More Backstory on That 1960 Walnut Bend Mod: Nobody’s Screwed It Up Yet

Thinking long and hard about that unloved $160K 1960 Mod on Olympia Dr. in Walnut Bend featured here earlier this week? Real estate agent (and Swamplot advertiser) Robert Searcy has a few thoughts:

Due to the presence of pets, unfinished projects and other work needing to be done, (plus the absence of the mod furniture you see in the pictures), it all combines to make the home show less than ideal. Architecturally, however, it is one of the more dramatic in that price range and someone could pull it together. Mod houses are almost ALWAYS a project. This one is no exception. Most either need to be brought up or if they have a higher level of maintenance then they typically require “undoing.” That means going in and taking out inappropriate alterations done in the name of updating and putting back in more architecturally compatible finishes. This is often times a more difficult and more costly process than a straight up restoration. Especially if the seller wants more for the house initially because of their “updates,” which in reality are nothing more than bad choices that architecturally “dumb down” the house to look like every tract home in Katy.

This house needs work, but doesn’t really need the “undoing” factor. It is priced well and the location is not bad.

And he sends in part of the program for the 1960 Parade of Homes:


’Zat type too small?

14 Comment

  • Sweet pics!!!

    There was a psuedo garage entrance!

    I love it even more with these isometric views and the floorplans!

    I wish my partner would want to move “that far out”. I would love it.

  • The layout is also extremely efficient!

  • The sad irony is that much of the market for that particular house (architects) is unemployed right now.

    And yes, I’m talking about myself.

  • It hasn’t sold because it doesn’t have a turret!

  • I think Houston Mod has approached the realtor about having an event here, but the realtor was not interested in doing an open house.

  • If that’s true, then a new realtor is needed. You have a rare Mod house ready for someone who loves Mod houses to fix up and you turn down a the group dedicated to preserving Mod houses in Houston away?

  • A house of this vintage and vernacular requires a fairly specific buyer possessing a working knowledge of the systemic underpinnings of a home. The first priority will be to upgrade electrical systems, HVAC and plumbing (below grade) – this assumes the aforementioned has not been upgraded within the past 10 years or so.

    There is no reason to purchase any “historic” structure without first bringing the fundamental systems up to speed. Equally important is the roof and with a flat roof, extra care has to be taken to ensure proper water shedding and flashing details. Next is insulation (particularly with respect to a flat room as there is no plenum), this will involve removing all of the gyp. bd. at the ceiling in order to access the area in question. New electrical wiring can then be run as well as HVAC ducting, followed by high efficacy insulation.

    Of course, work on all of the above items will result in potential new discoveries such as dry rot, termite damage, non-compliant items per current codes, etc. Expect to reasonably expend $100K for the items noted. This is before you can consider updating the bathrooms, kitchen, new lighting, etc.

    As there is no garage (not a deal breaker but lack of covered parking could be), consideration should be towards erecting a architecturally harmonious structure on the driveway side of the home.

    Project is not for the faint of heart but in the end, well worth the effort and potential rewards. This house would likely qualify as a City of Houston Historic Landmark and if pursued, could potentially also include the related tax breaks.

  • I love Robert Searcy. If this house wasn’t so far out there it’d definitely be a contender for me. At the price, you could easily spend another $100,000 fixing it up.

  • Hmmm… ok, my wife and I could seriously consider taking a run at this house, as we both work nearby, but not for about 3 years.

    JAH, can you tell us more about what tax breaks it might qualify for?

  • Pending! Someone’s taken the plunge. Is it anyone here?

  • fyi…believe it or not…we finally closed today. i’m sad…i’ll miss it very much.

  • Well, now a year has passed. They’ve taken down the lovely entry courtyard wall in front, ADDED WINDOWS, changed the fascia boards and who knows what havoc lies within. SO SORRY nobody here got it – I can’t imagine what the inside looks like now. I think they actually removed the fireplace! If they touched those terrazzo floors I’ll just be sick.

  • @Dee Ann, why would you be sick? It’s not your house, it’s nothing to do with you. It’s useless to get morose about what other people do with their property.

  • It is a downright shame what they’ve done…& continue to do. I welcome anyone that wants to mourn this loss with me Ross…& if you were a true mod lover, you’d be heartbroken for its loss too. BTW…there was never a fireplace.