The $285,000 Differences Between 2 Kinda Identical Inner Loop Houses

935 Algregg St., Norhill, Houston

5018 Darling St., Cottage Grove, Houston

“Interesting to see,” writes a regular Swamplot reader, “what appears to be two identical models of house built a couple years apart and a couple miles apart for sale at the same time.” Though the the 3-story, 5-sided brick design they share is distinctive, there are a few differences between the models — most obviously the fact that one is listed for almost twice the price of the other. Over in Norhill, 935 Algregg St. (pictured at top) was built in 2001 on a 5,000-sq.-ft. lot. It’s listed for sale for $585,000. Two years later in Cottage Grove, 5018 Darling St. was built a 2,796-sq.-ft. lot. It’s now asking $300,000. But there appear to be some differences in the interiors as well.

Here are views of the living room and kitchen of the Norhill model:


935 Algregg St., Norhill, Houston

935 Algregg St., Norhill, Houston

And of the Cottage Grove version:

5018 Darling St., Cottage Grove, Houston

5018 Darling St., Cottage Grove, Houston

Which One of These Is Not Like the Other?

17 Comment

  • I’ve always wondered what a $285,000 kitchen looks like.

  • If people only knew how many times the plans for their “custom” home had been used throughout Houston.

  • For people who really use their kitchens, are hardwood floors really practical? I couldn’t wait to remodel our kitchen and replace the wood with tile.

  • There are more town homes just like this 610 south main and stella link area I guess this is a really popular style. Inside is really nice outside is really ugly

  • With land values being so high, you can’t discount the fact the more $ one has a larger lot. That — itself — could explain the difference.

  • I can’t understand how or why this design was built once, much less twice. That is one seriously ugly house.

  • I viewed the cheaper of the two houses about a week ago. The photos they have on the listing are not even up to date. New paint job and furniture.

  • Thought that looked familiar. We have a couple in our neighborhood. Take a look at Street View at Jackson and Waugh. There’s one on the southeast corner and another right to it to the south.

  • double the lot size in a more expensive area…

  • This isn’t rocket science. I’ll give everyone a clue (Cody already knows the answer), look at the lot size . . . . .

  • These homes are built by Contemporary Garden Homes. There is not much really custom about them. A basic plan built all over town. Customization is usually done by the owner. Price differences go back to one thing……location, location, location….. .I had a similar one built by the same builder and sold it last year for $150k more then the same model in a different location…. The website for the builder is:


    It was interesting until I got the difference in lot size. Move on, folks. Nothing to see here.

  • Double the ugly–even for Houston these two dueling barnacles are hideous.

  • I live near the Norhill one. It looks awful in the picture but in person, it’s sort of an interesting counterpoint to the other houses nearby And they have a nice big rock at the edge of the property that my dog loves to pee on.

  • My husband and I live in one of these houses, only ours is in a different section of Cottage Grove. It’s fun to have random internet folks describe for me how hideous they think our house is. We’ve been in ours since 2004, and yes, the finishes aren’t high-end, but we’ve had fun making upgrades and making it our home. It’s always weird when we stumble upon another house with the same floor plan in another part of town, and no, we never did think ours was unique to Houston. We knew what we were doing when we purchased. Shannon, you’re welcome to come see our hideous barnacle at any time.

  • Thank you for your gracious invitation, Jack..dinner at 7? I’ll bring the wine;)—as I understand they’re much better in person.

  • All I know is that this house on Norhill is making my 80 yr old mother-in-law’s home property taxes go up each year!!! IF it sells at over 1/2 a million it will hurt the neighbors even more!!! Yeah, it’s not too cute either !