I have written about this house before, and I could write about it every single day of my life. It gets my vote for one of the most beautiful homes in Dallas on the INSIDE as well as out. And then talk about location! 5424 Edlen is perched on one of the most desirable corners in Old Preston Hollow: Edlen and Hollow Way. Edlen was named after one of the developer’s two daughters, long ago. We used to live within two blocks of this fabulous home, which is how I know all this stuff. We even knew the people who lived in the home prior to it being torn down in the early 1990’s to create this temple of architectural beauty.

Which it most certainly is. Built in 1992, the home was so skillfully remodeled (to the studs, as they say) in 2009 you would think that is when it was built. There are tasteful, clean lines with a Santa Barbara vibe. Just no red-tile roof. Case in point: use of cathedral arches in multiple doorways, creating architectural drama and wonder, and transoms carried through-out. Many groin-vaulted ceilings. The home was initially rebuilt by Joe Kain in 2009, when the square footage was doubled. For 9110 square feet, the home is also incredibly energy-efficient. The master bedroom is downstairs on the western wing of the home with a glorious round sitting room that shares an open fireplace with the bedroom. The spa bath has been enlarged — builder Susan Newell completed this just last Friday — and the master now boasts two huge walk-in closets. The free-standing copper tub must be seen! The master closet even has a washer-dryer which, I’m told, is very much like driving a Porsche: once you have one (in your closet, in your garage) you never go back. Upstairs are four bedroom suites, two with playful loft spaces where kids can hide. Also up here: a media room with a stage, a game room and exercise room! Back downstairs again — there are two staircases — the hexagon-shaped room on the front of the house is the wine room where you can sit and sip and watch the birds. Lest you think this tour is finished, there is a back screened-in porch and a beautiful cabana behind the pool with outdoor kitchen where I would not mind living full-time. The home is large, yes, but it’s on 1.02 plus acres, with trees, trees, trees. Oh and talk about high profile neighbors: the Executive V.P. of Exxon Mobile,  Andy Swiger, is across Hollow Way, Mark Cuban is further down the Hollow, T. Boone Pickens on Alva Court, ditto Dr. Dennis Birenbaum, and a host of Dallas movers and shakers in between. Hello! Kelcy Warren!

Bryan and Amanda Crawford are energetically marketing this house, and the darling couple is all of 28 years old. It has been on the market before, first with Joan Eleazer and then Fran Cox, seasoned, fabulous agents both. The owners, who have a home in Carmel-By-The-Sea, want to shed the square footage here and make Dallas their second home. It was Bryan’s idea to expand the bath and add a second master closet, and the owner conveniently had a plan ready to go. It was also Brian and Amanda’s idea to drop the price to $4,299,999 from $4,450,000. You know what they say: third time’s the charm!

I posted a few shots from this house last summer, when I was first made aware of it’s awesomeness. The young builder is Leo Savino, who is building in the Park Cities under his company name, Significant Building & Construction, with the frenzy of a blue norther. 

Well, now she’s all dressed up and ready for her first date. 

They call her style Santa Barbara, with floor-to-ceiling windows surrounded by gardens on a tidy lot that overlooks St. Michael’s School and church. The kitchen has great Viking professional appliances, gorgeous jewelry-like hardware, stone counters and a sleek, contemporary look prevailing across every inch. My personal favorite is the beautiful wall stonework that looks like a painting in the master, the great tilework and mahogany. The builder, who tells me he is a perfectionist, used hurricane-resistant glass in every window because he recalls a tornado in Dallas when he was younger. Plus his father is a physician; the OCD tendencies are genetic. He also overdid it on the sensors/disaster buttons. Whoever buys this house will know anywhere instantly if the A/C has gotten stopped up, and can monitor pressure arrestors on plumbing fixtures. (The engineering mind so at work!) He is even moving the outside AC units to a more aesthetically pleasing location because they “bother him.” But the home reveals the fruits of his obsessions: it is stunning.

You buy this house for the zero maintenance, not a spacious yard but your usual 150 by 54 foot wide UP lot. The home squeezes 4300 square feet in with a very spacious feel. There are four bedrooms, three and a half baths, three living areas, a two-car garage and outdoor kitchen living area. Listed with CC Allen at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, asking $1,650,000 which I think is just a tad bit high, but the house really is gorgeous. Go see it and tell come back here, tell me what you think!

