Swamplot Price Adjuster: The Path from Spring Branch to Binglewood

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: 3122 Mona Lee Ln., Binglewood
Details: 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths; 3,894 sq. ft. on a 10,018-sq.-ft. lot
Price: $234,500
History: On the market since mid-September

This person who’s nominating this home writes:

Binglewood? Binglewhere? Wherever it is, this is a great neighborhood to walk in. As my spouse and I have strolled past this house over the years, we’ve called it The White Elephant. It’s a charming elephant from the front, but it’s been way over-improved for the neighborhood. Before the large addition, it was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath and was probably around 1700 square feet. Now it’s a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, and almost 3900 square feet. Almost no one else in the neighborhood has added on. The addition at the back is quite graceless, the pool won’t add any value, and the entire rest of the back yard is concrete.

There is no cache to living in this neighborhood. When we moved in, more than one person said to us: “Oh, Spring Branch. That area used to be nice.” We love it here, but are under no illusion that other people will. The school district is great, but the neighborhood is zoned to Edgewood, Northbrook and Northbrook – not the best in the district. (Snark aside, our kids loved Edgewood Elementary, but didn’t want to go to Northbrook Middle and High. It was their choice to go elsewhere.)

So what about a better price for this home?


HCAD has this property appraised at $211,000, much less than what they’re asking. HCAD probably has the property appraised too high, too. I believe they tend do this here because of the large lots. However, when I challenged mine a couple of years ago, they dropped $15,000 without a fuss, bringing it closer to what I could actually sell it for. This property evaluation doesn’t look to have been challenged in the last 5 years. . . .

I’d suggest $190,000 at the most for this place.

Readers, what numbers would you suggest?

2 Comment

  • $150K would be generous; $135K would be more realistic; $125K would get it sold.

    BTW, the wood floors in the third linked photo look fake, the carpet in the fourth photo is in dire need of replacement, the kitchen looks shockingly white, and the back side of the house is absolutely hideous. And that second photo doesn’t make the house look too great either.

    Maybe even $125K is too much; perhaps something in the $110K range would be more appropriate.

  • “Oh, Spring Branch. That area used to be nice.” We love it here, but are under no illusion that other people will.

    Yes, well, you know. It is what it is. Even before the market went down the drain, Spring Branch for the most part was “list it, light a novena, bury a statue of St. Joseph, and lie to all the neighbors and tell them the Hispanic family that looked at the house were just looking and not really serious.” That sounds racist. It’s reality. Isn’t reality wonderful?

    Binglewood is another one of those islands in the stormy sea. As for what the house is worth, who knows? Assume the HCAD appraisal is what it might have been worth today and take 10% off for the reality factors, not just the one with regard to Spring Branch, and you probably have a better feel for the value. Which would be $189,000. Which is basically what the mystery Swamplotter has suggested. Who knows a neighborhood better than someone living in the neighborhood?