I found this ariel video today of the Pedernales river and parts of Lake Travis that was taken by the LCRA. When purchasing waterfront real estate it is very important to understand the pros and cons to owning on a constant level lake. Clearly you can see how valuable a constant level lake is with the current drought that is taken place. Lake LBJ and Lake Austin are the two constant level lakes in the Highland Lakes System.
The answer is yes! The LCRA recommends flood insurance for any property located in any elevation up to the 500 year flood plain. When purchasing a waterfront home on Lake LBJ, Lake Austin or Lake Travis, your lender will require flood insurance on the structure to secure a loan. Flood insurance premiums can range anywhere from 800-8000+ on an annual basis depending on the property location as well as the amount of living space built within the flood plain.
Often times you will see many waterfront home that have multiple levels with the bottom levels having large “bedrooms” that lack closets. You see this because FEMA only considers bedrooms with closets to be “living space”. I recently sold a home at 126 N Waterway that had a large living area and two large “bedrooms” and a bathroom on the bottom level. The main living area and three more bedrooms were all on the second level. When we originally quoted the flood insurance premium it came back at approximately $8000/year. However you will typically find that the flood insurance comes in much less at around $1000/year. Once we went back to the underwriter and showed him that the downstairs rooms did not have any closets they reduced the flood insurance premium to approximately $800/year. As you can see, this is a big range and can make a big difference in the holding costs associated with waterfront real estate on Lake LBJ, Lake Travis, or Lake Austin.
In order to determine where your property sits in relation to the flood plain you will need to obtain an elevation certificate. Elevation certificates typically run approximately $400. FEMA, just recently adopted a new flood plain elevation which raised the flood plain from 716 ft above main sea level to 722 ft. FEMA will insure up to $250,000 of actual structure in the floodplain. It is not necessary to have insurance on the actual land itself as the building is the only portion at risk. As a seller, you may not have been previously required to obtain flood insurance on your property. As it is now a requirement it is very important to know and understand these requirements and factor this in when determining your sales price of your home.
Property in the flood plain is not something to avoid as all property on the water sits within the flood zone but understanding the risks associated when flooding occurs and making sure that your waterfront home is constructed in a way that mitigates flood risk is key. Your lakefront real estate professional should be able to assist you with this aspect of your waterfront home.
Below area few quick tips to help you prepare and mitigate flood risk:
-Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding
-Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
-Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
When buying a waterfront home on Lake LBJ here is an important factor to remember. A septic system inspection is required for the sale of any property that has an OSSF (on-site sewer facility) within the LCRA’s jurisdiction. This includes any Lake Austin real estate, Lake Travis real estate or Lake LBJ real estate that has a septic system on property. The new owner of the property must obtain approval for the continued use to legally operate the OSSF. Some paperwork must be filled out and filed with the LCRA for the inspections. There is a fee associated with this of $150 for processing. It usually takes approximately 48 hours for the application to be approved and then the septic inspection can be performed. Typically a septic inspection should run approximately $400. There may also be some retrofitting required which may include the installation of low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucet aerators for improved efficiency and to minimize the amount of waste water that is discharged.
The associated cost for septic inspections is an item that is negotiated between the buyer and the seller. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent on Lake LBJ will ensure that this is taken care of timely and accordingly. Once the inspection is complete there will be a re-inspection report provided by the LCRA that must be given to the buyers along with an approval letter from the LCRA. The new property owners will use form 1100 to transfer the record and approval into their name. It should be noted that these inspections are required on all transfers of ownership, including inheritance.
As Texas is stuck in one of the most severe droughts of all time, the value of lake front property on a constant level lake has never been more apparent. Owning waterfront property is about being on the water but as drought conditions worsen that waterline becomes farther and farther out. What is the point of owning a Austin waterfront property if you cannot enjoy the Lake?
