Ahh beautiful Bluffview, a neighborhood prized for its hilly topography and 50-foot cliffs overlooking Bachman Creek. Known for stunning estate homes, topping sizable lots in a sophisticated, pastoral setting, Bluffview has become a hotspot for architects to showcase their talents.

This week we found the perfect Bluffview Splurge vs. Steal that puts the spotlight on this treasured Dallas neighborhood. Here we take a look at two Bluffview beauties, each with contemporary flair, and built to entertain, but with price points that are miles apart. Let’s compare and see what makes each home worth it.

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“I wanted to build a Spanish-classic-modern-style home that blended rustic wooden elements with sleek metal,” said  Juani Longhi. “From the moment I saw the property in Bluffview, I knew it was where I wanted to raise my family. This is truly my dream home.”

Longhi, who purchased the lot 15 years ago, spent six years planning and two years building this magnificent estate at 4512 Bluffview Boulevard. It was completed in 2013 and as is with life, opportunity knocks, you move across the country to dream new dreams, so Longhi’s  five-bedroom, five-bathroom dream home can now be your dream home.

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8626 Lakemont extLook high, look low, you will not know this house exists. But exist it does, like a Limestone Castle nestled in the heart of Bluffview. Hiding behind private automatic gates, this home is an amazing feat of architecture and style. It holds cabinetry and woodwork I have never seen the likes of. It’s also another one of those “are we really in Dallas, Dorothy?” homes. Or moments. Once you turn down that cobbled brick circular driveway and step up the stone steps leading to the front door, you feel more like you are in Beverly Hills. Or Santa Barbara.

Yes, 8626 Lakemont is Santa Barbara high and low, with almost obsessive attention to detail. Let me show you.

First of all, if I were to ask you to guess the age of this home, I know you would not be able to guess it. Ha! Maybe we should have a contest. Like a woman with perfect genes, HGH injections or a great plastic surgeon, this home belies its age. It was built in 1993, but with such taste and style it looks like a contemporary 2014 creation.

Of course, 1993 was not that long ago. The home was commissioned in 1993 by a west coast builder who is rumored to have built Gene Hackman’s estate in Pebble Beach and had experience building castles in Europe. The exterior is 100% limestone, which wraps into the interiors as well and is used in all molding trim, baseboard and ceiling. Every square inch of wall is Venetian plaster. Though the walls are not made of stone, they appear to be. Further, this is not just your average Venetian plaster.

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IHOTW 4341-Taos

If Bluffview is good enough for Yu Darvish, well, then it’s good enough for a whole lot of contemporary-loving peeps! That’s why the wonderful builders at LRO Residential Custom Builders chose Bluffview and a treed, woodsy half acre lot at 4341 Taos to build a pristine model of contemporary amazement. Really, it’s one of the few contemporary spec homes on the market in this area. Just completed,  this four-to- five bedroom, four full plus powder bath home has what every buyer craves: both a master & guest suite on the first floor.

In fact, if you provided a list of what today’s buyer wants in a home, 4341 Taos is like the check-off list:

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I cannot think of a better place for your Easter egg hunt than this lush lush LUSH backyard oasis snuggled away over at 4612 Watagua in Bluffview. Well maybe not snuggled: the home is actually on a ridge, has great topography and I felt like I was back in the hills of Napa! I know they say the Hill Country begis in Oak Cliff, but sometimes, when I’m in Bluffview, I think it starts right there. Built in 2000, this 7863 square foot home has gone through three owners all of who have added more, more and more to make it perfect. Great example: The Casita, built by current owners/sellers in 2007, which rests along the eastern edge of the site. It has a living area, powder bath plus fully appointed bath with double lavatory, IT’S OWN LAUNDRY FACILITY! How cool is that, guestst can do their own laundry or snack up in the efficiency kitchen. Even better: a Juliette balcony overlooks the front grounds while the dining area looks over a terraced outdoor banquette and the croquet lawn. I am going to ask if I can buy The Casita and just live there!

We begin with the pool and flowers all around the deck because that is where we want to be right now, Mimosa in hand and someone serving more.

