The death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher brings to mind the gorgeous estate home you see at 4850 Preston Road. Built in 2008 by Sharif & Munir Luxury Home Builders, it was one of the biggest spec homes in Dallas: almost 14,000 square feet on .62 acres. Neighbors are as high-falutin’ as they come: the Charles Pistor family, Jeffery L. Wasserman, and the Edwin L. Cox estate. The only bigger spec home was that at 3500 Beverly, 26,000 square feet for $15 million with an 8 car underground garage built in 2008 and then snapped up by Scott and Gina Ginsberg, who then bought the house next door, tore it down and constructed a pool and cabana.
Margaret’s ex daughter-in-law, (if daughter-in-laws are ever ex), was Diane Burgdorf. She was from Lake Highlands and a Southern Methodist University graduate. Diane married Mark Thatcher, Margaret’s son, on Valentine’s Day 1987 in London. The couple moved to Highland Park, lived on Fairfax Avenue and had two children, like any other couple. The prime minister and her husband, Sir Denis, visited the kids and Highland Park often.
In 2004, Diane and Mark Thatcher relocated to Cape Town, South Africa, where ultimately Mark was arrested and charged with funding a coup in Equatorial Guinea. Diane came back to Dallas soon after where she began dating, and later married, trading card mega-millionaire James Beckett III, who is actually a statistics professor, author, editor and publisher. Beckett founded and published a brilliant baseball card price guide which blossomed into Beckett Media and enough dough to pay almost full cash for a ten million dollar home — I guess they had a $1,300,000 mortgage on the home, and that was it.
Back to 4850 Preston. Mickey Munir builds the house, James Beckett buys it for his bride, Diane, sight unseen by her in 2008 for about $10,850,000. When she saw it, she said she didn’t like it because it was too big: six bedrooms, six full baths and four half baths. Who needed all of that? To show you what a wonderful, honest builder Mickey Munir is, and why he’s been in business for more than 30 years, when he heard that Mrs. Beckett did not like her new home, he offered to undo the whole deal.
But the Becketts eventually sold to Jimmy and Carl Westcott on 12/21/10. The lovely Linda McMahon of Briggs Freeman/Sothby’s handled the transaction. Sold for in the neighborhood of $8.8. The Beckett’s now live elsewhere.
Mickey, however, has another amazing spec home, this time on Strait Lane, that is another spectacle! The story of love, life, marriages and homes will continue!