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  • Writer's pictureGal Medzini Yochanan

Exploring Northwest Hills: A Top Contender in Austin’s Neighborhoods

Updated: 6 days ago

Northwest Hills is widely recognized as one of Austin's premier neighborhoods, celebrated for its strategic location and vibrant atmosphere. However, this desirability comes at a cost, reflecting the classic real estate adage of 'location, location, location'. In this blog, we will explore the intriguing balance between its prime positioning and the significant investment it demands, assessing the neighborhood's convenience, surroundings, and real estate potential to help families and investors make informed decisions.


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Tucked away in the 78731 zip code, Northwest Hills offers a unique blend of suburban serenity and quick access to urban hotspots like downtown Austin and The Domain.


It is compose of the following neighborhoods:


Northwest Hills boundaries
  • Messa Oaks

  • North West Hills

  • Chimney Corners

  • Edwards Mountain

  • Highland Hills

  • Wood Creek

  • Cat Mountain Villas

  • Shinoak Valley

  • Overlook at Cat Mountain

  • Vista West

  • Northwest Hills Lakeview

  • Beverly Hills



Convenience: A Blend of Suburban Calm and City Accessibility


Northwest Hills location on Austin map

While Northwest Hills offers a selection of local eateries such as Wally’s Burger Express and Another Broken Egg Cafe, the neighborhood doesn't boast the urban vibrancy or the chic dining scene found in areas like Allandale or Crestview. However, residents appreciate having all the necessary amenities conveniently close at hand, including the Mesa Woods Shopping Center and H-E-B for everyday needs. Despite its more subdued, suburban feel - emphasized by quieter, family-friendly venues - the location remains one of its strongest assets. Just a short drive, no more than 10 minutes away, opens up a world of finer and more diverse dining options. Nearby favorites include the upscale Bartlett's Restaurant for its renowned steaks and EurAsia Sushi Bar & Seafood, offering a refined menu that attracts food lovers from across Austin. This blend of immediate accessibility and nearby culinary excellence gives Northwest Hills a convenience score of four out of six, reflecting its appeal to those who value both suburban tranquility and close proximity to high-quality, diverse eateries.


Favorite Restaurants Inside the Neighborhood:


Wally's Burger Express - Best shakes

Another Broken Egg Cafe

5280 Burger & Taphouse

County Line on the Lake


Favorite options outside the Neighborhood:

EurAsia 3- Ramen | Sushi | Poke

IchiUmi Sushi & Ramen

County Line on the Lake

The Cheesecake Factory

Simar Seafood & Steak

Roaring Fork

Eddie V's Prime Seafood


Shopping / Recreation

In the neighborhood:

Mesa Woods Shopping Center

Northwest Hills Village

Far West Retail Center


Outside of the Neighborhood:

The Arboretum (between NWH and Great Hills)

Northwood Plaza (Allandale)

The Domain


Groceries:

Basically every grocery store you will need in 10 min or less from NWH

  • With in the neighborhood - HEB & Randall's

  • 10 min or less - Trader Joe's, Costco, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods, Central market Ranch 99 etc.


Austin Public Transport: Adequate Connectivity from Northwest Hills


Bus number 30 route - From North Austin to South Austin

Northwest Hills benefits from its proximity to major arteries like Mopac, which facilitates straightforward commutes to downtown Austin and The Domain, enhancing the neighborhood’s appeal for those who prioritize easy access to central locations. Public transportation in Northwest Hills includes the Line 30 bus, which, although it primarily serves the periphery of the neighborhood, offers a crucial link for residents. While the bus route within Northwest Hills is limited and might require a short ride to the station, it is a valuable resource in a city where suburban public transportation can be sparse. Compared to other Greater Austin Suburbs like Brushy creek, Northwest Hills provides commendable connectivity. Thus, considering the broader context of Austin's transit challenges, Northwest Hills' transportation options receive a positive evaluation with a four out of six in our ratings


Hub Proximity: Strategic Advantage of Northwest Hills


The strategic location of Northwest Hills truly shines when considering its proximity to major Austin hubs. Perfectly positioned for both quick access to the bustling city center and tranquil suburban retreats, residents enjoy the best of both worlds. This location is especially advantageous for those working either in the domain or downtown Austin. Even during peak traffic, the efficient routes available ensure that these key destinations remain within a manageable 15 to 25-minute commute. This convenience significantly enhances lifestyle quality by reducing travel time, thereby allowing residents to spend more time enjoying their spacious homes and less on the road. The combination of accessibility and comfort in Northwest Hills warrants a high score, earning it a five out of six for hub proximity, reflecting its role as a prime residential choice in Austin.


