West U’s Haus und Häuschen

There’s a stuccoed Dutch-Colonial-Swiss Colony on the not-so-mountainous streets behind Weslayan Plaza’s west side in the College Court section (aka the “chimney”) of West University Place. The lookalike cottage and quarters are steps away from the new Buffalo Grille and a U.S. Post Office. West U’s Judson Park to the south and a proposed rail station for Metro’s supposed University Line are also blocks away. Railroad tracks, meanwhile, are just up the street.

During construction of the 1983 main house, a former 1940s “barn” on the site became a 2-story guest house in lieu of a garage. HCAD cites some remodeling in 1991 to the home. Last Friday, the property re-listed at $462,500 after a previous listing by the same agent initially sought $575,000 in April 2012, with adjustments to $565,000, $550,000, and then a summer of $524,990. The home’s side entry and hipped roof make for an atypical floor plan:


The living area off the entry has a bay window (above) facing the exposed aggregate driveway, a wall of to-the-ceiling built-in shelving around 2 windows, and Italian tile floors. French doors lead to a back deck. Ceiling joists are exposed, but painted:

A second bay toward the front of the 1,873-sq.-ft. home contains the dining area, part of the street-facing kitchen:

Ceramic tiles on the risers and a skylight accent the staircase to 3 bedrooms upstairs.

Exposed beams become more pronounced on the second floor

. . . and look a bit like floor-to-ceiling ribs in the master bedroom. Its picture window faces the driveway and helps light the bathroom, which is through an arch with a strategically placed set of half-height swinging door panels:

The front elevation includes a small balcony. Both secondary bedrooms have access to it.

The upstairs bathroom has a slanted, tiled wall over the tub and its hand-held shower equipment.

The 5,000-sq.-ft lot has room for a little yard beyond the deck of nearly 600 sq. ft.:

Now, about the better-than-a-barn quarters at the back of the lot. Its first floor has a living area with kitchen and half-bath:

The second floor has an unusual crescent-shaped cutout in the wall separating the bedroom from the full bath. There’s also a small, railing-free staircase that appears to lead to storage above:

Outside the automated gate, the driveway is wider than it is inside it, where the shaded-by-the-house space can be a side patio:

16 Comment

  • Too many weird walls and angles. The outside is nice.

  • I’m surprised that there is a place in West U that doesn’t have granite countertops, but regardless, I like it.

    A few minor updates here and there might help it a bit (like in the bathrooms), as would another price drop (knocking the price to $400K, say).

  • Love it! Well done interior with income suite in rear. Would prefer some sort of carport though.

  • @Random Poster, I think they are granite or some type of composite judging by the chamfer edge on them. I could be wrong though.

  • Hmmm. I wonder how everyone parks if you do rent out the back 40 to a couple of Rice students? It looks cramped even for a 2-car family.

  • Practically_yours,

    Park in front of the house on the street. That is, unless West U/college court has street parking verboten, then I guess the rental person is SOL.

  • i like it. very unique, especially for west university. the price seems fair too. what is a knock down on 5,000 s.f. going for in west university these days–$400k?

  • It looks as though the bathroom upstairs in the guest house is open to the bedroom. I have never liked that kind of arrangement. But the other quirks of this house don’t bother me.

  • I like it. Not a fan of exposed beams in living rooms-too much dust. That upstairs bedroom is ok.

  • What a fun place to live! Why is it so cheap???

  • It’s unusual yet comfy so people seem to like it. The outside really looks european. Best wishes to this place, though the beams pointing at the bed in pic 10 is horrible feng shui!

  • could be converted to Yodeling studio

  • Its cheap because it is just yards from the train. Since the quiet zone passed, the 4100 block is pretty quiet, but in 4200’s the clankety-clank is loud and the inventory of homes are pretty run down (with some exceptions, of course)

    Still, it does seem like a good value. West U’s zonings are pretty restrictive. I wonder if it would allow for rental possibilities as it is strictly zoned to single family. Recently there was an article about another West U home that had a standalone garage with an apartment over it that was built some decades ago and the city was not willing to allow permits to update it unless it was attached to the main house. The reasoning being that it didn’t comply with single family restrictions because it had a separate entrance and ‘could be’ rented to a second family.

  • I don’t know why, but I love it.

  • The home is cute, but the price is rather high when you factor in the real value may be the land only and the home removal will put in new construction in to an overwhelming amount of negative equity. I am a Realtor and have watched this side show go on for the past few years and at first the homes were able to absorb the removal of an older home, but those days are long gone and if the appraisal does not reflect the negative value the home creates after demolished, well that is fraud people because even the tax office lists land and improved values, so it is time to stop playing games and acknowledge the damage already done by the home flipping BS….. It is theft to ignore the real numbers in transactions like this and you should not be a Realtor if you think this is how top producers make the big bucks! The banks are far from innocent these days, but jumping on the band wagon of easy fortune is not helping the real issue, which is the inflation of everyday consumer goods in the name of bigger profit… Truth is people who make honest profit in real-estate buy in areas no one wants and they add value to the property, plus most can do it without turning the neighborhood in to rows of million dollar homes……. wow you own a million dollar home, guess what most of those properties cost less than $250,000 to construct and less than 1% of buyers even spend that much…..the really bad news is some of these homes are just big tract homes that don’t compare to the quality of a well built estate home, biggest tip off you got ripped is a composite shingle roof since the million dollar homes will flaunt elegant hand made terra cotta, slate, copper or other forms of metal roof panels designed to mimic wood shingles….million dollar listings are special homes, well built examples of craftsmanship and they are the best of what residential real-estate strives to be……these properties inspire home design, set trends and justify the price point since most are one of a kind in a good way, not the crazy look at me money way that seems to think custom cabinets come in a box from China……