It is 80°F right now, that would be 27°C for those of you not stuck with Imperial measurement system, and my husband is giddy. He opened all of the windows and doors. This morning it was closer to 60, and when I emerged from the bedroom, he was wearing a hoodie and a big smile. Gordon loves fall. We have a friend coming in for a chat this afternoon and she is equally excited. “We can sit outside!”
That’s Texas in a nutshell for you. We live for the few brief weeks of fall and spring, between the rain and scorching heat.
The HOA cancelled their annual meeting after “conferring with the Police Department and the WCHOA” due to “high Covid case numbers for our city.” No shit.
I’ve ordered 3 cords of wood for the winter. They have received my order. It is being processed. The chimneys have been cleaned. The generator dudes ghosted me. Will have to track down a different company.
The search for the audio narrator continues. I had to pull out my dusty corporate skills and request an acknowledgment that an email has been received today. We’ve identified who we want. Fingers crossed he is available.
I went through most of the admin emails. Mod R says that the cute dog and cat picture backfired because some people thought the post was about dead pets.
How… Never mind. Just in case you are wondering, Minou Camille has returned to her usual hyper self.
Today we will need to write a fight scene. They are exciting to read but a bit fiddly to write. I recently had an occasion to see the artistic editorial process for comics and it has given me a new appreciation for everything artists go through.
“Make his chin shorter.”
“Make wolf scarier.”
“Make the dog’s body fluffier.
“Make her less wide here.”
“Make him more wide here.”
“Adjust the angle of the eyes here.”
“Make his leg leggier.”
Writing fight scenes is like that. Where is he? Where is she? Where are the assholes and what are they doing? Have we used “hammered” already and would sank be better for this punch? Is this even possible or did we just break all laws of physics? Can she even see what we are describing or is her back turned to them at this point?
We are setting this in Sugar Land, Texas. This is the house we are loosely using as a backdrop: Zillow listing. They are charging premium for that location. It’s a nice house but $9 million is way, way too optimistic. In Hill Country, this would be more like $4.5. Thanks to Hidden Legacy, I have looked at way too many luxury houses.
Well, I have to go and get this fight scene going. 🙂
Hi! I love fall too! The zillow link isn’t working — I think its linked to your favorites, which aren’t able to be seen unless logged in to your account.
Ooooh am I first? Yay!!!!
Moderator R says
It’s been fixed, but you may need to refresh the page to get the update :).
(Superb staircase, isn’t it?)
Ooooooh! Thanks ModR, you’re awesomesauce. Yeah, what a staircase — beautiful. Jeez someone liked arches! I agree with Ilona that it’s pretty optimistically priced, even for that area. I love zillow “window shopping”.
So cool we get to see your architectural inspirations. Thank you so much.
And good luck on your fight scene!
I see what you mean–they wanted ALL the arches.
Got near the end and saw the arched garage doors, and I pictured VW Bugs rolling out the doors. Most arched-car silhouette I can think of. Or Cinderella’s pumpkin chariot.
Dawn Page says
Omg, I would fall right down it!
Tasha A says
House i gorgeous but as soon as I saw the arial shot my first thought was yeah that house is going to flood FOR SURE when it rains really hard!!!!
Aside from the flooding, my other thought was – ugh, will there be a lot of mosquitoes?
I quite like the interiors, though.
If we ever won the big lottery we could travel the world chasing spring and autumn weather. Hubby would be very happy ????
Good luck with the fight scene
Umm. The world does not work that way. When the north has winter, the south has summer and vice versa – no spring or autumn anywhere.
Of course, you can always chase for more temperate summer or winter with enough money. 😉
Yes you are right ????. However, in my imaginary, alternate universe where I win mega bucks in a lottery chasing spring and fall is possible ????????????. There is also world peace, no hunger and everyone is a vegan lol ????
Patricia Schlorke says
I agree with Gordon about fall. No 100 degree heat with stifling humidity. For a while, I thought the DFW area was in Houston it was that humid!
I was able to open my patio door this morning to let the nice, cool air in. There were places yesterday that had a low in the 40s. This morning Fort Worth’s low was in the upper 50s. It’s nice when the AC doesn’t run in the morning. 🙂
Have fun writing you fight scene along with looking at high price houses. 😀
I love fall and HATE spiders – so I waffle pretty much every day. got new kitten she might help with the spiders?? we just went to Tofino BC for a wk – now that was spectacular, the houses up there are amazing and beach front – not what you need for the story but worth checking out! https://tourismtofino.com/
Ooh, we love Tofino! B.C. used to be a semi-annual trip for us (yes, all the way from Florida!), but the pandemic put a temporary stop to that. I’d really like to take in a Pacific storm there one winter.
We were there just on the cusp of the winter season…still spectacular and I live on the Island so not a covid hardship to travel 5 hrs by car!! I hope you can make it one day – darn pandemic!
