First-time buyers drawn to community
By Katherine Feser
Affordable prices have made the 1970s tract housing in Northwest Park attractive to first-time buyers who want to get out of an apartment and into a house for an average of $600 a month.
"There are no shared walls," says realty agent Tom Caine of Re/Max Airport I. They are separate houses with four walls of your own and a two-car garage, Caine says.
Northwest Park is located south of Beltway 8, just a few miles from a slew of neighborhoods along FM 1960. Willowbrook Mall is about six miles away on Texas 249, which borders the subdivision.
"It's kind of just out of the cusp of the high demand area," says Lee Tews, an agent with MGM Realty. "But because of that, it's a very economical place to live - lower tax rates, MUD (municipal utility district) rates and home prices."
Over the past year, 48 homes have sold in Northwest Park from $41,000 to $81,900. Currently, 27 homes are on the market, priced from $51,900 to $79,900. Some of the more expensive homes are new ones filling in about 14 vacant lots in the subdivision. Four houses, priced from $65,000 to $84,000, have been built by Barton Homes.
"We're selling at $50 a square foot. It is an excellent value compared to other areas where you can buy a new home," says Terry Kaiser of Builder Sales Associates, who markets the properties.
An elementary school, middle school and recreational center with pool and tennis courts are located in the neighborhood. Metro's Seton Lake Park and Ride is adjacent to Northwest Park. A yearly assessment of about $255 provides for a contract deputy security program, street lights and maintenance of common areas.
Enforcing deed restrictions has helped with the upkeep of the neighborhood, says Dora Young, a resident who administers the security plan.
The civic association has hired a management company to survey the neighborhood for violations.
"I send out about 200 first and second letters a month," says Judy Gordon, a property manager with Chaparral Management Co.
The letters seem to be working. "I see a lot of improvement," Gordon says. "I see people caring. I'm kind of tickled about it."
Neighborhood facts and map
[We lived on Sandswept Lane. Carmichael Elementary is in that square between Trail Valley and Silver Star. Shotwell Middle School is farther up Trail valley, in the white rectangle.]
Number of homes 1,849
Median price $52,400
Median price per square foot $35.55
Median size 1,596 square feet
Median lot size 7,150 square feet
Median year built 1978
Average number of bedrooms 3.1
Average number of baths 2.0
Median estimated tax $1,678
School district Aldine Independent School District
Schools Carmichael Elementary, Shotwell Middle and Eisenhower High
Source: Crawford Realty Advisors