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We’ve been blogging about it for weeks now, and I have to give credit where credit is due: Steve Brown at The Dallas Morning News was first to publish that Andy Beal was interested in buying Walnut Place, the former Crespi Estate on Walnut Hill Lane that was listed by Allie Beth Allman and David Nichols for $100 million. I had heard Beal was going back and forth between Walnut Place and the beautiful Crow mansion at 4500 Preston Road. We know the Hicks are getting close to finding a new home in Dallas, and Allie Beth Allman tells me the 35,275-square-foot (67,689 including terraces) estate closed officially this morning when papers were signed. And Beal paid for the home in cash. She will not disclose the sales price, nor comment on my incessant questions about the Crow estate or sales price, but she did tell me that Andy Beal bought all of the estate, all 25.25 acres, and he plans to keep it intact.

“He doesn’t plan to split it,” she told me.

Bravo Andy Beal!

Allie Beth Allman is an amazing agent, and I had to ask her, how does she feel after pulling off the largest sale in Texas history — actually, in Texas and Oklahoma and probably in the whole southwest U.S. history?

“I don’t feel any different,” she said. “I went to back to work immediately. I had an agent calling me during the closing about another property.”

And while she could not divulge what the final selling price was, she did say that both parties were thrilled.

“The Hicks are thrilled, the buyers are thrilled,” said Allie Beth. “And you know I’m not happy if it’s not that way at every single closing, regardless of the sales price. We are talking about someone’s home and they should not just be happy but be thrilled with the entire process.”

If they are not, she says, then I haven’t done my job. And Allie Beth Allman ALWAYS does her job.

As for the Crow estate, she has a listing agreement and it is on the market and available for $46 million.  It was off the market for the holidays, she told me.

I have to laugh at those who said, and some who actually wrote, that this estate would never sell. It took David and Allie Beth only 9 months to sell a $100 million property.

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Until the Waggoner Ranch closes, this is the largest real estate sale in Texas history, and certainly will be the largest in Dallas history for years to come. The last largest sale in Dallas history was 5323 Park Lane, when Kelcy Warren bought the nine plus acre estate of Joyce and Larry Lacerte, designed and built by Cole Smith, decorated by Sherry Hayslip, and listed with Ralph Randall at Ebby Halliday. 5323 Park Lane was originally listed in 2008 for $45 million, then lowered to just under $40 million as the nation’s real estate bubble went bust. According to my sources, it sold for about $29 million-ish, and sharp Kelsey even asked for an outside appraisal. His buyer’s agent was Rosie Waters of Allie Beth Allman and Associates, who is married to football legend Charlie Waters, who works (or worked at the time) for Mr. Warren.

Dallas real estate — I LOVE IT! Jump for the story on Walnut Place, complete with photos, that we ran back in March of this year.Hicks Main House- Foyer and Grand Stairway (more…)

4500 Preston Rd extIt is such a tough decision, I do feel his pain. Word is that Andy first wanted the beautiful estate of Margaret Crow at 4500 Preston Road. It was listed for $46 million and remains an expired listing listed with Allie Beth Allman.

It’s one of the largest & most historic sites in Highland Park. The rare 6+ acre estate is in the heart of Highland Park, one of only 5 multi-acre sites that were created on Preston Rd overlooking Turtle Creek when Highland Park was created in 1906.  The Tudor structure with Craftsman touches was designed in 1912, and has had only 3 owners. The grounds including a century-old tree.4500 Preston Road fountain

But he changed his mind and bought Tom and Cinda Hicks’ Walnut Place, the former Crespi Estate, on Walnut Hill Lane, the most expensive piece of real estate in Dallas or even North Texas… aside from the $725 million Waggoner Ranch, which is also under contract to a consortium of buyers. (Word is they close today.) Walnut Place is one of the most expensive properties in the world. It’s current status in MLS is cancelled.

And it is also one of the most beautiful. Breathtaking! But then, so is the home of the late Margaret Crow. Which one would you buy?

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Real Estate Story

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It was the last house that Allie Beth Allman Realtor Karen Luter was going to show to Sabra Girard and her husband, but iced-over roads threatened to cut their showing short. It was sleeting outside, and getting home would soon mean a dicey drive. Add the complication of having two children in tow and you have the makings of a disaster.

But, as it turns out, the showing of 6634 Greenwich was anything but.

“The moment we arrived at Greenwich and stepped inside, I turned around to them and announced ‘We have to buy this house!'” Luter said. “I say ‘we’ because the Girards are like family members, the way all my clients become family members. I tell my client that I pretend they are my children and that I always want to help them make the best buying and selling decisions.”

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And it was a great decision, Sabra said, as the home became a soft spot to land after a hard day, a place where great memories were made both inside the 1960s contemporary confines and outside.

But times change, families grow, and the Girards soon found themselves busting at the seams of this lovely ranch in the Gayle Malone subdivision of North Dallas. The decision to sell was a tough one, Sabra said, but working with Luter has made it much easier.

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Allie Beth Allman

I got a chance to talk with Allie Beth and Pierce Allman and also Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc., briefly yesterday afternoon. Had so many questions about this game-changer in the Dallas luxury real estate market, which is one of the hottest in the country.

(Don’t be surprised if other folks come shopping here for real estate brokerages.)

