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Ok Surly,

Long story, but looking for suggestions/advice.  I’m from south Texas, but left 20 years ago when i joined the military.  Never made it back.  Now i live in Louisiana and me and the wife (she’s Cajun) have talked about eventually moving back to Texas once the kids are off to college.  For now we have talked about buying some land to prepare for that potential move.  This is where we (I) need your help.   

We’d like something that is about an hour or less from Austin.  We want something where we can deer/pig hunt, potentially fish, enjoy campfires, grow old, and don’t have any worries.  We are also not ridiculously rich, so something that isn’t crazy prized.   Possibly looking at getting the land in the next couple years and just using it as a hunting camp until kids graduate high school and then we can sell our place here and move back, so that would be at least 12 years or so.   By then i will have finally gotten the balls to retire from the Army (hopefully, its like a drug i cant quit).   For now though we were looking for a place that I could hunt and just sit on till we are ready (if ever) to make that move.  

I grew up small town life, and I love the Wimberley, New Braunfels, Gruene area.  My wife has never been to any of that, but she has to be within driving distance of shopping and city life.  

What does Surly suggest for an area to search for property, and where we could find a good mix of wildlife, small town everyday living, close to Austin, etc.  Are we overthinking this?  We only need a couple HDMI ports and a Best Buy to cash in our coupons.  

TL; DR 

-Grew up south Texas (Yorktown if you must know)

-Left over 20 years ago

-Never hunted or did much as a kid (Surly poor)

-Military for >20 years

-Live in Louisiana now

-Wife from here, family here, small kids= we aren’t moving for a while

-What should we do?

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Nice family, and looks like your kids are being raised right.

That part of Central Texas seems to be pretty pricey, as there is a lot of growth heading out that way. You might also consider areas northwest of Austin off 183, say between Liberty Hill and Briggs. Within an hour of Austin and maybe 30 minutes from the Fort Hood military amenities.

My brother has a very productive 30 acre hunting camp with lots of wildlife near Briggs that he & his family have enjoyed for about 40 years.

Some nice wooded & hilly land in the Marble Falls area you might want to check out too.

Edited by Armybrat

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Why not south/southwest of SA? Military presence if you need their facilities and more land available at cheaper prices. Shopping can be had, SA is a big city.

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Draw a line on 281 from Johnson City to Burnet.  Look up and down that entire area on Zillow or Trulia (you'll find it's most expensive around Marble Falls).  If you live closer to either JC or Burnet you'll find the highways are straight shots into the metro area, property values are reasonable and they still have the small town, country folk, feel to them.  Really good hunting and fishing along that whole line as well.

Thank you for your service to our country!

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I second Brat about the Northwest of Austin area along North 183 -- easy to get into the Cedar Park area for the aformentioned shopping and city life.  I'd add to Grippe's advice about the 281 line and extend it up north towards Lampasas and maybe a bit beyond.  Happy hunting.

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You have the right idea / area, but land in the hill country is crazy expensive these days. 10k an acre & up, at least around Johnson City.


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I second what @Grippe said.

I'm in Drip & loaded with wildlife; thankfully, my wife bought into that decades ago when the $$ wasn't so stupid like it is now.

Of course, everything you do NOW is going to cost less than what you do tomorrow.

SW of JC isn't so bad; IMO, the area around New Braunfels is going to be infill before you know it & that's a hassle.  Due W of Blanco isn't so bad (comparatively, of course)  Essentially, go 10 miles S of Blanco & then draw that same line N to Burnet & maybe 30 miles N of there, still W of 281... that's gonna be your target zone.

 

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A branch of the extended family owned a beautiful 1,000 acre exotic game ranch with a large modern lodge home and a dammed up rock bottom creek about 5 miles northwest of New Braunfels until about 20 years ago. The grandpa had paid $40/acre in the 1940s, IIRC. I can imagine they turned it over for a nice profit. Don’t have any idea what the price per acre is nowadays.

But the OP should be looking at least an hour or an hour & a half drive to Austin from any affordable land west of I-35.

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On 11/19/2019 at 11:45 PM, Armypilot said:

  

We’d like something that is about an hour or less from Austin...  We are also not ridiculously rich, so something that isn’t crazy prized.

Increasingly incompatible, unfortunately.

Obviously the closer to the city or the towns in the hill country, the more expensive, but that isn't necessarily bad thing for what you're looking for. Dripping Springs is a full-on Austin suburb now, and Fredericksburg and Marble Falls have the standard big box retail and such. Of course, for high-end/specialty stuff you'd generally need to look towards Austin, but there's even the Hill Country Galleria development in Bee Cave so you don't have to go all the way into town. The 183 corridor is probably cheaper because the landscape isn't as dramatic and it does offer easy, direct access to Austin. NW Austin suburbs are growing like weeds though. Liberty Hill is beginning to see development. That trend will likely continue and could put you pretty close to Austin suburbia by the time you actually get to start spending a good chunk of your time on the property.

The area is growing rapidly, I would suggest maybe going a bit further west or more remote than you think you should. Maybe west of 281 towards Llano or Fredericksburg. The further from the spreading urban sprawl, the longer your land stays part of the hill country.

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