The Best places to see a Celebrity in Austin

It happens all the time.  Not usually in public, but most often as I am giving a showing, and driving clients around, people quietly ask me “where are the best places to see a celebrity in Austin”.  Now I’m no celeb chaser, but I have had several brushes with fame over the years.  Once I took a whiz next to Clint Eastwood.  I literally bumped into Venus Williams at a Barnes & Noble, and I’ve seen tennis star Andy Roddick and supermodel Brooklyn Decker in his Lambo cruising down MoPac at 3 in the afternoon. (more…)

If Nick Saban moves to Austin where would he live?

Is Nick Saban Moving to Texas?What kind of house would Nick and Terry Saban Buy if (ahem When) they move to Austin?  The rumor mill is buzzing with all kinds of news about a new head coach at UT.  And if you ask me, it’s about time.   So who is this Nick Saban anyway, and why should I care?

Well, Football is pretty big here in Texas.  OK not pretty big.  It’s HUGE.  I moved here many years ago from northern California.  I grew up watching the Montana-Rice dynasty in the 80’s and followed the long time Stanford-Cal game rivalry.  I thought I knew football.

No way.  Not even close.  I knew nothing.  And it was made evident to me when I was invited to my first Longhorn tailgate party when I first arrived to town.  I asked what I could bring, and when I should show up on Saturday, and they answered – don’t worry – we have a professional caterer coming from Thursday morning until game time, so just stop by when you can.  They were BBQing for 3 days straight in a parking lot near the stadium.  That’s hardcore.

He is the highest paid College football coach, earning 5.4 Million per year.  And he deserves it.  Especially after leading Alabama to 3 titles in just a few short years.  Sort of like the kind of thing the Longhorns are in need of right now.  There are a few reasons he might leave ‘bama for Texas.  One is that in the last few seasons The Crimson Tide has had a hard time filling all the seats in their stadium.   Granted, it’s tough to fill 101,821 seats at Bryant-Denny, but DKR in Austin has only 1702 fewer seats (100,119), and is sold out even with the horrible record under Mac Brown every weekend.  Also because of recruiting, UT seems to have a leg up on Alabama.  Plus, we are Austin.  Need I say more.

So now that it is a given that he is going to move to Texas and Coach UT football (at least in my mind), what kind of house is he going to buy?

Nick & Terry Saban from The tuscaloosanewsLet’s start, as I always do with their lifestyle.

  • They have 2 older kids
  • He loves Golf
  • He is a devout Roman Catholic
  • And he loves music

And since he is a college football coach, he doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot of time for anything else.  But they do need a large house to host all the guests, VIPS, players, and friends who come in and out of their home on a weekly basis.

This is Austin, and people who move to Austin don’t need much more, because we bring live music, lake parties, ACL, SXSW, F1, amazing food, and a whole bunch of other great things to the table when it comes to creating a lifestyle.

As for his style in homes, we all know that is usually left up to the wife, and in his case, Terry is a licensed agent in Alabama.

What? Terry Saban is a Realtor? What brokerage would she join when she moves to Austin?  I digress.

A quick search of agents and brokers with current active licenses does not currently show Terry Saban, and she has gone on the record as they “are not going anywhere” (As reported in the Wall Street Journal).  At one point before October she stated they were interested in purchasing a vacation home in Austin, and at other times Austin’s most successful residential broker has joked on Facebook that her husband has shown up at some of his open houses.

Nick Saban Vacation houseBack to the topic at hand- what kind of house would they buy.  Perhaps it would be something on the lake similar to his recently auctioned off 6 bedroom, 9 bathroom vacation house.  He had this home as well as another on Lake Burton, but this one sold at Auction early last summer for an undisclosed price.  Asking was $10.95 Million.

Anyway here are possible Austin houses for The Sabans:

Here’s a nice 8-bedroom 9-bathroom 9700 square foot place on the water listed for $12.5M.  (but I have it on good information that they will seriously evaluate offers in the low 10’s).  Offered by Cord Shiflet of Moreland Properties. 215 Bella Riva



If that’s too rich for his blood (even with an estimated $10M yearly contract with UT), perhaps this 7-bedroom, 9-bath French Chateau inspired lakehouse listed at $4,900 less than $10 million is more up their alley.  Offered by Margaret Parma of Capital City Sotheby’s


My personal favorite is the most affordable option is this Italian style villa offered by Amy Mills of Realty Austin.  With 6 bedrooms and 13 baths it has a great price of only $9,500,000.

12821 Hughes Park RD

Which one of these is your favorite?

Celebrity Airstream trailers

Austin is known for Airstream trailers.  They are all over town.  Entrepenours use them to sell cupckaes,  Photographers use them as Photobooths, but when you see this particular one, you know a movie star is nearby.

Welcome to Matthew McConaughey’s 2004 Airstream International CCD 28. She’s a 28-foot-long beauty nicknamed Canoe, and has a snug little bedroom, a living area with table that can be used for eating or writing, a small bathroom, a living area, and of course the little kitchenette.  It’s been highly customized, too.  With custom book racks for his scripts and journals, ceiling netting for all the odds and ends one needs when traveling, a BBQ on the back, and even a satellite dish on the roof.

Usually it’s parked somewhere in Malibu, but recently Canoe has been seen in front of a particular house in Austin.  More on that later, though.  For now, let’s take a look at the photos.

Matthew McConaughey's First Airstream Trailer
Matthew McConaughey’s First Airstream Trailer

Here it is.  The Celebrity Airstream Trailer.

Burlap curtains curtains keep prying eyes from looking inside the metal tool box
Burlap curtains curtains keep prying eyes from looking inside the metal tool box

In this photo, you can see an authentic Squamish Nation Oar, given to the actor on a road trip to Vancouver which inspired him to name the stainless steel trailer the Canoe.  “The oar guides the canoe, guides you through life—so I named the Airstream the Canoe. I mean, the highways are like riverways, they’re just concrete.”

Check out his customized dining room table
Check out his customized dining room table

I don’t know if you have ever been in a real Airstream Trailer.  They are roomy, but not really that big.  And as we all know, McConaughey is 6″ tall, and sitting at a regular sized camper table is a bit uncomfortable.  Especially when you want to hold a meeting there, or have a meal with more than 2 people.  So he customized it, and made it fit his lifestyle a little better.

Matt updated the kitchenette, but not by much
Matt updated the kitchenette, but not by much

The kitchen is just the right size.  A little 3 burner gas stove, a small sink, and some storage.  There is a BBQ on the back which does most of the work of feeding people, but sometimes you need to open a bottle of wine, or fire up a battery powered blender to make some some margaritas to sip on the beach.

Who wouldn't want to sleep by the beach in Malibu?
Who wouldn’t want to sleep by the beach in Malibu?

Thanks to Jim McHugh for the great photos.  And a Hat tip to A.D. for the inspiration.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about his lakefront Austin home.