Radical Real Estate - The Bouldin Castle - South Austin 78704

This property puts Austin real estate on a whole new level. A medieval-modern castle located in one of South Austin's most vibrant urban neighborhoods and cultural scenes, Bouldin Creek, this home began life in 1925 as a catholic church. In 2008, visionary home builder Urban Nature, Inc. purchased the property and began restoring, renovating, and modernizing it inch by inch. Sitting on more than a 1/3 acre corner lot in the heart of the city, the Bouldin Castle, as it is rapidly becoming known, is a magical residence, truly fit for a king...and it's for sale for $1.6M.
The original church structure now encompasses the main living area, the formal dining, and the gourmet kitchen. The flagstone floors, roof beams, and heavy stucco walls are original to the church structure. There is a 3 story addition that connects to the original church via a medieval turret. In all, the castle has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and measures about 4270 square feet.

The castle has its own saline lap pool surrounded by a flagstone patio. The stone privacy fence, inspired by gothic architecture, is made from locally sourced aquifer rock.

This is the master bedroom which encompasses the entire 2nd floor and has its own private balcony as well as a sitting room. The wood floor is made from reclaimed oak and laid out in a 7-sided polygonal pattern.

The master bath includes this magnificent bathtub along with a marble shower, double vanity, toilet, and bidet. To the right is a generous walk-in closet.

To see all of the glorious details on this luxury Austin home and more pics... go to www.bouldincastle.com

(or email me)


Lovely South Austin Home 78745 - Still time for tax credit!

This sweet little house is located just a short 10 minute drive down South 1st street from downtown Austin in the hot zip code 78745. The home is 1215 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with a one car garage and recent updates.

The current owner has lived her for 8 years and did the updating for herself. Recent updates include laminate floors throughout, bathroom vanities, hardware, and toilets, a privacy fence, outdoor wooden deck, the AC compressor, and even the roof. She is selling the home so that she can move to Paris, France. (a lifelong dream!)

Currently listed at $158,000 - the seller is also contributing $3000 to buyer's closing costs. First time home buyers... don't miss this sweet little house in 78745.


Austin Real Estate Market: Buyers or Sellers Market?

Are we really in a buyers market here in Austin? I have seen many scenarios of multiple offers this past summer and I am often explaining to buyers that there isn't a "fire sale" in Austin Real Estate.

The answer is that when looking at the entire Austin real estate market, we have roughly 7.4 months of inventory, which yes, is technically a buyers market. This means that there is enough homes currently for sale to last 7.4 months at the current rate of sales. Generally, anything more than 6 months is considered a buyers market.

However, when you focus in on specific neighborhoods and areas, you see a different picture.

The hottest selling Austin neighborhoods/Austin MLS areas:

1. Area 10S - 2.24 months of inventory
(north of Slaughter, west of I-35, east of Mopac, south of William Cannon)
2. Area 2N - 3.8 months of inventory
(north of 183, west of I-35, east of Mopac, south of Parmer Lane) Includes popular Quail Creek neighborhood.

3. 10N - 4.95 months of inventory
(north of William Cannon, west of I-35, east of Mopac, south of Ben White Blvd) Includes popular Cherry Creek neighborhood.

Average sales price range in these 3 areas is $125,000 - $175,000. (First time home buyer range...we can thank the tax credit I think.)

The slower moving Austin neighborhoods / Austin MLS areas?

1. Downtown - 24 months of inventory
(north of Colorado River/Town Lake, west of I-35, east of Lamar, south of MLK)

2. 1B - 15.6 months of inventory
(south of 2222, west of Mopac until 35th St, west of Lamar until Colorado River / Town Lake, east of Lake Austin) Includes Tarrytown, Clarksville, Highland Park West, and Pemberton Heights neighborhoods.
3. 8W - 11.82 months of inventory
(south of Colorado River, west of Mopac, east of 360, includes zip code 78738) Includes Rollingwood, West Lake Hills, and Lost Creek neighborhoods.

Average sales price in these 3 areas is $350,000 (downtown) - $650,000.

Here's a map of the Austin MLS areas.

Find out before you are buying or selling the market statistics for the area you are buying or selling in.

Austin Real Estate July 2009 Statistics

The counts are in for July 2009 and ABOR has posted the MLS results for Austin Real Estate sales.

