Property Details

1930s 5-PLEX * INNERLOOP (Houston, TX)
linwood5@medusaproperties.com

Meticulously restored 1930s fourplex + garage apartment near the Eastwood area of downtown Houston, inside the 610 loop.

All units are 1 bed / 1 bath flats with hardwood floors, central air & heat, vintage style kitchens with high-end, full-size appliances, and vintage style baths with pedestal sinks, subway tile, overhead rainshowers, etc.

This property recently underwent a $230,000 restoration from the foundation to the roof. Though the "look" is vintage and period correct, the mechanicals (plumbing, electrical, hvac) are all new.

The Eastwood area is an up-and-coming, hike and bike friendly, vintage neighborhood just east / southeast of downtown Houston with many original properties built from the early 1900s thru the 1940s. Super short commute times to downtown Houston, both University of Houston campuses, the Medical Center, Rice University, etc--but about 15-20% lower rents than my properties in Montrose, the Heights, Upper Kirby, etc. Same era architecture, same quality restoration... just cheaper dirt (and therefore, more affordable rents).

The city is currently working on a new light rail line connecting the East End to downtown (and thus, the Medical Center & Rice University). This property is two short blocks from this new line. (More info & maps of line here: http://www.gometrorail.org/go/doc/2491/406635/ )

More info about the area:
http://eastwoodcivicassociation.org/
http://www.greatereastend.com/
https://www.facebook.com/EastwoodCivicAssociation

Project Resources: Olshan (framing, roofing, & sheetrock materials), Bison (doors, trim, moulding), Chesley (plumbing supplies), Crawford (electrical supplies), Custom Cabinets Houston http://www.custom-cabinets-houston.com/ (all interior cabinetry & trim work), Houston Hardwood Floors, Thorntree http://www.thorntreeslate.com/(slate countertops), Custom Precision http://www.cpsminc.com/ (custom stainless sinks)

Click on thumbnails below to see full size images.

Shoot email to linwood5@medusaproperties.com with questions or to find out about upcoming vacancy.

Linwood
Houston, TX 77011
(map)

 
 Unit 1
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1195
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  750
Large, ground floor, one bedroom one bath flat in 1930s vintage, innerloop 4plex.

After over 24 years of owning, restoring, and managing vintage properties from the late 1800s through Mid-Century--in Houston, San Diego, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City--I think I've pretty much figured out what the perfect vintage in-town apartment is all about. And I applied all of that experience to this project and ended up with, what I think is, the perfect vintage innerloop flat.

I tend to be an "inside out" kind of thinker, so I usually start each project with major mechanical upgrades--the things you don't see--but that have a tremendous impact on day to day livability. You can spruce a place up all you want but if the mechanicals are past their prime (plumbing , electrical, HVAC), it will ultimately effect the quality of life. Since we took this building down to the studs were were able to completely upgrade ALL of the mechanicals systems from the ground up. New plumbing. New wiring. Complete new air conditioning and heating systems. Even a new foundation.

And not just any generic, cheap central air conditioning system... but 14 SEER RUUD split systems--which are a quite bit more efficient and of higher quality than the el cheapo 10 to 12 SEER Janitrol or Goodman or Yorx systems that you find at most "rental" units--even the bigger, higher-end complexes in town. You might not think this matters to you as a tenant but it does.. in TWO important ways. 1. Cost to operate. Higher SEER ratings mean higher efficiency--which means lower electric bills. A cheap, low SEER a/c unit can easily add $50-100 per month to your expenses. 2. Better quality systems mean longer life and fewer failures... and believe me, you don't want your a/c to fail when it is 90+ degrees and 90+ percent humidity outside--as it frequently is here in Houston during the summer. I've gone through four HVAC contractors since I started restoring vintage buildings and I've learned a LOT about designing and installing air conditioning systems for this climate in the process. These systems in these units represent the apex of that experience.

