In 1978, the Houston real estate market passed an inevitable sales benchmark: a Houston home sold for a million plus. And while the promise of the million dollar sale had waxed large on the real estate market, the transaction cut a serious Daugherty profile.
John Daugherty loves houses. He relinquishes homes to buyers as a wine steward decants a fine Margeaux. The premier sommelier of Houston’s finest properties, he is savvy to the vintage, the source and the appeal of every home he offers.
In 1978, John Daugherty sold the first million-dollar bottle of vintage estate ever. In business since ’67, John Daugherty, Realtors was firmly ensconced in the River Oaks, Tanglewood, Memorial, Museum and Rice Medical markets, when he landed this historic sale.
A River Oaks English manor house, this Sleepyhollow manse’s dollar to history ratio considered made it a bargain. Originally built by a member of the renown East Texas Lumber moguls, the Carters, the Pew family owned it in 1978 and wanted a price unprecedented for the Houston market. But it was a spectacular home, deserving of its asking price!
According to John Daugherty, the house was replete with Tiffany windows and a great hall sporting a floor to ceiling fireplace. A Robinhood mural dressed the wall over the fireplace, a depiction in which the actual faces of the Carter family peer at the onlooker, an illustration still there today. The Great Room boasted a ceiling dressed with exposed 200 year old beams. And, sharing the property to the side of the house stood a life size dollhouse with a genuine wood-burning fireplace, built for children’s play.
Notably, John Daugherty sold the home to his friends, Don and Betsy Mullins. Don, a successful real estate developer and Betsy, daughter to Houston’s oil and gas magnate, John W. Mecom, Sr., bought the house after a considerable duration on the market.
John Daugherty nostalgically, albeit circuitously, explains his satisfaction in selling to the Mullins. He had known Betsy, having lived “almost across the street from each other when we were young children on Del Monte.” He remembers “her faather John Mecom Sr bought a (John) Staub house in 1960 on Lazy Lane” and rhapsodizes it “the most magnificent French chateau that’s ever been built in Houston.” Because of her history, John Daugherty knew Betsy loved fine old things and he knew “she would really appreciate this home and do it well.” John Daugherty best summarizes his very personal gratification: “I had some good friends that bought the house and I knew I was going to be able to go over and visit.”
The first million dollar sale, one million sixty thousand to be exact, impacted both the buyers and the market in which it was sold. While John Daugherty and his friends took to an intimate celebration in the Mullins’s home on Inverness, the Houston market and its buyers began to comprehend the true value of these fine old homes. Says John Daugherty, “It opened a lot of eyes.”
The Sleepyhollow million dollar sale cemented the reputation of John Daugherty, Realtors; it demonstrated their ability to market and sell homes of this caliber and magnitude, a feat accomplished time and again since. In the Houston market since January of 2007, twenty homes have sold for five million and above; John Daugherty, Realtors has been involved in seventeen, an 85 percent market share!
John Daugherty loves houses and he loves matching people with them! To listen to him, one might think he sells these houses just so he can spend time in them; his enthusiasm for their history and architects overwhelms. Like the oenophile, he takes as much pleasure in sharing as partaking. And like the wine lover, he prefers and savors the must of the more seasoned vintages. Price is really no object.