A Little Piece of Fannie’s in the Heights, on the Block

“I’m sure there are a 100 foreclosure auctions a day in town,” says a neighbor of this expanded and tarted-up house on 8th 1/2 St., “but this is the only outwardly visible one i’ve seen in the Heights.” Main clue for our tipster that the usual sales process wasn’t working: the Auction.com signs now posted “on every possible surface.” The 3-4 bedroom home is still listed on MLS for $359,000, but bidding will start at $139,000 in Wednesday’s live event at the Intercontinental Hotel near the Galleria. The home — vacant for about a year but painted twice during that time, we’re told — fell into the hands of Fannie Mae in July, and was listed for $369,000 at the beginning of August. Next door: 2 vacant lots that face Studewood, listed for sale the old-fashioned way.

8 Comment

  • My wife looked at this house June or so of last year when we were house hunting and it was listed for 300K or so. She was pretty horrified to see that it had been remodeled to resemble some suburban home you’d find in Katy.
    Also worth noting is that 2 or 3 people had already submitted bids on the house and that if we wanted to do so, we would be at the whim of the bank as to when we’d actually get a response to our offer (i.e. could have been months). Needless to say, we passed.

  • I was one of the ones who had submitted a bid on this house back when it was posted for $300,000 as a short sale. As far as I know the owner never could get the bank to respond regarding the offers and I let mine lapse. I believe they could have gotten a better offer then than on the auction now, but I’m curious what it’ll go for.

  • Flippers! You are on notice!

  • If what you say about the bids being ignored is true than nobody should bother to bid on this because the bank has already decided to buy it from itself. It’s one of those little banker tricks that you aren’t supposed to talk about. See, the property has to legally go to auction, but the bank doesn’t have to play fair in that auction. It will be “auctioned” and the bank will buy it at the lowest amount possible, for this house probably around $150K. They will write off the difference (amount owed – sale price), and also go after the loan guarantor for that difference. Then they will sell the house and the profit is clear profit for the bank. It’s actually worth 2X as much (profit + writeoff), or more if they can get money from the guarantor. That’s one reason it is very difficult to get a decent property at a forclosure auction – you are bidding against the bank.

  • But the banks are broke … so it should be easy to win the auction, right? :-/

  • What none of y’all have noted is how fugly this joint is. In person, it looks like it might be a retirement home for Munchkins, or maybe a set for an Ed Woods movie. (Plan 8 1/2 From Outer Space.)
    But this street, only 2 block long, is my nominee for the nuttiest one in The Heights; an aesthetic disaster and thus quintessentially Houston.

  • It’s difficult to tell in the HAR photos, but is there anything of the original structure left under all the remuddle?

    Is the garage on an alley in the back?

    It’s a shame that the owner couldn’t stay in it. They may be the only ones who truly like the way it looks.

  • Based on my wife’s observations when she toured this house last year, I’m guessing this the remodel was for a cheap flip. All the cabinets, doors, etc are the cheapest you can pick up at Home Depot. I don’t think the owner who did this cared in the slightest how it actually looked.
    And there is no alley behind this place. You can see it if you drive down Studemont — the fence doesn’t go all the way back to what i could call the “natural” property line. The land for sale facing Studemont actually includes some of the property behind this house. Very strange.