6520 Northaven rearI literally have my head stuck in a computer all day, when I’m not out looking for House Porn. So when I was alerted to this report on Channel 8 about a neighbor’s home being raided by the FBI, a couple DEA agents (just helping), and the IRS, I was all over it. As was the media, calling this area Preston Hollow. It is not Preston Hollow, dear friends, it is Hillcrest Estates. But I know Preston Hollow raises more eyebrows for the media so I will keep quiet, but folks, betwixt us, it’s really not Preston Hollow.

I knew immediately which home it was before I even saw the report because that’s where Diane Johnston and I used to build haunted houses on Halloween when she and Daryl lived there. Yes, right in that big 2.273 acre yard.

Well, now the owner of the home may be visiting a different house.

6520 Northaven raid1 6520 Northaven raid 2 6520 Northaven raid 3 6520 Northaven raid 4       photos from WFAA-TV

It isn’t every day that you see a swarm of Feds hauling papers and stuff out of a three million dollar plus home. I am so full of questions: do they wear blue booties to protect the floors? Are they allowed to use the bathroom and if so, only the powder? (What happens if one of the FBI guys or gals, not to be sexist of course, and it could totally be the IRS guys & gals too, makes a mess in there, you know — do they send someone back to clean the potty?) Who is the guy in the front door holding a Sprite and if it is not the owner, where did he get it? One guy was holding two Ozarka bottles of course, it’s really hot, but did they come from the homeowner? Do they get to take a swim in the pool? I mean, the Feds come in and raid your house, do you offer them drinks? Coffee? Water? (Wine? White or red?) Cheese and crackers? Make tuna sandwiches?

I’m sure the house was in great shape, too, because it is on the market, listed with Marsha Finney of Ebby Halliday. Great little write up in CultureMap. 7364 square feet, five bedrooms, five and a half baths, four car garage, game room, wine tasting room, media room, playroom, pool & pool house, 4 car garage, safe room. The lake features a fountain and waterfall. Original asking back June 26 was $3,999,000 now at $3,700,000. That’s a nice little twist to your listing — “sorry we cannot show it right now, the Feds are there raiding the house. No biggie. Can you come at five when they are finished? Yeah, text me.” Talk about tortious interference!

Get this: the house has an option contract on it. Someone wants to buy it.

6520 Northaven foyer 6520 Northaven LR 6520 Northaven LR2So here is what I know about this house. When we moved here, it was owned by a darling 6520 Northaven studycouple named Carl and Nell Taylor, who I know read this blog as do Diane and Daryl — hi guys! The home was built in 1955 and is an original Dilbeck. Diane totally redid the house and did a bang-up job in 2003. The Dilbeck bones were great but some of the finishes had to go, like the cork in Daryl’s study. Now it actually resembles the Dallas Country Club more than Dilbeck. The home overlooks a shimmering lake and sits on a prize corner; the Johnstons created an entertaining oasis on the lower level and build a gorgeous cabana on the eastern edge of the property. Daryl mowed that lawn himself on a riding mower. Alas, they sold the property because, I think, they always wanted to put a gate on the front drive for privacy — can you blame them? But our deed restrictions forbid fences and gates across the front of our yards, with a few exceptions, and preclude gates. And Diane and Daryl, they do everything by the rules.

6520 Northaven kit 6520 Northaven kit 2 6520 Northaven master 6520 Northaven girlsSo the home was bought next by a couple named Good who lived there about two years before the house went into foreclosure. It stayed in foreclosure for about three years while various tenants came in and “castle kept” the place. Finally, the market picked up and the current owners bought it, Tanya and Jeremy Wiggains, just this January.

6520 Northaven bar 6520 Northaven media 6520 Northaven poolNeighbors say they were very young, younger than most in this hood, and have two young 6520 Northaven lakechildren. Don’t get me wrong, this is not heaven’s waiting room by a longshot, but most of the folks who move here are in their 40’s, mid thirties definitely a rarity. Jeremy Wiggains is 38. The Wiggains must have gotten a great deal on the house, buying it from the bank, Sb&T Assets. Neighbors also said the couple poured buckets of money into the house to spruce it up, as we can see from the photos.

So last week apparently, according to Channel 8 WFAA-TV, Jeremy Wiggains filed for bankruptcy protection. So sad. WFAA-TV says he claims to owe $50 million but only has $1 million left to his name. KXAS had a little more insight: Wiggains is the owner of a high-end, Internet-based car dealership that recently shut its doors because of bankruptcy. That would be Straight Line Automotive, located way on the western end of Northaven in the 2700 block. The company filed for bankruptcy in mid-July, says NBC 5 who also said some of the folks they called on the creditor’s list say they bought fancy cars month ago but have yet to receive title. That sentiment seems to run on the internet as well. The list of creditors detailed in Wiggains’ bankruptcy filing is three pages long and includes banks, car dealerships, auto detailers, audio companies and more.

