9262 Peninsula Front

We love the Peninsula — a neighborhood just off the shores of White Rock Lake that features amazing architecture and fantastic views — and this home is a perfect example about why we love this place.

9262 Peninsula Living


At 9262 Peninsula you’ll find a Craftsman-style home built in 2006 that has a gorgeous cedar shake exterior and beautiful landscaping that feels so lush and private. This home, priced at $729,900, has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and some of the most beautiful oak trim that I have ever seen. It’s full of details that make the Craftsman architecture just pop.

9262 Peninsula Kitchen

The lower floor is open and spacious — a fabulous layout for entertaining — and the kitchen features beautiful cabinets and a spacious island. The countertops are granite and the appliances are stainless, which is what you’d expect. It’s the two-tone cabinetry that has my heart all a-flutter.

9262 Peninsula Den

The master bedroom has an adjacent den that is perfect for relaxing or having an out-of-the-way place for kids to stash their toys and do their homework. The suite itself isn’t overly large, but it’s a good size and has several windows to let in a breeze and filtered light from the canopy of trees surrounding the home.

9262 Peninsula Master

The master bath is just adorable. It’s a five-piece bath and has a cute checkerboard tile floor with his-and-hers vanities separated by the doorway — a novel layout if nothing else. I love the cabinetry and the soft colors, too.

9262 Peninsula Master Bath

Another fabulous selling point to this home is the screen porch. Of course, our summers can sometimes chip away at your will to live outside the comfort of air conditioning, but there are those precious weeks in spring and fall where you cannot imagine being anywhere else but outside, preferably with an icy beverage in hand. This screen porch is the perfect place to do that while keeping the mosquitoes (hey, you’re right next to White Rock Lake) at bay.

9262 Peninsula Screen Porch

This is just one of those homes that inspires, doesn’t it? If you’ve fallen in love with some of the details inside 9262 Peninsula, feel free to pin these photos to one of your Pinterest boards! I know I will! Want to see it all in person? This amazing home is open from 1 to 3 p.m tomorrow!

9262 Peninsula backyard

There are some amazing homes with incredible views in Heath, folks! The annual Heath Holiday Tour of Homes, which benefits the 2013 senior class at Rockwall Heath High School,  lets you check out some amazing homes in this spectacular small town.

The tour is today (Nov. 30), so if you want to attend, head over to Rockwall Heath High School to pick up your tickets. Want to go for free? The first person to shoot me an email gets two passes on the house!

Kristi Horton’s home is on this year’s tour schedule, and she graciously answered a few questions for CandysDirt.com.

CandysDirt.com: Hosting a home tour sometimes requires ample preparation. What did you do to get your home ready?

Kristi: I’m an interior decorator and my mother is a decorator for my parents’ furniture store in Louisiana. We love decorating and I love hosting friends at the house.  This presented a perfect opportunity to apply those decorating skills and resources and to prod my husband, Garon, into doing needed home maintenance!

CD: What is the most defining feature about the home? What do you love most?

Kristi: We were both raised in 100-year-old homes and specifically designed the house with that architecture in mind, which includes painted siding and antique brick, wood-trimmed and divided-pane windows, country simple interior trim and spacious porches.  Consistent with the historical home design, salvaged building materials were used wherever possible, including wood flooring salvaged from Buckner’s children’s home and antique dressers converted for a bathroom vanity. The doors and hardware were salvaged from old homes to give the house a historic appeal. We love the simple country feel of the place and hope that it conveys a warm and inviting feel to those who visit.

CD: I hear your home has a pretty interesting story about how it was built. Care to share it with our readers?

Kristi: When we purchased the place, there was a 40-year-old, 1,500-square-foot old farm home in the middle of 15 acres.  We renovated the farm house and lived there for four years (while our three kids were young) while saving money to add on. Wanting to be good stewards (others might translate that as just being cheap!), we couldn’t bring ourselves to destroy all of the old house.  So, in 2000 we added on the majority of the “new” house (including the two-story portion) with a portion of the old house still standing and attached.  New rooflines and creative design fairly disguise the “addition” and create a combination of old and new! (CD: And there’s a barn, too! CUTE!)

CD: Heath is a unique community. Did you choose to move to Heath for a particular reason?

Kristi: As our oldest was reaching school age, we prayed for God to guide us in making a home where we could best raise a healthy family in a community that reflected our values.  We believe that God led us to this community and we are blessed by the people, the size of the community, our church, the beautiful hills and pond near our house, the lake, the schools and the opportunity to work with and for our friends in a local business.

It is a rare quality to live in a small community of good people near a lake and big-city amenities with the beauty of rolling hills and combination of rural feel in an urban setting.  Heath is that unique place of rare quality!

CD: So, why should people purchase a ticket to this year’s home tour?

