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.”
Meadowcreek Village. “Relatively close in, very clean and attractive. Home to many fine modern homes, a Mackie and Kamrath, and Lisa Gray.”
“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.”
Meyerland. “The residents have taken being under appreciated to an art form.”
“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!
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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!)
Eastwood is a small town in the big city. Beautiful bungalows, great neighbors, great freeway and bike trail access – all only one mile from downtown!
What? Westbury isn’t nominated? How dare you dis my hood! I bought a 1,975 sq.ft. charmer there in late 2006, with original hardwoods, glass-fronted built-ins, and a huge kitchen on an 11,000 sq.ft. lot with mature trees. Quiet, well-kept street, never flooded, easy access to the Loop and Main/Hwy. 90. Price? $123,500. I’d have paid twice that two miles north in Meyerland.
Eastwood gets my vote! Great community and great location. We love it.
Have to go with Lindale Park. A year ago I would have said Oak Forest, but I drop a co-worker off sometimes as I live nearby and her street is being overrun by $500K+ new builds that eat up the permeable land. Since most OF homes are slab and flooding is already a problem, I don’t wonder that she’s planning her exit in the near future.
Midtown, because I really do think it’s underappreciated for not being a traditional single-family-home ‘hood.
But I’ll be happy if Eastwood wins, cuz someone really needs to buy that 2-story down the street from me.
Midtown (Baldwin Square is in it)…. so my vote technically encompasses both. Most people don’t even know how awesome it is to live in (they just think of the old Midtown from back in the day).
Since I was one of the nominators of Lindale Park, I will vote for it. But there are a lot of interesting nominees this year.
Timbergrove Manor. We were looking for a home in the Heights and surrounding areas with a Heights-based realtor, and he didn’t show us one thing in Timbergrove. We discovered it on our own and purchased a great house on a huge lot for much less money than we would have had to spend in The Heights. It is often overlooked by realtors and widely undiscovered by Houstonians.
Gotta go with Lindale Park, despite the needlessly callous comments about us Heights yuppies (Huppies??).
My vote if for Baldwin Park. I used to live there and people were always amazed when they’d visit; most people has no idea about this wonderful corner in Midtown. And it only got better after the park was renovated.
It’s the best-kept secret in Houston.
most people have no idea…
Settegast – It is an east end version of Magnolia Grove before the townhouse deluge, and with better access to cheap tacos…
I’m joining the Lindale Park voters. I had never been in this neighborhood unitl I met with some clients at their home a few months ago. Somehow this neighborhood with its wide streets, large trees, cute cottages/bungalows, and proximity to downtown remains relatively unknown to the majority of innerloopers.
Eastwood!! Hands down! Great architecture, great location, great neighbors, great bike trails, great dive bars, great Mexican food!
I wish I could vote for Eastwood because I live there, it is a great neighborhood, and the price is a relative bargain. I would’ve nominated it in 2006.
But I nominated and am voting for SETTEGAST this year for good reason. It’s charming, dirt cheap, even closer to downtown than Eastwood, and is the most fitting neighborhood to wear the “underappreciated” tag.
Oak Forest is my sentimental favorite. My folks bought a 2/1 in 1954 and it stayed in the family until just last year. HUGE backyard.
Since the more general Northside Village was not a choice… I’ll have to go with Lindale Park, although I like the area to the south a little more since it has older homes. I’ll be interested to see the impact of the rail line and hardy yards development (if that one breaks ground) on the area.
Cashadena/Stinkadena/Assadena/Chemical City or whatever you like to call it….
its diverse and old…you got latinos/Indians/Asians/blacks/scandanavians…yesscandanavians
we got organized crime/ gang crime/ crime committed by the police and just run-of-the-mill crime oh and don’t forget Joe Horn….and my prediction soon to be GENTRIFICATION in North Pasadena or NoPa as it will be called soon…lol…NoPa(will be from Spencer highway and Up)
Yes it has a lot of crime a lot of illegals a ton of crooked cops 3 billion refineries as well as boxing clubs,taquerias,projects AND its actually one of the most URBAN places in Houston(drive down Spencer/ SOuthmore/Richey/Fairmont/Edgebrook and it actually has sidewalks and theres people actually walking ALL the time anyway thats just my opinion….
