Tudor estate

You’ve probably driven by this Tudor estate every Christmas, slowed down, and gawked just like thousands of others. There have always been the most astonishing holiday displays in the front yard. If you’ve lived in Dallas very long, you’ll know it belongs to philanthropist and entrepreneur Sam Wyly. Although Wyly’s resume takes up an entire page in Wikipedia, most of us know him as the owner of the arts-and-crafts chain Michaels Stores.

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Very few homes stand the test of time. Our Inwood National Bank House of the Week is an incredibly chic modern colonial that looks as if it was renovated last year, not in 1996. It takes skill, knowledge, dedication, and talent to ensure a home does not become dated, and we’ve never seen a better example than 3802 Shenandoah Street in the heart of Highland Park.

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3911 Gillon
What is it about a Georgian house that offers instant appeal and imparts an immediate sense of gracious living? History for one. Georgian architecture has been around since the 1700s, and some of the most recognizable American institutions have been built in this style. From Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate to Yale University, the style instills a sense of stability and strength. Our Monday Morning Millionaire is a Highland Park Georgian at 3911 Gillon Avenue that is perfect example of this architectural style’s virtues.

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GetMedia.ashxIf you’ve ever thought you needed to compromise when purchasing a home, you’ve never seen one designed by Stocker Hoesterey and Montenegro (SHM) and built by Tatum Brown Custom Homes. Our Monday Morning Millionaire, at 3652 Stratford Avenue, is a “Highland Park modern Mediterranean” that has been designed without compromise… on any front. Which makes it just about the most perfect home ever! (more…)

 

3628 Mockingbird Lane

3628 Mockingbird Lane is ready for its close-up!

Remember the movie Father of The Bride? Whether you saw the original Spencer Tracy version or the Steve Martin remake, one thing has remained constant — the look of that iconic house. The white, two-story colonial with green shutters is the quintessential all-American family home.

So when we saw 3628 Mockingbird Lane  pop up in new listings, we did a double take, and then a little research. Sure enough, it could be the stunt double for either of the original movie locations. And oddly enough, one of those California homes, 500 N. Almansor, in Alhamba, is also for sale. In fact, it just went pending — so be glad you live in Dallas and still have a shot at owning this Mockingbird Lane colonial with star power potential. (more…)

Katherine Seale

Katherine Seale

Katherine Seale

One of Dallas’ great advocates for historic preservation is slated to speak at the fifth annual Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society (PCHPS) Distinguished Speaker Luncheon. Seale will be speaking on Historic Preservation in the Context of Change.

Seale is an architectural historian and preservationist in Dallas who served as executive director of Preservation Dallas from 2007 until 2011. Currently, she is Mayor Mike Rawlings’ appointee and chair of the Dallas Landmarks Commission.

She also serves as chairman to the Downtown Preservation Solutions Committee under the City Manager’s office. Comprised of downtown developers as well as representatives from preservation, planning, architecture, and landscape architecture, their charge is to use historic preservation efforts to influence and facilitate change in downtown to accomplish the larger goals of the city.

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Note to self: never wear white or Pucci when you are standing next to four gorgeous women, three of whom are Virginia Cook agents! I believe the prerequisite for being a Virginia Cook agent is to be shapely, blonde and beautiful. Or a curvy, gorgeous brunette like Jolene Crawford, who kept us blonde babes at bay! One of my favorite peeps in the whole wide world is Diane Duvall-Rogers who gathered us at the Dallas Country Club, newly nipped and tucked with a $60 million facelift,  this week for lunch in the newly-finished Ladies Lounge!  And take a look at those chairs!

We talked state of the market, and Virginia told me it’s hot hot hot. Four reasons: buyers waited for three or four years and there are now way fewer homes on the market. The stock market has left a lot to be desired, many investors would rather put their money into real estate where we may have some inflation. Interest rates are so dang low you can trip on them — lower, says Virginia, than they were during the Great Depression: get a 15 year note for 3%, one point higher for a 30 year.

It’s also an election year, says Virginia, so both parties are trying to pump it up. But the biggest problem, she says, remains our lack of jobs in the USA: one of every ten Americans is out of a job. Can’t buy a house or get a mortgage without a job.

We solved the world’s real estate problems where they usually get solved: in the Ladies Lounge. Then I grabbed my trusty camera to get you some great shots of the DCC’s $6o million renovation:

 

The clubhouse is breathtaking, one of the most gorgeous I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot. It’s English Tudor all right, but I felt a smattering of Querencia in Cabo on the interiors, with an almost haute Colorado feel — think The Timbers Club at Snowmass — but a distinct Scottish frosting of the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle. As far as the green turf, I turn to Mike Hiller of EscapeHatch Dallas who is to golf what I am to real estate. Here’s what he said about the course, which was designed by Scottish-Americana golf course architect Tom Bendalow in 1912. The new course renovation began in 2010 and was masterminded by John Fought:

“When John Fought completes the course renovation at the prestigious Dallas Country Club this fall, the 18-hole layout will possess the character and charm of a vintage Donald Ross design.”

The Dallas Country Club was established in 1896. Hiller says the course is practically “new construction,” and the 18-hole layout will remain as a par 70, lengthened modestly to approximately 6,600 yards. The media’s been mum on that little property tax skirmish last year: looks like they settled at $36,406,010. I’m told the clubhouse just re-opened this spring, and it looks nothing, nothing like the old one where I recall many Tripper dances on that hardwood dance floor.

Oh PS: This is something I haven’t seen. In the ladies powder room, each stall is equipped with an emergency switch above the crema marfil walls and floors in case a member becomes ill or needs assistance. That is a true caring touch for members and really, better than the security available in most homes.

Robbie hosted Briggs Freeman’s annual awards luncheon at the Dallas Country Club on February 29. Look at these tip top producers:  Lindy Mahoney, Becky Frey, Claire Dewar, CEO Robbie Briggs, and the Eleazer Team. Behind her, Becky’ has a shiny award that reads “Over $35 million”. Sold, that is!