Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The downtown condo development that we now hate the least, The Four Seasons, has got a seriously freaky cool video posted on YouTube...  
It's an immersive, 3D simulation of what it will be like to live there. Note at the beginning in the fly-by:  they inserted the building into downtown where it's gonna go.  Pretty freakin' cool!  (It makes our geek heart go pitter-patter.)

Check it out:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We just found this humdinger of a site...

It's from a realtor in Vancouver, BC on What To Do When Buying New Construction (and What Not To Do).  
We discovered it while researching developer contracts and how they vary from standard real estate contracts.  And we think it applies every bit to the market here in Austin!

To wit:

"You may want to have an attorney review all contracts.
Developer contracts favor the developer and are different from standard local real estate board approved contracts. Retain a real estate attorney to review all contracts. There is little wiggle-room once you sign a developers contract, and they don't like home sale contingencies." 

Hallelujah, brother!  That's just one of the two dozen or so pointers on the site on how not to get screwed when buying new construction...  Word up!

Austin is becoming more like NY every day

Breaking news (literally) from the Austin Statesman:

Sayeth the article:

'Charles Heimsath, a local real estate consultant hired to do market research for the Four Seasons project, and at one point for the Austonian, said those projects are setting a new bar for luxury downtown. 

Four Seasons residents will have access to the hotel's services and amenities, including 24-hour concierge, in-room dining and housekeeping. There will also be a 2,000-square-foot fitness center, facilities for entertaining and a rooftop pool, which will be the highest in Texas, the developers say.

"I think the Four Seasons has demonstrated by virtue of the number of contracts that there is a viable demand for ultra-luxury product in downtown Austin," Heimsath said.'

So, at $400k to $4M+, you get to live in a hotel.  A really swanky hotel.  (How very Eloise of us.)  

We kind of get this tho...  We want room service, massages, turn down service and chocolates on our pillows every night, too.  So if you gotta pay to live downtown (and pay that kind of money for it), this at least kind of makes sense to us.  Go figure.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Austin Condo Hell Film Festival Proudly Presents...

We could very well have made this video ourselves.  But we didn't have to because somebody already did.  Austin condo ennui at it's very best...  We present:  Condo Tower Thang.  Enjoy!

We love this blog!

No, not ours... This one:  AustinTowers.  It's chock-full of incredibly useful info on all of the downtown condo developments.  And on the main part of their site they have a comprehensive list of ALL of the developments, past and present, with profiles, MLS listings, rankings (guess what the highest price per sq. ft. is gonna be?  $625/sq. ft.!), and lots more (we had to stop, we were getting too excited. :) 
It's serious, factual and informative.  We don't intend to be factual -- er, we mean serious -- here at Austin Condo Hell, so we recommend AustinTowers very highly...

While you were sleeping

The Dallas Business Journal is reporting that two new uber-pricey condo developments are slated for the burgeoning S. Lamar corridor and (of course) downtown Austin:
"Dallas-based Urbana Communities and Austin-based Cypress Real Estate Advisors have broken ground on the 42-unit Zocalo and 8-unit Mira Vista town home developments in Austin. Zocalo, located near Lamar Boulevard and Manchaca Road, will have condos priced from $400,000 to $650,000 while the units at Mira Vista in downtown Austin will range from $800,000 to $1.5 million."

If not for how impossible it is for us to shut up, we would be outright speechless.  $650k for condos on S. Lamar?!  They better be friggin' cavernous, is all we have to say...

Click here to read the full article.  

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The time has come...

Well, actually the time has past, but that is another point altogether.
Time for what you ask?  A time for a blog dedicated to the stupidest, most dessicated, most pointless new condo market in the country:  Austin, TX.  

(Or not.  We can't decide.  Basically, we love Austin but we are not sure about... condos.)  

What we do know is that there is all sorts of weirdness afoot, and so like any self-respecting techno-person we have decided to blog about it.  

And we want to blog about it with you.  So tell us your stories, your experiences, your advice to the condo-lorn.  And we'll blog about it. Here at...

Austin Condo Hell.

Lasciate ogne sperance, voi ch'intrate
"Abandon hope all ye who enter here"