ONCE A QUIET, somewhat overlooked neighborhood of single family homes just outside of the 610 Loop and south of Willow Meadows, Willowbend has entered an era of bustling activity. East of Meyerland, and convenient to the Galleria area, Texas Medical Center and 10 miles from Downtown, its close-in location is only part its appeal.

While the neighborhood has changed over the years, as original residents have moved and new families, singles, and young couples have moved in, it has flourished thanks to the fact that the area is filled with 1950s ranch-style homes ranging from about 1,800 up to 2,800 square feet that lend themselves well to remodeling because they were so well built in the first place.

Homes are shaded by mature trees that reflect the roots of a civic club that presented them as gifts to early residents, and recent development of upscale retail centers on South Post Oak Road at the edge of the community, illustrates its continued attraction to middle class home buyers.

Many of its homes sit on large lots averaging around 9,000 square feet and are good renovation candidates because their floor plans adapt very well to the newer building styles and make it relatively easy to move walls and create a more open concept. Typical updates include refinishing hardwood floors, removing walls to open up kitchens and living areas, adding French doors and landscaping.

Prices in Willowbend, which have risen an average of 5.6 percent or more each year over the past five years, are a bit higher than nearby Willowbrook and Post Oak Manor, and just below those in Willow Meadows, which is closer to Loop 610 South.

Prompted by a change in deed restrictions that now allows two-story homes, the area is even beginning to see older homes being torn down to make way for new ones.

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