Currently Lake Travis has a current water level of 651.48 as of May 27th, 2011 at 10:00am. This water level is very close to the water level seen on the same day in 2009. According to the US Drought Monitor, central Texas drought conditions are Severe, Extreme and Exceptional depending on the location. The conditions in 2009 were the worst seen since the 1950′s accroding to the LCRA. Many waterfront owners lost total access to the water and dried up boat docks were rampant. Lake Travis saw all boat ramps closed at one point during the summer drought and many boat owners could not get their boats out of the marina.
The LCRA regulates the Highland Lakes water system, which is a chain of 7 reservoirs formed by several dams along the Colorado river. The main purpose of this water system is for flood control and to create hydro electric power for the area. However, as bi-product, beautiful lakes were formed. The water is managed using a strict set of rules and guidelines established and set by the LCRA. These guidelines ensure that flood control is properly handled.
In this process, Lake LBJ and Lake Austin were designated as constant level lakes. This means that the water levels are maintained in these reservoirs at all times and the reservoirs before and after these lakes in the chain are used to ensure this levels remain constant. From a real estate standpoint, this means that homes can be built right up to the water making it much more accessible and enjoyable for property owners. During hard droughts, the water level on these lakes never changes dramatically ensuring summers full of fun in the sun.
When considering purchasing waterfront property in Austin, Texas make sure you consider the advantages of owning on a constant level lake. For more information on Austin lakefront property or for assistance with your Austin Home Search, contact us today at (512) 786-1515
Wow! This 13.5 acre deep water peninsula is one of finest properties on lake Travis, located at 19700 Angel Bay Spicewood, Texas 78669. With over 1100 feet of waterfront and a 12,000 sq foot home, its hard to find a better piece of Austin real estate.
The home was built using Feng Shui principles and has a heavy Chinese influence with features such as intricate carved doors that are over 900 years old and were taken from a Palace in China. Throughout this home you will notice some of the finest finishes available inlcuding Brazilian Cherry Wood throughout the home, Italian marbleized travertine flooring, a black Galaxy granite fireplace and some double emerald Pearl granite imported from Brazil in the kitchen and dining areas.
This luxury piece of Austin real estate features a chef’s dream kitchen which has the finest appliances available including a Viking 6-burner stove with 2 ovens and a Sub-Zero side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. Custom lighting has been installed over and under the counters which adds warmth this open concept kitchen.
Other special features of this home include a 1200 bottle, cooled wine storage, 2 private guest cottages and an 8 car garage as well as a massage room and sauna.
Outdoors you will find an abundance of greenery on this Private peninsula which can be viewed from the many patios and terraces offered, all with views of Lake Travis. This home also has a gentle slope towards the water and a private beach for some summer fun.
This Lake Travis masterpiece has a total of 7 bedrooms, 10 baths, 9 living areas and 2 dining rooms. The home is currently being offered for sale for $5,400,000, which is a large discount from its original list price of 6,800,.000.
For more information on this home or to see more pictures click here: 19700 Angel Bay
Check out this amazing peice of Austin real estate, situated on the main body of Lake Travis, accessed off of 620 past Hudson Bend.
As you enter this estate, surrounded by a privacy wall and electric gate, you pull up through the circular drive, shaded with beautiful trees, to the extravagant entrance. As you enter this 5200 sq ft, luxury, waterfront property you cant help but notice the rich wood floors that flow nicely through this open space. The home has 5 total bedrooms, most of which offer private balconies and views of Lake Travis. High, vaulted ceilings contribute to the homes spaciousness and enhance its architectural appeal.
Head outdoors to the beautiful patio offering breathtaking views and a nice swimming pool to cool off in. Take a dip in the spa or enjoy outdoor living with the full outdoor kitchen.
Take a quick ride down to the water via the tram to the 38 X 54 ft boat dock which also offers a full kitchen, refrigerator, ice maker, satellite TV & radio, fresh water, and electricity. Here you can also enjoy the partially shaded sun deck or bounce on the permanently installed water trampoline. The dock currently has a single boat slip that currently accommodates a 48 ft yacht, but can easily be expanded to accommodate 2 boats.