Let’s take a look at a couple of Austin area subdivisions on opposites corners of the Austin Metro Area and see how each has held up during the downturn of the past couple of years. As reference, both locations are plotted on the map below. Teravista is in far NE Round Rock. Belterra is SW of Austin in Dripping Springs.
Both communities are fairly new with very good, modern amenities, pools and community centers. Both offer homes that would cost more closer in, so these are value driven (more/nicer house for the money) communities and home owners will generally be trading off a longer drive for the lower price (though Teravista has more jobs nearby). Both are located in good school districts. Both have homes that are, on average, about 3,000 sqft in size average (2,743 Teravista vs, 2989 sqft Belterra). Sylvia and I have sold homes in both communities.
This analysis is simply to see if one subdivision has held it’s value better than the other. Sellers have had challenges in both communities, but let’s look at the actual numbers and see how they’re doing.
Sylvia and I have now migrated from desktop computers to full-time laptops. I was a bit worried about doing this, giving up nice big monitors for smaller laptop screens, but so far it’s working out really well and neither of us are noticing any impairment or difference in our ability to accomplish computer related tasks.
I purchased each of us a Dell Studio 1555. This model was well reviewed and I picked mine up at Costco for almost $300 less than the Dell online price. I wanted to buy and use mine for a while before getting the second one, just in case. After giving it a thorough test drive, the Studio 1555 performed like a champ, so I ordered the identical model for Sylvia, getting hers for free by cashing in Thank You Points that had accumulated through use of our CitiBank Visa. (My accidental discovery of the existence of this trove of almost 20,000 accumulated Thank You points would be a good topic for another day – bottom line, if you download all your credit card expenses straight into Quicken, still take a look at the actual paper statement at least every year or so).
With the desktops, I had various cords and plugs, speaker wires, speakers, power cords, etc. running to a battery backup power center. It all took up a lot of space, used a lot of plugs and collected a lot of dust. With the laptop, I have one power cable plugged into the side of the laptop, and a usb plugged in for syncing/charging the iPhone. That’s it. The cordless usb mouse tops it off. No speakers, no monitor, no full size keyboard. I don’t even plug in the network cord because the wireless internet speed is plenty fast. Don’t even need the battery backup because with the larger 9 cell batteries, the laptops will run 8 hours unplugged. I feel more organized and less cramped at my workspace with the smaller form factor of the laptop, which provides a psychological benefit.