09/29/14 4:15pm



Over in the Brighton Place neighborhood in Spring Valley, a 1979 contemporary quietly observed its shift into middle age this year. The property has kept its bones but also updated some of the padding. It’s been listed since mid-September for $729,900.


Wraparound Pool
09/04/14 2:45pm



Like an arrowhead, the groomed lot sprouting a custom 2007 Mediterranean comes to a point — though the tip, where Merlin and Ben Hur (drives) part ways south of Westview and west of Voss Rd., is separated from the base by a circular driveway linking the 2 streets within the Cedarwood section of Spring Valley. Listed a week ago, the property has a $1.649 million asking price. Does the lots-o’-lawn on the grand approach come with a back-lot equivalent? Judge for yourself:


Casa and Casita
06/05/12 12:40pm

You might well expect a home on street named “Leafy Lane” to sport a woodsy setting. While this new Spring Oaks listing is on a 16,788-sq.-ft. lot more groomed than sylvan, it does back up to a ravine formed by a ribbon of Spring Branch Creek. The 3-2 window pattern beneath the low-slung gable in front is a tip-off that the front room is not one room at all. Rather, the street-facing space contains a family room and a bedroom. Both sides of that great divide at the roof ridge, however, have vaulted ceilings. Elsewhere inside, other unexpected treatments include a dual personality fireplace that features an ornately carved mantle tacked onto a plainer midcentury brick wall; a common room currently re-purposed as a dining room; and in the kitchen, wall paneling that matches the knob-free cabinets.


07/10/09 8:51am

BABY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SCHOOLS “Inspired by the birth of our first baby” and the idea that there might be some deals out there, a reader writes in to ask for help with a home search: “We started off looking to be zoned Spring Branch – Memorial HS or HISD – Bellaire high school and are looking for a single family home (no townhome or patio homes). Generally speaking range house price expectations $400 – $600k, so we are expecting to end up in a lower to maybe lower mid range value of homes in the applicable neighborhoods. Recently discovered area code 77055 (had been focused on 77024 for Memorial). We are wondering what people’s opinions of Hillshire Village / Spring Valley / Hedwig in terms of long term appreciation / ability to resale / quality of neighborhood? Seems from an outsiders perspective Memorial and Bellaire area have generally hung in there, not sure of the perception of 77055 among Houstonians. Of course, high school for a little one is a long ways off – where would people target in this price range to squeeze into the best neighborhood (qualitatively based on long term appreciation and quality of neighborhood for a family) in the current market?” [Swamplot inbox]

01/22/09 9:12pm

Here’s where you thought the home pictured in this week’s Neighborhood Guessing Game might be: 4 of you guessed the western portion of Bellaire, and 3 of you guessed Meyerland. There were also votes for Tanglewood, the Museum District, West University, Southside Place, Clear Lake, Willowbend, South Post Oak, Braeswood, Old Braeswood, Briargrove, Lakeside, Memorial, “along the edges of Memorial Dr. between Chimney Rock and Briar Forest,” “older Memorial, anywhere between Silber and Chimney Rock,” Champions, Spring, The Woodlands, Piney Point Village, and Hedwig Village.

Darn good guesses, most — on a very, very tough house to figure. No one named the exact neighborhood this week, but the winners came close!

With a guess of “generic Memorial,” tcpIV was the only player to describe an area specifically circumscribing the house. And we’ll give first prize also to Scott, who followed tcpIV’s footsteps and named one of the house’s neighboring neighborhoods, Hedwig Village. Congratulations to you both!

Three other players deserve honorable mentions. Brad wins one, for identifying the home’s origins as an “older Ranch.” Darby Mom also tallied quite a few clues:

The older front door and expanded floor plan say maybe a big ranch on one of those big lots in the area just west of Bellaire, Braeburn Country club . . . Meyerland is a possibility, but I think this entryway is too wide. The owners really put some bucks into the kitchen cabinets, granite,floors, and the coffered ceilings . . . The amount of investment could be typical for that area, too. The trees outside are mature I think, so it would have to be an older established area.

