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modern reality

by hotho last modified Sep 25, 2005 11:30 AM
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modern reality

Posted by hotho at August 06. 2005

ok. i moved back to austin after 10 years in nyc. wife, kid, need space and fresh air.
now. austin isn't as affordable as it should, cookie cutter abounds in our price range @ $200- 225 tops. Sure, we'd love to build our own dwelling, but lots in S. austin are outrag-e-ous. run down houses are going for $300k. what about the country? so many 'developer'-villes...

my question is- is there an affordable way to live 'modern'- or just something funky, different, or even outstanding as a home? In our price range (artists). Any builders that can help us create something NOT the size of a shipping container for a modest tab? The thing about it is, most of these construction techniques are Not expensive. Seems like folks are geting charged more for 'stained concrete', which COG and labor is less than Corian. I hope you understand!

Other points of note- i am crafty and i know my way around powertools. i make things, and i have designs and idease to parse a plan from. but i can't do it all myself. Oh did i mention time was a factor?

Any advice would be appreciated!


Re: modern reality

Posted by chris poynter at August 06. 2005

move to louisville, kentucky. i can design-build you a modern home on a budget. just finished my own and doing more -- see

chris poynter

(edited to make link work-- Mark Meyer)

Re: modern reality

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at August 06. 2005

If you are up to building yourself I can offer you a stock design. $1500 can't be beat, and if it sounds like you are creative enough to customize it yourself on the fly then you don't need me for mods. Check the link in my sig.

Re: modern reality

Posted by Mark Meyer at August 06. 2005


drop me a message off board. I am a designer in Austin and know most of the areas you may be interested in VERY well. It sounds to me you may be better off looking a little further out to the East or out towards the lakes, assuming you don't need to commute into town on a regular basis. Lots in town are getting fairly outrageous, but I do know of a few interesting small lots that are affordable (under $100K) and will more than likely stay on the market until someone snaps them up to build a modern compact dwelling upon.

as far as design goes I prefer to work with clients that are hands-on and will be helping build their own place. I typically design to whatever strengths/connections a particular person has with construction, and I also do moderate amounts of design/build myself. Your budget is a doable thing assuming you don't need 2000 s.f. If you could get by with 1200 s.f. of well designed and built space I think you can get there no problem, including the price of land.

So what sort of art do you and yours do? Artists are the best clients...

Mark Meyer

Re: modern reality

Posted by Philomena Papirnik at August 26. 2005

Hallo Vhoto

We're interested in moving to Austin, from New York, and it sounds as if we're in much the same position as you. I'd be very interested to hear of what you've discovered and how your plans are unfolding - if you have the time to share, that is! It sounds as if land is becoming prohibitively expensive close to Austin.
Hope all goes well,
Best wishes - Papirnik

Re: modern reality

Posted by charlene mcbride at September 24. 2005

I'm just amused there are so many ex-new yorkers in Austin. What's that about?

Re: modern reality

Posted by hotho at September 25. 2005

Well, Personally- here are a few reasons:
1. NYC is not what it used to be. I moved there in the 80's when SOHO and Village were still a hangout for artists. Now all you will find there is retail (pottery barn, deisel, Moss)and tourism. Those artists moved to DUMBO and Williamsburg, which are also now too trendy to afford. Not only this, but the inherent dirty rebelliousness i fell in love with has kinda been stomped out. Fashion Queens, StockBrokers, rich Kids at NYU abound- and they were always there, but the clean and unrowdy streets promote their growth. I did not see a Graffitied subway car after 1995.

2. 9/11. You realize you are in a big metropolis. The Military can come in within 45 seconds and implement marshall law.

3. I got married and had a kid. A box of cereal is freakin' $6.

4. I am a native Texan. I like to hear the crickets at night and have an Opossum living under my porch.

5. As a photographer (not fashion) I do my work anywhere and use the web/ FedEx to show my work. Granted, I spent 10-16 years building up my contact list and getting my name out there.

6. Over the years i studied my creative habits. I am much more creative when I am not in the NYC environment. Maybe its the stimulation, cramped quarters, hectic work schedule, etc. Henry Miller had the same issue with NYC. Maybe that made me think about it.

7. Clean(er) air.

Just to update the masses- I have purchased a swanky 1977 house in Oak Hill. Probably one of the last years for mainstream 'modern production construction'. It has an abundance of 'modernist' potential. Best of all, we can move in immediately and renovate parts of the house in a sequence. I am currently looking for architectural partners and builders to help me along the way.
* Biggest challenge- changing the layout for the stairs.. Open stairs lead directly to the front door. I'd like to create a 1/2 landing with a 90degree turn into the sunken living.

Thanks for listening again!


Re: modern reality

Posted by charlene mcbride at September 25. 2005

The other thing-swanky in ny would have proababky cost 5 times as much!

I move here from ny almost a year ago and still half the people I know are also ex-new yorkers!

Congrats on your purchase!

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"I'm looking for housing that is affordable, and modern. I know there must be innovative, well-designed housing out there. I just can't seem to find it!" —Tracey R., from the Dwell discussion board


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