I was in Pebble Beach last week at the venerable Concours D’Elegance along with the glitterati of Jay Leno, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sherle Crow! When I saw Arnold, I steered away but snapped a pic. But Jay, dear Jay, we are becoming regular Concours buds. Last year, when my husband snapped the photo, Jay said “hey, old man, take your finger off the lens.” This year, the magic was “second homes.” He was particularly fascinated with Champs D’Or — “is this in France?” he asked, and the Residences at the Ritz Carlton.

This could really get me in water that is hotter than my swimming pool right about now, but a friend in California is selling their home and these are the photos the agent shot. Naturally, I have some strong opinions, which I am going to withold. It’s a lovely contemporary northern Cali home circa 1983 but remodeled, located in Saratoga, on the Peninsula, ’bout an hour from San Francisco. Totally orgasmic yard.

Four bedrooms (one is a study), play area, four full baths and the master bath is decked-out to-die for: heated floors, towel warmer, sexy infinity overflow soaking tub with jets, steam shower,  private zen master garden where you can sunbathe or raise marijuana or medidate bare-ass naked if you want to like any normal California nut and the neighbors will never see. Maybe.

The pool is kind of wrapped around the house, and the home is set very far back, shares a driveway with the neighbor. Backs to a running stream and the huge redwood trees are glorious, glorious. Plus you can see them from every window. In fact, I think they ought to include a case of Windex with the sale because this house has so many windows and glass, all drawing the eye out to the fabulous gardens. In case you’d like to buy it, please note temp is about 70 there now as I write this.

The home has not been professionally staged, should it be? What do you think of those plants? Do they need some art? Do the photos do the home justice? Please do not hold back — critique away, as hard as you want. After all, this house is not located in hell like we are — KIDDING!

Asking $3,895,000. What’s funny about selling a home in California: buyers want to know even if PETS have died in a home, and they are very Feng Sui conscious, I’m told: colors have to be right, and they don’t like it when water runs away from the house, or something.

When my husband teases about getting a mobile home, I threaten divorce. But he may not be so crazy: when you own a mobile home, you own only the home and not the land under it so guess what, no real estate property taxes! Still, you have to rent the land, because the owner has to pony up the taxes, but you can pick up and leave when you think the rent, i.e. property taxes, are too high.

It’s kind of like living like a gipsy.

What got me thinking about this was a story on AOL about this $2.5 million (yes, I said million) mobile home in Malibu, Calif., that sure makes you think mobile home ownership may not be so bad after all. In fact, I think it kind of looks like a Case Study home.
Mind you, that’s $2.5 for the mobile home alone, not the land. The lot is available for rent for about $2000 per month.

We are talking 2300 square feet, 2-bedrooms, 2-baths,¬† perched on one of the best lots in Paradise Cove, a mobile home park atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Talk about exhilarating, there’s a full view of Santa Monica Bay.

Listing agent David Carter of Pritchett-Rapf & Associates told AOL Real Estate he’s sold four homes over two million — mobile — so no big deal.

Carter also told AOL the area, Paradise Cove, is an eclectic melting pot of residents, including “bohemians and artists looking for a relatively affordable way to enjoy priceless ocean views”, and of course access to Malibu’s pristine private beachfront. I mean, hey, it’s California. Of course, you could pony up for a home without an ocean view for between $300,000 and $600,000, which wouldn’t be bad for a second home. The problem is, you’d have to walk down to the beach to get your views.. or buy great paintings.

Still, great neighbors for building equity: the more traditional home listings further down the beach are asking $45 million and $55 million.

When you shop for a high-end car, do you pick the salesperson (and buy the car) because he or she had a vanity ad in some glossy magazine or on a billboard? Or do you buy because of the car and dealer? We have bought almost our all cars for years from Park Place because their service is so flawless you never want to try another dealer again, ever. Like, I wouldn’t buy a car they don’t sell, that’s how be smitten I am. Inman’s Agent ReBoot on Wednesday really woke up the 400- plus agents attending to the fact that more than ever, real estate is an internet-based business. The Realtor is still necessary, but just not the overpowering personality force of nature of times past.¬† Guess what’s selling the most houses? Telephones. In January, Americans looked at 3 homes per second on mobile apps. In February they looked at 9/sec, last month as the market heated consumers surfed over 27 homes per second on the internet. On their phones! By 2014 mobile internet usage will overtake desktop. People today spend more time socializing on their phones — 2.7 hours — than they do watching TV. And increasingly, they use their phones to shop for homes while out driving or kicking the tires.

Shocker: when they are looking to buy a home, buyers they look for homes on the internet, not agents.

