5.2 out of 10

Chestnut

Ranked 44th best neighborhood in Austin
30.2779325488497 -97.7156389871878
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Schools
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Professionals

Reviews

2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"An East Austin Neighborhood That May Soon See Better Days"

A low-income area in East Austin, the Chestnut Neighborhood is a grid of small homes that are generally well kept and affordable. Single family homes here range from $130,000 on the low end to $330,000 for homes that have been newly constructed. There are new businesses in the area and it is for the most part a safe and quiet neighborhood. An investment here could bring dividends if the area continues to show improvement. There are also a number of vacant lots at affordable prices ready for new homes to be constructed.

The neighborhood does have its advantages as well. It's a short drive or bike ride to the University of Texas at Austin and all of the great entertainment options around the school. A short distance to the south is Town Lake. Chestnut is served by the Austin Independent School District and there are private school options within a reasonable distance. For the city of Austin, there is a distinct lack of dining options in the area and while there are a couple of nightclubs, they are not of the variety that you would want to visit at night.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to campus and downtown
  • Diverse neighborhood
  • 24 hour coffeehouse
  • Cute houses
Cons
  • Residents below the poverty line
  • Lack of entertainment options
  • Small houses
  • Some unsafe feeling areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Movin on up"

Chestnut is a sweet little residential enclave that’s long struggled with poverty and disrepair, but is slowly coming into its own. Its proximity to downtown, good public transit options, and general friendly atmosphere made it a good candidate for an eventual revitalization, and that revitalization is well underway.

For now, housing prices are still extremely low compared to the rest of Austin, but as more and more homes are updated and repaired and the neighborhood’s appeal continues to grow, that will surely change. For homebuyers, this is a particularly promising area to consider investing in, as real estate is bound to boom over the next few years.

The neighborhood itself is tiny and contains little in the way of shopping, schools, or other amenities, but it is conveniently located to nearly anything you could need. It’s also charmingly diverse, and the people are down-to-earth and friendly as a rule, the type of neighbors who say hello when they pass on the street.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens here over the course of the next few years. My only real concern is in long-time residents, most of whom live under or near the poverty line, being forced from their homes and left with nowhere to go as prices continue to rise.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to campus and downtown
  • Diverse neighborhood
Cons
  • Residents below the poverty line
  • Lack of entertainment options
  • Small houses
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
2yrs+

"Quiet residential annex of Upper Boggy Creek/Cherrywood"

The other reviews of this neighborhood paint a stark picture, but I personally love this neighborhood. A friend of mine lives here in a small, beautifully renovated house, and she loves living there. It may be a low income neighborhood, but it’s not blighted by charmless housing developments. Instead, Chestnut is a small grid of residential streets with small houses surrounded by little yards. People park along the streets. People walk their dogs. It’s a modest and charming little area, just south of Cherrywood, and there is a definite continuity between the two neighborhoods.

Chestnut is a small residential section of the city, just 7 blocks high and approximately 11 blocks wide. For that reason the neighborhood can’t claim many amenities, but Chestnut residents have such easy access to the attractions of Cherrywood, that this apparent lack is an illusion based on a technicality.
Pros
  • Cute houses
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to campus and downtown
  • 24 hour coffeehouse
  • Diverse neighborhood
Cons
  • Residents below the poverty line
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
2yrs+

"Illustrates Pros and Cons of Revitalization"

This small Austin neighborhood is another on the east side in a significant state of transition. Because of its prime location just across the Interstate from the University of Texas, and close to downtown, the Chestnut area was ripe for this kind of attention.

Bounded by Martin Luther King Boulevard to the north, 12th Street to the south, Chicon to the west and the Northwest railroad tracks to the east, if one was unaware of Austin’s east/west divide, this would seem to be the perfect spot to settle in. For those willing to experience living in the midst of a gentrifying neighborhood, it actually may be perfect. This is an historically African American and Hispanic neighborhood that suffered from years of neglect. It had a reputation for higher crime, and many residents lived below the poverty line.

Efforts by the city and area residents lead to a concerted effort to improve the Chestnut neighborhood and make it a much safer and attractive place to live. The results, at least in some parts of the neighborhood, have been quite dramatic. New businesses have been attracted to the area, rundown homes have been torn down to make way for new development, all giving Chestnut a newer, hipper feel. Housing prices remain more affordable than other parts of the city, particularly those so close to the action. An older fixer-upper can be bought for the low $100s, while some of the newer remodeled homes run in the mid-to-upper $200s. No schools are found within this small neighborhood’s boundaries, but nearby are Campbell Elementary School, Kealing Middle School and McCallum High School.

Like so many east Austin neighborhoods experiencing rapid improvements, the results have had both good and bad points. Crime is down, the area is experiencing some economic regrowth, and new families, young professionals, and business owners are moving in. But all this growth often comes at the expense of the lower-income residents who have long called Chestnut home, who find they can no longer afford to live in what has become a much more livable neighborhood. Still, for those who are looking for a central Austin neighborhood with lots of character, and don’t mind the mix of sketchy and new, Chestnut warrants some serious consideration.
Pros
  • Diverse neighborhood
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to campus and downtown
Cons
  • Some unsafe feeling areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Cheap investment with hopes for future development"

This is hopefully a neighborhood that will soon see rejuvenation like other impoverished minority areas in Austin. Houses are small, but built to last and extremely affordable. Now would be the time to buy up property here and flip it, if you’re into that sort of thing. Private revitalization and urban planning companies have started to take an interest in the area, so it’s just a matter of time before the neighborhood has some life pumped back into it (if it’s not gentrified altogether). It’s also a relatively safe place for students or professional individuals just starting out to rent houses. It’s very close to UT, the Eastview ACC Campus, and I35. The neighborhood has a number of small parks nearby, and a variety of churches to help connect the community residents. There aren’t really many restaurants or entertainment options, as the neighborhood is primarily residential. There are numerous bus stops on the areas main streets, but most residents rely on cars to get around. But it is nice to have the option of biking or walking to other areas close by. It’s safe enough that one can do so with little worry during the day, and caution and awareness at night.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to campus and downtown
Cons
  • Lack of entertainment options
  • Residents below the poverty line
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"CHEAP Real Estate and Simple Living"

The Chestnut neighborhood in East Austin is named so because Chestnut Ave. runs right through the middle of it and is where to look if you want rent to be cheap, cheap, cheap. It is a small several square block area that is mainly residential houses with most of the activity kept on E. 12th Street and E. MLK. On these two main streets are some small scale eateries, that are about as down home as you can get, and Bennu Coffee, one of Austin's two 24 hour coffeehouses. Rental rates range between $250 and $615 a month and the real estate prices are cheaper than the majority of neighborhoods in the Austin area. The majority of houses have been around for several decades and maintain an old charm, but with a small amount of square footage, which for most Austinites is not an issue. This is also a preferable neighborhood for those who want to be able to ride their bike to the university or to Downtown.

Though this neighborhood has a nice backdrop and cheap rates, it is not a place for the faint of heart or those who are easily made uncomfortable. Chestnut has a high percentage of incarcerated individuals and those living below the poverty line, with some public housing located along E. MLK. While the crime rate is still very low, as it is for Austin in its entirety, those who are not used to or prefer not to live in these sort of demographics may want to avoid this neighborhood. If, however, you are in need of cheap rent and do not mind living a simpler life while being within close range of many hot spots within Austin, then Chestnut may be suitable for you. When it comes to this neighborhood, it is just a matter of personal preference.
Pros
  • Cheap real estate
  • Close to campus and downtown
  • 24 hour coffeehouse
Cons
  • Small houses
  • Residents below the poverty line
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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