Posts filed under ‘Anything Goes’

Mashup


This is an Austin, TX real estate blog. This post is about the ACL Festival. What ties the two together is that ACL brings thousands of people into Austin who, while they are here, fantasize about living in Austin.

First, the ACL info. The Festival lineup is being released tomorrow. Here is a link to a mashup to help you figure it out pre-release: http://www.aclfestival.com/mashup

And for real estate, here’s a link to help you fantasize: http://www.searchAtown.com

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© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

April 14, 2008 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

Bad Fences, Bad Neighbors


 

 


 
 

  Originally uploaded by thenelsonproject
 

Mr. Rogers sang “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” and asked “won’t you be my neighbor?” Unfortunately, we rarely get to pick who lives next door. If such a selection process were possible, there would indeed be something to sing about and fewer movies.

Much had been said, written and aired about neighbors. In a 1989 movie, “The’burbs,” new neighbors create a nightmare for Tom Hanks. “The Neighbor” (1993) features a dangerous psychopath whose pregnant neighbor reminds him of his dead mother.

In “The New Neighbor” (1953), a man moves into a new home to discover his neighbor is a slob and a mooch and has a dog that digs up gardens. Eventually, their conflict escalates into full-scale war with cheering crowds and television coverage. And who can forget Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as battling neighbors in the “Grumpy Old Men” movies.

But that’s the movies, and nothing like reality. Right? If you said “yes,” you must live a long way from anyone else. Anyone who has owned a home for just a few months has a story to tell about the neighbors.

My parents once had a neighbor who owned a racing car – a dragster to be precise. He tinkered with it when he got home after work, and just about bedtime he tested the engine- over and over. That car would shake pictures off the wall.

Cars are frequently points of conflict among neighbors. I know my neighbors were unhappy many times when my younger son gunned his engine, especially at inappropriate times. I apologize again.

Unruly children, barking dogs, wild parties, loud vehicles, litter, blocked views, parked cars. The points of conflict are numerous.

“I have a very bad neighbor problem,” complains a homeowner on the Internet. “I live next door to Freddie Kruger. He is seven years old, throws rocks at us and cusses us all the time. My mother told his mother to make (him) stop, and she cussed my mother out.”

Some of you may have seen the website posted by the Georgia homeowner unhappy over the antics of his unconventional neighbor. You can view all the gory details and some photos at “Redneck Neighbor.”

The antics described on the website involve businesspeople who drive nice cars and live in new homes in a nice neighborhood. Unfortunately, one of them apparently doesn’t care too much about homeownership. The conflict began in 1997 and includes the neighbor’s “midnight requisition” of building materials from the home being built next door. The hot bricks were used to enclose the mail box at the street and to line a flower bed.
In the months that followed, JD #8, short for John Doe No. 8, the pseudonym given the subject of the website, builds a chicken wire fence. First it encloses a Rottweiler trying to get in the Guinness Book of Records for most nights of continuous barking. Later, the fence encloses chickens and geese. The pigs come later.

When the neighbor-from-hell buys a new lawnmower, he can’t wait to cut his lawn. Much to the chagrin of those who live nearby, he does the first cut at midnight. When the neighbors complain, he explains that he was just taking it for a test run.

Taking photos of your neighbors and posting them of a website may not be a good idea. In some states that might constitute stalking.

The problem with neighborhoods is that we really aren’t neighborly at all. How many of the people on your street do you know? I don’t mean just their names but where they work, the names of their children, their hobbies. Knowing, who is old, sick or having trouble might explain the “strange” behavior you observe.

So how do you deal with bad neighbors? When problems arise, try talking. One irate homeowner on the Internet was contracting lawyers because he believed his neighbor was putting up a fence in the wrong place. But he had never talk to the fence builder.

If neighbors are noisy, try asking them to tone it down. In their enthusiasm over their new lawnmower, they may not realize that the neighbors had turned in before midnight. Some Aggies on my street will go to the neighbors before throwing a party and tell them to let them know if they get too loud.

Be calm. Shouting and yelling accomplish little except perhaps to get other neighbors shouting and yelling. Hostility usually breeds more hostility.

