Old Houses

Just for fun, while we were down in Houston we thought we’d run by our former residences to see how they were faring.  When we first got married we were apartment dwellers living here

sign_1   cr2

We were frankly surprised to see how well 5401 had held up over the intervening 28 years since we lived there.  But it would not make our list of places we’d like to live today.

The first home we owned was on Sandpiper in the Northbrook Village North development of Fondren Southwest.  It was the most awful and disastrous piece of property we have ever bought.  It was actually beautiful when we purchased it, with a louvered outside fence, a pergola and beautiful landscaping. We failed to the accurately asses the potential in the neighborhood for decline and the total disfunctionality of the homeowners association. 

The developer had not finished building all of the homes in the development and held 20 or 25 votes in the association (one for each unbuilt tract and stifled needed improvements).  Then the housing market collapsed in Houston in the mid-80’s and the builder went bankrupt leaving the association without sufficient resources (because of the small number of homes) to maintain the property.  The property also contained townhomes and patio homes which had different needs for maintenance.  This caused significant clashes among the owners.

When the real estate market in Houston collapsed in the mid 80’s, and the apartments in the vicinity had 50-70% vacancy due to overbuilding.  Vacant apartments attract crime and desperate owners will lease to anyone.  As a result Northbrook wound up in the middle of the hood. Since a picture is worth a thousand words:


You might not be able to read it, but the sign says Beware of Dogs (and Englishman).  The current owner must be an interesting individual.  Not a place we’d choose to live again.

The last house we bought was near Dairy Ashford and Memorial in Ashford Forest.  It was a great house, we got a great deal on it and we loved it.  We still love the neighborhood and the house and would live there again if we could.  The current owner added the gate on the driveway, the swing and some landscaping elements in the front, but otherwise it looks as we remembered it.