What is the Real Cost of Living in Westlake?

What is the Real Cost of Living in Westlake?

Situated less than ten miles northwest of downtown Austin, Westlake is known for luxury homes, fine dining, and upscale shopping at Barton Creek Square Mall. It’s nestled in the Texas Hill Country and offers nature lovers a wealth of outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, and boating on Lake Austin. Residents have the advantage of big-city amenities while surrounded by beautiful natural scenery.

As one of the best neighborhoods in Austin, Westlake is the perfect location for those who want an upscale lifestyle and a quiet, peaceful environment. While it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s just a short drive from Austin’s shopping centers and lively entertainment district. You’ll find various housing options, from spacious single-family homes and high-end townhouses to private gated communities and stunning waterfront properties. If you’re considering moving, here is the real cost of living in Westlake.

The median home prices in Westlake and the greater Austin metro area

Westlake, also known as West Lake Hills, is an affluent and exclusive neighborhood with some of the most expensive real estate in Austin. Homes and communities sit on spacious amounts of land. Many homes have views of the river or of the downtown skyline. Some communities have access to golf courses and boat docks. Austin.com has the average median price of homes in Westlake at $2.3 million. This is above the median home price in the Austin metropolitan area, where the median home price starts at $500,000, according to a recent article by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Prices vary by neighborhood, property size, and amenities. Westlake has several highly-coveted neighborhoods with unique features. Running along the Westlake Peninsula, Westview has a community-owned waterfront park, the only one of its kind in Westlake. The adjacent West Rim and West Rim Estates neighborhoods also run along the waterfront and feature large and beautiful custom-built homes. Waterfront homes in Westlake are pricey and can cost upwards of $10 million. Just above the Barton Creek Greenbelt, homes in the Lost Creek area are more private and secluded.

The annual cost of utilities 

Unlike home prices, the cost of utilities in Westlake is more in line with the rest of Austin. The average annual cost of utilities for a family with children in the greater Austin metropolitan area is $5,609, according to Zero Down. The breakdown for the average monthly cost of energy is $153.07, and the monthly phone bill is $196.79, according to Rent Cafe. The costs for utilities are about 8% lower than the state average and 6% lower than the national average.

The cost of food and groceries

A recent report by PayScale shows the cost of groceries in Austin is 12% below the national average. This includes the affluent neighborhoods of Westlake and Northwest Hills. In a 24/7 Wall Street report, a family of four spends about $8,366, compared to the national average of $9,354. A single adult spends about $2,897, compared to the national average of $3,240. These prices are based on grocery-bought food for at-home preparation.

In the state of Texas, food products are not taxable. There are very particular definitions as to what falls under these non-taxable food products. For example, milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, flour, sugar, bread, and similar groceries are not subject to tax. However, prepared food and ice are subject to the 6.25% sales tax. Snack items sold in prepackaged units containing more than one individual-sized package are not taxable, but an individual-sized portion containing less than 2.5 ounces or is labeled as having not more than one serving is taxable.

The cost of commuting and private transportation

Austin is not a walkable city, especially if you live in more residential neighborhoods such as Westlake. Thus, 83% of residents commute to work by private transportation. This cost can be quite high, and 24/7 Wall Street estimates that a single person in Austin spends about $9,573 a year on transportation. This includes the cost of gas and car maintenance.

Surprisingly, in Austin, only about 13% of residents commute to jobs outside of the city. That’s a smaller share of the 43.7% of U.S. commuters who live and work in different cities and usually have longer commutes.

The cost of childcare

Families with children can also expect to spend a significant amount on childcare, which usually adds thousands of dollars to their overall annual budget. The average annual cost of childcare, according to 24/7 Wall Street, estimates about $13,409 if you have two children. This is above the state average of $11,652 but below the national average of $15,853 per year.

The cost of healthcare

The affordability and quality of healthcare are one of the leading indicators in the quality of life. In Westlake and the greater Austin metropolitan area, the cost of healthcare is slightly lower than both the state and the national average. According to 24/7 Wall Street, the average out-of-pocket cost for services and insurance premiums for a single adult is $3,811 annually. This is lower compared to an average of $3,948 across Texas and $4,266 nationwide. Forbes breaks down some of the service costs. The average doctor visit is $122.17, a dentist visit is $119.14, and an optometrist visit is $118.78

Ready to find your dream home in Westlake?

If you’d like to find out more about Westlake, contact Noa Levy. Her passion for real estate and dedication to her career makes her one of Austin’s top real estate agents. She can provide you with the resources, insights, and a network of professionals. Fluent in Spanish, English, and Hebrew, she has been an essential asset for a broad range of clients with various real estate goals. She specializes in the boutique and luxury real estate market in Westlake and the greater Austin metro area.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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