Training Room KW

That’s a lot of seats, but I’m told each and every one will be filled up in Flower Mound when I spend a few hours chatting at the KW Office Kickoff Meeting that will be held at KW’s Flower Mound home on January 12th, this Thursday. 

Pam Cottrell

Pam Cottrell

Team leaders Anne Lakusta  and Pam Cottrell booked me several weeks ago to talk and inspire about all things real estate at the first meeting of the year with more than 200 agents present!  

My agenda: trends, hot news, gossip. Where our market is headed. So easy, so fun.

Super duper hope to see you there!

RhodesTeam_2016_small

With a purchase price rumored (but not substantiated) to be in the seven figures, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas has purchased a Flower Mound powerhouse agent and associates, all formerly of Keller Williams’s Preston Road office in Plano.

Russell Rhodes, one of the five top producing Keller Williams agents in the world for the last ten years, his 15 associate agents and 12 administrators, are now a part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand.

Rhodes’ Dallas-Fort Worth based team generated $196 million in sales volume last year. 

Here is an example of how hard charging the Rhodes team is: of the 526 homes they sold last year throughout the DFW Metroplex, 322 were repeat client or past client referrals to Russell and his team.

To put this in another perspective, it would take a sweet deal to leave Keller Williams when you are pumping out that kind of sales volume. Which the Rhodes team apparently got. Keller Williams is known as having one of the most generous splits — that is, sharing of the commission with the broker — in the business. Every agent starts on a 70/30 split: 70% for the agent, 30% for Keller Williams. But by the time your 30% to KW reaches a certain level (about $23K in Dallas), you are “capped” and you get to keep 100% of your commission for the remainder of your fiscal year. With $196 million in sales, the Rhodes team met their cap way back during covered wagon days. Thus Rhodes left a 100% commission structure with Keller Williams to join Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed.

Please note, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed is NOT the same group that bought out Allie Beth Allman & Associates last year. It is like a cousin. The BHHS PenFed Realty is a franchise of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pentagon Federal Credit Union, the third largest credit union in the US. (USAA is a competitor.) Previously an affiliate of the Prudential Real Estate network, the company changed its affiliation to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in November, 2014.” 

PenFed + Berkshire Hathaway Home Services merged financial services (PenFed) and the suite of online tools, agent support services and highly regarded brand that Berkshire Hathaway had in the bag.  The company has grown its annual sales volume to $3.8 billion with 1,700 sales agent and 50+ offices, providing complete real estate services nationwide.

Russell_Rhodes_small

“We’ve been watching the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand and are impressed by its business principles and core values, which are closely aligned with our own,” Rhodes told me. “For me this is a double win, aligning with a company that is so strong in relocation. The $20 billion PenFed Credit Union based in Washington is growing, and will continue to grow through the real estate agent network. PenFed Realty’s growth has been phenomenal, and we want to be a part of it.”

Still, why leave that generous split with KW? Relocation expertise + juicy client perks = more clients than ever. (more…)

4504 Tour 18 FM ext

Surely you have read the blog, “McMansion Hell”? If not, here you go. The author (who must be an architect) says

McMansion Hell aims to educate the masses about architectural concepts, urban planning, environmentalism and history by making examples out of the places we love to hate the most: the suburbs.

By alternating comedy-oriented takedowns of individual houses with weekly informative essays about urbanism, architecture, sociology, and interior design, McMansionHell hopes to open readers’ eyes to the world around them, and inspire them to make it a better one.

We understand. (We also think he’s kind of snarky.) But we also hope McMansion Hell doesn’t look too closely at North Texas. The home they chose to rip apart recently is 4504 Tour 18 Drive in Flower Mound for $829,900. It’s listed with Jim Streigel of Coldwell Banker. Listing date: 3/16/2016. It was built in 1994, is on 2 acres in a golf course community, and the price has already been reduced to $829,000 from $939,900. Wow. High hopes.

But really, honestly, what does a real estate agent do with stuff like this???4504 Tour 18 doorway (more…)

Orchard Flower

Empty nesters today have a far, far different housing story than their parents’ tale. Right-sizing options are all over the map: get a smaller home, get a bigger home, sell the family homestead, keep your city place as efficient as possible. Empty nesters are building a huge custom home next door to me. And I recently heard of a couple who built a 10,000-square-foot retirement home at age 90, with only one bedroom, in Idaho as a retirement villa. When they were building, they had one request of their builder: just finish it before we die.

