NEW LISTING – 117 Panama 78210 – $259,000

Curtis Bowers King William Lavaca Southtown San Antonio CVF Homes

117 Panama 78210


Two story dream home in Lavaca priced to move quickly. Completely renovated home sits on large lot and features a contemporary kitchen with Bosch appliances, tankless water heater, insulated walls, spray foam insulated attic and sub-floor, high efficiency HVAC system, new concrete pier foundation, new electric system, new plumbing, and more. Private master suite upstairs is stunning with cedar added to mimic exposed rafters. Seller renovated 123 Panama and many others in Southtown. Come take a look.

Click on the photo for more pictures and information about the home.

HemisView Farmers’ Market in Lavaca starts tomorrow


HemisView Farmers' Market

HemisView Farmers' Market in Lavaca

Drove by the intersection of Cesar Chavez (Durango Blvd) and Labor St this afternoon. This picture shows they are well on their way to hosting tomorrow’s inaugural Farmers’ Market. The event begins at 3pm and goes to 7pm. They plan to have the market every First Friday of each month. This will be a wonderful addition for Lavaca, Southtown, and all of Downtown.

Here’s a link to more information on the event:

Another of my listings is featured in the Express-News

My client, CVF Homes, and I were recently featured in the Express-News for his most recent historic green renovation. He is currently working on two more renovations in Lavaca. Call me if you would like to see the work in progress.

Preserving historic integrity
Lavaca-area home goes green gently

By: Anna Ley for San Antonio Express-News

CVF Homes updated this Lavaca home without changing the outside to maintain its historical integrity.

On the outside, Kristal Cuevas’ future home is the picture of historical perfection, a pretty Craftsman-style cottage with bright red walls and thick, white molding.

But inside, the house has a modern, open floor plan packed with new energy-efficient features and state-of-the-art appliances.

The living room of this historically designated home was expanded by tearing down walls to create a more open floor plan. The original floors were insulated and walls were painted to brighten the interior, while the windows were left nearly untouched to maintain their original appearance.

Buiilder Juan Manuel Fernandez installed energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen to meet certification standards set by Build San Antonio Green.

Located in the Lavaca Historic District just south of downtown, the home is being remodeled by builder Juan Manuel Fernandez to be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient while retaining its historic charm. Fernandez, who initiated the renovation and specializes in so-called historic retrofits, is seeking “green” certification for the home through Build San Antonio Green, the city’s residential certification program.

Cuevas and her husband, Eddie, have the house under contract and expect to close on the 1,321-square-foot house by April 15.

Builders, real estate agents and green certification experts say projects like this produce a unique mix of old and new.

Because the home is located in a historic neighborhood and also is designated a historic building through the Texas Historical Commission (thanks to Fernandez’s efforts), its structural integrity must be preserved to meet certification guidelines. The process for remodeling it is more restrictive than it would be for a regular house, Fernandez said. The exterior of a historically designated home can’t be changed structurally. The interior trim and baseboards also have to remain in the home.

“The main issue is the outside because we have to be very cautious to preserve architectural features,” Fernandez said. “It would be very bad to change it because it’s part of its original charm.”

To save energy costs at the house, Fernandez insulated the home’s floors and walls and installed new Energy Star-qualified appliances. He also added low-flow toilets and other water-saving plumbing features in compliance with Build San Antonio Green’s retrofit certification program.

“It had no insulation before,” said Lina Luque, certification manager with Build San Antonio Green. “They didn’t have any (green features), pretty much.”

While he kept the home’s original hardwood floors and French doors — handles and all — the interior of the home was transformed to make it feel more spacious. He also added an extra bathroom.

The home's original French doors - including handles - were preserved.

Overall, the remodeling project cost Fernandez $100,000. Curtis Bowers, a real estate agent with King William Realty and president of the Lavaca Neighborhood Association, said historic renovations for deteriorated homes in the area typically range between $100,000 and $150,000.

“It depends on how much square footage there is in a home, and whether (builders) are buying stuff off the shelf at Home Depot or getting custom” features, Bowers said.

Fernandez is renovating three more homes in Lavaca and plans to complete those within the next six months. So far, he has taken on 10 historic remodels in that area.

Cuevas said one of her favorite features of the home is a brick column that previously was part of a fireplace. The builder tore down the actual fireplace and incorporated the brick column into the kitchen’s countertop, where it creates a division between rooms.

The brick column that was incorporated into the kitchen countertop.

“I love that blend of old and new,” Cuevas said. “I feel like we’ve found a diamond in the rough.”

Luque said she expects the builder likely will attain Level 2 certification through Build San Antonio Green — that means he will increase the home’s energy performance by 50 percent while adding several water conservation features, such as low-flow toilets, sink fixtures and shower heads.

Just two other historic homes in the city are being certified through Build San Antonio Green.

Often one of the most challenging aspects of improving a historic home’s energy efficiency is insulating windows without compromising their appearance, she said. Much of a home’s cool or warm air escapes through crevices around windows so replacing them is the easiest way to keep indoor temperatures steady.

In the case of historic homes, builders instead will seal windows as best as they can and sometimes add solar film, which is barely visible.

“The good thing about this technology is that it has developed so well you can’t even tell it’s there,” Luque said.

Cuevas and her husband decided to move to Lavaca in search for a livelier neighborhood and a house with more character. She also was tired of commuting from her “cookie-cutter house” in Helotes for work every day at her Southtown yoga studio and spending little time at home.

