Posts filed under ‘BUILD’

Things I Observed at the Cool House Tour Today

 cool house

  • A 2,000 gallon rainwater tank, galvanized, is a beautiful thing
  • Federal tax credits for energy efficiency are worthy of more research (did Congress extend the bunch that expired the end of 2011?)
  • We should look into geothermal
  • Utility bills consistently under $100 are doable
  • Take your utility savings & apply that to your mortgage premium
  • Off-the-grid as a retirement / fixed-income strategy
  • Take advantage of prevailing winds, build that in to the design
  • Carports are in
  • Carports with a garage door are brilliant; it’s like a skort, an illusion hiding some functionality   
  • Micro-manage the tree removal process; owner on-site
  • The Mini Cooper is good in a crowd

Here is the Statesman photo collection for the event:

Some favs:

Cool House Tour 060312 005 Cool Homes Tour 060312 014 KDavisEMFranklin0712 SkortStorage

June 4, 2012 at 1:46 am 1 comment

AUSTIN BUILD: first in a series of many . 1

So, I think we are going to build a house.

This is the first in a series of many posts to journal our process from idea conception to housewarming party. 

First, although this is February 2012, we have been talking about this off and on for years.  We always look at houses, always go on the AIA tour, always drive neighborhoods in and around Austin, fantasize all the possibilities.  We have gone back and forth, back and forth on this topic for years.  It’s a process, for sure.

You see, we love our Northwest Hills home on Steck Valley Park (46 wooded acres that no one has heard of yet boasts one rough trail from the end of Steck all the way to the red office building spire on 360).  We have been in this home since 2005 and it is so cool.  Updated, open, gorgeous Australian cypress floors, so private and a great party house.  We love this street, our neighbors, our yard, we have put close to  $20k in to the gardens and decks (many of both).  As I type this, I look out through and over the live oak canopy and barely glimpse the homes across the valley.  This home has served us well.  It will sell fast when we arrive at that stage.

We have a tendency to plow forward in life.  Kay plows more than I … I pull back on the reins.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Right now we are gathering information.

I intend to have our team in place before we make an offer on any property.  Architect, builder, finance.  I suspect this is the only time we’ll build and we intend to do it right, minimize the mistakes or missteps, spend wisely and end up with an amazingly cool property.

I’ll share the interpersonal, the process, the Realtor perspective (see disclosure below), the do’s & don’ts, the mishaps, the joy, the stress.  We invite you along for the ride; invitations forthcoming for the housewarming.

Julie & Kay


Julie Nelson is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX.  This and any of her blog postings should not be construed as legal or professional advice.  Contact your favorite professionals in person for actual advice (duh).  Julie can be reached at  Searching for homes?  We think this is the coolest Austin home search tool available.

February 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm 3 comments

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