In fact, many empty nesters build vacation homes to become full-time homes after retirement. No matter what they want, empty nesters will find a host of right-sizing perfection in Flower Mound’s new Orchard Flower neighborhood, a gated community built for the active adult 55-plus lifestyle with snazzy style but comfort as an inherent design.

Grenadier Homes, the folks who are sprucing up Midway Hollow and other Dallas communities with their innovative one-story floor plans and easy living/universal designs, will premiere two luxury patio home models in the Orchard Flower community this week, Thursday, May 19, from 4pm until 7pm, at 1955 Virburnum Drive, Flower Mound, TX (75028).

1951 Virburnum model home

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5800 Shorefront ext

UPDATE 9:00 am : I’m now told this property SOLD prior to auction. Details forthcoming!

Luxury Real Estate bargain hunters, rev your engines. Before the sun sets on North Texas dirt on Saturday, April 9, two luxury homes will have been sold: a giant one in Flower Mound, one in Heath, both boasting water and wine. One home even has a state of the art wine cellar on the lower-level custom built by the current homeowner, using his expertise as the owner of California based Red Mare Wines.

Question: will they have samples?

Once again real estate auctions are perking up in Texas, says the founder and CEO of Florida-based DeCaro Luxury Auctions.

The winemaker’s five bedroom, nine bath estate boasts a bricked-barreled ceiling, floor-to-ceiling 6,000 bottle wine cellar. That’s a lot of vino! Once listed at $2.6 million, there is even a special tasting island in the cellar with temperature controlled wine-refrigerator and additional storage. There is also an indoor/outdoor patio with retractable screens and a gourmet kitchen, an in-ground pool and a waterfall.

5800 Shorefront ext 2

5800 Shorefront

Two homes in one day. Isn’t this a heck of a lot of real estate to auction off in 24 hours? Daniel DeCaro, CEO and founder of DeCaro Luxury Auctions, says it’s all in a day’s work:

“As long as I am coming to Texas, I might as well sell a couple homes for motivated sellers — and these sellers are motivated! ” he told me by phone.

There’s more action two days later: the 15th most expensive home in the DFW Metroplex is going up for auction on Monday — 1904 Bayshore Drive in Flower Mound. This is a BIG home, an Italian mansion of about 14,000 square feet on two acres. The auction is now scheduled for April 11th at 12:00 PM. (We’ll have a separate post on this pup later.)

 Wny are real estate auctions hot again? (more…)

dfw open houses

The home at 3805 Country Club Dr. in Flower Mound is one of four we’re featuring in this week’s open house roundup.

The weekend after Christmas is not prime real estate shopping time, so this weekend could be your opportunity to visit some lovely properties on the market without fighting crowds. It’s slim pickings for open houses, but we found four that range in price from $500K to $1.695 million in neighborhoods around North Texas.

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LakesideTower_Cutout 2

Can you picture living in a 15-story luxury high rise — concierge, doorman, stunning finish-outs, everything at your finger-tips — and then looking off your balcony to see water every day? I’m talking sailboats, paddle boarders, jet skiers, fishing and, come seven or eight, a scintillating North Texas sunset to enjoy with a glass of your favorite after work (or play) beverage.

Go ahead, pinch yourself. This will be the Miami life right here in North Texas very, very soon.

A unique new high-rise development on the North Shore of Lake Grapevine called Lakeside Tower is coming our way. The project is being developed by Realty Capital Management, sold and marketed by Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.  The Lakeside will offer beautiful water views, first-class amenities and a luxury lifestyle based on leisure lake-side living, the likes of which we have never seen in these land-locked parts. The Lakeside Tower is opening in spring 2017. But we just couldn’t wait to get the party going…


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This non-descript Flower Mound home had a secret in its walls.

This non-descript Flower Mound home had a secret in its walls.

What a cool story out in Flower Mound, where developer Curtis Grant was beginning the demo process at 4801 Quail Run, a home he purchased that was sold as you’re average 1970s traditional.

Here’s the description from listing agent Jeannie Seth:

Rare opportunity! Original 1970 home added entire 2nd attached home in 2003, perfect for extended families. One story, 4.33 acre property in Flower Mound with exemplary schools. Diving pool, two 2 car garages plus car port for addtl parking. 3 sheds, 2 barns, 1 w-4 stalls, 2 pastures & well for watering. 1970 home has pergo flrs & 1800era FP. 2003 home has ss appl, gas cook top, 42 in cab, wood flrs. Please see media for detail on 2003 home.

Now, Grant says that the original plan was to tear this structure down and build 12 homes on the more-than four acre lot. But when he found the log structure behind drywall, he called in a few experts:

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