Tell me about Round Rock and Georgetown - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-25-2008, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

I'm a New Yorker living in Houston for the past 13 years. I am a lesbian with a long-term partner, I have two children, we are secular homeschoolers, we homebirth, no-vax, cloth diaper, blah, blah, blah. We have a nice group of friends in Houston and good support for homeschooling. We also have a city full of opportunities - museums, zoos, etc. But, we don't know any other crunchy, homeschooling, lesbians in the city and, while we have some nice crunchy friends, the city isn't full of them.

My partner may be offered a job in Georgetown that would be great for her career. I'm wondering how it would be for our family? Could someone give me the low-down on the area?

Where could we live? Georgetown, Round Rock, where else?

What is the cost of living in the area(s)? How much for a 2000sf ish house in a nice neighborhood with kids playing in the streets?

How gay friendly is the area?

How homeschooling friendly?

How crunchy/alternative/liberal?

Are there food co-ops, natural grocery stores, nature parks, trails, etc.?

I do NOT want to move to stepford wife suburbia but I also don't want my partner to have a hell of a commute. Is there someplace that would give us a small town, crunchy feel that is close to Georgetown?

Thanks mamas!
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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The northern suburbs of Austin are pretty conservative. Quite a few stepford neighborhoods.

I see Mom's wearing babies in pouches in the area, but that's the extent of the crunchiness up here, as far as I've seen. We have some crunchy resources, but mostly drive into Austin for those (food co-ops and natural grocery stores).

Really if you want to live in the crunchy areas, you have to look in Austin which would be a pretty bad commute to Georgetown.

We moved from Houston. I only lived there a year, but I do miss the big city perks like good theater and good museums. I'm not just talking about up north, I'm talking about the whole Austin metro area. The Austin Zoo is a small rescue zoo, nothing like Houston. I have heard good things about the San Antonio Zoo, which would be about 2 hours away from Georgetown.

Of course, I don't miss the crazy road system, traffic, and claustrophobia, although people in Austin complain about traffic. I guess it's been getting worse.

We're relatively new to the area though, so maybe someone could help you who might know a good pocket somewhere.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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Hi,

I live in Georgetown and love it. And I for sure am not a stepford wife. I have lived here since 2002. I think people are very friendly and open to alternate lifestyles. I had a homebirth in 2005. I am now a senior midwife student and hope to open a birth center in Georgetown sometime in the next year. You can find a very nice house in a neighborhood with parks and community pools for under 200K. I know lots of people that homeschool especially in the Round Rock area and have home schooling groups. Whole foods is not too far away and there are lots of parks and trails. You should consider moving here. And if you have another baby, look me up

Take Care,
Lisa
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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I've lived in the Georgetown/Round Rock area since I was 13, it's not so much gay-friendly, as non-judgemental. Last I checked there's a homeschool group in Georgetown, though they may be Christian based, there are farmer's markets, I had a schedule for them, the one in Pflugerville is supposed to run 'til November, I think, and there's a Whole Foods in north Austin, near the 183/MoPac area, not too far to drive from Round Rock.

Also, there are many, many parks. Where I'm at, there are two parks, and an elementary school just blocks away.

Mostly, the people are just plain friendly, that's what I like best about the area.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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My impression is that Georgetown and Round Rock are significantly more conservative than central Austin. Basically, Williamson county is one of the most conservative areas in the Austin area. Allandale, in north central Austin, would be a commute but it is VERY crunchy and tolerant of different lifestyles.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! Keep them coming - the more, the better.

I don't think we want to live in central Austin. As much as I'd like the crunchiness, I want to get away from the city for a while. But, we'd like to have access to Austin for playdates, field trips, etc.

Can you tell me more about Allendale? I saw it mentioned in another thread. What would the commute time be to Georgetown? I think she'd be in the southern part of Georgetown and she'd be going against traffic, right? Is it longer than a 30 minute drive? How is the housing in the area?

What other areas between Austin and Georgetown should we look at - gay-friendly, secular homeschooling support, etc. I'm a pretty friendly person so I feel confident we can find community for ourselves, as long as it is there to find.

Also, keep telling me about Georgetown. I get mixed reviews - some say it is conservative, some say it is very friendly and historically progressive.

