Swans Make the Best Living House Eye Candy, but Warning: Mean Birds!

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Update 11:02 am: Our Monday Morning Millionaire, 3826 Mockingbird Lane, needs a few swans hanging out, don’t you think?

This is a story from our archives (May 2012) I had to unearth , after reading Jon Anderson’s wonderful post last week on Turtle Creek real estate. With all the rain we’ve had, leaving puddles in our back yard, I seriously considered getting my husband a Black Swan for Father’s Day. Swans make great House Eye Candy and you can get a pair for under $800… but warning, they can be mean suckers. And then in our ‘hood we have had this problem with coyotes and bobcats… no no, I sent him to Maine instead.

It’s May and our market is heating up hot as the parking lots outside Museum Tower. I don’t know how the SPCA might feel about this, especially as it gets hotter, but how about some live “eye candy”, especially if you live near water? Check out the simple iphone video I took at Paigebrooke when we were filming for WFAA-TV’s Daybreak. Paigebrook has a large pond that several swans call home. One had recently laid seven eggs — which is high fertility for a swan, I’m told, and her mate was feeling threatened by Channel 8’s young photographer, Wyatt Goolsby, who is all of 27. I’m sure it was a phermone thing; the swan loved me, hated poor Wyatt. And Wyatt was seriously worried that this swan would hurt him — swans are apparently very strong, potentially vicious, and a wing can break a human leg! We had to call Paigebrooke’s owners in to keep this proud daddy at bay.

I’m sure the high fertility somehow emanated from the Daybreak crew: I am honestly concerned that even I may end up preggers from being on that set!  But this got me to thinking. Could ornamental swans enhance your property value? Most definitely. Knox Swan & Dog still sells and ships swans humanely throughout the U.S. , Delta being the preferred airline carrier because, as a company official told me, sometimes the Post Office (which charges $360 to ship a pair of birds) has been idiotic enough to leave the poor creatures sweltering on a hot dock. The Mute Swan, immortalized by Tchaikovsky, is the company’s most popular and economical bird. You can buy a pair of healthy Mute Swans for $600 that are guaranteed to breed. (Or just drop them off at Daybreak.) Some folks buy or rent them for weddings. (Are you reading this, Tres and Erika?) Black Swans from Australia, like the ones Braden Power had at his Turtle Creek home, which is now owned by Lee Bailey AND NO LONGER A PARTY HOUSE,  slightly more costly: $800 for a one year old pair (But will they breed? Is he really into her as a life-mate?). $1500 for proven breeders — Black Swans do not, apparently, need Viagra. Swans are generally faithful to each other and mate for life. And the males help with housework and guarding the clutches.  Clutches (litters) average five eggs but can be as many as ten — see! So say you shell out $600 for a pair of Mute Swans, plus $250 air freight, you could end up with two or three clutches a year — 18 baby birds! What better way to make a buyer fall in love with your manse than to have graceful swans in full view.

And after this I must tell you, I think male swans are better security protection than a German shepherd.

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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