I think one of the things I love about Inman and ReBoot is how it deflates the Realtor’s ego bubble. (We are not talking about Dallas agents, of course, who are perfect.) If the internet has put house hunting back in consumer’s hands, it has also diminished the need for Realtors to poof themselves up as bigger than life celebrities who, in-between all their partying, fund raising, and photo ops on the red carpet, also happen to sell homes. One of the city’s top name agents says it best: realtors are employees who work for the people who hire them, not the other way around. Don’t ever forget it.

In case you do, Agent Re-Boot will remind you. Traditional branding is out; lifestyle branding is in. Think Apple & Starbucks branding — an environment. Harley Davidson is such a great brand people tattoo it on their arms! (Great Dallas RE examples: Nathan Grace and Clay Stapp.) Today’s real estate consumer cares about value and the experience, not whether you are the Hottest Agent in LA.

And how about this: 86% of people will pay more for a product if they really like it, even in a recession. Does that explain the i-pad phenomenon? Of course, then why are all the rich people buying real estate playing Bottom Feeder?

So here’s what we consumers can expect from Realtors who follow this tech recipe:¬† websites loaded with more video, because by 2013 video will consume¬† 90% of all consumer desktop traffic, 64% of all mobile traffic. YouTube has an audience of two billion and Americans now spend 15 minutes a day on YouTube — that time will only increase. They will end one of my serious pet peeves: using flyer boxes and tubes. Not only are those things ugly (and always full of bugs), they are usually empty. Sharp agents are using QR code technology so buyers can get the info on the home they are gazing at with loving eyes STAT. Because I swear, the next time I see an empty flyer box, I’m going to start posting the home for everyone to see.

It’s too pretty in Dallas to leave this weekend, and half the town’s away on spring break anyhow. I think it feels a bit like Carmel By-the-Sea, CA, which has the best House Porn in the whole wide world. This is Hansel House, aptly named, one of the sprinkling of Victorian and other whimsical homes that have helped make Carmel such a museum of charming, beautiful homes.

Beautiful comunities start with thoughtful developers. James Franklin Devendorf was a San Francisco attorney who created Carmel as a haven for artists and intellectuals. What came first, the art or the money? Like any great land lover, Devendorf and his partner, developer Frank H. Powers, saw dollar signs in the sea-sprayed terrain.  The two established the Carmel Development Company, which filed its first map of the city in 1903 and marketed to poets, writers, artists and academicians, who would create the kitschy ambiance the village retains today.

Green before it was even casually in vogue, Devendorf and Powers planted 100 cypress trees in the barren potato patches along the coast and right down Carmel’s Main Street. Then they invited in the builders.¬† One of the first: a 16 year old from Utah named Michale J. Murphy.

Murphy built little Victorians, copies of houses in Utah. Murphy also began to add craftsman embellishments in the roofs and other handiwork.

In 1924, Hugh Comstock visited his sister in Carmel. He met Mayotta Browne, who made¬† rag dolls, and married her. As Mayotta’s business thrived, she needed more space and asked Hugh to build her a cottage to use as a doll showroom. Hugh was not a builder, or even an architect, but he designed and built a whimsical little cottage for her. People loved his intriguing little creations, and clamored for him to build them cottages or stores. The little cottages seemed to grow from the ground they rested on. Hugh purposefully did not use a carpenter’s level, so the lines were untrue and the chimneys crooked, giving them an authentic, hand-made feel.

Hugh built his own studio in 1927, inspired by an English country house. The exterior walls are stuccoed and trimmed with wood, irregularly carved, at cornices, windows and doors. The roof is steeply pitched with irregularly-cut shakes. The narrow, tall chalk-rock chimney has a Gothic pot.

Let’s talk about Carmel real estate as an investment. During the 1920s, architect J.R. Murphy designed and sold collectible Carmel houses for about $100, lot included. Some 90 years later, his houses are still collectible, but sell for way more than $100. Here’s a restored 1929 Murphy house across from Carmel Beach and a short stroll to town. Unobstructed ocean views from three levels retains the original mahogany doors, S & S tile, metalwork, hardware, fixtures & fireplaces. Interior surfaces, millwork, beams, floors, appliances & amenities are stunning with six bedrooms, each with a private bath, and many unique indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. There’s also an exercise pool, loggias and a protected courtyard with a fireplace & pizza oven. Spacious detached two car garage and generous off street parking are rarities in Carmel. 5435 Sq. ft. of living space. Price — are you ready? $15,000,000.