Introducing the Swamplot Price Adjuster

Are you getting the sense that some properties on the market in the greater Houston area are priced a little . . . inappropriately? Then you’ll enjoy the brand new feature Swamplot is trying out. We’re calling it the Swamplot Price Adjuster.

Which properties will Price Adjuster feature? Ones you send in!

Here’s how it works: Send your nominations to Swamplot in an email. Make sure to include a link to the listing or photos. Tell us about the property, and explain why you think it’s worthy of a price adjustment. Then tell us what you think a better price would be. (Unless you request otherwise, all submissions will be anonymous.)

Swamplot Price Adjuster will feature the best submissions, and allow readers to comment on and quibble with the property’s pricing.

Does this sound like an interesting idea? Good, because we’ve already received our first Swamplot Price Adjuster submission, and it’s waiting for your proposed adjustments:


Location: 4016 Erie St., Park Place 77087
Details: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath; 1,298 sq. ft. on a 12,900-sq.-ft. lot
Price: $57,000
History: Listed April 20, 2009. Price cut $3K on June 4th.

Our nominator writes:

I thought this one was interesting for anyone that is a fan of the arts & crafts style. Despite its poor condition it really exudes a lot of architectural character, & at $57,000 and still just 10 minutes from downtown, its a steal! I can only imagine what it would sell for in the Heights, warts and all.

The woodwork, including what appears to be original beadboard in the bath, looks pretty cool. I imagine a lot of that in the entry is oak. Someone really ambitious could strip and refinish that. I like the stone porch base, and the small paned windows. Then again, maybe I have too much imagination.

What do you think would be a better price for this home? Our nominator starts the bidding at $75,000.

17 Comment

  • Cute. This is a total timewarp — it’s like this house has been asleep for 70 years. Original tub/sink/toilet? Love the wood paneling, too. I’m not thrilled with the area, however, and if I were looking for a house I don’t think I’d do $75k. I’d seriously consider the asking price, however.

  • I think the current price is right since the neighborhood isn’t that great.

    Yes, it has a lot of cool things inside and they appear to be original. That just makes the current price a gem.

    If the price was $75k, I would argue it down on neighborhood alone.

  • What is the estimated cost of moving this house out to the country, or maybe Katy?

    Too bad all the woodwork is painted – stripping all that is either $$$ or a labor of love, neither of which is going to happen to this poor bungalow.

    I like the price.

  • I think I agree with kjb. Zillow doesn’t offer much guidance, but the houses nearby for sale for more than that are bigger (3 bedrooms, 1 bath). So a modest-sized house in need of serious fixer-up investments in a sketchy neighborhood… But is the neighborhood all that sketchy?

    I went to and looked at the crimes in that zip code for March, and compared them with Montrose (also for March):

    48 burglaries
    41 burglaries of a motor vehicle
    32 auto thefts
    30 dwi
    29 drug busts
    20 robberies
    17 assaults
    1 murder

    21 burglaries
    34 burglaries of a motor vehicle
    47 auto thefts
    34 dwi
    28 drug busts
    8 robberies
    8 assaults
    0 murders

    Those robberies, assaults, and the murder are scary and real disincentives to move there. So yeah, it’s sketchy for sure. It seems less likely that you’ll get your car stolen though. (Still, if I bought this house, I would plan on building a garage as part of the many improvements I would make.)

  • I don’t know – for $57K that may not be that bad a neighborhood. It is literally four or five blocks from uber-hip Glenbrook Valley, and on the Bing map it looks like a house behind it is a teardown or a significant renovation with a large pool in the back. I dunno??

  • I thought about the subject of Karen’s comments when I was posting mine.

    A house of this size is not to difficult to move. At worst it would be broken in half.

    It would be actually cool to have a house like this in the country especially as a second home. Spend some time slowly remodeling it to your own perfection.

  • While we’re in the neighborhood, what’s up with this house going for $170K, less than a half mile away? ( Another candidate for a price adjustment, there. I live not far from this neighborhood, and Telephone Rd. is part of my daily commute. I wouldn’t pay $57000 for a fixer-upper in this neighborhood, but I do like KJB’s idea of moving it to the country.

  • Thanks for the props Jessica1, but Karen threw out the moving to the country idea.

    About that $170K, well, it’s newer and twice as large.

  • Oops sorry Karen, I like YOUR idea of making this a country house!

  • That is one ginormous crape myrtle…

  • Just how much of a fixer up is this? New electrics, new plumbing, new roof, new interior finishes, new exterior finishes, new appliances: AC, furnace, kitchen. Hard to judge the price without a home inspection for me.

    Re the neighborhood … no one has even mentioned the proximity to Hobby. Is this house in the flight path?

  • Cathy, I don’t think this neighborhood is that affected by airplane noise. It’s close to Hobby but not that close. It also seems to me (and I live REAL close) that the planes approach a little more from the NW (or the SE), and this neighborhood is almost straight N. Frankly I think you’re more likely to hear freeway noise due to it’s proximity to 45. The neighborhood that I bet really gets the airplane noise is garden villas.

  • One thing I puzzle about is, if this house was moved away and became my little country cottage, what would be a good use of this land? The neighborhood is really too sketchy for safe living – unless you put in a bunker. The fact that the freeway dissected a nice old neighborhood probably was the primary reason these homes have fallen into disrepair and why the residents are subject to assaults and robberies.

    I lived in Montrose for 20 years and saw a fair share of nasty crime. Once I had young children it became even harder to justify living in a place that was colorful, yes, but also sometimes dangerous. I wouldn’t be able to sell this house if I owned it, to anyone but a person in blue.

    Even a community garden would be wrong here – too much particulate pollution from the freeway.

  • Bunkers? really? Jeez, when did this town become so wussified?

  • 77087 covers a large area, including Gulfgate and lots of Telephone road. The bigger issues reported probably happened in those areas and not in Park Place. That area is not that bad. Moving it, especially to some bland cookie cutter suburb, would be a total waste.

  • Oh, Shannon, I do enjoy an urban lifestyle. But in my beautiful Montrose neighborhood, my husband found it challenging to feel relaxed for a few weeks after he was hit in the face with a gun, by two men who had justed mugged a woman getting into her car, across the street from our house.

    A couple of years later, during a porch remodel, we were the unhappy hosts of a fugitive from police, who found the crawl space under our house to be a good hiding place at 2 am. Our yard was fenced front and back, but apparently when you’re fleeing police you can jump pretty high.

    The problem for “civilians” in lower income neighborhoods is that there aren’t many people who can exert the appropriate amount of pressure on local government, neighbors, etc. to keep the criminal element at a minimum. My Montrose neighborhood was by no means “lower income,” but we touched lower Alabama and had to deal with the half-way houses there, plus the vagrant teens at Covenant House on the other side of the area. The neighborhood did as well as it could to keep the nastiness at bay, and I think our experience there was typical.

    I do not know what daily life is like in Park Place, but I imagine it is pretty sketchy. I don’t think I’m a “wuss,” but I wouldn’t be buying a house in Park Place at any price. I’m thankful I have the resources to live inside the loop and in a neighborhood where crime is not common.

  • Sorry Karen, you are a wuss.