"Production Solves All Problems."
This is a concept that my uncle drilled into my head over and over again when I worked with him during college. I didn't fully grasp the concept at the time--it wasn't until I had a business of my own that I finally "got it".
My units look the way they do mainly because I am an bizarrely productive person who also happens to think long term. I look at every repair as an opportunity to upgrade the property (or the unit) in order to add more value for the tenant--which ultimately adds more value to my bottom line. Why?
Because better units = happier tenants = more applicants = lower turnover = more rent = higher profits. I am not an altruist--I am an objectivist in the purest Ayn Randian sense of the word. And I am more than happy to do upgrades that are both good for me AND good for the tenant--because in the end, we both win.
In the Houston market for example, if you pull out the crappy old window units and put in central air condition, you will increase the average rent for your units by at least $100/month. The new central air will cost you about $3500. So, in 35 months you're at break even. After that, as the landlord, you're making an extra $100/month on that unit. Further, the average electric bill for that same unit will be 50% less with central air than a window unit--which is better for your tenants--and better for the environment. So WHY are there so many vintage apartments inside the loop that STILL have window units???
It's such a win/win scenario that I'm really surprised that more landlords don't "get it". More cash flow coming in at the beginning of every month ("production") = more cash flow left over at the end of the month for problem solving and upgrades. Since 2001 I have spent over $1.25 MILLION dollars on upgrades & restoration projects at my various properties--without borrowing a single penny. I did it all from cash flow.
The units that appear below are the units that will be coming available over the next 30 to 60 days.
I keep my game pretty tight so normally I do not have any units just sitting empty (unless we happen to be working on a unit). People move out, people move in--so you always have a few days of vacancy here and there in between tenants. Typically we have most units re-leased before the current tenant vacates, with just a day or two of vacancy in between to make sure that the unit is in tip top condition for the new tenant.
The availability date for each unit is indicated below--along with a contact email for that property. Sometimes the current tenants can move out sooner than the availability date indicated... sometimes not. So if you need to move sooner than the date indicated by the available unit, just let us know the move-in date you need when you email us and we'll check with the out-going tenant to see if they have any wiggle room.
If your ideal or projected move-in date is beyond the availability date below, I'm obviously not going to "hold" this apartment for you without rent. Something else may come up that is available closer to your move-in date, however. So feel free to contact me or Like / Follow us on Facebook to get instant updates anytime we get a 30-day notice on a unit.
Click the "View Unit Details" link by any property that you are interested in and then send an email to the address indicated if you would like specifics about showing dates and times for that particular unit.
(You may also want to check out the Home page for a little background on Medusa Properties and how we roll.)
IF THERE IS NOTHING BELOW THIS SENTENCE THEN WE ARE 100% FULL AT THIS TIME. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER. :)
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|Classic 1920s Montrose 4-Plex (Houston, TX)
Classic red brick 4plex in the ever popular Montrose area of Houston. Circa 1920s.
Built like a Sherman tank but with looks like Marlene Dietrich.
Easy walking distance to Whole Foods (@ W Dallas & Waugh) and a host of other great shops, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, etc.
Tall ceilings, original hardwood floors, original Art Deco hex-tile in the bathrooms, original cast iron sinks and cast iron tubs... this property has all the details that make these old buildings classics.
Additionally, every unit has been fully outfitted to modern standards underneath the skin of the building--with central air and heat, full-size appliances, new water heaters, etc.
There is also ample off-street, gated, covered parking--a MUST inside the loop.
This is a clean, quiet, peaceful building with great vintage architecture & detailing; the antithesis of "big box" apartment living. If you are looking for a home inside the loop and you love pure vintage but don't want to make the sacrifices that it often entails--this might be the perfect place for you.
I'm pet friendly in general but in these units I prefer no dogs upstairs (units #3 & #4). That's not iron clad but in the 14 yrs I've owned this building, I think I've had maybe one or two tenants with dogs in those upstairs units. So, never hurts to ask but don't be mad if I say no. :) Most dogs not a problem in the downstairs units (#1 & #2).
