When former NASA astronaut, Captain James A. Lovell, first listed his beloved Horseshoe Bay lake house back in 2016, I thought it would be scooped up faster than you can say lightyear – but as many real estate markets prove, it takes time to find the right buyer.
So what would Jim Lovell do when he’s ready to get serious about selling his lake house? He’d stay calm, cool, and collected, then pull the trigger on a price cut when he’s go for launch.
Fast forward a bit and I am on the receiving end of such news. “I just got off the phone with Jim,” says Tammie Bennet, listing agent and top producer at Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. “He and Marilyn are some of the nicest people I have ever met, so accessible and willing to share.”
My ears perk up as if I were on the phone with Jim Lovell myself. This is the man who gave us, “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” and commanded one of the most iconic Apollo missions next to NASA’s first landing on the moon.
Bennett goes on to tell me that the Lovells just approved her price adjustment on 416 Lighthouse Drive from $3.5 million to $2.995 million – a $500,000 drop from its original list price after hitting the market to a whirlwind of excitement in April 2016. With a fresh new price point just under $3 million, the Lovell estate has landed in the sweet spot for comparable homes in the area – although I have to admit, much like the NASA space program, there is nothing quite like it.
Purchased in 1988, the Lovells worked with an Austin architect to design their home, placing special importance on the great room overlooking the lake rather than a formal living room. “The fireplace in the great room is enormous,” says Bennett.
I’ll second that — out of all the homes to come across my desk, I’ve never seen one like this. As if an homage to the larger-than-life personalities that commissioned it, the one-of-a-kind focal point sets the tone for the space, met by sky-high ceilings, and a wall of windows topped with spherical stained glass art highlighting Lovell’s achievements, including an insignia for his famous Apollo 13 mission.
“The master suite downstairs has a great view of the lake. The additional bedrooms and family room are all upstairs for guests to have better privacy when visiting. They also designed a beautiful study for Jim,” adds Bennett.
After 18 years in Houston, the Lovells started spending their winters in Horseshoe Bay, hosting cookouts, boating, and enjoying beautiful sunsets with family and neighbors on Lake LBJ.
In the summer, they would jet over to Lake Forrest, Ill., where they owned and operated “Lovell’s of Lake Forest,” a fine dining restaurant with their son, Chef Jay Lovell, at the helm. After nearly two decades of success, it shuttered its doors in 2015. It seems everything the Lovells do is with a touch of class, and their lake home is no exception.
The one thing that drew the Lovells to Horseshoe Bay, besides Lake LBJ, is its 6,000-foot Jet Center, which allowed the couple to fly in and out with ease.
“Jim owned a Beechcraft Baron plane,” shares Bennet. “In fact, he took Tom Hanks, who played him in Apollo 13, up in the plane and flew him around the area when Tom stayed at the lake house with the Lovells. Kathleen Quinlan, who played Marilyn Lovell in the movie, also spent time with the Lovells at the lake house.”
Rich with memories of a retirement well-deserved, the Lovell’s Mediterranean mansion offers a taste of the good life, with sweeping lakefront views, soaring vaulted and beamed ceilings, designer tiles, custom millwork, and loads of Lovell charm.
You really get a sense for the couple and the love they poured into the home, through its retro furnishings, easy, breezy floorplan, and impressive yet welcoming atmosphere. Just imagine the fabulous dinner parties and celebrity guest lists! If only walls could talk.
For $2.995 million you’ll own a slice of lake paradise on 134 feet of glimmering blue waterfront, and 4,895 square feet of luxury living on an iconic street in Horseshoe Bay. “Lighthouse Drive is a highly sought-after location on Lake LBJ, and Lake LBJ is a favorite destination for Texans,” says Bennett.
Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of the home are its outdoor entertaining spaces, including a large covered terrace, expansive patio, and elegant boat slip with roof deck.
Lake LBJ is a huge draw for its constant lake levels, just 90-miles from San Antonio, and 45-miles from Austin, making it a great second home destination.
“Waterfront homes can run from $300,000 for a tiny house on a channel to $6.75 million for a home with 11,000 square feet and 572 feet of water frontage,” explains Bennett.
As for 416 Lighthouse Drive, at this price, with all its prestige, well, we love it to the moon and back! Run, don’t walk, and snap up this fantastic Lake LBJ home before it’s too late.