We are all going up next week. Tell me what parts of the areas to visit, what to see, etc.

Thanks!!!
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackysmama View Post
Hi Mamas,

I'm a New Yorker living in Houston for the past 13 years. I am a lesbian with a long-term partner, I have two children, we are secular homeschoolers, we homebirth, no-vax, cloth diaper, blah, blah, blah. We have a nice group of friends in Houston and good support for homeschooling. We also have a city full of opportunities - museums, zoos, etc. But, we don't know any other crunchy, homeschooling, lesbians in the city and, while we have some nice crunchy friends, the city isn't full of them.

My partner may be offered a job in Georgetown that would be great for her career. I'm wondering how it would be for our family? Could someone give me the low-down on the area?

Where could we live? Georgetown, Round Rock, where else?

What is the cost of living in the area(s)? How much for a 2000sf ish house in a nice neighborhood with kids playing in the streets?

How gay friendly is the area?

How homeschooling friendly?

How crunchy/alternative/liberal?

Are there food co-ops, natural grocery stores, nature parks, trails, etc.?

I do NOT want to move to stepford wife suburbia but I also don't want my partner to have a hell of a commute. Is there someplace that would give us a small town, crunchy feel that is close to Georgetown?

Thanks mamas!
Hi! I live in Pflugerville which is a farm town/suburb (not so much farming anymore) kinda between Round Rock and Austin. I like Pville a lot because it's cheaper than Austin but still in Travis county. Being a liberal queer (bi) I try to stay in Travis so I can feel like I'm somewhat represented by people who are on my side. Pflugerville is as conservative as the next Texas town that's not Austin, but it's very kid friendly and I like that. Fact is, anywhere that's not Austin proper is going to have a lot of conservative Christians that may or may not annoy you. Frankly, they don't bother me. 1 thing that Texans are big on is being polite, so most people are at least respectful. There is plenty of community, you just have to look to see it.

Austin is very liberal, hippie, queer-friendly, crunchy town. Since you want to stay close to Gtown, I would recommend North Austin or possibly Pville, RR, etc. You can easily get to Austin to get to Central Market (HEB's answer to Whole Foods) or Wheatsville Co-op or whatever, but also near your partner's work.

I am house hunting myself right now, I can tell you that a decent 2000sqft home in the 'burbs is about 145k+ Of course, I hate suburbia and HOAs, so it's taking me a long time to find something with a little more character that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. One thing I like about Pville (again) is that there are several older neighborhoods that don't have HOAs but are still nice. I think Georgetown is similar in this regard and the homes may be cheaper.

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Originally Posted by mackysmama View Post
Thanks everyone! Keep them coming - the more, the better.

I don't think we want to live in central Austin. As much as I'd like the crunchiness, I want to get away from the city for a while. But, we'd like to have access to Austin for playdates, field trips, etc.

Can you tell me more about Allendale? I saw it mentioned in another thread. What would the commute time be to Georgetown? I think she'd be in the southern part of Georgetown and she'd be going against traffic, right? Is it longer than a 30 minute drive? How is the housing in the area?

What other areas between Austin and Georgetown should we look at - gay-friendly, secular homeschooling support, etc. I'm a pretty friendly person so I feel confident we can find community for ourselves, as long as it is there to find.

Also, keep telling me about Georgetown. I get mixed reviews - some say it is conservative, some say it is very friendly and historically progressive.

We are all going up next week. Tell me what parts of the areas to visit, what to see, etc.

Thanks!!!
Allendale is in Austin. You'd want to stay close to I35 if you want a reasonable commute time. At least the good thing there, like you said, would be that she'd be going opposite of rush hour traffic, since most people come into Austin from the 'burbs. Houses in Allendale will be more expensive, probably 200k+, easy. It would be a good 30 min commute.

East Austin is a rapidly growing (read: gentrified all to hell) area where you can still get cheap houses. It's getting more expensive every day, but don't be afraid to look. There is a toll road (130) that runs east of Austin that might get you to Georgetown quickly, if you don't mind paying the tolls.

Umm... don't know what else... feel free to ask more or PM me if you want to say howdy. As far as what to do/see, well, I think the bats are still in town, that's always fun if you've never done it.

