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sohomod

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  1. Hi Lowbrow, I actually looked at 4004 b/c of your raves about it and I agree, it is a great location! The unit we saw was a front corner, about 1900 SF 2BR. It was really nice. Private roof deck, 2 story atrium, great layout. I guess the fees were so high b/c of the square footage. Take a look! Not sure if I remember correctly but it was not that $$, maybe $170K? But that $600 condo fee and the possibility of it going higher if there needed to be more work which we heard rumors of...
  2. Bon question. Here's my really long answer. First of all, weather was gorgeous, people were fabulously friendly, and Mr. Mod himself, Robert Searcy, is surely the best, nicest, most knowledgeable realtor out there. I had no idea realtors were allowed to be honest, decent and pleasant. He was even patient with the baby. We loved him! Day 1: We visited Norhill, Brookesmith, and vicinity, I guess the eastern fringes of the Heights. Small but charming bungalows, but for what we'd like to spend ($200K), usually a bit too small, a bit dowdy, vigorously Home-Depot-ized, or in a somewhat questionable
  3. But we have expanded our search to include craftsman bungalows, 30s traditionals, 1950s ranches, 1970s contemporaries. Basically anything that does not smack of soul-less mcMansion tract developments. All for our budget of $200K. The exciting thing about Houston is that we are finding lots of things we like, but since we don't know Houston at all, it's hard to know if the neighborhoods where we're finding them are bad or good. Here in NYC if you find beautiful buildings you know it's a good neighborhood but things seem different in Houston. So I'd love to hear some frank assessments of the fol
  4. I've been browsing around the Third Ward (Washington Terrace/Riverside Terrace) area but have also noticed this in parts of the Heights and elsewhere, these awful listings that show a cute little house in need of work and then -- apparently as a selling point????!!! -- photos of hideous new townhouse developments in the area. I'm glad the realtors put them up b/c they function as an unintentional warning to me. Would hate to be across the street or god forbid next door to one of those. Often the listing description will actually come right out and promote the property as a tear-down, even when
  5. Thanks, a fantastic answer to the question of Austin vs. Houston. I am copying this to my husband at once! This is exactly my impression of Austin. We have about a dozen friends of friends there (vs. knowing basically no one in Houston) and I feel that they are all tattooed roller-derby-enthusiast vegan bloggers. Which is fine, as far as it goes, but feels a bit limiting and clich
  6. Exactly. Also, though SA is pretty big population-wise, people told us that there's not much there. Jacksonville is way too white (no offense!), St. Louis never considered honestly but got the feeling that it was not thriving, in the same way that Pittsburgh, while full of gorgeous old brick homes and cultural institutions, is dying rather than thriving. And Kansas City, while full of gorgeous cheap craftsman bungalows, is the home of my mother in law!!!!!!! Also, very very white. Actually, there is some black population there too but it is so segregated that I visited for years before I saw o
  7. Raleigh, NC Asheville, NC St. Petersburg, FL Fayetteville, AR Little Rock, AR Santa Fe, NM Atlanta, GA Los Angeles, CA We decided the first 6 were too small and for the most part too white or white/black. We really wanted a city with a very visible Asian minority. Atlanta has a surprising # of Asians and seemed progressive, interesting and well-priced. We just decided that in the end we'd rather be Texans than Georgians. There's something about the openness (physically and other) of Texas that appeals to us. Something about preferring Western over Southern, to put it reductively. Just a hunch.
  8. Maybe it sounds crazy but what we did was take our criteria (affordable housing + good arts/cultural scene + ethnic/cultural diversity + big enough to be interesting + warm sunny weather + good schools) and come up with a short list, which we then winnowed down by doing a lot of research. And came up with Houston. It's maybe not a perfect fit (i.e. we're very politically liberal and like to walk everywhere) but it seemed like it may work. No relatives or friends in Houston. One acquaintance, a banker who was transferred there 2 years ago. And another who doesn't live in Houston but who teache
  9. Oh Lordy, it's all falling apart. My husband took a look at air/water/soil quality reports online and now thinks Houston is a mire of toxins. Never mind that we have lived for the last 15 years in Manhattan, not exactly anyone's idea of green meadow. At this rate we're going to be living in Glacier National Park. He looked up Austin's pollution levels too and now's he's saying we should be looking there instead. Although I've been told it's 2x more expensive than Houston. Any other reasons I should give him for Houston over Austin? We've bought our tickets, so we're going to be in Texas for 9
  10. http://www.har.com/search/engine/indexdeta...=0&backButton=Y Okay here is an example of what looks from the front and back to have been an adorable house... description says may have been a William Floyd design. Anyway, whatever mod cuteness this house may have once (until very recently, I'll venture) possessed has been completely stripped. Much money has been spent to denude it of any charm and turn it into a gleaming generic white nothing. Yuck yuck yuck. Not as bad as all that Tuscan/Saltillo country tile but super shiny cherry flooring! Black granite everywhere! Call Bret Easton Ellis,
  11. Whew.... have had my head buried deep in Westbury listings all night long. Cross-referencing crime/parks/schools/demographics/conveniences.... this is hard work. Re Parker Elementary: Don't know how far $2500 is going to go (could buy about 5 clarinets, eh?) but that is good news... I have my heart set on Twain or Roberts. Aside from rating exemplary with magnet arts programs they have pretty high %s of Asian kids. I grew up in the blonde blonde Scandinavian midwest and while I had a lovely childhood we are trying to give our daughter a more diverse environment. That house on Willowisp is on
  12. You got me. A lifelong Northerner (from all the way back -- my parents are even North Korean, although of course back then it wasn't its own country). I see that was a silly question. Here where to put all the boots, mittens, hats, scarves and big down coats is always an issue. Hardly anyone in the city (except for the filthy rich, and yes, I do wish I were one of those, just forgot to amass wealth when I was young and childless) has enough storage for all the winter paraphernalia and let's not even get into strollers, little red wagons, tricycles and the like. That's exciting to hear about
  13. Actually, a friend's sister who lives in Pearland said this. That if you go to the playgrounds they are like graveyards. Not a kid in sight. That would be depressing... I love the casual and random interaction you get in public spaces. I've also heard the same about Hermann, that it is lovely but the main difference b/t Hermann and NYC's Central Park is that Central Park is FULL of people on weekends, families and joggers and picnickers and kids and polka-dancing Ukranians and disco-dancing roller skaters. But that Hermann is barely used. I think that's what's driving us to look at the teeny t
  14. We are definitely renting first. As a matter of fact, for our week in Houston we're subletting a little cottage in the Heights to get a feel for the nabe. And we'll do the same when we get to Houston, before we buy. Don't quite understand it all but am definitely starting to understand that the burbs in Houston is entirely different from what I'm used to. Traditional outside/mod interior is what we do here in Soho also. Our loft is in what's called a pre-war here, built around 1910. Pressed tin ceilings nearly 12 feet high, very elaborate crown molding, with an Eames pedestal table and chairs,
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