Mysterious River Oaks Manse
Mysterious new River Oaks mansion brings new builder, concierge service into Houston's toniest neighborhood
Editor's Note: Houston, the surrounding areas and beyond are loaded with must-have houses 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.
The striking Spanish Revival mansion at the corner of Inwood and Chilton in River Oaks has had many passers-by admiring the design and the lavish landscaping and wondering who was building there. A surprise to many, it's a spec home, built by Al Ross Luxury Homes.
As he makes a name for himself in top-drawer home building, Ross has spared no expense in the stucco and limestone structure. He even boasts a year-long concierge service for the buyer, who will never have to change a light bulb or an air-conditioning filter or worry with a pool service or landscaping concern. It's all included in the purchase price.
After selling his company National Signs, which he started with only $200 in his pocket and built to a business with 100 employees, he ventured into real estate and began buying lots in River Oaks at a time when the market was depressed. Fast forward to 2014, hello, home buying boom. Ross is soaring with design assistance from J.D. Bartel.
Walk through: You enter into the two-story reception hall, large enough to accommodate a baby grand piano and several pieces of over-sized furnishings. Hallways are wide and filled with light. Straight ahead, as you pass the elevator, is the paneled study with full bath.
Down the bright hallway that overlooks the enclosed pool and patio area with summer kitchen, you pass the dining room and approach the vast family room and kitchen combo, an ideal party space for gourmands and sports fans alike. Even with one of the home's three fireplaces, this room begs for a super-sized TV. High ceilings and ample windows enhance the spacious feel.
As he makes a name for himself in top-drawer home building, Ross has spared no expense in the stucco and limestone structure.
The second floor features four bedrooms though one is designed to easily transform into an entertainment center. The master suite boasts a small reception area, wet bar, fireplace, generous master bath and an impressive state-of-the-art closet with a wealth of built-ins.
We particularly like the balcony lounge, which overlooks the swimming pool and walled garden, providing an additional living space (and River Oaks views) during pleasant weather.
Bonus: Ross seems to have spared little expense in the house where amenities include a central vacuum system, water softener, a sprinkler and smoke and fire alarm system, all appliances and general alarm system. The exceptional landscaping features more than 4,200 flowering plants, shrubs and trees. Add a generator for good measure.
Love: The beautiful use of limestone from Egypt, China and Texas, the rounded angles of the stucco and the white oak floors.
Location: Some might argue that this is one of the busiest residential corners in the city. Others would say it's perfect — within easy walking distance of the retail and restaurant scene along West Gray and with that most coveted of zip codes — 77019.
Square footage: 6,315
Asking price: $4,899, 000 (recently reduced)
Listing Agent:Hedley Karpas with Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty.