This 4,491-square-foot Castle Hills home at 2308 King Arthur Blvd. is made for relishing in long Independence Day weekends: a Fourth of July neighborhood parade in the morning, sipping tea (literally or metaphorically) on your back patio in the afternoon, and food trucks and fireworks at the Village Shops that night. This five bedroom, four and half-bath two-story home is listed for $750,000 by Russell Rhodes of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas. (more…)

Enchanted Hill, located within the master-planned community of Castle Hills in Lewisville, is a guard-gated enclave of estate homes with a 24-hour attendant surrounded by the lush fairways of The Lakes at Castle Hills private country club and golf course. Custom home sites in Enchanted Hill are available from the $300s with custom homes from $1.75 million and up. Living in Castle Hills offers many amenities but Enchanted Hill in particular is the cream of the crop in gated community living. Here are five fantastic reasons to live in Enchanted Hill:

1. It’s REALLY centrally located.

Metroplex residents spend 9.4 days in traffic a year, which sounds doubtful until you realize that averages out to 27 minutes one way daily. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

One big advantage of living in Enchanted Hill (shaded purple in the map) is its central location within the Metroplex, well-situated at the crossroads of State Highway 121, Sam Rayburn Tollway, and FM 423, which becomes Park Blvd. in Plano.

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To hear Chris Bright describe the concept behind Enchanted Hill, Castle Hill’s newly updated luxury estate home development, is to get a lesson in the human dynamics of living, working, and playing in a community together.

Bright, who studied philosophy at the University of Dallas, paid careful attention to how this centrally-located Denton County neighborhood integrates family, community, and communication. “A contemplative peace of the human private space,” as the longtime Dallas land developer and CEO of Bright Realty calls it. (more…)

Finding a true sense of community can be a challenge as people look for a place to live. Castle Hills is the answer, a 2,800-acre master-planned, gated community located in Lewisville. Not only is it neighborly, it offers proximity to freeways and airports, making it a snap to get around DFW. 

The first residents moved into Castle Hills in 1998 and the area has grown and evolved into a live-work-play community. The development offers 25 parks and green spaces, several lakes, and trees planted every 30 feet. Expansive views and signs of nature are all around and quaint bridges and street lamps gracefully guide the way home. Hike-and-bike trails wind throughout Castle Hills offering many outdoor recreational opportunities for residents. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed at the 12-acre park and lake area. What’s not to love? 

Home prices range from the high $300s to over $3 million. If you’re navigating the real estate market in Castle Hills, you want the true experts at Ebby Halliday Realtors. I’ve found three of the houses Ebby is representing there that are impressive. Let’s take a look.  

 

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Photo courtesy Bright Realty

Artist rendering of Discovery at The Realm in Castle Hills in Lewisville. Photo courtesy Bright Realty.

Since the first homeowners moved into Lewisville’s Castle Hills community in 1998, more than 12,000 people have decided to call the master planned community home, and it is about 60 percent built-out today.

Located off State Highway 121 and Farm-to-Market Road 544, Castle Hills is 60 percent residential and has single-family houses ranging from about $300,000 to $1.5 million and more.

Developer Bright Realty is enticing a different demographic with their next stage of work at Castle Hills with a $75-million project called Discovery at The Realm. These 4,000 luxury rental apartments are being built with young professionals in mind.

Tim McNutt, Executive VP of Multifamily Development at Bright Realty and a Castle Hills resident himself, said these apartments are part of the strategy to develop Castle Hills in stages.

“The long-term plan was to establish the single-family housing, then to develop the remaining commercial properties,” McNutt said. “Along with the commercial [real estate], we wanted to expand the demographic and this will broaden our appeal to a whole new market.”

Photo courtesy Google Maps

Photo courtesy Google Maps

Bright Realty broke ground in December on Discovery at The Realm, which will include high-end, three podium-style buildings (underground parking with four stories of apartments above) on over 20 acres of land located south of Windhaven Parkway at Castle Hills Drive. The first units will be available in April 2016, with all phase one units completed by October 2016. Jump to read more!

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1410 Gray Oak Living

This listing from Diana Gonzalez of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty out of San Antonio is making the rounds at HuffPo and Curbed. It’s an incredibly preserved 1970s mecca that will have you doing the “Time Warp.”

1410 Gray Oak Kitchen

Inside 1410 Grey Oak Dr. you’ll find swag lamps, wood paneling, and a kitchen that could be straight out of “The Brady Bunch.” This house will have you reaching for your bell bottoms and mock turtlenecks! It was also featured on one of my new favorite home decor blogs, Retro Renovation, who compared this home to the incredible sets of American Hustle.

1410 Gray Oak Formal

I totally agree with the folks at the Retro Renovation blog in that I hope this property is purchased by someone who doesn’t gut this amazing time capsule!

Does this bring back memories or what?

