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Non Committal

Yesterday I may have come across as a little… wound up. Well I still am, but I’m also trying to relax so we can make a clear headed decision. This weekend it seemed we may have two houses to choose from, and then we had one. And then we flip flopped back to the other one. And now we have neither? Who knows… maybe tomorrow we’ll be back to considering both.

The problem is that Austin is suffering from growing pains. Excellent schools are probably being closed due to budgetary constraints. New schools may be built elsewhere.

Traffic has been rerouted to flow through neighborhoods we like, and a giant highway flyover may be constructed right behind one of the houses we fell in love with. Or maybe it won’t. Should we gamble?

Thanks for listening, dudes. And for chiming in with your comments. Can I just tell you that I’m emotionally drained?

Right now this is all I dream of. Curling up in a fluffy white cloud and reading a classic novel — perhaps some Anna Karenina — would definitely put things into perspective for me.

At least none of the houses we’re considering are near a train.

[Head Over Heels]

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How Not To Stage a Home

The recession is in full swing and real estate has taken a plunge, so that means if you want to sell your home, it’s gotta look good. And by “good” I mean clean, updated within the context of the neighborhood, and not crazy over personalized. I am not talking perfection, people. So this past weekend when we attended a few open houses, I was a wee bit shocked to encounter this, ahem, diamond in the rough. Cute neighborhood, lovely yard, and acres of square footage, but I knew as soon as we walked through the door and were asked to remove our shoes (so as not to sully the 20 year old carpet) that things were amiss…

Master bedroom.

Not a kid’s room.

The only redeeming room in the house was the Big Cat Room. This one’s for you, Karly.

Apologies for the crappy phone pictures, but I had to shoot fast for fear of discovery. My only regret is that I didn’t get a shot of the Navajo room, but then you may already have had more than you can take. It’s probably for the best.

Now, lest you think I’m a heartless asshole who hates pillows and stuffed puppies and crocheted coozies on zombie dolls, I’m really not. What you do on your own time is your business, but don’t expect for everyone else to think sleeping under a giant plastic clam shell is chic. Buyers are nigh incapable of seeing past such things — even me, and I’ve waded through mounds of rat turds while home shopping and still thought, “hmmmm… this has potential.”

Oh, and by the way, this home is priced higher than this one, which is surely proof that the housing market is on wack on crack.

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Real Estate OCD: Awesome In Austin Under 300K

I just spent the entire Labor Day weekend looking at homes with my inlaws, who are considering a move to Austin. While they were pretty glazed over by the end of our shopping whirlwind, I was totally keyed up, because I am crazy obsessed with real estate — like I tour houses in my sleep. Including houses I’ve looked at for myself, friends, family, and potential investment, I’ve probably been in hundreds of houses in Austin, so I thought maybe I’d start a little feature on Austin real estate.

Today’s home comes in at $295,000, and whether you think that is expensive or cheap probably depends on where you live now. For Austin, that’s about 100k above the median home price, but I’m just going to go ahead and say that it’s worth every penny.

The Clause Residence was designed in 1979 and features just over 2000 glorious sq ft of Memphis inspired deliciousness. I want to hole up and marathon watch Miami Vice (the original) up in here.

Since you know that the hubs, Ike, and I, are currently house shopping, you may be wondering why the bleep I haven’t already signed the papers on this piece of design history. I mean, never mind the fact that it only has two bedrooms — Ike and our future progeny can just bunk up, right?

Dudes, this house is so far from town, we may as well move to Waco.

Sadly, I was not able to tour this baby in person because it would have been an all day event, but I just know that it’s every bit as awesome as the pictures, and probably way more. I really hope there is somewhere out there that buy this house and do it up righteous, and then they better invite me over for a pool party. You know… as a finder’s fee.

Check out the MLS listing and more pics here.

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Did HGTV Finally Get it Right?

Are any of you watching Selling New York?

It kind of gives me heart palpitations every time they walk into a $24,000,000 property. I also love that there is no cat fighting.

Discuss.

Oh, but HGTV could have more pictures on their site. Or make them easy to find if they are there.

Continue discussing.

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Do any of you need a house or an extra $500,000?

Recently Erin and I have been contacted by a few people who are running contests for artists.  We normally don’t post these sorts of things but when the winner of one of the contests is awarded a house (yes, you read that right) we had to look twice.

Win a house? Yes. Seriously.  I didn’t believe it at first and read the fine print with extra care, waiting to find the words “nigeria” and “bank account.”  Thankfully, both terms were omitted and, instead I got “park city, Utah mansion” “lovely art-loving couple” and “send us your art for submission.”

 Oh, who wants to read my blabber when you can just watch here for yourself:

If your boss raised an eyebrow at all the noise coming from your office and you had to stop the video, here’s a summary:

It’s been our longtime dream to start a foundation. About a year ago we decided to sell our dream home in Park City, UT for the funds to start The DO Tank. You’ve probably heard, the market is slow so we had to think outside the box to try and make our dream come true. The 200 Story Home was born!

The contest is called “The 200 Story Home” as we are collecting 19,000 “stories” in the form of written stories, photographs, collages, scrapbooking, poems, etc. We’ll narrow it down to the top 200 entries and our panel of judges will pick the grand prize winner who will pick a charity to receive $50,000 and win our home or half a million dollars in cash! Every piece of art will be on our site after the contest closes. We also created some awesome Early Bird prizes: Mini Coopers, Harley Davidsons and cash…it is possible that one person could win 12 Harleys or 6 Minis! (We are giving another $50,000 to our favorite charities.)

Here are some photos of the home up for grabs.  Remember, winner gets choice of the house or $500,000. 

Oh, I miss the cold weather so much living here in Austin, I think I could get used to having a second, snow-covered home.

Ok, normally, I would take the $500,000 cash (did you catch that the winner gets their choice between the house and $500,000) but that in-door heated pool could tip the scales.

Interested?  Here are the rulz:

  • ALL PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED OR YOUR MONEY AND ART SUBMISSION WILL BE RETURNED!
  • Tickets are $100. Each ticket is good for one art entry into the contest. THE ART CAN BE SUBMITTED AFTER (LONG AFTER) YOU HAVE BOUGHT YOUR TICKET. Please enter early so you are eligible for Early Bird Prizes.
  • An art entry is anything 8 1/2″ x 11″ x 1/4″ in size or smaller and relates thematically to “home.” It can be a photograph, poem, scrapbook, collage, mosaic, story or a photo of something larger like a sculpture, a quilt or a cake! NOTE: We cannot accept submissions electronically/via email.
  • We’ll narrow the entries down to the top 200 and the panel of judges will pick the Grand Prize Winner.
  • The Grand Prize is our home in Park City or $500,000 in cash.
  • The 199 runner-ups will each receive $500 in cash.
  • The Grand Prize Winner will get to pick a charity to receive $50,000 in cash.
  • The top 200 entries will be published in an ebook or bound book and we plan to take them on a traveling art exhibition.

Be sure to consult the Official RULES and the FAQs for all the details 

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I know it sounds insane, but I strongly encourage any artists among our readers to look into this.  You can see the entire site here:  200 Story Home

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