Awesome Abodes

Take a virtual tour of 8 funky homes that keep Austin weird

Take a virtual tour of 8 funky homes that keep Austin weird

Sand Dollar House
The Sand Dollar House sits on Lake Travis. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
Mysterious Planchette House
The Home of the Mysterious Planchette is a returning favorite. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
Indras Awarehouse
Indras Awarehouse reinvents warehouse living. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
Tiny Treehouse Oasis
The Tiny Treehouse Oasis lives up to its name. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
Pop Culture House
The Pop Culture House is a Barbie collector's dream. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
The Aqua House
The Aqua House has an indoor heart-shaped pool. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
The Bartlett Bank
Matthew McConaughey "blew up" The Bartlett Bank House in The Newton Boys. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
Giraffe House
The Giraffe House is filled with versions of its namesake. Photo by Thanin Viriyaki Photography
Sand Dollar House
Mysterious Planchette House
Indras Awarehouse
Tiny Treehouse Oasis
Pop Culture House
The Aqua House
The Bartlett Bank
Giraffe House

Ready to get nosy and look inside some of Austin's most interesting homes — right from your couch? The seventh annual Austin Weird Homes Tour is back on September 5 from 10 am-6 pm, this time as a virtual event.

Eight whimsical, eclectic, peculiar, and one-of-a-kind homes have been chosen, each paired with a host who guides viewers through the dwelling at a scheduled time. You can also participate virtually, asking questions while viewing via the chat channel. 

Some of the homes on this year's tour include:

  • A Tiny Treehouse Oasis
  • An Aqua House with a heart-shaped pool
  • The Bartlett Bank House, a 1904 bank that was "blown up" by beloved Austin actor Matthew McConaughey in the Richard Linklater film The Newton Boys
  • The Sand Dollar House, a mushroom/sand dollar-shaped house on Lake Travis
  • The Home of the Mysterious Planchette, a returning tour favorite that's filled with an expansive collection of automatic writing planchettes, Ouija boards, séance relics, and a host of other occult antiquities and ghostly encounters

You can see a preview of all eight homes on the Weird Homes Tour site.

"So much of real estate can be boring, with homes being valued based on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms," says co-founder David J. Neff. "We value our homes based on art, light, inspiration, creativity, and the people who live in them!"

Neff and his wife, Chelle, founded the Weird Homes Tour in 2014 with a vision to showcase the places that make Austin fun, irreverent, and strange, many of which are the dwellings of local artists, performers, and creatives.

To meet the challenges of 2020, the husband-and-wife entrepreneur duo have begun offering virtual home tours on YouTube and with Atlas Obscura, in addition to virtual versions of their popular citywide tours. In addition to a Portland Weird Homes Tour on September 26, San Antonio will be added to the tour roster in the coming months.

The Austin tour once again gives back to the community by donating 10 percent of all ticket sales to LifeWorks, which provides housing, counseling, and workforce/education opportunities to 4,000 youth and families in the Austin area each year. By giving back again this year to LifeWorks, the Neffs hope to shine a light on a cause that is important to them both: the lack of affordable housing in Austin.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.weirdhomestour.com. Tickets are $25 per device or $45 for VIP, which includes the ticket plus a copy of the bestselling coffee-table book Weird Homes: The People and Places That Keep Austin Strangely Wonderful.