If you caught my Snapchat last weekend, then you might already have heard the news. The good news is that after months and months and even more months of house shopping we finally bought a house in Austin! The bad news is that it is in pretty bad shape and we are tearing it down. The best news is that when all is said and done we will have a house that we love and will hopefully never, ever have to move again! (Fingers crossed and knocking on wood.) How did we choose this house? Of the three categories of houses you can buy: turn-key, fixer-upper, and tear-down, turn-key was our least favorite option. Anything that was pretty much already done was not of interest to us. We are both somewhat particular about the styling and aesthetic of where we live and everything we found in this category had something that we would have wanted to change. It didn’t make sense to pay a premium for a house that was already done and then go in and change perfectly good fixtures and flooring, etc. Fixer-upper was what we were aiming for. (I mean, who doesn’t want to channel their inner Chip and Joanna Gaines?!) There is something so gratifying about a good before and after and it take a lot less time to fix something up than it does to build from scratch. We looked at a lot of places and fell in love with this one beautiful 80 year old craftsman in Deep Eddy, but it needed to be totally gutted, would need additional square footage added on and was on a lot with a dramatic slope so the foundation work would have been more expensive than a fixer-upper on a flat lot. By the time we ran the numbers, we would have been paying more to fix up this place than to find a something beyond repair and start from scratch, so I said goodbye to that little craftsman on the lake that’s what we did. We kind of went back to the drawing board on neighborhoods, too. Austin has changed a lot in the ten years since I moved to LA. When we began our search, we were looking a lot in Zilker, Tarrytown, and Clarksville, but after the craftsman, we found an area that we loved near Allandale / Crestview that was walking distance to a lot of great restaurants and shops and has good schools, so we kept our eye out for a decent size flat lot with no protected trees (a big deal in Austin) that would impede building and FINALLY we found the one! It feels like such progress, yet I know we are at the very beginning of the journey. We finally have floor plans and are working on exteriors and then all of the really fun permitting process begins. In the meantime, we are staying out in Georgetown with my parents. It’s a little bit of a drive, but we are really enjoying their big acre lot, overflowing vegetable garden, and the insane quiet that is a crazy marked contrast to Los Angeles. It’s a very different, very new season of life but it feels really good and somehow restful even despite the chaos that is moving across the country. Anyone out there ever built from scratch? Any advice? I hope you all have wonderful weekends! Will keep you posted as we make progress– excited to share these floor plans with you soon! In the meantime, you can see our inspiration for the new place here.
Photo by Aaron Pinkston at an ice cream shop in what will be our new ‘hood!