Your Expert Guide
Braeswood Place: Houston’s best-kept secret for community and convenience
There are so many great places to live in Houston that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Native Houstonian Margaret Vinson thinks of Braeswood Place as Houston’s best-kept secret neighborhood.
“There is so much to love about this place," she says. "Often overshadowed by West U to the north and Bellaire to the west, the culture tends to be very laid-back, drawing people who love the peacefulness of small-town life but the convenience of living inside the loop of the fourth largest city in the country.”
Vinson herself has lived in Braeswood Place for 10 years, having moved there when her kids were eight and 10 because of the large lots, urban walkability, easy commute, friendly culture, and great schools.
“When we first moved here, we installed a basketball net, and while playing we quickly met all our neighbors while they were out walking,” she remembers. “We even had a neighbor bring us a welcome cake! Down the street from our house are horses and a ‘creek’ where my son would watch for turtles. Horses and turtles — inside the loop! — turned out to be such a fun pastime for our family.”
Indeed, horses are still kept in the green space between Braeswood Place and the City of Bellaire, and several streets offer a peaceful view of the horses.
Another little gem of the neighborhood is the “mom’s club” that Vinson says is the best in town, with several happenings a month from family events to mom’s night out, dad’s night out, couples events, and more.
With a 25-year career in the investment industry prior to becoming a Realtor, Vinson knows how important buying and selling real estate is. “Helping my clients through this major life transaction and on to the next chapter of their story is what motivates me,” she says.
When she’s not working, you might find Vinson celebrating the 50-plus small businesses in Braeswood Place, as she has been the Neighborhood Champion for Small Business Saturday for eight years.
Vinson also shared a few more of her favorites about life in Braeswood Place. Here's her guide:
Where to eat & drink
Keep Vinson's list of go-tos handy:
- Neighborhood coffee dive: Mio Brew
- Juice: Sustain Juicery
- Bakeries: Moeller’s (Houston’s oldest family-owned bakery, since 1930!) and Three Bros. Bakery (they also have amazing custom cakes in addition to a never-ending menu of sweet and savory baked treats)
- Neighborhood wine bar: Bacco on the Bayou
- Tex Mex: Molina’s Cantina (the city’s oldest Tex-Mex restaurant, from 1941 on.)
- Greek: Island Grill (the best pitas)
- Farm to Table: Dish Society
- Sushi: Osaka or Yoshi
Where to play
Braeswood Place boasts a combination of parks that have something for everyone, says Vinson.
- Karl Young Park: Expect tennis courts, basketball courts, open field for sports, playground equipment, and picnic tables.
- Helen’s Park: This scenic park is perfect for a serene walk or reading a good book.
- Huckleberry Park: This Mark Twain Elementary School SPARK park offers green space and kids’ play equipment.
- Evelyn’s Park: Find splash-pad fun, free play in an open field, dining at Betsy’s onsite, and periodic farmers markets.
- Brays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail: With these 16 miles of trails, you can easily get to Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo, or to work at the Texas Medical Center — all in a 15-minute bike ride.
While it's not a park, Palace Social is also within walking distance and offers indoor fun like bowling, arcade games, sports simulators, and great food.
Where to live
The neighborhood was developed in the 1950s with primarily three-bedroom, two-bath ranch homes.
"While there are still many nicely updated 1950s ranch houses, the community began to transition to newer custom-built homes in the 1980s," says Vinson. "Diversity of home styles and price points allows a buyer to find whatever they may want: ranch, traditional, or modern."
For the ranch houses, many have been nicely updated while others will likely be considered for the lot for new construction. Prices range from $500,000 to $1 million. For the newer homes in the neighborhood, prices may range from $1 million to more than $2 million, depending on age, size of house, and size of lot.
The classic, traditional brick home at 4122 Bellefontaine St. is not only a beautiful example of a home in the neighborhood, but also how Vinson collaboratively works with her clients.
She analyzed the price for selling this home as it was with slightly dated interiors, and the price for selling it with updates. There was such a significant difference in what the market would likely pay that the sellers decided to make strategic updates throughout. And their investment really paid off, with multiple offers and a sales price well over list price.
“We really can't say enough great things about our experience with Margaret,” says the seller. “She is a consummate professional; unbelievably knowledgeable about the real estate market, particularly in our neighborhood, and really understands what buyers and sellers are looking for. We are certain that things would not have worked out as well as they did without her help.”
Margaret Vinson works and plays in Braeswood Place. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email email@example.com, or call 713-806-2633.