Who Bought 1704 West Colorado, the Kessler Park Beauty Set to be “Auctioned” This Past July?

1704 W ColoradoYou recall the story of 1704 West Colorado, yes?

OK, I will refresh:

The Spanish-style mansion at 1704 W. Colorado Blvd. that has been admired far and near in Dallas — named one of the “Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas” by D Magazine and featured on the Dallas Open Days Garden Conservancy Tour, — this Kessler Park home is a Spanish mission-style killer with a 4,000-square-foot main home and accompanying structures, expansive gardens, maizes and tremendous views of the nearby Stevens Park Golf Course and Coombs Creek.

Anyhoo, the shocker came a few months ago with news that this home was going to be auctioned off July 7. And not just any auction, but one on the steps of the George Allen Courts building on Commerce St.

Yeah, you know what that means. Bidding for this beauty started at just $500,000, according to the Auction.com listing for the property.

Not only were bargain hunters rubbing their palms over this auction, the home, like my beloved Aldredge House, had raised the hackles of neighbors after hosting weddings and more, posting in the VBRO pool as a place to rent. The property is perched high atop a cliff overlooking the Stevens Park Golf Course, one of the best locations in Dallas.

We were pretty saddened by the thought of anyone losing their precious home. We’ve been there, it’s tough. And we found out this wasn’t a typical case. At first the homeowner would not talk, then he told us he was trying to prove a point. As in, trying to get the attention of the bank. Well, he got it.

Enter an Ebby Halliday agent named Laurie Welch, who, like every agent in North Texas, reads this site.

Ken Row, the owner of 1704 West Colorado,  had been Laurie’s boss at Harold’s years ago. After she read the post, she called Ken and said, “what can we do to keep you from losing this house?”

Here’s what we wrote about the situation last summer:

We had reached out to the owner of the home, Ken Row, right after we saw the story in The Advocate. He said he was a pretty shy guy and also  “I think we should wait to see how this movie ends… I think you can see from the facts available..this has been a calculated decision … I’m impressed you bird dogged me here.”

Ken directed us to his attorney, Dax Richards, who told us the house would not be on the auction block and that when the story came out, it wouldn’t be quite as salacious as we might be hoping. (Dang!) He was out of state and asked us to wait a bit, which we did, but we kept circling the story. I was intrigued by some other things the owner, Ken, whom I have heard is just one of the nicest people you could ever meet, had to say —

“It’s an important story that needs telling…  I’m the least of the story… just a guy with very little to lose… and the willingness to go to the mat for things I am passionate about. Of course the historical way to reference what I just said …”pride goeth before the fall” lol.”

This morning I reached Dax by phone. He told me the property will NOT be foreclosed on. The homeowner, Ken, was trying to get the bank’s attention (Bank of America, with another company doing the servicing) in order to refinance his interest rate using tactics that commercials properties sometimes use… withhold a few payments.

Well, this doesn’t work too well in residential. Especially after the foreclosure mess that led us into the Great Recession. The bank’s response was — to foreclose.

“To the banks credit, they understood (that Ken was NOT a scofflaw) and they already have reinstatement papers working,” said Dax. Dax had told me the auction item would be taken down from the website, but that didn’t happen. Could be because of 4th of July vacations or that perhaps the sites don’t remove the listings, just cross them off the real list at the auction. In any case, Dax has multiple emails and phone conversations indicating that Ken is once again to be the owner of his home on paper.

“Regulations give you certain channels at banks right now, which are different than commercial,” says Dax.

No kidding. As anyone who has ever dealt with a big bank holding a mortgage knows only too well… it’s difficult to follow the given channels and like moving Mt. Everest to get a live person on the phone. We dealt with Wells Fargo a few years ago and they told me my phone calls to their live person in Arizona were limited to 5 on my fourth call.

“Bank decision making goes through a tree the computer holds,” says Dax. “This was an attempt to get some attention from a bank and get a human to talk to them.”

Once our story came out, on July 6, with more than 250 Facebook shares AND thousands of hits. Ken started getting unsolicited offers on the house.

“The reason he decided to market it was because of the unsolicited offers following your article,” says Dax Richards, “though none of them specified the reason for the offers.”

Enter Jim Lake. HE had seen the initial posting in The Advocate. And even though he and his wife had a home not too far from West Colorado, this was a home he had admired for years. He could not let it slip into foreclosure or worse, let someone buy it who wouldn’t love it.

And the buyers were lining up after the article posted, including home builders!

He contacted his banker, who put him in touch with Laurie Welch, the likely Realtor for the house. She worked the deal for both buyer and seller, making her doubly happy. Jim was so determined to buy the house he offered full price. The house was under contract in seven (7) days, and closed within forty five (45) days.

So there you have it: house never even so much as DIPPED in MLS. Didn’t have to. Sold and closed outside of MLS and has made two men very happy: the former owner, Ken Row, who was tiring of upkeep, and the new buyer, Jim Lake. Stay tuned!

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