Kristi: Living in a time when it is rare to stop by and sit on a neighbor’s front porch and chat, the Heath Holiday Tour of Homes gives a neat opportunity to look inside and see how and where people live in our community.  The variety of styles of homes and decor is entertaining.  And, the proceeds benefit a great cause — the Heath Hawks Senior Class!  Go Hawks!

I am going to share an email from one of the producers of this weekend’s USA Film Festival (extraordinaire) :

“I really meant what I said about the quality of residential architecture in Dallas. Patty and I walked through Highland Park today, and then roamed the SMU campus. We were delighted to find such an array of truly beautiful properties. Having spent some time in Houston, I really underestimated what Dallas has to offer. No longer. Your city is a gem.”

No other home I can think of typifies this great compliment to our city like 11442 East Ricks Circle. OK, I’m a wee bit biased as this home is in my ‘hood and I walk by it’s glory every time I walk Bree on the Circle. This is a one-owner home, built brand spanking new and solid in 1990, and it has never been on the market. It is nestled in a grove of almost two acres on the creek side of Ricks, not too far from our other architectural gems. Hillcrest Estates, by the way, is one of the safest, quietest little nooks in Dallas. I know: I lived on Park Lane in the estate area and enjoyed the Dallas North Tollway as an urban waterfall for ten years. We call this the “quiet” estate area, both in terms of volume and culture. The noisiest thing here? The cicadas!  A cluster of about 112 homes off Northaven, we have the best Halloween parties, a serious police patrol and limited access. This beauty as designed by architect Paul Turney sports Early American and Federal, Colonial influences. Feel kind of like I’m at Harvard when I walk by. Or that cool Maryland house on the Potomac where they frolicked and played touch football in Wedding Crashers. It is light and bright from the dappled eastern sun exposure to the gentle western sunsets. There is exquisite panel woodwork, rare heart-of-pine and oak flooring, beautifully carved moldings and beams, marble, and a true European kitchen with rustic exposed brick, gourmet appliances, beautiful cabinetry and open patio areas. There are three living areas, a study, formals, crafts room, four bedrooms, four and a half baths, three-car garage and  huge pool with waterfall wall off the spa. The 1.950 hilly prime acres are heavily wooded, but a mosquito misting system keeps critters at bay.  Well, except for the raccoons and possum! The home is listed at $2,795,000 with Becky Frey at Briggs Freeman Sothebys. As producer Leonard Hill wrote me, we are so fortunate to have an array of truly beautiful properties in Dallas, and this one is a real gem! P.S: the home is 5822 square feet, sensibly sized for an estate property and does not swallow the lot. I think that’s the perfect size, don’t you?


We just returned from a spectacular weekend with friends Gary and Laurie Tipton at their beautiful home, “Tip’s Lodge” on Lake Cypress Springs. 

I want a lake house. Full disclosure: I’m looking at Beacon Hill, too, on Cedar Creek Lake. It’s a little closer in, and the developer is creating one of the most magnificent lake communities in the south. Stay very tuned!

This was our second trip out to Cypress Springs and the Tipton spread, which is an amazing, four-year old lake home perfectly located in a gated sub-division called Pine Manor right on the lake. (I must dig out photos of the kitchen — the stove is about 14 feet long! Gary Tipton is Capital Distributing’s customer of the century!) The driving time is about 2 hours according to Google, but I think we clocked less than that Friday night because there was little traffic heading east on I-30. Since we are in the midst of a drought, the lake was kind of low, especially near the shoreline, but the great thing about Cypress Springs is that the lake is spring fed, so it tends to have more water than other Texas lakes even in these bone-dry seasons. Those springs also give you little jets of cool water when you are swimming.

A word about Texas lakes: when I first moved to Texas, I was surprised to learn that every lake in the state except for Lake Caddo (on the Louisiana border) is a man-made lake. What’s the deal? Texas, someone once told me, has great drainage. When you see geography with lots of natural lakes, that’s a sign of poor drainage. So to preserve water, Texas made its lakes, all 170 of them, by damning up, digging deeper in low spots, and filling in with water.

Cypress Springs sits in a heavily wooded area near Mt. Vernon, in a town called Scroggins. Trivia: Warren Buffet owns Dairy Queen, and the DQ franchise in Mt. Vernon there on I-30 is the third busiest DQ in the entire country! This is east Texas piney woods. The developers who dug the lake in the early 1970’s sold the timber that they had to clear cut, creating a spectacular space for water sports: boating, skiing, blobbing, and my favorite, jet skis. Lake Cypress Springs is like Aspen or Pebble Beach in this regard: many wealthy people live there — 90% of the homes are vacation homes — and thus the real estate never dips much, tends to hold its value.

