Britannia GroupWhen two Brits get together — each with impressive track records in the real estate market — you can rest assured that their combined market knowledge is a powerful force.

That is very much the case now that Mark Godson and Catherine Thorpe-Lambert have joined forces with Compass Real Estate to form The Britannia Group, combining their decades of experience with what they felt was Compass’ unparalleled Realtor support system.

“We each bring different things, different strengths, and together we are an encyclopedia of knowledge,” Godson said. “I know Dallas and I know the Park Cities  customers like the palm of my hand.”

“I’m up in Argyle, which is semi-rural, and I think people tend to move out here for a little bit more land, a little bit more space, and obviously it’s completely different from the high rises and the close quarters in Highland Park,” said Thorpe-Lambert. “But it’s a really exciting time in Argyle because, in addition to our famous estate and horse properties, we now do have several new subdivisions being developed.”

Together, The Britannia Group is focusing attention on what they call the “Town and Country” properties — properties in uptown, downtown, Turtle Creek and Park Cities, but also those estates and horse properties in Argyle and semi-rural Denton County.

In addition to a network that stretches from the U.K. to Palm Springs, the two agents cumulatively have years of design and remodeling experience as well, which means they can help sellers with every aspect of selling a home, including staging and marketing.

Originally from London, Godson is licensed in both California and in Dallas, where he’s had seven years and 26 years of experience, respectively. He’s worked with some of the top brokerage firms in Dallas, and has sold some of the best, and priciest,  dirt in the Park Cities: two mansions on Rheims Place, including the Worthington Estate, and one on University Boulevard he sold to a prominent Dallas family the first day he listed it. He has sold several homes in Greenway Parks, Uptown, Preston Hollow and even downtown Dallas.

He’s lived in the U.S. for almost 30 years, primarily in Palm Springs and Newport Beach, California, and in Dallas. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design from Chelsea School of Art, is a Grade II UK-approved remodeler in England, and the recipient of several awards, including a Restoration Award.

“My background is in interior design and restoration and that’s what got me to the U.S. many, many years ago,” Godson said. “I was brought in to consult on an estate in Highland Park.”

“I’ve done some amazing houses in the Park Cities — taken older homes and painstakingly and lovingly restored them. A lot of them are still standing, which is kind of cool that what we did probably kept them from being bulldozed down. Homes are the historical footprints of a society.”

Godson said that the duo’s background in restoration has been most attractive to sellers, too.

“I think also my knowledge of restoration and reviving older homes makes me a more in-demand agent. We’ve got a fantastic 1930s Spanish house coming up sometime this year which is incredible, by the way — that’s been restored to the max,” he says. ”I think that’s why owners choose to use us, because they know that we understand restoration. I think that gives them a better feel, our knowing what goes into restoring a home both from a pricing perspective as well as purchase. Because in England we don’t tear down houses, we restore them.”

That mutual love of restoration and real estate actually brought the two agents together in the first place.

“So my background is in restoration, and I used to buy a house, redo it, and then sell it. And that’s how we met — I built a house, and Catherine bought it,” he added.

Thorpe-Lambert has three decades of experience buying, selling, and renovating homes in Park Cities, Lakewood, Argyle, Bartonville, and even along the coast of Maine.  She decided to become a Realtor, and then partner with Godson.

Born in England, she was trained as a podiatrist, graduating from the University of Huddersfield, School of Podiatry. The U.S. has been home for almost 30 years now, and Thorpe-Lambert currently lives in Argyle with her family.

A lifetime equestrian who rides through Grand Prix Dressage, she is also well versed in what horse owners (or potential horse owners) are looking for when they desire equestrian-friendly properties.

“Well that’s primarily why I moved out there, because I’ve been around horses my entire life, and have ridden for years and years,” Thorpe-Lambert told us. “For a while, I owned my own boarding, training, and dressage facility.  And I did training as well. And with its sandy loam soil, Argyle was the perfect place to call home for my family and my horses.”

Sandy loam soil? Godson and Thorpe-Lambert know their inventory from the dirt up, quite literally. Both believe potential clients will see the combined British force as an asset when it comes to buying and selling homes.

“We have a great history together, we work well together, we bring a lot of knowledge to the table,” Godson said. “That’s why we’re the Britannia Group.”

Each partner has worked with numerous brokerages over the years, so why choose Compass for their new partnership? (more…)

Building Homes for Heroes

All photos: Building Homes for Heroes

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Randy Nantz joined the military shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, at the age of 33. He wanted to join and serve his country before he reached the maximum age limit for army enlisted recruits at 35.

A father of two young children at the time, Sgt. Nantz quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a member of the prestigious United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets, at age 39.

In 2006, his team was on a routine reconnaissance mission in Iraq when their Humvee was struck by an explosive device. Sgt. Nantz suffered third-degree burns throughout his body and nerve damage in both legs. His left leg would later be amputated.

He underwent surgery in Iraq, and was transported to the San Antonio Military Medical Center, where he spent 35 days in the ICU burn unit, and underwent additional surgeries, including the amputation.

