While there is always a lot of discussion about the exact temperature of the Houston housing market—have the most recent troubles in the oil industry negatively impacted listing prices while simultaneously increasing the number of homes on the market, will the rising (if only slightly) interest rates slow the pace of sales, where are the best neighborhoods to buy now, and so much more—the number of home sales and rentals for 2017 is outpacing the record performance of 2016, which somehow outpaced sales in 2015, and on and on it seems to go.
Having relocated to Houston in 2013 myself, I have fairly recently done the exhausting work of researching median house prices, school ratings, re-sell forecasts, and walkability scores and we settled into a neighborhood that we love and have come to call home. But I remember looking at one area, in particular, that people at the time were calling “up and coming.” That area is Garden Oaks and Oak Forrest, affectionately known as the GOOF. Although we did not ultimately choose to live there, I remember loving the big front yards, the large pecan and oak trees, and the craftsman bungalows mixed in with ranch style homes.
Since that time, we have met so many people who live there, have watched families sell their homes in The Heights and Meyerland and move there, and we have subsequently ended up spending a good deal of time in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest. What I have learned is that there is nothing “up and coming” about this place. The GOOF officially arrived a long time ago.
Miguel Facundo and The GOOF
One native of the area, Miguel Facundo, already knew this. Having grown up in Garden Oaks, he decided to dedicate his professional skill and artistry to doing his part to ensure that the GOOF continues to be a great place for Houston families for many generations to come. In 2004, he established Facundo Artisan Home Builders in the heart of Garden Oaks, and has been renovating older homes and building new ones with the kind of quality and care for the neighborhood that you only get with a home-town boy. He takes very seriously his commitment to neighborhood integrity, high-quality design and construction materials, as well as employing skilled tradesmen dedicated to their craft. Although he does work all over Houston, his home and his passion is the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area where he grew up, and he only builds 10 homes a year.
Just Vibe Houston was recently invited to attend an open house party for one of his latest designs, a 2800 square-foot high-end luxury home called The Claire. We were able to tour all four floors of this fantastic one-of-a-kind beauty, with an outdoor living room and breathtaking view of downtown Houston.
We also had a great time at the pre-tour party hosted by Circa Real Estate and Harold’s Restaurant and Bar, where we had an opportunity to hang out with some local Houston bloggers and attend a craft cocktail mixing seminar taught by award winning Julia Tillman. We created a tart but tasty creation, which we named #GoodDrink, and we think it is a refreshing summertime treat. It was all super fun. But Miguel Facundo and The Claire were the real stars of the night.
Talented artisans who take their gifts out into the larger markets are understandable. We get that desire and wish them well. But those who choose to plant seeds of brilliance in their home soil really do become, as Gandhi said, “the change in the world they wish to see.”
To view some of Miguel’s work, check out his website Facundo Home Builders, and The Claire, located at 3503 Facundo Street (named for the designer), is available for showing through its listing agency, Circa Real Estate.