Editor's Note: Houston, the surrounding areas and beyond are loaded with must-have houses and properties for sale in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. In this continuing series, CultureMap snoops through some of the best and gives you the lowdown on what's hot on the market.
3311 Del Monte
"Is this really Houston?" queried one bemused real estate agent as she toured this magnificent Country French chateau. Indeed, the landscaped grounds on the acre lot in River Oaks give the feel of Provence while the dwelling, built in 1937, enjoys a decidedly European aesthetic. One would never know this was the heart of Houston on a corner lot on River Oaks Boulevard.
On the first day it went on the market, showings were already stacking up.
Walk through: From the moment a visitor starts up the rough hewn stone sidewalk, the otherworldly sensation begins. Every aspect of the house, indoors and out, rings with a certain "Bienvenu, mes amis." On the first day it went on the market, showings were already stacking up.
The entry hall with hardwood floors and hand-painted plaster walls features a curving staircase with it original ornate iron railing and an elaborate chandelier. It's the architectural welcome mat for the house that offers numerous entertaining areas on the first floor.
The formal living room with wood-burning fireplace and wide-plank hardwood floors leads to a later addition family room with limestone floors and hand-painted plaster walls, treatments that belie the feel of an expansion. High ceilings and large mullioned windows offer plenty of light and a feeling of airiness throughout the house. Even the cozy sun room and tiny reading room enjoy a lightness thanks to the abundance of windows.
The updated kitchen opens to the dining room which has a broad view of the backyard.
Four sunny bedrooms occupy the second floor. The master is large and features a substantial walk-in closet. While a large space has been plumbed for an updated master bath, that work has yet to be done and will be the task for new owners. (The house has four and a half baths.) One more flight of stairs up and you find the large game room, perfect for a kids playroom or overflow storage.
Also on the grounds is a detached garage with quarters above and a beautiful old world style swimming pool surrounded by grass. The landscaping is a beautiful mix of carefully designed and open lawns that add to the European feel.
Square footage: 8,115.
Asking price: $8.5 million.
Listing agent: Cathy Blum with Greenwood King.