Building Homes for Heroes, a national nonprofit organization that builds and modifies homes, and gifts them mortgage-free to wounded veterans and their families, will be building a home for Sgt. Nantz in Argyle, a city in Denton County with about 3,200 residents.

(more…)

12780 Hilltop Front

This place was built to be shown off. If you need convincing of this fact, I point you to the unbelievable second-floor bar and billiard at 12780 Hilltop in Argyle. It’s like Boston’s famous Bull and Finch Pub (Cheers, if you watch the TV show) without the weird smell and surly barmaids.

12780 Hilltop Man Cave:Bar

Seriously, every photo of this home is better than the last. I couldn’t stop myself! So yes, this house is beautiful and has every single thing you’d want to throw the most amazing parties.12780 Basement Wine Cellar

This incredible home, marketed by none other than Vanessa Andrews of Hoffman International, this Napa-inspired chateau is on the market for $11 million. The property includes 50 sandy loam acres in the Denton County suburb of Argyle. Just 20 minutes away from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, this estate is both secluded and accessible, thanks to the oak trees that buffer the main house from the rest of the world.

12780 Hilltop Private Lake

The estate includes a private lake, a wonderful barn, an arena, and a detached garage that has room enough for all your motors with a second floor conference area. Designed by architect John Hall, this amazing estate was completed in 2009 by Kindred-Pecchi builders. The main house totals 12,205 square feet, which includes the guest apartment that is big enough to host an overnight guest or two quite comfortably.

12780 Hilltop Guest Apartment

I love all of the warm materials used on this home. The exterior features a Samaca slate roof and brown Ozark dry-stack stone with gorgeous climbing vines. Inside you’ll find Venetian plaster, soft wood trim, tin tile ceiling in the “man cave,” and beautiful honey-colored hardwood floors.

12780 Hilltop Library

The backyard is just as amazing, with an infinity-edge saltwater pool with views of the private lake, the pastures, and beyond. Come summer, I’m sure this area gets mighty crowded. There’s plenty of room to entertain guests, too, considering the oversized patio and enclosed loggia.

12780 Hilltop Backyard

And if you own horses, this property has both an amazing barn and arena. I love how this estate has brought the outdoors in and the comforts of indoors to the outside. What do you love most about this incredible home?

12780 Hilltop Barn

 

12780 Hilltop Wine Cellar Stairway 12780 Hilltop Living 12780 Hilltop Master Bath 12780 Hilltop Garage:Conference area 12780 Hilltop Garage 12780 Hilltop Conference 12780 Hilltop Kitchen 12780 Hilltop View

12780 Hilltop Front

This place was built to be shown off. If you need convincing of this fact, I point you to the unbelievable second-floor bar and billiard at 12780 Hilltop in Argyle. It’s like Boston’s famous Bull and Finch Pub (Cheers, if you watch the TV show) without the weird smell and surly barmaids.

12780 Hilltop Man Cave:Bar

Seriously, every photo of this home is better than the last. I couldn’t stop myself! So yes, this house is beautiful and has every single thing you’d want to throw the most amazing parties.12780 Basement Wine Cellar

This incredible home, marketed by none other than Vanessa Andrews of Hoffman International, this Napa-inspired chateau is on the market for $11 million. The property includes 50 sandy loam acres in the Denton County suburb of Argyle. Just 20 minutes away from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, this estate is both secluded and accessible, thanks to the oak trees that buffer the main house from the rest of the world.

12780 Hilltop Private Lake

The estate includes a private lake, a wonderful barn, an arena, and a detached garage that has room enough for all your motors with a second floor conference area. Designed by architect John Hall, this amazing estate was completed in 2009 by Kindred-Pecchi builders. The main house totals 12,205 square feet, which includes the guest apartment that is big enough to host an overnight guest or two quite comfortably.

12780 Hilltop Guest Apartment

I love all of the warm materials used on this home. The exterior features a Samaca slate roof and brown Ozark dry-stack stone with gorgeous climbing vines. Inside you’ll find Venetian plaster, soft wood trim, tin tile ceiling in the “man cave,” and beautiful honey-colored hardwood floors.

12780 Hilltop Library

The backyard is just as amazing, with an infinity-edge saltwater pool with views of the private lake, the pastures, and beyond. Come summer, I’m sure this area gets mighty crowded. There’s plenty of room to entertain guests, too, considering the oversized patio and enclosed loggia.

12780 Hilltop Backyard

And if you own horses, this property has both an amazing barn and arena. I love how this estate has brought the outdoors in and the comforts of indoors to the outside. What do you love most about this incredible home?

12780 Hilltop Barn

 

12780 Hilltop Wine Cellar Stairway 12780 Hilltop Living 12780 Hilltop Master Bath 12780 Hilltop Garage:Conference area 12780 Hilltop Garage 12780 Hilltop Conference 12780 Hilltop Kitchen 12780 Hilltop View