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Happy New Year’s Eve, people!  What. a. year.  We moved to –and fell in love with– Austin, my husband graduated with his MBA from UNC, we traveled to India (and Ryan to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, & Guam), my Grandmother Bowers passed away, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, and we learned we are becoming Aunt & Uncle to a little niece in March.  A year full of ups and downs making up the colorful canvas of life.  But, this post is about home, and moving, and change, and simply loving where you live.  Moving to Austin has been such a welcome change for us.  One of the things that’s made our move to Texas so splendid is where we live.  Upon moving from Missouri to Texas, we learned from previous real estate investment missteps to rent awhile before buying.  We decided to spend a year figuring out which neighborhoods fit our lifestyle, where we most like to hang out, and where we won’t have to spend our lives sitting in Austin traffic.  We were about to throw our hands up in disgust at the rental market when we talked our way into the leasing agent staying late and showing us the property at Gables Park Plaza.  This place has been perfect for our transition:  fun social events for residents, a sweet & oh-so-pretty concierge, and perfectly located on the southern edge of downtown –walking distance to West 6th St. bars, Whole Foods Market, and steps from the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail.  The building amenities are fab, too:  a gym with a spectacular view of the lake, rooftop pool & grilling area, and a nice lounge with free coffee (you can bet my sleepybutt takes advantage of that one in the mornings!)  Most of all, we had the best little unit we could ask for:

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5th floor, 1200+ sq. ft., plus an outdoor living area with a lovely view of the water.  Lots of coffee was consumed watching the morning runners, rowers, & SUP’ers glide by, not to mention glasses of wine enjoyed in the evening, soaking in colorful Texas sunsets.  Here’s a quick snapshot I took of while sitting outside enjoying one such sunset:

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Well, as the year passed and mortgage rates continued to stay jaw-droppingly low, we casually began to revisit the options for home ownership again.  After about three months combing through what felt like every corner of South Austin, we finally found it:  a new construction townhome, good value at price per sq. ft., quality upgrades included at no additional cost, fun location in 78704’s SoLa, etc.  Well, just in time for the holidays, we received an email from our builder informing us that, due to lack of labor supply, closing would be pushed back from Feb. 15th to June 19th.  Delayed by FOUR months?!?  OMG.  We acted fast, scrambling to renew the contract on our current place –which we had previously opted-out of– only to find out that it had already been pre-leased.  Not surprised…it IS a great unit and we were sad to say goodbye to those sunset views over the lake.  Kinda bummed no longer have the flex space in my living room for a “reading nook,” too:

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The dread and frustration of knowing we would have to move out but not in to our new home was slightly alleviated by finding another unit in our building (well, nabbing the only thing available).  The move was relatively seamless & simple, stress-free as moving can get…it is still moving, after all.  But our new place is down on the ground level, with a back door leading out to the central courtyard, which is spotted by trees, little tables & chairs, and doggies saying hello.  …and little poops.  I swear, we are a dog-friendly building and I take pride in that but I’ll quickly become the poop police if I catch owner’s not picking up after their pooches.  We went down by 500 sq. ft. so it’s tight, but I suppose we can handle it for six months.  We love living here in this building so it’s all good.  The husband’s happy, too — the downsize means he’s spending less in rent for a few months.  And, change is good, especially at the new year.  That’s not to say it’s been an easy holiday season…moving three days before Christmas, hosting one family and flying to see another.  It’s left me sleepy, a little glad to have gotten past the holidays, and SO ready for the new year & all 2013 will bring.  Cheers!!!

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