This 1,300-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bath home planted in a lot-sized subdivision in Shady Acres called “Cottages in the Heights” just shed $5K from its asking price and is resting at $184,000 after a month on the market. But Heights home shopper John Whiteside still isn’t buying it:
These things always seem like the real estate equivalent of conjoined twins with birth defects. â€œIâ€™m sorry, maâ€™am, but your children are stuck together, and their garage doors are bizarrely oversized, and their internal organs are jumbled around in unfortunate ways.â€
As a result this â€œcottage,â€ built in 2005, is listed for approximately one-half its  tax value. This is Houston, which never had a housing bubble, and this is the Heights (well, itâ€™s sort of in the Heights), where house values have stayed remarkably high given the economic conditions, because the neighborhood and its houses tend to have certain innate characteristics: houses with distinct architectural styles, welcoming front porches, garages around back where they belong, windows proportioned properly to the structures, surrounded by modest but pleasant green space, placed on a traditional street grid that makes it easy to walk places, talk to your neighbors, and feel like part of a broader community.
So developers come in and build houses which lack all of these things, therefore managing to create things that plummet in value while 70-year-old bungalows up the street remain in demand. For some reason, the opportunity to pay Heights prices while missing all the things that makes the Heights desirable enough to support those prices is not that appealing.