This summer, Leigh Ann Barrick joined Engel & Voelkers’ Southlake office after spending the past 11 years as one of Keller Williams’ top sellers.

“As much admiration as I have for Keller Williams and where I’ve been, I think it was time for me to grow and learn some new things, and this was a great opportunity,” she said.

One of the biggest advantages for her was the fact that Engel & Voelkers has a presence in Georgia’s Golden Isles. Barrick grew up in St. Simons Island, Georgia, before her former job at American Airlines brought her to North Texas. These days she spends about 70 percent of her time in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the rest in Georgia.

“I found now that after 20 years in real estate, a lot of my clients are looking for a second home, a vacation home or an investment, so Engel & Voelkers made sense to me,” she said. “They are also involved in things like aviation and yachting, which makes sense with my airline background.”

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Enough with the salt.

Regardless of your definition, the world got worse in many ways this past year. While many large problems seem out of our control to fix or influence, there are several things we can all do to make me feel better. Yes, me. In this season of giving, what have you done for me?  If you’re still looking for my belated present, there are still a few items from my gift registry that weren’t in my stocking this year.

Stop Pouring Salt In My Wound

I can’t be the only person who likes caramel – that magical concoction of sugar and milk. Making caramel from scratch is less simple than you’d imagine but with a reward unimaginably tasty. So why has the world gone mad tossing salt into the mix? Stop it. Caramel doesn’t need the help.

I get the whole salty/sweet thing, but not in caramel. Feel free to dip pretzels, chips, or blocks of salt in chocolate, but leave caramel the hell alone.

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10245 Strait Lane ext

Here is yet another indicator of our hot, hot real estate market even in the double-million dollar price range. And it’s a good example of how our economy is feeding the real estate frenzy for the One Percent. The merger of U.S. Airways with American Airlines has brought a whole slew of high-end buyers to Dallas, and any agent with a home over about five million is polishing up their portfolio.

Remember this gorgeous spec home on Strait Lane, built by the wondrous Sharif-Munir Uncustomary Homes, almost 20,000 square feet in three stories on a one acre lot loaded with mature trees? It was built as a spec home to only set you back $12 million —well, just $11,750,000?

Well, one of the new executives from American Airline’s merger with U.S Airways, just snapped it up for his family.

“The property was on the market for 10 and a half months,” Mickey Munir, CEO of Sharif & Munir Custom Homes Inc., told the Dallas Business Journal. “We were hoping it would’ve sold sooner, but the investors were happy. This was the only brand new house of its size and caliber on the market.”

Strait Lane Living
Strait Lane Kitchen
Strait Lane Master Bath
Strait Lane Bar
Strait Lane Wine Cellar
Strait Lane Living 2

This home is spectacular, one of my all-time favorites. I think the kitchen is probably the best in Dallas and that granite cannot be duplicated nor found anywhere. The 14,429 square foot home has five bedrooms, seven full and four half baths, formals and more formals, a full basement loaded (to put it mildly) with a with a theater, fitness room, wet bar, wine cellar, den and exits to a sunken courtyard with a covered sitting area and a water feature that flows from the pool and spa above. Including the sunken covered verandas and garages, there’s a whopping 19,184 square feet under one roof. Every room is loaded with detailed hyper-vigilant quality from the construction to the trim, paint, baby’s butt-smooth wall finishes, flooring and granites which are some of the most rare in the world. This is a home for entertaining! The gourmet kitchen features a giant center island with a veggie sink, 8-burner range with pot filler and warming drawers.

Come to think of it, I think Mickey told me the kitchen granite may be one of a kind in the world! It’s from The Granite Shop, “Super White” on the perimeter, and “Matrix Brushed” on the island. And I am drooling over HER master bathroom and vanity with the giant soaking tub, walk-in shower, water closet (i.e. potty) with a bidet and a cavernous wardrobe with a center island packing table. Marble, marble everywhere! This is just the way Mickey and Michael Munir build homes. And I think this house is really their finest moment!

Like I said, this Strait Lane prize is definitely one of the largest homes in Dallas au currant, and was one of the priciest on the market. It was built for a major league star… who will feel right at home with all the other stars of Strait Lane:  Ross Perot, Dirk Nowitzki, Phil Romano (well, one of his homes) and Brint Ryan. I’m told the buyers, who are moving here from Phoenix, had their hearts set on another listing (one of Erin Mathews’) on Meadowood, but that last minute legal hiccup with the AAL-US Air merger kind of nixed that deal. Besides, they fell head over heels in love with THIS house.

Candace Carlisle at the Dallas Business Journal reports that the buyers paid $10.5 for the home. And you know what? She’s actually RIGHT!

Note: an earlier version of this post with the buyer’s name appeared on February 28, but was removed Saturday afternoon due to what were, in our opinion, a proliferance of mean and vicious comments. That’s not our style on CandysDirt. We decided to re-post and remove the owner’s names, though all information is public record.