Katie R says
Fall is the best time of year, but here in Southern California, we can still get 90 degree days. My husband gets particularly miffed when it’s blistering hot on Halloween. But when it cools off here it’s amazing.
That house is a lot. A few nice touches, but it’s just a lot. I think you’d have to be born to that kind of affluence to feel comfortable there.
Moderator R says
The first thing that popped to mind when seeing that furniture was that they had visited some stuffy hotel in London, like the Lanesborough, and went back home with ideas :D. I hope for their sake that’s all décor arranged for the viewing.
I feel like they visited that hotel in the late 90s.
Moderator R says
Katie R says
Maybe that’s it. It’s staged and it looks it. I think that makes it an unsuccessful staging then, I suppose.
The window treatments and furniture scale make the rooms appear small. I doubt the rooms are actually that narrow?
Also, surrounded by water on three sides. I’d be leery with one and flooding. Three? I guess it would make for interesting defensible house book setting except it is all flat.
Melisa M. says
Haha I also think it is so rude of mother nature when Halloween is hot in CA. It’s just not right! 🙂
We’ve had two versions f the same costume some years – one with short sleeves, and the other with long. Usually need the cooler one for school and the warm one for night!
Katie R says
Having grown up mostly on the east coast (with a few very young years in Minnesota), my and my husband’s childhood memories of Halloween often include thermals under our costumes. That’s the way Halloween should be, darn it!
Hehehe. In upstate NY Halloween was always a battle royale because it often coincided with the first dusting of snow, and parents would force their kids to wear coats OVER their costumes which *totally* ruins it. ???? It does usually warm back up for a few weeks afterwards though.
Fall is long and glorious in this part of the world- 60- 70F days, crisp- frosty nights, brilliant foliage, all starting mid-August and running into late November.
That’s incredibly similar to my mental image of Linus Duncan’s place! The one out of town where Catalina and Alessandro go for fajitas in Sapphire Flames. Nice to have a picture to look at.
I hope you are able to nail the fight scene quickly. It’s very impressive that you put so much effort into making it real; it really enhances the book for those of us who see it play out in our heads.
I follow bunicomic on Instagram and this is what your post reminded me of
Oh. The picture didn’t post. Sad
Moderator R says
there is a 1 MB limit for picture uploads in the comments. 🙂 A screenshot of the picture or a link to it might work?
Well that’s the link if anyone actually cares ????
Other Barbara says
As if you did not have enough to do…I think Ben Aaronovitch has really extended his audience and I assume his income through graphic novels in The Folly/Peter Grant series. Offered as actual graphic novels but also as kindle.
He started as Dr Who tv show writer.
Tons of work?
Good luck on the fight scene! Do you ever mock fight or kind of block it out in real life? Just to see how it goes?
Thank you for sharing your inspiration house! And good luck with the narrator as well! ????
Judy Schultheis says
I love your fight scenes. Good luck with getting this one written.
Yes! Fall is finally here!
I wanted to dramatically fling the doors and windows this morning except then I would let in the horrible air quality from the bajillion wildfires in our area.
Someday soon… ???? ???? ????
I think I just channeled my mother. Looking at the lovely photos of this high-dollar home, and all I can think is that they couldn’t hire someone who knows how to properly make a bed and align the comforter/duvet to hide the sheets?
I’m way too practical – sticking out on a point in the river that house screams of flood risk to me. Not to mention needing a team of staff to look after it…
There is a hotel in San Jose California called the San Jose Fairmont. The house on Zillow is pretty much an exact replica of that hotel. I was there for the San Jose World Science Fiction in 2002.
Chelley Roberts says
Glad I don’t have to clean that place. Though if you could afford it I guess you’d afford to hire someone to clean it.
Is there a listing for what inspired you for the compound the Baylors are considering?
Sara T says
That house is entirely too much inside. Even the artwork is boring.
The outdoor parts – pool etc are nice though. 🙂
Donna A says
Your autumn is so hot! We’ve been enjoying some unseasonably warm days for late September here in London and that’s only been 21-23°C .
I love autumn and it’s piles of leaves and crisp fresh winds but I loathe daddy long legs (crane flies) and everything they stand for.
Are they flies, are they spiders (yes, I know they are actually true flies but they scuttle!!), why do they bounce up and then loiter on walls? Why do they have such long creepy bodies and giant wings and spindly legs?
Ugh. Just. No.
So yay autumn. Nay, daddy long legs.
This is interesting. In the US, “daddy long legs” is the colloquial name for actual arachnids, some of the ones also known as harvestmen, specifically the Phalangidae which have a very small body compared to their legs. The body typically measures around a quarter inch, while the legs may cover an area 3-4 inches in diameter. I’d never heard the name used for crane flies. I have friends who would much prefer those to our version of daddy long legs.
Donna A says
I think it’s just an English thing. I knew there were actual spiders called daddy long legs somewhere, but if you’re in Britain then most people will only know of our daddy long legs which are actually crane flies. But then our spiders are comparatively tame and less varied than many other countries so we have to get our thrills where we can!
