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Meyerland Mod Foreclosure - 5103 Braeswood Blvd.


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Is this a "lot value" kind of sale? or does the price reflect a salvageable structure? I have looked at two foreclosed townhouses, one's asking price was almost $75K less than what was loaned on it, the other similar, so it could be possible to get this for a lot less than asking.

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My wife absolutely loves this house. We have noticed it looking unmanaged lately. I'd say it's high for lot value but you never know.

Can any of you with the experience of going to the Meyerland plans office go and check the plans out and see who the architect is?

Jason

I can go tomorrow and pick up the plans if they are still available.

I heard a while back that this house is actually the "House of Formica", not the house on Moonlight Drive as previously mentioned in the other thread. I'm not sure which one is correct, but just something I was told by a lifetime Meyerland resident.

Edited by missjanel
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I stopped by MCIA this morning and no one who was authorized to check out plans was there. I'll stop back by this afternoon or tomorrow morning hoping for better luck.

I stopped by the house and snapped some pics. Two are posted here and more can be found here http://tinyurl.com/2pead5

This house is in pretty good shape considering that it is a forclosure. I think it has ton's of potential. Very few modifications have been made over the years. The original sconces in the living area, hallway and master are very striking. I also really like the rocket shaped door hinges. There was lots of formica, included on the walls too.

7x9sdww.jpg

8eurxco.jpg

Edited by missjanel
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Wow. You should send these photos to the realtor to replace some of the ones on HAR.

With the photos the realtor posted, it's almost as if she WANTS it to be torn down.

I don't do foreclosures, but if I did, I would have to sign up for the Crappy Photos 101 class. Foreclosure listing agents (or their $6/hour guy that runs errands for them) get the WORST pics I have ever seen.

I think with some good pics some of the foreclosures could sell much faster as buyers may actually want to LOOK at the houses after seeing them online.

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I don't do foreclosures, but if I did, I would have to sign up for the Crappy Photos 101 class. Foreclosure listing agents (or their $6/hour guy that runs errands for them) get the WORST pics I have ever seen.

I think with some good pics some of the foreclosures could sell much faster as buyers may actually want to LOOK at the houses after seeing them online.

I like how the HUD foreclosures usually have the "mandatory" photo of the taped down toilet lid. :P

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I have to add my voice to the props for Miss Janel. We expect a doctor to be able to use a stethoscope, a carpenter to be able to use a saw, and a mechanic to be able to use a wrench. Why don't realtors know how to use a camera properly?

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Why don't realtors know how to use a camera properly?

I take offense to that. But seriously people need to realize that taking good photographs requires expensive equipment and a trained eye for what looks good. I spent many years in portrait photography and technology before I became a realtor. The photographs that I posted were taken with a DSLR with a wide angle lens and off camera flash. Not every agent is able to spend several thousands of dollars for photographic equipment or spend months in the classroom learning to use such equipment. Agents do the best that they can with what they have or they hire a professional to do it for them. No agent listing a foreclosure is going to have a professional come out and take the shots. At least I have yet to see a professional marketing piece spread for a foreclosure. The prices are usually low enough that the house sells itself or people buy it just because they 'think' they are getting a good deal.

FWIW I think the photos I took are awful but I didn't have a tripod with me and I was in a huge hurry as I had someone waiting in the car for me. I hope to go back and retake them when I have a little more time.

I don't want to sound ungrateful for the praise because I'm not ungrateful. It's just that I see both sides. The greatest compliment though would come from someone actually buying the house because of the photographs posted on this forum. That would be awesome.

Anyone, anyone???

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Janel, I didn't mean to offend you, particularly in offering a compliment. And your background and equipment certainly explains the quality of your pictures. However, I strongly feel there's a middle ground. With a decent digital camera and tripod, a modicum of study, even independently from books or the web, and software to fix the really bad lighting situations, one can take dramatically better pictures right away. As good as yours, no, but far better than random point and shoot with no thought to lighting or flash range. Not to mention the choice of what to highlight, how to crop, and just getting the junky clutter out of the picture. I've spent a good deal of time on HAR, both for architectural interest and because my family is planning to move in the next twelve months, and I have seen a very wide variation in the quality of photos. The worst of them make the unfortunate houses look very unattractive, and I stand by my comment in those cases.

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No offense taken, hence the seriously comment. I do agree that some realtors don't really make much effort but for the most part realtors really do try. But I don't want to turn this into a debate a photographic quality or good and bad realtors. The topic is really about what great potential this house has and highlighting it's original features. I hope my pictures did that and I'm glad you enjoyed them.