Laundry is another key feature at this property. At this price point, inside the loop, it is not a given that you are going to have your own washer and dryer in the unit. And many times the washer & dryer you do get is a tiny, stackable, "compact" washer & dryer that you can barely wash your sheets in. At this property, the four units in the main building share a brand new, full-size washer & dryer that is located inside the rear entry of the building. (see pics below). These are good quality Whirlpool machines that have multiple cycles and settings--and are completely free--not coin-op. I make a reasonable and fair profit from the rents at my properties and I'm not one of those landlords who is trying to squeeze every nickel and dime out of his tenants that he can by using coin-op machines. So, free laundry is standard equipment. And with only four units in the building, you won't have any problems getting your laundry done. Open your back door, take two steps, and you are standing in front of the machines. I've even built a nice set of shelves above the machines so you can leave your soaps and sundries right there if you want to.

Another key feature that sets these units apart is closet space and storage in general. The existing floorplans had reasonable closets already but I was able to claw back even MORE closet space and storage throughout the apartments. Super big closet in the bedroom (about 10 feet wide) with double hanging space + ANOTHER large double closet off the dining area (also about 10 feet wide), PLUS floor to ceiling built-ins in the bathroom that even my girlfriend would have a hard time filling up--and she has more hair products than the love child of John Paul DeJoria and Horst Rechelbacher.

Bathrooms, bathrooms, bathrooms. I do love me some bathrooms. If you click through the various properties and projects on my site you'll notice that my bathrooms are usually very unique and very detailed, with intricate tile work, lots of built in storage--and usually BIG, tiled-in mirrors... yet always classic in style. These bathrooms have all of that and also feature overhead rainshowers, and mosaic tile floors with vintage inlays and patterns. They aren't BIGGER bathrooms than you might find in a typical apartment... the just have more storage and a lot more STUFF going on in them design-wise. Oh, and BIG mirrors + a GFCI plug right there at the sink.

After bathrooms, kitchens are probably my next favorite part of a project to design and execute. Over the years I got so frustrated trying to find good, vintage style cabinets that were reasonably priced--and of at least average quality--that I ended up starting a cabinet company to fill my own need. (www.custom-cabinets-houston.com) Unlike the vast majority of apartments out there, that use generic, pre-fab cabinets, all of my apartments have custom kitchen and bathroom cabinets that are all unique to each apartment and that are period correct and that maximize the footprint of the kitchen. Another thing that drives me CRAZY is not having enough PLUGS in the kitchen for all the stuff you need to use... blender, mixer, coffee maker, cell phone, laptop, pannini press, toaster, etc. (OK, maybe I have more small appliances than the average renter... :) So, in these kitchens I made sure there were MORE than enough plugs--EIGHT in the backsplash--for pretty much anything you could possibly want to plug in.

I'm also frequently shocked at the low quality of APPLIANCES used in even the most high end apartments out there. My friend Kellie was living in a Randall Davis loft downtown--the St. Germain--paying about $1700/month--and her kitchen had literally the cheapest appliances you could possibly buy--like an electric Magic Chef stove and a $200 OTR microwave--and I kid you not, an "apartment sized" refrigerator. I couldn't believe it. I mean, my CHEAPEST apartment--an $995/mo efficiency in Montrose--has nicer appliances than that. And these units at Linwood have even NICER appliances. (see pics below). $400 built-in GE OTR / microwave. $800 GAS range. $1000 bottom freezer refrigerator (no more bending over to get stuff out of the crisper!)... again, considering the price point of this unit--this level of appliances is unheard of. (In fact, if you find an apartment in the same price range with nicer appliances out there--let me know. I'll give you $100 cash.)

Flooring is another key feature of these units that set them apart from anything else in this price point. Real hardwood floors are getting harder and harder to find--for a very good reason: they are expensive to install and expensive to maintain. But personally, I can't live in a place that has carpet or vinyl floors. And even the "faux" hardwoods (Pergo, laminate, "engineered" floors, etc.) tend to annoy me. A piece of plastic with wood grain printed on it just isn't the same thing as 3/4" solid hardwood flooring. And in this unit we installed solid 3/4" white oak hardwood flooring--on top of new 3/4" tongue and groove decking, with 30# felt in between. So: solid, air tight, no squeaks.

Lots of windows. Maybe I'm just strange but I seem to be happier in a space that has a lot of good, clean, natural light. Because this building was build LONG before central air and heat, it had plenty of windows already--but just about every one of them had been painted shut, had cracked or missing glass, or in some cases, had been covered over with sheetrock. We "liberated" all of these windows, taking out every single sash, stripping them with grinders and sanders, priming, painting, and rehanging all the windows with new sash ropes and counter-balance weights, replaced any broken or cracked windows, installed new glazing, new hardware, etc. So, lots of natural light and good cross-ventilation when the weather's nice.

