One in a Row Behind the Orange Show

Fonde Park, Brays Bayou (and its hike-and-bike trail), and the Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts are among the outdoor diversions near this window-grilled 1977 home on a small lot in Hampshire Oaks. The neighborhood is tucked behind the former Schlumberger facility off the Gulf Fwy. and is just a TX-5 Spur away from University of Houston’s main campus. Aluminum-sided, the once-contemporary home is one of four in a row with the same tipped-top street elevation and similar proportions, though each sports its own signature tree or bush in its front yard. As the newly listed of the lookalikes, this home has an asking price of $109,900.


The beige fairy has been at work inside, where the walls and floor tiles color key off the brickwork of the corner-cutting fireplace:

Beneath painted wood cabinets, faux bois laminate covers countertops and backsplash alike:

In what appears to be a dining area off the kitchen, a doorway leads into a bedroom wing; sliding glass doors sandwiched between vertical blinds and decorative security bars open into a covered patio:

Like the living room, the master bedroom at the back of the home has a half-vaulted ceiling. The vanity portion of the master bathroom is open to the sleeping area and is flanked by the bathroom (at right in the photo below) and closet doors:

Two secondary bedrooms, each 10 ft. by 12. ft., and another full bathroom finish off the floor plan:

This south-facing home had a $99,500 price tag in a 2009 listing that expired after 6 months — even after a reduction of $5K.

17 Comment

  • That neighborhood is uniquely located, tucked back against the bayou and squeezed between the park, the energy complex and the Gulf Fwy. The patchy homes are probably just placeholders for a next-gen townhome enclave eventually.

  • The bars on all the windows and doors sums it up nicely.

  • Reminds me of the Sharpstown Terrace house we lived in when I was in high school back in the 80s.

  • I kinda doubt that this house has a pier & beam foundation as the listing says. Agent should probably recheck that.

  • @Colleen: You are exactly right. Before we bought a home in Westbury in 2005, we looked long and hard at many houses and if it had burglar bars, we didn’t visit it. Burglar bars tell you everything you need to know about a neighborhood. And I LOVE living in Westbury.

  • “Burglar bars tell you everything you need to know about a neighborhood.”
    Not necessarily. If the majority have them, ok. But I knew someone who added them because she had an ex who was violent and a bit psycho.

  • I’ve seen burglar bars in neighborhoods that really aren’t all that bad (including the one I live in now) but were a lot worse 20-30 years ago. I think sometimes older residents don’t feel comfortable removing them once they are installed.

  • @Benjy(#7) Exactly. Lots of houses in Timbergrove have them, relics of the 70’s maybe, on homes occupied by now elderly folks.

  • Yards completely fenced in, front and back, might say the same thing.

    That’s why I don’t understand all the front yard fences in places like Heights.

  • Burglar bars are really the only effective way to keep the scumbags out day and night. Every neighborhood has scumbags.

  • Front yard fences in the Heights are to keep people from walking through your yard. Many streets do not have sidewalks, and some pedestrians don’t understand that the edge of the yard is where you are supposed to walk. We don’t have a front yard fence due to the city easement, and people have come up almost to the front door going through the yard. It is a little unsettling.

  • My house in DC had burglar bars over the front window & door. Even after the neighborhood gentrified like crazy. In my little row of four rowhouses, we’d regularly have the same front yard discussion – “Maybe I’ll take mine off… if you do.” Nobody really wanted to be the only house on the block without them. I then sold the house with burglar bars in three days because the neighborhood had become the hottest spot in DC. Don’t jump to conclusion.

  • Many of the Heights front fences are installed by folks newly in from the burbs, a bit panicky from all the rumors they keep hearing on talk radio.

  • My grandmother (who grew up in New Orleans) was highly upset that we DON’T have burglar bars everywhere. She was convinced we were all sitting ducks.

  • I think most front yard fences look tacky. They may keep people out, but they also cut you off from the neighborhood.

    The only situations where I’ve had people walking beyond the property line is kids during Halloween, or the occasional solicitor who leaves some paper slip to sell their painting or landscaping services.

  • The crime in the Heights is not over-stated. Most of the folks who live in the Heights have been a victim of a crime or two if they have been there more than 2 years…The Heights is a nice area surrounded by a giant city with easy access…to multiple freeways. Its a crime hot spot and that is not changing – its getting worse. The fences in the front have nothing to do with talk radio or the burbs, but entirely to do with an astronomical amount of petty (mostly non-violent) crime.

  • I have a front-yard fence; it came with the house. I’ve heard that they reduce property values, but ours hasn’t had any negative effect. It doesn’t cut us off from the neighborhood, because it’s an iron fence and we talk to our neighbors through it all the time.