So there you have it. One of the more interesting real estate stories of the season, I’ll say. I am dying to find out what the etiquette is for showing the Feds around an open house. Sounds like poor Jeremy Wiggains has a lot on his plate right now, so I won’t ask him, but thanks to the hot real estate market, he should be able to unload his home for a pretty good price. Maybe that will make a dimple in the $50 million he says he owes — ouch! Hillcrest Estates is pretty hot, even if it’s not Preston Hollow.



Oh this is going to be fun: a show on TXA 21 airs Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. and I shot the video last Friday, inside three gorgeous Dallas to-die-for estates: 4724 Saint Johns, 9008 Briarwood, and the Strait Lane estate of Phil Romano. Luxury Dallas TV is a weekly television magazine showcasing all that is this city’s finest. Join LDTV every Friday morning on TXA 21 for an intimate look at the lifestyle that IS Dallas!

As for 4724 Saint Johns, get ready to drool. This is the guest room! Like I said, who needs Shades of Gray? The entire house is perfection, decorated by designer to the stars Kathy Allardyce. (Diane Johnston is one of her many clients.) French limestone exterior, slate roof, custom marble and mosaic inlay flooring & countertops, handpainted and groin vault ceilings everywhere, hand hewn antique wood beams, elevator, intimate wine, media, and game rooms in basement. The Master bath is to die for and the Master sitting area is open to a porch and overlooks the pool, fountain, outdoor entertaining & a bonus: the available 75 x 201′ adjoining lot right next door. Almost 9,000 square feet, third floor, six bedrooms, six and a half baths, graciously perched on one of Highland Parks’ most prestigious streets. The theme of this house is ceilings and tile treatments — they are magnificent. House alone on a 60 by 190: $5,700,000.


Maybe they just want a different place on the field: Daryl and Diane Johnston are selling their home at 4414 Woodfin east of Midway. The former Dallas Cowboys fullback and Fox commentator, who was a vital part of three historic Super Bowl championship teams, is asking $3,150,000 million for the clean-lined, decked-out two-story property, which was built by Sharif-Munir Custom Home Builders in 2007. It rests on .66 an acre of land.

This house could shelter a pack of moose: it’s 7,930-square-feet, with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, a media room, study, game room with a kitchenette, and gorgeous gourmet kitchen with white Carrera marble counters (hand-picked by Diane) and top of the line commercial grade appliances. The master suite is downstairs with a sitting area, his & hers (marriage saving) baths, and a direct connection to the backyard, pool and patio by private French doors.

Listing agent is Allie Beth Allman. The Johnstons used to work with Jaimie Adams, now with Briggs Freeman Sothebys, who handles most NFL and Rangers stars and has been working with pitcher Yu Darvish. Prior to building this home, the Johnstons were my neighbors over at 6520 Northaven, a circa 1955 Dilbeck home on a one-plus acre corner lot they completely remodeled into 7364 square feet. Probably the nicest neighbors you could ever have, they are notorious for  throwing fun parties and including everyone. (Diane and I also built the best. haunted house. ever!)  Daryl mowed his own grass on that acre in a tractor mower. The Johnstons sold Northaven for $3,525,000 in April 2007, before they moved over to Woodfin. It was sold to Kenneth Good in March of 2007, then acquired by SB&T Assets Corp in 2010. SB&T appears to be a bank holding company of some sort, with Chris and Clay Bright as officers, which makes me suspect that the property went into foreclosure and SB&T is attempting to liquidate. But I could be wrong. Been on the market since 2008, now listed at $2,999,000. Wow, that’s not a trim, that’s the chopping block: in 2008, Della Lively had it listed at $6,500,000.






I drove through Rockbrook Estates last week and was reminded of how wonderful it is: beautiful lawns, leaft trees, shade and a nice hum of relaxation. I know this is where Daryl and Diane Johnston built right down the street, the Schlegels are not too far away, and life is generally perfect in this neck of the woods. So when I saw Missy Woehr’s new listing at 4209 Woodfin, I was all over it.It’s a huge new home, 7059 square feet on a 2/3rds acre corner lot with — get this — a 550 square foot quarters for guests, returning college kids, or parents. I was at a high school party this weekend and heard that everyone’s kids are coming home from college and staying put with mom and dad. Oh well, at least you don’t have to car pool them.) This home was built in 2006, designed by Robin Riddle with architecture by Mark Barry. There are six bedrooms, five and a half baths, three totally knocked out living areas, a workout room, five car garage, pation, lush landscaping, and so much interior/exterior stone you’ll think you’re in a quarry. Oh yes, cannot forget the Ludowici Clay roof! What I love is the soft French decor touches, not that heavy, drama-esque, “Old World” feel that I think, personally, belongs right back in the Old World or Dark Ages. Yecht. Give me light, give me bright, give me clean lines and this home has it all. Asking $2,799,000 but hey, it’s a beautiful Monday morning and we can all dream, can’t we?