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The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home
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The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Founding editor in chief of Dwell magazine and noted critic Jacobs chronicles her coast-to-coast search for a well-built, intelligently designed, reasonably priced, decent-size house with at least a little curb appeal. No matter where her search ends, she'll at long last be home.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by Viking Adult
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Howard Mansfield
Apr 02, 2012 Howard Mansfield rated it really liked it
The author, a former editor of Dwell magazine, hits the road in search of an honest, affordable Modern house. Call it Blueprint Highways. The architects she visits in Seattle, Denver, Austin and Alabama are doing brave, fascinating things. She’s honest enough to express her doubts or air her reservations, and let us know when she’s rooting for the architects.

The strength of Jacob’s $100,000 House is her incisive understanding of Modernism and, surprisingly, tract houses. She says that the few Mo
Aug 20, 2007 Kyla rated it really liked it
Title says it all: woman searches for my own Holy Grail - not only a livable, smart, inexpensive house but ALSO a Place. Home. Why can't the two overlap? Which is the unfortunate conclusion she comes to - driving all over the country but ending up back in Brooklyn, buying a studio apartment. I'm not as dead keen modernist as the author but I get what she's looking for. The only weakness of the book is it could/should have been more extensively illustrated - often she would talk about elements ...more
Mar 27, 2010 Caroline rated it liked it
I thought this book was going to magically tell me a house I'd like to live in, and where I'd like to live. Ha. You must find these things out for yourself, ignorant one. Overall, a decent read. I liked the road trip aspect - although she only really included her stops at fast food joints. You must know your architecture jargon, or have the internet standing by to look up styles and terms. The various architects she met were interesting, and she does include a list of websites to reference. My ...more
Jun 24, 2008 Jeannette rated it liked it
This book was a bit more sterile than I had hoped. I am someone who is also looking for the perfect $100,000 house (obviously not in Vancouver), and I'm certainly a lot more emotional about my search than this author, who is on a quest for a modernist dwelling. And maybe that is it...the cold, concrete and straight lines of someone who wants to live in a modernist home is also reflective of the someone's writing style. But regardless, I still was curious enough after I finished the book to ...more
Feb 18, 2008 Barryhobbs rated it liked it
It's just a rather whiny, self-important story of one of the founders of Dwell magazine realizing that there is nobody that's interested in helping one person make a reasonable house for a reasonable price, because as soon as they do, they're swamped and can charge a lot of money, or there's just no money in it in the first place. She likes KRDB in Austin, who I find to be pedantic, boring, and expensive. Basically, I dislike her style of writing, and just found myself wishing she would shut up.
Oct 13, 2008 Samantha rated it liked it
A women goes off in search of the perfect $100,000 house, convinced that a great house doesn't have to cost a fortune and that it's ridiculous for people to be paying $300,000. I liked her premise but she seemed to be too focused on finding a piece of art or something 'amazing'. I was hoping she'd focus on the thousand of 'normal' homes out there that are amazing in their own rights.
Oct 02, 2008 Dawn rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading about the author's adventure across the country looking for a perfect, modern home for under $100,000. After I finished the book I checked online and sadly I think she has moved back to Brooklyn and hasn't actually built her dream home. Yet.
Jun 13, 2009 Junio rated it liked it
I got Katie this for Christmas and it was on the bargain shelf, so I got 2. The first person to ask for it in the comments will be sent the second copy.
Viki Sonntag
Dec 05, 2012 Viki Sonntag rated it liked it
She doesn't share my sensibilities but I learned lots about how architects think. As I am in the middle of designing a house it had something to offer me.
Nov 08, 2007 Laurie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting look at the price of homeownership in the US, even with her whiny complaining about her former workplace, Dwell Magazine.
Manintheboat rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2010
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Jun 11, 2016
Jan LeSuer
Jan LeSuer rated it it was ok
Jan 21, 2008
Dec 17, 2009 Alissa marked it as to-read
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Mar 24, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing
As someone seriously thinking about building my own home, this book was very helpful.
James Donohoe
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Kate Carr rated it really liked it
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Dec 17, 2009 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice combo of road-trip, architecture, and sociology...

Bill Erickson
Bill Erickson rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2015
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Karrie Jacobs is contributing editor at Metropolis magazine where she writes a monthly column, "America," about how ideas and strategies in architecture and design play out on the landscape, and is a regular contributor to Travel + Leisure, where she writes about destinations of interest to the architectural tourist. She is author of The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in ...more
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