Beneath all the pine trees of this Spring Oaks property there’s a redwood-sided garage big enough for a RV, or so says the listing. Although the single-story 1955 home has been updated a few times, most of the remodeling appears to be a decade — or two — old. Still, the $790,000 metal-roofed home comes with nearly a half-acre of land, a pool, some patios, plus that extra-large, multi-purpose car barn.
You might well expect a home on street named “Leafy Lane” to sport a woodsy setting. While this new Spring Oaks listing is on a 16,788-sq.-ft. lot more groomed than sylvan, it does back up to a ravine formed by a ribbon of Spring Branch Creek. The 3-2 window pattern beneath the low-slung gable in front is a tip-off that the front room is not one room at all. Rather, the street-facing space contains a family room and a bedroom. Both sides of that great divide at the roof ridge, however, have vaulted ceilings. Elsewhere inside, other unexpected treatments include a dual personality fireplace that features an ornately carved mantle tacked onto a plainer midcentury brick wall; a common room currently re-purposed as a dining room; and in the kitchen, wall paneling that matches the knob-free cabinets.
What large-scale construction project is that about to go up on the north side of the Katy Freeway opposite the 35-story spike-headedMemorial Hermann Tower, a reader wants to know. A sign for MetroNational contractor Anslow Bryant recently went up on the Gessner Rd. site, which was until last year the home of the Gessner Place Shopping Center and Korean grocery store Komart. “It appears that a portion of it (the immediate corner) has been fenced off & the construction signs have gone up,” asks the reader, who also sent in these photos. “My guess is whatever goes here will be vertical.”
A bit east of the tower, and on the opposite side of I-10, Anslow Bryant is currently constructing a 14-story tower for future MetroNational tenant Nexen Petroleum.
Who said looking for a match online is easy? This remade 4,818-sq.-ft. home on a half-acre lot near Hilshire Village was on the market almost continuously from fall 2006 to fall 2008 . . . then again in the spring of 2010, and this year from April to the end of June. But you’ve gotta have hope: It’s back on the market again as of last week. How about: 61-year-old Bellewood belle has heart of gold, kitchen counter of granite, master bedroom floor of berber. Grew up in staid suburban Spring Branch Ranch; still inscrutable at first glance, very different on the inside. Dedicated to imagining romantic self, internal growth. Stuck on cul-de-sac, but willing to break down walls to get what I need. Given to recurring fantasies involving candles and wrought-iron balconies; ready to go for baroque if the right offer comes along.
A small group of homeowners that includes residents of Timbergrove, Brookwoods Estates, and Holly Park have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration claiming that the agency approved the expansion of Hwy. 290 along the 38-mile stretch from 610 to FM 2920 last August without properly analyzing how noise from the project would affect their properties. In the filing, the plaintiffs say they are not opposed to the project, but are concerned that TxDOT’s environmental studies of its planned elevated roadways at the 610 and I-10 interchanges — some of which will reach as high as 100 ft. in the air — didn’t account for noise impacts on Memorial Park and the Houston Arboretum as well.
Remember this home in Spring Branch Woods? Maybe not. Because the last time it went up for sale the home was in such bad shape the listing agent resorted to illustrating it with a gallery of cheesy stock photos, along with such enticing adjectives as “inhabitable.” And then there was this classic offer: “A diamond in the WAY rough, enter at your own risk, with a mask.”
The next day, enterprising Swamplot reader Claire de Lune drove by the property, and sent in a few photos of the place, including the one above, which helped explain the agent’s photographic choices — at least the image of all those children, running.
On October 15th, the home sold for $80,000, down a bit from the $110K asking price. And tax records dug up by a reader show the buyer, Titan Premier LLC, financed $71K of it — not exactly the “cash only” offer the seller had wanted. Then, at the beginning of December, the home went . . . gasp! . . . back on the market.
Reader Claire de Lune has a reconnaissance report on the mysterious home at 9765 Oak Point Dr. in Spring Branch Woods Swamplot highlighted yesterday — you know, the new “enter at your own risk, with a mask” $110K listing apparently so horrifying to the agent that only a series of seemingly random stock photos could properly represent it. “There IS a house behind all that foliage,” our volunteer correspondent assures us. But then: “I must say, of all the stock photos [the listing agent] used, the little children running away in fear is the MOST appropriate.”
Claire de Lune reports that the rest of the street is pretty, but there’s no for-sale sign in front of this home:
This is a corner lot, overgrown with a minimum 3-4 years of neglect. Dead tree limbs on the roof suggest Ike damage. I suspect someone who really knows where and how to dig can find out when the taxes were last paid. . . . This place is within walking distance of the ginormous HEB @ Bunker Hill and all that surrounds it.
Must be pretty bad, if a brand-new listing has to resort to a gallery of stock photos (some shown above) in place of actual property pix. “Enter at your own risk, with a mask,” reads the description. But the note to agents is more colorful and contradictory:
Sold As is. Investors only. Cash Only. A diamond in the WAY rough, enter at your own risk, with a mask. Unoccupied, Feel free to walk on property. Inhabitable. . . . Drive by only, just make offer.
“I can only imagine what condition this place is in,” writes the reader who sent us the listing. All the excitement and adventure can be yours — for just $110,000.
A little more detail on that other Walmart headed for I-10, from Memorial Examiner reporter Rusty Graham: Construction will begin within a couple of months on the 185,000 sq. ft. Supercenter just north of the Marq*E Entertainment Center, on the remaining 23 acres of the former Cameron Iron Works plant. The company has quietly owned a portion of the TCEQ remediation site, which features soil and groundwater rich in cleaning solvents, since 2008. (“Most of the soil at the site has now been cleaned to meet residential standards,” Cooper Cameron claims.) Six of 7 surrounding pad sites will line Silber Rd. The Walmart itself will form a scenic backdrop to an expansive 880-space parking lot: