Private Air Luxury Homes coverSee this ad? If you have already seen it, I want to be your friend because it is in a publication called Private Air Luxury Homes. And the only place you can find this magazine is in FBO’s… that’s Fixed Base Operations, or where people with private jets hang out. You know what they say: once you go wheels up private, you never go back to commercial. This magazine rules and I can imagine their readership is so uber duber high net worth that ad rates must be out of the ballpark and into Fort Worth.

I spoke with the folks at Private Air Luxury Homes today, which is located in Scottsdale. They know some of the agents here in Dallas real well, like Doris Jacobs, our friend Doug here, and Robbie Briggs because they all have advertised in this mag. Here is a preview of their magazine, digital-style, and I’m telling you, there is some might fine House Porn in there indeed!

The Crespi Estate owned by Tom Hicks is still on the market, still at $135 million. Which reminds me of a clip I just saw on it is not enough to be a millionaire anymore. $5 million is the new $1 million; a million bucks just doesn’t cut it, doesn’t even make you feel rich. What does cut it? $5 million or more, according to the story. Apparently the folks at UBS Wealth Management (where my son once worked) did a study of affluent investors and wanted to know how much money is enough money — to retire, to be financially secure. Here’s what responders said: I have enough money when I have no financial constraints on activities. 28% of people with investable assets between 1 million and 5 million do not even consider themselves wealthy, and only 60% of the people at the top of this group ($5 million invested) consider themselves wealthy.

In other words, I can buy anything I want. Like a private jet, or the Crespi estate.

Phil Romano’s gorgeous estate at 10660 Strait Lane is on the market with another agent, at another price: only ten million dollars.

Wait, whadda mean “another agent”? It’s Doris Jacobs, not just “another agent” but one of the tip-top agents in Dallas who sells multi-million dollar homes while perusing the sale racks at Neimans. In fact, Doris Jacobs had Phil’s listing initially in 2004, but priced the nearly 5 acre estate at $17.5 million. What can I say, those were the days, really the days. The 14,748-square-foot mansion that sits off Strait Lane is almost directly across from the WaterWorld Richard Malouf is building. Ross Perot is right down the street.

Phil is probably best known as the creator of Fuddrucker’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grill, but he is also leading the development of West Dallas, an area called Trinity Groves you will soon be hearing more about on this blog.

The 14,748-square-foot home is massive, and sits on close to 4.7 acres of land off Strait Lane. From a private lake and waterfalls, to a jogging trail, creek, tennis court and a resort-like pool and spa, this home has everything a multi-millionaire could dream of and then some. Like a professional cooking area in the already over-the-top gourmet kitchen.

The home has been on the market since 2007, at, as we said, $17.5 million. The estate is certainly nowhere near as big a white elephant as was Champ D’Or, which, by the way, is being turned into an entertainment venue. I just think the market pooped out shortly after Phil listed it. The home has some extremes, but nothing a good contractor could not change.

However, our market is in sort of a force-fed recovery from lack of inventory, and there just may be more interested buyers this time around. With the uber high-end market having few products listed at over $10 million, you just never know. As for location, this is blue chip prime.

Romano’s property includes a private lake, foundations, waterfalls, a creek, a jogging trail, tennis court and a resort-like pool and spa.

It’s about finding that right buyer, Doris Jacobs told people at an elegant Christie’s Great Estates party she hosted at the home while I was in California.

“This is a very unique property that has a gorgeous setting,” Jacobs said. “You have almost five acres. At this price, it’s almost land-value.”

A steal, she says

There aren’t too many estates in Dallas priced over $10 million,

Allie Beth Allman  is currently marketing Troy Aikman’s house, and I hear one Briggs-Freeman agent has shown it about five times. Someone’s circling: a wealthy family from Mexico, says the Briggs agent, and they love it.

Oh yes, if you’d like to see Strait Lane, just holler at Doris: the house is ready at the drop of a fingernail file as the Romano’s are now living over on Shadybrook.

Of course you know her, who doesn’t? Her face is everywhere, her signs are omnipresent, she is one of the grand dames of Dallas real estate. In fact, today she’s on the cover of Grand Luxe Magazine. And when you think of the quintessential Dallas real estate agent, don’t you just think Doris Jacobs? Well, guess what folks. She wasn’t even BORN here. Ha, we are both re-born Texans. And get this: she’s sold FORTY-FIVE (45) homes on Beverly Drive. I think Doris Jacobs could sell a house on Beverly Drive blindfolded… in fact, maybe she does: Doris is known for putting her clients in homes even before they come on the market.

CD: Doris, are you a Dallas gal?

DJ: I was born in Charleston, West Virginia, the capital of West Virginia. Our home place has been in the family since the late 1800’s and I still own it.

CD: Why does that not surprise me? Where do you live? House or Condo? House style?

DJ: We live on Beverly Drive in a historical landmark home designed by Fooshee & Cheek around 1922. They are the architectural firm of record of Highland Park Village and many landmark properties along Lakeside Drive, Alice Circle and Greenway Parks.

CD: The girl loves tradition. How much would you sell it for?

DJ: (“Shudder”)… We would not sell it.

CD: Well, that’s one that’s safe! And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz? No, a Bentley!

DJ: Black Mercedes.

CD: What’s you favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?

 DJ: Well, we live in Highland Park, and lived previously in Volk Estates, and before that, Old Preston Hollow….so we really love all parts of Dallas. The topography of Bluffview and Kessler Park are unique to other neighborhoods and I love them. I love the parkways in Greenway Parks, the dynamics of Uptown and the charm of the M Streets.

 CD: You lived in Preston Hollow! We were neighbors! If you could move in Dallas, where else might you live — what other neighborhood?

DJ:  (Planting feet firmly.) I wouldn’t move. I love the convenience, the small town atmosphere and the wonderful schools in the Park Cities. My daughters have long-term friendships here from their school days.

CD: OK, we get it. How the heck did you get started in Real Estate? Who’d you work for first?

DJ: I was always looking at homes for myself. Jennie Reeves was an agent with Erle Rawlins Jr. and suggested I get my license. I did, as a lark, and here I am!! Erle was a fabulous teacher. My first listing was on Gillon, which now would have a value of around $ 7 million.

CD: Erle has never told me that story! OK, so what’s your worst sales nightmare? Just worst transaction ever?

DJ: Really don’t have those…there’s always a way to work things out if you have a truly dedicated seller and a devoted buyer…and access to professionals, like architects and general contractors, who can satisfy all things.

 CD: Really, OK so what if the seller is not dedicated…

DJ: I’ve been in situations where we were a million dollars apart and made it work.

CD: Holy macaroni! So what’s your best/highest sale?

DJ: Best does not necessarily man highest…..highest probably was an estate in Old Preston Hollow. As far as “best” goes, they are all good when buyer and seller leave the title company happy. I work for satisfying life’s needs, to give the family what they collectively want so if they are pleased, then that’s a “best” deal. I’ve sold three homes on Lakeside and 45 on Beverly Drive.

CD: (Picking self up off floor) 45? That’s like almost every house on Beverly. OK, quickest sale?

DJ: My quickest sale was when the client gave me a check for full price when he signed the multi-million dollar contract.

CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?

DJ: Often, since I know the homes and their provenances so well, we sell properties that were never on the market. We can be as fast as the buyer and seller allow us…. and the title company, of course.

CD: How much did you sell last year?

DJ: I was the top individual producer out of 300 agents in Allie Beth Allman & Associates last year, a position I’ve held now for nine years.

CD: Secrets to marketing a house?

DJ: Wisdom, which is difficult to define, as the younger agents are working to attain that, and, by the way, I love being a mentor. One must really know the neighborhood and keep up with the changes, as well as the (pluses and minuses) of the home. You must know your client and each member of the family well, along with their individual family dynamics, and one must be flexible and creative as to how the elements of the home can be used to accommodate the individual needs of the incoming family. A craft room to one family, for example,  would be a gameroom to another, or a guest house for one family would be a teenage retreat for another. Knowledge of the neighborhood and comparables, knowing the details of the provenance. Of course, advertising and open houses are part of the process as well.

CD: And your magic Rolodex. If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…

DJ: Well, my college study was communication and design, which is one of the reasons I love real estate. Or……..Jack will love this……I would be a sales associate at Neiman Marcus!

CD: I am dialing Shelle Bagot right now! What is your favorite place for a second home and why?

DJ: Someplace near the ocean like Newport Beach, California or Naples, Florida.

CD: Love it! Let’s go look at some…




3507 Crescent Doris Jacobs

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and New York Senator Chuck Schumer will be in Dallas tomorrow at a $30,800 a-plate event for majority trust — or just $10,000 for the “chair” — Democratic fundraiser at the beautiful $4.2 million home of Russell and Dori Budd at 3707 Crescent at 1 p.m. That is very close to Doris Jacobs’ gorgeous listing at 3507 Crescent, listed for $6,995,000. Crescent is a very short street so while you’ve got them jam-packed in there, Doris, might be a good time to hold an open house or sip and see… you think?

Bowl while it blows in the basement of Champ d'Or!

I’m not talking about showing homes, I mean, where did you run for safety when the tornado sirens started blaring?

I was out driving, looking at homes — OMG I’ve got the scoop on 4511 Watauga coming up, Jeeze Louise 13,000 square feet and another double-level closet! What is it with these two story master closets? My daughter texts me that there are tornadoes, my husband tells me everyone at Presbyterian has gone to the basement!

So I drive home to our tornado closet, stopping to warn every yard man I could! There were two men in a tree, chopping wood, and I thought, my God, they will be blown away! Our yard men were on the mowers with ear protectors on, I had to flag them down and drag them into our garage while I made room in the storm closet! The way it is now, our junk will survive a tornado while we are blown away!

I hope others of you were in more elegant locations. Like Doris Jacobs: she was lunching at the Mansion, and everyone ran down to the Mansion basement for cover. (The wine cellar is down there, too, hmmm.) Remind me to schedule lunch with Doris at the Mansion or Fearings next time a storm rolls into town.

Doris Jacobs was named Allie Beth Allman & Associates #1 Top Individual Producer for 2011 out of 300 agents (!!!) at last week’s Awards Banquet at the Dallas Country Club! And may I add: here are two of the most beautiful women in Dallas real estate!

It is not in MLS, but I’ve heard that Troy is floating the idea of selling the family homestead on Highland Drive now that Rhonda has moved out and up to Preston Hollow. And lest you think he’s smoking something other than brisket on the patio in this market, let me tell you there have already been showings, several showings. Yes indeed. What a home and sale that would be. I wonder who the hip-pocket agent is… I’d guess Doris Jacobs, who was named ABA’s #1 Top Individual Producer. (She does it without a team!) And I wonder how much he would be asking? Let’s see, there are two lots,¬† a total of 1.20 acres approximately, that’s 63,034 square feet plus in Highland Park overlooking Turtle Creek? The home is over 11,000 square feet and the newly constructed cabana is over 1300. And you know the finish-out must be phenomenal.¬† I have the flu, it hurts my head to guess…

Update on 3/23/11: One in the know has advised me that Troy Aikman’s house on Highland Drive doesn’t overlook Turtle Creek but a branch of Turtle Creek called Hackberry Creek by the locals and Google Maps. I apologize for the error.