A Newish Lakeside Estate in Coldspring Looks Back

A waterfront estate in Coldspring’s Paradise Cove on Lake Livingston pumps up the nostalgia. It’s not just the charming merry-go-round (top), a tilted bit of grandchild bait strategically placed on the grounds. Built in 2007, the sprawling, multi-peaked home mirrors grand-scale cottage escapes of another era. The references play out in the home’s scale and interior sprinklings of somewhere-in-time architectural “finds” from round-the-world. Vintage touches blend in with modern building materials made to look old, such as the exterior’s bricks and replica slate roof  with griffin and copper finials. Meanwhile, the chimney stacks hail from England, the front door from France, and the gazebo from Egypt. How convincing is the assembly? Only the custom newel posts from New England get a close-up in any of the listing photos, which also indicate a penchant for heavy, dark-stained trim, red velvet accents, and claw foot tubs.


The 3,572-sq.-ft. home’s custom stairwell is framed by an above-the-counter cut-through in the island kitchen:

One of the home’s 2 master suites is on the first floor:

Here’s that closer look at the Baptismal font-ish newel posts (from New England) on the staircase:

Stained glass inserts in a set of interior doors add more Victorian heft to the visuals:

Here’s the master suite upstairs:

In its bathroom appears the first of several old-timey tubs:

Upstairs has 3 other secondary bedrooms of various sizes and the other well-footed bathrooms:

Quarters on the 3.5-acre property come with a kitchen, sitting area, and bedroom:

When this home made its debut on the market in March 2013, its asking price was $2.69 million.  The price tag dropped in August to $2.15 million and that’s where it has stayed.

19 Comment

  • I like the details, but $2M+ in Livingston(?!) …. not on my dime.

  • That’s the wrong lake for 2 mil.
    When will people learn, it doesn’t matter how much you spent building it, it’s only worth what the comps can support.

  • It is pretty cool, but I have to agree with others that it’s the wrong lake for a 2 million dollar home. Until something big hits in that area (maybe the amusement park on 59 in Porter?)then it’s a white elephant.

  • It’s not the wrong lake in my book. Livingston is more scenic then Conroe, and it is a much larger and quieter lake. If you want to get away for the weekend, and still not be far from home, Livingston is my choice. There are a number of wooded water-front subdivisions on the southwest side of the lake, near Coldspring. The town itself is very small, with only one traffic signal.

  • $2 million would be reasonable on Lake Livingston, if the house had a really unique setting: If it was on its own island, perhaps, or a secluded peninsula. This house is neither. It’s next to a peninsula, but close doesn’t cut it.

  • Wrong lake? Would you prefer rush hour on Lake Conroe? Shoulder to shoulder and all the noise?
    The area of Lake Livingston is 129.7 sq miles compared to Lake Conroe of 32.81 sq miles. Four times as large.
    Lake Livingston is fed from the Trinity River which flows from North of Dallas (almost Red River / Oklahoma line) while Lake Conroe is fed from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. This matters greatly if it doesn’t rain or if Houston is too thirsty.
    Avg depth in Lake Livingston is 55 feet compared to 20.5 feet for Lake Conroe.
    In short Lake Livingston is far less congested, four times as large, much more stable water level, and much deeper. You choose but I chose Lake Livingston and love ever minute of it and don’t forget the ability to head up the Trinity River a long long ways for other large bodies of water and calm surfaces for wake boarding and water skiing.
    Lake Livingston: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Livingston
    Lake Conroe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Conroe

  • For that price there are a few nice beach front homes in Grand Cayman and the commute to downtown Houston is about the same.

  • I agree that Lake Livingston is more desirable than Lake Conroe in many respects. If I had to choose between the two, it would be Lake Livingston for me.

    It’s just for that kind of house with that kind of price tag. That type of buyer is probably going to go to Lake Conroe.

    Hopefully for the sellers sake, there are a few people in the market who feel the same.

    I still maintain it’s kind of a white elephant until there is something big along 59 like the new amusement park. That’s going to change the area quite a bit. Anything around Lake Livingston may turn out to be a great investment.

  • There’s nothing wrong with the lake itself per se, it’s the wrong lake real estate values speaking.
    You can get acreage on the lakefront for 5k per acre and you’d be hard pressed to find homes much over 500k with averages being under 200k.

  • When did people who can afford a $2M lake house (probably not a primary residence) start caring about comps? They are going to buy for the feel of it….because they can.

  • @sjh, that may sound like a reasonable assumption, but completely incorrect in real life. Vast majority of million dollar homes are still financed and you can’t get financing if you can’t get the right comps, also people who have a couple of million to drop on a house in cash care about resale value, which also needs comps. Most importantly, if one was looking for a 2 million dollar waterfront house, Lake Livingston is the very last place one would look.

  • My wife and I dream of someday buying a camp on Lake Livingston. It’s the perfect retreat lake. Far enough to be past the suburbs; close enough to be easily accessible by car for day trips or overnights. The size helps too. There’s enough room to really open up the throttle on your speedboat.
    I think this house is overpriced, but I could see someone spending $2 million on a house on Lake a livingston (not that I would ever have the money). I grew up in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Central Maine, twice as far from Boston as Livingston is from Houston, people easily spend $1.5 million for houses on those lakes.

  • I have a cabin on Lake Livingston – prefer it to Conroe. But I hope that silly amusement park is never built – don’t need the traffic and noise and sure don’t need all the beautiful trees chopped down to make way for this idiotic idea.

  • I’d like to know where commonsense finds those $5k per acre lots on Lake Livingston. They don’t exist. Prime waterfront is over $200k per acre and its hard to find a house under $300k on the lake, and those have very small lots. Lake Livingston is booming, and check HAR for houses over $1m. There are plenty, and many sell without going on the market. The big issue with the lake is the restaurants and shopping haven’t caught up yet. I picked lake Livingston over Conroe and Galveston because the 83,000 acre lake is never crowded. It’s a perfect place for my family. You should come visit!

  • @Cody,

    1:10 hours one-way vs. 6 hours including security, etc. Even a private jet, you’re still talking 4.5 to 5 hours.

    Yeah, exactly the same.

  • @Say what?


    Waterfront on the southeast corner of Lake Livingston, 358 acres at a little under $1.3 million = $3575/acre.

    What, you say? It’s not in an established development? Well, now you’re changing the rules!

  • Lake Livingston is an hour from the northern suburbs. It is forested, uncluttered and quiet. I do not believe there is a single Starbucks in the vicinity of the lake. It is my antidote to urban density.

  • @Googlemaster. That fails to prove your point. Of course if I have 20 waterfront acres and 300 non-waterfront acres, the price would go down. Mix some Apple stock with Blockbuster stock, and the average price goes down. Having owned and sold true waterfront acreage, I know that it goes for about $200000 an acre and up. That being said, if it is on a creek, a small inlet or a canal, the price is adjusted accordingly. But I challenge you to find open waterfront acreage on lake Livingston for $5k.

  • Lake Livingston is beautiful. That house is garish.