Consider the possibility that you are the problem. In that case, an apology might defuse the situation. Try a peace offering. If you raise vegetables or flowers, share them with the neighbor. Even if you are not at fault, it can’t hurt to try a lets-start-over compromise.

When the nice person approach fails, you can always play the lawyer trump card. But when police have returned to the station, the courts have had their say, and your lawyer is vacationing in Tahiti, you will still be living near the same neighbor.

Which brings us to the final solution. Move. Of course, with moving you run the risk of getting new neighbors who make you long for the old neighborhood.

For the record, I have wonderful neighbors.

Contributed by David S. Jones, reprinted with permission by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

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April 10, 2008 at 6:38 pm 1 comment

South Austin: where you can be weird and have chickens too.

A gaggle of teenagers strutted into a convenience store in South Austin yesterday sporting various t-shirts…the tag line on the back of one boy left me silently applauding…”Old Austin hasn’t died.  It just moved South.”  Kudo’s to the unknown author–s/he is definitely a keen supporter of the philosophy that makes Austin so appealing: Keep Austin Weird.

When relocating from Vermont to Austin in 2000, the idea of living in a city that prided itself on being weird wasn’t on my list of criteria for a good match.  However, having lived here for the past eight years I’ve come to understand, totally support and am completely hooked on the notion of Austin’s “weirdness” and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Weirdness in Austin means freedom to wear flipflops on Christmas Eve and not feel underdressed or disrespectful–you belong and are more important then your footgear.  Seriously.

Weirdness in Austin allows you to celebrate Spam AND Eeyore’s Birthday with pure endorphin-releasing abandon.

Weirdness in Austin means looking forward to sitting with friends & neighbors on the banks of Lady Bird Lake watching for millions of bats to leave their bridge home for evening snacking (right over your head).

While this delightful weirdness occurs throughout Austin, it is especially celebrated South of the Lady Bird Lake, thus South Austin. 

In real estate terms, South Austin includes many neighborhoods including Barton Hills, Bouldin Creek, Cherry Creek, Dawson, Galindo, Horseshoe Bend, South Lamar, SOCO, South Creek, Travis Green & Zilker. 

The further south you go, the more lenient the Home Owner’s Assocations seem to be.  One of my favorite Austin columnists has lived in South Austin for 30 years and frequently amuses with accounts of his creative South Austin neighbors… one neighbor reportedly has a large peace sign on his front lawn–very large–we’re talking trampoline turned on its side with a painted peace sign large.

If freedom of expression is very important to you, you may want to explore some of Austin’s South Austin neighborhoods.  Go online, search on “South Austin” which offers links to many neighborhood associations; read their newsletters and check out the neighborhood school(s).   Check in with your favorite Austin realtor who will be a great source of  information about South Austin neighborhoods.

South Austin may be your new home.  You may even find yourself with your own flock of chickens.

… From our favorite south Austin contributor, Patti P …

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

March 28, 2008 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

SOCO neighborhood–it’s the frosting on our Austin cake.


Originally uploaded by thenelsonproject

[Contributed by our favorite south Austin correspondent, Patti P.]

Despite record breaking high temps last week, SOCO–the funky neighborhood & quirky/artsy shopping district south of the Congress Street bridge in Austin, TX stayed oh so cool. Even the campy cupcake vendor operating out of a vintage silver airstream “Hey Cupcake” managed to keep the icing on her cakes and into the hands of hoards of sugar seekers.

Saturday was the last day of the SXSW music festival here in Austin and as is tradition, free music shows packed cool visitors (you could tell by their shades) & cool Austinites (you could tell by their pink hightops) into every alley up & down SOCO…all you had to do was follow the beat with your hatted head.

Which my husband & I did from Guero’s live oak courtyard to Homeslice Pizza’s back lot and finally found ourselves nose to fiddle bow in a tented alley with the entertaining Sadie’s (popular Toronto Canadian band (Rock/Psychedelic/Country band fresh back from Europe and on their way to Scandanavia). Totally satisfied with their revved up version of a favorite Bob Wills tune “stay all night, stay a little longer”– ever rebellious, we opted instead to weave our way through the alley crowd to continue our SOCO hop.