Natasha Johnson says
I’m with Gordon YAY fall or like you said the couple weeks we get of it here in Texas!! I’m even making a chicken parm soup because its fallish here!
Have fun with the fight scene!
Barbara Kay Swanson says
I am so plebian. I don’t even like most of the extremely expensive, pseudo-European ‘mansions’.
I like great gardens, lots of wildlife and flowers.
Real, beautiful wood.
Real stone or art tiles.
And not too large.
+1 There’s a fine line between traditional and fake. I do prefer traditional architecture in most cases – though I love modern done well – but it can come off looking completely ridiculous when someone gets carried away.
Melissa Leask says
I’m in Maine. Joyfully opening windows at 80 degrees boggles my brain. 60, though, sounds lovely. 🙂
The house was interesting. Definitely an expensive place. Fun to look at and imagine living in, entertaining in. Loved the water all around.
BUT: Lot’s of weird angles in a lot of the rooms. Some of the ceiling treatments I did not like. This is not a house I would want to buy. Not enough privacy. I guess the staff would take care of keeping it in shape. There’s a lot of maintenance.
Thanks for sharing. Now we can imagine it.
How do you make legs leggier? Is that why I have fat thighs? Someone drew my legs leggier? Or am I short because someone *didn’t* draw my legs leggier?
“Thanks to Hidden Legacy, I have looked at way too many luxury houses.”
Think of it as practice for when you hit that multi-millionaire status and are looking for your own mansion 🙂
I also love fall. Winter a smidgen more. When they both arrive I can pretend I live somewhere else.
The price on the house was over the top. For some reason the estimated monthly payment is what caused me to choke. $53,000 a month!! Shakes head.
Enjoy the respite from the heat. ????
I am Canadian. Fall and spring are fine, although it’s allergy season My kid used to be hospitalized with his asthma when he was really little both seasons. I love summer and am sad to see it go. Winter….is cold.
LOL, I recognized the listing agent on that Sugar Land property. Many, many years ago he was my landlord. I rented a house in Houston from him in my first job out of college. With a roommate, of course, because first job at all that.
Small world, sometimes.
Hope that when you’ve finished the scene none of your auxiliary readers suggest making your fight fightier. ????
Love fall! That’s how we are too.
Good luck with the wood, generator, narrator search, and fight scene fiddling.
That sure is a fancy house. Meh, too much upkeep.
Hats, boots, sweaters and scarves!
Is it me, or do a lot of these mega mansion start looking the same, regardless of the price point? Luxury features and high quality, but almost “generic rich”?
I want a wine cellar built by monks in the 1800s. Too much to ask?
Not enough ask. You forgot to ask for the wine.
???? good catch! Should also include a small fireplace, a book and a comfy chair. And someone to bring me food on occasion.
Carolyn W. says
The air was delicious this morning when I stepped outside. I live in North Florida where the humidity and the high heat index are enough to choke the air from your lungs most days. I would love to keep this kind of weather all year round.
Would love to hear what generator you settled on, if you do indeed end up buying one.
How *does* one write a fight scene? Assuming, you know, you aren’t secretly a martial artist or a martial historical reenactor/living history person? Or not so secretly, whichever.
Moderator R says
House Andrews have addressed this before, here https://ilona-andrews.com/2019/fights-and-banter/ and here https://ilona-andrews.com/2018/writing-questions-research/.
I hope this helps 🙂
Cool! Thanks. I shall happily go read….
Valerie in CA says
I never associate the pictures you post, be it a dog and a cat, or a guy in a suit with a flamboyant pen, with anything specific.
Your blog posts are unique
I do like the pics of Minou Camille. She is also unique
This talk of fight scenes reminds me: If we ever get to see Innkeeper as a movie, these guys (https://youtube.com/c/AdoreaOlomouc) should do the fight scenes. I found this on YouTube:
(The Knight of Hope)
and thought „this is how I imagine Arland would fight“!
(A trigger warning: the knight is conjured by a woman who is in the hands of bandits. You might want to skip to 6 min, which is when the knight appears. The story until then is not too graphic, but ultimately has just the purpose to show that the bandits really had it coming…)
I grew up in the Caribbean but I do love fall. I get to wear hoodies and light jackets and that means pockets!
Its still a bit humid here in NC so not quite as cool yet. But you guys enjoy the cooler weather.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
I was talking about Travis MacGee yesterday and spent an hour looking at luxury houseboats. This beats the heck out of those…
Wow, that is some house! Is it the house that the new Baylor family compound is based on?
No, as I understand the post “this” means the fight scene
Melissa B says
Looks like you are making progress on your list!
I am enjoying a long awaited fall vacation in Winter Park, CO with some of my besties. All the aspens are in color and the weather is cooperative (highs in 60s and lows in the 30s, plus…ni snow).
Looking forward to hikes searching for waterfalls.
Also glad to hear your Camille is recovered.