In closing Cashadena in my opinion is the Brooklyn of Houston…Ghetto/underappreciatted/old/ buuuuuuuut/ redeveloping/ diverse/urban and ready for a change….SUWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!
I vote for Robindell for most under-appreciated neighborhood in Houston. It has an active homeowner’s association that is friendly and nice, not onerous or burdensome.
It has a volunteer Citizen’s Patrol that helps keep the crime rate under areas around us.
But its best feature is location! We are 3 miles to the southwest corner of Loop 610, 3 miles south of 59 (and 3 miles east of 59), and about 3 miles north of the Beltway south. We are 6 miles from the east side of the Texas Medical Center.
I have lived in Houston since 1981 and Robindell since 1989 and wouldn’t live anywhere else!
I am seriously lusting over that house in Eastwood. Seriously, check out the photos on HAR.com and join me in coveting all of the stained glass, built-ins, transom windows, wood floors …
I’m voting for Robindell. I’ve lived here since 1999 and couldn’t be happier. We got our house for $99,500 and have seen the value of it go up with a little TLC. There are lots of great houses in the neighborhood.
Oak Forest (specifically areas east of TC Jester), but I think the cat’s already out of the bag.
We’ve been here a little over four years, and there has been fantastic appreciation. With the birth of our daughter, we’re now looking for a larger home in the same area.
Extremely close proximity to some of the city’s best features, a top-rated elementary school, beautiful trees, big lots, and relatively low prices (get ’em while they’re hot because they’re goin’ fast) make very attractive homes for young, growing families.
A 10 out of 10.
Robindell…definitely! Have lived here for over 10 years, and love it. Active Citizen Patrol, up and coming family community, neighborhood pool, and close to some of the greatest restaurants in Houston. I love the neighbors, and the neighborhood.
Eastwood? Sounds like the place I’d most want to live, if I was in the market for a house.
My family built our house in Robindell in 1957 and my family is living in the house currently. I learned how to swim in the local pool (looks better now than ever!) We have an active civic club and citizen patrol and great neighbors!
I vote for Robindell because of people, patrol and proximity…
Eastwood! Your hometown within a BIG CITY! Rich in History! Even though I grew up in Settegast my vote is EASTWOOD!
How exciting to see my neighborhood selected to be on this list. Robindell is truly an underappreciated jewel.
As a young professionals and first time home buyers my husband and were able to purchased a beautiful mid-century modern in Robindell for just over $120K and have enjoyed living there since 2002. I’m certain that with the minimal updates we have done that the homes value has greatly increased.
One of the best things about our neighborhood is the beautiful trees and large lots.
The area is close to the galleria, downtown, Meyerland Plaza, Bellaire, etc. We have an active civic club and citizen patrol and great neighbors!
I vote for Robindell because of variety of home designs, beautiful trees, people, patrol and proximity.
Timbergrove Manor! We’re in Cottage Grove on the wrong side of the tracks from Timbergrove Manor and everytime we pass through TM it’s so pretty and I’m jealous of all the lawn space.
Settegast is a neighborhood just northeast of the North Loop near a big rail switching yard. The neighborhood that TheNiche is talking about is Settegast PARK. Not the same. For it’s undiscovered jewel, pre-gentrification status, I will also vote for Settegast PARK.
I’m tempted by Lindale Park and Robindell, but those are getting enough votes already. I like time-warp places, and this sounds like a good one.
i guess timbergrove, but i’m partial to Royal Oaks. The original, not the country club.
Robindell! We live only 2 blocks from our own neighborhood dog park where everyone is so friendly and the dogs get to run around and have a blast. This is a great neighborhood!
@marmer: Good catch! We’ve fixed the description.
I haven’t been in Park Place in years and I’ve wondered how it is now. It gets my vote.
Meadowcreek Village. I think most of the nominees are pretty well known and appreciated. How many people have actually set foot in Meadowcreek? There usually aren’t many houses for sale because the neighborhood enjoys many long term residents. And new buyers are often relatives of the existing families that know the area.
