All Aboard an Updated Idylwood Cottage Asking $459K



Woodsy trim takes a casual course through a 1941 home in Idylwood, starting with a boarded up wall in the living room (top). The property’s listing earlier this week came with a $459K price tag — and a Sunday afternoon open house on its calendar.



A little bushwhacking though front-lot landscaping lands at the half-circle steps of the round-topped front door, which faces northeast on a street intersecting Wayside Dr.


Running loose from the accent wall (pictured at the top of the story), a patchwork pattern of colorful trim pops against the ceiling.


Windows at the front of the home run floor to valance:



One of the corners of the dining room peels back for an opening and half-height wall . . .


which backs the adjacent kitchen’s tabletop spot:


Tumbled stone meets a tile countertop that stretches the length of the room:




The 2,199-sq.-ft. floor plan keeps 2 of the 4 bedrooms downstairs. In the master suite, the tray ceiling is accented by beamlets as dark as the stain on the wide window trim:



The master closet is also the laundry room; there’s a door leading outside to a side patio on the 8,250-sq.-ft. lot:


The other bedroom downstairs has been fitted as a second living area:



The bathroom downstairs has been updated:


Meanwhile, upstairs . . .




a pair of secondary bedrooms tuck under the roof line:




They share the home’s second bathroom:


Most of the yard has been fitted with a poolscape . . .


with cascading waterfall . . .


and hot tub:


At the far end of the covered patio on the side, a door leads to the front yard:


Trim Tweaked

37 Comment

  • Almost half a million to live in one of the worst parts of town? Just overlap the cancer map, pollution map, and murder map and they all overlap in East End.

  • Hmmmm, wrong side of town, surrounded by lesser neighborhoods, horrible schools, miles away from decent private schools, questionable renovation….yeah, let me jump to pluck down half a million for this “bargain”. You’d need your head examined.

  • If it means I have zero chance of having “commonsense” as a neighbor……I’LL TAKE IT!

  • I’ll second Hdtex’s comment, which points to one of the greatest appeals of the east end. Idylwood is beautiful & is no where near any refineries or excess pollution, the crime rate is lower than Montrose, or a lot of points west for that matter, it’s maybe 5 minutes from downtown, but that is considered a bad location? Only to certain people, many who would fit neatly into the demographic of those who sucked the life out of the west side of the inner-loop, helping it to transform into Katy without the commute, (which is not a compliment btw). Happy to hear it doesn’t appeal to you.

  • Same goes for “Shannon”, Hdtex!

  • Wow…that’s a lot of stuff competing for attention in the interior décor and landscaping. This house is a good example of why “white space” is important in design.

  • @Hdtex, there IS zero chance of you being my neighbor, my neighbors’ property taxes are more than you make in a year and the homes sell for more than you will make in a lifetime.

  • I agree! there’s a crap ton going on in there but the house appears solid. I like it.

  • @commonsense: I gotta ask, how much are your neighbor’s property taxes? what neighborhood is that? and how do you know how much Hdtex makes?!

  • @Houstonreader, you must be new here, to regulars this back and forth makes perfect sense.

  • @Houstonreader: Some of us that have followed Swamplot for several years know where ‘some’ posters live simply because it’s been revealed by the posters themselves.
    Shannon lives in West U and commonsense lives in one of the Memorial villages. Both look down on folks that they consider poor, meaning anyone not in their tax bracket. I live in the east end so I am poor.

  • I like it (I might even love it a little), but when it comes to price, the buyer is going to have to consider the logistics and costs of fixing that boiling hot attic. I don’t think those window units will cut it up there.

  • Don’t feed the trolls.

  • $459K?!!!! Ludicrous!! Not to mention Lord only knows what one is breathing in toxins living on the East Side! No THANK YOU!!

  • after reading commonsense’s comment about property taxes, I couldn’t help but have a vision of commonsense and his neighbors opening their letters from the tax assessor announcing this years property tax huddled in a group and exchanging them to see who has the highest rate of change, and who has the outright highest tax.
    They then celebrate by the ‘winner’ treating them all to fois gras and a nice box wine.
    do you also celebrate who has the most expensive car, or whose car gets the worst gas mileage?
    your house functions as a house, I assume? Mine does too, and it does it for a much lower price. I guess you’re proud that you have none of your namesake?

  • Commonsense is right. The horrible stain of ugliness called I-45 South shouldn’t have to be endured by anyone. If you’ve got $460k to spend you can find a better location. At least you’ve got an ugly strip center, Wal-Mart and a couple cheap motels in walking distance though.

