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Living in River Oaks Makes a Statement

Aug 17, 2007
River Oaks real estate is among the most sought after in all of Houston. The exclusive neighborhood in central west Houston is a neighborhood of single family homes that was originally developed in the 1920s by two brothers of a Texas governor and a Houston attorney. They envisioned an exclusive enclave of expensive, well-maintained homes and set out to make it a reality.

The first parcels of River Oaks real estate sold for $2,000, and carried deed restrictions that prohibited the building of any homes that had a value below $7,000. Nearly a century later, plots of real estate here start at about $2 million, with homes selling for up to $20 million. The elegant, stately mansions and palatial estates that make up this exclusive neighborhood were designed by some of the leading architects of the past century in styles that harmonize and add to the overall beauty of the area.

The central artery is River Oaks Boulevard, a stately road that runs through the center of the division. Lined on both sides by elegant estates set well back from the street, it leads directly to the portico entrance of the River Oaks Country Club, which was built in 1923, just about the time that the Hogg brothers and their partner were planning their exclusive Houston subdivision. The two mile area of the subdivision is comprised of about 1,600 homes, nearly all of them detached single family homes, with a select few townhouses and condominiums.

The real estate market here includes elegant dream homes with manicured and landscaped grounds, multiple fireplaces, lavish gardens and all the amenities of fine living. Homes on the outskirts range in price from the $90,000s to $400,000 and up. Luxury real estate here can easily top $1 to $2 million, though the median appraised value for homes is just over $1 million.

River Oaks offers gracious living sequestered from the hustle and bustle of downtown Houston, but with easy access to all of its metropolitan amenities. Loop 610 gives residents an easy ten minute drive to downtown Houston, where they can enjoy all the cultural and social pleasures of an up and coming world class city. The beautiful homes and surroundings along with the tradition, history and mystique makes the zip code the most expensive zip code in Houston.

In fact, according to one River Oaks real estate agent, there have been over 90 homes sold in River Oaks for over $1 million in the past twelve months. The median price for a home in River Oaks for 2006 was $557,000, with half the houses sold in the past year selling for less than that price. Homes in River Oaks often come complete with features like indoor swimming pools, luxury spa rooms and the most exclusive and sought after address in Houston.

Living here offers many advantages above and beyond the cachet of an exclusive address, however. The River Oaks Property Owners Association maintains a careful watch over the area, ensuring that both the esthetics and the security of the neighborhood are respected. The association runs a private security patrol twenty four hours a day to ensure the safety of neighborhood property and homes.

In addition, the Property Owners association oversees renovations and new building to ensure that the styles and esthetics that have so long been a part of the neighborhood are upheld. Among those deed restrictions are those that ensure that it remains a single family neighborhood by prohibiting the building of multi-family dwellings or commercial property on real estate parcels.

While the rest of the country is watching home sales slump, Houston and River Oaks real estate are seeing a jump in activity. According to one real estate developer, just two years ago it used to take up to two years to sell a $2 million home. Last year, the average time spent on the market for homes in that price range was less than nine months. Part of the reason, according to Houston area economists, is the strength of the Houston job market and real estate market.

River Oaks offers luxury living in an upscale neighborhood with easy access to all the major amenities of life in the big city. It's no wonder that it's the choice address for Houston's elite. If you're interested in real estate and fine homes, you'll find many beautiful homes for sale in a wide variety of styles but be prepared to move fast. Luxury living is in style again, and River Oaks real estate doesn't stay on the market long.
About the Author
Karen Karapasha is a top Realtor and relocation specialist who assists home buyers and sellers. The Karapasha Team has ranked among the Top 25 Realtors in Houston since 2001. Visit http://www.karenkarapasha.com for homes in Katy, Houston and surrounding areas or call Karen at 281-578-4000.
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