Prentiss Riddle: Austin

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Mueller spillover with a modern touch

Depressed at Mueller prices I drove the nearby neighborhoods and found some aesthetic relief, if no hopeful signs for my wallet.

Check out Greenview Row, "a new concept in urban living located in the heart of burgeoning East Austin... within walking and biking distance to parks, the proposed commuter MetroRail stop, and the caf├ęs and shops of the Mueller district."

Greenview Row

It's located at Lovell Drive and Windy Brook, just across Manor from the easternmost point of Mueller. These are compact houses on small lots but backing onto what the developer is calling "greenbelt". If you imagine the garage being hidden as at Mueller (impossible while preserving the greenbelt access, of course), then personally I'd find their clean lines much more appealing than all the tacky detailing in the Mueller elevations.

There's plenty at Greenview Row to question. There's no sign that they're green built although the name and style might be intended to make one jump to that conclusion. I'd want to be sure of the preservation status of the "greenbelt" (described in the brochure as "views of Tannehill Branch Creek"), and in particular of what residents will see in the future across the creek to the west of Windy Brook. "Walking distance" to the Metro stop on Manor Road west of Airport is quite a stretch (Google Maps puts it at 1.5 miles), and pedestrian access to Mueller would require crossing a busy spot on Manor unless there are plans for a new stoplight there. Worst of all, the price tag -- starting at $259,00 for a 2/2.5 on a micro lot, before upgrades -- is no bargain even next to Mueller.

Still, if you squint and mentally subtract the garages, Greenview Row might give you some idea of the scale of the smaller Mueller yard houses, as well as what Mueller could look like with a slightly more modern design aesthetic. The first of many such developments in northeast Austin, I suspect.

A driveby is also intriguing from a sociological perspective. Up the hill, the same developers did a previous phase of similarly-scaled but less ambitiously styled houses which I'd wager were a bargain when they were built. Closer to Mueller on Lovell are older ranch-style houses, some of which have the signs of run-down rentals; can we expect them to they be fixed up and flipped soon? Winding north along Windy Brook there's a stretch of ranch houses in better shape, some of which also seem to offer creek views. Then, close to Manor and 51st, is the long winding dead end of Blueberry Trail, most run-down of all, which starts to feel spookily claustrophobic the further you get from the exit. Spitting distance from Greenview Row for the mockingbirds, but miles and miles in real estate terms.

If I had buckets of money, I'd try to grab one of the ranch houses with acreage slightly to the east off Pecan Springs Road. I saw one on a couple of wooded acres with an almost-liveable 2/1 go by for $250K last spring. Imagine a real greenbelt connecting Pecan Springs to Mueller! Old home on the range with new urbanist amenities a bike ride away, for less than downtown condo prices. A nice dream...

austin 2007.04.02 link

Comments

When we were looking at houses in the summer of 2005, the previous phase houses were going for 150-170k, I believe. A realtor recommended against them though on the understanding that they were manufactured houses.

KMc • 2007.04.02
KMc: Yikes, that doesn't sound like a bargain at all -- two years ago for $170K you could buy a nice ranch on one of the better streets in Windsor Park.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2007.04.02
If by "manufactured" you mean modular houses constructed on site, I've heard from a number of people - carpenters/craftsman/etc - that those actually often have much better quality control than most new construction and would take them over your basic DR Horton new construction.

If you mean a glorified trailer, that's a different story...

ccosart [ccosart cxe yahoo punkto com] • 2007.04.03
That's just what we did, in fact.

KMc • 2007.04.03
What slipped my mind when I wrote the above is that the ranch-style rentals on Lovell are all duplexes. I'm guessing that's a large part of why they haven't been fixed up and flipped yet.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2007.07.15
I live in Phase 1... and can vouch that the houses, while "modular," were mostly constructed on site. I built 3 years ago at $126,000 (a relative steal at the time) including stainless appliances and upgrades -- and now I am under contract across the street on Windy Brook in Phase 3, Greenview Row at $250,000. Of course, the newer, modern houses with creekviews have concrete floors, hardwoods, tankless water heaters, 11 ft. ceilings and an array of amenities not found in my current house.
I should be putting mine on the market in the coming months, targeting around $200k.

adboy68 [adboy68 cxe yahoo punkto com] • 2007.08.03
What's the deal with the real estate rep (lyon et al) pulling out of Greenview Row?

skeptic • 2007.08.06
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