Lighting is another area where these apartments stand out in a crowd. When you walk through the units you notice that there are lights everywhere you need them--and the right kinds of lights. Sconces in most rooms below eye level, keyless fixtures in the closets, recessed can lights in the kitchen (putting task lighting where you need it--on the countertops--to eliminate shadows and dead spots)--and cool, vintage ceiling fans--without the goofy light kits most ceiling fans have. It may seem like a small thing but it's something you definitely appreciate when you have it.

Neighbors are also super important. The old adage "one bad apple spoils the bunch" is nowhere truer than when it comes to a 4plex. In the first year of operation at this location my tenants at this prooperty were... a teacher, a nurse, a med student, an engineer, an architect, a stage lighting designer, and an interior designer... so, you can kind of get a feel for who I am looking for--and who is looking for apartments like mine. No strippers. No drug dealers. No gang bangers. No whack jobs. No pit bulls. I've been doing this a long time and I'm pretty good at filtering out the bad seeds before they even apply.

For more info on the Eastwood neighborhood, go here: http://www.eastwoodcivicassociation.org/

*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit 5
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1145
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  600
Very cool garage apartment inside the loop, close to downtown Houston.

- Big for a garage apartment (about 600 s.f. vs. 350-450 s.f. for a typical gar apt) + 150 s.f. private deck.
- Open floor plan w/ lots of big, new, double insulated, low-e windows
- Big, sunny, "vintage" kitchen
- GAS range, dishwasher, & built-in microwave.
- Big, sunny, "vintage" bathroom w/lots of storage
- Soaking tub w/overhead rainshower
- Large private deck off the bedroom
- Central air & heat
- Washer & dryer
- Hardwood floors (the real deal, not plastic "laminte" floors)
- Vintage style through & through... crown moulding, waintscoting, custom built-ins, etc.
- WiFi set up for tenants to share

This apartment is SWEET! We just finished up a $20,000 restoration of this unit. We rearranged the spaces a bit (it was 2/1 with small bedrooms; we combined the two bedrooms into one larger bedroom w/BIG closet + built-ins), replaced all of the old, decrepit, drafty wood windows with new American Craftsman double-pane, low-e, energy efficient ones, repaired and replaced the siding & trim, installed new, half-lite entry doors--one for the front door and one for the new deck off the bedroom--enlarged the bathroom, blew in insulation in the walls & ceilings, etc, etc, etc.

The structure is now super solid and level, with a better floor plan--and about 5x more energy efficient than before. (We jacked up the entire structure, set it on shoring poles, rebuilt all of the supporting walls--and added 5"x5" steel supports along the front & in the middle--before setting it back down and securing it. This alone took about a month.)

The kitchen and bathroom--though completely new--are old school 1930s vintage, with classic frame and panel doors (some with glass & mirror), slate counters, mosaic tile floors, wall-mount faucets, subway tile backsplashes, etc. We mixed it up a bit in the kitchen, painting the lower cabs antique white and staining the upper cabs a nice nutmeg color, after "aging them down" a bit with a hammer, some chains, and a stick with screws sticking out of it.

Pet policy for this unit: Cat or small-to-medium dog allowed with deposit (40-45 lbs max). (email for more details)

For more info on the Eastwood neighborhood, go here: http://www.eastwoodcivicassociation.org/

*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit 3
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1195
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  750
Large one bedroom / one bath flat in restored 1930s 4-plex.

These units ALL have central a/c, real hardwood floors, stone counters (black slate), vintage tile designs (subway & mosaic), vintage trim, door & cabinet styles, new appliances, lots of windows, etc.

This particular unit is unique even among the other units in the building in that it is the only one that I did a stained kitchen in. We built the kitchen using the same vintage styling cues... but instead of painting it white as we did in the other 3 units in the main building, we stained it to match the original old-growth, long-leaf pine floors in the unit--which as you can see from the pics below have kind of a reddish / orange-y / black color to them. To age down / antique & stain the cabinets I brought in Raul Abrego, who finishes high-end custom furniture at C&G in the Heights, which added about $600 to the cost of the kitchen.

