Built in 2004, the house on Lake Tyler was HGTV’s Dream Home 2005.
“When you walk in the front door, you’re like, ‘Oh, my goodness!’—because it has 32-foot ceilings and you’re looking at the lake,” says the listing agent, Jacquelyn Moose. “It’s outstanding.”
The house sits on 1.37 acres with direct lake access and offers three stories of living space. To make things easier, an elevator can shuttle residents to all three floors. Outside, there’s a pool and plenty of space.
The Dream Home title holder features four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and one big quirk.
“The master is actually separate from the main house. You go through a breezeway,” Moose explains.
The breezeway is covered, but an owner does need to walk outside, and down a few stairs, to get to the master bedroom and bathroom.
What was dreamy 15 years ago may not be quite as appealing to a buyer in 2020. Moose told us that not everyone who sees the house is thrilled with the layout, but she suggests that it could be easily changed by enclosing the covered breezeway.
The house’s third floor is a bedroom that looks out onto the lake and other areas of the home.
“There’s openings like little windows cut out in the bedroom that you can look through and see down into the big, huge family room with the big rock fireplace,” Moose explains. “It’s not your common house.”
The current owners have owned the house since 2013, and a successful sale will be yet another chapter in the saga.
According to published reports, the winner of the 2005 contest was Don Cruz of Illinois. Unlike many HGTV contest winners who immediately sell the home back to the developer and pocket some cash, Cruz and his family picked up and moved to Texas.
His plan was to rent the boathouse and master bedroom suite as nightly rentals, but local authorities didn’t approve of that concept.
The IRS valued his winnings at $2 million—which meant that the home came with a federal income tax bill of $630,000 and annual property taxes of $25,000.
After Cruz fell behind on making the payments, the house went into foreclosure. It eventually sold at auction in January 2008 for $1.3 million.
The published reports say Cruz didn’t regret his decision to move into the house, even though it left him with considerable debt.
Moose said the next owners replaced most of the items Cruz had sold from the house to pay down some of his debt. The current owners bought the house in 2013 and haven’t changed much.
The main living space is an open floor plan with tall ceilings, cedar trusses, a huge limestone fireplace, and hand-scraped hardwood floors. Many areas within the home offer lake views.
The kitchen has a few quirks of its own. There’s a big island and a few open shelves, but Moose says that compared to the family and dining rooms, it seems a little small.
A nearby pantry, where the refrigerator is installed, makes up for the lack of space in the kitchen.
Moose says her favorite part of the property is the one-bedroom boathouse on the water. As well as two boat slips and a water-scooter lift, it has plenty of living space, with a kitchen and a bedroom and bathroom upstairs.
“It’s awesome and is very tastefully done,” Moose explains. “The doors look like garage doors and they roll up, and it just has the most beautiful view.”
Lake Tyler has both weekend and full-time residents, and Moose has lived there all of her life and is in the process of building her sixth house.
She says she’s taken several photos of features in this home to show her husband so they might include them in their new home. One thing she’s not considering? A detached master bedroom.
This year, Moose says she has noticed an increase in the number of high-end places selling at the lake.
“The views and the lake are what sells it, and this house fits on the lake, and it belongs there,” she says.
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