Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Backup Plan

First of all let me say, I'm happy to be living in San Miguel and while I loved my Houston house, I'm glad we have sold it and it has new owners who are living in it and taking care of it.

Even though we were in the process of selling out in the USA, I still had a feeling that I wanted a toe hold. I wanted a place in the inner city that I could come back to should we decided because of health or some other reason that we wanted to live in Houston again. But we didn't want the responsibility of a house. Prices on housing in the inner city continue to escalate and we worried that we could be priced out of the market. That could mean back to the 'burbs? Oh no!
The solution seemed to be to buy a lot in the inner city before lot prices went up even more. It would be a hedge against inflation, an investment and a reassurance that we could go back and live where we wanted to live. Or another thought that I had was that if we found we wanted a place in Houston for when we visited there, we could build a garage with an apartment on the lot and wait to build a house if we went back. All in all, a lot was a good solution.

Would you believe that I found the perfect lot immediately? That is because there was another area of Houston that I had been watching on Houston's Southeast side called Eastwood. Ned and I both grew up on that side of town but a little further out. We have friends who lived over there and had been remodeling some of the old houses. They had great things to say about what was happening in Eastwood and to some extent it still seemed to be a hidden jewel because the prices had not escalated as had happened in some close in neighborhoods.

I had done some reading about the neighborhood. It was one of the first subdivisions in Houston and was developed in 1913 with paved streets, curbs and gutters and lots terraced with soil dredged to make the Houston Ship Channel. Originally a neighborhood of custom homes built for entrepreneurs, business owners and managers it had gone through some tough times as houses became rental units but things have been changing. The housing stock is for the most part good and people who want to live close to the city have been buying and remodeling.

When I went on line to look at real estate, I found the lot. We were here in Mexico so I had Janice our real estate broker go take a look. She called us on her cell phone raving about the lot. She too had grown up in the area but hadn't been back for years. She liked the looks of what was happening in Eastwood. We made an offer on the lot sight unseen. And the rest as they say is history. We now own the lot....and what is even better it is a corner lot.
Sometimes when I'm awake in the middle of the night, I start thinking about how we would design a house for that lot, where would I want the kitchen, how would the sun flow over the house, how much room do we really need to have a comfortable "Not So Big House." I have to admit that I'm so content in San Miguel right now that I wonder if we will ever go back to Houston but it makes me feel good to have that lot.....just in case.


Anonymous said...

Billie - Smart move! I LOVE that area of Houston. There was an article recently in the Chronicle while I was up there about Eastwood. Beautiful lot! But the longer I am here, the less inclined I am to think I'll go back and IF I did, it would be for only part of the year........I think. I drove by my old house while in Houston and can't imagine living there! Good thing.

Anonymous said...

Hola Senora Billie,

Owning a piece(s) of land is part of what makes me feel alive (actually I own too many pieces right now and yet I keep looking).

While I tend to agree with Barbara our property inventory would not support it. The important thing is that you have a toe hold on a good life -
ENJOY - Juan Calypso