The official nominees for Most Underappreciated Neighborhood in the 2009 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate have been selected — from your contributions.
And now it’s time to campaign! You know the rules: Votes go in the comments section of this post (or to our email inbox if you prefer secret ballots). If you follow these instructions carefully, you can get an extra vote — on Twitter! The polls close at 5 pm on Monday, December 28th.
The nominees for Most Underappreciated Neighborhood are . . .
Lindale Park. “A wonderful pocket of true cottages — with tall peaked roofs and cropped eaves — just like miniature West U homes. However, it is not overrun with the Yuppies that took over the Heights long ago. The lack of shopping has been its bane, but now that the old scary Northline Mall has been redone, that is changing too. More important, the light-rail line is coming down N. Main and Fulton. You’ll be able to step off the train on Fulton at Graceland and be just a few blocks away from any house in Lindale Park. The right-of-way is being cleared. The builders can’t get money to put up their tacky homes. So, maybe real people will ‘discover’ this area before prices are run up too much.”
“Orderly, modest, well-kept, quaint.”
“The Idylwood of the North Side.”
“Just as nice as the Heights, if not nicer. When I tell people where I live, as soon as I say “East of 45″ they tune out. So I’ve started using the generic “east of the Heights” (since EVERYTHING real-estate related in Houston must somehow connect with the Heights) line.”
“Would have never thought to look or buy here.”
“15 minutes to downtown, large homes for less than $200K, decent parks, tree-lined streets, rapidly gentrifying with young professionals. But virtually unknown and unvisited by most.”
Eastwood. “Close to UH and up and coming bayou trails.”
“Quiet streets, historic bungalows, good neighbors, delicious eateries, with easy access to Downtown.”
Timbergrove Manor. “Yes, prices there have gone up but it is still overshadowed by the Heights and ignored by homeshoppers who say they have to move to the ’burbs to get a yard.”
“It’s funny to see Timbergrove being mentioned. Those houses spiked up to $300,000 like five years ago.”
“We love it, yet more than half the people I talk to have no idea where it is. We tend to say, ‘near the Heights.’”
“This quaint and (grassy) green neighborhood is both ITL and affordable. It doesn’t have the history or eclectic nature of the Heights but has pretty much all of the conveniences. Its tidy ranch-style homes have large trees and even larger yards, giving the homes here perks that the other “affordable” Loop neighborhoods don’t see so much: bedroom additions and swimming pools.”
“Like its neighboring ’hood, Timbergrove has a strong sense of community. Residents fight to keep their parks and improve their schools. Old schoolers and original homeowners live in peace with yuppies and young families.”
“Some large, impressive homes have popped up on the large, impressive lots. Still, this neighborhood has so much to offer and is constantly overshadowed by the Heights to the east and areas like Spring Branch to its west.”
“When you have a section that flooded like mad in Allison and people still snap them up like mad, it isn’t underappreciated. Just because your coworkers from Spring or Sugar Land haven’t heard of it doesn’t make it under appreciated.”
Oak Forest. “Beautiful trees, moderate deed restrictions, many original post-war homeowners and top-rated HISD schools. All this and you can still find a house for $150K. Downtown in 10 minutes, Galleria in 5, Heights just down the street, yet a totally suburban feel.”
“It’s never gone downhill in its 50-year history. Low crime. Close in. Most houses are rehabbed, not torn down and replaced by McMansions. Lots of cool mid century architecture. Plus — the Brays Bayou flood prevention work has made a big difference.”
Settegast Park. “An enclave of little cottages tucked away from all the townhomes and industry, neatly arranged around . . . Settegast Park. It’s completely off the radar, yet barely half a mile from downtown.”
Park Place. “Adjacent to 610, huge lots, platted in something like 1912 and was once its own city. Some incredible arts and crafts houses (albeit in terrible shape) that would make Woodland Heights proud. But no real appreciation.”
Robindell. “Chock-full of midcentury moderns, many designed by William Floyd.”
“Tree-lined streets, great midcentury moderns and ranches, an active HOA, and lots of hip young couples and families moving in. It’s also located just outside the Loop and right next to Bellaire and Meyerland for 30 to 50 percent of the price! Part of the neighborhood is even zoned to a highly rated elementary school — Herod — and neighborhood kids transfer regularly to great schools close by, including Bellaire High School. It also benefits from being surrounded on two sides by very stable and established more upmarket neighborhoods. Bellaire McMansions have crept out to within a block of Robindell, and we now even have our first very own ginormous David Weekley build-on-your-lot home in Braes Timbers. Few affordable up-and-coming neighborhoods have the same level of high quality neighborhood retail and restaurants so close by. Meyerland Plaza is only about a five minute drive. Where else could I get a fairly renovated 3-2 ranch on a 10,000-sq.-ft. lot on a tree lined street with great neighbors two miles from Loop 610 — for $150K? Homes seem to be selling for $85 to $120 per sq. ft., which is crazy cheap for the location.”
Midtown. “It’s full of ugly townhomes, my-first-real-place apartment transients and street people; it suffers from greatly lowered expectations of density and hipness, but it’s still a busy, desirable hood in its own right. We would be wise not to underestimate the value of a (relatively) affordably priced, busy area for young professionals in walking distance of Downtown jobs. Not to mention Spec’s.”
Baldwin Square. “A bunch of townhouses owned by doctors, lawyers, etc. within walking distance of a nice park (Baldwin), restaurants, clubs, and bars. Easy to get to the Metro Rail line, ride a bike to Hermann Park or go Downtown. In the middle of everything. You can even walk to a Rockets game on a nice day.”
Which one of these deserves to win the title of Most Underappreciated Neighborhood of 2009? Vote!
- How To Vote in the 2009 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate
- How To Vote a Second Time in the 2009 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate — Using Twitter
- Swamplot Awards Ballots 2009
Photos of 710 English St., 5115 Cripple Creek Dr., 4426 Walker St., 1023 Bay Oaks Rd., 1911 Brimberry St., 5319 Yarwell Dr., 204 Nagle St., 8010 Grafton St., 6226 Tanager St., 1610 Francis St. Unit C, and 1602 Elgin St. Unit 18: HAR (and all for sale!)