Big tech has so heavily invaded Austin, Texas, that the capital city now has its own $1 million neighbourhood. Here’s what it’s like in the affluent and exclusive Barton Creek district

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The exclusive Barton Creek neighbourhood in Austin, Texas, is home to some of the region’s priciest real estate. It’s now a million-dollar neighbourhood, thanks in part to the influx of tech workers. Katie Canales/Business Insider

The Austin neighbourhood of Barton Creek has a history of being among the city’s priciest and most exclusive ZIP codes.

But the community has most recently made history as Austin’s first $US1 million neighbourhood, according to a Trulia report published in November. That means that the majority of the homes in the area boast an asking price of at least $US1 million.

Austin itself is turning into one of the wealthiest enclaves in Texas, thanks in part to the tech industry’s expanding presence there in recent years. Software giant Oracle just completed its massive new campus along the Colorado River, Apple is building a new $US1 billion campus in the city, and others – like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Austin area veteran Dell – have footholds in the area. And those are just a few examples.

That presence is only going to get bigger, with more techies filling new jobs in the capital city, raising the demand – and prices – for homes as a result.

Barton Creek is the first neighbourhood to earn the $US1 million status, but it won’t be the last.

We visited the exclusive Barton Creek to see what it was like. Take a look around.


Various sites cast the median real estate value in Barton Creek at different numbers — Trulia lists it at $US1,020,000, Realtor at $US1,495,000, and Zillow at $US1,013,100.

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Source: Trulia,Realtor, and Zillow


But what’s for sure is that Barton Creek is Austin’s first $US1 million neighbourhood. The neighbourhood’s median home value jumped from $US935,000 in 2017 to $US1,020,000 in October 2018, according to Trulia.

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Source: Trulia,Trulia


For comparison, that’s far greater than the city of Austin’s overall $US361,200 median real estate value, which has seen a 9.8% increase itself in the past year.

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A cloudy day in Downtown Austin, Texas. Katie Canales/Business Insider

Source: Zillow


There’s long been a tech presence in Austin and, as a result, a fair share of wealth.

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IBM has been operating in Austin for decades, with its first manufacturing plant opening in 1967. Wikimedia Commons

Source: Austin American-Statesman


A handful of Austin luminaries, most of them with footholds in the tech industry, recently made the annual Forbes 400 list of American billionaires.

Source: Forbes


Big tech has continued to blossom in the capital city, sending tech job growth rates — as well as growth in other sectors — upward since 2013.

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Source: The Austin American Statesman


Barton Creek neighbourhood’s home value has steadily increased since 2013 as well. But the neighbourhood is no stranger to wealth — it has historically been an attractive option for the city’s affluent residents.

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Source: The Austin American Statesman,Zillow, and Austin Texas Insider


Since tech has made itself more at home in Austin, Barton Creek has seen some of the tech elite move into the neighbourhood …

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… like Aubrey Marcus, the CEO of the $US28 million health and wellness company Onnit. He snagged a four-bedroom house in the neighbourhood in 2012 for an unknown price.

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Source: Forbes


Another former tech resident was Martin Neath, the late Austin entrepreneur who led the startup Tivoli Systems, which was acquired by IBM for $US743 million in 1996. He owned this Tuscan-style villa in Barton Creek, which recently sold for $US5.9 million.

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Neath died by suicide in 2016. KeeSnap Photography/YouTube

Source: Austin American-Statesman,Zillow, and Houston Chronicle


Deep-pocketed clients in other fields have also flocked to the neighbourhood, like Charlie Strong, a former football coach for the University of Texas.

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Former University of Texas coach Charlie Strong. Scott Halleran/Getty

Source: Curbed Austin


Strong listed his Barton Creek home for $US5 million in 2016 when he became the head coach at the University of South Florida.

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Source: Curbed Austin


Barton Creek is one of a handful of neighbourhoods in the affluent West Austin region. The surrounding districts of West Lake Hills and Rollingwood also boast sought-after exclusivity and opulent living.

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Source: Austin Business Journal


Ross Garber, the former CEO of Vignette Software — which was acquired by OpenText in 2009 for $US310 million — listed his home in the Rob Roy district north of Barton Creek for $US16.9 million at auction in 2016.

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Source: Crunchbase, Curbed Austin


And right outside of Barton Creek’s limits, a 128-acre parcel of land, which includes a 6,588-square-foot home, sold for almost $US22 million in July 2017.

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Source: Houston Chronicle


Dubbed Barton Creek Ranch, the sale set a record as the most expensive home sold in Austin’s public market.

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Source: Houston Chronicle


There’s a reason why this area interests the wealthy. The enviable views of the rolling Texas Hill Country make for a stunning addition to a home.

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The view from the balcony of a suite in the Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. Trey Perry/Flickr/Attribution

Even on a cloudy, dreary day, the views are priceless.

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Barton Creek is not only one of Austin’s most affluent neighbourhoods, but also one of the oldest. Most of the homes in the neighbourhood were built after 1980 and tend to be on the larger side.

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Source: Austin Texas Insider, U.S. Census Bureau


This four-bedroom home at 3707 Mist Creek Drive was built in 1985 and is for sale for $US1,199,000.

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Source: Austin Home Search


However, there are a few new homes being built. A home at 4524 Peralta Lane (not pictured below), will be finished in summer 2019 and is listed for $US2,795,000.

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Source: Zillow


And this seven-bedroom mansion at 8106 Chalk Knoll Drive was built in 1999, but parts of it have been renovated or remodeled.

