Fasten your seatbelts Houston homebuyers, the market is soaring and so are the price tags. No where is the escalating real estate picture more clear than in the high-end mansions where quality and listings are reaching all-time highs.
"We're seeing a new world in expensive mansions in Houston," says John Daugherty, whose John Daugherty Realtors has the most expensive listing in the city.
That baby in River Oaks is under wraps -- price on request only. But rest assured, it's pricier than the three top homes found on MLS at the moment. And one of those is the former Memorial area residence of retired Houston Astro Jeff Bagwell.
Starting at the top, the ticket on Bayou Breeze, pictured here, is $19,995,000. The Martha Turner Properties listing is an incredible English-style country estate sitting on 3.7 secluded acres in the middle of River Oaks.
Daugherty observes, "The price tags we're seeing today in Houston are like those in LA, New York and in parts of Florida . . . These are all three recently built homes. The homes that are being built today are incredible. They are fantastic."
Indeed, the 16,022 sq.ft Bayou Breeze at 3688 Willowick is a custom wonder, designed by Curtis & Windham, built by Randy Ratcliff and decorated by famed New York-based designer Bunny Williams.
Incredibly vast for an inside-the-Loop locale, the estate includes the main three-story house — with six bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths and wine cellar — detached guest quarters and a two-bedroom garage apartment.
The spectacular house is constructed of rough-faced ashlar with limestone details and sinker cypress.
Listing agent Pene Moore has the details.
The master bedroom at Bayou Breeze features a coffered ceiling, upholstered fabric walls and a bay window. Beneath the rug is antique wide-plank hardwood floors of reclaimed timber.
The kitchen, rich with custom cabinetry, features French hand-plastered walls and ceiling with three archways.
Daugherty says that with the energy business fueling economic growth in H-Town, there is no telling how long it will take to sell houses at this level.
"We tell our clients, it could be several months or it could be several years."
When Ericka and Jeff Bagwell decided to part ways, it became necessary for them to part with this stunning home at 405 Timberwilde Lane in Memorial.
John Daugherty Realtors agent Laura Sweeney has the 16,414 sq. ft. house listed at $15 million.
The European bones of the exterior belie the contemporary mood that prevails inside the spacious house where one room flows to another making it a swell home for entertaining.
As Sweeney said on a recent tour of the home, "I think this is one of the most beautiful houses I've ever had the pleasure of listing."
The formal dining room is just one of numerous entertaining areas.
A section of the house is built around an interior courtyard that allows light to pour in as seen here in the living room.
The back gallery, overlooking the tree-shrouded backyard, connects the game room/bar with a more traditional family room.
The family kitchen looks big enough in itself but the house also has a fully-equipped catering kitchen.
The property spreads across 2.5 acres and includes the resort-sized swimming pool and a guest house that measures in at 1,750 sq. ft.
With ample yard in which to spread out, why not have your own putting green?
Redolent of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, this Old World-style mansion was completed just six years ago but the family is relocating to the California wine country to oversee their private label, so the house is on the market. Asking price for the property at 1722 River Oaks Blvd. is $17.5 million.
Jeanne Turner of Greenwood King has the listing on this stately home designed by Tom Wilson.
The five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath house with five wood-burning fireplaces is rich with mahogany paneling.
Thanks to thoughtful design, the scale throughout the 12,000 sq. ft. home is comfortable, very livable, as seen here in the library.
The cozy living room is rich in both architectural detail and understated features.
No surprise that this couple with their own California winery have a spacious underground wine cellar large enough for formal dinner parties.
Stepping into the grand entry hall is like stepping into the setting for Downton Abbey.
Decor in the formal dining room speaks of Old World gentility.
The house spreads gently across the one-acre lot.
As Daugherty says of the growing number of seriously-valued mansions, "It's a new world. It's exciting."