By definition, “charming” means “extremely pleasing or delightful,” and that fits our High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans to a tee.

In fact, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate’s Phillip Murrell, the listing agent for 5722 W. Hanover, couldn’t agree more.



5344 Surrey Circle IHOTW

So, what’s a Santa Barbara Modern you ask?

Take that typical Mediterranean style that comes to mind — you know, terra cotta tile roof, white stucco, etc. — but infuse it with a modern consciousness. The result is an architectural style that is not only gorgeous, but also appeals to a modern family. Our Inwood Home of the Week at 5344 Surrey Circle is a classic example of Santa Barbara Modern.

Meredith Ferrell and Brenda Ray of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International have the 6,996-square-foot, four-bedroom, six-bathroom home listed for $3.89 million.

It has everything. And we mean, everything.

“From the minute you walk in the front door, your jaw drops,” Ferrell said.


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!



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.”


Real Estate Story


We love hearing from our readers, and nothing makes us happier than emails from folks who are moving to Dallas who tell us what a valuable resource CandysDirt.com is for their home search. We’ve heard such wonderful stories from buyers and sellers and folks who are relocating about how this here little website helped them navigate the real estate landscape of North Texas.

So we were just beaming when Brian Feitcher, VP of National Sales at Fusion Logistics, sent us this note:

“Just wanted to send a quick note to let you know how much I love your site!  I am in the process of moving to Dallas from Philadelphia and have been checking your site multiple times a day for the past few months.  Love the new layout and the multiple daily updates.

Just bought a home in Briarwood and we’re excited to move down to the big D!”

Of course, we had to ask Brian to tell us his real estate story, and he was kind enough to share! Jump to find out more about Brian’s home search and his big move to Dallas:


8507 Briarwood Front

The Bluffview area is so crazy hot, that it’s almost impossible to find anything under a half million. Of course, you have to jump on a property when it’s in this price range, and we’re lucky that we found a home that just hit the market for our Friday Four Hundred. And it is a cutie, too!

How fresh is this listing? It isn’t even on Vicki Foster’s Keller Williams Elite homepage yet! Thank goodness it caught our eye, though, as I’m sure it will get snatched up so fast she may not even have time to get it on her website. (more…)

5616 Stonegate Front

Devonshire is one of our favorite areas not only because it features some simply stunning architecture, but because the location can’t be beat. Sandwiched by the Dallas North Tollway and Inwood Road, and just north of Lovers Lane, Devonshire residents have easy access to some of our region’s best shopping and dining without sacrificing privacy. That’s thanks in large part to the large lots and liberal setbacks of these homes, as well as the rolling topography.

It’s no wonder that families and retirees are flocking to this sought-after neighborhood, but their reasons couldn’t be more different. Baby Boomers are moving in and looking to downsize and live inside the loop without feeling like your neighbor is breathing down your neck. Families, on the flipside, are looking for close-in living that has excellent schools nearby as well as culture and amenities. In fact, Dave Perry-Miller agent Courtney Jubinsky just moved to Devonshire and just loves it!


This home, however, will suit both tastes. Listed by the impeccable Becky Frey, 5616 Stonegate Road is a beautifully remodeled 1940s traditional with tons of living space. With an ample 4,332 square feet that is excellent for entertaining friends and family, this home is spacious without being overly large, and thanks to the .392 acre lot, it feels very private. It’s on the market for $1.225 million.

The curb appeal of this gorgeous home is undeniable, thanks to the picture windows and metal roof. Stride up the long gravel and concrete walk to this beautiful home and you’ll be taken in by the modern portico-type landing with tons of clean lines, the native and adaptive landscaping full of texture, and the cool metal roof.

5616 Stonegate Dining 5616 Stonegate Living

Inside, you’ll notice that the interiors are immaculate and warm, thanks to the beautiful wood and travertine floors. With two living areas and a formal dining room offset by an array of columns, this home feels elegant without being gaudy. You’ll love the flow of this home, which uses huge windows and French doors to bring the outdoors in. You can soak up the view of the beautiful custom pool and backyard through the floor-to-ceiling glass in the living area and kitchen, and admire the beautiful stone fireplace in the livingroom.

The kitchen is a work of art, and the beautiful warm cabinetry is topped off with beautiful granite counters. Commercial-grade built-in appliances give this commissary a clean and sleek look, and with the eat-in counter and breakfast nook that looks out to the backyard, you’ll probably spend most of your day here.

