This weekend has been one of many experiences. The first is house hunting. Again, we're looking seriously at buying a house, emboldened by the lower interest rates and some hard to define sense that the economy is bottoming out for the year. Of course, the unemployment rate is reaching levels we haven't seen since the recession of 1983.
But despite the risks, I do think that unless something really interesting happens, the Austin real estate market is pretty much bottomed out, unless you want to buy a condo. Those things are in free fall right now. We are looking for something affordable in the 78704 zip code, which is about as far South as I am comfortable with. We found a pretty cool little house in the Galindo neighborhood, which has a East Austin vibe to it (read: gentrifying, albeit at a slower pace than its counterpart).
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Big questions: the proximity to some very well kept but very large tracts of public housing, general sense that it's a bit crime-y. However, there are few inner city neighborhoods in our price range that aren't subject to the normal challenges of urban living. Seeing my parents' suburban neighborhood decline over the past 30 years has really put me on notice for the fast slide that can occur in less than resilient communities.
The second item that has my attention is a new book, The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence. More soon, but definitely worth checking out.