See pics below for more visuals. Click on any thumbnail to enlarge.
M&M Lighting: fixtures
Thorntree: stone flooring & backsplash materials
Yellowstone Marble & Granite: stone countertops
The Detering Company: trim, moulding, doors
Custom Precision Stainless: custom sinks, misc. stainless detailing
Montalbano Lumber: misc. building materials
Trinity & Klassic Hardwood Floors: new & recycled hardwood flooring
DalTile & Emser Tile: ceramic & stone
Custom Cabinets Houston: vintage cabinetry, custom closets & built-ins
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W. Gray St
HOUSTON, TX 77019
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|Mid-Century Modern in Galleria / Highland Village (Houston, TX)
Bored with doing the same "Turn-of-the-Century" restoration projects for the previous five years, in 2002 I decided to mix things up bit with a little Mid-Century Modern.
This classic 1950s 8-plex is one of only a few remaining, original, small complexes built in Afton Oaks in the 1950s (before the Galleria was even a twinkle in Gerald Hines' visionary eye. (http://www.aftonoaks.org/)
Because of its excellent in-town location, unusually large lots, and strictly enforced deed restrictions, the prevailing model in Afton Oaks is to tear down the existing 1950s "ranch-style" houses (@ $500K a pop) and replace them with faux French McMansions and falso Italianate Villas (@ $2 million + a pop). Most of the original, smaller, vintage 4plex, 6plex, and 8plexes like this one have been laid low by that same paradigm shift in recent years.
As tempting as that might be to me financially, I kinda liked Afton Oaks the way it was--quaint and unpretentious--so I decided to recycle this classic building instead of sacrificing it to the gods of consumption.
This project was fun mainly because we got to work and re-work the same basic floor-plan eight times. This allowed me to tweak the scope & look of each unit, improving the functionality and aesthetics of each as we moved through the building. (My own mini Case Study project.) My goal was to end up with eight unique units--and I think I achieved that goal. No two units in the building are exactly alike. Some lean more toward the Vintage and some more toward the Modern--but they are all Vintage Modern.
Aside from the common floor plan of two bedrooms and one bath--and some shared color schemes--every unit has its own personality. Sometimes the differences are subtle. Sometimes they are drastic. But each has its own individual character.
The tenants are generally an eclectic mix of young professionals (25-45). Probably owing to the central courtyard, this property has more of a community feel to it than any other property that I have owned--which I like--and which is why certain types of people prefer a small complex like this over 200, 300, 400 unit complex.
If you work or play inside the loop, this location is hard to beat. "Galleria" is an oft abused reference point in Houston real estate--especially in apartment listings. This property is literally three blocks due east of the Galleria shopping centers--tucked just inside the 610 loop. You could walk out your front door & be trying on shoes at Neimans in about five minutes. There is also a Central Market, Best Buy, Target, Spec's (my favorite!), and three Starbucks within easy walking distance. (damn those $5 iced chai lattes w/double shots of espresso!)
There is also great freeway access to 59, 610, and I-10. And the shopping is the best in the state. (Where else in Houston can you live close enough to walk to Crate & Barrel, Central Market, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie?) http://www.shophighlandvillage.com/center.html
For what they are (700 to 800 s.f., Mid-Century, two bed / one bath flats) these are about the nicest units in this price range that you are going to find anywhere near this location--possibly anywhere inside the loop. They are what they are. If you are looking for shiny new pennies, you'll have to live in a 400 unit property and park in a parking garage. This is eight units. Killer location. Two bedrooms. $1145-1195/mo. Tough to beat that.
See unit details below for pics & info on each individual unit. Click any thumbnail to enlarge.