Was just re-reading Steel’s Edge and was reminded of George’s reaction to the grand dining hall at Pierre de Rivière. Must admit to being a sucker for roundabouts though.
Luv the pool in the Zillow listing, the location makes it almost a castle with it’s it own moat.
Current meme here is “the temperature dropped from 90 to 55 like it had seen a state trooper.” Fall in Michigan.
Patricia Schlorke says
???????????? That’s a good one!
Gordon reminds me of Meghan Markle when it comes to “fall” weather. She showed up in NYC with Harry today to visit One World Trade and the 9/11 memorial in a turtleneck and long black coat (she’s from LA, her sensitivity to cold is skewed). It is 80 degrees today in the NYC metro area. That is NOT cool here. Add in humidity and it feels hotter than it is. We’re supposed to get a lot of rain tomorrow but it’s still going to be 75 degrees this weekend. That is waaaayyyy too hot to break out fleeces and hooded sweatshirts haha. I wore a sleeveless sundress today (I’m in Greenwich, CT). Texans, Floridians and anyone who lives down south makes me laugh when they put scarves and coats in this kind of weather.
Patricia Schlorke says
I agree. 75 degrees is not cold. I live in Texas and smile when I see people break out the “winter” gear when it’s in the 60s for the high. People look at me funny when all I’m wearing are leggings, a t-shirt, and running shoes with no coat.
It’s all in how we perceive cold weather. ????
Kelley in NY says
Thanks for saying that fight scenes are tricky – I wondered about that! Thank you for all you share with us. And while I have never lived south of Delaware (the state), I can relate to the two weeks of being able to sit outside in spring and fall! Upstate NY has four seasons, something I don’t know if I noticed the first year until I put together a calendar of pictures of our daughters for each month. Enjoy the outdoor time!
Melisa M. says
Gordon, I totally agree: fall is the best! Give me a light sweater and boots every day! I live in CA so even rain is fine with me (because we don’t get much) haha.
This post pic is so pretty I have no words. Lol 27° is night cold were I live. I was one of those that gonne “oh no a pet died!” In that post but I think it was the title plus pic that made me go there.
Sandy F says
Temps this morning were awesome just down the street from the Baylor family. Yard work commenced! They are very optimistic about that price. I mean it is on a small lake but at only half an acre and not built up to account for the lake flooding… Sorry, Harvey flashback. They ain’t gonna get that price. Even in froufrou Sugarland.
S Somani says
13072 Sq Ft. My brain literally shut down. Can you imagine playing hide and seek in the house? I would be able to catch up on so much reading :).
Thank you so much for the update!
I loved the cat Dog picture, didn’t think anything was weird about it.
A bit sad tonight, because we just had to put our 19 year old cat to sleep.
Came back from work and you could see he was on his last stretch.
Am more relieved than sad, because he was really feeling poorly these past few weeks (months). Eh, he had a great cat life!
So sorry to hear about your cat. It is always sad to have an animal companion pass on. He was lucky to be part of your family.
Sorry to hear about your cat. ((Hugs))
He looks lovely. I understand the mixed feelings. Nineteen is ancient for a cat – not that some don’t live longer, but it’s very, very old. Eventually they get tired of living, and that’s hard to see. Glad he had a good life with you.
What a house!! BUT, So.Much.Cleaning. *runs away whimpering*
OK, am I the only one who thinks all these deluxe Texas houses look like a Mafia don built them? All that ruby red satin swag decor!
Curious what goes for “cozy” in Texas?
I’ll take the house on the Chief Joseph Ranch (the one shown on the “Yellowstone” series) any day. Then again, I’m a mountain girl.
But good on them if they get the $9 mil.
Good luck with the fight scene and the rest of the book.
As for the house, wow! I have enough trouble finding my phone and kindle (and sometimes my coffee cup) in my own reasonably sized house, I cannot begin to imagine how I would wander around looking for things there – but of course one would have minions…
Enjoy the fall weather!
I read this post while sitting in a Karate studio in Sugar Land. Bring it on!
Definitely a lot of house. I actually liked most of this house, the colors and all the wood. I must have missed the book cases. Really liked all the chandeliers throughout. Pretty sure I could live like a queen all year on their monthly budget!
Glad to hear little miss has recuperated from her sky dive.
It has actually cooled down enough here to have windows open at night once in a while. Mostly 70s the next two weeks, finally cool enough to do some exterior fixing during the day now. Time to wash windows, replace some caulking, and get other bits and pieces done.
I’m sorry…what does “leggier” mean?
Moderator R says
More leg ????
Bill from NJ says
Hmm there was a Zillow ad for a house that was in Texas ( Dallas maybe? ) That was on two power grids, had gas and diesel generators, inside was wired for all kinds of nest stuff and was built like a bunker but looked like a house…grandma Frieda would love it.
