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Central Texas, Hill lCountry Towns
Old 10-10-2014, 06:55 AM   #1
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Central Texas, Hill lCountry Towns

I'm in the class of 2016 and recently relocated from the midwest to Houston. I'm a Waco native. Struggling a bit finding the retirement town that we want. Here's the list:

  • Low/moderate humidity
  • No Hurricane worries
  • Close to good health care
  • Reasonably close to big city for occasional amenity trips and airport.
  • Small enough that we'll actually do things without worrying about traffic
  • Nice homes close enough or in town so we'll actually do things without the big 'drive to town'.
  • 55+ community is a nice to have, not a must have
Robson Ranch - Denton was on the list but dropped as it's too far from town. Plus Denton doesn't seem that appealing (sorry). It is nice that UNT is there. Plus it's close to DFW and everything you'd want there.


Kerrville was top of the list, but we had some doubts recently due to lack of decent housing close or in town. Maybe we just hit a bad spell with real estate market. Plus, DW isn't in love with the hills, she's more of a 'rolling hills' person.


We love Fredericksburg, but it feels a bit too small and the tourists would drive us nuts after awhile. I'm afraid we'd be driving into SA for any major health care and we hate driving in SA.


We looked at Sun City Georgetown maybe 10 years ago for the DW's parents. Wow, I-35 is just a disaster. We'd never go anywhere.


Now we're talking about other places:

  • Greater Houston Area - Conroe, Livingston. Humid! But close to major city/airport. Hopefully far enough north to not worry about hurricanes.
  • Central Texas - Brenham? Nice rolling hills. 70 or so miles from both Austin and Houston. Still humid, but not the stifling coastal humidity.
  • Greater Austin Area - Bastrop et al. May be too congested and crazy??
  • Greater DFW area - Maybe we should revisit Denton and look in town? Granbury? others?
You know, I love Waco and there's a lot to like there. But, I have family there and I'm afraid I'd have company for supper EVERY night if I lived there.
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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I lived in Bastrop for about 8 years, and loved it. That was before it exploded & Austin began moving out that way, though. I left in 1996. My wife is from Smithville. You might want to consider it, too. Although it's a much smaller town, it's an easy drive, around 13 miles, to Bastrop, and around 45 minutes to Austin when you feel like a taste of the city & city traffic. One thing about Smithville which may or may not appeal, is that historically the city has not been interested in allowing the kind of growth explosion that Bastrop has seen. They like to keep it a small town, which of course means limited eating places & businesses. However, you might find that it has just the right amount of things for your taste. I will say that Zimmerhanzel's BBQ, which is a longtime family owned place has outstanding Texas BBQ that always shows up on those "Best BBQ in Texas" lists that you see from time to time. If I were thinking about moving back that way, Smithville would be on my short list. It would appeal to someone looking for that small town atmosphere. Best of luck.
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:40 AM   #3
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I visited Prescott, AZ for a potential retirement location. It seemed to be a decent place. I like a bit more 'green', but if you are from TX already, it may fit the bill.

But all of your requirements would also fit Minnesota. Come on up!!
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Turn_the_Page View Post
  • Low/moderate humidity
  • No Hurricane worries
  • Close to good health care
  • Reasonably close to big city for occasional amenity trips and airport.
  • Small enough that we'll actually do things without worrying about traffic
  • Nice homes close enough or in town so we'll actually do things without the big 'drive to town'.
  • 55+ community is a nice to have, not a must have
Unfortunately they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

Tough list, especially if you consider towns with a population around 10,000 (Fredericksburg) too small. I was going to suggest you consider other towns west of Austin (Marble Falls, etc.) but they are even smaller.

Two others for possible consideration: Boerne and San Angelo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn_the_Page View Post

Now we're talking about other places:
  • Greater Houston Area - Conroe, Livingston. Humid! But close to major city/airport. Hopefully far enough north to not worry about hurricanes.
Based on the damage from hurricane Rita in 2005, you'll need to go farther north. We have friends in Nacogdoches (100 miles north of Conroe) who suffered severe wind damage and were without power for almost two weeks.

------------

After giving your post considerable thought, I think your best option is to move to Waco and buy some extra groceries...
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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The west side of the hill country - for example Kerrville is considerably less humid, so the summers are a bit more pleasant. The downside is that the winters are colder.

We thought the area around Marble Falls was pretty nice. Not quite as rugged as farther west.
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:30 AM   #6
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Being close to San Antonio keeps you close to the medical facilities there. That's another vote for Boerne. DW and I looked at that as a possibility but decided to stay closer to the grandkids.

We've settled in The Woodlands but there are good options further north and west. Huntsville is nice but still not too far if the lights of Houston beckon (or the Med Center). Brenam is a smaller country town but still in the greater Houston zone.

