GetMedia.ashxOne of Dallas’ Real Housewives and her LA-house flipping spouse, Travis,  just snatched the bargain of the century on a house that may well be the most notorious dirt in town. I am talking about 3816 Turtle Creek Drive, which was built by Braden Power, as you may recall, back in 2005. The home was famous for, among other things, the swimming pool in the main foyer! Built of the highest quality materials, the home is exquisite: when Braden thought one element was wonderful, he put in 10 and added swans! The master closet rivals the couture department at Neimans size-wise with a sitting room, wet bar and desk. The jacuzzi spa is indoors and part of the upstairs media room. Yes, that is the point: you sit in or out of the oversized spa while watching the tube, clothes completely optional. Mais oui. (Must have been a blast on election night!) Sixty percent of the upstairs is devoted to the master suite, including a whole room for a shower, that indoor spa jacuzzi with television, a separate bathtub room, coffee/wine bar and of course, the room where you actually sometimes really sleep.

Downstairs there are two kitchens, formals, the pooled foyer, and a fabulous infinity exterior pool and yard overlooking Turtle Creek.

We have loved 3816 Turtle Creek since she was a gleam in her daddy’s eye. She even has a name: Casa Bellamini and was featured on HGTV’s Million Dollar Room. Once Braden built the home, he tried to sell it but the market did not cooperate — remember Lehman Brothers? First Erin Mathews listed it back in early 2010 for $6,900,000, getting it again in July 2010. No go. Even Marilyn Hoffman had her hands on this deal, raising the asking to $7,900,000. In January of 2011, a Chris Lowdon listed it for $7,900,000 or $929.41 a square foot. Yeow! And then, sometime in between all these agents, Braden covered the pool in the foyer.

You always want to be the first-born, the second wife and the third agent: Along comes Doris Jacobs to the rescue. She sells the home on March 24, 2011 for a whopping $7,900,000 to none other than Lee Bailey, then the fresh ex-wife of restaurateur Ed Bailey. Lee proceeds to make the home respectable: no more wild parties, talks to both Sherry Hayslip, whose husband, Cole, designed the home, and Trisha Wilson about the interiors, and takes the cover off that pool in the foyer!

Fast forward to 2016: Lee Bailey wants to sell, she enlists Doris again who lists the home at $8,895,000 after more than a million dollars in renovations, and in a much healthier market. In June, shocker: Lee changes agents to Kelly Watson with Keller Williams Urban, a lovely woman from Zimbabwe, South Africa. Then shocker of all shocks: Lee and Kelly bring on Concierge Auctions, who, as you know, can get the job done lickety split. (“3816 Turtle Creek is for the elite and someone who really loves to entertain high end black tie, but also casual AFFAIRS”) 3816 Turtle Creek Drive is going, going, GONE on November 14, 2016 for… are you ready because it’s LESS THAN DCAD…
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I have been on pins and needles waiting out this auction, bugging Robbie Briggs and Laura Brady at Concierge Actions all day yesterday. At about eight p.m. last night Robbie Briggs emailed me that “It was a fascinating process, and it appears to be successful.” Today I heard from Laura Brady who said — “we haven’t released details to anyone… the high bidder has formally requested confidentiality about their name and the high bid amount.” Which means the house did sell, we just don’t know for how much and who it sold to.

Great news!

Refresher: the 48,000-square-foot Hickory Creek mansion, known as Champ d’Or, which translates to “Fields of Gold,” was put up for auction by Concierge Auctions out of New York Friday, March 30 with a minimum reserve bid of $10.3 million. Champ d’Or cost about $46 million, took five years to build, and has been sitting on the market for umpteen years. Last market listing was $35 million and at least five local brokers have attempted to shed the house. The Denton County mansion was last appraised for tax purposes at $9.72 million, according to the Denton County Appraisal District. Champ d’Or was modeled after Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau in Paris.

Reading between the lines, I’m wondering if there was a confidentiality clause signed.

I have so many questions: how many bidders were there? Did they meet the reserve? Did they go into private negotiations? Were the bidders actually there? In most auctions, experts tell me they show up 75% of the time, unlike luxury auto auctions. They like to see the process and what they are buying. Sometimes buyers do send their brokers or POA reps.

I asked a veteran local real estate auction expert (who asked to remain confidential) to speculate on a couple of scenarios and tell me what HE THOUGHT went down. Speculation here, folks. What if, I asked, they didn’t meet the reserve yesterday? Let’s say they stalled out at 7 million, he said, you know everyone is staring at each other, they just thank everyone for participating and end the auction. They may take the top bidders aside, say hey we didn’t make the reserve, what are you interested in putting into this property? In other words,  private negotiations begin.

“Pending contract” could mean they are still trying to work out a contract, they didn’t make the reserve and are still negotiating. “Sale pending” may have indicated they made the reserve.

Now let’s say it sold at auction, met the reserve, bingo. Typically, there are no contingencies. If they negotiated privately, the buyer may have said I want to bring in my own inspectors,  etc., which any realtor knows just opens up the door for guess what: more negotiations.

The sprawling estate was drawing widespread interest from buyers across the U.S. and internationally, Laura Brady, vice president of marketing for Concierge Auctions, told the Dallas Morning News’s James Ragland. I know that, because even people from Japan who had seen it on my blog were emailing me about it. A refundable $250,000 cashier’s check was required to register, the number of bidders was confidential. James asked Laura some great questions:

Potential buyers were expressing interest in pursuing “the property for residential purposes, which is how it’s used now,” as well as possibly using it for a business headquarters, she said. Brady said developers also had designs on the property, which is about 40 miles north of Dallas.