Swamplot Price Adjuster: Braeswood Landbank

A Swamplot reader thinks this 1959 ranch at the corner of Bellefontaine and Morningside in Braeswood is priced too high even though the property is listed as “Pending Continue To Show”!

Here’s the scoop:

Location: 2401 Bellefontaine Blvd., Braeswood
Details: 4-5 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths; 3,748 sq. ft. on a 14,436-sq.-ft. lot
Price: $700,000
History: Currently under contract. Listed as “Pending Continue to Show.”

Our nominator writes:

I was thinking about this property three ways.

It could be sold as a remodel (which would probably require $100K or more just to update surfaces – a little birdie told me, for example, about the bright purple shag carpet in the entire bedroom wing of the house) – if it was an updated large ranch on this prime corner it could probably get close to 800K on a resale IMO. So what would a “flipper” pay for that? I’m guessing in the 500’s.

It could be sold as a teardown. The land value here is good and probably won’t ever collapse, but it will not be generating any income for a couple of years at best. There is way too much inventory in the neighborhood right now (big houses, old houses, new houses, empty lots) for more building to make much sense.

It could be sold as a rental. I’m currently living in . . . a big beautiful ranch house that hasn’t been touched in 50 years. In some ways that’s neat, but in other ways (plumbing, electrical) it is not. So I’d guess the rental income here will be about $2700/month. What would be the math on that for a purchase? I think that would depend on how much cash you put into the house and if you were landbanking it. I’d still end up in the 500s.

So . . . you got a better number?


Our nominator opens the bidding at $550K, calling that “a great price.” What do you think?

Swamplot Price Adjuster features properties readers think are priced too high or too low. Got a suggestion for a property? Email your nominations to Swamplot, and be sure to include a link to the listing or photos. Tell us about the property, and explain why you think it deserves a price adjustment. Then tell us what you think a better price would be. Unless requested otherwise, all submissions will be kept anonymous.

18 Comment

  • Admit I don’t know the deed restrictions and cannot envision the corner but that is a mega lot. In the Heights, that is 8-10 townhomes, easy.

  • The town home situation is not likely for this location.

    $500K or $600K isn’t bad. It’s how you look at. If you are looking at this property at a “flip” investment in which there is a short time horizon. Then $700k is outrageous.

    If you are looking at this as a home, the price may not be too outrageous considering the size of the lot and home itself.

  • i think that price is reasonable. it is a huge lot and the houses in that area are huge themselves (as is this ranch house at 3,700 sqft.). The only issue i see is a total lack of any updates, but i think the lot size more than makes up for that.

  • Nope, I don’t think this is overpriced. I’m actually familiar with that house and the owners had offers on it for $700K before it was ever listed. Given other non-updated homes in the area that have sold recently, I think this is fairly priced.

  • Also – the “purple shag carpeting” could be the best thing about it – there are likely hardwoods underneath that have been protected for years, so the redo might not be as bad as it appears from the pictures.

  • considering it received an accepted contract after 20 days on the market, I would say it was priced just fine :)

  • The tricky thing is the lot. A 4 bedroom, 4 baths 3307 sq. ft. house a few blocks away on McClendon (north of Holcombe) sold for $271K. The lot size, however, was 5874 sq. ft.

    Zillow hasn’t recorded many recent sales in that neighborhood, and of the three they have recorded (including the one above), two sold for substantially less than their pricing software predicted.

    But the one that more-or-less equalled their estimate was another $700K house, so maybe the lesson is that people shopping in that area will buy houses for $250K and for $700K but not for, say, $500K.

  • RWB, love your comment. I think a house on Gramercy near this one was sold a few weeks ago in the mid 500s, so there’s at least one buyer out there who likes 5s!

    I don’t think I would move this house to the country, although I do like the parquet a lot. ;-)

  • oh, and all that pink iron work might satisfy my “bunker mentality”!

  • RWB,

    I don’t have the exact stats (not being a realtor, I’m not even sure how to get them), but I know that two houses on Gramercy sold recently for high 400’s, low 500’s (the one that Karen is referring to plus one more). There is a house on Blue Bonnet or Underwood that is option pending – it’s for a smaller house on a 22,000 sq ft lot and it was listed for over $900K. The lot on Morningside across from the park sold last year for $800K+.

    The neighborhood across Holcombe is a very different neighborhood, so I wouldn’t use Southgate as a comp – Old Braeswood is just funky and tends to be all over the board as far as prices are concerned.

  • I guess Zillow isn’t a complete resource.

  • For that price I hope a purist is buying it. Otherwise, I feel a Home Depot remodel coming on.

    What I can’t believe is that a realtor would put up such sh*tty pictures for a $700k listing!

  • Maybe the lot is just worth so damn much that you show a shack on the site and get the money for it.

    14k sq ft is a lot for the location!

  • It is a big lot! But it still can only hold one house. I guess a house even bigger than the one that’s on it, if the buyers feel like it!

    There’s an empty lot (not for sale that I know of) down Morningside a bit that’s 20,000 sq ft I think.

  • “14k sq ft is a lot for the location!”

    Perhaps it’s a lot for inside the loop, but it is actually typical for that neighborhood. The houses on that street all have huge lots. One house a block south has an 18,600 sq ft lot. As you head north along Morninside towards Rice Village, the lots get a lot smaller and more typically urban. But south of Grammercy and north of North Braeswood, the lots tend to be quite large.

  • word on the street – this house sold for $610. Right in the middle of the guesses!

  • Dear Nominator;

    “The land value here is good and probably won’t ever collapse”….

    Hello 2008.

    People are losing employee health insurance left and right. Premiums continue through the roof. Texas ranks near the top of the uninsured.
    TMC builds and builds. How is that Baylor Hospital doing by the way? Where are the $ going to come from?