Route from Northwest Hills to Downtown
Route from Northwest hills to The Domain

Northwest Hills Education: Pathways to Success in Austin's Academic Landscape


School Grades in Austin ISD
Taken from Niche.com

In the landscape of Greater Austin, Austin ISD stands at a modest position, ranked 159 In the state of Texas. Contrasting with its neighboring school districts, such as the prestigious Eanes ISD at number 1, Dripping Springs ISD at 22, Leander ISD at 29, and Round Rock ISD at 40 in Texas, Austin ISD's ranking may seem comparatively low. However, within Northwest Hills, the local schools offer a standard of education that generally suffices to bypass the need for private schooling. While not exceptional, these schools provide a solid educational foundation. Families contemplating the option of private education should carefully weigh the additional financial implications against the quality of the available public schooling options. Moreover, Northwest Hills residents have access to a plethora of excellent private school options, both within the neighborhood and in its vicinity, Like the AJA Austin Jewish academy that stands out as a top option for families across Austin.


Moreover, the neighborhood's educational landscape benefits from its close proximity to the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, a globally recognized institution ranked No. 58 in the world and No. 4 among public universities in the U.S. This affiliation not only enriches the community's intellectual environment but also provides residents with opportunities for continued learning and engagement.


Schools at Northwest Hills

Public schools:

Murchison Middle School - 5/10

Doss Elementary School 7/10

Anderson High School 6/10


Private Schools:

Austin Jewish Academy

Magellan International School

Casner Christian Academy

Paragon Prep School

Austin Montessori School - Great Northern Campus

Youngest Children's Community (16 - 36 months)

The Children's House (3 to 6 years)

Elementary (6 - 12 years)

Adolescent Community (12 - 15 years)



Parks & Greenery: Urban Oasis in Northwest Hills


In the midst of city life, Northwest Hills offers residents a breath of fresh air with its natural sanctuaries. Surrounded by mature trees and close to attractions like Mount Bonnell, the neighborhood provides scenic trails and stunning views. However, while the rolling hills and lush greenery are captivating, the local parks may not boast the same amenities as those in nearby communities like Cedar Park, think Lakeline Park and Brushy Creek Park. Though residents have access to Allen Park, Bright Leaf Preserve, and other green spaces, there's a longing for more recreational facilities to complement the neighborhood's natural beauty giving it a score of four out of six.


Parks around the area:

Doss School Park

Allen Park

Bright Leaf Preserve

Bull Creek District Park

Perry Neighborhood Park

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Loewy Family Playground

Hill School Playground

Stillhouse Hollow Nature Preserve


Community and Safety: A Tapestry of Diversity and Security


Crime map around Northwest Hills
Taken from crimegrade.org

Embracing a diverse community fabric, Northwest Hills fosters a sense of belonging among its residents. Anchored by the vibrant Jewish community, highlighted by the esteemed Jewish Community Center (JCC), the neighborhood thrives on inclusivity and camaraderie. However, beyond the JCC's realm, community amenities may fall short of expectations. Moreover, while the area maintains a commendable safety record, reflected in moderate crime rates, there remains room for improvement to ensure residents' peace of mind. Overall, Northwest Hills strikes a balance between community vibrancy and safety, earning a respectable rating of four out of six in this aspect.



Real Estate Snapshot: Northwest Hills by the numbers


Median price per sq.ft at Northwest Hills for Q1 2024

In terms of real estate affordability, Northwest Hills offers a blend of mid-century charm and modern luxury. Entry costs hover around $900,000, with median prices reaching $1.2 million and a price per square foot averaging $445. Renovations are often necessary for older homes, pushing move-in ready properties to $1.4 million and above.

Based on the fact that houses 15 minutes north of NWH are half the price, and the age of the house, we give NWH a Two out of Six for affordability


Median house price purchase at Northwest Hills for Q1 2024

North West Hills - A spacious green bubble right near Austin Downtown


Northwest Hills distinguishes itself with its suburban feel and spacious properties, a rarity so close to downtown Austin. Here, expansive lots and generously-sized homes ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet offer residents a refreshing departure from denser urban environments. Unlike areas where developers prioritize maximizing space, Northwest Hills emphasizes privacy and ample yard space. This unique blend of suburban charm and proximity to downtown Austin makes Northwest Hills a coveted destination, earning it a noteworthy rating of five out of six for density.


Real Estate: A Robust Market with Growing Demand


Scarcity and character define the essence of real estate in Northwest Hills, contributing to its appeal and investment potential. Land scarcity, driven by the neighborhood's hilly terrain and lack of large ranches, elevates its exclusivity and drives property values upwards over time. This scarcity, combined with the area's unique character, earns Northwest Hills a commendable rating of five out of six in both categories. Furthermore, the neighborhood's spacious lots and generously-sized properties offer a welcome departure from denser urban areas, contributing to its distinctive charm and vibrant personality.


