Editor's Note: Houston is loaded with must-have houses for sale in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. In this continuing series, CultureMap Editor-at-Large Shelby Hodge snoops through some of our faves and gives you the lowdown on what's hot on the market.
8172 River Dr.
There is surely something for everyone in Houston's real estate market, in every price range and in every part of town. So for those who find the oxygen levels beyond the 610 Loop suitable and for those who appreciate the esthetics of a grassy golf course view, this interesting home could be just the ticket.
Located in the Park Place neighborhood, east of I-45 from Hobby Airport, this unusual yet appealing house with swimming pool was built in the '90s. It sits on a nice-sized lot that overlooks a tributary of Sims Bayou and, beyond, the fairways of Glenwood Golf Course, one of the city's oldest, opened in 1924. It's guaranteed green space, an attractive panaroma with no possible threat of an Ashby high-rise.
Walk through: A bank of French doors, topped with Palladian-style arches, opens across the front of the house into the great room with a two-story ceiling, a massive fireplace and a general clubby ambiance. This where you want to hang out, entertain your friends or settle in for a toddy on a chilly winter's night.
The great room opens to a study with bath which could serve as a third bedroom and onto a sleeping porch (love that concept) that leads to the backyard and the pool area. The latter adds substantial entertaining space although it is not air-conditioned. A bank of whirling ceiling fans keeps it cool.
The dining room feeds off from the great room and into the updated kitchen where a comfortable breakfast area overooks the front, oak-shaded lawn. The kitchen also leads to a bar area and on to the large two-car garage with lots of storage space, a plant shelter for winter and access to the dog run on the side of the house.
The second floor has two bedrooms, two full baths, both nicely updated, and plenty of closet and storage space.
Great idea: Burglar bars were custom made to follow the form of the mullioned windows so there is no feeling of being closed in yet there is a good sense of security.
Sound barrier: You do not hear the Hobby Airport or I-45 traffic inside this solidly-built house but in the yard there is no mistaking the roar of the not-too-distant interstate. That hasn't stopped popular pianist Jerry Atwood, a friend of the owners, from celebrating his milestone birthdays in the gardens of the house. The back yard with its million dollar verdant view is indeed the perfect party setting.
Square footage: 2,830
Asking price: $299,900