Yahoo Real Estate’s Most Popular Story of 2015 (by Far): Abandoned Behemoth in Texas

Below, we’re republishing Yahoo Real Estate’s most popular story of the year. It originally appeared in May 2015 under the headline “Abandoned behemoth with 46 bedrooms – or ‘more like 70’ – is for sale in Texas (where else?)” It drew millions of readers and tens of millions of page views, nearly twice as many as the runner-up … which, now that we think about it, was also about an abandoned behemoth, albeit a glorious French chateau. The Texas property is finally pending sale as of this writing, according to numerous real estate websites.

Now this is more like it! Don’t you think?

Forget Jackie Siegel and her biggest-home-in-the-nation Florida “Versailles” with its piddling 30 bedrooms or so, which was once on the market for $75 million unfinished.

This Texas structure is being marketed as a 60,175-square-foot “shell” of a single-family home on about 15 acres, with 46 bedrooms and 26 bathrooms — “more than enough room for the entire family inside and outside!” the listing says — for $3.5 million.

Those room counts are only estimates, by the way. “It’s probably more like 70 bedrooms,” listing agent Mona Miller tells the Houston Chronicle. “They’re not completed, so it’s difficult to tell.”

Rumors about this residence and its junior version next door, which is about half the size at a mere 32,000 square feet, have been circulating locally for going on a decade. They’re in Manvel, near Pearland, about half an hour’s drive south of Houston. In 2009 the Houston Press got a glimpse of the bigger one, which it dubbed “Pearland’s mystery mansion,” and judging from the current photos, the property has been essentially abandoned for the intervening six years.

Even Miller isn’t sure of the real story, but she’s heard that a physician and his wife started building the bigger structure in 2001 as a surgery rehab center, then turned their attention to building a smaller (air quotes) neighbor. Old listing photos for Junior –included at the end of our slideshow – show a furnished, finished and distinctly institutional-looking dwelling that was billed as being available for residential or commercial use.

The bigger behemoth now on the market was earlier floated as a “special purpose” property but apparently didn’t go over with prospective buyers. According to that listing, the property was “originally designed to be a senior assisted-living center, but was not completed.” No kidding.

More of Yahoo Real Estate’s most popular stories of 2015:

In Off-the-Grid Yurt, Montana Couple Live 'On Our Own Terms’ (56 photos)
Family’s Dream ‘Barn’ Cost $32M to Build, Now Asks $19.5M (80 photos)
This Enormous Restored Bungalow Is Hollywood’s Most Beautiful Home (41 photos)
8 Friends, 4 Tiny Houses All in a Row (35 photos)