Not all luxury homebuilding companies are truly custom and even fewer will hold your hand and make the experience seamless, from first consultation meeting to the day you get your keys. 

One of the reasons I love Bella Custom Homes is that their design and build process is completely custom. It is created to give homeowners a step-by-step, logical course of decisions and actions that is informative — and actually fun! 

And why wouldn’t it be with the two people leading the company. Owner and president Tony Visconti has over 40 years in the industry and knows the luxury market inside and out — he understands what works and why. Vice president and lead interior designer Stacy Brotemarkle has over 20 years of experience and brings her project management and aesthetic skills to every project, leading a team to get it done on time and in budget. Together, they create the Bella Custom Homes experience. 

“What we offer is unlike any other builder in North Texas,” said Visconti. 

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Durham Builders

These photos are of the Durham Builders home at 6924 Santa Barbara Dr., one of three modern houses now available in the new Santa Barbara development. Photos: MetroplexHD

East Dallas has a new modern enclave near White Rock Lake, with three houses built, and four more planned.

The Santa Barbara development, near Mockingbird Lane and W. Lawther Drive, creates a style that fuses native Texas materials with California-style architecture. The result is marvelous, something that’s being called “this-century modern.”

“When we were doing the original modeling, we were doing was more Midcentury Modern [style], but I felt  a Texas modern house would go better with the community,” said builder Miles Durham of Durham Builders. “It seems like the people around the lake and in Lakewood are open to this type and style of house.”

Durham’s father, Robert Durham, is the architect for the Santa Barbara development.

“He has modernist influences, and Frank Lloyd Wright,” Miles said. “He does all of the floorplan layouts and all of the elevations, I do all the finish selections and more. We’ve done a lot of houses and we work well together.”Durham Builders

The Santa Barbara houses are priced between $810K and $825K, and are around 3,200 square feet with four or five bedrooms. The designs include an abundance of large windows, open floorplans, fireplaces clad in Carrera Marble and wood, designer tile, concrete floors, and chef’s kitchens with high-end KitchenAid stainless steel appliances and Silestone quartz countertops.

“It’s extremely affordable by Lakewood standards, and that was important to us,” Miles said.

The photos throughout this post are of the home at 6924 Santa Barbara Dr. listed by Jennifer Baldwin with Clay Stapp + Co. for $810,000. It is a 5-4 with two living areas and 3,137 square feet.
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Iris Hollow

The living room of the Iris Hollow model home, built by Sharif & Munir Uncustomary Custom Homes. All photos: Danny Piassick 

Luxury homebuilder Mickey Munir is no stranger to the Preston Hollow area—he’s been building remarkable houses there and all over Dallas for 35 years.

As founder and CEO of Sharif & Munir Uncustomary Custom Homes, Munir is spearheading another development in the area, Iris Hollow. The eight houses in Iris Hollow, which start at $2.35 million and range in size from 5,300 to 6,200 square feet, are built on land with a Texas-sized story and are perfectly suited to one of Munir’s fastest-growing buyers: the empty-nester.

The 3.5-acre estate at Hillcrest and Forest lanes belonged to Charles Elmer Doolin (and later his widow), a legendary Texas businessman and the inventor of the Frito corn chip and Cheeto.

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The spec house at 6115 Desco Dr. will look similar to this. Photo courtesy Shoot2Sell.

The spec house at 6115 Desco Dr. will look similar to this, also built by LRO Residential Development.

Spec homes are a sign of strong builder and bank confidence in a market, as they are created without any specific buyer in mind, just the belief that one will be interested once it is completed. The higher the price tag, the higher the stakes.

In our inventory-parched market, homebuilder Les Owens, President of LRO Residential Development, has that confidence in the Dallas market, even at multi-million-dollar levels. He’s starting two spec houses this month, one in Preston Hollow for $3.15 million, and another in Devonshire for $2.2 million.

Both houses are available for customization, but Owens is breaking ground now and says he will complete them in late summer/early fall this year.

