Uncommon Objects, the shop Wiman owns, is equally beautiful and bizarre. Its prime location on South Congress Street, a hip shopping district that has boomed in recent years, made it a popular tourist destination. Unfortunately, people mostly came to look, not buy. And as the street became more popular, Wiman was forced to find a new location for the shop. It has since reopened in a less touristy part of town.
In this way, Austin’s “weirdness” is a double-edged sword. The music, art, and homes that make the city so wonderful to visit and live in also make it hard for the very people who make it weird to afford to live there. Recognizing this, the Neffs sought to capture the homes on the tour and preserve them in their book. (They also donate a portion of the proceeds from the tour to an affordable housing non-profit called Foundation Communities.)
Three of the 20 homes featured in the book have already changed hands, including Hayes and DeYoung’s. The couple moved to the countryside, about 40 minutes outside of Austin, last year, to buy a piece of property where they recreated their weird home, safe from being priced out of town. Now, all they have to do is convince the Neffs to extend their tour outside of Austin to include them again.