Be prepared for the loud cheering that will come from every car departing carpool lanes on Aug. 26 as parents throughout North Texas celebrate the first day of school. No more hearing “I’m bored!” every five seconds! No more shuttling to camps! No more packing and unpacking trunks! And of course, think of all you’ll get done during the day without a kid dragging their feet behind you!

And even though you have boxes of No. 2 pencils, Kleenex, and construction paper, no kid is really ready for school without a quiet place to do the mountains of homework they’ll be bringing home.

With the help of the kind folks Ebby Halliday Realtors for these five great built-in study nooks!

1) 603 Courtney Lane in McKinney

603 Courtney Desk

2) 435 Crestover Circle in Richardson

435 Crestover Desk

3) 3821 Purdue Street in University Park

3821 Purdue Desk

4) 5909 Genoa Court in Plano

5909 Genoa Desk

5) 1116 Danbury Drive in Mansfield

1116 Danbury Desk

6720 Greenwich extThere are too many wonderful homes on the market to dazzle us this week, so we shall just beat the heat with all of them!

First up, if this home is still available after I hit “publish”, well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. It is beautiful, it is a bargain. You have heard me wax on and on about Michael Turner’s “Serenity House” at 6720 Greenwich Lane in Dallas north of Forest. Michael is, of course, one of our highly selective Candy’s Approved Home Builders: we INVITE them to be on the blog after we have talked to homeowners who have worked with them. 6720 is an award winning property built for Steve and Terri Woodward, Steve being a marketing executive at Fossil. I believe the home has won 7 ARC awards, an industry award to recognize building excellence for Associates, Remodelers and Custom Builders. Both Steve and Terri had great input on the home from start to finish, the blueprints evolving from a single napkin drawing one cold night. The home-passionate couple personally selected Michael to build their 4050 square foot masterpiece of brick and glass, reinforced with steel. The floor plan is basically three sides of a rectangle: the first floor master and a jewelry studio create the east wing, the guest bedroom and a built-in bar create the west — what a nice treat for guests, eh? In front facing north are the formal living room, dining room and kitchen. There is even a modern-style front porch to invite neighborly chats. The home is one of the warmest examples of modern design I have seen in a long time.6720 Greenwich rear

 

6720 Greenwich FR 6720 Greenwich DR 6720 Greenwich TV 6720 Greenwich kit6720 Greenwich has three bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a lot of glass, eliminating the boundaries between indoors and exteriors. It’s as if there are no, or very few, walls in the house. The only thing that divides the formals is a brick column with see-through fire place. The brick theme is brought into the living room, creating a seamless line from the exterior front of house to courtyard — as if it is floating in.6720 Greenwich master 6720 Greenwich master bath 6720 Greenwich patio 6720 Greenwich deck

Most of the walls to the exterior are floor-to-ceiling glass, including more than 10 doors around the back perimeter that simply slide open. For a party, guests would almost not know where the house ended and the exteriors begin!

Michael says the designer, architect Billy Ware of Ware Architecture, designed with a concept of two solid bars connected by a floating plane. The floating plane comprises the public spaces, the bar encompasses private. Yet, even when they shut the windows and doors completely, one still has a feeling of being outdoors. The Woodwords choose a large, leafy lot north of Forest lane in an area where older homes are being scraped to make way for new, reasonably-sized home. It has what every empty nester needs and not a minute more: three bedrooms, three and a half baths, a custom jewelry-making studio for Terry (one of the bedrooms), upstairs patio deck for the visiting son, huge walk-in closets each for Terry and Steve, eco conscious materials such as Eco Stone countertops of crushed granite, marble and mirror. There are three fireplaces, hot tub, fancy pants custom bar and a flat TOP roof with a 13-foot overhang to shade from the sun.

Here’s the best part, which I really shouldn’t tell you. Oh well: Michael Turner pulled this off for $200 a square foot. In fact, this property did not break the one million mark (excluding land costs), and finished on time, a hallmark of Classic Urban home projects. Of course, it was built in 2011 when prices were way down on everything. Now it’s listed for $1,695,000 with our favorite Alex Perry. PEANUTS!

