I may not be from Austin, but I don’t think I’m the only one who drives around pointing at houses saying “Oh, look at that one!’ and “I wonder who designed that one over there?” and “Wouldn’t it be great to tour that house?” It doesn’t matter what neighborhood I’m in, there’s always a home that catches my attention.
That’s why the Austin Weird Home Tour is so genius. The brainchild of Chelle and David Neff, the tour gives gawkers like me an opportunity to tour some of the most interesting, unique, and amazing homes in Austin and meet their equally impressive owners.
Check out this video of last year’s tour and hear more from Chelle below!
Why did you start the Austin Weird Homes Tour?
I came up with the idea of the Weird Homes Tour while walking through my neighborhood one night. I always try to envision psychologically why people pick certain homes (especially cool different ones), and what they look like on the inside. My curiosity and nosiness is what drove me to start this tour.
What do you consider success in the second year of the tour?
The fact that more homeowners found us and wanted to be a part of the tour, I consider a success. The first year we had to search and search for homes and we were almost scared we wouldn’t have enough. This year, since having built our brand and public trust a little more, we had more people approach us about being on the tour instead of the other way around.
What is they one thing you want Austinites to take away from this tour?
I want people to leave inspired. I want them to know that Austin is still Austin and we can appreciate every side of it, whether it is a downtown condo or an east side “weird home”. This tour should help people embrace every type of person and home in Austin.
What can someone expect if they go on the Weird Homes Tour?
That each house will be COMPLETELY different! You will not walk away and quickly forget or confuse any of our houses. Each home will be a totally different experience.
What’s YOUR favorite home on the tour?
Casa Neverlandia is definitely my favorite. The home is like something out of a Dr. Suess book. You could visit it one hundred times and see something new every single time. The owner, James Talbot is also an amazing artist and the house is really an extension of that.
Is there a dream home you’d like to see added to the tour?
Of course! Graceland! It’s my favorite “weird” home of all time. I know it’s not in Austin, however it’s so amazing I have to mention it. I went last year and immediately wanted to tour it again. If you’re ever in Memphis, you have to go there.
How can someone get involved right now (or take part in the tour)?
What is special about this tour?
What makes our tour special is that you get to be interactive with the homeowners. They will be in each home talking to everyone and answering any questions you may have about their home. What makes you remember a home most often is the story behind it.
Austin is changing a lot right now. What does the Weird Homes Tour mean for our city?
It means a preservation of the sentiment “Keep Austin Weird.” I think a lot of people get caught up on all the growth around Austin and forget to look at all the beauty and artistry that is still here. This city has an underlying heart that makes it special and I truly believe no matter how many people move here, that specialness will always exist. I also believe that’s what attracts so many people to Austin.
The Austin Weird Homes Tour mentions giving back, how do you give back to our community?
Each year we pick a cause to donate to. The first year we picked Caritas, which provides affordable housing for those experiencing poverty and links them to resources to achieve self-sufficiency. And after it went so well last year, we picked them as our cause again for the second tour. We will be donating 10% off all ticket sales to Caritas.
There is always something going on in Austin, what makes the Weird Homes tour unique/special/important?
I think what makes Weird Homes Tour special is that it’s a local event that celebrates everything Austin strives to be. We give the public an experience that is self-guided and family friendly! I know I like to do things on the weekend that are fun and relaxing and this would definitely fall into that category.