“It’s a boutique lake,” says Gary Tipton. “There are only 3700 acres, so there are fewer houses around it.”

Which makes it more exclusive. And while realtors say prices dipped last year, you might find some bargains but few short sales or foreclosures here. This is a very social lake. The lake is serpentine-shaped, meaning you can see your neighbor’s home across the water, almost like living on a river. We waved to auto dealer Rusty Wallis and his family, they pulled their boat on up and came over for a drink. That’s how life flows at Lake Cypress Springs. Gary, who was once a federal bank examiner, spent years on the road all over East Texas where he saw the prettiest towns and natural features of the region. The key to Cypress for him was the neat, pretty little towns nearby — places like Mt. Vernon, the home of Dallas football great Don Meredith, Scroggins and Winnsboro.

The Tiptons bought a house at Cypress in 2002. Gary says he spent two years looking at houses and locations on the lake and zeroing in on his specific desires in a lake house. At the time, he wanted at least 3500 feet but there were few large homes of that size available or even existing. Mt. Vernon Realtor Myra Marr finally found him a home that was not on the market — a Lewisville physician’s lake place, who actually had seller’s remorse when he realized his kids had grown up at the Cypress lake house. The Tipton’s bought it (quickly) because it was a double lot. The home had a stick foundation, so down it came to build the seven-bedroom plus spread we enjoy now with boat docks and outdoor kitchen plus fire pit.

“The secret is how beautiful it is out here during the winter months, especially in the fall, ” says Gary.

You may not go swimming or jet-skiing, but you can light a fire outside and just enjoy the air.

I need to get back there in September, I guess, to give you a full report!

Who has second homes on Lake Cypress Springs? Former CBS Channel 11 news anchor Tracy Rowlett and his family; auto dealer Rusty Wallis; John Wilson; Max Williams; Gil Besing of Cardinal Capital; Mike Rose (sells GulfStreams); Mark Andrews CEO Net IQ; Chris and Kelly McGuire (Cypress Equities); Marc Sparks, venture capitalist; Bob Mohr, real estate; Bobby Ray, home builder.

Waterfront restrictions: None (although it is a lease-hold property, meaning the county owns the land, and you lease it for a nominal fee)

Lookie at this beauty, reduced to $795,000. I think I’m in love!

All the second homes in Destin, Port Aransas or Pebble Beach could not pull me away from next Saturday’s Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society‘s Spring home tour. That’s April 2, 2011, from 10 am – 4 pm. The owners of six gloriously historic and architecturally significant Park Cities homes will toss open their doors to all House Candy lovers. The homes are: 4236 Armstrong Parkway, 4809 Drexel Drive, 4308 Stanhope, 4200 Shenandoah, 7715 Turtle Creek Blvd. and 3830 Windsor Lane, pictured here. Even better, get your shopping fix in: during the home tour, there will be a boutique at the 4809 Drexel Drive, Highland Park, home, featuring preferred vendor items. The Home Tour is open to the public and tickets are available now.

In fact, I have two more tickets to get in two MORE lucky readers FREE!!! But first, you’ll have to answer trivia question #2, piece of cake:

Who were: Hal Thomson, Art Swain, Charles Dilbeck, Will Scott Richter, George Reynolds, Jr. and Wilson McClure?

Get the correct answer in the comments fast and¬†furiously, I’ll deliver two tickets to your door!

Beacon Hill

Barrons is bragging how they called it: the second home market has bottomed, and the rich are out swooping up the bargains. Prices of high-end second homes have sunk, some as low as 40%. And Barrons lists the top second home markets in the US. Sea Island, Georgia was rated number one. Next comes Maui, The Hamptons, Aspen, Martha’s Vineyard, Lake Tahoe, Kiawah Island, S.C., Palm Beach, Pebble Beach, Greater Palm Springs, Sun Valley, Bray’s Island Plantation, Lake Geneva (where I used to go as a Chicago kid), and Ashville, N.C. The Barrons report (not sure if sub. req.) tells why these places are so glorious, and lists average prices like $2.5 to $4 million. With prices and places like these, no wonder readers got ticked off — check the comments!

Here’s the deal, and one of the many reasons why I started this blog. Second home ownership is totally affordable. I repeat: you do not have to be a zillionaire to own a second home. Like anything, it sure helps. But you can buy second homes for right around a million or less. $150K to $500K even.

I agree the bottom has hit the second home market, and the rich are buying. I will add some are striking deals and paying cash. Today I had lunch with Andrew Hadley, Director of sales and marketing at Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is a beautiful community on Cedar Creek Lake, which I call the Pebble Beach of Dallas, and it’s only 45 minutes away.

And totally affordable.

Here’s the deal: the rich always set the pace. But second home ownership on a way less than $2.5 million basis is out there, and many communities are within driving distance of Dallas, Austin and Houston.

