An $840K Merlin Place Property Reclaims and Recreates the Worlds of Houses Gone By



There are vintage, historical, and perhaps sentimental aspects of this place in Merlin Place, just north of Spring Valley: The listing notes the home was “modeled after” the owner’s previous property in Piney Point. And bits of old Houston, older Galveston, and really old New Orleans worked themselves into the 1995 custom home, which still has some unfinished rooms. Thursday’s listing of the Mansard-roofed property, located between Voss and Bingle roads and south of Westview Dr., has an $840,000 asking price.



A set of wooden storm doors from a 1840s home in New Orleans fronts the 2,427-sq.-ft. house. The rustic floorboards found throughout most of the rooms and on the staircase earned their wear patterns before they were reclaimed from a razed 1858 home in Galveston. In the dining room (below), the display cabinet originally was built for Miss Ima Hogg and used in the Governor Hogg Room at the old Houston Country Club, the listing says.



When 2 other sets of antique storm doors are left open, the view from the family room takes in the back yard, located on the north side of the 9,216-sq.-ft. lot. Antique “Chicago fire brick” surrounds the wood-burning fireplace:


Overhead beams in the tandem family room and kitchen also came from the Galveston property.


The white pine kitchen cabinets might look old, but they’re more recent custom reproductions based on the raised panels of an 18th Century American cabinet in the adjacent family room. Meanwhile, the butcherblock counter is another refugee from the old Houston Country Club:


The 4th and final storm door (they all open to a covered back porch) shows up in the first floor’s master suite:




The secondary bedrooms are upstairs. Only one is finished, however, and it gets a window seat and walk-in closet:



Down the hall, this other space is open to interpretation (and finishing), hence the listing’s bedroom count of 2 to 4:



The back porch’s walkway depth just squeezes in a swing . . .


looking across most of the storm doors and yard:



The mighty live oak out front looks mighty old, too.


Saving Graces

13 Comment

  • Uh, don’t besmirch the beautiful old homes of Galveston and New Orleans by comparing them to this shitty house. It’s a hodgepodge of fucked up. Don’t bother finishing it, just bulldoze it. They have a nerve asking this much for a house that looks like it should be in some “upscale” development in Deliverance, Georgia on the Chatahochie.

  • Oh and save the parts that came from old houses in Galveston and New Orleans and scrap the rest. That God, these old floorboards can’t see where they ended up, otherwise they’d self combust.

  • OMG Look at that huge live oak tree in the front yard!
    Cut it the hell down!

  • Now, that is a tree worth hugging!

  • I can’t find a single thing appealing about this house. Where in the world did they get a price like that? Is this neighborhood that popular? I guess so.

  • For a 19 year old home, on a nice lot in Spring Valley, it looks like a pretty good deal. From looking at some of the details in the unfinished rooms, it looks like the house was well constructed.

  • I think I kind of like it. If you ignore the 70s looking ‘early american’ furniture choices it’s really a good combination of restraint and interesting texture. The parts that most people upgrade have the appearance of things that were chosen as frankly replaceable, while some of the other choices will make a nice background for better decorating skills.

  • All the little bonus features are neat, and the interior has a cozy feel. Sure it could benefit from a little better decorating, but the bones are there to make the interior charming.

    HOWEVER…that mansard roof line and the exterior in general are muff-ugly and there is. It much that can be done about it without total reconstruction, at which point the cost makes total demo and replacement new construction the only option.

    Seems odd to spend all that money and effort on vintage flooring, stairs and built ins, while not dressing up the steel poles holding up the back porch, or higher-end landscaping, a pool or a nice deck and patio.

  • What a bizarre place. Reminds of a project that my father, a custom homebuilder, once took on. In the early 2000s, his customer (who was paying cash) requested a home whose style mimicked “what she grew up in” – the late-1960s ranch that her parents still lived in just around the corner. So he built an expensive, 3000+ sq ft custom home with popcorn ceilings, bright brass fixtures, and custom-built shiny brown cabinets that looked right out of 60s or 70s.

    I’d guess that this place was similarly built by a customer who was paying cash and didn’t give a flip about resale.

  • Not mid-century mod, nor 100 y.o. bungalow. Ergo by definition a piece of crap.

  • Never finished the second floor??
    Looks like it was built in 1955 with antique finishes.
    I say TEAR DOWN

  • This is actually a not a bad price for that lot size and the amount of already finished sqft. Believe it or not there is life outside the loop. Yes this neighborhood is very popular, Spring Valley has shown property value growth with new construction and renovation investment for quite some time. Spring Branch is the best school district in Houston, this home is zoned to favorable schools within the district: Valley Oaks, Spring Branch Middle, and Memorial High School.

  • “JE_Real_Estate …Believe it or not there is life outside the loop.”

    BZZT! Disagree :)