In case of a major hurricane our plan is to go to Missouri. Most of the power lines in The Woodlands are below ground so there wasn't the multi-week outage like other areas.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:17 AM   #7
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We live in a subdivision called Waterwood, on lake livingston, half way between Huntsville and Livingston. It is rural! Four hundred homes, built for 2,000. Thirty min drive to either city, hour to the woodlands. No traffic to speak of to either Huntsville or Livingston, and both have regional hospitals. Humidity, well yes, DUH it is still south central Texas. Hurricanes, yes and no. Power wen out during Ike, but there was no major damage to any home in the sub division. So wind damage a possible but not flooding! A couple of trees down, but nothing major. Yes it takes about two weeks for power to come back on. If you are retired, take a vacation! All will be fine when you get back. Has most, if not all, of Rewahoo's list of Texas amenities!
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:36 AM   #8
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If you want NO hurricane worries.... then you will have to move west of the Austin to Dallas line...

If a cat 5 hurricane hit the coast and kept going straight.... it still would be a hurricane by the time it hit Austin or Dallas.... of course not the same intensity as if you lived in Houston, but still a hurricane worry... see below for tracks of hurricanes...


Also, a tropical storm can be much worse than a hurricane if it decides to stop and just rain on you... the most rainfall in a 24 hour period in the US came from a tropical storm.....

https://suite.io/maureen-k-fleury/168k233

The Greatest 24-Hour Deluge in the US Ever

Take a look at some of the tracks and see how far inland hurricanes went:

Hurricanes in History
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:50 AM   #9
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Check out the Lago Vista, TX area.
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
The west side of the hill country - for example Kerrville is considerably less humid, so the summers are a bit more pleasant. The downside is that the winters are colder.

We thought the area around Marble Falls was pretty nice. Not quite as rugged as farther west.
I'm going to have to disagree with you. I lived in NW San Antonio for 6 years and the humidity in the Hill Country is miserable. I hated that the clouds (and resultant humidity) would roll in around 10 in night and linger until noon the next day when it was burned off with three digit heat. I'd recommend taking a look at a dewpoint map to get a good idea about humidity. It's pretty brutal all the way up to the Red River. And this opinion from a guy who's from Georgia where humidity is just as bad...

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Turn_the_Page View Post
I'm in the class of 2016 and recently relocated from the midwest to Houston. I'm a Waco native. Struggling a bit finding the retirement town that we want. Here's the list:

  • Low/moderate humidity
  • No Hurricane worries
  • Close to good health care
  • Reasonably close to big city for occasional amenity trips and airport.
  • Small enough that we'll actually do things without worrying about traffic
  • Nice homes close enough or in town so we'll actually do things without the big 'drive to town'.
  • 55+ community is a nice to have, not a must have
Robson Ranch - Denton was on the list but dropped as it's too far from town. Plus Denton doesn't seem that appealing (sorry). It is nice that UNT is there. Plus it's close to DFW and everything you'd want there.


Kerrville was top of the list, but we had some doubts recently due to lack of decent housing close or in town. Maybe we just hit a bad spell with real estate market. Plus, DW isn't in love with the hills, she's more of a 'rolling hills' person.


We love Fredericksburg, but it feels a bit too small and the tourists would drive us nuts after awhile. I'm afraid we'd be driving into SA for any major health care and we hate driving in SA.


We looked at Sun City Georgetown maybe 10 years ago for the DW's parents. Wow, I-35 is just a disaster. We'd never go anywhere.


Now we're talking about other places:

  • Greater Houston Area - Conroe, Livingston. Humid! But close to major city/airport. Hopefully far enough north to not worry about hurricanes.
  • Central Texas - Brenham? Nice rolling hills. 70 or so miles from both Austin and Houston. Still humid, but not the stifling coastal humidity.
  • Greater Austin Area - Bastrop et al. May be too congested and crazy??
  • Greater DFW area - Maybe we should revisit Denton and look in town? Granbury? others?
You know, I love Waco and there's a lot to like there. But, I have family there and I'm afraid I'd have company for supper EVERY night if I lived there.

You'll need to move a good bit further north than Conroe to get out of a hurricanes damage path if the Houston/Galveston area takes another direct hit like it did with IKE back in 2008. (I think IKE was just a strong CAT-2 when it hit Galveston). I'm almost 100 miles north of Conroe and we still saw 50 to 60mph wind gusts as the center of IKE passed almost directly over us. That was enough to knock out power in the general area for several days.