Beacon Hill plans a state of the art jetty-protected marina, floating boat slips, decked-out party rooms, deck space, boat launch, and a sandy beach. Party rooms will be veritable sports bars, with multiple flat-screen televisions, bars, and private owner storage. Construction is using ocean-grade specs. Lots start at $125,000.

Andrew, who has practically worked all his life in second home sales — he worked in chi chi Aspen, too — tells me people want affordable second homes. Couple to three thousand square feet, no giants. Lock and leave. Cedar Creek is really popping — I plan to live out there this summer. There’s the 505 Cedar Creek Ranch Club — 56 waterfront home sites, archery, skeet shooting, ATV, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping and future polo field. Home sites start at $295,000.

Cinnamon Shores, down in Port Aransas: get a house for $525,000.

The Reserve at Summit Rock plans a 50-home, golf-front development overlooking Summit Rock Golf Course, a soon-to-be-completed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The Reserve at Summit Rock fronts holes 17 and 18 of the course, which will be owned and operated by the Horseshoe Bay Resort and is expected to be ready for play by May 2011. Oh and some of the homes will be Jack’s “Signature” houses. Casitas, none larger than 3000 square feet.

You want to talk townhomes and condos, talk to me. Gulf Shores Alabama is a fire sale right now. I’ll bet you could pick up a beach condo there for $125,000. Or less. A friend with a condo in Watercolor is building a home in the area, South Walton, Florida. These people are professionals who have certainly worked hard and educated their kids and now want to have a place where family can gather as they wind down working. Maye it’s a future retirement home. Maybe they’ll create a family vacation compound so the kids and grandkids can go there long after mom and pop are gone and remember the old geezers with fondness.

People have been escaping to second homes for centuries, But now second homes are not just for the uber rich.

A Muksego, Wisconson couple fed up with the housing market are now trying to sell their vacation home north of Chicago by fractionalizing it. The 1,800-square-foot ranch which they bought in 1999 is a 1950’s era on a three-acre¬†island in¬†Little Muskego¬†Lake, pictured here. Now they want the cash out for another project so instead of letting the home languish on the market, they are selling twelve shares to nine owners, who would each pay $69,900¬† for¬†a one-twelfth share, which¬†amounts to one week per quarter.¬†The Sauers would¬†own some of the shares, and the house would be rented out on major holidays, such as Memorial Day, 4th of July week, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve, to cover the property’s expenses.

The property’s title would be held by a limited liability company, with the owners owning shares of that company, Sauer said.

Fascinating. I’m going to dig on this one. The area is very hot as a second¬† home destination for the Chicago area, and I think this is a great example of how the market will prevail during tough economic times!

1. Second home trends: Affluent Baby Boomers will retire later and downsize from their large McMansions for which utilities and taxes have become prohibitive, to smaller homes, maybe condos,¬† in the city and a second home — in the cheaper boonies, or in another city. Just last night a reader emailed me that his biggest dream is to own a second home condo in Quebec! Cripes, even Disney is getting into this market.

2. According to a study by E360 Global Research, 45% of current second home owners think now is a great time to buy a second home. Of those, Mexico has a strong pull for almost half — and this survey was done in August, 2010. The drug cartel crime in Mexico is isolated to certain areas, they believe.

3. Of the 54% who say now is not a good time to buy a second home, most say the next two years will be. E360 (who provided much of this information) expects big growth in the second home markets surrounding highly populated areas.

4. Most people want a second home as a vacation haven to de-stress. Most prefer a lake or ocean view, with a mountain view coming in second. North Carolina, for example, is one of the fastest-growing second home destinations.

5. What kinds of amenities are second home buyers looking for? Good question. To some extent, they want great medical facilities (resuscitate me!) and a spa. Golf and eco-green based living also does not turn them on. I’ve read that many want to re-live their college years, with classes and intellectual stimulation (and pot?) nearby. Boulder, Colorado is home to a lot of intelligent people and gaining a large second home population, for example.

6. Pricing sweet spot: $200,000 to $400,000 and pay cash, if possible. I mean, those 401Ks are doing so well, right?

7. Vacation and lifestyle are the reason 46% want to buy; another 41% want to buy for investment. Only 11% give a rat’s tooshie about retirement.

8. 49% of second home buyers want a single family home, and 60% just want a 2 bedroom, 2 bath floor plan.

9. 49% of second home purchasers will buy domestically, but a growing contingent is eying Mexico and¬† Central America — Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama — as a low-cost of living second home and place to retire.

10. The second home won’t be too close to the first: 30% of buyers want to be 100 to 300 miles from their primary home; 40% want to be 500 to 1000 miles from the primary home; 11% are willing to be more than 1000 miles away from the primary home.