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Old 08-26-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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Allandale (google it with the "a" not the "e" when you spell it) is very liberal, but it would be a long commute. My impression of Williamson County is that it is more conservative.

But -- north Austin suburbs do have a thriving homeschool community, much of it secular. In fact, it's so thriving that I wonder sometimes if I made a mistake by moving to the much more limited south Austin area. If you live in Georgetown, you can get horses and you will have so many homeschool activities that you will wonder how on earth you will manage to cram in time to actually do any study for your kids. You will find yourself trying to cut back.

But the thing is -- even though secular, a lot of people will still be uncomfortable with your lifestyle which could ultimately affect your kids. The vibe for me in those communities is republican and Christian, kwim?

I am interested in this thread because if there is a dream community like the one you describe, I want to move there!

I would go with Allandale and let my partner commute, but honestly, what do I know? I'm a heterosexual homemaker and I'm not that daring. I would not have to be daring in Allandale, people would not even blink an eye. There is a great food coop and a weekly farmer's market near Allandale, but I don't know about Georgetown.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:52 AM
 
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There is a farmers market in Georgetown: http://www.gtfma.com/.

I haven't been, but for me it's about the same distance to the Austin farmers market, which is one of the best farmer's markets I've seen in the US.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasuremapper View Post
But -- north Austin suburbs do have a thriving homeschool community, much of it secular.
Which suburbs are these? And, are these the same suburbs that would be good with my homeschooling but not so good with lesbians living next door?

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Originally Posted by Treasuremapper View Post
I would go with Allandale and let my partner commute, but honestly, what do I know? I'm a heterosexual homemaker and I'm not that daring. I would not have to be daring in Allandale, people would not even blink an eye. There is a great food coop and a weekly farmer's market near Allandale, but I don't know about Georgetown.
How far of a commute do you think it would be from Allandale to Georgetown? Allandale is off of 183, right? Right now, she commutes about 20 minutes, which is VERY short for Houston. I think we could both comfortably handle 30 minutes. Is Allandale in that range?

Would I need to be daring to live in Allandale or is that a more progressive community? I'm not sure that, at this point in my life, I'm up for being daring. I don't want my kids to have to be daring. I want a yard with some frogs and critters, a group of friends we can hang out with, and support and love, you know? I've waved my flag but my arms are too full now.

Now, we're pretty happy in Houston, though we don't live in a gay or even liberal neighborhood. But Houston has lots of folks in it and we're all close enough to meet for homeschool PE at the Y or a playground, etc. I'm good with that kind of neighborhood, one that requires me to make some effort. But I don't want the others kids on the street running inside.

Keep the suggestions coming!
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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I live in Allandale, and used to work in Pflugerville. The commute was honestly not a problem. It's not like living south/central.

Allandale is a great neighborhood. I am a bit disillusioned by Austin these days, but I still really love where I live.

Housing price wise, our house is a three-bedroom two-bath with an exceptional yard, and it's probably marketable at $230K right now. Depending on your specific needs, I'd say you're in the $200-$250K range in my neighborhood, which is definitely more expensive that Georgetown, but very much worth it, IMO.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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No one would bat an eye in Allandale. You would find a mix of conservative and liberal, etc. etc. And, honestly, it's probably about as far North as you'd go in Austin before hitting the bible belters.

But don't discount what I said about people around here being polite, even if they don't "approve". I have gay pride stickers on my car and an Obama sign in my front yard and no one has stolen my sign or looked at me sideways yet.

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Old 08-26-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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I lived in North Austin/Round Rock for quite a while. I would think Williamson County wouldn't be as much what you're looking for as other places in Travis County. Williamson County is pretty staunch Republican and is pretty suburban. Although, I know of several families on my block in Turtle Creek who were not stereotypic.

I had a gay friend at Dell who lived in the Mopac and Parmer area with his partner and they'd been there for years and really liked their area. (They also got their neighbor on Extreme Makeover Home Edition, FWIW.)

And since you're new to the area, I saw you calling it Loop 1 in another post...that's it's technical name, but no one calls it that...it's MoPac.