The home was built in 2000,  and boasts one of the most beautiful landscapes designed  by the owner and Harold Weidner. And who might that owner be? Finance baby, finance. You will spend as much time as possible outdoors here, which is the point. Inside, you’ve got five bedrooms,  four full and two half baths, and everything. EVERYTHING: a central foyer leads to the Great Room, which opens to the South Portico and the gardens, also a focal viewpoint from the dining room and family/media room. Check out the richly panelled library, with real bookcases (and books!) adjacent to the foyer. The kitchen is on high name brand appliance steroids: Thermador professional six top gas range with oven, Thermador electric and micowave ovens, SubZero full refrigerator & freezer, gleaming stainless sink, twin Bosch dishwashers, prep island with two Sub Zero refrigerator drawers and vegetable sink. There is a walk in pantry,  breakfast room and even the kitchen has it’s own half-bath.

The master is upstairs with a balcony overlooking the magnificent almost 1.3 acre manicured grounds, and the spa bath is outrageous.  Baths are beautifully appointed and closets are generously scaled. Up here are also four more bedrooms, two with en suite baths, two share a bath (shh, don’t tell!). Now here is a really great addition: not only is the oversized laundry room upstairs here, so is The Wrapping Room! You would think that hauling said wrapped gifts downstairs and out to the five-car garage might be your exercise for the day, particularly if the gift you haul is say, a stratolounger? But fear not: whoever lives in this house can just meander down to an exercise room and television nook down a secondary staircase.

Outdoors is of course the overachiever’s gardens, the Portico with outdoor fireplace, a Grotto with yet another outdoor fireplace and flowers, flowers everywhere! Touring this house is worth it for the sweet scents alone. I had been at the Far Niente Winery in Oakville, CA just a week ago and marvelled at the gardens created by the owner of Far Niente, Gil Nickel, who hailed from Oklahoma and whose family was in the nursery business. When I got to 4612 Watauga, I really thought I had returned and was expecting a glass of Dolce. Asking $5,750,000. The home sold for $3,550,000 in 2005 prior to many additions and upgrades. It was listed for $6,395,000 last year, so this is actually an amazing price because not one petal or vineyard could be replicated for $700 a square foot.

Far Niente Winery Oakville, CA

There I go again: this home is just the wine country of Napa in Dallas!

 

We have so many things to be happy about this great Monday morning! The Cowboys won — beat San Francisco YES — it rained so much I’ve turned off the sprinklers, and this amazing Bluffview/Devonshire new home is our million dollar sale of the week. 

But guess what? The seller is so motivated, the home is NOW EVEN LESS THAN A MILLION! Try $ 899,999. Slash more than two hundred thousand dollars off that original 2008 price on 4615 Elsby.

This is a home that was listed for $1.1 million in 2008, then leased for a few years. The tenants went bye-bye because their lease was up and now the sellers are S.E.R.I.O.U.S. Probably have never been more serious in their life to sell. The design is Italian Mediterranean, a very California feel,  custom home built by Alexander Hunt Distinct Homes. 4432 square feet with four bedrooms, four and a half baths. Love the  hand-carved front door with security camera — don’t be naughty out here! This home has a ton of extras that will just tear out your heart: wood-paneled ceiling in living, wood-paneled library with shelves — I hate walking into a room called the library that has no shelves, don’t you? 

The kitchen has, amazingly, three hand- battered copper sinks & all Thermador Pro SS appliances. Perfect time to buy for the great outdoor living this home:  fireplace & built-in kitchen right outside. The home is also a technological as well as ecological genius: A built-in LCD screen in living room (so cool) monitors house status like the dash on a McLaren. Imported stone façade, Marvin wood windows — MARVIN! —  custom millwork everywhere, gameroom with wetbar and fridge, media room, Monier LifeTile roof, insulated plumbing pipes, wine closet, 14 seer HVAC, energy star rated. Even this past August the total electric/water/gas bills average d$250. I kid you not!

P.S. The vacant lot next door is for sale as well. Can be added to this sale, making the new lot much bigger — a 100 by 150 total, certainly not too big for this neighborhood.

Great house, and I’m loving that price!