12/11/08 2:11pm

Do we have enough categories in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate yet? We’ve announced 9 of them so far: Houston Neighborhood of the Year, Most Fattening Real Estate Development, Best Home Sleuth, the “Only in Houston” Award, Most Grandiose Development, Best Rebranding Effort, Best Teardown of the Year, Best Project Cancellation or Delay, and Favorite Houston Design Cliché.

Whew! That’s a lot of ground to cover. But we’ve saved the best category for last. And here it is: What was the Greatest Moment in Houston Real Estate in 2008?

Swamplot works hard every day to cover great moments in Houston real estate. That’s why we’re here. But maybe we missed a few this year. Browse through the site if it’ll help you to draw up a list of contenders; or raid your own memory banks. Then tell us what moment deserves this recognition.

A great moment is lost if there’s no one there to chronicle it or cherish it. Which is why we need your help. Send us your comments or emails describing the moments you’d like to nominate.

12/11/08 10:45am

Just 2 more categories remain to be announced for this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. The final category will be revealed this afternoon. And here’s the next-to-last one: Houston Neighborhood of the Year, 2008.

What makes a neighborhood “Neighborhood of the Year”? Whatever you say does, really. Of course, a neighborhood might win Swamplot’s Neighborhood of the Year award for vastly different reasons than another one might win an award of the same name from, say, the GHBA.

Nominating rules are still here. You can make your nominations for this award in a comment below or in an email sent privately to Swamplot. So tell us: What neighborhood deserves to win this award from Swamplot — and why?

12/10/08 6:19pm

Here comes the eighth nominating category — out of a total of 10 — in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. And this is a hefty one: The Most Fattening Real Estate Development of 2008.

Houston is big, but clearly it’s nowhere near big enough yet. Which is why fattening real estate developments are so important to our local economy. A fattened Houston might refer to the city’s geographical spread . . . or to some other variety of enlargement. Make your choice, and make your case!

The comments section below — and Swamplot’s inbox — are wide open for your nominations in this category. Stuff them with your suggestions!

12/10/08 3:50pm

Here’s another puzzle for you to mull over while y’all try to figure out where the property in this week’s Neighborhood Guessing Game is located: Who’s the best at playing the game?

That’s not just an idle question. It’s actually the 7th category in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. Let’s call it the Best Home Sleuth Award.

This week marks the 35th edition of Swamplot’s regular Neighborhood Guessing Game. And sure, anyone could tally all the winners to find out who typed in the right neighborhood name first in the most contests. But that’s not what what this award is for. The Best Home Sleuth Award belongs to the participant who’s proven — over many rounds — to be consistently good at the game. If we played the NGG in teams, it’s the player you’d want to pick first to join yours: A Houston neighborhood expert.

Yes, it’ll be borderline acceptable to nominate yourself for this honor — in the comments below, or in a private message — but do keep in mind that once the nominating period for this award ends a week from today, the winner will be chosen by reader voting. (See the rules if you have questions.)

You can relive all 35 NGG contests. Or just go from memory. However you figure it, tell us: who’s the best?

12/10/08 10:03am

There are 3 more categories to introduce today for the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate, and we need your help filling the slates! So far, we’ve begun accepting nominations for Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Project Cancellation or DelayBest Teardown, Best Rebranding Effort, and Most Grandiose Development. We’re halfway done!

The first of today’s categories is the “Only in Houston” Award. You may have noticed a few differences between Houston and other places — especially when it comes to our city’s real estate landscape. This award is meant to celebrate an event, circumstance, development, or phenomenon of this past year that could only have manifested itself hereabouts. Or somewhere around hereabouts. Or maybe, okay, it happened somewhere else too, but it really seems like a Houston thing, anyway.

As usual, your spin can make the difference between a possibly dull and obvious entry and a compelling choice for the award. So think hard, reframe the ordinary to make it seem extraordinary (and consult the nominating guidelines if you need to), then submit your nominations!

12/09/08 6:29pm

A quick summary of our categories so far: Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Project Cancellation or DelayBest Teardown, and Best Rebranding Effort. And here’s the fifth category in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate, now open for your nominations: Most Grandiose Development.

