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$17.5 million mansion designed by apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright pops up on market
(JP Morales)

You can live in a piece of history and work of art, all without leaving the luscious Hill County. That is, if you're willing to part with $17.5 million.


Located in Spicewood, off the Pedernales River, Retreat at Lick Creek Lodge is a six-bedroom, eight-and-two-half bathrooms architectural marvel designed by John Covert Watson, a native Austinite, UT-graduate and Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, in 1993. A prominent American architect, Wright's expansive career spanned seven decades. He focused on a philosophy called "organic architecture," seeking to create buildings that looked harmonious with nature and did not disrupt the environment.

The home, marketed by Kuper Sotheby's International Realty, clearly shows Wright's influence with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof, mixed materials and an organic architecture design that is styled to blend in against a nearly 30-acre backdrop of Central Texas nature. With 12,002 square feet, the home is more than just what meets the eye.

You'll keep your visitors cozy in their own private guest house with a winding pathway to the main house. The inside invites warmth and tons of natural lighting, thanks to the high ceilings and expansive glass walls that surround almost the entire perimeter.

(JP Morales)


This house makes it so you would never have to leave, featuring a library, home gym, yoga room, movie theater, steam shower, hair salon and its very own elevator. Once you're tired of spending the day cooped up inside, you can head out to one of the home's many balconies.

Follow the carved pathway up to the secluded private pool with limestone details, where you can either lounge on the wrap-around sundeck or gaze at the attached waterfall. If you prefer to swim in nature's pool, this riverfront house is just a short walk away from the shore.

If that still isn't enough, take a walk down memory lane at the Retreat, where musicians like Billy Joe Shaver, The Flatlanders, Kinky Friedman, Pat Green and more have performed for audiences of more than 250 people. How's that for live music?

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A mortgage banker walks us through the math on purchasing a 'mid-price' Austin home
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So you want to buy a house?

To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.

Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.

Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.

So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.

Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.

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Fall camping: Camp Fimfo Waco offers one-of-a-kind experiences in the heart of Texas
Camp Fimfo Waco

Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!

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