If you missed SXSW, first, there’s always next year and second, you can always get a mini taste (a morsel but enough to leave you sated) the First Thursday of each month as SOCO businesses leave their doors open late into the evening and live music beckons around every corner.

And don’t sweat it if you miss a Thursday visit. SOCO is cool every day/night of the week.

OK-what NOT to miss when visiting (or coming to live) in the SOCO area:

Jo’s coffee–tres popular open-air coffee shop which keeps java hounds happy year-round sipping, surfing and cool people watching.

San Jose Hotel–sister business to Jo’s (literally). Private ivy covered courtyards right off the busy SOCO path. Reportedly Julia Roberts and Gwenyth Paltrow’s favorite digs while in town so I give these diva mamas two cool thumbs up for their taste.

The Continental Club–opened in 1957 with Glenn Miller & Tommy Dorsey…rocked out with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joe Ely in the 70’s and is now packed with awesome authentic swinging atmosphere with the best rockabilly, swing & country anywhere. I think it’s pleasantly haunted with some really great souls.

Hill Country Weavers–should be dubbed Hill Country Knitters as the shop has doubled in size and great fiber selections since knitting fever hit around 2001. They taught me to knit–I’m forever grateful.

Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds–oh the photo opportunities! Fantastic costume shop–if you’ve never had a chance to wear layers of crinoline, you have to go into this SOCO shop just to feel the puffy dresses and fuzzy gorillas reaching out to tickle as you make your way through the packed maze of costumes.

Allen’s Boots–this anchoring corner shop will remind you that you’re in Texas. Booted & hatted cowboys/girls guide you through the impressive isles of boots (I have my eyes on a pair of turquoise beauties)…

And that’s just a taste of SOCO. You have to come visit. Stay if you promise to be cool.

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© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

March 26, 2008 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment

What I Think This Week!


Originally uploaded by thenelsonproject

Contributed by David Reed, CD Reed Mortgage Bankers, Austin, www.cdreed.com, author of the just released “The Real Estate Investors’ Guide to Financing”
(AMACOM 2008)

…………………………………………………
What I Think This Week!
March 19. 2008
Issue 33

I have never, ever, ever seen anything in the credit markets like I’ve seen over the past several weeks.

Mortgage rates have gone up and down at least 1/4 percent in one days’ time…over and over again!

While that may not sound like a lot, for pointy-headed number geeks like myself it’s an incredible swing.

That means if you’ve got some buyers who were approved when rates were at 5.50% and are still shopping, better make certain that when you make an offer the approval is still valid with current rates…..

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March 19, 2008 at 10:11 pm 1 comment

Austin Visitors Street Guide

Austin City Street Guide … a guide for the lost & confused


Originally uploaded by thenelsonproject

You can call it weird but most likely you’ll call it confusing, but Austin has this way of confusing our visitors with numerous names for the same street. Makes it difficult for a realtor to help their newby’s orient to our fine city.

An example would be you’ve just left downtown via 1st Street (oh, sorry, Cesar Chavez) traveling south on Mopac (oh, sorry, Loop 1) and you have been given instructions to exit on Bee Cave (oh, sorry, 2244). So you missed your Bee Cave exit and end up on 360 (oh, sorry, Capital of TX Hwy) and turn on to 71 (oh, sorry, Ben White or, uh, sorry, 290) and somehow end up on IH35 (IH35) to go north back towards downtown you see an exit for 1st Street (oh, sorry, Casar Chavez) and head back west towards Mopac (oh, sorry, Loop 1). You get the picture. So you stop and get a beer and study the map before heading out for round two.

GPS will come in handy for your visit or see the attached .pdf for a visitors street guide (compliments of Alamo Title). Trust me, you’ll be glad you reviewed the list.

Enjoy your visit.

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© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

February 21, 2008 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Austin City Limits Festival Tickets On Sale


Originally uploaded by thenelsonproject

This is only real estate related because it brings so many people into town, that realtors are busy with phone calls and visitors dreaming of moving to Austin.

On that note, the 2008 festival is Sept 26-28 and tickets are currently on sale. Here’s the link: http://www.aclfestival.com/default.aspx

Line-up will be out this summer. Rock on.

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© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

February 7, 2008 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

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© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2016-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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