With generators, try getting it through either home Depot or Lowes. They use outside contractors and I have good luck with them. They generally act as the GC and bc of that their contractors don’t want to cross them bc being a HD contractor you get a lot of pretty much guaranteed business. Have gotten 2 furnaces and a roof this way ( hd stopped doing roofing). If you have a problem w the contractor they are pretty good at resolving stuff. Lowes prob works the same way.
Estimates are free so nothing to lose. Obviously get an estimate from someone else, too, but I found the cost to be in line with other estimates I got.
Huh. My uncle that was in the oil business had a house in Sugar Land. Dark red brick, white trims, it was the most gorgeous “American” style house I’d ever seen back in early 90s (we lived in Mexico).
This one reminds me of the mansion straight out of the June’s Journey game.
I do admire ‘stately’ homes, though I’d never want to live in one. Yes, one could hire staff to do all the cleaning & grounds maintenance – I presume if you have the cash to buy a place like the one featured in today’s blog you’d have funds to hire staff to maintain it – but that means sacrificing privacy. Though it does mean that if you happen to suffer a medical event that incapacitates you your chances of being found in time to get the help you need increase. I prefer not to dwell on how decomposed a body might get despite AC if it were not found for a few days…..
I love fall too!
This is totally off topic but I wanted to ask if you’ve watched the chinese drama The Long Ballad yet? If not, I recommend.
So did you guys have fun storming the castle?
It’s been high to mid 90’s all week unseasonably warm for this time of year. It has been getting colder in the mornings mid to high 60’s. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a child. For me Halloween means wearing a jacket over your costume and, hoping you hit all the houses before it starts raining buckets and, you have to stay home. I’m actually looking forward to some rain.
Hate the house. Seems like something one buys if one has no taste or class. (Obviously, not my style)
I have no taste or class, and I think that house is gawd awful. It screams nouveau riche with a sixth grade education trying to be “grand.”
Wow that blood red dining room!
Fall!!! ❤️ Can’t wait for the next fight scene!
Bill G says
” Thanks to Hidden Legacy, I have looked at way too many luxury houses.”
Love it! Thank you, and best of luck with your narrator quest.
Nancy Weaver says
I wonder if Zillow keeps track of number of individual viewing clicks. Wonder if your link to it has their hearts going Pitter pat.
Jenna B says
How exciting! I have been a Sugar Lander most my life, it’s amazing how much its grown over the years. The recent cooler air here was like I had awoken from a bad dream. “Where am I? Is this real life?”
What an absolute monstrosity of a house. It’s really a communal hotel . . . ugh.
I heard about a house in Louisiana that is now under contract after the agent used the owner’s scary doll collection to market it as haunted! Apparently it was on the market forever and in bad shape so creative marketing helped… I thought of the quirky and other real estate posts here! ????
Also, really glad little Minou Camille is ok.
Leigh Ann Parente says
That house. Damn. I can’t even.
Though, clicking through, it reminded me of Rohan’s mom’s house. Or maybe Duncan’s? Not his little ranch (ha!) but his fancy place.
That’s a gorgeous house, I especially love the wrought iron staircase. Not a fan of all of the wood, though. I get nervous at the idea of living so close to a lake or river in a place that gets so much rain.
Lacey Lawrence says
I live in Corpus Christi and the cooler weather is amazing! Sat outside with the dogs and they were so happy! Fall in Texas is the best
Maybe this is my New England Puritan upbringing speaking but that house? Not for me. Nope!
Wow, so much house. I can see me sliding a lot in that entrance from all the shiny marble floors. Lots of hiding places, though. I think sound would travel easily in that house, too. Can bullets bounce off marble? The pool was cool, though.
Maybe you can get the kids and boyfriends to come be characters to act out the fight to narrow down who can see what. I would do that!
It’s the fighting style that’s the starting point. Because if the would just pull out a knife.or a gun then they don’t have to get close hehahahe. Have I put you off or made your giggle. I’m into Spring here so it’s gardening and rain. Maybe snow and wind.
Mar Ovalles says
Fall is my favorite time of the year. Mornings are cool and crisp and the afternoons are warm and we have daylight still in the early evenings. I dread the winter here in Seattle since its damp and dark. I just had my chimney rebuilt from the roofline up; new roof and gutters – I had a leak by the chimney. I am looking forward to using the fireplace this year; and have my stack of aged and seasoned wood ready!
Well, at least it has a pool.
I recognize the photo from a house not far from me. It is a favorite spot for professional and amateur photographers and there are many stock images floating around. The house at the end of the drive is amazing. 12K plus square foot Northwest Contemporary architecture. Also has an area of low bank along the River where elk come through. Zillow still has some photos up from several years ago. https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8100-428th-Ave-SE-Snoqualmie-WA-98065/48873314_zpid/?mmlb=g,14.
Hilly G says
Yay Sugar Land!!! You are in my neck of the woods :). I thought at first you were looking at a house in Sweetwater but where you are looking is still high dollar. Love some brownstones like homes in that area. Still very McMansion, not in Sweetwater. Very cool!
