Swamplot Price Adjuster: By the Wayside

The Swamplot Price Adjuster needs your nominations! Found a property you think is poorly priced? Send an email 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 to the Swamplot Price Adjuster will be kept anonymous.

Location: 6601 N. Park Ln., Idylwood
Details: 3-5 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths; 2,914 sq. ft. on a 5,750-sq.-ft. lot
Price: $320,000
History: Listed since late May. Price cut $5K in late June.

The reader who’s nominating this property has a few gripes:

First, $320,000 for a house that corners on Wayside? Idylwood is great, but the houses cornering right on Wayside have to deal with the truck and general traffic noise & have to be discounted to sell. I don’t care if you dip it in gold, you aren’t get three-anything for something cornering on Wayside. . . .

The backyard is all concrete with a token deck and some sort of garage apt. You can’t rent those out in Idylwood, so it would have to be for a relative or a guest house. Your guests would really sleep well with those big trucks rumbling right by you.

And then, from a longer set of complaints about how the listing reads:

I can deal with a few typos & such, but some of it is just damn confusing. “Here’s you (sic) NEWLY updated HOME” I guess special emphasis needed to be placed on HOME in all caps so no one would think that being on such a busy corner might make it eligible for commercial? It goes on to describe “w/a converted or not garage w/apt/living quarters for guest/family…” Um, what? . . .

She sums it up with “reminds me of the old Heights area in Houston.” I’m glad she quantified that with the Heights area that is in Houston, we might have confused it with some other Heights. Of course the confusion is natural when a flat area of late 19th century and WWI era, mostly wood frame homes on flat terrain reminds you of a late 30’s & WWII era mostly brick homes on slightly hilly terrain. Yes, well, anything over 30 years starts to look alike I suppose.

So . . . any better numbers for this place?


As for price, they aren’t going to get bonus points for the Holly Hobbie style decorating and wallpaper either, slash this one $125,000 for starters.

What do you think would be the best price for this property?

28 Comment

  • I’m inclined to agree to an extent that the price needs to be dropped.

    That backyard alone will need about $15-20k to make it livable.

    On top of that, much of the interior walls will need to be updated. A lot of work for a price tag where it should be done for you already.

  • Yeah, the $180K-$200K range seems a bit more realistic. You’d have to knock $50,000 off the top for stripping off wallpaper, re-painting and getting rid of “grandma stank”.
    What’s with all the photos being stamped with “2004”. Does this mean the property had its peak five years ago and now we’d be disappointed with how it looks? Ack.

    I like that neighborhood a lot. Living right next to Wayside would suck pretty hard, though. But, I would love to sit on the balcony of my newly furbished man cave/ urban hunting lodge while drinking a cold St. Arnold’s Amber and listing to the plaintive wailing of another hombre with a broken corazon blaring from the Fiesta’s p.a. system down the road. That’s good livin’. Got me in the mood to head to La Victoria Bakery tomorrow for some kick ass tacos.

  • but what about that AMAZING updated/remodeled kitchen…. I would go 200k max, and thats only due to the sq footage…and that would just be storage for all my shopping!

  • I’d respectfully suggest that the seller(s) pay me $175K (and throw the house in for free) just to live on that side of town.

  • I think I might have looked at this house a couple of years ago. Yes, way too much for this house in that loud spot in Idylwood (though I think Idylwood is a nice place).

    I think the agent should be embarrassed to have a listing out there with such a badly written description (and if I were the seller, I’d be screaming at her on the phone to fix it, because it looks moronic). Seriously, you think for your fee you can manage to write a couple of sentences and check your spelling? Appalling.

    And, if you log into HAR as a normal non-agent person, there is no address on the listing. Which is utterly stupid; the address is the single most important feature of the property. My guess is that they are trying to hide how busy/loud that location is, so people will come and fall in love with the house and buy it anyway (or some crap like that).

    No surprise it’s been there since late May.

  • I’d respectfully suggest that the seller(s) pay me $175K (and throw the house in for free) just to live on that side of town.

