Northwest Hills

Northwest Hills is technically on both sides of 360 (Capital of TX Hwy) but most folks think it is mostly south in the Anderson High School area around Mesa & Steck.  When we discuss this neighborhood, we are primarily looking from Far West up to 360, all inside the loop.  As the name suggests, it’s hilly up and many views.  I have always thought that the first hill you encounter when heading west on Steck where it ends at Adirondack (Steck Valley Park) is the first hill of the hill country; it’s the line between flat Austin and hilly Austin.

It is the 78759 zip code and features Bull Creek and the Bull Creek Greenbelt, highway access, hills, views and green space, with quick access to the Arboretum and the Domain shopping areas.

The homes were built mostly in the mid to late 70’s, many ranch styles, a little soft contemporary as architects in the 70’s started to mix in multi-level, boxy design.  We have a home search set up specifically for the 78759 zip:  http://www.thenelsonproject.com/atj/user/AdditionalGetAction.do?pageId=124743

Most of the neighborhoods in Northwest Hills are, well, hilly and are more or less built on limestone … no caliche soil shifting over here.  Lots of big rocks, cliffs, makes for some challenging gardening (you think you want to plant that tree in that specific spot until you start working it with a shovel, then pick-ax then you move to another spot).  It also makes for some beautiful landscape design opportunity.  If you are a big vegetable gardener, you may be challenged for ample full sun (the neighborhoods have enormous oaks) and you’ll be restricted to the fenced portion of your yard because of the deer.

Views.  Did I mention views?  There are fabulous views in Northwest Hills and ample green space.  Bull Creek greenbelt is an absolute gem and offers an unequaled hiking opportunity complete with miles of trails, swimming holes and waterfalls.  Many of us can walk to Bull Creek greenbelt access spots from our homes.  Oh, one other note on views & trade-offs … sometimes the homes with the best views also lack a usable backyard.

Schools south of 360 are Austin ISD and include Hill and Doss Elementary, Murchison Middle School and Anderson High School.

Real estate prices have held in Northwest Hills from 2008 through 2009 with average sales price down just a hair and median up a bit.  The best homes priced right are selling quickly sometimes in less than two weeks.  The average sales price in 2009 was $448k, median $429k; median size of 2428 sqft, average at $183 / sqft.

If you want to follow ongoing sales data for Northwest Hills or any particular area or your existing home, you can set that up at www.SearchATown.com or for a monthly market analysis report (highly recommended) www.TNPmarket.com (you get a monthly report from your financial advisor, why wouldn’t you want the same for your real estate?).

Northwest Hills has excellent commuter travel access to Mopac, 360, 183, downtown, UT and all points north (if you work north, your commute will be against traffic) and you have decent access to the new tollways.  183 can get backed up so if you work in town and travel north to get home, you get to exit on Steck or Anderson or Spicewood Springs or Far West, right about where it can begin to backup. Commute to the airport is about 30 minutes on a good day.

We have an article that is a neighborhood smackdown between Northwest Hills vs. Great Hills (http://wp.me/pbeor-eb ).  We also pair Allandale (to the southeast) and Northwest Hills (http://wp.me/pbeor-d8).   We find many home shoppers needing assistance understanding the differences between neighboring neighborhoods and these reviews help with that effort.

We are happy to continue to build this article with your thoughts and contributions.

Whether you’re curious or ready, have a quick question or need a personal consultation, contact The Nelson Project:  512.633.6643   hello@thenelsonproject.com

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