The Houston Home Three Way
What a million dollars will buy you in Houston
If you had a million dollars ...
The concrete concept of one million dollars has inspired many in a myriad of different abstract directions. From "Million Dollar Bill" by Whitney Houston, the Million Dollar Homepage, a 2005 fundraising project that turned viral and helped a U.K. student raise money for his education, to a Simpsons' parody of the 2004 film Million Dollar Baby.
A millions dollars opens up interesting conversations.
Colloquially, we use the million dollar mark as a symbol of arrival of wealth, of financial accomplishment, and for some, the trigger to retirement. Regardless of changes to the relative value of the dollar, the perception of the milestone has stayed quite stable.
According to the a GDP deflator calculator, something priced at $435,000 in 1980 would cost $1 million today.
Interestingly, printed in 1929, the highest U.S. bill denomination is $100,000 and portrayed Woodrow Wilson. By today's purchasing standards, Wilson would be worth $1,620,000.
So technically speaking, a million dollars isn't always a million dollars. But it still feels like a lot of cash. And with that cash, many bought homes. Million dollar homes.
The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) saw homes priced $500,000 and up rise 49.5 percent in March, and soar 53.4 percent in April. Although May still showed an increase of 5.1 percent, it was a steep change from the previous trend.
What are people buying?
Spanish spirit in Rice Military
Rice Military, named after the Rice family and neighboring Camp Logan, a World War I era Army training camp, has experienced exponential growth and reached trendy and hot nightspot status with the redevelopment of the Washington Avenue corridor. As lots became sporadically available, different builders broke ground giving the area quite an eclectic architectural feel, primarily dominated by three-story townhomes and zero lot line patio homes.
An unusually large eight acre site became available in 2006. Inspired by the pueblos blancos of the Andalusian highland plains of southern Spain, Röhe & Wright Builders borrowed Càceres for their softly sophisticated gated community from a characteristic small town, and the team's favorite wine.
“We decided on the architecture of southern Spain because we were inspired by the clean lines, the walled cities, the walking scale of the towns, the simple but powerful embellishments, the open-air terraces and the commitment to greenspace,” Andy Suman, a Röhe & Wright partner, says.
“Being one of the first residents of Càceres, it is so exciting to see the community progress into exactly what we had imagined,” homeowner Liza Robinson explains.
134 Calle Catalina is an urban interpretation embracing the architecture and Spanish open-air lifestyle with exquisite details. The floor plan is quite unique, blending old world elements with contemporary conveniences. A four-story 4,467 square foot custom home in a 2,627 square foot home site, an entry courtyard spotlights a sparking pool and spa.
A rooftop terrace provides unobstructed spectacular views of downtown and unparalleled interior design details create an understated refined elegance. Listed for $1,299,000, this home averages $290 per square foot with an additional 534 square foot of outdoor living.
The exclusive and sophisticated West
West Houston has experienced exponential growth with entry-level, midrange and stylish luxurious high-end communities. Proximity to the energy corridor, quick access to major thoroughfares and the expansion of the Westpark Tollroad have further opened up the Grand Parkway corridor and beyond.
Real estate icon Vincent Kickerillo brings us Lakes of Parkway, one of the most elegantly planned communities built on land that was a privately owned ranch. Magnificent oak trees and nine pristine lakes with sparkling fountains are nestled within a guarded gated mainstay.
“Lakes of Parkway is extremely desirable as it provides the ultimate lifestyle for the property owners,” David H. Young of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors says. “The quality of life and the security offered in this gated community are extremely important to the homeowners.”
2411 Chatham Creek surpasses the custom price point expectations into a brilliant design aimed at maximizing the land’s location and natural surroundings. Built on a corner and cul-de-sac home site, the home features expansive waterfront views through the many outdoor living areas, including a covered patio with a summer kitchen and a raised sky room off the balcony with a fireplace. Dramatic butted-glass windows allow for an incredible panoramic view of the lakes from the master retreat.
The inclusion of a second bedroom downstairs in a casita setting with private access accommodates comfortably any guests.
The home blends Tuscan exteriors with rich timeless interior appointments. Elaborate ceiling treatments and millwork add class and texture to the soft architectural arches and columns throughout the home.
Listed at $1,525,000 for 5,342 square feet on a 10,666 square foot property, this home averages $285 per square foot.
The wooded North
Begun as one of America’s first master-planned communities, The Woodlands has certainly received accolades and brought attention to the general northern suburbs and perhaps shadowed some of the other deserving nearby upscale developments. With Chevron Phillips, Huntsman, Anadarko, Hewitt Associates, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Mærsk Sealand, Chicago Bridge & Iron, and Woodforest National Bank setting up operations, there has been rapid growth with the convenience of living, playing and working all within a few miles.
Augusta Pines is a luxurious community that caters to the discerning client looking for upscale amenities with modern conveniences. Natural forested surroundings are enhanced by the Augusta Pines Golf Course, designed by Tour 18 Inc. with 30 acres of lakes. The Shadow Creek section of Augusta Pines is also near the prestigious Augusta Pines Equestrian Center, a full-care training and showing facility; one of the largest in the area.
“Shadow Creek offers the privacy and exclusivity of a manned gate, this seems to attract many upper-end clients,” Kristen Johnsen of Prudential Gary Greene says. “Built by Cannon Custom Homes and Brickland Custom Homes, the designs are unique and detailed beautifully without the extreme pricing of some of the surrounding larger master planned communities.”
“The builders have maximized the incredible views with extensive patios, balconies and vast walls of windows,” and such is the case with 42 Post Shadow Estates by Cannon Custom Homes.
Warm textures and colors characterize the exterior of this magnificent estate combining dark stone, neutral stucco and varied Spanish tile roofs. Additional accents include rounded windows, arches, stained corbels and shutters. The sprawling floor plan takes advantage of a large 22,598-square-foot golf course property.
The residence begins with a gated courtyard into a covered entry. An oversized formal living room with elaborate ceiling treatments shares a fireplace with an adjacent study. Modern kitchen detailing has been achieved with the juxtaposition of professional appliances and distressed cabinets with exotic granite countertops.
Faux finishes, extensive stained millwork, custom built-ins and natural flooring balance out exterior features like the oversized outdoor pavilion with summer kitchen and fireplace, a lanai that extends the complete width of the home and covered balcony.
Listed at $1,250,000 at 5,434 square feet, the home averages $230 per square foot.