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So a couple questions for one of the realtors on this board. Has this house flooded? It would seem likely given its location. Secondly, what is a realistic estimate of what it will go for? I believe on most foreclosures you can see what the bank loaned on it, etc to give a ballpark figure. thanks

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I went and saw this house yesterday, and it has some amazing features. I think it's likely that it is the House of Formica, for every surface--walls, cabinets, bars, etc.--is covered in Formica. I don't think there's is a drop of paint anywhere.

But the house is also really odd. I like strange, and this one is strange without being cool. Some of the design features just aren't right. Therefore, it's possible that we're heading for another Moonlight. I hope not, but I doubt the house will go for anything above lot value.

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We are looking into this house as December's Mod of the Month. We have another house in Meyerland nearly confirmed for the 16th, so it would be perfect.

And hey, I just realized the Texans will be playing on Thursday that week so we don't have to worry about that conflict...

Jason

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I don't have any knowledge of the home previously flooding but it very may well haven given it's proximity to the bayou. A sellers disclosure is not available since the house is a foreclosure.

The current asking price is just under $103 per square foot which is one of the lowest priced homes in Meyerland. The house is large and the lot too is quite large. The downside is that it's at a busy intersection. But it's pretty well preserved and has lots of potential.

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I went and saw this house yesterday, and it has some amazing features. I think it's likely that it is the House of Formica, for every surface--walls, cabinets, bars, etc.--is covered in Formica. I don't think there's is a drop of paint anywhere.

But the house is also really odd. I like strange, and this one is strange without being cool. Some of the design features just aren't right. Therefore, it's possible that we're heading for another Moonlight. I hope not, but I doubt the house will go for anything above lot value.

What are people's thoughts in general on the idea of Formica on walls? The previous owners of our house painted every last surface with cheap white paint including the paneling. We have been toying with the idea of covering the paneling with formica instead of luan or something else. This is the design - http://www.formica.com/publish/site/na/us/...9012.0001.html#

And we were going to hang it horizontally instead of vertically. We plan to be here for a while but not the rest of our lives so I'm worried that it would scare off even modern minded people that would be looking at the house.

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Therefore, it's possible that we're heading for another Moonlight. I hope not, but I doubt the house will go for anything above lot value.
I doubt it. No reason to risk putting a spec a lot on a main drag when interior lots are available. flipper
And we were going to hang it horizontally instead of vertically. We plan to be here for a while but not the rest of our lives so I'm worried that it would scare off even modern minded people that would be looking at the house.
I like it, but it will scare off ~80% of the buyers IMO. Plus, what if you change your mind on where you want your pictures hung?
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I stopped by MCIA this morning and no one who was authorized to check out plans was there. I'll stop back by this afternoon or tomorrow morning hoping for better luck.

I stopped by the house and snapped some pics. Two are posted here and more can be found here http://tinyurl.com/2pead5

This house is in pretty good shape considering that it is a forclosure. I think it has ton's of potential. Very few modifications have been made over the years. The original sconces in the living area, hallway and master are very striking. I also really like the rocket shaped door hinges. There was lots of formica, included on the walls too.

7x9sdww.jpg

8eurxco.jpg

What is that big black thing in the picture above my post?

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This is a curious home that possesses serious scale issues. It's difficult to discern from the images what is original and what has been added over the years (if anything). The "monolith" that captures the corner of the vaulted room is particularly unresolved and not particularly well thought out -- I assume its a screen that encloses the kitchen. Without viewing the plans it's difficult to understand the rational of the layout but I have to say the house layout seems a bit of a mess -- I'll defer to someone who has actually been there with respect to how one moves through the space: Chaotically or logically.

As for Formica/plastic laminate on partitions: Not recommended as there are acoustic issues, potential delamination and edge chipping issues, etc. As an accent feature such is acceptable but only if the plastic laminate is mounted to panels and then such is mounted to the partition. Additionally, you are limited in width to 4'-0" so whatever scheme is desired, you have to take into account how the edges are addressed -- such as with reveals.

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Vanessa and I got into the house yesterday. It's going to be a challenge all the way around. The first challenge is that it will be a rare person who will see through all the work that needs to be done to see the full potential of the house. That's true on all fixer-uppers. The next challenge is finding someone who likes the floor plan. It is pretty unusual. It's kind of a U shape, but the sides of the U are close together, to the point where the game room is looking across this small atrium area toward the master bedroom. The atrium area, like everything else is really interesting and has a lot of potential. The next challenge will be to find someone who wants a really swank late 60's mod and has access to the money to fix it up. This place is not a Case Study House or Usonian Home. It deserves Panton furniture and stuff like that! The next challenge is that it is on a busy street, and you can hear the noise from within the house. This is my house's big challenge too, so I'm quite aware of it. The cool thing in the house is that it has some built in stereo equipment and some in-ceiling speakers that could drown out that noise. Finally, the formica is another challenge. Some of it is damaged and it will be interesting to figure out whether the new owner will go all out to make it like it was or will they use sheetrock or something more traditional...

