Home values in Brookglen on the rise
Home values in La Porte's Brookglen subdivision went up 9 percent between 2008 and 2009, from $66.70 to $72.40 per square foot, according to a recent survey of Houston-area property.
That's no small increase.
The majority of East Harris County subdivisions surveyed for the Houston Chronicle by Crawford Realty, which showed declines, or only tiny increases, in the price per square foot over the same period.
Also, 36 of Brookglen's 646 lots changed hands between 2008 and 2009, putting the far-west La Porte subdivision ahead of others in sales.
Among the 880 lots in Pasadena's Riverstone Ranch, for example, there were 31 sales, and the price per square foot went down about 1 percent, from $73.74 to $72.81.
Brookglen has three sections, built over a 30-year span starting in the 1960s, said Realtor Dave Turnquist, who lives in the subdivision and said it still offers good quality for the price.
The biggest advantage of Brookglen is that homes here have been a little less expensive than in other parts of La Porte," Turnquist said. You can get a decent, 1,200-square-foot house for about $90,000."
Another plus, he said, is Brookglen's location close to shopping in Pasadena and across Canada Road from the new Pecan Park.
The 34-acre park, home to La Porte Boys Baseball, was temporarily known as Westside Sports Complex. In March, the City Council approved the name change.
The name refers to the property's history as a pecan plantation and the fact that it still has mature pecan trees, said City Councilman Charles S. Engelken Jr., who has lived in Brookglen since 1974.
Open since May 24, the new park has been an overwhelming success" despite earlier concerns about noise and lights, Engelken said.
People I talked to were ecstatic about the fields," Engelken said. Now both boys and girls have top-notch facilities."
The La Porte Girls Softball Association uses fields at Little Cedar Bayou Park.
For the most part, concerns about the new boys' fields have not materialized, said Engelken, whose back yard borders the park.
He can see the ball field lights from his back yard and occasionally hears cheering when the wind is right, but he said neither is a problem.
Engelken said he's heard of worries about buyouts of a relatively small number of Brookglen properties for repetitive flood loss near Willow Springs Bayou.
La Porte Planning Director Tim Tietjens said the Harris County Flood Control District is in charge of the buyouts and has consulted with the city on selecting properties.
The city's preference, Tietjens said, is to avoid a checkerboard" pattern of vacant lots among homes left standing, but to some extent that's unavoidable.
By the end of 2009, the flood control district had purchased 18 homes, with several more under discussion, Tietjens said.
Some homes are not eligible for a buyout because they were built too high, he said.
Meanwhile, the city is set to advertise for bids in the next couple months on building detention ponds and flumes," or channels to carry runoff, designed to help prevent Brookglen flooding.