Since we did a stain on the kitchen cabs in this unit I decided to do a black slate backsplash (instead of the white subway tile in the other four units), so I took the same stone we used on the countertops and cut it down to 3x6 bricks and installed them in an off-set pattern (basic "running bond" in brick masons'jargon). Having to cut down all of that slate from 12x12 pieces added another day to the tile job, which adds about $250 to the budget. But it turned out great so it was worth the extra time & expense.

Also with the darker, stained kitchen, I decided to go with ALL stainless appliances, so that adds another level of cost to this unit--another $800 in extra appliance expense. In addition to the above extras, I designed a more complex mosaic design for the bathroom in this unit, which took quite a bit more time to execute. So, from a cost perspective, this unit is by far the most expensive and time consuming of the three in the main building.

The Eastwood area is on the east side of downtown, just five to ten minutes from downtown Houston. The University of Houston, Midtown, the Medical Center & Museum District, etc. are all very short, very easy commutes from this location. (But about 20% lower rents than my properties in Montrose, the Heights, the Upper Kirby, etc. Same era & architecture (1920s to 1940s)... same quality restoration... just less expensive dirt (and therefore, more affordable rents). This building is not exactly in Eastwood proper--but it is very close. Recently, the entire district is being called EaDo (east of downtown).

For more info on the Eastwood neighborhood, go here: http://www.eastwoodcivicassociation.org/

*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit 2
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1195
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  750
Large, ground floor, one bedroom one bath flat in 1930s vintage, innerloop 4plex.

After over 18 years of owning, restoring, and managing vintage properties from the late 1800s through Mid-Century--in Houston, San Diego, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City--I think I've pretty much figured out what the perfect vintage in-town apartment is all about. And I applied all of that experience to this project and ended up with, what I think is, the perfect vintage innerloop flat.

To appreciate the look and feel and amenities that this apartment has, you don't have to consider price point: even compared to $1195/mo + units, these units can compete with anything in Houston. But when you DO consider price point, I don't think there's much if anyting inside the loop that can compete.

I tend to be an "inside out" kind of thinker, so I usually start each project with major mechanical upgrades--the things you don't see but that have a tremendous impact on day to day livability. You can spruce a place up all you want but if the mechanicals are past their prime (plumbing , electrical, HVAC), it will ultimately effect the quality of life. Since we took this building down to the studs were were able to completely upgrade all of the mechanicals systems from the ground up. New plumbing. New wiring. Complete new air conditioning and heating systems.

And not just any generic, cheap central air conditioning system... but 14 SEER RUUD split systems--which are a quite bit more efficient and of higher quality than the el cheapo 10 to 12 SEER Janitrol or Goodman or Yorx systems that you find at even some of the bigger, higher-end complexes in town. You might not think this matters to you as a tenant but it does, in TWO important ways. 1. Cost to operate. Higher SEER ratings mean higher efficiency--which means lower electric bills. A cheap, low SEER a/c unit can easily add $50-100 per month to your rent. 2. Better quality systems mean longer life and fewer failures... and believe me, you don't want your a/c to fail when it is 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity outside--as it frequently is here in Houston during the summer. I've gone through four HVAC contractors since I started restoring vintage buildings and I've learned a LOT about designing and installing air conditioning systems for this climate in the process. These systems in these units represent the apex of that education.

Laundry is another key feature at this property. At this price point, inside the loop, it is not a given that you are going to have your own washer and dryer in the unit. And many times the washer & dryer you do get is a tiny, stackable, "compact" washer & dryer that you can barely wash your sheets in. At this property, the four units in the main building share a brand new, full-size washer & dryer that is located inside the rear entry of the building. (see pics below). These are good quality Whirlpool machines that have multiple cycles and settings--and are completely free--not coin-op. I make a reasonable and fair profit from the rents at my properties and I'm not one of those landlords who is trying to squeeze every nickel and dime out of his tenants that he can by using coin-op machines. So, free laundry is standard equipment. And with only four units in the building, you won't have any problems getting your laundry done. Open your back door, take two steps, and you are standing in front of the machines. I've even built a nice set of shelves above the machines so you can leave your soaps and sundries right there if you want to.

