Your Neighborhood Expert
Bryker Woods: A welcoming, eclectic haven close to downtown
There are so many great places to live in Austin that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Kuper Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Although the expression “When you’re here, your family” was made famous by a popular Italian chain restaurant, it could definitely be the slogan for Bryker Woods, according to real estate agent Andrea Hamilton.
The native Austinite was born in the neighborhood at Seton Medical Center and lives there now with her family, so she knows all about its welcoming qualities.
“Bryker Woods feels like a small town tucked away inside a big city,” she says. “Everyone in my family is an extrovert, and we have met so many delightful people while out walking the dog or playing in the front yard. The whole area feels like home.”
A cool story about Bryker Woods that Hamilton loves is the origin of its giant Halloween block party every year.
“Our children were leaving on Halloween to go trick-or-treating in nearby Pemberton because it was more festive,” she says. “We wanted to do better, so we all pitched in to provide a bounce house, outdoor movie screen, face painting, music, and more.”
The neighborhood even has a Little Art Exchange, installed by one of the residents on 32nd Street, where kids and adults alike can take and leave homemade creations — reminiscent of the Little Free Libraries, but for art!
While there is plenty of redevelopment happening, Bryker Woods is still replete with historical characteristics, as many of the original homes were built in the 1930s and 1940s.
And with its central location and proximity to the University of Texas, Hamilton has observed that the resident population is an eclectic mix of long-time Austinites and recent arrivals.
“I always look for buyers and sellers in Bryker Woods and I love sharing advice about my favorite haunts with clients,” she says.
Hamilton offered up some of her personal favorites about life in Bryker Woods. Here's her guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
Hamilton recommends Tiny Boxwoods as a great place for a lunch with the gals or a special date night out.
“We frequent their sister takeaway spot Tiny’s Milk & Cookies for the best chocolate chip cookies in town, too,” she says.
For feeding a crowd, she heads to Rudy's Bar-B-Q on Lamar, and for sushi, look no further than Musashino in Gabriel's Court.
“FoodHeads is great for a work lunch when a salad or a sandwich will hit the spot,” she adds.
Where to play
“Behind Bryker Woods Elementary School we have access to the Shoal Creek Trail System, which runs all the way from 38th Street to Lady Bird Lake,” says Hamilton. “It's a delightful natural area that goes through multiple public parks and is a great neighborhood treasure for maintaining an active lifestyle.”
Also nearby is Triangle Park in Pemberton Heights, all the new parks and trails at The Grove community, and a playground at Bryker Woods Elementary.
Where to live
“Historically speaking, Bryker Woods was filled with bungalows built 80 to 90 years ago and many of those single-story homes remain today, though plenty have been updated/expanded,” says Hamilton. “New construction is bringing larger homes, but the neighborhood is funky and just about every style seems to find a place.”
While Bryker Woods could be considered a more modest neighborhood in the highly desirable 78703 ZIP code, it actually maintains some of the most expensive costs per square foot in all of Texas.
What makes prices more affordable to many buyers is that the homes and lots are smaller than the adjacent Pemberton Heights and Tarrytown neighborhoods.
An interesting example of a home in the area is Hamilton’s recent listing at 3300 Kerbey Lane.
“When this house came on the market, I immediately called an investor client and suggested she jump on it,” she says. “We had been watching this house on a corner lot for years. We knew the interior needed significant work but being across the street from Bryker Woods Elementary, it had a perfect location and was primed to become something fabulous.”
When it was ready for prime time, the house was listed at $1,495,000 and went under contract after just three days on market for well above the list price.
“Working with Andrea was a no-brainer!” says the seller. “She lives down the street and has construction experience, so she was able to see potential in the house right away. We worked together come up with updates that stayed true to the neighborhood.”
---Andrea Hamilton works and plays in Bryker Woods. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email email@example.com, or call 512-422-3562.