I remember my first reaction when visiting Southwest Austin. I was totally shocked, and I had no idea this side of Austin existed. Tucked into the rolling hills of the Austin countryside is an incredibly wide selection of high-end modern apartments. Many have been built in the last decade, and easily compete with the best properties in East, South, and Downtown Austin in terms of quality, yet at much lower costs.
As for the lifestyle, Southwest Austin affords a unique blend unlike anything else in the city. A quiet countryside “Texan” experience, but with the modern amenities of a Downtown Austin life. Despite feeling far, Southwest Austin is a quick 15-20 minute drive from South Austin and Downtown, keeping you anchored to a sense of city-normalcy, yet affording you a quiet country existence.
If you are working in one of the many corporate offices around here, or even in West or South Austin, this area would be a shame to miss on.
This guide will focus primarily on modern apartment complexes built in the last 15 years. They either fall into the high-end luxury category or the medium-range modern category.
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Anyways, let’s get to the good stuff.
What prices to expect when renting a modern apartment in Southwest Austin
Compared to other areas with modern apartments, Southwest Austin is a great value for the quality you’re getting. The competition has exploded in the last 10 years giving you a ton of high-quality options to choose from.
- Studio: $1000+
- 1 Bedrooms: $1100+
- 2 Bedrooms: $1400+
- 3 Bedrooms: $1900+
- Some great high-ceiling floor plans
- Some amazing secluded hill country views
- Google fiber!
- Great pool and gym amenities!
- Built-in Nest thermostats
- Large balconies
- Lot’s of parking-lot view units.
- Like many properties, seems to have some problems on the management side.
I like The Santal’s minimalist Texan-luxury vibe. It’s one of the best modern complexes in the area in my opinion. Like many of the properties in this region, Santal is secluded away in the Hill Country, removed from anything noisy. They do seem to have some issues on the management side however which could be a cause for mild concern. Overall, if you’re looking for a higher-end property in the Hill Country, I would absolutely check this out.
- Recently built
- Awesome resort style cabana lined pool area
- Big floor plans
- Good Prices
- Google Fiber!
- Big dog park
- Honestly nothing I can think of
Palo Verde is a strong new entrant in the apartment market. I can’t think of anything bad about them. Management seems on point. The amenities are fantastic. The pool is awesome. Even a big dog park on-site. For as long as management quality stays high, Palo Verde will be one of the top options in this area.
Windsor Lantana Hills
- High-end luxury….Everything
- Usually has higher prices
- Feels like an out of place luxury hotel
Windsor always comes out swinging when it comes to luxury. The floor plans are nice and spacious. The amenities are great. There’s plenty of space for dogs and various activities. However, Windsor doesn’t do much to give you a sense of place. This building could be anywhere in Austin. It has a generic luxury hotel feel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but nothing about this place screams “Hill Country”.
Windsor Oak Hill
- Look! Another Windsor property! Like Lantana Hills, Oak Hill is peak luxury.
- The pool is amazing
- If I were a dog, I would go bananas for this dog park here.
- Also like Windsor Lantana Hills, Windsor Oak hill feels like an out of place luxury corporate hotel. Virtually nothing is done to give this place a “sense of place”
It’s very easy to confuse both Windsor Lantana and Windsor Oak hill. Both are high-end luxury options with high end corporate looking amenities. It’s still very nice, but you won’t get much of a local feel living here.
- Well priced
- Well reviewed. Management seems to have their shit together here.
- Doesn’t stand out in any particular way
- A little lower end on the luxury side compared to the others in this category.
Pearl, unlike some of the others on this list, does a better job at creating a distinct hill country sense of place. It’s a notch down in terms of luxury, at least compared to the as super-high-end Windsors on this list, but it’s still a solid option.
- One of the best Hill-Country styled apartments in the area.
- Dog park, while large, is flat and heavily sun-exposed.
- Lot’s of management turnover. Seems like they went through a rough “management shitshow” period.
- A little further Southwest than others on this list.
- You’ll have to drive through the heavily trafficked fork at 290 and 71 to get downtown.
I really liked Ocotillo the first time I went there. It has a distinct Hill Country vibe, good prices, and good floor plans. As competition has stepped up, it isn’t the gem it used to be. It seems like they had a terrible phase of management when Price Realty took over, but it seems they have changed over again. It’s always a bit of a red flag when there is so much management turnover, as each team can be so different. Still worth checking Ocotillo out, but worth investigating the management staff.
Bee Caves Vistas
- These are actually townhomes rather than apartments.
- Very good prices for the product and square feet.
- Leasing full houses like this are very rare in the apartment rental space.
- There seems to be an issue with building quality. Many of the reviews discuss bad construction quality.
I like the idea of being able to rent out an entire house like this while having access to a full maintenance staff, however, it seems like that part is the problem. It seems like maintenance quality, along with the building quality, has much to be desired. It could still be an interesting fit it the right price/availability is open.
- Extremely nice
- The closest of these options to Downtown Austin
- Located along a busy road
- Not as secluded or spacious as the others
- May feel a bit crammed in and tight
I like Westerly 360 a lot. It’s a beautiful property relatively close to Downtown. While it doesn’t give you that open expensive “Hill Country” vibe as the others on the list do, it is secluded enough to be tucked away, yet close enough to feel tied to the heart of Austin. The amenity space and overall size of the property is notably smaller, but it feels reasonable enough.
Alexan Garza Ranch
- Brand new apartment!
- Some amazing shower/bathtub combinations!
- Large closets
- Very close to Mopac, so getting to Downtown will be relatively easy.
- Much closer to local retail outlets
- Priced a bit high
- Has more of a strip-mall location than a hill country feel.
Alexan Garza Ranch is a heavy-hitting newcomer to the South Austin Scene. Its location puts it much closer to South Austin and Downtown than the others here. I’m really impressed by the overall quality of the building. However, it is priced like a building that should be within the 78704 zip code. It may find itself in a tricky position, where you’d rather be in 78704 at these prices, or rather get cheaper space further out.
Medium Priced Modern
- Very well priced for the quality of building
- Cool classic Texas vibes
- Big floor plans
- Currently suffering from “bad new management” syndrome.
It’s a shame, this has been one of the best value apartments in the region, but it seems like management is kinda shitting the bed here. Still worth considering, but with the warnings attached.
AMLI Covered Bridge
- Great prices for the level of luxury
- Middle of the road style and luxury
Fox Hill is one of the best values in the region. Combining their size, and level of luxury (while not super high, is high enough) makes Fox Hill one of the most compelling value-play apartments in Southwest Austin.
Bell Hill Country
- Well priced modern apartment.
- One of the best values in the area
- Beautiful amenities
- Management seems to have issues with communication
- Parking is an issue. Lots of residents have dealt with towing.
Bell Hill Country is another important player in the medium-priced modern category of Southwest Austin. It’s priced well for the quality of the building, however, it seems to have been attacked by the bad-review monster, mostly related to parking and communication. Despite this, I would say it’s a worthwhile option to look at.
So there you have it!
To conclude, Southwest Austin is one of the most unique places to live in Austin. Living here offers both a quiet hill country lifestyle, yet affords you quick access to Downtown and South Austin attractions so don’t feel too isolated from the city. The cost of living is much lower than South Austin (78704) and feels much less strip-mally-y than far South Austin. There are a ton of high-quality options to choose from, so if you’re working in this area, the apartments on this list can’t be ignored.