04/07/09 5:03pm

PLENTY OF EXPENSIVE HOMES FOR SALE IN AFTON OAKS Judy Thompson updates the neighborhood stats: “The Zip Code Feeling the Most Pain is . . . . definitely 77027, the Afton Oaks area. Today’s market condition update shows six of its eight price ranges to be . . . a buyer’s market. This is happening at the high end, a result of so much redevelopment during the past decade. This zip code also experienced the highest appreciation in recent years in price per square foot paid so you might say they experienced a slight ‘bubble’ that is now bursting.” [Strictly a Buyer’s Agent]

03/06/09 12:22pm

This home, with a dramatic roofline that only hints at the remarkable ceiling swoops that await inside, was the 1952 creation of Houston architect Allen R. Williams. It’s at the corner of Ivanhoe and Kettering in Afton Oaks, and as of this week, it’s on the market “as is.”


05/01/08 3:41pm

Corner of Richmond and Fountainview, Houston

Pedestrian scribe John Lomax and Marfa City Council candidate David Beebe have, by this time, earned the right to make a few sweeping statements about various Houston neighborhoods. And Lomax exercises that right in his chronicle of the pair’s latest adventure on foot, along Richmond Avenue from Mission Bend to Midtown:

. . . the epicenter of H-Town cheese is the corner of Fountainview and Richmond. A four-story, day-glo, red, white, turquoise, and tan building looms over the southeastern corner there, and it houses a Sprint shop, a little downstairs bar with the godawful name Identity, a scalper’s office, a massage therapist, and a huge Darque Tan outlet.

Sure, Westheimer’s got some cheese, and is a little tattered around the edges in spots, but there’s a veneer of gentility as expressed by old-line businesses like Christie’s Seafood. Richmond, by contrast, used to have that sub-Landry’s fried seafood emporium King Fish Market, which despite the incessant awful commercials that polluted local airwaves circa 1999, is now out of business and practically in ruins. The whole lot of it is a great vat of rancid Velveeta.

As is much of the Richmond Strip. That giant sax outside of Billy Blues is looking more and more like the torch sticking out of the sand at the end of Planet of the Apes.

After the jump: how’s the nightlife?


03/03/08 3:13pm

No photo this time — just imagine a 90-ft.-tall billboard . . . that isn’t there!

That’s right: The billboard placed in the front yard of the house at 4743 Banning St. near the West Loop has apparently been removed. Says our tipster:

I drove by the Afton Oaks billboard house yesterday and the billboard is now GONE!!! I wonder what happened? Maybe the guy who told me they were making the billboard larger was just pulling my chain?

02/25/08 12:51pm

Expansion of Billboard at 4743 Banning Dr., Afton Oaks, Houston

When last we left the house at 4743 Banning Dr., a giant billboard had been planted in the front yard and the enterprising owners had successfully converted the front porch into a driveway. In this installment, our correspondent gleefully returns to the scene and finds even more exciting transformations, plus hints of a lot more fun in store for Afton Oaks. Here’s the report:

OH BOY!!!! Do I have some scoop for you.

So I went by the house on Banning and it has been swallowed up like a snake eats a rat. . . . It’s been completely usurped by Sign-A-Rama…now looks like one structure.

After the jump: it’s not just one billboard . . . there’s so much more!


02/15/08 11:01pm

What should replace the disappearing ranch moderns of Afton Oaks? Faux French chateaux? Towering Tuscan Villas? Martha Stewart Colonials? Storybook stucco townhouses? Tour this weekend’s open houses . . . then cast your vote!

3121 Newcastle St., Afton Oaks, Houston

Location: 3121 Newcastle St.
Details: 4-5 bedrooms, 4 full & 2 half baths; 6,500 sq. ft.
Price: $2,692,500
The Scoop: Preston Wood home won’t be complete for at least two months, but already “beautifully reminiscent of Loire Valley chateaux.” Lots of old-European-house parts tacked on.
Open House: Sunday, 2-4 pm

Like this one? Well, there’s more!


02/04/08 4:38pm

House with Billboard at 4743 Banning Dr., Afton Oaks, Houston

With their Afton Oaks neighbors up in arms over their enterprising 90-foot-tall front-yard billboard, the owners of the home at the corner of Banning and Vossdale have apparently decided there won’t be much need to hang out on the front porch anymore. A Swamplot reader drove by the site Friday and sends in photos and comments:

Yes, the driveway is now where the front porch once was. Also, every shade on the house was drawn. I wonder if they have gotten threats from this? Oh wait, this is Afton Oaks. Of course they have.

The reader, who asked to be called “Buildergeek,” also reports on the yard improvements described in the Afton Oaks eNews:

As for landscaping, if you call not mowing a tuft of grass and leaving a mud track where your old sidewalk used to be landscaping, they did a really good job.

Below the fold: Buildergeek’s view from the front.


02/01/08 8:20am

House and Billboard at 4743 Banning Dr., Afton Oaks, Houston

Yes, that’s a mighty big sign in the front yard of the house at 4743 Banning Dr. in Afton Oaks. And it’s not listing the house for sale.

A reader sends in photos and says they’re from a couple of months back. He adds, “What good is having a home at the edge of the West Loop if you can’t put up a 90 foot tall billboard in your front yard?”

Remember that hiccup in the city’s sign ordinance, back in October? Well, look how resourceful some people are! The Afton Oaks January eNews reports that the billboard is still there, but that there’s now . . . landscaping around the base!

Court date: postponed until the second week of February. After the jump: a few more pics from our tardy tipster.


01/21/08 4:39pm

Pigeons on Roof of 4404 Richmond Ave., Houston

What are all those pigeons doing in the parking lot by the original Ragin Cajun restaurant? Tech radio answerman Jay Lee discovers the secret of their survival — plus an interesting detail about a neighboring property — during his encounter with a man who’s spent more than 22 years working at Jarinee’s Dressmaking & Alterations shop, just a few doors down (at 4404 Richmond):

He’s been feeding the pigeons for 10 years.

He expressed some sadness as he told me the property had recently been sold to developers and he worried about the fate of his “friends.” Vichien told me how he tried to watch over the pigeons and how much money he’s spent on feed over the years.

As we talked I saw a Red-tail Hawk circling above the parking lot. Vichien clapped his hands and the birds all flew into the sky. This caused the hawk to retreat a bit, but he stayed close. Vichien confided that he’s lost to the hawk on many occasions.

After we were done chatting he went to his truck and pulled out a bag of bird seed and began to pour it onto the pavement. That was a sight to see…

After the jump: That sight!