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What is the Real Cost of Living in West Lake, TX?

Featuring the picturesque scenery of Texas Hill Country, West Lake Hills boasts some of the grandest estates perched on the area’s highest grounds. Surrounded by lush greenery and a vibrant rolling landscape, residents can enjoy a tranquil environment filled with stunning views. Some homes even look out to the downtown Austin skyline. Outdoor lovers have easy access to a network of hiking and biking trails at Barton Creek Greenbelt, which is also a favorite among swimmers and rock climbers. Minutes away is Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, Austin’s first designated nature preserve.

West Lake Hills, known colloquially as just “Westlake” by locals, offers a variety of housing options. They include spacious single-family homes, exclusive gated communities, ranch-style estates, and sprawling luxury properties. Despite its serene setting, this upscale suburb has plenty of high-end shops and fine-dining restaurants. Plus, its proximity to downtown Austin means you’re only a short drive away from the city’s thriving arts, culture, and entertainment scene. If you’re considering moving, here is the real cost of living in West Lake Hills.

Median home prices in West Lake Hills and Austin

As one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the greater Austin metropolitan area, homes for sale at West Lake Hills are well above the rest of the city. The median list price of homes is currently at $2,790,000, a significant increase compared to last year at $1,995,000. This is well above the median home price in the Austin metropolitan area, which is listed at $478,900 by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The disparity is due to a high concentration of luxury real estate in West Lake Hills. Properties feature high-end amenities such as expansive master suites, gourmet kitchens, home theaters, private pools, and spectacular views of the hills or downtown. There are several private gated communities with exclusive amenities such as clubhouses, swimming pools, sports facilities, and direct access to walking trails. West Lake Hills also gives potential residents opportunities for custom-built homes. They can plan and design the home of their dreams with their own personal taste and style.

Keep in mind that certain communities and subdivisions have mandatory or voluntary HOAs. HOAs charge monthly fees to cover the management and maintenance of community amenities, security, landscaping, and other shared neighborhood expenses. The amount of the fee can vary depending on the neighborhood and the services it covers.

Lower property tax rates

Although West Lake Hills is one of Austin’s most expensive suburbs, it has one of the lowest property taxes. The Austin Chamber of Commerce published a list of typical property tax rates for different cities and counties. The property tax in West Lake Hills is listed as 0.1504%, while most of the other cities are between 0.3420% and 0.7470%. Keep in mind a range of tax rates may apply within a single city or community. This is often affected by the boundaries of school districts which might differ from municipal boundaries.

The cost of public and private schools

Whether or not you have children, the quality of the public school system in the area can significantly affect home values. The community is very active in supporting the area schools. West Lake High School has an impressive robotics department, and their theater program features hands on graphic design courses. Their athletics are recognized on the nationwide level and locals frequently call the Eanes Independent School District “the private school with public school prices.”

West Lake Hills also has several award-winning private schools. School in the Hills Montessori is for young children from 18 months to kindergarten age. Trinity Episcopal School of Austin serves kindergarteners to eighth-graders. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School serves sixth to 12th graders and has optional boarding.

Cost of private transportation, gas, and maintenance

West Lake Hills is a more secluded and mostly residential neighborhood. Many residents commute to other parts of Austin, where 83% of the population uses private transportation. Including gas and maintenance, a single person in Austin spends about $9,573 annually on transportation.

Cost of utilities, electricity, and phone

The cost of utilities in West Lake Hills falls in line with the rest of the greater Austin metropolitan area. The average cost of utilities for a family of four is $5,609. Unlike home prices, the cost of utilities in Westlake is closer in line with the rest of Austin. The costs for utilities are lower than the state average by 8% and lower than the national average by 6%. Payscale breaks down some of the costs. The average energy bill is $172.22 per month, and the average phone bill is $185.27.

Cost of groceries 

A recent 24/7 Wall Street report shows single adult spends about $2,897 on groceries annually. The national average is $3,240. A family of four spends $8,366 on groceries annually. The national average of $9,354. Texas is one of the states where food products are not taxable. These non-taxable food products include bread, milk, flour, eggs, sugar, vegetables, fruits, and other non-prepared groceries. However, prepared food served with utensils is taxable.

Considering moving to West Lake Hills?

If you’d like to learn more about living costs in West Lake Hills, contact Sammy Midler. She specializes in luxury properties and is considered one of Austin’s top real estate agents. She pays attention to her clients’ needs and acts as their researcher and guide. She can give you insight into the local market and help you meet your real estate goals.


Finding a place to take root can be complicated, and the home buying and selling process doesn’t always feel enriching or supportive. I can support you in navigating the Austin real estate market to find the perfect home where you can flourish! What do you say? Ready to take that next step?

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