Comment of the Day: Here Come the GOOF-y Townhouses

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HERE COME THE GOOF-Y TOWNHOUSES “The revisions to Chapter 42 mean that the fringes of Oak Forest, Garden Oaks and Spring Branch can be built up with lots of townhomes and other inner loop-esque density. Given that you now have to shell out $500-$800k to live in OF, GO or many parts of Spring Branch, I would bet that, all things constant, this listing would be seen as a steal in five to ten years . . .” [Old School, commenting on Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: Number 1, Fan]

10 Comment

  • Whatever it takes to get property values up and the “unwanted” out from these parts. Whoop!

  • Aggie Rick,

    Actually, holding everything else constant,
    1 replacing one house with 4-8 units increases the supply of housing
    2 causing the price of housing to be lower than it would be otherwise
    3 making it easier for the undesirables to continue to be able to afford to stay in the area.

    The main part that is not constant, is that demand is(has been) rising faster than supply, which is what leads to the higher prices.

  • The only way you shell out 500-800K to live in Oak Forest is if you *must* live in a new 4 bed/1 1/2 bath built to lot line with stucco and/or lick n’stick stone, and definitely on the higher side of that if you live east of Rosslyn. There are plenty of original, well-maintained 3 bed/2 bath that have been updated (bye bye pink tiled baths, hello granite countertops)to be had for under 400K, even under 300K.

  • meant to say 4 1/4 bath, not 1 1/2!

  • Our neighborhood block, in 2007, jumped through the hoops to get the minimum lot size designation for our block. We did everything we were supposed to and in 2007, it was approved. We thought that would keep out the townhomes and multiple dwellings per lot, but it is actually very deceptive. We now have a developer who bought a lot, submitted plans for 2 structures on the lot. We got in touch with the City. They sent out an inspector, and constuction was halted. The developer “revised” his plans so that, in effect, he can still build the same 2 structures on the property, totally out of conformance with the rest of our block. He got around the minimum lot size ordinance by reducing the size of the second building. So he was able to figure out a loophole and in effect, change the way our neighborhood will look. The minimum lot size ordinance does not prevent developers from changing a neighborhood – they just figure out a way around the ordinance. I invite you to come see our block and what is about to happen. I am frustrated that in spite of our efforts to protect our property in conformance with City ordinances, we have failed. There are so many vacant lots which the developer could have picked but he had to come to our neighborhood. And once he’s in, he will pick off another house and then another. Is this what Houston, a city of neighborhoods, really wants? Is this progress?

  • “Is this what Houston, a city of neighborhoods, really wants? Is this progress?”

    It does seem to be what the most vocal people on this forum want. The sight of a little bit of green space, in private hands, very much offends them. And old trees are a negative sign that the desired density has not been reached. They like people to live layer-cake style, and they prefer any green space to be held in common, in the form of a public park, especially one with a lot of “programmed activities.”
    They have the conviction of zealots, and so can be very persuasive. I’ll let them explain it to you…

  • You have my sympathies, Miriam. And Luciaphile has not only summarized the core values of our pro-development posters, Luciaphile has correctly summarized the core beliefs of the connected and vocal few that are currently paving over our fine city.

  • thanks for the introduction, luciaphile. you’re right i do hate trees, and i absolutely adore “programmed activities”!

  • Where’s the straw?

  • The new density of townhouses outside the loop will make the idea of the loop less meaningful. The new dollops of density will grow and spread and so maybe prices within the current “loop” won’t rise so rapidly in the future. Kind of the de-densifying of density.