Another key feature that sets these units apart is closet space and storage in general. The existing floorplans had reasonable closets already but I was able to claw back even MORE closet space and storage throughout the apartments. Super big closet in the bedroom (about 10 feet wide) with double hanging space + ANOTHER large double closet off the dining area (also about 10 feet wide), PLUS floor to ceiling built-ins in the bathroom that even my girlfriend would have a hard time filling up--and she has more hair products than the love child of John Paul DeJoria and Horst Rechelbacher.

Bathrooms, bathrooms, bathrooms. I love me some bathrooms. If you click through the various properties and projects on my site you'll notice that my bathrooms are usually very unique and very detailed, with intricate tile work and lots of built in storage and always BIG, tiled-in mirrors... yet always classic in style. These bathrooms have all of that and also feature overhead rainshowers, and mosaic tile floors with vintage inlays and patterns. They aren't BIGGER bathrooms than you might find in a typical apartment... the just have more storage and a lot more STUFF going on in them design-wise. Oh, and BIG mirrors + a GFCI plug right there at the sink.

After bathrooms, kitchens are probably my next favorite part of a project to design and execute. Over the years I got so frustrated trying to find good, vintage style cabinets that were reasonably priced--and of at least average quality--that I ended up starting a cabinet company to fill my own need. (www.custom-cabinets-houston.com) Unlike the vast majority of apartments out there, that use generic, pre-fab cabinets, all of my apartments have custom kitchen and bathroom cabinets that are all unique to each apartment and that are period correct and that maximize the footprint of the kitchen. Another thing that drives me CRAZY is not having enough PLUGS in the kitchen for all the stuff you need to use... blender, mixer, coffee maker, cell phone, laptop, pannini press, toaster, etc. (OK, maybe I have more small appliances than the average renter... :) So, in these kitchens I made sure there were MORE than enough plugs--EIGHT in the backsplash--for pretty much anything you could possibly want to plug in.

I'm also frequently shocked at the low quality of APPLIANCES used in even the most high end apartments out there. My friend Kellie was living in a Randall Davis loft downtown--the St. Germain--paying about $1700/month--and her kitchen had literally the cheapest appliances you could possibly buy--like an electric Magic Chef stove and a $200 OTR microwave--and I kid you not, an "apartment sized" refrigerator. I couldn't believe it. I mean, my CHEAPEST apartment--an $895/mo efficiency in Montrose--has nicer appliances than that. And these units at Linwood have even NICER appliances. (see pics below). $400 built-in GE OTR / microwave. $800 GAS range. $1000 bottom freezer refrigerator (no more bending over to get stuff out of the crisper!)... again, considering the price point this level of appliances is unheard of. (In fact, if you find an apartment in the same price range with nicer appliances out there--let me know. I'll give you $200 cash.)

Flooring is another key feature of these units that set them apart from anything else in this price point. Real hardwood floors are getting harder and harder to find--for a very good reason: they are expensive to install and expensive to maintain. But personally, I can't live in a place that has carpet or vinyl floors. And even the "faux" hardwoods (Pergo, laminate, "engineered" floors, etc.) tend to annoy me. A piece of plastic with wood grain printed on it just isn't the same thing as 3/4" solid hardwood flooring. And in this unit we installed solid 3/4" white oak hardwood flooring--on top of new 3/4" tongue and groove decking, with 30# felt in between. So: solid, air tight, no squeaks.

Lots of windows. Maybe I'm just strange but I seem to be happier in a space that has a lot of good, clean, natural light. Because this building was build LONG before central air and heat, it had plenty of windows already--but just about every one of them had been painted shut, had cracked or missing glass, or in some cases, had been covered over with sheetrock. We "liberated" all of these windows, taking out every single sash, stripping them with grinders and sanders, priming, painting, and rehanging all the windows with new sash ropes and counter-balance weights, replaced any broken or cracked windows, installed new glazing, new hardware, etc. So, lots of natural light and good cross-ventilation when the weather's nice.

Lighting is another area where these apartments stand out in a crowd. When you walk through the units you notice that there are lights everywhere you need them--and the right kinds of lights. Sconces in most rooms below eye level, keyless fixtures in the closets, recessed can lights in the kitchen (putting task lighting where you need it--on the countertops--to eliminate shadows and dead spots)--and cool, vintage ceiling fans--without the goofy light kits most ceiling fans have. It may seem like a small thing but it's something you definitely appreciate when you have it.

