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Rent vs. buy: Western Oaks (SW Austin)

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The Western Oaks area (including Western Oaks, Village at Western Oaks and Smiths JW Western Oaks), is located in Southwest Austin predominantly in 78749. It spans (roughly) from Davis Ln. on the south side to Convict Hill Rd. on the north and just past Escarpment Blvd. on the western side to just across Beckett Rd. in the east.

Western Oaks is gently nestled north of Circle C and is close to many convenient shopping areas. It is within walking or biking distance to Dick Nichols Park and is less than 20 minutes from downtown Austin. It's minutes away from such Austin gems as Austin Pizza Garden, Austin Custom Winery and the absolutely fabulous Hecho en Mexico.

A quick recap of the the Agents For Change Price vs. Rent Ratio: We look at very local real estate markets in and around Austin, and we will use ACTUAL sales price and rent price data - not just the list price for each*.

Doing our best to compare apples to apples, let's take a look at three- and four-bedroom homes that have sold or been rented in the past 6 months (between September 20, 2010 and March 21, 2011) in Western Oaks:

There were 20 houses rented in Western Oaks for an average monthly rent of $1,615 - or $0.82/sqft. These 20 houses were on the market for an average of just 29 days.

There were 49 houses sold in Western Oaks for an average sales price of $244,081 - or $113.78/sqft. These 49 houses were on the market for an average of 66 days.

This puts the price-to-rent ratio for Western Oaks over the past six months at 12.59, meaning that it is less expensive to own a home than it is to rent one in Western Oaks. Of course, every house and every situation is different for each person.

As of today (March 21, 2011) there are 19 homes for sale and only 3 homes for rent available** in Western Oaks. To see for yourself what homes are currently for sale in Western Oaks or anywhere in Austin - and what homes have sold in the past three months (including their sales price!) - click here for an Agents For Change Market Snapshot. If you are thinking of living there - buying OR leasing - we would be happy to help you find the best home for you and your family's situation.

*Methodology for The Agents For Change Price vs. Rent Ratio
Agents For Change calculates their price-to-rent ratio using the average sales price for homes sold and the average monthly rent for homes leased over the previous 6 months.

Sample price-to-rent calculation:
Average sales price: $312,926
Average rent: $1,970
Price-to-rent ratio: $312,926 / ($1,970 x 12) = 13.23

Interpretation Key:
• Price-to-Rent Ratio of 1-15: Owning a home is less expensive than renting a home in this area.
• Price-to-Rent Ratio of 16-20: Owning a home in this area is more expensive than renting, but it might still make financial sense to buy depending on the situation.
• Price-to-Rent Ratio of 21+: Renting in this area is much less expensive than owning a home.

**All market information is obtained from the Austin Board of REALTORS MLS/ACTRIS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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