  • The TxTribune featured an article about socioeconomic segregation recently and this exchange has reminded me that some forms of segregation have benefits (along with some costs, obviously) that go both ways. Individuals like Shannon and Commonsense bottle themselves up into a kind of rarified geographic obscurity, at least in the sense that the rest of us are unlikely to encounter them as neighbors. That’s why, affordability not being a consideration, I’d just as soon not live in the Heights as in River Oaks, and would rather actually live in Eastwood, Forest Hill, or Pecan Park rather than Idylwood.

    This also goes toward an argument as to why urban growth boundaries or similar measures that are intended to redirect regional growth patterns are a bad idea. People that are happy to live in Katy should live in Katy, and not miserably over near me (and vice versa).

  • @commonsense
    Dude. Most people make way more than $134,999k (appliances stay) in a lifetime. You need to get out more.

  • it’s a great looking home. they did a great job on at the attic re-do as its huge and tons of space (there was a common room and two bedrooms upstairs), pool and yard are amazing, all on a really nice size lot for Idylwood…

    !!!/movocelot, i was very surprised..wasn’t as cluttered IRL as the pics on har make it out to be

    i got there towards the end of the open house and it was packed

  • Man, those Idylwoodsians sure do think they’re special. It’s a cute and scenic little neighborhood, but come on they’re pricing it like its the Heights but it’s the East End. This place is worth $300,000, tops.
    Are we still really counting finished-out attics as usable square footage? Really? Ever been in one of those in August? I hope they dont sucker some poor yankees into buying this place thinking they’re going to be able to use those rooms year-round.

  • @jgriff
    So true. I-45 N is way better. You’ll often find me hanging out at the Northline WalMart or the Furniture Corridor a little farther north. For when I feel like treating myself, I go to the Heights WalMart! I-45 North side forever!

  • I don’t see why people question choosing Idylwood over the Heights. Idylwood has more eye appeal. And with more people seeing the East side as a viable inner-loop bedroom community the best nabes in the area will be in demand. And “lack” of amenities etc is so overrated. People tend to have personal machines known as automobiles, not horses. 15-20 mins from Idlywood and you’re anywhere “worth going to.”

  • Anyone who thinks they could buy an equivalent house in the Heights for that price, isn’t up to date on what Heights homes are currently selling for. No way could you find a single family w/pool 4/2 for 450,00. Only 9 properties are currently for sale in the heights that are 4/2 and under 500,000. All townhouse or gut jobs.

  • @Progg: I guess I was a little too specific. I-45 North is an eyesore too. That’s one of the many reasons I would never move to the Woodlands like many of my co-workers have. Why spend your life having to look at all that blight everyday?

  • *For the record I reside in Southampton not West U. I appreciate some like the East End, but Idywood isn’t the Heights nor Montrose. It’s a very cute neighborhood, but the East End isn’t that West Side. My opinion on this subject doesn’t make me an elitist nor a racist, it makes me a realist.

  • @ Innerlooping ONLY 9 4/2 properties in the heights under $500,000? Yeah im SOOO totally wrong! yes i have no idea where the Heights market is considering there is a 2,600 sqft 5/2.5 in the heights listed for $395,000. I’m clearly way off base and am a total idiot. But the one in Idylwood one has a pool! People in this range aren’t looking for a pool behind a 70 year old house.

  • I used to live in Idylwood, a few blocks from this house. It’s a beautiful neighborhood that’s pretty isolated from what most people in this price range would say are the negatives of the surrounding area. Amazing sense of neighborhood that’s so rare these days. Pocket park, revitalized section of Brays Bayou, etc. However, for that price in the area, the house has to look a certain way, basically magazine-cover quality. This one is way too specific, way too overcrowded, way too everything. A month from now we will see a price drop, and if it stays on the market, it will eventually sell $350-$375k.

  • There are 106 listings of 4/2’s for sale in the Heights and only 9 of them are under 500,000. That 395,000 is a teardown/gut job. Not exactly what I want when I pay 395,000 for a house. The house featured in this article, if plopped down in the Heights, would easily fetch 600,000+. It’s not comparable to Heights pricing at all. I do agree that the renovations are a bit too specific for it to fetch it’s asking price, but it’ll still be a great deal for someone who wants to live in this type of home in the inner loop but can’t afford the 30% more it would cost to do so in the Heights.

  • This same house plopped down in the Heights would have an asking price in the 650-800k range based on what I’ve seen. 450k is a fairly decent relative discount, and it would certainly make a few inner loopers consider it as an alternative. Cracker box 2 bedrooms are going for 250k in that neighborhood. A good sized 4 br in good condition could crack 400k without a doubt.

