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.