Fion Wine Pub in Steiner Ranch Closed

We have just confirmed that Fion Wine Pub, located in Steiner Ranch, has officially closed its doors.  Through an email correspondence with the manager it was confirmed that they have permanently closed, citing issues with the current business model in that location.

This was a great restaurant and a cool place to enjoy a meal or a few glasses of wine.  Steiner Ranch will surely miss having Fion Wine Pub in their neighborhood.


West Austin Condo Sales Report For June 2010

We were curious how condominium sales have been in West Austin, most specifically the areas beyond Capital of Texas Hwy toward Lake Travis.  Usually condominiums are the first sales to suffer in a market downturn, but are also the first to rise during market appreciation periods.  Below is our findings from a recent MLS report we pulled for West Austin condo sales in MLS Area RN:

Property Type: Residential

Status: Sold

Number of Properties: 5

 BedsBathsSqFtListing PriceLP/SqFtSelling PriceSP/SqFtSP/LPSP/OLPDOM

How are West Austin Condos Selling?

For the month of June 2010, there were 5 condos that sold in Area RN.  Two of these five were in MonteVista Condos — a condo conversion off of 360 and 2222.

As you can see from the data, the average price per square foot is $154.53, and the median price per square foot is $135, based on June 2010’s sales comps.   There are currently 29 condos for sale in MLS Area RN, 18 of which are in MonteVista.  For those who are unfamiliar with these condos, we recently wrote a blog post titled The Great Debate About MonteVista Condos in West Austin, where we outlined whether we felt that purchasing one of these condos was a wise investment decision.

In a few days July will be over, and we will be able to compare June sales to July sales, and see just how condos sales are performing this summer in the greater West Austin area.


The Great Debate About MonteVista Condos in West Austin

There has been great discussion about whether condo conversions are a wise purchase, particularly the MonteVista condominium project in West Austin. We have had a chance to do some initial research on the MonteVista condos, and here are our findings.

MonteVista Condos Overview

Our initial reaction to MonteVista is that the location is spectacular. Being on the corner of 360 and 2222, as a resident you would be nearly equidistant to downtown Austin and Lake Travis. This would be great for a resident who worked downtown, but likes to spend their weekends on the lake. The grounds themselves are beautiful, with two resort-style pools and outdoor BBQ grills. The amenity center is complete with a private theater and a modernized fitness center. Unit finish-outs vary from basic to upscale. All units have 9 foot ceilings, and feature large balconies.

MonteVista Condos For Sale

There are currently 18 MonteVista condos on the market, 2 are pending and taking backup offers, and 5 have sold since January 1, 2010, according to recent Austin MLS data. Units that are currently for sale range from $99,900 to $229,900. Square footage ranges from 608 to 1150.

Are Condo Conversions a Wise Purchase?

In my opinion, condominium conversions are generally a poor purchase. Reason being that there are usually plenty of better alternatives in a similar price range. Any of these alternatives would generally hold their value better than a condo conversion, for a bounty of reasons.  A few that come to mind are quality of workmanship, overall quality of living, and most importantly financing challenges.  I have personally seen some condominium conversions that cannot obtain any financing at all, and most of which are not FHA approved.

MonteVista Bucks the Trend

But in the case of MonteVista condos, I think it makes sense. There are not many alternative condominiums near MonteVista that offer a similar lifestyle, and none can match the spectacular location in West Austin. And the best part, MonteVista condos are FHA APPROVED. Finding a condominium conversion in West Austin that offers FHA financing in today’s market is worth serious consideration if you are a looking for an attainable way to live in this upscale area.

Do you have an opinion about MonteVista condos?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.