Tiny Done-Up Woodhead Cottage Is Townhome Fodder

This cozy little white-picket-fenced 1,224-sq.-ft. cottage on Woodhead north of Fairview went on the market just as the holiday weekend began. But already “developers are swarming with offers and not even looking at the home and gardens,” a source tells Swamplot. Why bother, when the 1930 home sits on a 5,000-sq.-ft. corner lot along Welch St., just 4 blocks south of the River Oaks Shopping Center? New driveways away! But . . . okay, what would $369,500 would buy here?


What defense does a single-bedroom, single-bath house have against Montrose’s inevitable 3-story future? Well, there’s the extra space in the guest house out back:

Room for something-or-other in the attic:

And actual ground-level patio space in back:

43 Comment

  • Its an oasis of awesomeness. Aside from greed, why would anyone want to upset this gem?

  • I love this house.

  • Such a nice place…

  • Pure greed and really don’t care! Its a charmer.

  • It’s adorable. I live in a similar 1935 cottage, and the thought of it being torn down in favor of a faux-talian, stucco, mass-produced mess makes me ill. I guess there is no accounting for (a lack of) taste.

  • I’ve coveted the perfection of their fence for years.

  • Who says this is going to be townhouses?

    This is my neighborhood. While there are certainly plenty of townhouses in the area, the overall trend has moved decidedly toward single family homes. As I type, there are at least a half dozen new single family homes under construction within a few blocks of this site.

    While this house appears to be quite nice, I’m guessing whatever replaces it will be much nicer.

    I know it’s standard operating procedure for Swamplotters to hate everything new, but the single family homes (and even the townhouses) being built in this neighborhood are typically quite nice.

    This demo is more the exception than the rule. Most of what gets torn down around here is garbage.

  • Is there a region of the whiners’ heads where they recognize that lamenting the construction of townhomes and whining that Houston isn’t a walkable city is dissonant?

  • Isn’t “much nicer” a subjective term here, considering the home is beautifully-kept and lanscaped and not an Ike leftover? What would “nicer” be – different construction? Three stories? Turrets and lick ‘n’ stick stonework? Aside from the house, I’m impressed at how well the space of such a tiny lot has been utilized.

  • Its lovely…very sad it’ll likely be demo’d. I just hope they keep the big tree in the back…

  • But why tear down a nice house to build a different nice house? This seems dumb.

  • Wow, yes a real charmer for sure. Beautiful!

  • They should demo this old place and build something useful, like a CVS

  • Townhouse market isn’t what it once was… I’m thinking McMansion, but make no bones, it’s coming down.

  • What- nobody wants to buy a 1 bedroom, 1 bath house that needs some updating for $300/sf? I’m amazed! It absolutely is a cool, charming place with a great yard. But as it is, this house appeals to very few buyers, and is basically for sale near lot value. Would be great if someone came in and did a renovation that stayed true to the style of the home… but the numbers have to make sense too.

  • Does the seller have the responsibility to screen potential buyers for their intent towards their property?
    This article makes it seem like developers are chomping at the bit. Hopefully the seller realizes this and jacks the price up another 100k as a “townhome fee” … and if they can get that.. who are we to tell them not to sell.

  • That house is great, but check out this one:


    I hope this gem isn’t going to get crunched and turned into a pair of 700-800k townhomes (which there are plenty of on Woodhead). Hopefully the buyers are a nice empty-nest couple who want to be close in and have a little room to garden and let their dog see the light of day. But, it looks like lot value has exceeded the value of the home as a comparable Heights home would go for 50-70k less.

  • What an awesome little cottage. The market might not be huge, but you’d be surprised how many people actually want smaller spaces, leafy settings, and excellent locations over faux style, wine cellars, and 4 car garages. The problem is, the developers will outbid anyone because they know they can plop down 3 or 4 towhomes or one monster 8,000 square foot “custom” home and make mint. The ONLY thing that might save this house is that the townhome market hasn’t fully recovered and Woodhead isn’t the most desirable street in that ‘hood on which to place a $1.3 million garage mahal.

  • I’ve long admired both these homes, and it will be sad to see them go; only to be replaced by a single-family faux Tuscan that will need to have the faux-stucco replaced in 5 years.

  • I have no intention on selling to a builder. Its been too special to me to even think about selling to a builder. Thanks for all the nice comments

  • How about a preservation ordinance that would allow a homeowner, after having lived at a home for a certain number of years and perhaps after having spent a certain amount on the house, to file for permanent non-demolition status no matter who owns it in the future? One person’s work being left for a neighborhood’s and city’s posterity.

  • Rick – your home is lovely and I’m pleased that you want to see it remain after you sell it.

    If you’re worried about whether “the numbers make sense” I’ll just note that a house on my block about this size (a little smaller, actually) sold for a bit less than this recently in a matter of days, and my neighborhood is not as pricey as this one. There is, in fact, a market for human-sized houses, and there are in fact a lot of people who recognize that excess space is just something to clean, air condition, and pay taxes on if you don’t have a really good use for it.

  • Hey Rick, shout out to you! I know this guy in the 1st ward that went on and put a deed restriction on the house that it cant be tore down when he sold it. Somebody bought it and is fixing it up.

  • I walk by this gorgeous piece of American architecture everyday and am not surprised it’s going to be turned into stucco house of shame. It’s the Houston way. It would be nice if people in this city chose to care about the city they live in.

  • Dana-X:
    You don’t need an ordinance for that. If you don’t want your house town down, just sell it with deed restrictions that don’t allow it to be torn down. No one is stopping you. You don’t have to own the property for years. You only have to own it for five minutes.

  • Good news…I have a contract and the house is staying as is, where is…

  • Sweet!

  • Congrats Rick! I am so glad I can continue to admire this great property!!

  • Wow, thats great news. A victory for the cute litte cottages!

  • Fantastic!!

  • Dana-X, just to add to what Bernard said, homeowners in Houston can designate their properties as city protected landmarks, which means in effect that their house (or building, whatever) can’t be demolished.

  • Rick,
    Gorgeous home! Let us know if the deal doesn’t go through. Some of us would be interested…:-)

  • Congrats Rick! Score one for timeless aestheticism!

  • This neighborhood is lucky to have Rick as the homeowner.
    Let’s be honest – pursuing either of those options (designating their properties as city protected landmark or changing the deed restriction to prevent future town homes) would be a limiting factor on the number of potential buyers, and that could be a limiting factor to getting top dollar.

    Not all sellers are going to put the interests of their would-be ex-neighbors above their own.

  • Cool!
    A well-maintained & -preserved 1930s home is even harder to find than 100-yr-old trees.
    Both are essentially irreplacable.

  • Yay for you, Rick! I’ve watched all the changes to your property over the years and am mega-relieved that someone will now care for it as you have. Congrats!

  • Rick, your house is awesome!

  • You know what? I hope that the buyer found that house because it was here on the Swamplot. This ia an article with a happy ending, And even if they did’nt find it here, this is a great web site for people like me who give a damn about the architecture, goings on, and quality of life in Houston.



  • Check HCAD to find the lot & sewer tap(s) are 90% of the cost. There is a capped assessment & a homestead exemption, which no developer can retain. There is no ‘savings’ for a tear down. I live in the neighborhood, and my lot is assessed at $372K, excluding Homestead Exemption. My 1933, completely renovated home is assessed at $5K.
    The sales price is intending to generate $60 per square foot of dirt. There are limited dollars for speculation.

  • Sad to say that as I drove home down Woodhead this afternoon I noticed that this house was pulled down by a backhoe which is currently perched atop the pile of broken lumber.