First of all, know that HomeServices, an affiliate of Warren Buffett-backed Berkshire Hathaway, has been shopping in Dallas since the first of the year, I mean really shopping. Ron Peltier, who I loved immediately because he told me his name is pronounced to rhyme with “Cartier”, would not comment on that. Last week I got word that Allie Beth Allman’s affiliation with Christie’s Great Estates had ended. Many agents told me the broker didn’t feel they were getting enough out of the relationship, which would mean business. Like referrals. But that wasn’t the reason the affiliation ended.

Ron Peltier

This is what was cooking, (more…)

Crow house on Preston RoadHuge news in the Dallas high end broker industry.

Something’s been up with news about Allie Beth Allman & Associates for a couple of weeks! I got word last week that Allie Beth’s affiliation with Christie’s Great Estates had been severed. While I was researching that for accuracy—Duke Jimerson told me at an event Thursday night he knew nothing about it— Steve Brown was hot on the trail. He reports that Warren Buffett’s HomeServices of America, Inc. a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, has snapped up the $1.5 billion in sales company:

One of Dallas’ top residential sales firms has been purchased by investor Warren Buffett’s growing real estate empire.

Allie Beth Allman & Associates—a 12-year-old local real estate sales company that specializes in high end home sales—has been acquired by HomeServices of America Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.

Allie Beth Allman is one of North Texas’ top residential firms, and sold about 2,100 houses last year valued at $1.5 billion.

“Allie Beth Allman & Associates is a strong company with an exceptional reputation in a growth market,” Ron Peltier, HomeServices’ chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “This transaction aligns with our vision of acquiring distinguished companies in leading markets that share our core values.”

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Allie Beth Allman has more that 300 agents and sells homes in markets including North Dallas, the Park CitiesTurtle Creek, Uptown and Lakewood.

She’s personally handled marketing for some of the largest estates in North Texas, including businessman Tom Hicks’ $100 million estate in North Dallas.

The acquisition is Buffet’s HomeServices entry into real estate in Texas.

The company—the second largest U.S. property sales firm—has about 26,500 real estate agents operating in 480 offices in 27 states which operate under a variety of brand names, including Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate.

In 2015, the company expects to handle more than $77 billion in residential real estate sales and more than 220,000 transactions.

“We are joining an organization known for its strength and stability; one that is consistent with our high standards of service, integrity and community involvement, making this a win/win for our clients and our agents,” Allman said.

Some of Allie Beth Allman's recent home listings include Dallas businessman Tom Hicks' 25-acre North Dallas estate.

The Crespi Estate is not the only uber high end mansion Allman has listed. The $46 million Crow estate on Preston Road was also marketed by Allie Beth, but was taken off the market last week for, says Allie Beth, a holiday break.
Stay tuned for more…
Food and drink were an anchor for some guests, but many took a to-go plate to explore the home.

Food and drink anchored some, but many took a to-go plate to explore the home.

Last night Talmadge Lane was hopping with attendees to our third Staff Meeting event. As advice columnist Dan Savage says, “it gets better.” Certainly the assembled, several of whom may still be lost within this impressively large 14-thousand square foot home, enjoyed spending time to revel in this home’s uniqueness.

Candy Holds Court, Fresh from Aldredge House's Meeting with the Board of Adjustment

Candy holds court, fresh from Aldredge House’s meeting with the Board of Adjustment

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6309 Wildnerness Front

Not too long ago Candy wrote about how Max Anderson and his then wife, Jacqueline Buckingham Anderson, were doing the “conscious uncoupling” thing and had put their beautiful home in Williamsburg Estates in Preston Hollow in North Dallas (north of LBJ) on the market. Heck, Jacqueline even wrote a book about it: “Separating into Wholeness: Revolutionary Relationships & Evolutionary Families.” Only, they didn’t end up splitting for good after all, and remarried just three months after their widely reported separation.

Max and Jacqueline Anderson

Now come reports that Max has left his position as the director of the Dallas Museum of Art for the News Cities Foundation. His new role is that of “director of grant programs” for the organization, which is based out of Paris. Anderson had a hand in bringing the New Cities Summit to Dallas last year, which hosted some great panels on the future of Dallas.

Here’s hoping the Andersons get enough for their gorgeous contemporary at 6309 Wilderness Court that they can buy one of these amazing apartments in the city of lights. (Update: The DMN says that the Andersons will be relocating to New York City.)

Seriously, though, their home is an absolute treasure, and they’ve listed it with David Nichols at Allie Beth Allman. Jump to see more, or you could visit the broker open house tomorrow.

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It was probably the most beautiful memorial service most of us will ever attend, and it was totally befitting Ebby Halliday Acers, the Duchess of Dallas Real Estate as her pastor, Dr. Jim Denison, called her. The sanctuary at Park Cities Baptist Church on Thursday afternoon was loaded, as was the balcony, and I’m told it holds 3000. The church hall, which holds another 1000, was set up for the overflow.

The afternoon service was laced with beautiful music, beginning with a performance by the Happy Hill Farm Academy choir, Happy Hill being one of the many charities Ebby supported.

Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Realtors, remembered Ebby first. Mary Frances started with the company as a temporary secretary, who Ebby asked to stay on permanently. Back then she said she made about $2.50 an hour — “Ebby was my graduate school,” she said. (more…)