A question for Texans: How expensive is to maintain grass lawn in TX?

BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,765 22 38
#1
Specifically the water bill. I get that that will vary with region and lawn size (weather etc...) but what is the cost water about 1/4 acre lot in Austin area?
Are private water wells are common?

We not planning to move (just yet),but my brother in law is.
 
M

Midwesthonky

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
482 2 3
#2
I had family down in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Once you factor in the mandatory pool, pool deck, etc. there is very little yard left. I don't think it was very expensive for them to keep it up since there was so little grass. Mowing took maybe 15-20 minutes. Baby rattlesnakes can be removed from the house with the long vacuum auxiliary attachment hose.
 
D

Drunkpenguin

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
674 4
#3
Ive been told its the property tax thats a killer. Maybe someone can confirm?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,716 8 7
#4
Ive been told its the property tax thats a killer. Maybe someone can confirm?
I can. I almost took a job in Austin, and when house hunting as part of the investigation we looked at some houses in the $650K range. (This was several years ago - prices are much higher now.) The property taxes were about $22K per year.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,765 22 38
#6
Taxes aside, could we please go back to lawn watering. Here in fairly mild weather nj summer full of rains my water&sewer bill for 3 months on 1/4 lot was about $450.
I am genuinely wanting to find out what similar charges would be in Austin, TX
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,468 7 20
#9
@BoredSysAdmin

In Austin proper, all of the utilities (power, sewage, garbage, water) come on a single bill, so I rarely even look at the water supply charges only, I just look at the total bill.

I can tell you now, it is NOT the water for the lawn that will be the big $ on the utility bills. It IS the power to run the AC that will be the largest part of the utility bill, by far! Texas has brutal summers, brutal!

Over the Texas summer, you will need to water the yard to keep it looking decent. But, it is also very common that we hit stage 1 or stage 2 water restrictions depending on lake levels. The first restriction is only able to water 2 days a week. Then, it goes to 1 day per week and then restaurants can't just give you a glass of water unless you ask for it. So, the $ spent to water your yard will be kept in check due to the watering restrictions too.

The real answer here is that you really need to be looking at native plants and grasses that are drought tolerant, and looking to landscape areas so that the yard won't require as much water over the summers. The reality is, that is the only approach that really makes any sense.

I have a 1300ft2 house on a 0.1 acre lot. My total utility bill is usually around $200 over the winter, but during the summer it can go as high as $400. But, when I am actually at home, I don't like the house temperature to be above 72F. I'm OK with paying for that luxury.
 
M

Midwesthonky

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
482 2 3
#10
Ok, here is what my relative said for DFW area:

"Austin usually hotter than DFW.
Electric for April - September usually $150-300 per month
Water - some months could only water 1 per week due to water restrictions. Summer months, water bill could jump up $90 to as high as $150/month."

So does that give you an idea? I know it's a totally different metro area but it's reasonable to assume Austin could have water restrictions in the summer and not unreasonable for your water bill to double in the summer.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,468 7 20
#11
Ok, here is what my relative said for DFW area:

"Austin usually hotter than DFW.
Electric for April - September usually $150-300 per month
Water - some months could only water 1 per week due to water restrictions. Summer months, water bill could jump up $90 to as high as $150/month."

So does that give you an idea? I know it's a totally different metro area but it's reasonable to assume Austin could have water restrictions in the summer and not unreasonable for your water bill to double in the summer.
I think that is all fairly reasonable. That water cost does seem a bit high to me, but I also have a very very small yard. On the other hand, the electric may seem a bit low to me, but I keep my house nice and cool.

So, on the average, that is probably about right.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,468 7 20
#12
@BoredSysAdmin

There will also be times around here that your yard MUST be mowed once week, or at least every other week.

We are getting just silly amounts of rain (for Texas) right now, and been doing this for the last 6 weeks. All that rain, then a day or so of sunshine, and the yard just takes off like crazy!

Down here, this time of year, I call "2nd Spring". It's odd, but we don't really have a true winter down here, then we have spring, then we get the brutal summer where everything looks weak and wilted, then we hit September and we get this huge growth spurt and everything perks back up and blooms again.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,765 22 38
#13
Ok, here is what my relative said for DFW area:

"Austin usually hotter than DFW.
Electric for April - September usually $150-300 per month
Water - some months could only water 1 per week due to water restrictions. Summer months, water bill could jump up $90 to as high as $150/month."