July 2009 Statistics

$508,810,549 was the dollar volume of single-family properties sold

$191,500 was the median price, a two percent decrease from one year ago

$245,921 was the average sales price, a 4 percent decrease from one year ago

2,069 was the number of homes sold, unchanged from July 2008

According to Jay Gohil, chairman of ABOR: “The sales volume momentum in Austin continues, now reaching 2008 levels. That’s good news, but I think it’s even better news that we’ve achieved that increase while maintaining a steady median home price. Throughout 2009, the median price has fluctuated only slightly compared to 2008. Looking back further, prices have remained above 2007 levels, one of the most lucrative years of the last decade in Austin real estate. That long-term price stability, particularly in the face of market fluctuations, bodes well for Austin’s future.”

Personally, I think the the surge in home sales this past month that finally puts us equal to 2008 (we have been dramatically behind until now) is the result of the first time home buyer credit. First time home buyers only have 2 months to find their houses in order to meet the December 1st closing deadline.


My Husband's First Yoga Class - Yoga Vida Downtown Austin

Last night was "date night" and we started out at Yoga Vida downtown Austin where my husband attended his first ever yoga class... and it was awesome. Yoga Vida teaches vinyasa hatha flow (something-or-other-i-am-not-a-yoga-expert) style yoga classes and they heat the room to just under 90 degrees... but on a hot day like yesterday, it was probably even hotter than that.

I planned in advance and brought towels for my novice yogi hubs... but I had forgotten just how much he sweats when he exercises (yes, it's rather gross). The dainty hand towel I had brought him did little to mop up the large beads of sweat continuously pouring onto his mat. In spite of his sliding all over his mat (unable to get traction because of the pools of sweat), he dug in, persevered, and embraced the class. He twisted. He reached. He held the pose (bent knees and all). I must admit, I was impressed. A lesser man would have crumbled into child's pose and called it a day. Most impressive was that after the class... he even said he felt "terrific".

If you haven't tried the new downtown Austin yoga studio at Yoga Vida (located at 7th and West, ample parking in back) -- you should. It's one of my new favorite things in downtown. It's a very serene, beautiful environment (feels and looks like a spa) and the instructors are all good (although some are definitely better than others). I love the 60 minute noon classes... it's a great break in the middle of your day. They also have a shower equipped with yummy Aveda shower gel so that you can rinse off before you head back to work.
My husband and I followed up the yoga class with dinner at the Clay Pit where, oddly enough, we sat at the table next to Kinky Friedman and his lady friend. ... which is the 2nd time I have dined next to Kinky Friedman in the past 2 months. (weird. no?)


Austin Real Estate Market Poised for Fastest Recovery According to MSNBC

Hello readers... guess what lovely city MSNBC picked "will, and won’t, recover the fastest"? Yes, the one, the only... Austin. Read it here.

....not only that, but it actually RAINED here today. At last... at last.


East Austin - New Restaurant - East Side Show Room

Last night my hubs and I went out with some friends to celebrate his birthday. We made plans to meet friends at the Shangri-La on East 6th for drinks... but when we got there it was closed. (I know I don't get out much anymore, but I thought the under 30 set still went out on Sunday nights? What's up with that?)

Quite serendipitously, East Side Show Room, this new bistro - lounge - gallery - venue recently opened up at 1100 East 6th Street, and they were open for business. We popped inside and found a wonderfully quirky part French bistro part 19th century curiosity shop inspired scene.
This picture makes it look a bit like just any other bar... but trust... the place was gushing with ambiance and character. Exposed brick walls all around. The specials were written in chalk on the iron beam overhead.
I ordered from their specialty drink list and had a "Pink Pony" which (if I remember right) was a type of gin, crushed ice, cucumber liqueur, and grapefruit juice. It was yummy. The food menu uses only locally procured ingredients. We had a cheese plate that was excellent. Next time we'll stay for dinner.
East Side Show Room is just another addition to the lovely East 6th dining destinations popping up these days. Hope there are many more to come. Oh, and there's a quaint patio out back for dining or siping.