Good luck with your move. I would love to get back to Austin someday. My husband, well, that's another matter.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I’ve spent LOTS of time on google maps and searching MLS databases and, honestly, it leaves me feeling discouraged. I really don’t want to spend over $200,000 on a house. We could go up to $250,000 but I just don’t like having a lot of debt. It was shocking to do a search in Allandale and then to do a search in Georgetown. It is quite clear that the money goes a lot farther in Georgetown. I also really like the idea of leaving the congestion of the city – we’ve had our fill of that in Houston. But, I don’t want to end up in a planned community where we are the only lesbians around and my kids have no one to play with and I have no support or community. Do you think that is what Georgetown or Round Rock would be like? Everyone says those area are very conservative but I’m wondering if that is relative – compared to Houston are they conservative or compared to 6th street?

Do these communities have strong progressive communities within them, even if they aren't the dominant community?
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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Take this for only what it is worth--my opinion--but from what I've seen, Round Rock and Georgetown are very conservative, cookie cutter, and unpleasant. They aren't places I'd want to live. Also, you aren't leaving congestion--their traffic is worse than ours by a long shot!

I don't know that we have the same basis for comparison though. Austin itself seems a bit conservative to me, and I know I am like the only person in Texas who thinks that.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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Hi, I live in RR. We live in a slightly older, less affluent neighborhood with just pretty decent neighbors. The past few years when going into vote their has been a long line on the dem side, which used to never be the case in RR, even 5 years ago I'd be the only one inline. The lady across the street from me runs as the libertarian candidate for something local, didn't win but she tried. A lot of my neighbors tell me they transplanted from S. Austin because they couldn't afford that anymore, we don't have an HOA---thankgods! I grow food in my front yard, which was atfirst looked at as really weird and now neighbors stop by to ask how things are growing. I met one of my neighbors on MDC, she rocks is super herbal chic, knits shorties all the time, very liberal, ect... I know you wouldn't be the only lesbian family, but I'm not sure people would really care one way or the other. The neighborhood school is terrible though, really low performing, but we hope to homeschool anyways. The downside is the houses are smaller than one of those big sprawling yards in Georgetown. Another family across the street had farm sized pigs and goats, until one got out and animal control whisked them away. Down the street some people have really free range chickens, road chics and roosters just doing their thing and have for years.
I don't 'do' IH35, that's probably the main source of traffic up here. Although dh would love for us to be way, way, way out of the city, for now this is where we are. You can pm me if you'd like to know which neighborhood we are in. I feel less and less like an isolated weirdo here all the time.
I think my neighborhood may be lower income level than you are thinking, but their are a few nicer neighborhoods w/o the HOAs. Also, their are plenty of open minded nice people living in newer neighborhoods.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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there are many secular homeschooling groups in austin. I live in round rock but still hang with the austin groups. one exception is the learning without limits group (a yahoo group) for areas in north austin and north of austin. there is also austin area homeschoolers (look for their site at main.org) and the unschoolers group, which tends to be an offshoot of AAH. most of the williamson county based groups are not secular.

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Old 09-05-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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Hey Mama!

We live in West Round Rock. It is a cookie-cutter neighborhood. But, honestly, for us it works as far as being able to buy a brand new home in a location that I can hop on either 35 or Parmer or 183 and be in Gtown, downtown Austin, or Cedar Park in about 15-30 minutes depending on where I'm going.

I am a liberal, heterosexual, secular, homeschooling, pro-breastfeeding, pro-AP Mama (who feels pretty much like the only one of her kind in my neighborhood). But, what I have found is that I just have to make sure I am reaching out to the other Mamas in Williamson County and beyond who have much in common with me and make sure to have contacts all over the city.

We are out here... you just have to look for us. My friends and I wouldn't bat an eye at having you as our neighbors (in fact, we would relish it)... So... even though the majority of Wmson County is conservative, we are not "all" that way... Basically, I have had to create my own community of people from all over instead of having them all in my backyard, kwim?

But, for us, having a brand new home with an easy commute for hubby and still a location where it wasn't too hard for me and my daughter to commute to activities is why we are up here.

As much as I wish I could have found a community that was all-accepting and had lifestyle choices in common with us that is further into Austin and affordable... I just don't know where that would be.

There are plenty of secular homeschoolers up here and all around town.

Good Luck! Any other questions, feel free to e-mail me ([email protected]) as I don't check Mothering that often these days due to lack of lots of computer time.

Kesha
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