Austin House Hunt {Part 1}

I love to house hunt! Not. I loved it, for about 2 weeks. As of now, I’m sooo tried of it. Where, oh where is our house hiding? I’m not that picky, really. It needs to have some walls, 3 bedrooms, preferably 2 bathrooms (this is a tricky request!), central AC, and all in a neighborhood without cars on cement blocks and no visible bullet holes. Oh and I’m not a huge fan of the idea of neighbors that train pigeons or hoard mattresses in their front yard. In my perfect world, this house would be in central Austin: Hyde Park, Allendale, Clarksville, SoCo, South Lamar, Bouldin Creek or Cherrywood.

We’ve looked at 60+ houses. Seriously. Here’s a small part of our paper collection, and we’ve looked at hundreds online.

Austin house hunt



If you’re new here, Andy and I moved from Austin to Ft. Lauderdale and back in 18 months. We’re happily back in Texas and currently nomadic. We live between my parents house and friends homes in Austin while all of our stuff lives in a storage unit in Austin. We actually own a condo in Austin, but it is currently being rented, so that’s not an option. So, here’s what we really want in a house:

  • 3 bedrooms (2 will do)
  • 2 full bathrooms (this is something we really want)
  • central AC
  • a rental component (garage apartment, studio in the backyard, if nothing else space to add a rental)
  • a fixer upper (good bones, with some character, mail slots and street lamps make me happy)
  • walking (or at least biking) distance to cool stuff (restaurants, farmers market, yoga, coffee shop)

Here are a few treasures we’ve seen so far:

I love this one. Minus one thing… I-35 is in the backyard. You can literally see and hear the roaring monster, even over the 10 foot fence trying to hide her. Also, there is no rental component.  The detached garage could be turned into one, but adding plumbing, AC, and build out is ‘spensive. It’s perks include 2 full bathrooms, 2 bedrooms + a little office, and a big front porch. It’s in the up and coming Cherrywood neighborhood in East Austin.

Austin house hunt


Here is specimen numero dos. It’s located in Allendale, a cute little neighborhood just north of Hyde Park in north central Austin. It’s biking distance from cute stuff, and a very desirable, well established hood. This house is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, but it does have a cute, almost ready to go one bedroom rental in the backyard. There’s a mail slot and pecan tree, both major pluses in my opinion. Although, our realtor said there are pros and cons to the whole pecan tree thing.

austin neighborhoods

The downside to this little beauty, is not only is there only one bathroom, the laundry is in the  middle of the kitchen, but it’s at the very tip top pf price range and the rental had a kitchen situation. Check it out:

Austin neighborhoods

It’s a stove, fridge, sink in one! Have you ever seen anything like it? As interesting as that thing is, it means spending more money right off the bat to make the rental live-able. So we decided to say good bye to the Allendale charmer.

Moving on to a house we actually made an offer on, but it didn’t work out. It’s in Cherrywood again, down the street from yummy eateries like Flat Top Burger and in.gredients. Here she is:

austin neighborhood

She needs some major love for sure. They covered the orignal hard wood floors in polyurethane, which I think is a sad story. She’s a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home with a wonky-ish lay out. There’s a detached one car garage that would be turned into a rental and a giant slab of cement that Andy invisions turning into a sweet b-ball court! Oh well.

So, that’s what is happening in our neck of the woods right now. It’s hard to keep up a DIY blog without a house! Are you in the midst of house hunting? What are you looking for you in a house/ neighborhood? Have you ever seen a stove, fridge, sink in one before, ha! In good news, we really like our realtor. I first met him when he helped me rent out my condo after we decided to move to Ft. Lauderdale. He walks into a house, and starts telling us what he doesn’t like: cheap floors, signs of foundation movement, celling cracks, things that are bad for re-sale, etc…  At least he’s honest and v e r y patient! If you need an Austin realtor, I’ll hook you up! Any house hunting tips for us? Or homes going on the market that you think we might like. Do you have a favorite Austin hood? Do you enjoy the house hunting process? I’d LOVE to hear…


Note: In other fun news, I’m going to be at the Home Depot in Georgetown, TX tongiht at 6:30p making Pinterst inspired mosaic mirrors! It’s going to be fun, and it’s FREE! See lots more deets here.


  1. Girl, I feel your pain. 4 trips to Dallas and nothing I’m excited about. And, the nothing to blog about thing…in the same boat! It’ll come though and when it does, it’ll be awesome!! Good luck.

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      House hunting when you don’t even live in the city, is way harder! I only kind of live here… thanks for feeling my pain! I’m sending good energy house hunting vibes your way!

  2. I am still laughing over the sink/frig/stove combo!
    Good luck :)

  3. I live waaaaaayyyy south and not many of the perks you’re referring to here! ha Just a little south of SoCo are some pockets of areas that are good and are being updated and redeveloped. Just like SoCo used to be pretty run down, but look at it now! I think those areas will be next (well, along with east Austin). You might also check out the area close to the ACC Riverside campus. The Riverside Redevelopment area is REALLY an up and comer, but it still has a mixed bag in the neighborhoods. Good luck…and yup, I laughed out loud at the sink/frig/stove combo!

  4. Aww I loved that sweet gray one but you can’t have a highway going through your backyard. I hope you find something perfect, and quickly!

  5. Oh, I would have my hopes on #3 if it was still in the cards. We put an offer on anther fixer today. OK….so maybe the neighborhood had a couple cars on block…but it was still pretty decent. lol I’m excited to see what you find!

  6. What about East Austin? Going towards Montopolis? And yes to ACC Riverside but also Rio Grand and how about the avenueslike B and D?

  7. Lots of luck, Jamie! I know it can be frustrating when you aren’t able to find what you are envisioning. Hang in there, (I’m sure you and the perfect house will find each other–hopefully soon.)

  8. ….ummm….I have NEVER seen something of that kind in all my years!!! WOW for the engineer on that one!! Good luck with the house hunt and you will find the perfect little jewel in due time!!

    xo- Carrie

  9. Carrie Franks says:

    Since I hate the congested traffic any where near downtown Austin, I suggest looking in other areas.

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