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Questions about Austin Modern

by Tiffany Danley last modified Feb 27, 2014 12:00 AM
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Questions about Austin Modern

Posted by Tiffany Danley at August 07. 2005

Hi,

My wife I are coming down to Austin in Sept. As Realtors an Architect in the Phoenix area we're both very active in the Modern movement. We've heard so much about Austin, we've decided to head that way. Having never been to Austin or TX for that matter I have several questions. Please respond to as many or as little as you like. Thanks again for all your help. It will for sure make for a better trip.

1. What is the most active message board for Austin Modern Architecture housing or is LiveModern it?

2. Is there concentrated areas of Modern or Mid-Century neighborhoods there? Here in PHX we live in a neighborhood built in the 50's by notable architect Ralph Haver. There are around 30 similar homes in our pocket.

3. Could you reccommend a place to stay or an area of town to host our visit.

4. What are the MUST SEE sights, projects, neighborhoods, etc. (We'll be there for 3-4 days).

5. If you could live anywhere in the Austin area for under 350K, where would it be?

6. What do you enjoy most about Austin?

7. Is the Modern movement: gaining popularity, on the up and up, or really popular (you can't find a Modern house anywhere)?

8. What's the market like? Here in PHX our median home price went from 170K in 2004 to $253,500 in 2005! That's a huge jump and is making it difficult to find great Modern homes.

9. We've both live in the Burbs' and hated it. Every house looks the same, there are crappy HOA's telling you what to do etc. Are there Burbs in Austin worth looking into that have a Modern feel?

10. We love living in the City. What are 5 projects worth looking at in the City such as Lofts, Condos, etc.

Thanks for all your input!!!:grin:

Re: Questions about Austin Modern

Posted by Ben Phenix at August 07. 2005
[quote]My wife & I are coming down to Austin in Sept. As Realtors & an Architect in the Phoenix area we're both very active in the Modern movement. We've heard so much about Austin, we've decided to head that way. Having never been to Austin or TX for that matter I have several questions. Please respond to as many or as little as you like. Thanks again for all your help. It will for sure make for a better trip. 1. What is the most active message board for Austin Modern Architecture & housing or is LiveModern it? [/quote] I don't know of another, but if there is, I'd be curious as well. [quote] 2. Is there concentrated areas of Modern or Mid-Century neighborhoods there? Here in PHX we live in a neighborhood built in the 50's by notable architect Ralph Haver. There are around 30 similar homes in our pocket. [/quote] Read the thread here about AD Stenger. That is about as close as you can get to a neighborhood development, though really we are talking only about a clutch of homes. There were some other MCM homes built by Fehr and Granger, for example, but those were mostly commissioned. [quote] 3. Could you reccommend a place to stay or an area of town to host our visit. [/quote] Austin is very accessable from just about anywhere, but you can stay somewhere like the San Jose Hotel and be right in the heart of Congress which is a pretty active area and walking distances to downtown. [quote] 4. What are the "MUST SEE" sights, projects, neighborhoods, etc. (We'll be there for 3-4 days). [/quote] A drive through Boldin Creek, Travis Heights, and Barton Creek is the best way to see what Austin mid-scale residental housing is about. You will find classic Texas limestone, mid-century, and fresh modern buildings sprinkled through-out [quote] 5. If you could live anywhere in the Austin area for under 350K, where would it be? [/quote] There is a number of places but I am looking towards Swede Hill or elsewhere in East Austin with an eye to spend about that total. However, I am looking at either a total knock down or extensive remodel. If I could land a Stenger for a great price that would be dandy, but I am not holding my breath. [quote] 6. What do you enjoy most about Austin? [/quote] I am fairly new here, so I can't say I know what's what. But I do like Texas BBQ so that has been good. [quote] 7. Is the Modern movement: gaining popularity, on the up and up, or really popular (you can't find a Modern house anywhere)? [/quote] On the way up at least that is my take on it. Mark or others who have been here longer can provide a better perspective. It isn't out of control crazy, but there are new projects popping up throughout the city. [quote] 8. What's the market like? Here in PHX our median home price went from 170K in 2004 to $253,500 in 2005! That's a huge jump and is making it difficult to find great Modern homes. [/quote] The market for existing modern homes seems fairly small as there wasn't a huge number built during the mid-century boom, so finding them on the secondary market seems hit and miss and tend to command a premium. However, there seem to be opportunities within the new market, whether it is you commissioning new work or through projects like MetroHouse does Also remodelling is easy here as there isn't much of HOA or neighorhood design guildlines that must be followed as you may find elsewhere in the country. [quote] 9. We've both live in the Burbs' and hated it. Every house looks the same, there are crappy HOA's telling you what to do etc. Are there Burbs in Austin worth looking into that have a Modern feel? [/quote] Burbs have different meanings to me. In the sense of HOA or gated communities, there isn't a lot of that here and even less so within Austin proper. Most of that seems to be out by the lake up north or similar areas. In the city you have lots of what were burbs like areas years ago. I mean really the whole city is certainly neighorhood and developer driven building dating back 50 years. Coming from somewhere like Phoenix you'll probably have a different view on what is burb verse city living, but needless to say there are plenty of options to avoid HOAs here. [quote] 10. We love living in the City. What are 5 projects worth looking at in the City such as Lofts, Condos, etc. [/quote] There are increasing number of loft like projects, but Austin is not a super urban living city yet, even compared to places like Seattle or Portland. Housing is dominated by single family homes and duplexes. They are trying to create some of that urban living vibe downtown. Here are some projects: Saltillo Lofts The Pedernales

Re: Questions about Austin Modern

Posted by Chuck Voelter at August 07. 2005

don't forget about m.j. neal's moon units project:

http://www.moonunitsaustin.com

cv

Re: Questions about Austin Modern

Posted by Susan McElroy at August 10. 2005

Since I joined this group I've been doing a lot of deep searching for MCM's in town and I've been surprised that there are more than one might think of the very modest kind--I wouldn't post them so publicly, but the thing is that they kind of disappear on a typical street because of the overgrowth of shrubs or paint jobs that tone down the MCM character. I saw a very charming one go for only about $180 recently even though it had been nicely cleaned up and gently refurbished.

Except for the area above Zilker Park where I think the Stenger homes are, and HPWest, I don't know of neighborhoods that have a MC character on a scale of more than a few scattered houses. Austin hasn't had this cosmopolitan thing going for very long. Until recently it was just a kind of romantic college town that was invaded by politicos when the legislature was in session.

Anything close in is going to be expensive except for these quite small 2-br's in transitional neighborhoods. The money that is being invested in the downtown project here is pretty huge. (I've heard Ann Richards is a big promoter) Modernism is part of this promotional mindset in the downtown area but as a whole the larger population here is pretty obsessed with Mission and the ubiquitous Italian Villa stuff or whatever it's supposed to be. Some of the Mission will probably age well, I have to admit.

I had a big success with a couple I hosted in town recently by recommending they go to the Austin Chronicle website and search for the Best of Austin lists, which they have posted for quite a few years back. That way they got to choose whatever weirdness (you'll find out what that means here) they took a fancy to.

http://www.austinchronicle.com/

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