Listing of the Day
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Price: $18 million
Basketball fans could host their own tournaments at this house—the most expensive on the market in the whole of Montgomery County—and not just in the yard. The sprawling mansion, one of the biggest in the area, has an indoor court and more than enough space for an entire team to make themselves at home, with 11 parking spaces, 13 bathrooms and guest quarters with soaring ceilings fit for even the tallest athletes.
The house was designed by DC-based architect Glenn Fong for the owner, a developer and builder himself, in 2002. There was no holding back on the interiors, by nationally renowned designer Barry Dixon, who had a budget of $5 million to work with.
“A property of this size, with one-and-a-half acres of gardens, in this location—a quiet, residential dead end street—is unusual,” says agent Marc Fleisher of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, who has already had interest from potential buyers locally as well as overseas, many of whom are attracted by the area’s great schools, he says.
The property is a whopping 20,263 square feet, with six bedrooms plus a guest apartment with living area, kitchen and bathroom; there are eight full bathrooms and five powder rooms.
While the property is influenced by European style, with a French-style country home and grounds, including both Italian and English gardens, the materials are natural and more local. In fact the entire property is made from Texan limestone.
Rooms feature elaborate plaster work moulding and tall French doors, walnut wood floors, and custom mill work. There are eight large, stone-surround gas fireplaces, “everyone who has visited has commented that it is amazing how warm the house is, considering its size,” says Mr. Fleisher.
There’s plenty for sports lovers, with the indoor basketball court and attached gym, a heated pool and large pool house, and a theater/media center to catch up on games. The large wine cellar with adjoining tasting room is linked to the library. The cellar houses the current owner’s vast collection with custom-built caverns and floor-to-ceiling wood racking, each filled with a different era of wine, as well as his million-dollar collection of antique corkscrews.
The club room, which, says Mr. Fleisher, could be politically polarizing, is also referred to as the “hunt room” and stuffed with an impressive taxidermy collection. Another owner might prefer to turn it into a game room with a billiards table.
The master bedroom has his-and-hers bathroom suites with dressing facilities, spa shower and sauna.
There might be plenty of space for vehicles, but the house is ideal for those who like to walk, since it’s 10 to 15 minutes to the center of Bethesda, which has over 180 restaurants, 14 theatres and “shopping galore,” according to Mr. Fleisher.
This is not a celebrity enclave but a low-key area for successful professionals who commute into downtown areas of Washington, D.C., or to the technology and biotech companies in Maryland. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is 10 minutes away.
Bethesda has often topped Forbes’ list of America’s most educated small towns and Time’s list of top-earning towns. More than half of residents over age 25 hold graduate or professional degrees.
Listing agent: Mark Fleisher, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty
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