hotho at October 16. 2007

I agree with the above posters. We looked at agave and were not impressed. My thoughts were that Agave was the same as  many other new McContractor zones, save for more green building. My instinct tells me it's mostly 'shtick' to sell homes. Some great builders but all are charging a premium for the Buzz of Green. I love some prefabs, but at that price tag, its counterintuitive. Behind it all are the same/ similar developers who are making big bucks on the 'green' trend...

I'm not trying to be negative, just my instincts- I'd rather 'green up' an older home or urban space instead of razing more land for green tract suburbia.

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by Scott Bettersworth at November 06. 2007

Fact - the Austin market is feeling the affects of the "national" (CA,AZ,FA,NY,MA,IL,NV mostly) down turn. And there is way too much new development for anyone to see short term gains in Austin real estate when they are paying "retail". There was almost a 50% drop is home sales in September and around a 40% drop in October when compared to last year (Austin MLS stats for entire Austin metroplex). The good news is if you are looking to buy, we are approaching one of the best times in three years and Austin is and will continue to be one of the best real estate markets in the country.

 I think Agave is a cool development, but the only reason to buy there is because it is cool and new, not because you plan to make money from appreciation (at least not for several years). A better bet from a money standpoint is to look for something that has been well renovated in an estblished close in neighborhood, i.e. University Hills, Vintage Hills, in the East. To the northwest look in the McNeil Parmer area. You can find a cool ranch and really fix it up, plus these areas are still seeing less than 2 months supply of good homes.

 

A few predictions: 1)The downtown condo market will weaken as sales (often only reservations) fall off and ready inventory peaks.

                             2)Out lying markets like Kyle, Buda, Cedar Park will see large numbers of foreclosures in newer "open price point" 

                             markets. What a great time to buy some rental properties!

                             3) Look for an average price reduction this time next year of around 8%.

 

Sorry to ramble!

 

Re: Agave - Cons and Concerns

Posted by netnomad at November 28. 2007

Is there anyone living in Agave right next to the train tracks. We are thinking about buying out there any many lots are sold so there are fewer choices and we are looking at the lots right next to the tracks.  Any feedback would be appreciated.

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