6615 Northport I tell my husband outright, “the garage is YOUR room and you can decorate it any way you want!”

This is truly an “Oh My God” home. Not only do you get a beautiful, has-everything-plus Preston Hollow estate east side of Preston Road — hello, St. Mark’s! — with stunning landscaping, five bedrooms including a circa 2013 remodelled master suite, five full and one-half baths, wine cellar, 38,000 gallon saltwater pool and spa, and all the finish out you could ever want and then some, you get a whole extra LOT next door. And this is not just a putting green, no sir. Here you will find a carriage house with 1500 square feet, including a full bath and bar/caterer’s kitchen because yes, this is a structure specially built as a giant party room that can also be converted without breaking a fingernail to temperature controlled storage for about six collector cars. There are three other garage bays for three more cars, which means, you could almost have a Pebble Beach or Amelia Island Concours de Elegance right here at 6615 NorthPort Drive, Dallas Texas USA.6615 Northport garage front

You may have noticed a trend: Garages rule. Where The Car Is King was the headline in a recent Wall Street Journal piece on the proliferation of million dollar plus garages running rampant in high net worth communities across the country.

Tim Wellborn’s two-story garage in Alexander City, Ala., spans 14,400 square feet and can fit 12 cars upstairs and six below. The walls are made of New Orleans brick, and the concrete floors are stained to look like stone. For entertaining, there’s a Cuban mahogany bar with granite countertops and an eight-seat theater.

Well, that’s a biggie but Tim Wellborn sure isn’t the only one. There are a handful of homes in Preston Hollow alone that have opted to buy the house next door, tear it down and build a garage structure large enough to hold either collector autos and a group of teenagers, or both, hopefully not at the same time. You can see this in action down Preston on DeLoache. Sometimes homeowners just want more yard and love their ‘hood so much they do not want to move and sell. More likely, they just want a fancy-ass garage with more room for the family cars, storage room for our ever-increasing stuff, and a place to store collectible cars.

Once seen as a catchall space to store bicycles, trash cans and lawn tools, garages are being rediscovered as the ideal place—who knew?—to park cars. Increasingly, many of these spaces are also becoming more lavish—loaded with high-end finishes and man toys, such as flat-screen TVs, underground car lifts and welding equipment. People are beginning to see that garages can be as cool as the rest of the rooms in the house,” says Lou DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Architects in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who has seen a 15% to 20% uptick in garage projects in the past five years.

This is no surprise to me, especially after having written about Dream Garage a few years ago when I was at D. To be honest, I pined for more garage space when my children were teenagers: 5 bays is what I wanted, one for each kid’s car and one for junk. And of course, former Dallas city councilman Mitchell Rasansky, who once represented the district Jennifer Staubach Gates just won, has a garage to end all garages in his Lobello Estates home: I swear you can eat off the floor in there.

According to the WSJ,  85% of all single-family homes in the U.S. have a garage, and 74% of homeowners with one say that parking cars is its most important use, this from Home Innovation Research Labs, a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders.

But one or two bays are not enough: of new homes built in 2011, 29% have a three-car or larger garage, according to Home Innovation Research Labs, the WSJ reported. The Shrinking Recessionary House and Garage my arse, huh? New garages are bigger with more bays, taller ceilings and toys, Ed Hudson, director of the market research division at Home Innovation Research Labs to the WSJ.

Men are still the primary users of garages, at 70% overall, and when it comes to  maintaining vehicles or working on projects,more than 90% of all garage users are men.

Heck, I tell my husband outright, “the garage is YOUR room and you can decorate it any way you want!”

And get this nugget: appraisers say a three-car garage can add about 2% to 3% to the resale value, or roughly $20,000 to $30,000 for a $1 million house.6615 Northport carriage interior

So keep that in mind when I tell you how much 6615-6607 Northport is: $2,895,000. But look, you get a 200 by 177 deep lot that is .81 of an acre, 6264 square ft of home, intercom & security system, outdoor sport court, 600 plus bottle wine cellar, top of the line everything, pool table room, home theater room, nautical guest bedroom, and a 1500 square foot carriage house that can be converted back to a, shall we say working garage, in less than a day. In 2006 the Seller bought the house next door at 6607 Northport for $675,000 and spent half a million at least on the carriage house, after spending $20,000 to remove the existing house and pool.  About three-quarters of a million has gone into the home in terms of landscaping, pool, window treatments, and upgrading/remodeling. So at $2,895,000 you are getting something for free here. Maybe it’s the pool, or part of the lot, or maybe it’s that Dream Garage. Small wonder that the listing has been shown wildly since hitting MLS on May 14… and I hear some of the lookers are car collectors who are revving their motors.

Vavroom! 6615 Northport family 6615 Northport wine 6615 Northport mbath 6615 Northport pool

 

For $2 million you can grab a Florida mansion for 50 cents on the dollar and maybe even brag to friends or tenants, “Osama Bin Laden MIGHT have slept here.”

It’s huge and sprawling and located just 50 miles outside of Orlando, Florida on State Road 50, but it’s also been vacant and abandoned since 9/11… creepy. (Here’s a local TV station’s look inside, even creepier.) There’s a mansion, carriage house and barn. It’s the former home of Khalil bin Laden, Osama’s brother, who owned the home for two decades, then got out of the country quick a week after the terrorist attacks. The 17-acre estate is now on the market for $2 million.

Which is a bargain.

The Realtor listing the property says the original investors have $4 million in it, so it’s basically going for 50 cents on the dollar.

The agent, Autumn Norris-Makin, says it’s not just the former owners that make this property unique — it’s the architectural detail which is unique for Florida. (I’ll bet!) People have apparently looked at the property as a potential bed and breakfast retreat. After all, it’s pretty close to Disneyland.

Hang on for more deets… this place is almost worth a quick trip to Orlando just to photograph.