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Luxury and privacy mix with serenity and comfort in this West Austin home

published on August 19, 2011

From luxury home Realtor Brian Talley:

I recently attended an invitation-only tour of 518 Buckeye Trail, a West Austin property not listed in the MLS that just hit the market at $8,859,000. This exclusive tour was scheduled as a formal announcement of the home being offered for sale in the Austin luxury housing market. I was honored to attend the premiere viewing of such a fine home.

The neighborhoods of West Lake Hills and the surrounding areas inside Loop 360 and west of Mopac (Loop 1) are made up of an array of homes from the old to the new. Located close to downtown Austin and within the Eanes Independent School District – arguably one of the best school districts in the country – property values in West Austin can sometimes surpass the value of older homes. As a result, West Austin neighborhoods are a mix of fixer-uppers, remodeled homes, and “over the top” mansions.

Buckeye Trail, the location of the subject home, is no exception. From Bee Caves Rd., it could be easy to miss this small side road winding back into the hills. And the home itself is remarkably private, with little to no visibility from the street. My first view of the house was protected by tall trees and discreet positioning on an expansive hill. Across the street is a visible and gorgeous newly-constructed luxury home with Hill Country views.

We parked on the street and caught a ride in a golf cart up the driveway into this 5-acre, park-like compound. The home’s entrance has a purposefully modest look and feel with a Llano County Fieldstone exterior, Lueders limestone patio and walkways, copper roof and gutters, and copper and cypress siding. These quality exterior materials blend with the surrounding environment while providing a sense of quality and longevity for the structure itself.

I was greeted at the door by the listing agent Don Sembera as well as associate broker Eric Moreland and broker Emily Moreland. As soon as I entered, I could see that much thought and planning went into the design and construction of the home. With top-of-the-line materials and a number of imported antique materials integrated into the construction, such as for doors and ceiling pieces, there is an abundance of personality and warmth. The house felt unpretentious and luxurious at the same time – a tough balance to strike.

Just off of the entrance to the house is a sprawling study and entertaining area, which sports an expansive view of downtown. The house then wraps around into the dining, kitchen, and family room. Off the kitchen is a breakfast area that transitions into an outdoor screened patio. There is a gently sloping backyard with plenty of room for kids to play.

Just on the other side of the family room is one of my favorite rooms of the house – an office that jets out into the backyard with three sides of windows surrounded by large oak trees and a side section of the pool. Spending time in this office would feel peaceful with such beautiful surroundings to gaze upon throughout the day.

The ground floor of the home is dedicated to living space, with one guest bedroom at the back side of the home beyond the kitchen and game room. The kitchen is perfect for any cook or food lover with lots of storage, a huge island with gas cooktops, and a large vent. It is open to the family room so the cook can keep company with those nearby.

We walked through the game room and past the guest bedroom and bath and exited a rear door to the pool area. The heated pool is deep, narrow, and long, providing a refreshing place for a dip or lap swimming. There is also a spa next to the pool and a large sauna just at the inside of the back entrance to the house. There are a set of unnoticeable steps from the back area to the master bedroom providing direct access to both levels of the home.

Below the pool area, there is a huge 35,000-gallon cistern holding water for the irrigation system, which is ready for a connection to the home’s gutter system. There is a large 2,300 square foot garden area across from the cistern, followed by an unfinished guest house just down the hill. The guest house is mostly complete but needs some interior finishes. The best parts of the guest house are the expansive Hill Country views and the tall windows capturing the view.

At the front of the home, there is a large drive-up carport as well as small guest quarters with a separate entrance. The guest quarters include a bathroom, closet, and living space. Access to this separate room is provided just off the entrance to the house at the back of the driveway. Between the carport and the main entrance to the house is a large garden area with a pond and landscaping all around.

Stairs to the second floor of the house are just off of the kitchen. The remaining 4 bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are located on the second floor. All of the rooms are of modest size, emphasizing the expansive living spaces. The upstairs bedrooms are easily sealed off from downstairs with large double doors at the top of the stairs. The upstairs living space provides everything needed in close proximity from full bathrooms to large closets, laundry room, and a covered and screened patio with a bed suspended by cables for a gentle sway when taking a break. The master bathroom contains a Diamond Spa stainless tub with a large adjacent closet and an additional adjacent cedar closet.

In wrapping up my home tour, I recognized no detail was missed in the construction of this beautiful, luxury home. From the true 3-coat plaster walls to the Hope’s metal and glass doors, the home was built with quality in mind in just about every aspect. Other features not mentioned are the 14.4 KW solar array, outdoor fireplace, custom wrought iron by Louis Hererra, roll-up screens, air conditioned storage, a 320 square foot workshop, walnut floors and cabinets, Camaru interior doors, Mexican travertine floors, and Portuguese Lagos Azul limestone countertops.

The house was built in 2002 and sits on 5 sprawling acres covered with large oak trees providing privacy, quiet, and serenity. The house truly blends into the environment and yet offers a luxurious experience in terms of amenities and quality. The location of the home is just 5-10 minutes from downtown Austin. I would give the home 5 stars.

Realtor Brian Talley is a well-connected and well-respected expert for the Austin Luxury Home market. Depend on him when searching for West Austin homes for sale, Westlake homes for sale, Eanes homes for sale, and Austin luxury homes for sale.

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