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Austin

Experiments in the Urban Life

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V and I have been looking for homes. We consider ourselves urbanites; we are not interested in the suburbs. Moving out to Round Rock or Cedar Park or even a far-off area of Austin (like Circle C) just does not appeal to us. We like being able to walk to everything. We like being able to only be a car for a few minutes, avoid the highway and be almost anywhere we want to be.

In looking for places, we have stayed close to where we are now. Not only have we basically stuck to 78704, we stuck to the general area of South Congress/Oltorf to South Congress/South 1st. Being able to walk to all of the shops on either street is really appealing. Homes further south in 78704 we’re appealing because we had to walk more than a half-mile to get to anything, much less a variety of places. We put an offer in for a house a mere block away from St. Ignatius. We lost it.

The problem is home prices. It’s expensive to get anything in 78704 and for the prices we’re looking at, the house won’t be fancy. (Of course, we don’t need fancy, but whatever we could get would be pretty bare-bones). We saw a couple of fine houses. We would have been happy there. They completely lacked any character, but the location makes up for it, right?

We weren’t too sure either.

With some sadness, we broaden the search. For the first time, we didn’t limit our search to 78704. There are some amazing homes within central Austin. There are homes in East Austin that are simply great. Near Lamar and 2222 are some great finds too. V and I had use my favorite Zip Code Map a few times. We knew the 7870x and the 7874x zip codes. I knew the 7871x codes were PO Boxes (mostly). 7872x? 7875x? No idea.

We finally found a home in 78723 that we liked, made an offer and it was accepted. We’ll close at the end of the month. This house is in an area that is supposed to be very walkable. Parks are close. Running trails are close. Retail is close. Over the next few months, we’ll begin experimenting in this new urban reality (for us). Finding new hole-in-the-wall dining experiences, learning new shortcuts. We’ll miss 78704 quite a bit, but times (and needs) change.

78723: More than a Zip Code, It’s ?

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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