    I agree. I had to work near there years ago. Coming from a small town in East Texas I had never seen people drinking beer at 7:00am in the morning at a gas station. For me there is no reason to ever go anywhere near Wayside or OST, ever.

  • @random/jgriff

    That’s fine, we like our neighborhood in Idylwood, and we rather like the area. I’m sure for some of us it was the charm of the urban reality, with its bits of impropriety and blemishes all exposed, that reminded us we were living in a real city, with real humans. As opposed, one could say, to the faux Stepford mentality of the suburbs, or even the haughty nose-uppedness of the Heights, price point and all withstanding.

    Tonight, I’ll happily sit in my backyard, enjoy the music from the convent and be glad that I have all the great souls around me that weren’t put off by “this side of town,” that make my neighborhood so quiet, enjoyable, and safe.

  • drone and jgriff,

    The Heights or immediately west and north of it has pretty much the same scenery of people drinking at 7am at a gas station or on the side of the road. The Heights isn’t uppity, it’s just some of the residents that give it that image.

    You could go to Montrose and find 4 bars open at 7am Mon-Sat and 10am on Sun (if you have food). Yes, gays do drink a lot!

  • Here’s my 2¢:

    Nice neighborhood, but house sits on the edge.

    Large floorplan, but small lot.

    Garage apt in back would make a nice man-cave, but there’s too much concrete back there for my liking.


  • I guess it’s worth saying, that I don’t think it’s worth $320k either, but $200 is way too low for the neighborhood, sq.ft.-wise; I’d say $230-250k would better compensate the work needed and the location.

  • @drone – I like a lot of things about your side of town. However, having done my time living in a very up and coming spot in Washington, DC, and also not really feeling like I needed the extra space I would have gotten in Idylwood or Eastwood, I opted for the Heights. (Also – everyone I know is this side of downtown and I was just worried about feeling a bit isolated.)

    Hopefully that doesn’t make me stuck up. In fact one of the things I like about the Heights is the general lack of pretense – it’s not universal, but get someone going about their historic Eastwood home, and it’s not that unlike the Heights at its most drearily pretentious.

    And yes I have seen people drinking at 7 AM (and sleeping in the park by my house when I lived in Sunset Heights).

  • I wonder if the house would look any better without those curtains…

  • A friend’s family had lived in Idylwood and Forest Hill which is on the other side of Brays Bayou on the other side of Lawndale since the 1940s and both were wonderful little neighborhoods until the 1980s when, well, let’s just say the music in the neighborhood changed. It is not what it used to be and is not going to be what everyone would like it to be. It is, well, what it is. And I think $250,000, which is what my friend’s family sold a very nice and very large home on a very large lot on Forest Hill three years ago for, is probably the top of the market. Now and possibly forevermore. It is not a neighborhood in transition. It is not the Heights. It is not Montrose. It is, well, it is what it is.

  • …that make my neighborhood so quiet, enjoyable, and safe.

    And it is, for the most part, just that. It just isn’t for “pretentious people” or people who like “chi-chi” grocery stores.

  • @drone – you want uppity, go to Bellaire. As for authentic urban experience, come to the Heights. My husband and I caught four hombres today backing out of our driveway. Naturally, they said they were looking for trash (in our backyard, at noon).

  • Matt’s erroneous remarks about Idylwood are more applicable to Forest Hill which is a completely different neighborhood with different adjacencies. As an owner in Idylwood from 93-97, I can say that finding an intact deed restricted neighborhood with charming older brick homes, wooded lots and rolling terrain was only part of the appeal in Idylwood. Only a job transfer forced me to sell. Chi Chi shopping is not a reality in the area but the drives are nominal. All that being said, this house, which was on the market 3 different times when I lived there, sits about 15 feet from Wayside and needs some cosmetic updates. It should be priced from $240k-$260k depending on how updated the baths are.

  • That house has been on and off the market for years. It’s long been a staple of Idylwood real estate, so much so that they don’t even bother with a for sale sign out front anymore. A typical example of a bad remodel meant to work for a multi-generational family, which isn’t the average new buyer in Idylwood. So it is destined to sit on the market until the owners get serious about the price. And a price somewhere in the low 200’s sounds about right. Unless it is gutted and redone, it is destined to be a rental home for a long while.