And Miz Brooke Smith attacked the geometry:

Given the tiled floor, requisite granite counters and open concept in the kitchen and adjacent family room, and *all that space* — is that a butler’s pantry? — this place appears to have had the entire back wall knocked out and the house greatly expanded ca. 2002, probably into the backyard. So where is this big house? The yard space required to accommodate that buildout, and those deep windows in the downstairs bedroom, belie Meyerland. Yet the notion of even keeping the original part of the house instead of demolishing the whole business says this isn’t, for example, Sandalwood.

So where is this place, really?


10/22/08 10:41am

Rendering of 8571 Westview Dr., Spring Oaks, Spring Valley, Houston

A reader points out that NexCasa — the company responsible for the Kung Fu Panda renovation covered here yesterday — has two more properties on Westview: another “‘flipper’ type ranch” one block east, which comes with owner financing — and this “ultra modern” new construction across the street.

The new construction at 8571 Westview, which our source says is “pretty far along,” will have 5 bedrooms and 5 baths in 4200 sq. ft., and is listed at $999,000.


10/21/08 9:35am

Kung-Fu Panda, Po, at 8601 Westview, Cedarwood, Spring Valley, Houston

For a good 3 weeks, this Kung Fu Panda stood guard over the front yard of a Spring Valley redo at the corner of Westview and Bingle, a reader reports. Since the hurricane, Po has relocated to the back yard. But he’s still visible from the street!

Maybe he’ll attract buyers! Some pix of the interior Po cleared out with his mad Kung Fu skillz:


03/12/08 3:41pm

House with Stockade Fence, Campbell Place, Spring Valley, Houston

Robert Boyd ends his series of bicycle tours through the Memorial Villages with a ride through the west end of Spring Valley, and concludes:

Perhaps this is a good way to characterize the Memorial Villages. They will tolerate eccentricity, but only a very small amount of it.

These are wealthy folks, and I bet many of them consider themselves to be individualists. Let your freak flags fly! You live in the Villages–you’ve made it. So do something wild and unique with your house and yard that proclaims your uniqueness.

After the jump, a few more photo gems from Boyd’s Spring Valley travelogue.


01/29/08 4:00pm

House on Cedarspur Dr. in Spring Valley, Houston

Robert Boyd rides north of I-10 and snoops around more Spring Valley homes in his latest bike tour. Highlights: The Voss mess, a cool carport, and the recent retail-Modern pad pictured above.

Photo of house on Cedarspur Dr.: Robert W. Boyd

01/18/08 9:05am

House on Winningham Ln., Spring Valley, Houston

What makes Hilshire Village and Spring Valley different from the rest of the Memorial Villages?

Both these Villages are north of I-10, which for Memorialites is sort of the wrong side of the tracks. Indeed, if you look at the household income of 77055 in the year 2000, the zip code that encompasses Hilshire Village and Spring Valley, it is $36.7 thousand. The average household income in 77024, which consists mainly of the southern Villages, is $82.6 thousand. The two northern Villages, however, are probably far closer to the Southern Villages in terms of wealth. It’s simply that as you go north and east from Spring Valley and Hilshire Village, you enter more working class neighborhoods, with lots of Hispanic and Korean immigrants. They may not be rich, but they are strivers, and the area North of I-10 on the Westside is, I think, getting wealthier and more middle class.

Robert Boyd returns from his latest bicycle tour — through Memorial’s northern outposts — with photos of his finds: wobbly Metro bike racks, shed-roof seventies Modern Memorial classics, ivy art, creekside barbecue, Tae Kwon Do parking-lot attendants, low-calorie McMansions, plus a couple of misplaced Victorians and a faux Adobe.

Photo of house on Winningham Ln.: Robert W. Boyd