flip or flop fort worthIn the next-to-last first-run episode of Flip or Flop Fort Worth, we get a peek at the bustling community of River Oaks, where Andy and Ashley Williams find a foreclosure with great bones and plenty of room.

But first, as usual, we have some reader mail to answer. (more…)

Last week, while exploring the area of the Beverly Hills Estates listing, I stumbled on to 1716 Inspiration Lane, only a few short blocks away in the unincorporated city of River Oaks. A chunk of Inspiration Lane is part of a new upscale development that is markedly grander than its much humbler neighbors. Still, with the furious pace of growth in Fort Worth seemingly incessant, more areas of town are getting a second look, and developers and homebuyers have begun to nibble at River Oaks.

The structure, in the modern, Texas vernacular style is the conception of architect Bruce Conway and has been featured in 360 West Magazine.  The exterior blends into the landscape replete with native Texas plants and large specimen trees.

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3688 Willick Houston

Bayou Breeze, interiors by Bunny Williams, was at $19,995,000 reduced 27.5 percent to $14,495,000

Looking just in tony River Oaks, almost every home there has been reduced, from a $14 million spread that was once asking $19 million, to a 2,100-square-foot starter ranch now at $699,000, down from $840,000. Reuters reports that folks are pulling together with oil prices at their lowest since, well gosh, the 1980s. They are calling it the worst oil price crash since the 1980s, in fact. Even the Houston Opera is pitching in, offering free season tickets to patrons who lost their jobs in the oil bust. At least one restaurant is offering a complete meal for the price of a barrel of crude: $30.

Twenty months into the worst oil price crash since the 1980s, well-heeled residents of the world’s oil capital are among the hardest hit largely because tanking energy firm shares make up much of oil and gas executives’ compensation

Prices for mansions in Houston’s swankiest neighborhood have tumbled in lock step with crude prices. The Houston Opera has offered free season tickets to patrons who lost their jobs in the oil bust. A fancy restaurant offers cut-price dinners.

2018 Suffolk Houston

2018 Suffolk $699,000 reduced 16.9% from $840,000

But the article goes on to say that despite the price ranges hardest hit are homes priced over $500,000. Data shows overall sales of single family homes fell 2 percent in January, while those over $500,000 were hit hardest — a decline of 9 percent. Yeow.

Thankfully, Houston’s economy is more diversified now than it was in the 1980s when the city lost a whopping 13 percent of its jobs, essentially creating a depression in the Bayou City. Job loss during the Great Depression of the ’30s was 25 percent. Houston is home to 5,000 energy related firms, and because of federal laws enforcing “performance-based” pay, executive compensation with stock options has increased.

“When oil does well, River Oaks does well. When oil does bad River Oaks does bad,” said Paige Martin, a Keller Williams broker who specializes in the neighborhood. “Not everybody can afford a $10 million house.”