Tucked near Shoal Creek in Austin's cozy Allandale neighborhood, Jay and Jayne Crawford's Chicken Coop Tiny Cottage is more than just a sleepy vacation rental, it's the number one Airbnb in Texas.
According to Airbnb's "number one most hospitable Host" list that came out this month, the Crawfords run the most welcoming stay the Lone Star State has to offer. It was a surprise to the Crawfords, who have been running the Airbnb since October 2014.
"I knew we've been doing well but I just never would have dreamed," Jayne said. "I didn't ever imagine we would be number one, so that was a great surprise."
Jayne and Jay Crawford have been renting on Airbnb for the last six years. (Jayne Crawford)
Though there are no chickens to be seen, the rental sits in the couple's backyard. Before they had ever imagined entering the hospitality business Jay, who owned an insurance business, used it as an office before retiring. Jayne, a retired elementary school teacher, came up with the idea to rethink the space while on a beach trip with some friends.
With a love of travel herself, Jayne said she and her husband transformed the space into a rental she would be happy to stay in when far away from home. Growing up in a family of neat freaks, Jayne prides herself on her tidy nature.
"My husband will tell you that I'm very particular, especially out there, because when I travel I don't like surprises," Jayne said. "That's the way I grew up, you clean things and leave it nicer than you found it."
In order to be named "most hospitable" in Texas, the couple had to meet certain criteria: achieve 100 five-star ratings in cleanliness, check-in and communication; gain at least 100 reviews and gain the greatest number of reviews in Texas.
The chicken-themed stay has more than 360 reviews, which is among the most in the nation and maintains a perfect five-star review in five of the six categories, the remaining rating four-point-nine.
The house is only 160-square feet but the garden gives you plenty of room to roost. (Airbnb)
So what makes this Airbnb so cozy?
Jayne says it's the little things like spare toothbrushes, contact solution, chocolates on pillows, snacks on deck and that famous Southern hospitality that keeps people coming back. Before COVID, Jayne said she used to leave homemade brownies for guests.
"I've kind of found over the years that the more you offer people, the more grateful and the better they treat your place," Jayne said. "We pretty much try and think of anything that you would ever forget or I have forgotten on a trip."
The small, farmhouse-style property will let you live the Austin lifestyle with the neighborhood walkability and proximity to downtown for around $70 per night. Jayne said they have renters come and stay year after year like clockwork, so if you want to stay it would be best to book a few months in advance.
The couple asks everyone who stays to sign their mural before leaving. (Airbnb)
The garden is the pride and joy of Jayne Crawford. (Airbnb)
In addition to the money they get from listing their extended home, which covers the "ridiculous" Austin taxes, Jayne greets every group that stays and said the people who stay with her are a delight.
"I try and pop out and meet everybody when they first come just so that they know who's here and if they need anything, we're always available," Jayne said. "The people that rent from us, they're phenomenal, they're just wonderful."
Make sure when you stay to admire the garden personally attended by Jayne herself and sign the chicken mural so you can permanently commemorate your stay in the capital city.
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A new look could be coming to a stretch of West Sixth Street as plans for a vertical mixed-use development move forward.
Current plans for the development aim to bring retail, office space and a hotel between 1110 and 1204 West Sixth St. Known as Clarksville, the redevelopment includes a courtyard and plaza with multiple five-story buildings surrounding the area.
This comes as the area sees increased activity—a recent report by the Downtown Austin Alliance noted total monthly visits on West Sixth St. in late 2021 surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
Earlier this week, the Austin Historic Landmark Commission heard an initial overview of the plans, as the project could possibly be in the Castle Hill and West Line historic districts.
The plan would also involve some demolition and reconstruction, though a number of current tenants could remain through that process, such as Woo Woo Burger, Swedish Hill and Wally Workman Gallery.
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Panoramic skyline views, natural light galore and a life of luxury—all things you can experience if you live in one of Austin’s famous downtown high rises.
Take a look inside these three condos that are on the market now.
This spacious one-bedroom, one-bathroom Four Seasons home comes complete with a rare oversized balcony–a could-be “second living room” that stretches to the bedroom–and views of the Austin skyline. Built in 2010, the condo has modern features throughout its 1,060-square-foot floor plan and offers special perks for being a top-floor resident: concierge, valet parking, the rooftop pool, roof service and housekeeping.
This listing is held by Alan Holt of Compass.
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo at The Independent faces south, securing panoramic views of Lady Bird Lake and downtown from its floor-to-ceiling windows that let in tons of natural light. The 1,262-square-foot floor plan feels especially spacious due to the open concept floor plan and 10-foot ceilings. Forget the modern finishes, ample amenities, guest suites and location—you can wake up to views of the capital city every morning if you can afford to live here.
This listing is held by Natalie Kalthoff and Krystle Copulos of Compass.
Located at 70 Rainey, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo has an ample 1,697 square feet of space that you can make the most of with an open floor plan. Built in 2018, it has features like the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, hardwood European oak flooring, marble bathrooms, custom finishes, motorized window shades and Miele appliances give this home its luxurious feel. This condo’s price has dropped by a little more than $500,000, so now is the chance to live the luxurious lifestyle for a good deal.This listing is held by Leslie L. Thompson of Compass.
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