Neighbors are also super important. The old adage "one bad apple spoils the bunch" is nowhere truer than when it comes to a 4plex. In the first year of operation at this location my tenants at this property were... a teacher, a nurse, a med student, an engineer, an architect, a stage lighting designer, and an interior designer... so, you can kind of get a feel for who I am looking for--and who is looking for apartments like mine. No strippers. No drug dealers. No gang bangers. No whack jobs. No pit bulls. No loud mufflers. I've been doing this a long time and I'm pretty good at filtering out the bad seeds before they even apply.

Eastwood is on the east side of downtown, just five to ten minutes from downtown Houston, the University of Houston, Midtown, the Medical Center & Museum District, etc.--but about 20% lower rents than my properties in Montrose, the Heights, Upper Kirby, etc. Same era architecture (1930s to 1940s), same quality restoration, just cheaper dirt (and therefore, more affordable rents).

For more info on the Eastwood neighborhood, go here: http://www.eastwoodcivicassociation.org/

THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
Download Rental Application
 


 
 Unit 4
 vacant:  No  rent:  $1195
 bedrooms:  1  bathrooms:  1
 sqare feet:  750
Large, upstairs, one bedroom one bath flat in 1930s vintage, innerloop 4plex.

After over 16 years of owing, restoring, and managing vintage properties in Houston, San Diego, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City, I think I've pretty much figured out what the "ideal" vintage in-town apartment is all about. And I applied that experience to this project.

To appreciate the look and feel and amenities that these apartment have you don't HAVE to consider price point--even at $1095 to $1195/month these units can compete with anything inside the loop. But when you DO consider price point, there's nothing out there inside the loop that can come anywhere close to these five units.

To start with, these units all have central air and heat--which is not a give at this price point in Houston. And not just any generic, cheap central air conditioning system... but 14 SEER RUUD split systems, which are a much more efficient and of higher quality than the standard el cheapo 10 to 12 SEER Janitrol or Goodman or Yorx systems that you will find at even some of the higher-end complexes in town. You might not THINK that this matters to you as a tenant--but it does, in two important ways: 1. Cost to operate. Higher SEER ratings mean higher efficiency--which means lower electric bills. A cheap, low SEER a/c unit can add $50-100 per month to your expenses. 2. Better quality systems mean longer life and fewer failures... and believe you me--you don't want your a/c to fail when it is 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity outside (as it frequently is here in Houston during the summer).

Laundry is another key feature at this property. At this price point, it is the exception to the rule to find a good, vintage, innerloop apartment with a washer and dryer in the unit. And on that level, these units are not the exception. They do not have separate washers and dryers. However, the four units in the main building share a brand new washer & dryer that is located inside the rear entry of the building. (see pics below). These are good quality Whirlpool machines that have multiple cycles and settings--and are completely free--not coin op. I make a reasonable profit from the rents, so I'm not one of those landlords who is trying to squeeze every dime out of his tenants that he can. So, free laundry is included.

Another key feature that sets these units apart is closet space and storage in general. The existing floorplans had reasonable closets already but I was able to claw back even MORE closet space and storage throughout the apartment. Super big closet in the bedroom with double hanging space + another large double closet of the dining area.

Add to that floor-to-ceiling built-ins in the bathroom that even my girlfriend would have a hard time filling up--and she has more hair products than the love child of John Paul DeJoria and Horst Rechelbacher--and plus floor-to-ceiling pantry in the back entry that even Martha Stewart would approve.

Bathrooms, bathrooms, bathrooms. I love me some bathrooms. If you click through the various properties and projects on my site you'll notice that the bathrooms are usually very unique and very detailed, with intricate tile work and lots of built in storage and always BIG, tiled-in mirrors. These bathrooms have all of that and also feature overhead rainshowerheads, and mosaic tile floors with vintage inlays and patterns. They aren't BIGGER bathrooms than you might find in a typical apartment... the just have more storage and a lot more STUFF going on in them design-wise.