Back from Nicaragua [sigh]

This post has little to do with living in Austin, Texas. In case anyone is wondering where I have been for nearly a month... it all began when my husband I departed on a much needed vacation (something we are definitely going to start doing more often) and then things have just been moving at a madening pace with family, work, friends, summertime fun, ever since our return. My beloved blog sadly fell by the way side.
Rewind to early May when I was working like a mad woman ... Central and East Austin real estate is especially on fire this summer in the $150,000 - $300,000 range. Lately I have been putting offers on houses for buyers right and left, and I am not the only one. Multiple offer situations have not been uncommon. Houses that are priced right, well staged, well marketed... are selling fast. It has been a real roller coaster of Austin real estate adventures this summer.
... but then, on May 16th, my husband and I packed our bags, dropped the dog at a friend's house, the kids at my in-laws, and hopped a short flight to Managua, Nicaragua. ahhhhhhh. nice.After arriving in Managua, we took a car 3 hours southwest to a little spot on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua and stayed here - at this masterpiece of an ocean front villa.
The villa is part of a beach front resort, Costa Paraiso, currently under construction...but open for business. (custom built luxury homes and lots still for sale, fyi) The 4000 square foot villa where we stayed has 3 masters and a double infinity pool. All of the linens and toiletries were luxury quality (most even nicer than I have in my own house). The staff cooked three amazing meals a day and incorporated as much fresh seafood from the ocean (right out front) as possible. My husband and I drank more local beers than we could count. We went fishing. We went surfing on nearly deserted white sand beaches. My Blackberry had no service. We both even managed to finish the books we were reading. Now that's a vacation.

As I sat next to the double infinity pool drinking my pina colada and looked out at the mountains of northern Costa Rica... I couldn't help but think to myself... there is no other place like this in the universe. It was truly paradise.
Now back to reality. It's taken nearly a week, but I think I have gotten control of my to do list and of course, once again, am very happy to come home to lovely Austin. It's summer. It's hot. It's beautiful though... and there is a lot going on. ! Stay tuned for more.


Rent vs. Buy for University of Texas Students

Several clients I am working with at the moment are on the prowl for properties near the University of Texas that they could purchase now, live in while they are attending UT, and continue rent to students when they are finished to school.

Rents close to UT campus for a 2 bedroom 1 bath house range from $1200 - $1500 per month. With interest rates as low as they are right now (not to mention first time buyer tax credit), you can buy a little bungalow in the low $200K's and actually spend less every month on your housing than you would if you were renting... all the while gaining equity. Not a horrible plan.

Key zip codes to search for ideal properties are 78751 (north Hyde Park and North Loop), 78722 (Pannell Place), and 78702 (between MLK and 12th, as far east as airport). Here are some of the listings I like the best:

2942 Eckert in Pannell Place subdivision, East Austin 78722. List price is $209,900. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath

1410 Sanchez - East Austin 78702, walk to MLK commuter rail station. List price $229,000 2 bedrooms 1 bath

943 E. 52nd St. - north of Hyde Park area. List price $225,000 2 bedrooms, 1 bath

You can email me for the complete MLS listings.


Open House Sunday at this Darling Austin Bungalow Home, 1-3

This coming Sunday, this quintessential 1920s American bungalow in north Hyde Park will be held open for brokers, buyers, neighbors and anyone else interested in stopping by. !!

List price is $289,000. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. Address is 5200 Avenue G, 78751. More details at http://www.5200avenueg.com/


Googie Style Architectural Design in Northwest Hills Austin Home For Sale

"Googie" style architecture, named after a landmark no-longer-existing West Hollywood cafe is described as "extreme modernist" and defined by obtuse shapes and sharp angles as well as a nod to the "space age".

This truly amazing and unique Austin home currently listed for sale on Lakemoore Drive in Northwest Hills is inspired by the Googie architectural design movement. Built in 1967 by a Northwest Hills architect for himself, the Austin home takes inspiration from the movement, but in no way is hindered by it.

The Austin home has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a yoga room, and a green house. Total living space is 3504 square feet. The current owners have meticulously modernized and restored the home to its glory during the past few years and the result is a marvelous combination of retro and modern. Original, preserved design elements in the Austin home include lava and fossil rock walls, a floating lava rock fireplace (with seating for 12!!), a kidney bean shaped pool, a circular drive, and extensive use of metal and glass throughout.

