05/24/13 12:42pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CHEAPER, CLOSE-IN “I would just add to what Cody said. You can avoid traffic AND get a big house and lawn here in Houston. You just need to set aside your prejudices about certain neighborhoods. We’ve been living in the Brays Oaks area, formerly known as Fondren Southwest, since 2007, and it’s wonderful. Houses prices are on-par with far-flung suburbs like Jersey Village and Spring; far less than Inside the Loop. Barring any major accidents we can get from our house to the Museum District in less than 25 minutes; the Medical Center in under 20. My commute to work only takes me one exit on the Southwest Freeway. I take a certain satisfaction and watching all the people from Sugar Land sit in traffic, knowing that they spent more and got less house than we did. (Crime issues here are overblown, by the way – the result of sensationalized local news reports. The public schools are lousy, but we have some great private schools.)” [ZAW, commenting on Comment of the Day: First We Crowd]

07/18/12 3:20pm

Leaping canines on a custom gate further boost the through-the-crate view of a property in Braeburn Gardens that has been home for 35 years to The Courtyard Kennel. The compound, once a show dog facility, sits on more than an acre. The assemblage of structures includes 800 sq. ft. of indoor-outdoor kennels and pet care facilities, dog runs, covered patios, and enough outdoor spaces and landscaping to keep 4-legged pets and their 2-legged friends amused. There’s also a 1955 house, a portion of which appears to have been a business office, and a driveway that, fittingly, doglegs across the corner lot.


02/11/10 4:04pm

The judges for this week’s game declare . . . that we have a winner! Miz Brooke Smith, you get the prize: a one-year individual membership in the Rice Design Alliance. Congratulations!

(Thanks also to flake, for writing this post’s headline!)

So where is this place?


01/04/10 12:32pm

HOLIDAY FIRE ROUNDUP A former auto parts store converted to a house of worship for the local congregation of a Nigerian-based church burned in the early hours of New Years Day, in a fire begun from a candle at the altar. The facility at 9430 West Bellfort, which backs up to Braeburn Valley West, was completely destroyed, except for some metal siding. Congregants, who are now holding services in a northside restaurant, have vowed to rebuild. A few days earlier, in the gated enclave of homes just north of Rice University known as Shadowlawn Shadyside, another fire struck a $12 million mansion with some history behind it: “The home was designed by New York architect Harrie T. Lindberg for William Stamps Farish, the founder of Humble Oil, which was one of the companies that eventually became Exxon Mobil Corp. According to a biography of [Howard] Hughes, the mansion at 10 Remington Lane was where Hughes married Ella Rice, the sister of Farish’s wife.” [abc13; Reuters]

05/15/09 12:07pm

This grand 8,000-sq.-ft. residence in Braeburn Gardens comes with its own private bridge to whisk you and your beloved over the moat drainage ditch in front. And the 1.6-acre-plus grounds are protected (mostly) by a brick wall — which helps to block out the view of all those trucks hanging out in that lot facing Airport Blvd. in back. “Construction Company is not part of property,” the listing helpfully informs.

But the gazebo is!

Sadly, no photos of the home’s presumably impressive main entrance are included, though several interior shots demonstrate that walls throughout the structure are “incredibly thick” — in the words of the reader who brought it to Swamplot’s attention. That includes the wood planter in the Family Room, the whirlpool tub in a Sitting Room off the Master Bedroom, and the “Cement block room” hidden behind Bedroom #3.

How much does a single-story, 3-4 bedroom, early-’80s castle go for these days?


04/17/08 11:58pm

Neighborhood Guessing Game 3: Living Room and Dining Room

There was no consensus in this week’s Neighborhood Guessing Game . . . and nobody guessed the exact neighborhood of our mystery house. But one person came close enough to win, and we generated a healthy number of well-informed guesses . . . along with enough references to less-frequently mentioned Houston neighborhoods to send local real-estate obsessives on wild new searches through HAR.com listings.

The guesses, this week: Braeburn Valley; Westbury; Cherryhurst; Braes Heights (2 votes!); Meyerland; Maplewood South; Ashford Forest; Walnut Bend; Jersey Village; Montrose; Inwood Forest; Spring Branch between I-10, Westview, Gessner, and Antoine; Linkwood Ayrshire; Meadows Place; Shepherd Park Plaza; Candlelight Plaza; and Timbergrove.

All smart guesses. But all of them wrong! Well . . . almost all of them. The house is in Braeburn Valley West, a slightly newer neighborhood than Braeburn Valley — the guess of this week’s winner, HoustonAreaGuy.

HoustonAreaGuy’s reasoning, of course, was flawless:

I had a house there several years ago and this reminds me of alot of my house, although the rooms appears to be smaller.

There were plenty of strong comments this week, but our honorable mention vote goes to Pat Ennis, who had some solid observations . . .

It looks like the ubiquitious mid-70’s ranch house with detached garage and brick fireplace that can be found in a huge swath of southwest and west Houston. Some one ponied up for substantial cosmetic improvements, so it must be in a good neighborhood.

. . . but like other commenters displayed more logic than the real estate market can bear, apparently:

All that black and white in the kitchen though means it was likely done at least decade ago. Lakeside Place, Breaburn Valley and Westbury are all too far out for a 10-year old re-do.

. . . oh, but not too far out for a more recent redo that simply looks out of date!

After the jump: What a 1970 model Braeburn Valley West home looks like . . . today!