(Photos: San Antonio Board of Realtors via Realtor.com/Matthew Wingate)

I was talking to Chris Bright yesterday, checking in to see how the million dollar movie he made and launched Saturday at the Dallas Film Festival is doing for business. “Cooper & The Castle Hills Gang” was also shown up at Castle Hills Saturday night, then let loose on the internet to go viral. The whole thing started, he told me, with the idea of just making a video to market the 2500 acre home development and before Chris could say Dennis the Menace, he had a production on his hands with real actors.

Chris told me that since the movie hit the web, they’ve tracked a 30 percent increase in traffic to the Castle Hills site — and that was just yesterday.

We all know that, when it comes to marketing, the world has changed. And when it comes to marketing real estate, we may as well be on a different planet. No longer are cute cards and glossy brochures and, some might add, print advertising in pretty magazines and newspapers, enough. You’ve got to go viral, go FaceBook,¬† go Hollywood.

Which is why Chris Bright, son of the Texas Bright dynasty built on oil, football and banking, probably thought there was noting wrong with spending a million dollars to make a 60 minute, family-focused major movie about Bright’s 2,500-acre Castle Hills development north of Dallas near Denton. Remember, Chris’ dad, H.R. ‚ÄúBum‚Äù Bright, owned the Dallas Cowboys from 1984 until selling the team to current owner Jerry Jones in 1989.

The movie was shot entirely in the neighborhoods, parks, shopping centers and golf courses of Castle Hills, and even used some resident kids and homeowners in large scenes. Produced by Ditore Mayo Entertainment, the film will debut Saturday April 2 at NorthPark Center mall as part of the Dallas International Film Festival. After its debut,¬† it will stream everywhere on the development‚Äôs website. And then, baby, it’s viral!

How can you make a movie about a housing development, even one as really nice as Castle Hills? Think Dennis the Menace meets Hank Hill in twenty years. ‚ÄúCooper & the Castle Hills Gang,‚Äù follows the quest of 11-year-old Cooper (played by Kyle Kirk, an actor), his three friends and the elderly Mr. Wilson (played by J.B. Edwards) as they canvass Castle Hills for something Mr. Wilson has lost, a wedding ring. The film has B grade actors, and according to the Wall Street Journal,¬† really “focuses on its story rather than lingering on obvious marketing shots.” Nice.

Except ooops: WSJ said a hiccup comes when Cooper uses the term ‚Äúmixed use urban center‚Äù in casual conversation. No, don’t think 11 year old talk like that. If he does, I want him as a blogger.

The movie will show Cooper at several of the more than 20 parks Castle Hills has to offer, along with the hike-and-bike trails, fishing lake, sports fields, community swimming and splash pools, and the outdoor Village Shops and Plaza.

Mr. Bright, 58, said he foresees the film helping his Bright Realty market Castle Hills’ commercial and residential land.

“Castle Hills was originally our family farm and holds childhood memories for the entire Bright family,” said Chris.

He may be onto something and find his phone ringing: the Saturday screening is sold out. Many second home developers are also taking to the movies, making docu-films of happy families enjoying life in their mountain, beach, or lakeside homes. I expect we’ll see lots more of this.

Castle Hills, which the family started developing in 1997, has 2,500 homes built, with another 600 planned. One third of its potential 1 million square feet of shops is built. An office-and-residential complex of more than 2 million square feet is in the planning.

“It’s a way of letting the community tell a little bit about itself through the residents and showing the community as a backdrop and not the focus,” Mr. Bright said.

There were several opportunities throughout filming for residents and neighbors to be part of the cast and crew, including a fireworks-filled re-enactment of the Castle Hills 4th of July event that calls for hundreds of extras. There will also be opportunities to help behind-the-scenes as a “PA for the day” (production assistant).  To give you a taste of the flavor,  a 1965 red Ford Mustang was called for as a prop.

PS: I have been to Castle Hills and love it. Chris Bright (who’s kind of a big kid at heart) took me on a personal tour in his 1960’s era auto, showing me each park he personally designed. His greatest wish, he said, was to give kiddos great places to play and create memories. It’s the closest thing to bubble living outside of the Dallas “bubble” I have ever seen, and I loved the multiple castle themes for kids. Dare I say, I even felt a bit as if I were in The Truman Show: life in Castle Hills can look that perfect at times.

And now, Hollywood!

Update: people have emailed me about Castle Hills, some saying a few homes in the area had foundation problems back when it was first built out. Here’s what I received from an agent who asked to remain anonymous: “There is a high concentration of clay soil in CH (along with a lot of other areas in Dallas) and there were some publicized issues with houses in one area back in the early days of the neighborhood. The cause of the foundation issues in that case was a ruptured water main that flooded the clay substrate and it was confined to one custom builder that has not been building in the area for many years. Builders have been working in this area for a decade now, and do full soil testing to determine what is necessary to prevent shifting. Regardless, I think you should advise readers to hire an independent soil engineer for an analysis. I will add there is clay substrate in many parts of Dallas south of LBJ, including the Marsh Lane area. Buyers need to do due diligence.”