The Good Bones House
“Number one, we wanted to be able to walk to places we loved,” says Elyse LaGarenne of her and husband Chris Strautman’s house hunt.
Number two? No fixer-upper. They liked a Bates-Hendricks house from the HGTV show Good Bones, but it wasn’t quite right. Then Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk—aka Two Chicks and a Hammer, the show’s hosts—approached the couple about appearing in the second season.
“When I asked what it would mean,” Elyse says, “they told me I’d be on the show and get some free upgrades. OK!”
Developers Two Chicks and a Hammer
Parking Detached two-car garages are typical
Walk Score 67 (for Fountain Square at large)
Price $300,000 and up
They bike to their downtown jobs. They walk to favorite spots. They pick up trash along the way. “That’s a negative,” Elyse says. “There’s a ton of trash around here.” Others? Indiana’s largest drug bust happened two doors down. Unflappable, Elyse says that she has never felt unsafe there, and the dizzying pace of development makes it feel like a reasonable facsimile of her former Chicago lifestyle. Signs of quick change are all around—a sagging bungalow next to a crisp contemporary, lines of streetside saplings that Chris arranged with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. The rate of the transformation makes the neighborhood difficult to pin down. “I wouldn’t say we’re having barbecues,” Chris says, “but we’re close to the neighbors on either side. We share a lawn mower.”
What’s the noise level? Generally tolerable, except for mopeds and one neighbor who mows his lawn at night. Do you get recognized from the show? Yes, and looky-loos come by to take pictures.