Houston's most expensive home slashes asking price

January 17, 2013 3:40:49 AM PST
This week we learned the average home price in Houston is at an all-time high of just under $250,000 and home sales are still rising. So why has one home in Houston been on the market for nearly seven years?

Nestled deep within the wooded area of Memorial sits what's become one of the most famous homes in Houston.

"When you come back here, I describe it as coming into the enchanted forest," homeowner Melanie Johnson said.

From the front you wouldn't know it, but at $20 million, the mansion was once listed as the most expensive home ever in Houston.

"We are very unassuming from the front, so it's ideal for someone who wants that security and who wants to be very private," Johnson said. "Our property, we are stair stepped and surrounded by water. We have Piney Point Creek on one side and the bayou on the other side."

That initial asking price was set six years ago. The house sat and sat and sat on the market.

"It was custom built for them, and typically a home that is custom built -- there aren't as many buyers out there for something like that," HAR Chair-Elect Chaille Ralph said.

So now, the 25,000-square foot home is being sold at $5.9 million. It has 10 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 4 kitchens -- even a movie room on the third floor.

Realtors say it's a steal.

"Turn key, you can walk in and live in it," said Alberto Alaniz with Prime Texas Properties and Keller Williams.

So why such a slash in price? Johnson says she just can't afford it.

"It's just that time. It's time the bank is calling. It's time for me to make a chance in my life and it's time to move on," Johnson said.

Moving on without the house and without the furnishings; for $6 million, everything's included.

"We have Ken Lay's desk, William Vincent Accenture's chair from the Stock Exchange," Johnson said.

Right now, the average home in Houston sits on the market for 78 days. This home has been on the market for a little over six years.
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