Homes Now Selling in Tessera on Lake Travis!

While I was on my way to The Hollows today, I saw a few signs about a new community in Lago Vista called Tessera on Lake Travis.  I decided to go take a look and see what this community was all about.  The weather was overcast today, but here is what the community looked like on a cloudy day like today:

Photos of Tessera on Lake Travis

If you haven’t been up to Lago Vista lately, you will be very surprised at all of the growth that the area is currently experiencing. Developers have opened several communities in the area extending from Cedar Park on 1431 toward Marble Falls, with Tessera on Lake Travis being the newest.

When I drove through the neighborhood today, I noticed that there were about 10 homes currently under construction and there were workers on-site feverishly hammering nails. There were a handful of homes that looked like specs (i.e. homes that were recently built and nearing completion to be sold as an inventory home).

I noticed a few homes located near the models that have already been sold and are now being lived in. If you’re looking to be among the first homeowners in a brand new waterfront community in the Austin area, Tessera on Lake Travis might be the best choice for you!

Many people are surprised to learn that you can have a Realtor represent you on a new home purchase. This is absolutely true! The developer for this community (hines.com) is very “Realtor-Friendly”, and they embrace the philosophy of having their home buyers being represented by a knowledgeable agent to take care of their needs.

MLS Listings in Tessera on Lake Travis

The builders have placed these Tessera homes in the MLS to generate interest:

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,248 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,751 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  2. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,545 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,795 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,041 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,664 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  4. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,603 sq ft
    Year built: 2017
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,675 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,519 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,145 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  7. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,307 sq ft
    Year built: 2017
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,248 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,583 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,907 sq ft
    Year built: 2017
  10. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,802 sq ft
    Year built: 2017
  11. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,641 sq ft
    Year built: 2017
  12. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,500 sq ft
    Year built: 2017
  13. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,659 sq ft
    Year built: 2016

See all Tessera on Lake Travis - MLS Listings.
(all data current as of 12/11/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Want to learn more about Tessera on Lake Travis? Contact us today to set up a private tour of the homes, current floor plans and available lots in the neighborhood.

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How the Texas Drought is Affecting Lake Travis Area Home Sales

Austin continually makes national news with our outstanding job and housing market. But there is another thing on the national radar – the drought in Texas. My out-of-state buyers are always posing the question, “How are the lake levels affecting the market in Austin?”

Unfortunately, I have yet to find that magic crystal ball to tell me the future of our lakes. However, I did compare the U.S. Drought Map of Texas for the current week to a blog on our site that featured the Texas drought map from September 2011.  The 2011 map has Texas painted in deep red – which means exceptional drought. Today’s map is much nicer looking with whites and yellows and very little red. The areas by Lake Travis are colored to resemble moderate to severe drought (which sound much better than extreme to exceptional drought!). So, it does seem as though the drought is getting better (we’ve had some nice rains since the summer that I believe has really helped).

Jan 2014 - Texas Drought Map

Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

This tells us not how the drought is affecting the market, but that the drought is better than fall of 2011. So, when I start to talk numbers next, we have a better picture in mind for comparison sake.

For those statistics, I am going to focus on two MLS areas: LN and LS (think Lake Travis North, Lake Travis South). I am focusing on Lake Travis, because this is where I sell more homes, as compared to Lake Buchanan or LBJ; and because Lake Austin is not affected by drastically changing levels.

Area LS includes the popular cities Lakeway and Bee Cave and area LN includes Jonestown and Lago Vista. Due to LS being closer to Austin and having more subdivisions/population than LN, you will see the sales data coming in higher for area LS.

With this in mind, the following chart shows you the average sales price fluctuations from a five year period in these two areas (2013 information not included).

MLS Area2008/20092009/20102010/20112011/20125 Yr Change
LS-7.20%-1.2%3.23%4.88%-.73%
LN-3.67%23.33%-6.62%-10.73%-.97%

Chart is taken from statistics provided by Austin Title.

December 2013 numbers are not yet out, but from my calculations, it looks like we are going to roughly see a -1.01 change in average sales price in LS and a .84 change in LN from 2012/2013. These 2012/2013 numbers are less drastic than most of the past five year comparisons, which shows us a less volatile market over the span of these two years.

Without overloading you with numbers, the 2012 average sales price in area LS was $453,375 and the average in LN was $239,183. If you are a ‘numbers-person’, email me and I can send you more data!

I am still just giving you background data and have not yet made my point! When someone asks me what the lake levels are doing to property values, I have to answer their question with a question.

