Do Group Homes Harm Austin Neighborhoods?

Group Homes

We have a listing that is a good candidate for a Group Home, and we’re marketing it as such. This has earned the ire of some of the individuals living in the University Hills neighborhood in NE Austin. Let’s have a look at an emailed received from one of the concerned neighbors:

Do NOT advertise the property for sale at 3403 Loyola Lane as a “group home” in your listing. You are contributing to a major problem that exists currently in Austin and more specifically our neighborhood. Do you advertise other properties in your listings as potential “group homes?” No you don’t—I went and looked at your Crossland Team website. Your website says that you’ve been “Serving Austin since 1993,” I’m sorry, but what you’re doing isn’t serving Austin—it’s serving yourself. My assumption is that you have no idea what actually goes on in these group homes, you’re simply trying to make a quick buck. I’m betting that you wouldn’t list a property on your street as a potential “group home” would you?

It’s appalling that you would consider putting that under this listing—it shows that your concerns aren’t about making the University Hills neighborhood a better place. Your name was posted in an email circulated through our neighborhood listserv as the agent on this listing. I kindly request you revise the description for the property and remove that portion of the listing. What you are doing is devaluing the properties in the University Neighborhood and that is not good business for someone in the real estate industry. Especially someone that may hope for repeat customers in the area.

And my reply:

Thank you for expressing your concerns about our listing at 3403 Loyola. You obviously care about your neighborhood and fear that a group home would have a negative impact on your community.

This particular property is unique in that it has 6 bedrooms, 3 full baths and 3 living areas, plus a screened rear porch and an enclosed garage. It’s so large in fact that it doesn’t draw interest from the type of buyers who typically seek smaller homes in the University Hills neighborhood, and who have no use for a 6 bdrm, 3 bath home. Also, the home’s proximity directly next to an apartment complex and on a busy street near a busy intersection makes it less appealing to the typical buyer.

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