So does that give you an idea? I know it's a totally different metro area but it's reasonable to assume Austin could have water restrictions in the summer and not unreasonable for your water bill to double in the summer.
$90 to $150 in water - for how big of yard size?
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
579
#14
Taxes aside, could we please go back to lawn watering. Here in fairly mild weather nj summer full of rains my water&sewer bill for 3 months on 1/4 lot was about $450.
I am genuinely wanting to find out what similar charges would be in Austin, TX
If that's your biggest concern...go with this new "eco friendly" grass...Tiff Blair Centipede.

It's a drought tolerant, shade tolerant creeping grass that's slow growing....little to no fertilizer needed.

I asked for this sod for my yard, but the builder said his landscaper couldn't get it...as it is, I water my Bermuda lawn once a week if we get no rain...roughly $80 a month for roughly 2200 sf of lawn.
 
its phillip

its phillip

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,520 6 30
#15
I’m on a small lot (like .16 acres?) in Fort Worth and my water bill is $150/mo (includes fees for FW trash pickup) and my yard looks terrible. How my rates compare to Austin’s I have no idea.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,215 6 1
#17
@BoredSysAdmin

In Austin proper, all of the utilities (power, sewage, garbage, water) come on a single bill, so I rarely even look at the water supply charges only, I just look at the total bill.

I can tell you now, it is NOT the water for the lawn that will be the big $ on the utility bills. It IS the power to run the AC that will be the largest part of the utility bill, by far! Texas has brutal summers, brutal!

Over the Texas summer, you will need to water the yard to keep it looking decent. But, it is also very common that we hit stage 1 or stage 2 water restrictions depending on lake levels. The first restriction is only able to water 2 days a week. Then, it goes to 1 day per week and then restaurants can't just give you a glass of water unless you ask for it. So, the $ spent to water your yard will be kept in check due to the watering restrictions too.

The real answer here is that you really need to be looking at native plants and grasses that are drought tolerant, and looking to landscape areas so that the yard won't require as much water over the summers. The reality is, that is the only approach that really makes any sense.

I have a 1300ft2 house on a 0.1 acre lot. My total utility bill is usually around $200 over the winter, but during the summer it can go as high as $400. But, when I am actually at home, I don't like the house temperature to be above 72F. I'm OK with paying for that luxury.
Pretty much what I'm dealing with too. Water isn't what'll get you.

The issue here is when the rain stops during the summer. My yard looked fantastic at the beginning of the season. Then we were down to once a week watering schedule and it was so hot it started killing grass. You can water by hand, but I don't have time for that.

DFW was the same way when I lived there.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,468 7 20
#18
Pretty much what I'm dealing with too. Water isn't what'll get you.

The issue here is when the rain stops during the summer. My yard looked fantastic at the beginning of the season. Then we were down to once a week watering schedule and it was so hot it started killing grass. You can water by hand, but I don't have time for that.

DFW was the same way when I lived there.
Yup, just work on your landscaping and plant native species.

The wife and I both enjoy yard work, one of the few things we both enjoy. I'm certain that we have added quite a bit of value to our home over the years, while also reducing our dependence to water the yard.

We also don't live in an HOA, so that helps too.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,215 6 1
#19
Yup, just work on your landscaping and plant native species.

The wife and I both enjoy yard work, one of the few things we both enjoy. I'm certain that we have added quite a bit of value to our home over the years, while also reducing our dependence to water the yard.

We also don't live in an HOA, so that helps too.
I'll have to get some info from you then for next season. Some stuff we do works very well, other stuff, not so much.

I wouldn't say I enjoy yard work, but I do it better than the people I pay...
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,468 7 20
#20
I'll have to get some info from you then for next season. Some stuff we do works very well, other stuff, not so much.

I wouldn't say I enjoy yard work, but I do it better than the people I pay...
I absolutely cannot over-sell you on The Natural Gardener! They may be a little pricey on some items, but the quality and the passion is there.

https://tngaustin.com/

Go check them out! We visit a couple of times a year just because the in-laws are in town and want to go.

This is a real Austin Brand Hippie kind of place (meant as a compliment). They are passionate about their work, and they are incredibly knowledgeable about the local fauna and flora. Ask a question, and if that person can't answer it, they will quickly get someone over to you to help.
 

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