THE NEW YEAR has started off with a bang for the Houston housing market. Sales of homes priced at $750K and above — ones categorized in the "luxury" segment, per HAR — were up nearly 75 percent in January, compared to the same timeframe last year. Buyers appear to be taking advantage of the low interest rates, and not letting homes sit on the market for very long.
But let's see who snatches up this brand-new listing by Douglas Elliman broker Jeanine Kaminski-Ditzel and realtor associate Richard Ray. A "storybook" River Oaks estate reminiscent of an English countryside manor has hit the market, for an asking price of $26.5 million. The 18,000-square-foot home at 3996 Inverness Drive is situated on two acres, and the building boasts $1 million in stonework alone (some imported from Cottswald, England).
With interiors by Houston designer Robert Dame, the property is made for entertaining: There's a grand foyer that leads into a massive wine cellar with triple-barrel-vaulted brick ceilings. And a billiard room makes guests feel like they've been transported to a British pub. (They can even stay the night in a guest cottage that has its own gym and sauna!) Current owners Lawrence and Deana Blackburn have hosted several glam charity events at the home, including the World Master Chefs Dinner benefiting the HSCO Foundation.
Indoor-outdoor living has never been so popular, and this estate was made for it. A climatized pavilion in the backyard is outfitted with a commercial grill, pizza oven and crawfish boiler; enjoy an al fresco feast while taking in the view of English Tudor parterre gardens and the resort-worthy saltwater pool.
The complete listing can be viewed here.