Angela Knight says
I loves me some fight scenes. You’re right, they are fiddley to write but they make my inner psycho happy.
When i saw the title, i thought dead pet, too … Its the title saying the way she goes.
I means, you just talk about the cat, a she. And next thing i see is ‘she goes’. The pic didn’t help any….
Glad little kitty is back to self. 🙂 Yay, fight scene!! And yay open windows!!! I hail Gordon as one hoodie-wearer to another and raise my hot tea in salute!
PS. If you’re looking for generator people, generac did well for us. A bit of a wait to get it installed, but thorough job.
Question for you Texans pls…what is this property tax? Is it a one-off payment on purchase or an ongoing yearly charge? Pls tell me it’s a one-off, I realise that is an excessive property but even so that property tax is crazy!
Moderator R says
Not a Texan, but hope this helps 🙂 https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/ptax-faqs.php
Thank you. Good gods its yearly! We have a -can’t really call it similar as it’s very different lol- system over here in Australia.
Home owners pay rates (another word for tax lol) to the local governments called city councils and there is no discussion/objection involved. And it’s less than a tenth of that place!
Can anyone pls tell me what would be an average amount of taxes for a 4bed 3bath home in Texas?
Texas is a state. States are divided into counties. Counties can set their own property tax rate. So the same house in 2 different counties can have significantly different property tax rates.
In Manhattan NYC our 2 bed 2 bath 30m2 (900 sq ft) apt we pay10k a year in property taxes. No amenities. No Parking – a garage rental spot runs $500/mth. Most people in the city do not have cars. We cannot retire here.
Susan B says
Texas has no state income tax, so the annual county property tax bill also includes state taxes. The other way the state raises money is a 6% sales tax on most things other than food you have to prepare yourself and drugs.
Just checked the amount and that is a really impressive property tax bill. The largest I’d seen before this one was in the range of $50,000 for a home in Texas, but I don’t know how large it was.
Book worm 66 says
Minou and Tuna pictures make me smile even on my worst days. Thank you for sharing about your animals.
And hey, FALL!
I am very happy to read that Minou Camille is herself again. Cats are pretty good at getting over things like that, but sometimes, they’re not.
Fight scenes puzzle me. I try to imagine how it would work and can’t. If I had to write one, it would end up with nothing but who won. What I love is the little tidbits such as saying that Catalina punched someone in the throat because that doesn’t hurt your fist the way hitting a face does. You bring the fights alive, so I’m sorry you have to work so hard, but appreciative of all the end results.
That house is pretty hideous. Of course, I despise arches, so there’s that. I can’t imagine trying to cope with what seems to be such a big house that people will get lost in it. I”d need an army to take care of it all!
Loving this current Texas weather. I can wear long sleeves and not need a sweater indoors at work bc of the AC. I saw the Zillow house and all I could think of is Beige. It is all mostly Beige. It needs more color.
Good luck on the fight scene. Y’all always have such good ones.
If you are going to build a grand staircase the tread height should be shorter. Grand stairs were built to sweep down in your formal gown with a train. It doesn’t work with modern stair heights!
ok, I’m sorry to admit this, but I really dislike that house. I realize it’s all staged for sale, but there’s not a single room photographed that I would want to live in. It also sits too close to the water and there’s not enough elevation to prevent flooding. Since the lake is undoubtedly man made, I bet mosquitos are a major problem. Just no.
Kat in NJ says
Fall: best time of year in my opinion too! NJ has nothing on Texas for hot weather, but I also do happy dances on the first coolish day after a hot, humid summer…and that day is today(even though admittedly this summer hasn’t been that bad!) Woo Hoo!!!!! ????
Beautiful house but here in my part of England 9million dollars(obviously the £ equivalent) would buy a small Georgian/Victorian or even Tudor Manor House and the accompanying home farm with several cottages(U.K. ones not ‘the Hamptons’) and a 500 acre estate !!
The house is beautiful but I agree, VERY optimistically priced. Just changing all the window treatments, paint, etc. will cost a bundle. Because the colors won’t appeal to everyone.
So.California seems to finally be cooling down. We’re hoping ???? for a wet and snowy winter that will fill our rivers and reservoirs.
There are somethings about “really grand” houses that I don’t understand. Like how many people are using this bathroom? If you are rich and need a bathroom the size of a locker room, what exactly are you doing in there? Maybe a half dozen smaller bathrooms would afford a little more privacy, just sayin’. Oh and for the record, I enjoy your blog almost as much as your books.
Different people, different tastes. I looked through the Zillow listing and I thought the house was ostentatious and tacky.
But I also don’t have $9 million so it might be my poverty talking ????
No. It’s not poverty talking. It is the epitome of ostentatious and tacky. And the furniture. Shudder.
does the property come with a butler, maid, valet and a pool boy?
how could you ever relax there? or is supposed to intimidate ?