As we reported earlier this month, luxury home sales in Dallas-Fort Worth skyrocketed in 2014—those with prices of $1 million and up grew 15 percent year-over-year, the second highest sales volume in Texas (bested only by Houston).

Luxury home sales in DFW represented 1.2 percent of the market, and top-performing luxury brands are seeing more multi million-dollar sales in areas that have strong resale value and high existing demand.

“Established neighborhoods and homes of significance in coveted areas such as Highland Park, Preston Hollow, Greenway Parks, and The Volk Estates are desperately pursued, and the quality of the design continues to be a driving factor,” said Caroline Summers, a Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent. Jump to read about the houses and see photos!

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Hardware and appliances with clean lines are used throughout S & R homes. (Photo credit: Saad Chehabi)

Hardware and appliances with clean lines are used throughout S & R homes. (Photo credit: Saad Chehabi)

Saad Chehabi has been a businessman for more than three decades. He started his own mosaic tile company and was the supplier for many hotels in Las Vegas in addition to many celebrities’ homes. He parlayed his design knowledge and business acumen to found his own residential construction company, S & R Development, in Dallas in 2002.

“We started out building custom homes in Highland Park and Preston Hollow and have expanded to other areas,” he says. S & R prides itself in giving customers high-quality homes showcasing the company’s attention to detail and style.

“I’m very hands on. I don’t leave a project,” says the SMU graduate and native of Syria. “I run each one personally and cannot spend time away from what I’m working on so I limit the number of projects I take and try to keep them close together.” Currently he has four projects going in the Preston Hollow area, three of which are over 8,000 square feet. His company recently completed a large home in Plano and the homes in PH should be completed by the end of this year and the beginning of next.

“I’m seeing customers wanting less traditional homes these days,” says Chehabi. “New home construction is more about cleaner lines overall.”

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Mark's Headshot

We swear that Mark Danuser’s brain never takes a break, the wheels are constantly spinning for this incredible builder behind the Tatum Brown Custom Homes brand. Sure he’s incredibly smart and has more energy than a toddler high on Halloween candy, but he’s down-to-earth, too.

You’ll know Danuser best by his portfolio of amazing, award-winning homes, which has earned him a spot as a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder. Find out more about the man behind the brand after the jump!

 

CandysDirt.com: Where are you from?
Mark Danuser: I was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri. I arrived in Dallas by way of New York and Los Angeles.

CD: How did you get into custom home construction?
Danuser: My summer jobs growing up were always in construction — roofing, installing kitchen cabinets, selling plumbing fixtures, etc. When we relocated to Dallas, it was the perfect opportunity to jump in with both feet.

CD: What project are you most proud of?
Danuser: There are so many projects we’re proud of, but the home we built at 11310 Crestbrook stands out. Not only did it win numerous ARC awards, but D Home Magazine named it as one of the 10 Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas. As an added bonus, the clients became some of our closest friends and we just finished a new home for them, as well.

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?
Danuser: University Park

CD: What’s your favorite neighborhood in Dallas to build in and why?
Danuser: We’ve done some incredible projects in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. And, Bluffview holds a special place in my heart because the topography reminds me of my hometown in Missouri.

CD: What materials or shapes evoke your signature style?
Danuser: The key Tatum Brown signature is high-quality construction. We’ve worked with a number of architects that have brought a different perspective to home concepts – from traditional estate projects to a more modern flair. From an interiors perspective, our design team signature is creating unique homes with clean lines.

CD: What was your most memorable project?
Danuser: The most memorable project for me wasn’t actually a house – it was the entry gate for President Bush’s neighborhood when he moved back to Dallas. It was such an honor to work with the President and Mrs. Bush.

CD: How many projects reached completion last year?
Danuser: 11

CD: What have you learned about building that makes you so successful?
Danuser: We are laser focused on providing a great experience for our clients during the building process. And we don’t compromise on quality. It’s important to us that a Tatum Brown home stands the test of time.

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
Danuser: Right now I’m enjoying this too much to think about an encore, but I would definitely do something entrepreneurial.