After bathrooms, kitchens are probably my next favorite part of the project to design and execute. Over the years I got so frustrated trying to find good, vintage style cabinets that were reasonably priced and of at least average quality... that I ended up starting my own cabinet company to fill that need: (www.custom-cabinets-houston.com). Unlike the vast majority of apartments out there--that use generic, pre-fab, mass-produced cabinets--all of my apartments have custom kitchen cabinets that are unique to each apartment and that are period correct--and that maximize the footprint of the kitchen. Another thing that drives me CRAZY is not having enough PLUGS in the kitchen for all the stuff I need to use... blender, mixer, coffee maker, cell phone, laptop, pannini press, toaster, etc. (OK, maybe I have more small appliances than the average renter... :) So, in these kitchens I made sure there are way more than enough plugs--EIGHT in the backsplash--for pretty much anything you could possibly want to plug in.

I'm also frequently shocked at the low quality of APPLIANCES used in even the most high end apartments out there. My friend Kellie was living in a Randall Davis loft downtown--the St. Germain--paying about $1700/month--and her kitchen had literally the cheapest appliances you could possibly buy--like an electric Magic Chef stove and a cheapo OTR microwave--and I kid you not, an "apartment sized" refrigerator. I couldn't believe it. I mean, my CHEAPEST apartment--an $895/mo efficiency in Montrose--has nicer appliances than that. And these units at Linwood have even NICER appliances. (see pics below). $400 built-in GE OTR / microwave. $800 GAS range. $1000 bottom freezer refrigerator (no more bending over to get stuff out of the crisper!)... again, considering the price point, this level of appliances is practically unheard of. (In fact, if you find an apartment in the same price range with nicer appliances out there--let me know. I'll give you $200 cash.)

Flooring is another key feature of these units that set them apart from anything else in this price point. Real hardwood floors are getting harder and harder to find--for a very good reason: they are expensive to install and expensive to maintain. But personally, I can't live in a place that has carpet or vinyl floors--and even the "faux" hardwoods (Pergo, laminate, "engineered" floors, etc.) tend to annoy me. A piece of plastic with wood grain sticker on it just isn't the same thing as 3/4" solid hardwood flooring. And in these units we spent about a month with three difference industrial sanding machines--an edger, a drum sander, and a buffer--stripping off 80 yrs of paint, stain, urethane, tack strip, mastic, etc.--to get down to the original, longleaf pine floors. The downstairs floors were so bad, in fact, that we had to remove all of the original hardwoods and install new white oak flooring--and we used the good pieces that we could salvage from those apartments to repair and complete the floors in the upstairs units.

Lots of windows. Maybe I'm just strange but I seem to be happier in a space that has a lot of good, clean, natural light. Because this building was build LONG before central air and heat, it had plenty of windows already--but just about every one of them had been painted shut, had cracked or missing glass, or in some cases, had been covered over with sheetrock. We "liberated" all of these windows, taking out every single sash, stripping them with grinders, priming, painting, and rehanging all the windows with new sash ropes and weights, new glass, new glazing, new hardware, etc. So, lots of natural light and good cross-ventilation when the weather's nice.

Lighting is another area where these apartments stand out in a crowd. When you walk through the units you notice that there are lights everywhere you need them--and the right kinds of lights. Sconces in most rooms below eye level, keyless fixtures in the closets, recessed can lights in the kitchen (putting task lighting where you need it--on the countertops--to eliminate shadows and dead spots)--and cool, vintage ceiling fans--without the goofy light kits most ceiling fans have. It may seem like a small thing but it's something you definitely appreciate when you have it.

Neighbors are also super important. The old adage "one bad apple spoils the bunch" is nowhere truer than when it comes to neighbors. In the first year of operation at this location my tenants at this property were... a teacher, a nurse, a med student, an engineer, an architect, a stage lighting designer, and an interior designer... so, you can kind of get a feel for who I am looking for--and who is looking for apartment like mine. No strippers. No drug dealers. No gang bangers. No whack jobs. I've been doing this a long time and I'm pretty good at filtering out the bad seeds before they even apply.

Eastwood is on the east side of downtown, just five to ten minutes from downtown Houston, the University of Houston, Midtown, the Medical Center & Museum District, etc.--but about 20% lower rents than my properties in Montrose, the Heights, the Upper Kirby, etc. Same era / architecture (1930s), same quality restoration... just cheaper dirt (and therefore, more affordable rents).

For more info on the Eastwood neighborhood, go here: http://www.eastwoodcivicassociation.org/

*** THIS UNIT IS CURRENTLY LEASED.
 
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