I was torn between Lindale and Eastwood, but I chose Eastwood. Historic homes, charming bungalows, mature trees, and easy access to DT and local watering holes. Young professionala are moving in and renovating. The location has made this transforming neighborhood a desirable place to live.
I voted via secret ballot but want to make it public now that I know my e-mail address won’t be made public.
While Swamplot has collected a wonderful group of neighborhoods for this feature, I really have to vote for Robindell.
I purchased my little piece of heaven in 1989. The qualities that brought me to the neighborhood then still apply today – affordability, great location, mature trees, and neighbors that care about their homes. Robindell was my first foray into home ownership. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. 12 years later when I complained to the Realtor who sold me the place that the values were going through the roof and taxes were rising, she replied, “Oh, honey! Don’t you know by now? You’re living in the last affordable neighborhood between Loop 610 and San Antonio!”
Yeah…I vote for Robindell.
Robindell has my vote and has had it for clse to four years now, Originally an inner-looper, I couldn’t be happier than living here. Great neighborhood and neighbors, with a great many of them active around the neighborhood. Love the dog park and pool for great socializing.
Robindell rocks! We have owned our home here almost 4 years. Love the closeness to the city with the small town feeling. Down to earth, friendly neighbors are often outside and kids play outside and ride bikes to the nearby pool. This small neighborhood is definitely a well kept secret!
Robindell! You be the one to gets my vote!
Sh-h-h-h, quit telling people how wonderful Robindell is, they might move here! Serioiusly, I chuckle as I watch the morning traffic report because my husband and I have 3 and 7 mile commutes. Robindell gets my vote for the best kept secret and most unappreciated neighborhood.
I vote for Robindell…a great neighborhood. We bought a gem starter home in Robindell in 1971 for $28,500. As the kids grew up, rather than move up and out, we renovated and stayed. Now we are retired and still living here for the same reasons we chose 38 yrs ago. Robindell is attractive and well kept, affordable, and so conveniently located. There is an active HOA, Citizen Patrol, neighborhood pool, and dog park. And last but not least, we have great neighbors who are friendly and involved.
I see that a civic club had their meeting recently.
haha thanks TheNiche i was thinking the same thing or some real estate agent for the area using different names…thanks for the laugh
Lindale Park, even though we live in Timbergrove. If we didn’t already have the Timbergrove house, Lindale would be high on our list.
I have always wanted to live in this area. Now that I’ve been here for 5 years I glad I finally got in.
My vote is for Robindell/ Braeburn Terrace- inexpensive, beautiful houses and great proximity to everything. No one has mentioned yet that it is equal distance between the New York Bagel Shop and Pico’s… and the schools are also great!
MEADOWCREEK, hands down. My parents were among the first residents over 56 years ago and I moved back about 14 years ago. Quiet, peaceful, family-oriented and less than 15 minutes to downtown events. It’s definitely among the most unknown, hence underappreciated, of those listed.
I have to say MEADOWCREEK, I am a realtor and had lived near the area for most of my life until we purchased a home in Meadowcreek a few years ago. It is definitely a hidden jewel, great neighbors, good schools, nice parks, conveniently located near downtown, a quick 15 min from pretty much anywhere! Easy access to mayor hwys, 45, 610 and 225.
TIMBERGROVE MANOR. Still a best buy when you consider location and housing stock for the buck.
I sold some in Settegast Park this year, and am very bullish on it’s emerging possibilities— but way too premature for THAT Nobel.
I am voting for ROBINDELL. It’s a cozy corner of homes in a really nice neighborhood–best kept secret in Houston.
I would have nominated Brookesmith (north of Main, west of 45, south of 610). Main St. has just been pre-paved and there is plenty of potential for new restaurants and stores. There’s also an amazing park, Monte Beach, and the farmers market is just down the street off airline. Definitely some of Houston’s “diamonds in the rough”…
Meadowcreek Village. I have been in this neighborhood for almost 40 years and have enjoyed the experience. Mostly layed back and proximity to shopping, work, freeways is very nice without being in heavy traffic. Property sizes are great. I plan to be here many more years.