5616 Stonegate Kitchen 5616 Stonegate Kitchen 2 5616 Stonegate Breakfast

With four bedrooms and three and a half baths, this home has plenty of room for family and guests, and would be an excellent abode to host holiday celebrations and spring gatherings. And with a fireplace in the master bedroom and an enviable sunroom, this home is cozy, peaceful, and completely luxurious.

In the master suite you’ll find a beautiful five-piece bath set with stunning stone and contemporary cabinetry. I love the contrast of the dark granite counter with the rosy beige travertine tile that clads the floors and walls, as well as the tub surround. Both spa and shower are large enough for two.

5616 Stonegate Sunroom 5616 Stonegate master 5616 Stonegate Masterbath

If you aren’t already sold on this incredible home, the backyard will seal the deal. Lush landscaping, an enormous patio, and a refreshing pool make this home the total package. With as hot as our luxury market is, I don’t think this home will be in MLS long!

5616 Stonegate Backyard

I sat down recently to talk with Becky Frey one of Briggs Freeman’s top sellers and a 30-year veteran of the real estate scene. An athletic, outdoors person, Becky is quick to tell you all the reasons she loves living in Dallas — an enthusiasm she shares with her customers when she matches them to their dream homes.

Where are you from?  I came to Dallas from a small town of about 7,000 people in Arkansas.  I was an excited young student at SMU who found lots of reasons to stay.

Where is home for you in Dallas?  I love my home in Devonshire. It is a traditional home with an eclectic mix of antiques and contemporary art and furniture.

And you drive a … let me guess, Mercedes Benz? My three dogs and my cat who thinks she’s a dog need lots of room when we travel, so I have a Mercedes SUV. Plus, I compete in triathlons so I need room for my bike, too. Oh … and my family!

What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why? Devonshire reminds me of a small town with its mix of houses big and small, its streets lined with huge, old trees and parks. It is a friendly neighborhood where you quickly know your neighbors. I enjoy walking over to Inwood Village for a movie, dinner or shopping. SMU and the Park Cities are nearby — and it doesn’t hurt that I can walk to the office!

If you were to move in Dallas, where else might you live? I enjoy the White Rock Lake area for many of the same reasons I love Devonshire — beautiful trees, a mix of home sizes and prices, lots of parks for the dogs, and bike and hike trails for me.

How the heck did you get started in Real Estate? I’ve been selling one thing or another since I was a little kid. I used to knock on doors to sell stuff, and I helped my father out at his hardware store. As a student at SMU, I was working retail and one day an agent for Ellen Terry came in to return something.  Before she left, I sold her a lot more.  She was so impressed with my salesmanship, the next day she came back and said, “I want you to meet Ellen Terry.”

I learned so much from Ellen over the years. I was with her until the mid 1980’s when I moved to Phoenix. I worked for Merrill Lynch Fine Homes and was an asset manager for the Koll Company where I over saw office, industrial and medical buildings. I came back to Dallas in 1990 and worked with Ellen Terry again and then David Griffin. I was on my own for a while and now I’m with Briggs Freeman. I love real estate. After more than 30 years, it still excites me.

What’s your best/highest sale? It is hard to say. I know you are asking about the money, but the best sale for me is about the homebuyers.  I have a young couple right now who are pregnant with their first baby and they are so excited to buy a home! This is what keeps me charged. I love to play matchmaker and find THE home for my customer. It is very important to me that the house match the buyer. When they say “It’s so perfect! It’s just what we were looking for!” then I feel incredible satisfaction and happiness. And that is my best sale … until the next one.

How quickly have you ever turned a house? A few hours. I’ve sold quite a few before they ever went on the market. When I understand what the buyer wants, and have a match in hand, it can go very fast.

How much did you sell last year? I’m on track to have my best year ever this year and last year was my previous best year. I have closed more than $400 million in sales since I started my career.

Secrets to marketing a house? I have a preparation process that I walk my sellers through that helps make sure the house is ready to sell. In addition, we have a marketing process for each house that makes sure the house gets maximum attention. The real trick to success in real estate, though, is being able to match the home buyer to the house and that comes from intuition and understanding people.

If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll … One of the goals on my bucket list is to be a school crossing guard. I would have a blast with the kids on their way to and from school. I’ve been a part-time personal trainer at the Cooper Aerobic Center in the past and would love to do that again. It would be fun to be a home builder one day.

Where is your second home? Right now we are looking for one in Crested Butte, Colorado. We love to fish, hike, bike, and play golf. Crested Butte is perfect for that. It was recently named one of the “10 Best Towns in America” by Outdoor Magazine.  When we close, we’ll send you a picture for Second Shelters!