I think Steve and Terri just had such a wonderful time building with Michael, they are wanting to do it all over again. And I can hardly wait to chronicle the whole project!

Hiding identity at computerIt’s not like you have to do a background check on every single client who contacts you when you are a Realtor. But then again yes, maybe you do! When you have agents’ faces plastered all over glossy mags and billboards, they are noticeable but maybe to the wrong people.

Kristin Sims with Carolyn Shamis told me a story that sends shudders when you think of what COULD have happened. She wanted me to post this to see if other agents had ever had this experience, or anything similar. Full disclosure: Kristin has had issues with a stalker; this could be related. I felt it was super creepy, so tell us what YOU think!

kristinKristin was given a client referral  by another agent who had received a cold call for a high rise rental in the Turtle Creek area. Kristin calls and emails the client, they talk several times. He drops designer Adrienne Faulkner’s name, says he is going to be working with her in Dallas. He said he was a baseball player. He had just transferred to the Texas Rangers from the San Diego Padres, but he had not yet formally started with the Rangers and so asked to keep the info mum. The deal was not public yet, he said. Said he had looked at properties around Texas stadium and did not like, and he had no real estate agent. He was already in Dallas, staying in a hotel. He definitely wanted to lease, was interested in the W, Azure, and properties along Turtle Creek. He then car-bragged: said he had a Ferrari and a Bentley convertible and a third car (back in San Diego). Also, relatives came to stay with him for weeks at a time, so he needed guest flexibility.  Kristin warned that might be a problem with some of the HOAs. The player gave his name as one  ”Jesus Morales.” Kristin and Jesus spent a great deal of time communicating by email, by phone, and text. “Morales” spent some time communicating with Adrienne as well.

They planned to meet on a Tuesday in June at Kristin’s office to see properties. “Morales” said he was renting a car and would come by the office with his manager and personal assistant. He would PICK HER UP and they would all go look at props together.

Kristin, insisted she would drive because she was more familiar with the neighborhood.

Morales wanted to drive, saying he wanted to make sure the car had plenty of legroom

My car has plenty of legroom in the back seat, Kristin told him

The following Tuesday, meeting day, Kristin had a tour schedule starting at the Azure at 4 pm. Morales was to meet her there. I may be running a little late, he said, as I will be doing volunteer work at Children’s Medical.

Tuesday afternoon came, Kristin was sitting in lobby of the Azure with Adrienne Faulkner, waiting. Morales  texts “running late, have to run back to play a game, go look and just pick out a property for me, I trust you.”

During the next couple of hours, he texts several times, asking for progress on the property search. Wrapping it, he says I’ll call you Sunday.

The very next day Kristin is in contact with a friend who happens to work at Children’s Medical Center. Kristin asks how the Texas Rangers appearance went.

“We never had any Texas Rangers there, ” she told Kristin.

That’s weird. Kristin called the Texas Rangers, was referred to HR, who never returned her call. But a former baseball playing friend checked both rosters of the Rangers and the San Diego Padres: no Jesus Morales on either team.

Skeptical, Kristin next has a long conversation with the agent who referred him to her. She contacts the police and does more digging.

The 972 phone number he used turned out to be registered to a woman in Irving, Texas.  The email addresses were registered to someone who had published air conditioning repair manuals.

Neither she nor Adrienne Faulkner ever heard from “Morales” again.

It appears the guy was a fake. But what’s scary, of course, is he and his “agent” insisting on picking up an agent at her home and “drive” to the listings. Could be innocent, or could be scary.

Has anyone out there ever heard of such a scenario? I know about the guys who make dates with women to go look at multi million listings, pretending to be big shots with deep pockets. I know about Steven Breed. But posing as a Texas Ranger? Said it before, I’ll say it again: you can’t make this &#@* up!