Are they looking specifically for something that is lakefront? If the answer is yes, then OF COURSE the levels are going to affect price. No one wants to pay top dollar for a dried up dock with no guarantee that they will ever have a true lakefront again. Have we seen this drought happen twice over the last twenty years with lake levels returning: yes. Is it safe to assume lake levels will return again one day: um, yes. But no one knows when and I’m not one to bank your large investment on this assumption. When is it a good idea to invest in a lakeless-lakefront: NOW when the property values are lower due to the lack of water. Moral of the story: if you are looking for a good investment then go for it. If you will be broken-hearted if you cannot swim off your back porch this summer, you may want to look elsewhere.

If they are not looking for a lakefront property, but want to be in the vicinity of a lake/like the lifestyle that the areas offer, then I have to break the question down again into the different areas: LN & LS.  With area LN you are further from Austin, so people tend to want that true lake living with actual water. Therefore, the lake levels will affect property values more heavily in area LN. When the lake dries up, there are fewer things to do in this area. If you are looking for a long term investment or simply want to be far away from the city and aren’t tied too much to having high lake levels, this move is for you.

I took this picture August 2013 from The Oasis -- a popular entertainment complex consisting of numerous shops, boutiques and restaurants on the South shores of Lake Travis.
I took this picture August 2013 from The Oasis — a popular entertainment complex consisting of numerous shops, boutiques and restaurants on the South shores of Lake Travis.

I believe area LS is quite the opposite. While still a 30-45 minute drive to downtown Austin, people love that they are not too far from the city. The excellent Lake Travis ISD is another incentive for buyers. Communities like Ladera and Rough Hollow are popping up and selling well in this area. Lakeway is one of the most desirable areas with its variety of homes and low taxes. People like moving to this area not just because of the lake, but because of the lifestyle, schools, amenities (think golf, Hill Country Galleria) and there is growth. So, would I say lake levels are affecting this area to someone who is not specifically looking for a lakefront property: no! I believe that as area LS grows, it will only get more desirable regardless of lake levels.

All in all, you have to know your buying needs and the right Realtor to match them up to the best house and area for you. I’d be happy to share more details about the numbers (I tried not to bore you too much in this blog with those!). Don’t hesitate to call or email any time to discuss.

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Lake Travis & Buchanan Waterfront Properties See Increase in Water Levels

Significantly good news for Waterfront property owners this week. Whether you are looking to sell, or simply ready to use your waterfront property, we have had an exceptional week. Lake Travis is up 7 full feet, and Lake Buchanan is up a foot and half. Lake Buchanan is only 24 feet below full capacity. Lake Travis is now at 639.46 feet, which is 41.54 feet below full level. The boat ramp at Mansfield Dam is now usable, and with approximately 15 more feet of water in Lake Travis, most boat ramps will become usable. For property owners on Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan, this is the beginning of the end of the drought. The Highland Lakes are almost 50% full at this time. The new measures regarding water management are beginning to take shape.

Over the last twelve months we have seen only a downward drop in lake levels and a reduction in volume since April 2011. However, the current lake level, 639.46 feet, is well above the projections made by the LCRA on February 28, 2012.

Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis Level Chart

ReservoirLevel When FullCurrent LevelVolume When FullCurrent Volume% Full
Lake Buchanan1,020.00995.93876,000431,00049
Lake Travis681.00639.461,135,000533,00047
Combined Reservoir Totaln/an/a2,011,000964,00048

Check back for continued updates on Lake Travis and Buchanan conditions, as well as other local and regional matters which affect the real estate market. Steve Broyles, Real Estate Broker represents buyers and sellers of Lake Travis waterfront properties and can be contacted directly at 512-917-4298.

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Central Texas Drought Maps Showing Signs of Improvement

The majority of Travis County is now in D2 drought conditions. View the drought monitor maps below and note the vast difference from prior drought monitor reports. The two major reasons for the improvement have been recent rains as well as the LCRA operating the Highland Lakes under emergency drought relief measures. The past few months have been very wet historically for Central Texas, and although we can definitely use more rain, there exists considerable reason for optimism.

One major issue has been that the LCRA has lacked the ability and authority within the current water management plan to manage long-term, severe drought conditions. These conditions are improving and current lake levels are just beginning to rise. I’ve written another article discussing the important changes in the new proposed LCRA water management plan. It is currently awaiting TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) approval. This state agency has up to one year to approve the new plan.

