This is one of those Dallas homes worth dropping your fingernail file for. In fact, 1905 Old Orchard is worth dropping about 1,000.

Are we in Pebble Beach? We are right here in Dallas, but in Stevens Park Estates, one of the best neighborhoods in town that has always been a bit of a secret. A good secret where neighbors live, work, and play just minutes away from Bishop Arts District, downtown Dallas, and Uptown.

First of all, it is a very close-knit community: some neighborhood associations have meetings, Stevens Park has “First Friday” happy hours. There is a “toddler park” for kiddos and an annual Easter Egg hunt that has evolved into a full-fledged party over the years. Forget Swiss Avenue, there are more Halloween trick-or-treaters (and better treats) in this area than any ‘hood south of I-30. If you borrow an egg from a neighbor, that egg will be freshly hatched from a backyard chicken. Everyone knows everyone’s pets and kids and in the most iconic blend of artists and intellectuals, the kids roam, playing freely from house to house until it’s time for bed. I have even heard of summertime camp-outs under the stars, reading and bridge groups in this ‘hood. And if you or someone in your family likes golf, well swing the clubs across the street at the Stevens Park Golf Course or ride your bike or take a run along the paved trail.

Life is very, very good in Stevens Park Estates.  (more…)

2707 State Street, home of Patricia and Curtis Meadows

I’m about to give you the dirt on this State Thomas treasure. You’ll be waiting to hear how it was built around the turn of the century, updated in the mid fifties and then eighties, right? The State Thomas neighborhood contains the largest collection of Victorian-era homes remaining in Dallas. Known as Freedman’s Town, it was created immediately after Emancipation (as in the Civil War) as a separate settlement adjacent to the town of Dallas — adjacent, but not in it. By the close of Reconstruction in 1874, Freedman’s Town was incorporated into Dallas, bustling with about 500 citizens.

The area is rich with history in a town where you really have to turn up stones to find it. In 1986, State Thomas was established as a Special Purpose District, making it an urban peripheral of downtown Dallas. It was christened Uptown. The area would soon become one of the most bustling urban success stories in the country, loaded with downsizing baby boomers and energetic millennials coming in as fast as they could.

In 1986, not one of their peers was nearby. In fact, they were still opening garage doors in the Park Cities, Preston Hollow and North Dallas. But State Thomas was exactly where Curtis and Patricia Meadows wanted to settle for their retirement. (more…)

You have seen this house. You have seen the horse bust on the wooden picket gate, the white-washed, slurried brick, and the thick mane of overgrown wisteria that made you want to go home and give your plants super food.

(Perhaps you have even snipped off a stem?)

You have gazed at it when you were on Preston Road northbound, the red light grounding you long enough to take in the four corners at University. But I guarantee you, Santa Clause could be on one of those corners in August and you would not see him. The only thing you or anyone ever sees is 4100 University. The home is one of the few remaining original Dilbeck duplexes in UP. It is like a little country cottage camouflaged by rich shrubbery that, even before I knew what a Dilbeck was, drew me into a love affair with this house.

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While I, too, love midcentury modern homes, dealing with the details involved with restoring an older residence doesn’t thrill me. Truly, I’d prefer midcentury lines and feel with the assurance of new construction. That’s just what Virginia Cook Realtor Ed Murchison has listed, all wrapped up in the finishes and feel that modern home buyers in Dallas desire. 

Designed by Josh Nimmo, this home was built as the residence of Dwellings AKC founder Alan Kagan. As Karen Eubank has told us, there’s nothing quite like the personal homes of builders, as these are the houses where you can find detail and value beyond your typical house. 

“Kagan is known for his high-quality, architect-designed modern homes featuring meticulous attention to detail,” Murchison said. Now extrapolate that and add in a dash of excellent location and you get 6035 Prospect Ave., a midcentury modern-inspired residence in walkable East Dallas.

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4313 purdue front

This darling doll house of a home — in University Park! —belongs to one of the most successful bloggers in Dallas, Cynthia Smoot of Oh So Cynthia! fame. It just came on the market and I know you will think this is a leftover April Fool’s joke but, really, 4,000 square feet for under $1.2 million it is!

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Northwood exteriorOne of the best things about campaigning for Dallas City Council is getting to see so many homes across my District, District 11. Oh oh the places I go, people I meet, houses I snoop into! We have some of the most amazing homes in Dallas and we have topography with a capital T!

Being a candidate is just the perfect fit for a House Porn Queen: every day brings me another wonderful neighborhood loaded with great homes!Brookridge ext rear

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Rear BCH-131 copy

Note: This property will be open Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm

There is a new standard of luxury in Old Preston Hollow, and Bella Custom Homes is leading it. This weekend is the unveiling — yes, unveiling, just like a painting — of Bella’s latest masterpiece of perfection: 4926 Deloache Avenue. This exquisite Italian Mediterranean estate is ideal for the discriminating buyer who has an eye for architectural perfection and loves unique touches in every nook and cranny of the house. And there are a lot of nook’s and crannies in this place: the more than 14,000 square foot estate flawlessly embraces traditional classic architectural elements with transitional styling and modern essentials, all the elements that modern buyers of luxury real estate want.

The builder, Tony Visconti, has delivered the undeliverable with the estate. You enter first through a custom iron front door into an impressive entry with 25- foot ceilings that soar. Check out each angle: large plaster crown molding is everywhere and perfect, and the floors are imported marble. (more…)

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One of my wildest dreams has been to market luxury real estate like this: “Try Before You Buy”.

We try on shoes, clothes, and test-drive cars. All of those are a hell of a lot cheaper than a home. But who gets to “try a house” to see if you really love it? Why not take it for a “test-drive” before you sign on the dotted? 

That is exactly what The Perry-Miller Streiff Group of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate the week before the election. They took 4920 Mangold Circle, lovely creekside cul de sac off Strait Lane, not too far from Jennifer Staubach Gates’ pad on Keyhole, not for a just a test drive, but a lifestyle test. It’s called Dwell Well. Exercise and lifestyle experts from Equinox came over to implement a very successful program they have been developing in other states: real-time workout sessions around the pool, fitness and health tips, and nutritional snacks in a private listed residence.

It’s called “Sweat-working”.

“This is how you would actually live in this setting,” says Christina Marshall, Director, Central Regional Marketing for Equinox.”This is a chance to interact with the home, maybe invite a few friends over, and see how it fits while you try out the high performance lifestyle.”

4920 Mangold Circle is definitely a high performance house, befitting of a relationship with the Equinox brand. In fact, Equinox is owned by Related Companies, a privately owned real estate firm in New York City with offices and developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, even Abu Dhabi. The company was founded by Stephen M. Ross in 1972. Under it’s belt are Oxford Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, SL Green Realty, The Blackstone Group and Equinox. Formidable siblings, real estate in the blood.

“Fitness is no longer just in the gym,” says Christina, “It’s in your life. We provide you an amazing place to come to in the community, but we also venture outside of our four walls to show how we practice our three pillars and incorporate it into busy lives.”IMG_1330 (more…)