6807 Meadow Front

So, I had a plumbing disaster at my White Rock Lake-area postwar traditional, so I’m reporting from our Forney bureau today as a means of escape from a horde of noisy dryer fans and dehumidifiers.

6807 Meadow Entry

While the three of us (me, my husband, and my 20-month-old son) are far from cramped at the in-laws’ house, I kind of wish we were holed up in the guesthouse at 6807 Meadow Road. The main house is a sizable at 6,690 square feet, and considering that it was built in 1999, there’s not much you’ll need to do inside.

6807 Meadow Living

The guest quarters, which has three bedrooms, is just over 1,300 square feet. That would be the perfect place for visiting relatives or friends, or people who had a major plumbing leak over the weekend and are waiting for insurance to make up their minds on how much our budget is for temporary housing. I’m just saying, people.

6807 Meadow Den

The first floor, including the living area and entry way, feature soaring ceilings and tons of light, thanks to banks of windows. The staircase is carpeted, which you don’t seen very often anymore, but we should, because staircases often show much more wear than we realize. Imagine coming down stairs twice a day in heels and then imagine what the steps look like after about 2 years. They’ll have more divots than a golf course on Saturday!

6807 Meadow Kitchen

With a gorgeous kitchen that has two islands and beautiful built ins, a home theatre, six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and three half baths, three fireplaces and a built-in fish tank, this Hillcrest Park mansion is on the market for just $1.599 million. It’s a great bargain!

6807 Meadow master Bath

I think that my favorite thing about this home, besides of course the guest house, is the master bath. I love the soaking tub and the full-size shower, which has more control knobs than an aircraft! The leaded-glass window is a wonderful touch in the master suite, giving light but not letting your neighbor get a look at your nether-regions.

6807 Meadow Home Theatre

The HOA dues are $300 a month, and you’ll find that this listing is in a fantastic location, too. Just ask Preston Hollow expert Lydia Player, one of the great Ebby Halliday agents representing this property. You’re just a stone’s-throw from Hillcrest, which will give you access to all the great shopping along Northwest Highway and in Preston Center.

6807 Meadow Back

What do you think?

Love this sassy little write-up on the Hicks estate, which is marketed by Douglas Newby & Associates, from Your Mama at The Real Estalker:

Like we usually do when it comes to dissin’ and discussin’ high-priced real estate in Dallas Your Mama gave the deliciously dishy Dallas-based property gossip Candy Evans a ringy-dingy and asked if she thought there was much of a market for a $135,000,000 house in Dallas.

There may very well be a market for an $135 million house in Dallas, but it’s a small one, as Candy said. You never know, right? Still, as Your Mama pointed out, you’re going to need big bucks and a lot of water to run this place. Natch:

The next owner of the Hicks’ estate may want to know that maintaining the vast estate will require an astonishing amount of water. Even with a private well Mister and Missus Hicks consistently rank among the highest users of water in a state regularly racked by drought. In August 2011 reports numerous multiple media outlets in the Dallas/Houston/Fort Worth area reported that Mister and Missus Hicks used 1.35 million gallons of public water for the month of June alone and in July 2012 the Dallas Morning News reported they consumed a total of 12,315,020 gallons of public water in 2011.

Eeek! That’s crazy! Then again, it’s not exactly like you can xeriscape a 25-acre estate! Maybe it’s time to take a nod from the soon-to-be-open George W. Bush Presidential Center and replace some of the landscape with drought-hardy natives and maybe some wildflowers? Just a thought.

 

6446 Glendora

Glendora seems to be the street du jour, no? And I love a good hip-pocket listing. It gives a property a certain exclusive cache, doesn’t it?

What’s better is a hip-pocket listing I love, and that’s 6446 Glendora. This home, built in 2001 by Hawkins Welwood, has 7,000 square feet of indoor space that manages to feel cozy, not cold. That’s thanks in part to the use of muted colors and natural finishes, and especially exposed wood beams.

