And so it goes for the Riverside market area, those historic neighborhoods north of Old Spanish Trail and east of Highway 288, with streets running along Brays Bayou and North MacGregor Way.
This Is Our Home, It Is Not for Sale.
Today the Riverside market area is an eclectic mix of property and valuations. There are more than 20 lots cleared for development, ranging in value from $1.55 million for a double lot on Riverside Drive and as affordable as $65,000 for a lot on Illinois Street.
There also are about 20 of those vintage homes currently on the market, ranging from an updated five bedroom built in 1930 to a remodeled four bedroom from 1959.
William M. Wheless IV of Wheless Realty has listed the property at 3418 South Parkwood for $2.375 million. and tells us, "This is truly one of the last great estates in Houston and a true bargain compared to other estates this size around town."
In preparation for the 1992 AIA Houston Home Tour, James D. Wofford, Jr., AIA wrote about the property and its origins, noting that it was the first home to be constructed in Riverside Terrace and believed to be one of the first homes with central air conditioning with supply and return air in each room.
"The original owners were the J. H. Kurths. Mr. Joseph Hubert Kurth, Jr. was president of the Kurth Lumber Company of Jasper, Texas as well as Vice President of the Lufkin Foundry and Machine Company, President of the Lufkin National Bank, Director of First National Bank of Houston, Publisher of the Lufkin Daily News and brother of Mr. M.E. Kurth, founder of the law firm of Andrews and Kurth." — James D. Wofford, Jr., AIA, for the 1992 AIA Home Tour
Wheless goes on to tell us that the property at 3418 South Parkwood is unique in its proximity to downtown and the Texas Medical Center, and says homebuilders are starting to snatch up properties in the area. Of the almost 75 properties listed on the market today, 25 of them were constructed in 2018-2019.
Counts tells us that, when he bought the home in 2014 it had been abandoned and had a water leak in the middle that ran for two years. "It was the 'everything wrong' house," says Counts, who ripped it all out before rehabbing the house in a year-long process. He rented it out for three years, waiting for the market to turn, and has just listed it for $358,000.
Through lots of sweat equity and a talented contractor he found on Yelp, Counts dug out 17 truckloads of dirt to create the recommended 18 inches of clearance under the pier and beam construction, replaced the sub floor and some beams, and installed all new electrical, plumbing, sheetrock, fixtures, appliances, granite counters and poured driveway.
"What makes it clever, over the master bedroom we cut out the attic to give the master bedroom a 17 foot vaulted ceiling which turned out great, super impressive," says Counts, who also created a separate apartment area with its own entrance for possible rental income.
"I really believe in the neighborhood. I saw something five years ago starting to happen, it was probably happening before then. For a family that needs a four bedroom inside the Loop and doesn’t have half a million, come on the other side of 288 and really see the city is expanding into that neighborhood. It's very exciting.
"I would buy another house in this neighborhood to flip because I feel it’s on the way up," adds Counts. "If someone wants to spend under $400,000 for a single family home and doesn't want to be in a townhouse, then you have to think outside the West U, Montrose, River Oaks, Heights boxes."
And yes, since we know you'd want to know, there's an H-E-B nearby at Old Spanish Trail and Scott.
To view more homes for sale in the Riverside market area, visit har.com.
Visit the MacGregor Area Community Development Corporation for information about its revitalization efforts for the geographical area they describe as the Riverside District; learn more at riversidedistricthouston.com/overview.