Thorntree (quartz & slate), DalTile, ICI Paints, K&N (appliance), the Detering Company (trim & moulding), Custom Precision Stainless (custom kitchen sinks & other stainless details), Ferguson (misc. plumbing fixtures), Trinity Hardwoods, Klassic Hardwoods (recycled flooring), Custom Cabinets & Trim (www.custom-cabinets-houston.com), M&M Lighting, Bobbitt Glass, Emmanuel del Angel (sheetrock, paint, tile), Morales HVAC, St Charles Electric.
For more info about renting one of these units (policies, procedures, showing dates & times, etc.) send and email to the address listed at the end of each unit description below.
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HOUSTON, TX 77027
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|Mid-Century Lofts & Flats (Upper Kirby - Houston - TX)
I rescued this little gem from the chopping block in August of 2006. The tenants had all been evicted... the gas meters had pulled out of the ground & the main lines terminated... and the water to the property had been shut off at the main by the city: the wrecking ball was on its way. :(
But I felt like she had a lot of life left in her. So I got out the pencil & pad and started sketching. Then I got out the sledgehammer and starting demo-ing. And then I got out my checkbook and started writing checks... very big checks... :)
14 months later the first new tenants started moving in... and I've barely had a single day of vacancy since.
Before I bought the property the building had been owned by the same family since it was built in the late 1940s. The entire street used to have many similar properties on it; all but this one had been torn down over the years. (Well, actually Twin Peaks down the street is actually two fourplexes like this one--combined into one big building--then wrapped in a commercial facade. So, technically, it is an original structure.)
The 67 yr old woman who sold me the property had lived there with her family when she was a child. Fortunately for me she had no interest in restoring the building. Getting on in years, she had been living off the rents & letting the property run down for the past few decades... the classic "slumlord" scenario.
This property is just off Kirby, between 59 & Richmond--making it one of the shortest commutes you will find to just about anywhere in the city. 10-15 minutes from every university and college in town; 5 minutes from the Medical Center; walking distance to River Oaks, Greenway Plaza, movie theaters, shopping, and many great restaurants. (Japon & Miyako are both across the street... mmm... sushi!) (Haven, a new, mulit-million $$$, "green" / "farm to table" restaurant went in next door a couple of years ago.
The property has six units total: four larger one bedrooms in the main building (two lofts and two flats) and two smaller one bedroom apartments over the garages.
The look is 50/50 vintage/modern--but definitely not "traditional", "contemporary", or cookie cutter in any way. I guarantee that you will not find ANY units at ANY property, in ANY price range that have the kinds of fixtures and finishes that I have in these units. I did not have a budget when I restored these units. I just did what I thought would look killer--and what would last a lifetime. Steel. Wood. Glass. Brick. Stone. The basic elements.
The two lower units in the main building (#1 & #2) have stained concrete floors & large private patios in the front. The two upper units are all hardwoods with private decks off the back. Kitchens & baths are completely custom & high-end with all stainless steel appliances from Bosch (dishwashers), Siemens (dual fuel ranges), GE (microwaves fridges & washers & dryers) + natural stone counters, and built-in laundry. Very modern but with a shout out to the building's 1940s heritage.
- M&M Lighting - fixtures & fans
- Thorntree - natural stone (counters)
- Detering Company - trim, moulding, doors, & windows
- Custom Precision Stainless - custom stainless sinks & shelves
- Montalbano Lumber - building materials
- DalTile - subway tile, etc.
- West End Roofing
- Ferguson Plumbing Supply
- Emmanuel del Angel (framing, sheetrock, tile, paint)
- Custom Cabinets & Trim Carpentry (www.custom-cabinets-houston.com)
- EnergyGuard - expanding foam insulation
For more details about these units send an email to:
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Houston, TX 77098
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|1930s 5-PLEX * INNERLOOP (Houston, TX)
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 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:
Project Resources: Olshan (framing, roofing, & sheetrock materials), Bison (doors, trim, moulding), Chesley (plumbing supplies), Crawford (electrical supplies), Custom Cabinets & Trim Carpentry 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to find out about upcoming vacancy.
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Houston, TX 77011