Quite a house though. The right person could make this a showplace of 1960s modernism. Vanessa said the living room could be perfect for a period movie or tv show.

Jason

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"The first challenge is that it will be a rare person who will see through all the work that needs to be done to see the full potential of the house."

Are you referring to undoing poorly executed "improvements" or correcting "deferred maintenance"? The house appears to possess a series of flat roof plains at various heights and portions that are gabled. That alone suggests there are likely roof/water infiltration issues -- the posted aerial view of the house depicts what appears to be a large pool of standing water on one of the roof assemblies -- that usually suggests trouble.

"The next challenge is finding someone who likes the floor plan. It is pretty unusual."

Do you feel that it is a good or a troubling "unusual"?

"(Another) challenge will be to find someone who wants a really swank late 60's mod and has access to the money to fix it up."

Conservatively, a house this size and age will likely take between 300K to 500K for a proper renovation (i.e. infrastructure, insulation, roofing, window replacement, etc.).

"(Yet another) challenge is that it is on a busy street, and you can hear the noise from within the house."

This can be mitigated with double pane glazing, solid core doors and proper insulation -- just part of a proper renovation.

"Finally, the Formica is another challenge. Some of it is damaged and it will be interesting to figure out whether the new owner will go all out to make it like it was or will they use sheetrock..."

If acoustics are an issue, Formica (if it is currently on partitions) would be best left out of the picture except at typical locations -- assuming such is a desired finish.

Is there an architect associated with this home?

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All the work is deferred maintenance. It's pretty original inside. You're right about the roof. The house did have gutters all over the place though so maybe it drains ok off them, maybe not.

For me it's a troubling unusual, I got lost in there. And the master bedroom had a big door to the outside, like a private entrance that was strange to me.

$300K- Seems like it would be difficult to find that person, if they're willing to pay $300K for the house (that's less than the asking price), that's already $600K. That awesome, though slightly smaller house down the street just sold for $425K.

As for the formica, I think it would be an asset for the house as part of its uniqueness. I would think the person who fell in love with this house would want to keep it or replace it with something similar.

Miss Janel might be able to find out the architect for us at the plans office.

I've got my fingers crossed for it. Waiting to hear back about Mod of the Month too. I think the realtor is surprised anyone has taken notice of the house.

Jason

"The first challenge is that it will be a rare person who will see through all the work that needs to be done to see the full potential of the house."

Are you referring to undoing poorly executed "improvements" or correcting "deferred maintenance"? The house appears to possess a series of flat roof plains at various heights and portions that are gabled. That alone suggests there are likely roof/water infiltration issues -- the posted aerial view of the house depicts what appears to be a large pool of standing water on one of the roof assemblies -- that usually suggests trouble.

"The next challenge is finding someone who likes the floor plan. It is pretty unusual."

Do you feel that it is a good or a troubling "unusual"?

"(Another) challenge will be to find someone who wants a really swank late 60's mod and has access to the money to fix it up."

Conservatively, a house this size and age will likely take between 300K to 500K for a proper renovation (i.e. infrastructure, insulation, roofing, window replacement, etc.).

"(Yet another) challenge is that it is on a busy street, and you can hear the noise from within the house."

This can be mitigated with double pane glazing, solid core doors and proper insulation -- just part of a proper renovation.

"Finally, the Formica is another challenge. Some of it is damaged and it will be interesting to figure out whether the new owner will go all out to make it like it was or will they use sheetrock..."

If acoustics are an issue, Formica (if it is currently on partitions) would be best left out of the picture except at typical locations -- assuming such is a desired finish.

Is there an architect associated with this home?

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And the master bedroom had a big door to the outside, like a private entrance that was strange to me.

was it to access the pool easier? there's one in glenbrook that has two exterior doors on the bathrooms to make them accessible from pool area

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was it to access the pool easier? there's one in glenbrook that has two exterior doors on the bathrooms to make them accessible from pool area

I think the MB access to door was there to cut across to the 4th bedroom which was used as a gym with the adjoining sauna. Also the utility room could not be accessed from the inside of the house only by cutting across the patio.

The plans show:

A House For Stephens' Company

Al Fairfield Builders, Inc.

Waller S. Poage AIA

12502 Winding Brook

Houston, Texas 77024

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"Mr. Poage is apparently still alive and active."

Assuming he was 20 when he attended Randolph Macon Academy (1950 to 1954) that would put him in his late 70's. I believe it would be of interest to contact him with respect to back story on this house.

From Stephen Fox:

Ben,

With the information on Poage, I was able to go to the American

Architects Directory of 1970.

Walter S. Poage III was a 1960 graduate of VPI. He worked for MacKie

& Kamrath in 1964-65 and for Lenard Gabert in 65-66, starting his own

firm in 1966.

