Happy girls are the prettiest girls

9.02.2013

Texas: Day 2. The one in which we find our dream home

Happy Labor Day! While y'all get the day off from your labors,  I am laboring away at the salon. Here's a Texas day 2 recap to give you something to do between BBQs and beers.

Day 2 started early, for us, as we were on California time, two hours behind Texas. We opted to check out Magnolia Cafe on South Congress for breakfast at the recommendation of Julie who lived in Austin for years before moving to Seattle. Once fed and happy, we headed up to Cedar Park, the suburb of Austin we will be living and working in. We weren't impressed as we drove through on the highway, so it made me happy to find a fabulous mall where we were able to entertain ourselves for a bit until our appointment with a local Realtor rolled around. Any city with a good mall means it has more than what I saw from the road. While B geeked out in a video game store just like his Dad's back home, I again made friends with some locals and asked all sorts of questions which they were quite happy to answer. Both had nothing but wonderful things to say about the area, which is experiencing amazing growth. One of the women was even a transplant, having moved from Buffalo, NY 11 years earlier.  

We met up a little later with our Realtor Ron, whom we found through Zip Realty. He had about 6 houses for us to see, all in different neighborhoods, so we could get a feel for the different areas we could find homes. Now, I have to back up and let you know why we immediately jumped to buying, rather than renting. If you remember back to Billy's birthday guest post when the idea of moving to Texas first arose, you will see that his man-ological clock is ticking pretty loud. Not for babies, mind you, but for a home he can have paid off by the time he retires. Also, when I was looking for rentals, and comparing them to the homes for sell, I realized that I could be paying a mortgage on a big old house that was the same as what I pay on my 1 bedroom apartment here in San Jose. 
Mind = blown. 
So of course we wanted to see what we could buy before turning to an apartment or other rental in the area. Well, some of the houses I had flagged that Ron showed us were less impressive in person. Not awful, mind you, as most of the homes were less than 20 years old and in pretty decent shape, but nothing called out to us. That is, until the 3rd home, on a street called Branding Iron Lane. {link to the zip profile, where you can see the rest of the photos!} 
It was the first, and only, one-story home we saw that day. The others were two-stories. The stairs could be seen as a problem, you know, with how klutzy and accident prone I am, and also our desire not to move furniture up stairs. I didn't realize I even had a preference for a one-story before walking into that home. Immediately, we were greeted by arched doorways, beautiful tile, designer paint, a kitchen with a fancy back splash, updated cabinets with amazing granite counters. Seriously, this place blew us away, and had both Billy and I saying out loud how much we loved it. It's 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a separate office that B and I are already fighting over. The master suite has a garden tub and a stand up shower, a huge walk-in closet, and the toilet even has it's own "throne room", which you know that is a super cool feature if you share a bathroom with a significant other. The backyard has a patio with a ceiling fan, and a huge lawn that Sadie will love running around in. There is even a doggy flap installed in the backdoor, holla! 
Needless to say, we have put an offer in on this house, and are waiting to hear back after the sellers countered and we accepted, on the condition that they throw in the appliances. Cross your fingers for us, this is huge! Every place in San Jose we put offers on last year had multiple cash offers and ended up selling for way more than the asking price. Seeing this house had already been on the market for 45 days, and we offered less than asking, and still got a counter was amazing to us.  

Once Ron had showed us all of the homes that day, he drove us around Cedar Park. He showed us the Cedar Park Center, which is home to a hockey team and a basketball team that feeds the NHL and NBA teams in Texas, and also has big concerts. Thank goodness I can get some good music and watch live sports, if I ever feel like it. Ron showed us the location of the new Costco warehouse Billy will be working at. It is supposed to open November 15, but only the foundation has been poured so far! Apparently, it's behind schedule, but the crews can work quickly. After driving around town, he took us out to hill country, so we could see just how close we were. It was crazy how we just drove out to hill country, and instead of climbing a hill, the terrain just sort of dropped out from beneath us, creating valleys and hills to drive though. It was bizarre, but made me so happy to find something familiar in the landscape. San Jose is in a huge valley with gorgeous mountains on 3 sides, which means I am used to lots of hills all around. Being in Texas made me miss those hills with a passion. I realized just how much I rely on the landscape to geographically orient myself while I drive. Not having any hills, or anything that stuck up off the ground other than the occasional water tower, was so hard on my sense of direction! I had no idea what direction I was driving in at any given moment, and found I was turned around a whole lot. Gail, the GPS, didn't help much in that aspect either. 

Ron dropped us off at our car, and we headed directly to the Salt Lick, finding it open this time. We had spent 4 hours with Ron, and hadn't eaten since early that day, so we were starving. The Salt Lick was really good! It had come highly recommended by so many people, and was well worth the wait to finally eat there. Heading back into downtown Austin, we had the intention to stroll around 2nd street and stop into a few bars looking for live music. We made it into one bar, Kung Fu Saloon, that had a video game theme which drew Billy's attention. We each had a rather weak drink {that's saying a lot, as I am the lightest of weights when it comes to alcohol!}, then meandered out. We walked up and down 2nd street, but only found one bar that had live music. It was a Tuesday evening, so we shouldn't have expected much. Just as we sat down, the musician took a break! Just our luck. We figured it was time to head back to the hotel and try to get some sleep. Instead we stayed up too late, thanks to our time difference issues. 

Look for Day 3 recap tomorrow!

1 comment

  1. What a great looking house - hope your offer is accepted! I'm stuck at work too while others are relaxing in the pool this Labor Day :)

    Stopping by from Mingle Monday :)

    ReplyDelete

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