The systems of the home have been modernized as well to include a zoned AC and tankless water heater. The Jenn-Air gourmet appliances in the kitchen also convey. For those old school audiophiles, the home has as an analog sound system throughout. Imagine the parties!

Less than 10 miles from downtown Austin, the home sits on a large private lot (more than 1/2 acre) in Northwest Hills and overlooks the canyon wall over Bull Creek.

The Austin home is listed at $859,000 by owner/agent Eileen Gill of the Marye Company. Many, many more features and updates can be found here.


Austin Home: Quaint American Bungalow in North Hyde Park

Quaint, darling, charming, picturesque... you get the idea. This little 2 bedroom, 1 bath Austin home in North Hyde Park, at the corner of 52nd and Avenue G just came on the market this week. A typical 1920s American bungalow, the house is small, but the space is used efficiently. Also typical of bungalows, the rooms are centered around a central living area with no connecting hallways.

Most Austin homes of this era in this particular Austin neighborhood have already gone through massive renovations and remodels (some tastefully done, some not quite). This Austin home however, maintains much of it's original charm and original floor plan. It has been updated moderately throughout the years and is perfectly darling and workable as it is, but would be ideal for someone to add on or modernize themselves.

The Austin home has a living room, dining room, corridor style kitchen, utility room (!), 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, and a picture perfect front porch. Many original 1920s design elements like a claw foot tub are still present in the home.

Another plus in this Austin home is the enormous corner lot with spacious, private backyard. There is a massive walnut tree in the front yard along with pecan, oak, crape myrtles, mountain laurels, and fig trees scattered about. Also in the backyard is a bonus 200 square foot storage unit with electricity, ideal for use as an artist studio or workshop.
List price is $289,000. For a full list of features and updates please visit http://www.5200avenueg.com/.


Soma Vida - A New Place for Yoga Austin | East Austin

After several weeks (okay, months) out of the yoga scene, I resolved yesterday to make it happen. Afterall, all work and no exercise does not make for a fit mother/wife/friend. I am doing this for myself AND all the other people in my life.

Yoga Yoga Austin (the yoga chain where basically everyone goes to yoga in Austin) has 5 locations and 100's of classes to meet anyone's schedule. Problem is, I live in East Austin. Going to a one hour yoga class across town easily turns into a 2 hour project. That's just not going to happen with all that I juggle on a daily basis.

Problem solved: Soma Vida Austin, a work/life balance and wellness center located on Rosewood in East Austin, just about 2 miles from the capitol... now offers yoga classes !!! You can find their schedule here. I took out the ol' Blackberry and scheduled myself for 4 yoga classes for the next 2 weeks.
Classes are still ramping up but the cost is on par with Yoga Yoga Austin -- and keep in mind that you are supporting a start up East Austin business with an excellent mission -- to help all of us crazy self employed multi-taskers to achieve balance in our lives. sigh... I love these people.


My Newest Crush - Darling Stucco Bungalow East Austin Home, One Block from Town Lake

How cute is this little bungalow located in East Austin?
It's just a tiny little 2 bedroom, 1 bath, less than 800 square feet -- but also only $224,000 and literally a block from Town Lake. What a wonderful little candidate for a pied-a-terre or weekend retreat.
Address is 1702 Haskell St. Listed by Jules Adams of Jules Homes, Inc. Post a comment if you would like more information!


Selling Austin Homes -- Staging Tip -- What NOT to Do

The other day I took a buyer to tour a home over in the Allandale area. The home was nice -- but staging a bit awkward... including a poster of this "Nuns With Guns" image stuck on the wall in the "guest room" using thumbtacks. There were several other staging snaffoos in the house -- but this one took the cake.

Note to sellers staging their Austin homes for sale: no religion, no politics, no thumbtacks.


OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 1-3 Travis Country Austin Home

This lovely stone Austin home is an excellent deal, currently listed at $304,900 in the lovely subdivision of Travis Country Austin, just 6 miles southwest of downtown Austin.

If you aren't familiar with Travis Country Austin, you should be. It is just on the brink of suburbia (but it's not suburbia), close enough to downtown that you can be at your favorite posh restaurant, dive bar, art museum, or music venue within 15 minutes. The community prides itself as the first "green" community. Since the 70s, Travis Country Austin has been built in harmony with Austin's protected green belts, wildlife, and plant life. This Austin home, for example, was set back from the street far enough to spare a 100 year old live oak.

