It’s House Hunters: Vegas Nation Edition.
Rookie Raiders safety Johnathan Abram, his wife Bri’Anna and their 2-year-old daughter, Harlee, are looking for a new home in the Las Vegas Valley. In early November, the Vegas Nation crew tagged along with the Abrams as they searched for a place to raise a family.
It’s Nov. 5, a Tuesday, and this is the Abrams’ second trip to the desert to scope out a home. They like the cost of living compared to Oakland, the lack of a state income tax and the open space of the valley. Better food options, too, they say.
They’ve visited nine houses so far in the valley, and the three on this tour are worth between $1.325 and $1.75 million. Bri’Anna and Harlee saw a few houses earlier this morning sans Johnathan.
They were all in town yesterday but Johnathan flew back to Oakland about 7 a.m. for team meetings at the behest of his bosses. With the Chargers visiting Oakland on a short week, the Raiders didn’t have Tuesday off.
“I called (general manager) Mike (Mayock) to try to get out of ‘em, but he wouldn’t let me,” said Johnathan, recalling from the backyard of one of the houses they’re considering. “He was like, ‘No, I look forward to seeing you in the morning at 8:30. So I had to go find the quickest, cheapest Spirit flight I could. Got there at 7:10, finished up my meetings, did a little rehab and I came right back.”
First and foremost, Johnathan and Bri’Anna want a place with good schools and space to raise Harlee. Beyond that, they’ve both got their own ideas of what makes a good home.
Today they’re looking in Southern Highlands, the same neighborhood where teammate Derek Carr and coach Jon Gruden are building homes. It’s a 15-minute drive to the under-construction Henderson practice facility and Allegiant Stadium where Johnathan will eventually work. They found a “perfect home” in Summerlin, though they’re concerned with the commute compared to Southern Highlands, Bri’Anna says. Johnathan is a roll-out-of-bed-and-go kind of guy.
“We wanted a happy medium,” Bri’Anna says.
While Carr and Gruden will be next-door neighbors in yet-to-be-built homes, the rookie safety is looking for an established house he doesn’t have to leave. He wants a place where he can stay home, cook and avoid the spotlight (as well as a place to store his four cars).
Bri’Anna wants a nice kitchen and living area, a large master bedroom closet and open space.
House No. 1 offers a good layout, Bri’Anna says, though it would need some paint and redesigning.
They’d probably have to “rock, paper, scissors” over who gets the bigger of the two master bedroom closets if they chose this place, Bri’Anna jokes. Johnathan wants the big one to store his 400 pairs of shoes.
He likes the back balcony but isn’t too impressed with the size of the yard. Not enough room for his bulldog to run around. He says he wants to get guard dogs, too: “Big dogs.”
Just around the block is house No. 2, which has a more contemporary feel with built-in, automated functions and updated decor.
Carrying Harlee against his chest, Johnathan has her reach out to a horse head sculpture hanging from the dining room wall. Harlee can’t stop giggling.
“What kinda noise the horse make? Say ‘Neighhh,’” he neighs.
She’s still giggling.
“What kinda noise the cow make? Say ‘Moo.’”
“Moooo,” Harlee moos.
Bri’Anna isn’t crazy about the layout. Johnathan likes the porch attached to the master bedroom. He stands in an archway on the porch overlooking the neighborhood, envisioning himself stepping out of the shower and walking right outside to air out. He’s not sure about the views, though. A large office building dominates the skyline.
Onto the next one.
Johnathan gushes over the courtyard in the middle of the property and the layout of house No. 3, dreaming of transforming it to a haunted house for Halloween.
“He’s obsessed with this house,” Bri’Anna says. He fell in love with it on their first visit, and she doesn’t think he is seriously considering another one.
He talks of replacing the carpet, putting in “a bunch of TVs,” adjusting the pool size, installing a playground for Harlee and turning a casita into a fitness room.
Bri’Anna wouldn’t mind moving into a house that needs cosmetic work, one where they could move in and quickly get settled. She fears this house would require structural work.
Johnathan sees it as trying to make a house a home.
“We don’t need an interior designer. I got this” he quips.
What this house does have is lots of room, something all three of the Abrams appreciate.
“She needs space to run around,” Johnathan says as little Harlee runs and stumbles onto the living room carpet only to get back to her feet, run to the kitchen and hide in the island cabinet.
The couple previously told Vegas Nation they considered buying a plot of land so Johnathan could raises horses and buy Harlee a pony. None of these three likely have the space to accommodate any equines.
Where would you fit a horse in one of these houses, Johnathan?
“I got the horses in the back,” he replies.
The Abrams have a big decision to make. Regardless of which house it’ll be, they’re ready to make Las Vegas their home.
“I think I’m gonna enjoy living here,” Bri’Anna says.