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Stunning Texas mansion with novel history books record sale price

Stunning Texas mansion with novel history books record sale price

James Michener house Mount Bonnell
The asking price is $4 million. Photo courtesy of Darin Walker/Kuper Sotheby's
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
Pulitzer Prize winner James Michener wrote Texas while living in this Mount Bonnell manse. Photo courtesy of Darin Walker/Kuper Sotheby's
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
The home boasts panoramic views of Lake Austin and the Hill Country. Photo courtesy of Darin Walker/Kuper Sotheby's
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
The wine cellar holds 2,500 bottles. Photo courtesy of Darin Walker/Kuper Sotheby's
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
The home also features five bedrooms. Photo courtesy of Darin Walker/Kuper Sotheby's
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
Michener published his famous novel in 1985. Photo courtesy of Darin Walker/Kuper Sotheby's
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
James Michener house Mount Bonnell
James Michener house Mount Bonnell

A nearly 50-year-old Austin mansion with a storied history just sold for a record-setting price.

Darin Walker, an agent with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin, says the 5,651-square-foot home on Mount Bonnell fetched $3.925 million, slightly below the list price of $3.995 million. According to Walker, the sale price is the highest ever recorded for an “older” home on Mount Bonnell, meaning one built at least 20 years earlier and needing some TLC.

Aside from boasting first-rate views of Lake Austin and the Texas Hill Country, the mansion comes with quite a tale. At the home, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist James Michener researched and wrote his epic novel Texas in the early 1980s. The more than 1,000-page book was published in 1985. 

Michener rented the mansion from Jack Taylor, a University of Texas professor, for $1 a year. The home, built in 1972 and remodeled in 2005, is at 3506 Mount Bonnell Rd.

Features of the home include:

  • Five bedrooms
  • Five bathrooms
  • Two half-bathrooms
  • 2,500-bottle, temperature-controlled wine cellar
  • Resort-style pool and spa
  • Waterfall flowing into second pool surrounded by sunbathing deck suspended over Lake Austin
  • Gym
  • Media room
  • Two-car attached garage

“Mount Bonnell has been an Austin landmark since the 1850s, but what sets this home apart is its unique position farther south from Covert Park,” Walker said when the mansion went on the market this spring. “The home sits farther out over the cliff and captures views of a sweeping bend in Lake Austin, allowing you to see so much more and from every living space throughout the house.”