This Austin home has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. The 4th bedroom is ideally used as an office or study. The living, dining, kitchen, and breakfast areas are open and spacious. The home has been recently updated on the inside with new carpeting in the bedrooms, new wood laminate floors, fresh designer paint, and new stainless appliances.

The exterior of the house has been smartly updated with low maintenance features including gutters with leaf screens, flagstone patios, and an automatic sprinkler system, making this Travis Country Austin home economical and relatively carefree.

To see complete list of updates and features, visit 5005TradingBend.com.

Visit the open house this Sunday, March 15th, from 1 pm to 3 pm.


Buy Now or Wait?

ahhhhh yes... economic downturns. How to avoid the downward spiral?

We all know that the current economy provides excellent opportunity for those with good jobs and good credit to get some really good deals right now on everything from clothes to houses. Here is some additional economic guidance from Yahoo! Finance on major purchases.

1. Airline tickets -- wait to buy later.
2. Cars -- buy now.
3. Houses -- buy now.
4. Mortgage Refinance -- wait until later.

However, I protest. If you have a good job and the money... I suggest you spend and spend now regardless of the purchase. It's the right thing to do. Even if you don't get the deal of the century, you will get a deal and if you pay a little more this month than you would next month, at least you are contributing to keeping our economy going.
When no one will pay full retail for anything, businesses that depend on retail mark-up to stay in business are forced to close. Big retailers can afford to do this for several seasons, but what about all of our independent business owners? The world would be so dull without independent business.

A friend of mine recently attended the going-out-of-business sale for Fetish, a landmark upscale Austin boutique that had been in business here for more than a decade. My friend said she was horrified at the hoard of fashion vultures descending upon the once quaint shop in search of deals. Where were these ladies spending their money while the shop burned through their cash reserves and struggled to pay rent? Target, no doubt.
MEMO: Target has little cash concerns and having a neighborhood of "Targets" at the bottom of your street does not increase your property value.

Here in Austin we pride ourselves on our unique local businesses. It's part of what keeps Austin special. So Austinites with good jobs... get out there and spend some money at your favorite local businesses. If these little guys have to close down business... there goes a big draw for our lovely city and our equally lovely economy.
Photo Credit: Thanks to Lee Jordan on Flickr for "Downward Spiral" pic.


Farnsworth Inspired, Modernist Architecture, Austin Home - OPEN SUNDAY 2-4

Here are some preview pictures of the newly offered 701 Mary modernist Austin home, located in Bouldin Creek neighborhood, 78704 zip code.

Inspired by Mies van der Rohe's 1951 Farnsworth house in Plano, Illinois, this modernist Austin home is clean and sleek with gleaming concrete floors, 12 foot ceilings, and loads of floor to ceiling windows that allow natural light to fill the entire home.

The open kitchen has stainless steel appliances, concrete counters, a subway tile back splash, and plentiful stainless steel cabinetry.

The Austin home also features an inviting interior courtyard, with a plush green grass floor, tall graceful palms, and towering bamboo. One wall of the interior courtyard is a soothing glass wall water feature. The current owner has created a seating area in the courtyard which is so inviting and zen, it nearly works as a 2nd living area.

At just over 2000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, and 2 baths, this modernist Austin home has a warm, liveable feel.

A creation of gifted Austin real estate developer Priscilla Glover of Urban Nature, Inc. - this resale Austin home is offered at $619,000. Not yet on the Austin MLS, you can contact me directly for more details or to make a viewing appointment. You can also visit the home's open house this Sunday, February 22nd, from 2-4.


Beautifully Renovated, Historic Design 1930s Austin Home for Sale in Hyde Park

I visited this beautiful restoration project in Hyde Park by James Dunaway of Archetype Properties this morning.

It's nestled away on lovely Avenue G in Hyde Park, in Lee Elementary school district, within walking distance of favorite Hyde Park restaurants (Hyde Park Grill, Mother's Cafe, Asti's, and Julio's), grocery store (Fresh Plus), and coffee shop (Quack's).

Original list price a few months ago was $729,000, which, for the neighborhood, size, and quality of home, is completely reasonable. It sadly has not found an owner yet, and the price has been reduced to $619,000 for quick sale. If you are shopping central Austin homes in this price range, but have not seen this home yet, you absolutely must go by for a look. It shouldn't last long.


For my Husband, Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

The hubs stopped me in the kitchen this morning as we both ran dizzily around the house feeding children, wiping noses, putting on makeup (me), pouring coffee, etc... "What do you want for Valentine's Day?" I really hadn't given it any thought and my immediate response was "nothing." ... but here's the thing about these sorts of occasions and asking for "nothing". If I respond "nothing" - which is how I really did feel at that moment - then he really will get me nothing - and then the actual day of Valentine's when I have "nothing" to open -- I will be glum.

So, for my hubs... here is a shortlist of last minute gifts you can pick up tomorrow, Friday, right here in Austin... just in time for V-Day.

1) A gift certificate for a facial from Solid Gold. This is a little boutique/mini-spa at 1601 E. 5th St., entrance is on Comal.

2) A gift certificate for a massage from MYO massage. Mini spa, located in same building as Solid Gold... but entrance is on 5th. I think you have been there before?

3) Any fashion accessory or jewelry item from Kick Pleat . Don't forget, the shop is newly located at 12th & Lamar... but don't spend a lot... it's just Valentine's Day. She did have these amazing Virginia Johnson scarves last time I was in... ahem.

4) This purple box of "exotic" Vosge chocolate truffles

(available at the Whole Foods Lamar chocolate counter)

...and no, I don't want ALL of these things, just one. (okay maybe two)

Final note to hubs (and all hubses out there): Please have Valentine's gifts ready to give the morning of Valentine's Day. It's not the same when I know you are running around frantically trying to find something the day of the holiday...it's kind of like the moment is over at that point, you know? (or kind of like the time you bought me that lame tin of butter cookies from HEB the morning of Mother's Day.)



How to Determine your Austin Home Price

I am doing a lot of market analysis for clients this week...in fact, I have two more due tomorrow. A time consuming but fascinating process. (if you are me anyway) When considering your Austin home price, here is an overview of what should go into your decision.

First, it is your decision. You hired an Austin Realtor for their expertise and market knowledge, but ultimately, it is your house and your decision what price you want ask for your home. A good Austin Realtor will supply you with ample market statistics and arguments to support their price recommendation and help you with your decision.

Second, the buyer determines the sales price of the home. As the seller, you determine the list price, or the market position of your Austin home. Your goal is to position it correctly in order to attract buyers.

When I put together a market analysis for a client, I pull pricing for 3 active listings, any/all pending listings, 3 sold listings (within last 3 months), and 2 withdrawn/expired listings for comparable Austin homes by age, size, and neighborhood.

I take each comparable property's price, and add or subtract market value amounts for each feature the comparable property has or doesn't have in relation to my client's property. This creates an even playing field. (Note, this is also where it's important that you choose an Austin Realtor who understands your neighborhood and the market value of your home's unique features.) I then take all of the adjusted prices, throw out the lowest and highest, and come up with a price range for my client's home. My final price recomendation is somewhere within that range and based off of the home's general marketability, condition, staging, and overall aestetic.

Many sellers and Austin Realtors go by average dollars per square foot for a given neighborhood when determining the list price of an Austin home. However, in areas like central Austin where there is a great deal of variance between homes within a neighborhood, it is impossible to accurately price a home by dollars per square foot. For example, one 1930's, 1500 square foot home in Hyde Park may have 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, and its neighbor, also a 1930's home, 1500 square feet, may have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths! These two Austin homes simply can't sell for the same dollars per square foot. I personally take square footage differences between comparables and multiply it by 30-50% (depending on the neighborhood and degree of variation). I then use that amount of square footage to make a dollar per square foot adjustment in my pricing analysis. If you have a small Austin home but a great layout, this is a must do in your pricing analysis. It may earn you thousands of dollars.

Finally, the "acid test": Put yourself in the Austin home buyer's shoes. When they see this home pop up in an Austin MLS search, will the sticker price you have decided upon lure them in or turn them away? In this market, you can't afford to deter any potential buyers.
btw, if you have read this far... impressive. I thought I was the only one into this stuff.