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Source: Zillow


Dubbed the Chateau de Courant, it was listed for $US10,750,000 in 2018, though it’s currently off the market, according to Zillow.

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Source: Zillow


The subdivisions within the neighbourhood are spread out. There are walking paths in some places, but you probably need a car to get around.

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And if you have a work commute into downtown, you almost certainly need a car.

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Source: Google Maps


From the Governor’s Hill subdivision at the northern end of Barton Creek …

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… to the Estates of Barton Creek, another subdivision at the halfway mark down the neighbourhood, is a 30-minute walk, or a four-minute drive.

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Source: Google Maps


And there’s not much on either side of you except for forested areas and more subdivisions.

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Spacious suburban-style neighbourhoods are easy to come by in this area, since Barton Creek and other West Austin neighbourhoods are further from the denser city center.

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Source: Google Maps


It looks a lot different than life in the very walkable Pacific Heights, a neighbourhood in San Francisco housing the city’s wealthy, high-tech elite.

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A street in San Francisco’s elite Pacific Heights neighbourhood. Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider


Though some properties are gated, anyone is able to meander through one of the Bay Area city’s most expensive and exclusive neighbourhoods, and gaze at the million-dollar homes mere feet from them.

Source: Business Insider


But in Austin’s Barton Creek neighbourhood, not so much — the lots here are huge, and the secluded homes stand further away from the street.

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Source: Best Places


And even if the homes were situated closer to the street, enjoying a nice stroll to catch a glimpse of them would prove difficult.

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That’s because nearly every subdivision is sectioned off with security gates.

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And we do mean nearly every subdivision.

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Driving through the neighbourhood, you’ll be met with gate …

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… after gate …

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… after gate.

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Some homes within un-gated subdivisions even have their own set of gates on the property.

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There’s also plenty of foliage for added privacy.

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Some are so heavily obstructed with trees that it’s difficult to catch even a small glimpse of the house.

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You can spy the pillars at the entrance to this house through the trees, though.

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And the dark roof of this house can be seen past a fence and tree cover.

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This relatively modest white house was one of the only homes that could be clearly viewed from the street.

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The luxurious Barton Creek Villas apartments, near the northern end of the neighbourhood, are gated as well.

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But on the particular day that we visited, the gates were open.

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Inside the gates are units spanning one to three bedrooms for $US1,099 to $US3,299 a month, respectively.

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Source: The Connor Group


Residency includes access to a resort-style pool, hot tub, and cabanas, just to name a few of the perks.

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Source: The Connor Group


Barton Creek Neighbourhood is also home to two top-rated private schools, including St. Michael’s Catholic Academy for grades nine through 12. The tuition for the 2018-2019 school year is $US21,100.

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Source: St. Michael’s Catholic Academy,Niche


St. Gabriel’s Catholic School nearby serves students from pre-K through 8th grade.

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Source: St. Gabriel’s Catholic School


Tuition for the 2018-2019 school year runs from $US10,950 for pre-K students to $US19,575 for 8th graders.

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Source: St. Gabriel’s Catholic School


Close to St. Gabriel’s is a plaza, which includes a nail salon and an optometrist.

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There’s also a small grocery store serving dairy products, produce, and chips, among other things.

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Source: Barton Creek Market


Other than that, there aren’t too many businesses within the actual neighbourhood. A strip mall sits near the entrance, and not far away from that is a gym, a Starbucks, and an H-E-B grocery store.

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Source: Google Maps


There’s also the Barton Creek Greenbelt to the southeast of the neighbourhood. Residents can easily hike, bike, swim, climb — you name it.

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A walking path along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Brandon Turner/Flickr/Attribution

Another nearby and popular amenity within the community is the Barton Creek Country Club and accompanying Omni Resort.

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Initiation fees can run as low as $US13,500 for a basic Sport membership to $US55,000 for a Full Golf plan at the upscale country club. All plans have additional monthly dues, too.

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Source: Barton Creek Country Club


Members have access to tennis courts, a private heated pool, and group fitness classes …

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Source: Barton Creek Country Club


… as well as four golf courses: the Fazio Foothills, Fazio Canyons, Crenshaw Cliffside, and Palmer Lakeside.

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Source: Barton Creek Country Club


Depending on which housing subdivision you choose, you’re granted a Property Owners Social Membership upon moving into the Barton Creek neighbourhood.

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Source: Barton Creek North


This gets you pool access, dining options, and social events at the Barton Creek Country Club.

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Source: Barton Creek Living


It’s an elite enclave within an elite enclave.

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Luckily, you don’t have to be a member to take advantage of some of the other amenities.

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You can stay at the Omni Resort, which is currently undergoing a $US150 million renovation. It’s slated to be completed this year.

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Source: Austin Business Journal


Some of the country club perks are afforded to guests of the resort during their stay.

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Source: Omni Hotels


For Barton Creek residents, the resort-style club is mere minutes away from their homes.

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Some homes even overlook the golf courses.

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With the median household income in Barton Creek at $US155,125, residents can likely afford a club membership as well as a home in a $US1 million neighbourhood.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau


That looks a lot different than in San Francisco, a more established tech hub known for its competitive real estate market, where residents need to make more than $US300,000 a year just to afford a single-family home.

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San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


So Austin is still way behind San Francisco in that regard …

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Barton Creek Neighbourhood in Austin, Texas. Katie Canales/Business Insider

… but the neighbourhood of Barton Creek becoming the city’s first $US1 million community indicates that some of the same impact dealt by big tech in the Bay Area has arrived in Austin.

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Barton Creek neighbourhood in Austin, Texas. Katie Canales/Business Insider

Source: Austin Business Journal