CNNMoney.com named Round Rock, Texas the 7th Best Place to Live in the U.S., according to a report released today. The study analyzed towns from 50,000 to 300,000 people. The rankings were based on job growth since 2000, home affordability, quality of schools, and scenic beauty.
With a current population of just over 92,000, Round Rock has grown precipitously since I moved to the Austin area in 1988. In fact, I looked it up, and the population that year was around 25,000, so Round Rock is almost FOUR TIMES the size that it was 20 years ago.
When I was going to school at nearby Southwestern University (about 10-15 minutes north, in Georgetown), we would drive to Round Rock at night to grab some fast food. Back then, the sole restaurant in the area that was open late was Hardee’s, and it stood in front of the Garden Ridge Pottery store. Later, Dell Computer opened its headquarters right across I-35 from that location, and it completely transformed the area.
Here’s a current aerial shot of this vicinity, illustrating how much retail/restaurant development is in place now (Dell is located near the top right of this photo):
A “typical” single-family home costs $192,500, with 46.8% job growth over the past eight years. Clearly, many of the underlying economic factors affecting other markets around the country are not in play here.
I live about 5 minutes from Round Rock, so it is the source of much of our entertainment and shopping. The article cited the myriad of outdoor activities as a “Pro”, and the fact that Dell Computer is by far the largest employer as a “con”. Dell is certainly an integral factor in the local economy and the cause for much of the commercial expansion and development, but it is not the sole source of jobs in town, as evidenced by the fact that they have conducted a good number of layoffs, yet the job growth remains strong. That being said, there are certain neighborhoods which do feel the effects when Dell is slumping.
As the article indicates, Round Rock now boasts three medical centers and a satellite campus for Texas State University, which is based in San Marcos. There is certainly ample shopping available now, from an IKEA to the recently-opened premium outlet mall, and a minor league baseball team, the Round Rock Express. There are more than 800 acres of open space and two great golf courses, along with reasonable proximity to Lake Travis, which is located to the west.
If you are considering a move to the Austin / Round Rock area, please feel free to give me a call anytime. I would love the opportunity to assist you with this. My cell phone number is 512-796-7653 and our Austin real estate website is at www.austintexashomes.com. Thanks! Jason Crouch