Lavaca is a vibrant area with a busy arts scene and lots of local eateries and drinking spots. Most homes there are Craftsman- or Victorian-style homes. It is served by the San Antonio Independent School District.

The area has seen an influx of young families in recent years who move there to renovate older properties, Bowers said.

The housing stock there is diverse, and it includes fixer-uppers that cost as low as $100,000 to fully renovated homes in the $500,000s.

“Anything purchased under or around $100,000 is purchased fairly quickly,” Bowers said. “There are always a lot of renovations going on.”

Funky Lavaca home

This article was recently posted in the Spaces section of the San Antonio Express-News. This funky home sits in the southern end of Lavaca and is a testament to recycling older commercial spaces into creative residential spaces. The photos were taken by John Davenport who photographed my house for our Spaces article.

Spaces: Studio Dreams – Building goes mod, glammy for couple

By Megan Stacy Special to the Express-News
February 21, 2011

Many artists dream of having a studio and home in the same place. For many years, married artists Joey Fauerso and Riley Robinson lived near the studios they owned but wanted to be even closer.

A prominent focal point of the south central home of Joey Fauerso and her husband Riley Robinson is their centrally located courtyard.

A prominent focal point of the south central home of Joey Fauerso and her husband Riley Robinson is their centrally located courtyard

Last year they got their chance. The building next door, once a Mexican restaurant and then offices for a credit union, went on the market. Fauerso and Robinson bought the property but weren’t exactly sure how the 3,800 square-foot-office building would become a home.

They had a few ideas, though. They knew they wanted an interior courtyard, which would mean cutting a hole in the center of the building. They also wanted to reflect the building’s ’60s-era architecture in the interior design. They wanted to be resourceful with money and materials. And they wanted white walls to display their art collection.

Living room

Living room

Once the interior was demolished, it took four months to rebuild. The couple says they were lucky to collaborate with architect Leslie Anderson of MSA Architecture and contractor Tony Mangold of The Elan Group, whose team was first-class and fast.

“If you stood still, you got put into a wall,” Robinson joked.

Throughout the project, Fauerso and Robinson relied on their artistic training. Robinson, a sculptor, made decisions about proportions and the placement of windows and walls. Fauerso, a painter and video artist, selected colors, textures and patterns for the interior design.

At the center of the home is the courtyard, open to the sky and accessible on all sides by sliding glass doors.

“Cutting the roof open for the center atrium was critical to having a successful, light-filled living space,” Robinson said.



This airiness is augmented by 10-foot ceilings and white walls throughout the home.

The walls were skimmed with mud and painted a flat white to create a plaster effect. It was the contractor’s idea to round off all the edges to soften the wall contours.

The clean walls set off the art found everywhere, from paintings in hallway nooks to sculptures in the dining room. Some art is by friends, like three-dimensional framed scenes by paperwork artist Michael Velliquette. Some represents the couple’s own work, like the square of glass above the bathtub that Robinson etched with the word “Fabulousness.”

With all the white, Fauerso didn’t want the home to feel sterile.

She shopped salvage yards to find distinctive décor. One launching point for the interior design were ’60s-era ceramic light fixtures salvaged from Lackland Air Force Base. Their primary colors and geometric design inspired colors and patterns in the house.

Fauerso used gray and green tile found at the Habit for Humanity ReStore to design a tile pattern for the master bath. She also found Spanish-style tile for the courtyard walls and kitchen backsplash.

Much of the furniture was inherited, but Fauerso shopped at used office supply stores and online to find vintage furnishings reminiscent of the 1960s, like the rattan bedroom set.



She also shopped online resale sites. That’s where she found the dinged metal Kelvinator cabinets for the kitchen, which were refinished in slick, electric blue paint at an auto body shop.

The kitchen area has an open feel to it. The home at one time was a Mexican restaurant and at another time it was a credit union.

The kitchen area has an open feel to it. The home at one time was a Mexican restaurant and at another time it was a credit union.

“One of the things I love about San Antonio is that it’s such a rich and colorful place, with such overlays of different cultures,” she says. “So I wanted this space to reflect that.”

House Rules

Recycle demolition material: After gutting the interior of the building, Joey Fauerso and Riley Robinson were left with several Dumpsters worth of wood, steel, copper and concrete. Their contractor had the wood mulched, sent the steel to a scrap yard and recycled the copper. The concrete blocks were reused as planters in the yard.

Repeat Elements: In the couple’s home, the white walls unify the rooms. Another repeated material is birch plywood, which was used for the kitchen counter and the 8-foot doors. Birch also was used for bathroom cabinets, custom-made by South Presa Cabinets.

Mix Affordable and Pricey: The couple has invested in some quality pieces like a light fixture by local woodworker Peter Zubiate and custom stools by San Antonio furniture designer Peter Glassford. But they also purchased off-the-shelf items to stay within their project budget and placed them in proximity to the higher-end items. “You can have some really (inexpensive) things if you have some really good things,” Fauerso says.

The dining table in the home has a Peter Zubiate light fixture hanging over it.

The dining table in the home has a Peter Zubiate light fixture hanging over it

Respect the Building: During the demolition, six layers of floor linoleum were removed, revealing concrete and terrazzo. The couple kept the terrazzo flooring for the character and to establish the age of the building. They also kept the original entrance, where storefront glass doors lead to a portico where more terrazzo tile is inset with the words “El Rancho,” the name of the restaurant that once occupied the property.

The name of the restaurant that once occupied the property.

The name of the restaurant that once occupied the property.