Which Houston-area real-estate project deserves that title this year? A key point: the winner need not be something that actually got — or is going to get — built. Otherwise, a splendid assortment of big and even bigger confections would miss out on their one last shot at glory.

Tell us which project deserves that glory — in a comment below or in a private message. Consult the official award-nomination rules if you need to. Send photos if you’ve got ’em! Which of Houston’s grandiose developments are worthy of our fulsome praise?

12/09/08 1:51pm

Three categories of the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate have been introduced so far: Favorite Houston Design Cliché, Best Project Cancellation or Delay, and — earlier today — Best Teardown. The next call for nominations is for the Best Rebranding Effort of 2008.

A new name, a new identity package — maybe even a new address — can do wonders for a property on the down-and-outs. Apartment complexes are perhaps the most obvious targets of complete and partial makeovers in Houston, but rebranding also works its magic on homes, office buildings, shopping centers, neighborhoods, furniture, and careers. A little paint, a little staging, a little extruded polystyrene, a little Yurpean flair, and voilà! Something new and exciting for you!

Which Houston property, place, thing, or person deserves this award for the rebranding efforts visited upon it in the last year? Can you tell us why? Your nominations, again, are requested in the comments section below, or in Swamplot’s inbox. The nomination rules aren’t going anywhere — they’re still here. Whaddya say?

12/09/08 11:32am

Yesterday we introduced the first 2 nominating categories in the first-ever Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. Nominations will remain open until the crack of dawn next Monday for both awards: Favorite Houston Design Cliché and Best Project Cancellation or Delay.

Today, we have 3 more award categories to introduce. The first of these? Best Teardown of 2008. What property would you nominate for this singular honor — and why?

Sure, a teardown has its raw, physical aspects, but there are emotional, historical, cultural, artistic, sonic, and ecological angles to mull over too. Your well-considered and well-argued nominations for this coveted award belong in the comments section below or in a private message sent to Swamplot HQ. For a more complete description of the nominating process, see these instructions.

You’ve been waiting for this category . . . let ’em rip!

12/08/08 5:50pm

Earlier today, we introduced the first category in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate, covering the year’s best and most. And now nominations are open in a second category: Best Project Cancellation or Delay of 2008.

Putting a project “on hold” is tough. Giving up on a project is tougher. Allowing future plans to remain future plans indefinitely? Unaccountably difficult. The handling of any such maneuver requires considerable skill and finesse. Which Houston development deserves this kind of recognition for the efforts of its promoters over the last year?

You can help your nominee win this award by introducing your choice well. If you’d like to make a nomination, we suggest reading the brief instructions summarized here. The comments (and the Swamplot tip line) are now open for your nominations in this category.

12/08/08 8:02am

All this week, we’ll be introducing the nominating categories for the first-ever Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. The awards cover the best and most of Houston Real Estate in 2008, surely a landmark year in the ever-expanding story of Houston’s ever-expanding landscape. To make these awards the best they can be, we need your input!

The first category: Favorite Houston Design Cliché of 2008. Which oft-repeated feature or element of Houston buildings, shopping centers, streetscapes, homes, interiors, home decor, neighborhoods, or yards has achieved the singular status of Houston cliché? Which is most deserving of special recognition this year? Your suggestions may be inspired from stories covered by Swamplot or from your own observations.

Nominations for this category are now open! Enter your nomination in a comment to this post only or — more privately — to the Swamplot tip line, with the subject line “Nomination: Favorite Houston Design Cliche.” Nominations will be accepted for one week, after which the best-presented choices will be opened for voting.

You may submit as many nominations as you like in each category, but your choices will have a better chance of succeeding if you use your nomination to make your point in a clever and convincing way. When the actual awards are open for voting next week, each selected nomination will be introduced with some edited bastardization of the arguments readers have made in the nomination — so be eloquent and persuasive! Submitting photos in support of your nomination is encouraged — illustrations will likely help make your case to voters. Send them to the Swamplot tip line; be sure to identify them and indicate what they’re for.

Please keep in mind that the comments to this post will be counted as nominations only. Nominations may be seconded, expanded, or improved, but simple “me too” posts won’t be counted as votes for the winner. The actual voting in this category will begin next week. Stay tuned!