  • Actually, I lived in the Heights from 2000-2005, on White Oak near the park. It’s a nice neighborhood, I was being more tongue-in-cheek about the nature of _some_ of the residents, the pricing, and what you get for it.

    I know what it’s like to live in the Heights, which is why I chose Idylwood over it, as I prefer a quieter neighborhood with a lower price point, and call me a gimme, but I like brick over wood.

    As to my original comment, it was squarely leveled at the two commenters who acted like living in Idylwood was comparable to living in some horrible place where all sorts of bad things would happen.

    KJB, I’ve been squarely situated in the general area since 1996, having lived in Montrose and the Heights, but mostly on the near East End, obviously the Heights (and all surrounding areas) and Eastwood were prime candidates, but like about 200 other families, we decided that Idylwood was the place for us. Safety, price, location, and long-term value were the drivers. We didn’t find them anywhere else (except maybe Eastwood).

  • No problem drone,

    Looking back on my comment, I think it was more to jgriff.

    I was just trying to point out that the 7am drinking thing really isn’t unusual and can be found in tons of locations. Since Heights compared as somehow superior to Idylwood, was just pointing out that it wasn’t really that much different.

    I did something similar to you in choosing a home. I chose Cottage Grove (TC-Jester and I-10) over the heights. Much better price point for me. We have 7am drinkers near an elementary school no less and an active rail yard and line near us.

    Every neighborhood has pros and cons. To me, being next to Wayside isn’t a horrible thing if the positioning of rooms inside the house and the yard were done correctly. You could easily minimize the noise and vibration influence.

  • I don’t know if the house in question is overpriced or not, but this post encouraged me check out Idylwood online, and I like what I see–I’ll have to take a trip out there to see it in person. (Idylwooders, it looks like the cat is out of the bag!)

  • Matt’s erroneous remarks about Idylwood are more applicable to Forest Hill which is a completely different neighborhood with different adjacencies.

    Of the two, despite the “adjacencies” I would take Forest Hill over Idylwood any day. I can only speak for myself.

  • I live in Idylwood, on a corner house along Wayside. When I replaced the original (and I mean original) windows in the upstairs converted attic where my office is, with energy efficient windows, I hardly noticed the street noise. We don’t use our living room much and the noise downstairs in the kitchen doesn’t bother me. Maybe I’ve gotten used to it. I like that the police are close by and can get to me lickety split. As for that house, it seems like the soul has been renovated out of it a bit. Our home still has a lot of 1930s features (including original oak floors) that make it really charming.

  • 320 to 195k. and we got a winna’-ouch!

  • The Lawndale/Wayside neighborhoods really aren’t that bad. You can get a decent 1930s or 1940s house on a large lot for a decent price. You can get to Downtown or the Medical Center in 10-15 minutes without getting on the freeway. Crime stats in Lawndale/Wayside are lower than those for the Heights, and the residents of both areas deal with the same issues – petty theft, car break-ins, litter, etc. All you really give up is proximity to the better inner-loop retail and the “prestige” of living in a trendier area. Personally, I don’t think that’s too bad.

  • I’ve always admired the charm and manicured lawns of Idylwood. For as long as I can remember, it’s always been a nice neighborhood.

  • Does anybody know how Idylwood handled Hurricane Ike as far as flooding from nearby Brays Bayou? The ship channel saw a massive tidal surge and this portion of Brays is linked by tidal changes.

  • The worst hit section of Idylwood was, as to be expected, along MacGregor. Several homes were bought by FEMA and demolished. (There’s some info on Swamplot.com about this, search under the Idylwood category.) Also Idylwood was hit pretty bad by wind damage in the form of huge, tall trees falling on homes and garages. We were lucky; our old gal stared down Ike with just the loss of a few pieces of gutter and some tree limbs.

  • I toured this house in 2004 (when I was looking to buy) and I agree that it is overpriced. It is not “newly redone”; it looks just as it did in 2004. The 1/2 bath is in the garage, not the main house, and the only bathroom in the main house is inside the master bedroom. It’s ridiculous.