Here’s the 5 conditions of drought:

D4-Drought—Exceptional (Austin has been here for quite some time)
D3-Drought– Extreme
D2-Drought– Severe – CURRENT Condition -majority of Travis County
D1-Drought– Moderate
D0- Abnormally Dry – (not a drought)

Located below are three drought monitor maps which illustrate the severity of the drought and the degree of recent change across Central Texas. Clearly the change is evident since September, and more so in the last 2 months.  Our newest map, on March 20th, shows that most of Travis county is under D0-D1 conditions and only part of the county is under D2. In Williamson county, approximately one half of is under D2 conditions, the remainder is under better conditions. A D0 rating is closest to non-drought conditions, and we are approaching this critical event. Positive news and catching up and refilling the lakes will soon occur. These drought maps are released each Thursday by the US Department of Agriculture.

Drought Map -September 6, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drought Map– January 24, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drought Map — March 20, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a quick animated look at the past 12 weeks across the nation:

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/12_week.gif

If you would like to specify additional timeframes: Use this tool to animate the drought over the past 4, 12, 24, and 52 weeks.

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/dmimg_archive.htm

As you can see, the rain in the past few days, while only a couple of inches, created a rise in the lake of around 4 feet. Currently, as of Friday March 23rd, Lake Travis is at 639.17 feet. These are considerable reasons for optimism for Central Texans.

I will continue to monitor the drought and the effects on Central Texas Real Estate. Check back for updates and more in depth analysis of the drought as well as other matters related to Austin, Texas Real Estate.

For further information about Lake Travis waterfront properties, Steve Broyles can be contacted at 512-917-4298. Steve is a Realtor and has held a Texas Broker’s License since 2003.

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What LCRA’s New Water Management Plan Means for Central Texas

The LCRA has submitted a new Water Management Plan to the TCEQ, and is currently operating under emergency drought relief measures approved by the TCEQ in December. This new plan means greater ability to manage drought conditions and creates a much improved, fairer system than in the past. First, a few basics about the LCRA and its organization. The LCRA has many roles: managing the water supply and environment of the lower Colorado River basin, delivering electricity, providing parks and recreation areas, and developing water and wastewater utilities. The LCRA receives no tax dollars and operates with revenue from power generation and water delivery.

Now for a few basics about the LCRA water management plans. The LCRA drafts these plans in order to manage the Highland Lakes system, including Lake Buchanan and Travis. The first plan was drafted in 1989. The plans were updated in 1992, 1999 and most recently 2010. Users of this water include approximately 1 million Central Texas Residents, industries in the Colorado River basin, and downstream agricultural users. The agency obtains consumer input and holds community forums during the planning process. The final step is approval from the TCEQ. These water management plans spell out how the water is allocated, who has priority rights, and how drought conditions are managed.

The LCRA is currently operating under emergency drought relief measures. Had the lakes contained more than 920,000 acre-feet of water on March 1, the LCRA would have had to revert to the procedures in the outdated, ineffective Water Management Plan approved by TCEQ in 2010. The lakes was about 70,000 acre-feet short of that cut-off mark. The lakes were also only 2,500 acre-feet short of the cut-off guaranteeing water for rice-farmers downstream. Since these volume cut-offs were missed, volume has risen dramatically. As of March 23rd, current volume is 961,202 acre-feet, which is over 100,000 acre-feet than March 1st.

Clearly, the past plan has clearly been less than adequate addressing how to handle a drought as severe as our current one. Provided the lakes return to a greater degree of capacity, better water management is the key to avoiding or at least, minimizing a drought such as the one from which we are emerging. The new proposed plan contains the provisions for better management.

Major changes in the new plan:

The new plan will utilize 2 trigger points for determining allocation/provision of water for downstream farmers. The current plan has only one, on January 1. The new plan adds a secondary trigger points on June 1st. A trigger point determines quantity (or access at all) of downstream water allowed for farming uses.

The past plan allowed unlimited usage of water for agricultural businesses provided the lake level was above an upper limit. This practice was called “open supply”. The proposed water management plan will have an upper limit at all times for agricultural users. No more unlimited usage for downstream users will mean that a full lake will stay full longer.

In the past plan, agricultural water supply was unrestricted even as voluntary conservation was implemented for city and industry users. This is a clear example of how unequal and unfair the current plan has been. The current plan requires city and industry to restrict water usage only after agricultural supply has been restricted.

In summation, the new plan provides the LCRA the ability to manage drought conditions. This is critical as Austin continues to grow. Better and equitable water usage is a necessary part of a well-managed city.

Steve Broyles is a Real Estate Broker and Economist in the Central Texas Area. Steve believes that understanding these city and community matters is crucial to serving your needs in the real estate market. For help with buying or selling Lake Travis waterfront properties, he can be contacted at 512-917-4298.

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