Real Estate / Houses

Remarkable 1920s Broadacres Home Sells for $5.6 Million in Just Eight Days

Houston's Hot Real Estate Market Goes Historic With a John Staub

BY // 05.03.21
photography Jonathan Calvert

Considering Houston’s soaring residential real estate market, particularly in high-end homes, quick sells are not too surprising. But when the sale of a 1920s era home in Broadacres, listed at $5.6 million, is swept up in a remarkable eight days, it gets our attention. The French manorial style home was last on the market almost three decades ago.

The numbers tell a story of the changing dynamics of the city’s single family home market. The dramatic property at 1317 North Boulevard was the second most expensive Broadacres home to be sold in MLS history. It is the only home in the neighborhood to be sold in under 10 days in the last decade and the third most expensive Broadacres home in price per square foot sold in 10 years.

Compass listing agent Clayton Katz perhaps need not have done the requisite study of the John Staub-designed dwelling as prelude to putting the house on the market. But the time invested, he says, was instrumental in forwarding the sale.

“The process begins months prior to the launch date and includes extensive research on the history of not only the home, but the area and the architect as well,” Katz tells PaperCity. “I read numerous books on John Staub and his design sensibilities, trademarks, and craftsmanship and customized my marketing plan to fit the home’s story.”

The expansive 6,839 square foot home was built for Houston insurance executive Kemp S. Dargan and his wife, Estelle, circa 1929. One of the more interesting details that Katz enjoyed sharing with potential buyers was the illuminated French ceiling medallion, original to the home’s design from the 1920s, which was salvaged from a burned Parisian train station. It was the only thing to survive the fire.

formal dining1 (Photo by Jonathan Calvert)
The home in Houston’s exclusive Broadacres neighborhood was designed by John Staub, construction completed in 1930. Here, the formal dining room which looks out to the verdant backyard though a semicircular bay of triple-hung windows. (Photo by Jonathan Calvert)

The dwelling was meticulously updated by architect Michael Landrum, who embraced the original design throughout the project. For example, the pool and patio pergolas were custom made to match the original ironwork of the home. Gold trim was carried into the expanded spaces, and custom made triple hung windows were ordered to match the originals.

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“Regarding luxury homes, high-end sales average inventory is at lowest level of all time (1.4) month’s supply per HAR,” Katz notes. “When you have such rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities arise, you also are able to unearth buyers that have been patiently waiting for them to occur, which only increases their enthusiasm to make quick moves.”

However, he advises that the sale of a historic home such as this requires a deft touch. Comparables are rare. Showings require an extensive knowledge of the dwelling and what is original to the house. Then there are the inspections and negotiations.

“Historic homes usually have a few surprises or quirks that come from such an early build that require an experienced negotiator,” Katz says.

The photo gallery below provides an intimate look at the beauty of this grandly restored home:

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