Monday, February 12, 2007

Theatre, Theatre and the Austin Real Estate Market

Those things have nothing to do with each other by the way. One brings me great joy, the other great pain. In the joy column, I was in TWO plays this week. Tuesday night we did The Freddy Argyle Show at FronteraFest and it was such a blast. Rehearsals have been fun from a social angle, but sort of difficult from the acting one. I kept getting really directed to do stuff that I thought I was already doing and I was getting really frustrated. There was definitely a communication problem between the director(s) and me. But I think in the end, the performance was flawless from everyone involved and the audience really loved it. A lot of laughter, which is always nice. Unfortunately, no best of the week, so no best of the fest, but we had the best overall night I have ever seen at FronteraFest (and I've been seeing 1-2 nights a year for the last 11 years). There were no people reciting crappy poetry or doing some painful vanity piece or performance art. That in itself was unbelievable. So I was torn between being upset that we didn't get to advance with such a strong piece, and being excited to see so many interesting pieces. On that note, I think I was the only person from any of the pieces that watched everybody. I mean, the aisle was pretty lonely most of the time. I consider that one of the best parts of FF, how can you not watch everyone?
Then Saturday Tim and I performed his Big Box God at our church as part of FronteraFest's Mi Casa es su Teatro. I was REALLY nervous for that one, considering I'd gotten the script Thursday and had been madly memorizing its monologues, despite two days of Stella barely sleeping. But everyone in the church really enjoyed it, and our non-church friends who came to see it seemed to at least not run for their lives in fear. So I think it was successful. Even if it did raise only $23 for our church. But our pastor said she sent it to the UMC local Conference, it might be fun to do at their meetings and such.
After our performer's high on Saturday afternoon, we drove around because Stella was sleeping in the backseat and I knew that might be all the sleep we'd get out of her. So we looked around at houses, as we are want to do when we drive around to keep the baby asleep, and we realized that Austin's market is INSANE! You cannot get a house for under $180k unless you want to step over crack whores on your way in the door. If you want architectural interest or nice interiors, you're looking at $200k at the very rare low end and $350-$400k at the most likely range. Who buys these houses? People who move here from California, that's who! Bastards who sell their 500 sq ft condos for half a million and decide to spend their scratch in Austin. Investors who buy any house under $200k sight unseen, flip it, and sell it for $300k. They are screwing it up for the rest of us!
Tim found a house online that was mid-century modern for $160k in a neighborhood at Lamar and Airport and we drove over to look at the outside yesterday after church because yes, once again, the monkey was asleep. It was pretty cute, not too small, and we thought it had a lot of potential, so we actually called the real estate agent. We started dreaming of what we would do to it, looking at area schools (yes we live in a fantasy world). He called us back to say that it had had five offers, and "several" of them were over the asking price. And what do you want to bet they're all investors? So we've been a bit down. It's silly to complain when you have a nice house that you can afford and you just want a different house, (with a formal dining room, please!), but we've been here 6 years. It was supposed to be a starter house, but now we're starting to think we'll be here forever just because the market is getting so insane! It's time to shit or get off the pot: we have to decide whether we want to make this house what we want it to be and give up on our modern dream, or we need to get a real estate agent who can find a house with good modern bones that we can make our own. We both think if we wait too much longer, it will be too late.

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