Drought-stricken Pedernales River impacting home sales

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by ANDREW CHUNG and photojournalist MICHAEL S. MOORE / KVUE News

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kvue.com

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- A look at the Pedernales from the Highway 71 bridge shows the river's struggles, courtesy of the ongoing drought. There is a little water - but that's it.
 
"It's depressing. 'Cause after it rains, you look to see if the river's flowing a little bit, 'cause you gotta start somewhere. It just got lower and lower and lower, and it's not there," said Shana Hunter, who lives near the Pedernales.
 
The nearly-dry river is also impacting home sales. Hunter recalled working for someone who put his home on the market. "They had to take like $125,000 cheaper, because they wanted to sell, and because of the river. They have a boat dock, and really, it was on sale for $500,000, and they took $295 (thousand) for it," she said.
 
Vik Vad, a realtor with Cantera Real estate, said Austin is a seller's market , but lakefront homes are becoming difficult to sell. "It's been about two years now since we've had this drought, and they ask 'When will this lake come back?' And we're confident that it will eventually, but it's tough to convey that to buyers sometimes," he explained.
 
Hunter is hopeful the river will eventually fill up, but said, "Any little head start we get…it's gonna take some time though. We need a good hurricane season."
 
Like the Pedernales, Lake Travis has its problems with the drought. Clay Gourley is the project manager for The Reserve at Lake Travis, a resort community. "Everybody's asking, 'when we gonna get water in the lake? You know, we need some rain,'" he said.
 
Nonetheless, Gourley is still optimistic. "I've been on this lake for almost 50 years. It's coming. We're gonna get a flood one day. We're gonna be fine. We will."
 
For realtors like Vad and people along the Pedernales, many of their problems would go away, if we could just get rain - and lots of it.

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