It’s a lot quieter now that our children have moved out. But the slower pace has given me time to reflect on our family’s little place in the world — Jester Estates.
When we first moved here nearly 20 years ago with our young son and daughter, Jester Estates remained largely undeveloped — a prime swath of rugged Hill Country atop a hill overlooking downtown Austin. We fell in love with the amazing views, great schools and the ideal mix of being a little secluded from the hustle and bustle of downtown, yet just a few minutes drive from many of our favorite Austin establishments.
At times, I’ve wished we could have created a time-lapse video of our changing neighborhood so everyone could see the charming, luxurious homes go up as skinny little oak trees grow tall and strong, casting shade over our yards. Meanwhile, homes keep evolving and new members of our neighborhood have moved in and added to the mix of fun and interesting people.
And it’s those human connections that matter the most. My wife, Bonnie, and I have made lifelong friends here through Texas Hold ‘em nights at our house and just out chatting with people while we take our terrier, Chloe, out on walks through the neighborhood.
We have one of the best neighborhood associations around. I’ve worked with many of them on behalf of clients throughout the Austin area. Few strike the balance we have at Jester Estates, and none of them have as many fun groups to get together with. Our socializing opportunities in the neighborhood are enough to fill up a calendar (see the full list in our newsletter). A few that seem to have really caught on are Jester Uncorked, the wine tasting group, Bunko and, my favorite, Texas Hold’em Group at my house.
Working in real estate has helped me appreciate even more the neighborhood we have in Jester Estates. Nearly all of the 1,000 or so homes in our neighborhood are beautifully maintained, some with spectacular landscaping and flower gardens that are just amazing when they’re in bloom. And that’s just the front yards. Many of the homes have luxurious backyard barbeques and gorgeous swimming pools that look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens.
So many of my friends and clients dream about moving into a better neighborhood as their families mature and their goals change. What I’ve found is that the specific things they’re often looking for — community amenities, proximity to the city without the noise and top-notch schools — are the same things I love about Jester Estates.
For example, we used to drive the kids down to the community pool in the summer. We had the peace of mind that they were safe, secure and having fun. And we could just drive home or run a few errands nearby. For so many families, it’s not as easy.
I could reminisce about our awesome place in the world for hours — how it has evolved and the great people that make our community a sociable and interesting place. Past, present or future, it’s fulfilling to learn more about our neighborhood, network with new people and share stories. It’s those connections that make a grouping of homes and roads something bigger — they make it a community.