He listed as his principal works:

House of New Dimension, Hou, 1966, consulting arch. for Pittsburgh

Plate Glass Co.

Stephens House of Ideas, Houston, 1967, consulting arch. to Formica

Co. and Stephens Co.

Frank Turpin House, Baytown 1967

Award of merit from House & Garden 1966 for Gerald Grogan House.

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Never got word back from the architect, but we will hold the house open as one of 2 Mods of the Month in Meyerland this Sunday from 2-4. Since the Texans are playing Thursday night there should be no conflicts!

Jason

I emailed him this morning - I'll let you know if he replies.
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The Formica Company replied that the company has gone through several owners and most of their archives have been lost. The representative did remember that several idea houses were built in various cities based on the plans of the Formica House featured at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City. Following is a vintage drawing of that house. It seems quite conventional compared to the one in Houston. There could be a lead, however. Notice the small pod to the left of the house. Could that have been the catalyst of pods to come?

epm_bl0068.jpg

Don't miss this Mod of the Month. You will be amazed at the extent of workmanship involved to cover almost every surface inside and some outside this house with wonderful plastic laminate. With a bit of maintenance and restoration, this mostly original house could once again be a showcase for futuristic living in Space City.

Join us this Sunday, December 16th (2-4pm), at the Mod of the Month!

This house was designed by Waller S. Poage for the Stephens family, who were the owners of the region's Formica Company franchise. Naturally, they used lots of Formica in this house (on the counter tops and walls as well), enough that the house has come to be known as the Formica House. Though the house is in need of TLC, many original "spare no expense" modernist details abound in the house, including a sauna, large built-in cabinets, interior and exterior stone walls, cork paneled walls, a mansion sized master bathroom, hot tub, and many beautiful sconces on the walls of the house. Come join us in celebrating this house and help us find a buyer who can save the house from demolition and take it to its former glory! Please drive around the corner of S. Braeswood and S. Rice and park on Braesheather.

5103 S. Braeswood at South Rice- Southwest Corner

HAR Listing for more pictures, map, pricing details, etc.

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After the 1964 World's Fair ended, the Formica House was dismantled and rebuilt on Townsend Drive in Middletown, New Jersey. I went to school with one of the daughters of the family that bought the house directly from the builder and have been inside it several times. The owners, who still own the house today, have maintained the original circa 1964 kitchen appliances, light fixtures, and of course, the formica walls. They even hired the original architect of the house to design a 2-car garage to 'complete' the house. The house, now 43 years old, still looks new with its formica exterior walls.

The Formica Company replied that the company has gone through several owners and most of their archives have been lost. The representative did remember that several idea houses were built in various cities based on the plans of the Formica House featured at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City. Following is a vintage drawing of that house. It seems quite conventional compared to the one in Houston. There could be a lead, however. Notice the small pod to the left of the house. Could that have been the catalyst of pods to come?

epm_bl0068.jpg

Don't miss this Mod of the Month. You will be amazed at the extent of workmanship involved to cover almost every surface inside and some outside this house with wonderful plastic laminate. With a bit of maintenance and restoration, this mostly original house could once again be a showcase for futuristic living in Space City.

Join us this Sunday, December 16th (2-4pm), at the Mod of the Month!

This house was designed by Waller S. Poage for the Stephens family, who were the owners of the region's Formica Company franchise. Naturally, they used lots of Formica in this house (on the counter tops and walls as well), enough that the house has come to be known as the Formica House. Though the house is in need of TLC, many original "spare no expense" modernist details abound in the house, including a sauna, large built-in cabinets, interior and exterior stone walls, cork paneled walls, a mansion sized master bathroom, hot tub, and many beautiful sconces on the walls of the house. Come join us in celebrating this house and help us find a buyer who can save the house from demolition and take it to its former glory! Please drive around the corner of S. Braeswood and S. Rice and park on Braesheather.

5103 S. Braeswood at South Rice- Southwest Corner

HAR Listing for more pictures, map, pricing details, etc.

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Yesterday's Mod of the Month had a large turnout and all went very well- one of the best ever! I was surprised the turnout this time of year would be so large but people seem to love this kind of event. People really enjoyed seeing this super house and stayed around in there for a long time. We had the full set of original plans on display along with a newspaper article describing the house and its furnishings complete with photographs from the time of the original owners. A man arrived in a gorgeous 1958 Cadillac Eldorado convertible and parked it front and center in the circular drive. It was the perfect item to complete the ultra-swank scene! I think people thought they were at a country club and were waiting for Frank and Dean to arrive.

57Eldorado.jpg

If everyone there yesterday tells ten others about the place, we will be that much closer to finding a buyer.

Edited by SpaceAge
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