6446 Glendora Sitting

This appointment-only, off-the-open-market listing is priced at almost $1.68 million with Dave Perry-Miller, which puts this home at almost $240 per square foot. You can tour this amazing home, along with a few other select properties from Dave Perry-Miller Fine Homes, on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

There are six bedrooms, six and a half baths, and plenty of room for your brood to spread out. The backyard has a great pool and spa, plus a loggia that’s great for dinners with close family and friends.

6446 Glendora Kitchen

The kitchen, while lovely, feels lik it’s missing something. I guess the wrought-iron light fixtures in the den and breakfast area make me feel as if the island should have a huge pot-rack strung above it. Instead, there is a pendant here or there and other task lighting, which plays up the beautiful cabinets. Still, it’s a purported problem that is easily fixed.

6446 Glendora Master Bath

The master suite has a five-piece bath with separate vanities — a wonderful feature for those among us who are not morning people. And there are windows, too, which hopefully don’t allow neighbors to gaze inside, but that’s nothing a little curtain won’t fix. Besides that, I love the French doors in the bedroom that not only let in so much light, but they also open to the backyard.

6446 Glendora Master

The backyard isn’t a tiny space, but given the size of the home, it’s not a large one. There’s plenty of room for entertaining in the 150-foot by 125-foot yard, which includes a great pool and grassy play area.

6446 Glendora Backyard

 

6446 Glendora

Glendora seems to be the street du jour, no? And I love a good hip-pocket listing. It gives a property a certain exclusive cache, doesn’t it?

What’s better is a hip-pocket listing I love, and that’s 6446 Glendora. This home, built in 2001 by Hawkins Welwood, has 7,000 square feet of indoor space that manages to feel cozy, not cold. That’s thanks in part to the use of muted colors and natural finishes, and especially exposed wood beams.

6446 Glendora Sitting

This appointment-only, off-the-open-market listing is priced at almost $1.68 million with Dave Perry-Miller, which puts this home at almost $240 per square foot. You can tour this amazing home, along with a few other select properties from Dave Perry-Miller Fine Homes, on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

There are six bedrooms, six and a half baths, and plenty of room for your brood to spread out. The backyard has a great pool and spa, plus a loggia that’s great for dinners with close family and friends.

6446 Glendora Kitchen

The kitchen, while lovely, feels lik it’s missing something. I guess the wrought-iron light fixtures in the den and breakfast area make me feel as if the island should have a huge pot-rack strung above it. Instead, there is a pendant here or there and other task lighting, which plays up the beautiful cabinets. Still, it’s a purported problem that is easily fixed.

6446 Glendora Master Bath

The master suite has a five-piece bath with separate vanities — a wonderful feature for those among us who are not morning people. And there are windows, too, which hopefully don’t allow neighbors to gaze inside, but that’s nothing a little curtain won’t fix. Besides that, I love the French doors in the bedroom that not only let in so much light, but they also open to the backyard.

6446 Glendora Master

The backyard isn’t a tiny space, but given the size of the home, it’s not a large one. There’s plenty of room for entertaining in the 150-foot by 125-foot yard, which includes a great pool and grassy play area.

6446 Glendora Backyard

 

Dome Home Front

I love quirky houses! If a home has character, a neat feature, or some really defining characteristic, I love it!

While it’s no Bio-Dome, this concrete-shell house has two bedrooms, two baths, and 2,100 square feet. You’ll love the secluded location, but you’ll have to learn to live with few windows in this home. I love the upstairs loft, though.

Dome Home Living

Perhaps you’ve driven by the Monolithic Institute on I-35 on your way to Austin and thought, “Gee, I wonder what it’s like inside one of those domes …” Well, this is it! The house, which is at 3592 County Road 338, is marketed by Debbie Hudnall of Virginia Cook Realtors.

Dome Home Kitchen

It’s incredibly affordable, too, at $125,000, but you’d need to do a lot of renovating. Of course, you’d also have to live in the Collin County suburb of Melissa, which is too far away from Dallas for me, but maybe that’s your kind of thing.

So, do you think you could live in a dome?