Real Estate / Mansions

Houston’s Own Downton Abbey Mansion Sells For a Houston Record — More Than $20 Million Sale Sets New Single-Family Mark

Some High-Profile Real Estate Agents Have Reason to Celebrate

BY // 10.31.22

On the market beginning in 2019 for a cool $29.5 million, the British-style manor house at 120 Carnarvon in the Memorial area has finally sold. It went for several million below that initial asking price. The 26,000 square foot property, which could double for Downton Abbey, has been sold for an undisclosed figure but the latest listing price came in at $26.5 million.

Douglas Elliman Realty, which represented the seller, is touting the sale as the largest single-family home sale in Houston MLS history — selling for more than $20 million.

Celebrating the record sale are listing agents Mark Menendez and Gigi Huang of Douglas Elliman Realty.

The swimming pool at 120 Carnarvon is tiled in sapphire blue. (Photo by Nathan Schroder/Douglas Elliman)
The swimming pool at 120 Carnarvon is tiled in sapphire blue. (Photo by Nathan Schroder/Douglas Elliman)

So what does one get for that huge chunk of change? How about three kitchens for starters. The basics include six bedrooms one of which is a baronial primary suite, seven full baths, nine half baths, five gas fireplaces, a wine vault, home theater, two staircases, an elevator, spa, cabana with outdoor kitchen, a generous 3,700-square-foot guest house with two bedrooms and dual garages with parking for six vehicles. Add the requisite generator to guarantee climate control through Texas’ unpredictable hurricanes and freezes.

This Memorial mansion is perfect for large-scale entertaining both indoors and out as it expands across four manicured acres with parterre gardens and towering magnolia trees, pines and oaks. We can see nonprofit special events peeps drooling over the expansive terrace with a summer kitchen, sapphire swimming pool, a sport court and a playground. Just the place for a lavish fundraiser.

Walls of the formal dining room at 120 Carnarvon are upholstered in Fortuny fabric. (Photo by Nathan Schroder/Douglas Elliman)
Walls of the formal dining room at 120 Carnarvon are upholstered in Fortuny fabric. (Photo by Nathan Schroder/Douglas Elliman)

“From the outside it looks like a filming location for Pride and Prejudice, from the stone walls and slate roof to the adjacent fountains and parterre gardens. Iron gates guard both entrances to the estate,” the Robb Report noted in 2020 while writing about 120 Carnarvon. “The interiors mirror this sensibility. The living room has a coffered ceiling accentuated with faux gold leaf.

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“The dining room features bright red wall upholstery from Fortuny—French doors open out to a small side patio and fountain.”

The custom mansion was built in 2003 for the founder and CEO of Houston International Insurance Group.

The sale shrinks the stable of multi-million dollar homes on the Houston market. Among those astronomically priced mansions remaining on the market now are trial lawyer Tony Buzbee’s home. Buzbee’s mansion at 1722 River Oaks Boulevard tops them all with a listing price of $20 million, reduced from $27.5 million. Other properties recently listed with the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) in the $20 million and above range have either been sold or taken off the market.

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