We bought a house!


Let me tell you this- buying a home in Austin is a SPRINT. So tie those laces, grab that protein bar and read on to learn how we found our sweet spot.

As always to keep things exciting, (coz that’s how we roll 😉 ) we decided to buy a home remotely! As we were completely new to the Austin real estate landscape, the most important player in this had to be the Realtor to guide us and  look out for us in our search for a home that met all or most of our prerequisites.

And we found the best realtor out there, Leah Petri. She is the whole deal y’all.Professional relocation expert, likeable, extremely knowledgeable, and now a dear dear friend 🙂


So after soul searching, school searching, house hunting, 3 trips, bidding wars, myriads of lists, we finally found ‘the one’, and bought a home without even walking through it! (yup, remotely). The good news is Leah did, and we knew she would only find the best for us.

It all worked out and the house made the Walkscore mark as well 🙂

Thank you Leah. We could not have done this without you.

What’s your home buying story?

Before the Move..


Austin had all the compelling reasons to move but before the movers came a knocking, and my husband said yes to his company to relocate, we really wanted to come and feel out the city to get a sense of neighborhoods, schools, and a general lay of the land. It really helped to plan the trip in advance and get in touch with a real estate agent who by the way was a blessing! Being a homegrown Austin gal and a mother of young kids, she shared her wealth of knowledge to guide us and this really helped us in making informed decisions.

The first big decision was whether we should rent or buy?

We really wanted to make a home in Austin and having moved half a dozen times, the idea of living in our own space was definitely a driver to buy a home. Also, browsing through innumerable articles (some links below), I learnt that the Austin housing market has been robust for almost 6 years in a row. Reading about it in the  Austin Relocation Guide , it was reassuring to see that we were moving in the right direction. Also some number crunching and talking to our realtor showed that it would be almost 35% cheaper for us to buy vs rent in the long run!

How long would the commute to and from work be?

Honestly for me it would be kitchen to a work table 😛 but, Siddarth, my  husband was very clear that he would like to keep it under 30 minutes. (Before I go on please let me tell you that he is “obsessed with Walkscore” and that has been a huge deciding factor in all the places we’ve lived.)  Thus we scouted pretty much all the neighborhoods in Austin with a toddler in tow and routed it to work (Thank you iPad mini for being my portable babysitter ♥).

What are the school options?

With a four year old, I really wanted to be sure that we considered all our public and private school options. Ideally buying in a good school district would be nice as it would be a great way to integrate with the community. But I also wanted to check out the private school options if we were unable to buy a home before we got here.

Would this be a forever home or would we eventually outgrow it?

Let me tell you the weather in Austin is so good and there are so many outdoor recreation options that we did not feel the need to invest in a home with sprawling grounds- but we like being out so this is completely a personal preference. If you want ‘big’ you can definitely find it in Austin and the hill country 🙂

What is public transportation like?

Austin does not have the best public transportation when compared to Chicago or New York (of course you always have taxis and Uber). Driving and biking to most places is the norm but I still wanted the option to be able to explore the city without being smack dab in the middle of downtown! So living close to local businesses, restaurants, parks and other amenities was important.  

So here is my list of 7 things to consider when moving :


Here are some links that might be useful as well.

Hope this helps.😀

What’s your moving story?


Thinking about moving to Austin?


There are many reasons that are bringing almost 100 people a day to austin including work, weather, cost of living, opportunities and the new fastest growing hub of technology and startups.

Well over and above all the reasons you might read or hear of, here are my top 5 reasons to get here 🙂


1) Sunshine (lots of It!!): Good bye tanning beds. Hello Vitamin D ♥


2) People- the friendliest I have ever met. You smile back so much that your mouth hurts!


3) Delectable eats: Ummm… besides the best tacos you will ever eat, Austin has some of the best restaurants in the country.


4)Bicycle friendly: Lanes, paths,  trails, you name it.


5) One of the most dog friendly cities ever!: Yes Seattle you have competition.

What made you move to Austin? What is you favorite thing to do in this fun city?

Let’s share 🙂 


blog_imageI am Nitya the brown girl, interior designer, curator and collector at brown girl builds.

This is my story about building a home, moving with family, from the east to the west, making many stops along the way. After having moved with my family across the globe from India to Seattle, Chicago and now finally to Austin, we decided to build our own home and lay down roots in this great city. I am a fish and rice kind of girl now in a steak and taco kind of town.

Building a home is a mixed bag of triumphs, disappointments, unexpected surprises and many ‘a-ha’ moments. Brown Girl chronicles the balancing act of building ‘the’ dream home, exploring the city for inspiration and managing a family. I hope you will join me on this journey.

It is improper how much coffee I need to keep my creative motor running! so you will often find me at a cafe with my dog, looking for the next best thing to eat, or capturing well-designed spaces.