Have you considered the area between Ft Worth and Waxahachie on US 287 ? (It's a little bit east of the Granbury area you were considering) Lot's of new housing communities and amenities popping up in that area. Not sure if any are 55+ or not. Traffic usually isn't too bad on 287 until you get near the Ft Worth area. Ft Worth and Dallas aren't really that far away for medical and/or other big city stuff. (30 to 45 min drive)
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:40 PM   #12
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Having said all that stuff about Bastrop, TX...I really recommend you check out Lufkin, TX as well, over in east TX. I just finished living there part-time (4 days a week) over the last 5 years. If I could get my wife to relocate now, that's probably where it would be. Population is around 35,000. Google it. It's a good place to be, in my opinion. Housing costs are very reasonable. Friend of mine is just about to close a 2800+ sq. foot log home, about 5 minutes from Lake Sam Rayburn, on 5 acres of wooded land, with an 1100 sq ft. guest house...negotiated price: $167,000. That's more towards Huntington, TX rather than Lufkin, but it's only around 10 miles or so. I really like the Lufkin/Angelina County area.
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the comments, lots to think about:

San Angelo - memories of Lake Nasworthy when I lived in West Texas years ago. Nice town. I guess the closest airport is MIdland?

I hear you on the hurricanes and being east of I-35.

I need to look more around the greater I-35 corridor. We really like the semi-arid climate west of Balcones Escarpment. I know neither Houston, San Antonio or Austin are picnics to drive into, but Austin seems more desirable than SA. I have friends in Burnet and they love it.

Re-reading my post, I guess I don't really mean Fredericksburg is too small. F-burg is too small given the distance you may need to travel for major medical. Kerrville is so appealing as it's on the interstate which makes SA feel so much closer.

We always liked Smithville when we drove through. We'll check it out.

Lufkin - thanks for the tip.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:58 PM   #14
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Having said all that stuff about Bastrop, TX...I really recommend you check out Lufkin, TX as well, over in east TX. I just finished living there part-time (4 days a week) over the last 5 years. If I could get my wife to relocate now, that's probably where it would be. Population is around 35,000. Google it. It's a good place to be, in my opinion. Housing costs are very reasonable. Friend of mine is just about to close a 2800+ sq. foot log home, about 5 minutes from Lake Sam Rayburn, on 5 acres of wooded land, with an 1100 sq ft. guest house...negotiated price: $167,000. That's more towards Huntington, TX rather than Lufkin, but it's only around 10 miles or so. I really like the Lufkin/Angelina County area.
+1

I live about 60 miles to the West of Lufkin and if (when) I move it would be in my top 2 or 3 locations to consider in Texas.
(I espically like the south side of Lufkin.)
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:04 PM   #15
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+1

I live about 60 miles to the West of Lufkin and if (when) I move it would be in my top 2 or 3 locations to consider in Texas.
(I espically like the south side of Lufkin.)
I have very good friends in Crockett and out that way. My friend who bought the house out by Rayburn currently lives a few miles south of Lufkin, kind of towards Diboll, and has his place up for sale now, I think for around $160. I think it's on a couple of acres. Home prices in the area are a lot better than here in Shreveport/Bossier, but the taxes are higher in TX of course.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:09 PM   #16
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You might want to consider Keller, TX which is in the DFW Metroplex. It has a very nice 55+ development called the Villas of Stone Glen. You can probably google it.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:14 PM   #17
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San Angelo - memories of Lake Nasworthy when I lived in West Texas years ago. Nice town. I guess the closest airport is MIdland?
Yes. It's outside the eastern boundary of the Permian Basin oil patch and has had some nice growth but escaped the boomtown craziness Midland and Odessa are experiencing.

We have no plans to ever relocate (outside a possible move to assisted living/nursing home ) but if we did, San Angelo would be one of the places we'd seriously consider.

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I need to look more around the greater I-35 corridor. We really like the semi-arid climate west of Balcones Escarpment. I know neither Houston, San Antonio or Austin are picnics to drive into, but Austin seems more desirable than SA.
If you're saying you prefer the city of Austin to SA, I totally understand. If you're saying traffic seems worse in SA than Austin, I encourage you to do a test drive.
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:15 PM   #18
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You might want to consider Keller, TX which is in the DFW Metroplex. It has a very nice 55+ development called the Villas of Stone Glen. You can probably google it.

Yeah...but do they Rudolph the Red Nosed Christmas Oil Rig every year at Christmas like Lufkin? I think not!! lol Google it!
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:58 PM   #19
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Yes. It's outside the eastern boundary of the Permian Basin oil patch and has had some nice growth but escaped the boomtown craziness Midland and Odessa are experiencing.

We have no plans to ever relocate (outside a possible move to assisted living/nursing home ) but if we did, San Angelo would be one of the places we'd seriously consider.


If you're saying you prefer the city of Austin to SA, I totally understand. If you're saying traffic seems worse in SA than Austin, I encourage you to do a test drive.
I found that traffic in Austin was worse than San Antonio, but San Antonio traffic isn't very pretty either. The infrastructure really hasn't kept up with the population boon.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:04 PM   #20
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I found that traffic in Austin was worse than San Antonio, but San Antonio traffic isn't very pretty either. The infrastructure really hasn't kept up with the population boon.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
Austin traffic wasn't all that bad when I lived there in '81 - '87 and also while I was living in Bastrop and driving in to Austin everyday...up until I moved away in 1996. It sure is a lot worse now, though!
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