My vote’s for Robindell! Great little neighborhood with active and friendly residents and an awesome location!
Lindale Park all the way
Timbergrove would get my vote, but the dirt price is higher than the dirt in Oak Forest. The price appreciation is what makes Oak Forest what it is. Granted, this refers to the sections (there are 21 in total) that are east of the bayou. The oldest crappiest ones near Garden Oaks and Ella Blvd. are the ones that are being targeted as tear-downs. Savvy speculators are buying right-price deals and sitting on them until the right builder comes along. Many on here will whine about the changing nature of the neighborhood, but the most problematic residents/homeowners/tenants of Oak Forest were these little wood frame homes in disrepair on the eastern fringe of the hood. Slowly these are being bought up, and new construction going in on the LARGE lots they are ALL on. I will not speak for the caliber of the HISD schools in the area because I think HISD is awful, but there are magnet schools in the neighborhood. The train does run through the hood, but on the other side of said bayou. TC Jester Park is actually a very nice park and there are several other decent parks sprinkled throughout the area. Another down side is the other train track that cuts off Oak Forest from the North Loop to the south of the neighborhood, but Shepherd can be utilized to go under the tracks a tad to the east. One nice thing is that even the tear-downs are not the kind of dwellings with occupants that plague many other close-in neighborhoods. Much like many other neighborhoods listed in this category, there certainly are neighboring areas that leave ALOT to be desired. I don’t live there, but I did for many years.
Meyerland, of course!
I lived in Meadowcreek Village for 26 years, downsized and definitely looked
for a home in Meadowcreek,five more
years and I still love it.
I vote for Eastwood, although it’s partially b/c I’m just making sure my westerly neighbors get a bump and improve my property values in Idylwood.
Park place is a close tie – man look at all the great house you can get for little cash?
Either way, I think this is probably the last year Eastwood could be claimed to be “Under-appreciated,” so I’m going for it before it becomes the next “Over-appreciated” neighborhood in five years.
My vote goes to Robindell. Love living in the neighborhood.
Robindell! It is quaint and reminicent of suburban living but in the heart of the city. I love that it is attracting families with young kids (like us), but yet it still maintains a tremendous number of original owners. I have not seen many neighborhoods with this kind of stability over the years!
I vote for Robindell as the most underappreciated subdivision.
My wife and I have lived in Robindell since Aug. 1968. We have had many nice neighbors and still do. We own our home with not mortgage to pay. We have seen many changes in the social make-up in Robindell When we moved here there were established families in our neighborhood. Then in the late ’70s and earlyh ’80s the children graduated and went to colleges and universities. But now, young families are moving into Robindell.
No contest: Lindale Park
Robindell is definitely an as-yet undiscovered jewel. Love the huge oaks, great residents, close proximity to Meyerland, Galleria, and Med Center. Property values defitely continuing to go up in this gem as residents show pride in ownership, continue to upgrade these homes, and new people discover this great neighborhood.
Meadowcreek Village. Unlike the others, still relatively unknown.
Oak Forest gets my vote. Also, another underappreciated neighborhood is Mangum Manor. This neighborhood is surrounded by Oak Forest on three sides.
I vote for Robindell.
Lived in Robindell since 1977.
It is a great neighborhood.
I vote for Eastwood!
Oak Forest FTW!
We’ve had family ties to the neighborhood since the early 1950’s. I take a ridiculous amount of joy in seeing the neighborhood begin a slow turnaround in the past few years and feel really proud that an area we’ve always loved is getting some much deserved credit.
I appreciate that for the most part, people in the neighborhood are remodeling and not completely rebuilding – at least at this point.
Most of all, I love that it’s a neighborhood in transition – where to give someone directions, you get to say things like, “Go past the Starbucks and the new wine bar on the corner, turn by the house with the neon palm tree in the front yard, drive past the big rig in the driveway and turn after the vintage cars…”
I’ve lived in a couple nominee neighborhoods, grew up in one, but have to tip my hat to Meyerland (only part of it), because it has some of the best public schools in town.
Something has always intrigued me about Eastwood. Put me down for that.