The Final Verdict: Insights into Northwest Hills


In scrutinizing Northwest Hills, I find it's a mixed bag. While some elements like community, schools, and parks may fall short of expectations, the neighborhood's spacious green vibe close to Downtown Austin and the Domain shines brightly.


There's a significant oversight in the ranking system that deserves attention. Affordability, only accounting for 6 points out of the entire evaluation, plays a pivotal role for most homebuyers. Unfortunately, Northwest Hills doesn't fare well in this aspect, potentially disqualifying it as an option for many.


With a final score of 43/60, Northwest Hills reveals itself as a neighborhood of surprising contrasts. Despite its drawbacks, its spacious green vibe and proximity to key urban areas offer a unique allure. Northwest Hills invites you to explore its offerings and discover the perfect setting for your family's next chapter.


Guided by heart, Backed by data, my team and I at The Investory Group are here to assist you. Reach out to me Or Yochanan and let us guide you through the process, ensuring you find a home that fits both your lifestyle and budget.



 

FAQ: Northwest Hills Neighborhood in Austin


1. What makes Northwest Hills stand out among other Austin neighborhoods?

Northwest Hills offers a unique blend of suburban tranquility and city accessibility. Situated close to downtown Austin and The Domain, residents enjoy the convenience of urban amenities while basking in the serene ambiance of spacious green properties.


2. Are there notable dining options within Northwest Hills?

While Northwest Hills may not boast the vibrant dining scenes of areas like Allandale or Crestview, it offers a selection of local eateries such as Wally’s Burger Express and Another Broken Egg Cafe. Additionally, residents have easy access to finer dining options just a short drive away, including renowned establishments like Bartlett's Restaurant and EurAsia Sushi Bar & Seafood.


3. How is the public transportation connectivity in Northwest Hills?

Northwest Hills benefits from its proximity to major arteries like Mopac, facilitating straightforward commutes to downtown Austin and The Domain. Although public transportation primarily serves the periphery of the neighborhood, residents can utilize the Line 30 bus for crucial connections. Despite its limitations, Northwest Hills' transportation options receive a positive evaluation for suburban connectivity.


4. What are the educational opportunities available in Northwest Hills?

Local schools in Northwest Hills provide a standard of education that generally suffices for many families. While public schools may not rank exceptionally high, they offer a solid educational foundation. Families also have access to a variety of excellent private school options, including the esteemed Austin Jewish Academy. Additionally, the neighborhood benefits from its proximity to the University of Texas at Austin, enriching the community's intellectual environment.


5. How does Northwest Hills fare in terms of real estate affordability?

Northwest Hills offers a blend of mid-century charm and modern luxury, reflected in its real estate prices. Entry costs start around $900,000, with median prices reaching $1.2 million and a price per square foot averaging $445. However, renovations are often necessary for older homes, pushing move-in ready properties to $1.4 million and above. Considering affordability, Northwest Hills may not be suitable for everyone, earning a rating of two out of six in this aspect.


6. What sets Northwest Hills apart in terms of community and safety?

Northwest Hills fosters a sense of belonging among its diverse residents, anchored by a vibrant Jewish community and esteemed amenities like the Jewish Community Center. While community amenities may fall short of expectations, the neighborhood maintains a commendable safety record, reflected in moderate crime rates. Overall, Northwest Hills strikes a balance between community vibrancy and safety, earning a respectable rating of four out of six in this aspect.


7. Can you provide insights into the real estate market trends in Northwest Hills?

Scarcity and character define the essence of real estate in Northwest Hills, contributing to its appeal and investment potential. The neighborhood's hilly terrain and lack of large ranches elevate its exclusivity and drive property values upwards over time. With a robust market and growing demand, Northwest Hills remains a coveted destination for homebuyers seeking spacious properties and suburban charm.


8. What are the best suburbs in Austin?

The best suburbs in Austin vary depending on individual preferences and priorities. However, Northwest Hills stands out for its unique blend of suburban tranquility and city accessibility, making it a highly desirable neighborhood for many residents.


9. Who is the best real estate agent in Northwest Hills?

For personalized guidance and expertise in navigating Northwest Hills' real estate landscape, Or Yochanan and their team at The Investory Group are highly recommended. Guided by heart and backed by data, they are dedicated to helping you find a home that fits both your lifestyle and budget.


10. What is the average price of a home in Northwest Hills?

The average price of a home in Northwest Hills ranges from $900,000 for entry-level properties to $1.4 million and above for move-in ready homes. Median prices typically reach $1.2 million, with a price per square foot averaging $445.


 

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