    I’ve been watching Idylwood as an alternative to some of the more expensive parts inside the loop, and it seems like houses typically go approximately for between 55%-65% what the equivalent asking price would be in the Heights. And that extra premium is almost all ‘land-value’. So you can still get a tear down in the East End can still be had for very cheap, whereas tear downs command a hefty premium on the west side of town.

  • I agree with JD, the house as shown is too much of everything. I personally think it should have been staged by a professional although I’d much rather see it empty. The pallet wood wall treatments will not appeal to many buyers and neither will the kitchen floor. I’d think some monetary break would be allowed for new kitchen cabinets. On second look, that whole kitchen would have to go. The counter tops, backsplash, cabinets, floor, the whole shebang.
    So yes, I also agree that the price will come down significantly in a month or so.

  • @I Love Heights Walmart
    Yes, you are completely wrong. This house is somewhat overpriced for Idylwood but you seem to be totally ignorant of what this house would get in the Heights.

  • A few points for people hating on Idylwood and East Side. It’s worth appreciating that a LOT of Houstonians work in that not so insignificant world of oil & gas & chemicals found on the east side of Houston. Not everyone works on park 10. There are actual people who operate those chemplants. Eastside is the only decent inner-loop area you can live that puts you east of the nightmare that is downtown rush-hour highway traffic. Living on the East Side will cut your commute home nearly in half (it will be much better once the 225/Beltway 8 interchange is installed), and truth be told most of it is far enough away from the plants for people to really notice any smells, as opposed to somewhere like Pasadena. There are some exceptions to that, Forest Park may be as far east as you want to go, and you need to be careful going north of Harrisburg, especially above Forest Park/along 90.

    East side is also the only area that is close to UH and relatively safe. By the way, for those who think East side is dangerous you seriously don’t know what you are talking about. I have run crime-stats in those areas and its pretty similar to the Heights, and significantly safer than Midtown. I have a buddy who is a cop in that specific district and he says the only time he has problems is when he has to cross 45 into 3rd ward.

    Idylwood is the only neighborhood in the east side that has this consistently high level of quality in the houses. Country club is nice, but more than a few crappy appartments mixed into it, and lots of wood/asbestos siding. Forest park is the same, just cheaper with nicely maintained but poorly remodeled houses (there’s something about low-income Hispanic neighborhoods and crappy remodels, I never understood it).

    All that said, for that much you could grab yourself a VERY nice townhouse in EADO proper (near Dynamo), which for some people may be much more appealing as its closer to stuff in downtown or the good part of Navigation (which idylwood really isn’t), better commute to downtown and will still save you the terrible commute to the east-side.

    East side truly isn’t for everyone. If you work in western Houston it’s not a good idea. But if you are one of the many people who works in the actual plants its a great places to live.

  • @MrEction, I was totally with you until you said “a VERY nice townhouse in EADO proper (near Dynamo)”. I am a Dynamo (and Dash) season-ticket holder since the days of playing in the Rob, and I usually park on the east side of the stadium, so I’ve walked by what used to be warehouses and empty lots, and now are townhouse farms.

    Sweet Jeezus, have you seen those rabbit warrens they’re building just a couple blocks east of BBVA along Rusk and streets near it? The thought of being trapped in one of those inner units, in the middle of a block surrounded by other townhouses, makes my skin itch.

    Gimme an old bungalow with a yard any day. I’ve seen lots of those in the old East End. Yeah, some of them have chain link fences and clotheslines in the backyard, but so what? You know what, those people can talk to their neighbors over the fence as they hang their laundry. It’s like a real neighborhood. Imagine that. (And yeah, some of them probably keep fighting roosters in the back, but diversity is what keeps Houston from being boring.)

  • I think you misunderstood. I meant very nice as in the normal price is 300k give or take, and you could find a very high end one for 500. Not implying that the norm over there is “very nice”, I agree with you, most of them are garbage.

  • Must not have been too terribly over-priced, option pending.

  • Wow – of all the stuff like roosters in the kitchen, owls in the family room, dolls and clowns all over, and assorted decorative architectural motifs -I didn’t see a single cross!

  • Beat me to it. Anyways Idylwood is an interesting barometer for the area as well because it is unlikely to draw in speculators or remodelers/flippers. The demand there is more…real? It’s gonna take 5 years or more for the area to start to build up to meet this stuff, but it will get there eventually.