My daughter recently got appointed lead animator for the new tv series called the Proud Family-Louder and Prouder at Disney studios Vancouver. She has done many aminated series and movies including teaching the animators drawing Snoopy Goes to Space how to use their new 2d drawing program as well as being a quality control person on My Little Pony the Movie. As she said, they had no control as to the colours used in the movie. That was dictated by the producer and director. So I think she would understand. Pretty much 90% of new covid cases here are unvaccinated people. Even with Canadian health care it costs the goverment $50,000.00 to have a covid patient in ICU compared to $6,000-$8,000 for a heart attack patient. With the 140 people that were in ICU recently that is $7MILLION. I hate to think what the costs are in the USA
Thank you for making the fiddly bits realistic.
Right now we are having the summer coastal fog in the mornings still. Our local weatherman calls August Fogust. Since Cal Poly is in session there will be a heat wave of 100+ in October before the rains hit (if we get any this year). Way to much house for not enough land, and that price would fit right in for California.
Chris G. says
Yikes! Can that house get any busier? So many arches and angles, my eyes hurt. Very few of the rooms actually look comfortable. If you stage a fight scene there, I would think the protagonist could just run away and have a decent chance of loosing the bad guys in all those rooms.
Doris Martindale says
Seriously fuggly furniture….
I just don’t understand what someone does with all that space. How many living rooms/sitting rooms/similar does it have? Three? Four? Why? Who uses all that space often? How many housecleaners do they have? They could host a decent-sized seminar in there. I don’t get it.
Of course, I miss my first house, which was an 820 sf cottage. A tad on the small side — 1000 sf is about right when I have all my stuff.
That house seems built to impress; I hope it has lots of opportunities to impress or it’s doomed to a life of never reaching its potential.
How cool is it that our authorlords use real houses for scenes in the books. It is either a huge dedication to authenticity or the perfect excuse for an addiction to snooping lol. No babe im not on zillow to be nosy i am getting ideas for that novel i will someday write ????????
Writing fight scenes reminds me of a description I read years ago about sex scenes.
An author said she kept a set of Barbie/Ken dolls around and would move them into various positions in order to keep up/down/back/forth/left/right sorted out when she was writing sex scenes!
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post.
I am with Gordon. Fall has arrived in North Carolina. My hay supplier has a newer hay delivery tractor this year so he asked that I increase ground to limb clearance to 15 foot from road to barn. Sigh sigh.
Hmm, I knew Camille survived her attempt at world domination. Wonder if her name should be aka Pinky or Brain. My nephews loved that cartoon.
My feline climbs onto house roof every morning to observe the bird feeder and raise the sun. Okay it’s really an attempt at a crow trophy. Sly feline thinks she has me unknowing. ????
Sorry to hear about generator ghosting. Try your HVAC company for recommendations or they might also do some type of generator.
I need to switch out one of my computer battery backups this year before winter. Too many power surges and outages over last decade. Maybe if I ordered now….
On the ha ha scale, my regular USPS carrier has been on vacation this week. Her replacement is a GPS loving entity. Unfortunately our mailboxes are not sequential along road. Sigh. Fortunately we know our neighbors and just drop off their mail to them. She should be back Monday.
Pre GPS days when my folks lived in Florida they had what a neighbor called the braille proficient postman who also randomized letters. It did give the neighborhood exercise – the post van went down the road and 10 minutes later it was like a human ant hill with everyone sorting and stuffing all the letter boxes!
All of those white walls and floors in that mansion? If you set a fight scene there, it’s going to be extra shocking. Like somebody murdered the Koolaid Man and his whole extended family.
Kimberly au Telemanus says
I’m in The Woodlands, TX and LOVING the cooler weather. I also very hopefully and precipitously put a sweatshirt on in the morning, but now it’s too warm????
Autumn is my favorite time of year too. That is quite a house. Do the words,” Prone to flooding” appear in the real estate listing?
I’ve read the Andrews’ books and blogs for many years, and Ilona has had many changes in her life. However, for a house like that, how much 1) lifetime is she willing to give up to clean; or 2) would she hire people to do it?
I also love the coolerness. I came from up North, and the overnite heat in Texas weirds me out.
If it were an Inn cleaning would be done by magic.
Can’t find anything to say that someone else hasn’t already said above. But same same re living through the rest of the year for a few joyous weeks of spring and autumn, though in the a different part of the world – says something about the motivating power of hope, I guess. It’s nice to know other people share that with me. And re house – yeah, I’m more Tiny House style myself. Cleaning, heating, maintenance etc etc etc. The dog and cat in the previous post were cute and, I thought, unrelated to the content of the post except in the sense of being light relief at a difficult time. I appreciate House Andrews taking time to interact with the BDH at all, in whatever form.
I’m in Seattle – it’s currently 18C and a gorgeous warm fall day. 80F/27C is the extreme heat of the summer. Near 90F there are heat warnings everywhere here. Hilarious how location changes your perspective on what is hot or cold. I grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada and almost panic at how my breath catches in my lungs if I happen to be visiting during a cold snap (<-30C) these days.
Enjoy the Texas fall, guys!!
Dixie McIlwraith says
I hope no one I really like, like Nevada or Rohan, is living in that house. Garish and gaudy, and my idea of the vulgarity of Texas. [I have MAGA, non vaxxer family in Houston, which brings out the nasty in me. I did have family in Austin, liked Austin a lot more than Houston, but they moved to Indiana.}
I appreciate the care you take with the fight scenes. I tend to visualize what’s going on, and it can be tough with some authors. Sex scenes in “romance” books can be worse…
I‘m locking forward to Reading the fight scene in Future. ????
The House is a ostentatious flashy mess. Why mix a Tudor ceiling with French Rococo chairs and Flowery cottage Style Sofas and a mediterrian outside?
History has to be lived not fake created.
And why please why are there Never any doors in the living rooms? Would you like the smell of fried onions everywhere? And There is no place to have a private Conversation that not everyone is privy to ( Kids, cleaning Stuff, because one will need cleaning stuff in this house).
American achitecture puzzles me!
The open plan thing has been all the rage for the past fifty-ish years in the US, though old east coast houses do have smaller, separate kitchens and “parlors” that have or once had doors.
Mostly, open plan works well to create the illusion of more and grander space and is made practical by the prevalence of central heating/AC and relatively cheap energy.
But part of why it works, I think, is that American homes, on average, are somewhat larger and located on more land than the ones found in Europe and the UK. Even with an open plan kitchen/entry/living room plenty of private or semi-private space exists simply by dint of being on the other side of the house- bedrooms and home offices have doors and are often on entirely separate floors from the main living area, while family rooms, garages, outdoor living spaces, and finished basements are also common. Opportunities for privacy are seldom lacking, especially in a house the size of that Zillow monster. The onion thing *can* be an issue if your fume hood isn’t up to snuff ????
Totally agree that it’s a flashy mess. No taste in design or architecture. I kept looking for the servant quarters because no way one person can keep that house clean.
Yay fall. I’m in Scottsdale and it was only 93 today, with a low of 72. Love it when it is finally cooler like that
Susan J says
I am choosing to interpret this as “thanks to Hidden Legacy and our eager fans, we are able to afford an expensive home.” And you guys deserve it!
Our home isn’t that expensive. 🙂 This is all just research.
Lisa M says
FYI, my boss is a commercial real estate broker, and is talking to with a company that sells generators, including whole house types. According to his client, there is a crazy backlog on getting parts and materials. Between the extreme weather and supply chain issues due to covid, and trade problems, delays for generators are running 6-8 months if you are lucky, and more than a year if not. Just depends on what type of unit you are needing. His client said this is a national issue, not just regional. My boss is hoping to buy one by the end of 2022.
So, you might have to be creative and patient with generator companies.
I can’t even come close to imagining the details that are needed for an authentic scene. Thanks for the Zillow link. That house is wonderful. I was mentally oohing and aahing over it when the little voice in the back of my mind said, “Ha. Flood insurance has to be a bundle. And what do you think the chances are of needing it, hmmm?” Sometimes I wish that little voice would just shut up.
Brenda Harry says
I wonder what the flood insurance on that place is?? As for the property, I’d rather have the George Strait mansion that’s up for sale for about half that price over in San Antonio. The views from it are insane!
We are just getting hints of fall up here in the northeast! Yay – also my favorite. Loved the property on the house. I always wondered how you did fight scenes. Good luck with the audio. My brother does that for a living so I can only imagine how hard choosing the right one must be
Susan B says
I remember how welcome the September cool snap was when I lived in Texas. You know it won’t last, but it’s sooo nice to get relief from the heat!
What a gaudy house. Although I did like the first floor bathroom. All five dogs would fit, and maybe I could walk around it without tripping over the dogs. Also a nice big shower bench to wash the dogs on.
I’m debating a move to Sugar Land Texas. The houses prices look pretty good compared to Miami, where pricing, even in the worst possible neighborhoods (I’m talking gunshots every night), seem to want to start at 400,000.
I don’t want the rest of that overpriced mansion but I would kill for that kitchen!
Fall? ???????? I love this. at 20degress we are out sunbathing. 27 is a tropical heat wave. I’m in the north of england. We are a looong way from Texas. I love that Gordon put his hoody on!
Holy Mother of Mosquitos. Surrounded by water? Oh Hell NO! I come from Florida and the land of the “see-able” no see-ums. I would never want to live somewhere surrounded by water, especially non-running water like a lake.
Hello! Quick question for the team, do you or the publishers plan to release any more books to audio? I’ve listened to everything I can get my hands on but I can’t seem to find anything newer in the audio format.
Moderator R says
All House Andrews books have an audio book version, may I ask which ones you are looking for in particular, I would be able to help? The Kate Daniels series has distribution rights issues in certain countries, but that doesn’t quite cover the most recent titles.