6809 Golf Front FacadeIt’s easy to assume everyone understands the value of living in University Park, but we have to remember that hundreds of people move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area daily. They have no idea why a neighborhood like University Park is desirable and why in particular this University Park traditional at 6809 Golf Drive is a spectacular option regardless of job location.

University Park, or “UP” as locals refer to it, is almost four square miles of some of the most sought-after real estate in Dallas. Census data from 2010 reports it to be Texas’ best educated city in terms of formal education and the seventh most affluent neighborhood in America. How many neighborhoods boast a leading university — Southern Methodist University — and a museum that houses the largest collection of Spanish Art in the United States — The Meadows Museum? It’s also one of the most family friendly neighborhoods you’ll ever find, anywhere.

In essence, if you can find a house here, you want to nab it. And you especially want to nab this one because it backs up to Turtle Creek. We’re talking a 190-foot-deep lot and a lot of privacy. This gorgeous 6,341-square-foot home is three stories of fabulous family living.6809 Golf Front Door


GetMedia.ashxOne of Dallas’ Real Housewives and her LA-house flipping spouse, Travis,  just snatched the bargain of the century on a house that may well be the most notorious dirt in town. I am talking that famous spread on Turtle Creek Drive originally built by Braden Power, as you may recall, back in 2005. The home was famous for, among other things, the swimming pool in the main foyer! Built of the highest quality materials, the home is exquisite: when Braden thought one element was wonderful, he put in ten and added swans! The master closet rivals the couture department at Neimans size-wise with a sitting room, wet bar and desk. Oh and a place to watch TV. The jacuzzi spa is indoors and part of the upstairs media room. Yes, that is the point: you sit in or out of the oversized spa while watching the tube, clothes completely optional. Mais oui. (Must have been a blast on election night!) Sixty percent of the upstairs is devoted to the master suite, including a whole room for a shower, that indoor spa jacuzzi with television, a separate bathtub room, coffee/wine bar and of course, the room where you actually sometimes really sleep.

Downstairs there are two kitchens, formals, the pooled foyer, and a fabulous infinity exterior pool and yard overlooking Turtle Creek.

We have loved Turtle Creek since she was a gleam in her daddy’s eye. She even has a name: Casa Bellamini and was featured on HGTV’s Million Dollar Room. Once Braden built the home, he tried to sell it but the market did not cooperate — remember Lehman Brothers? First Erin Mathews listed it back in early 2010 for $6,900,000, getting it again in July 2010. No go. Even Marilyn Hoffman had her hands on this deal, raising the asking to $7,900,000. In January of 2011, a Chris Lowdon listed it for $7,900,000 or $929.41 a square foot. Yeow! And then, sometime in between all these agents, Braden covered the pool in the foyer.

You always want to be the first-born, the second wife and the third agent: Along comes Doris Jacobs to the rescue. She sells the home on March 24, 2011 for a whopping $7,900,000 to none other than Lee Bailey, then the fresh ex-wife of restaurateur Ed Bailey. Lee proceeds to make the home respectable: no more wild parties, talks to both Sherry Hayslip, whose husband, Cole, designed the home, and Trisha Wilson about the interiors, and takes the cover off that pool in the foyer!

Fast forward to 2016: Lee Bailey wants to sell, she enlists Doris again who lists the home at $8,895,000 after more than a million dollars in renovations, and in a much healthier market. In June, shocker: Lee changes agents to Kelly Watson with Keller Williams Urban, a lovely woman from Zimbabwe, South Africa. Then shocker of all shocks: Lee and Kelly bring on Concierge Auctions, who, as you know, can get the job done lickety split. (“TKTK Turtle Creek is for the elite and someone who really loves to entertain high end black tie, but also casual AFFAIRS”). Well Turtle Creek Drive is going, going, GONE on November 14, 2016 for, are you ready because it’s LESS THAN DCAD…

Inwood Road HOTWI think I’m out of words. This house is so freaking amazing, you’d better slice out some time here. And get tissue, you are going to drool. Dorothy, we are not in Dallas. This home is what you would find in LA, or Hollywood Hills: grounds large enough for a hunt, ocean-like pool, glass elevator with TV, a courtyard for Shakespearean drama, massage room, meditation room and an outdoor shower that puts the Joule’s car wash shower to shame. Are you in Tuscany? Looks like it, feels like it, even sounds like it, but you are within walking distance of Shinsei and yes, Inwood Bank!

And there is drama in every room.

The Italian-styled farmhouse is on 1.56 wooded acres, hiding down a romantic winding driveway with a front circular criss-cross drive anchored by a 19th century French limestone fountain. The water trickles as you approach the front door, and you think you are centuries away. Enter an 11,071 square foot residence of two stories, five bedrooms, five full and one-half bath, 14 living areas, two dining areas, utility room, multiple fireplaces, glass elevator, five balconies, courtyard, loggia, pool and a four car garage. The details — 12-foot ceilings, hand-chiseled limestone, wide-plank hand scraped hardwoods, imported wrought iron, lighting, velvet draped doorways, imported doors, marble and limestone, do very well what they are intended to do: trick the visitor into thinking this home is centuries years old.

8211 Inwood foyerI was confused, for a moment, when I walked in — “is this an older home that has been updated?” I asked? Has it been here forever?

No way. Built in 2009 — just four years ago — the home has already debuted on several TV shows and been published locally umpteen times. Of course, there’s a reason for that: The owner is Tommy Habeeb, well-known Dallas producer, actor, entrepreneur and co-star of the weekly TV show Cheaters.

Well, parts of it are very old. There’s the 200-year-old reclaimed barn floor double entry doors from Upstate New York. You step through old to new, a dramatic entrance hall with soaring two-story ceiling, hand-chiseled limestone flooring, and floor-to-ceiling limestone wall. Deja vue San Miguel de Allende. But then there’s the old again –the foyer is flanked by a formal living room and study, both with impressive 100-year-old wood doors reclaimed from a New York bank building.

Peering out at the grounds from the European style windows with phantom pull-down screens, I am wondering, again, are these old? New?

You might as well go get yourself a large glass of wine — it is going to take us a while to get through this amazing home you have passed a hundred times on your way to Inwood Bank’s Lovers location.

8211 Inwood study 8211 Inwood LR 8211 Inwood landing view8211 Inwood great room 8211 Inwood DR 8211 Inwood kitchen 8211 Inwood kitchen 2 8211 Inwood breakfast 8211 Inwood playroom 8211 Inwood powderThere is not one room in this house that does not make a statement, or evoke a sense of drama. The living room has herringbone hardwood floors, rich striped wallcoverings and decor that gave me a McKenzie-Childs pause, plus glass shelves. Across the foyer, the oversized study has a fireplace, starry-lighting, storage and passage to the Butler’s pantry and kitchen. In a theatrical touch, rich velvety curtains cover doorways and closets.

For the formal dining room, an antique wrought iron entry sets the tone, bringing you into a space with a gorgeous ornate gold-leafed chandelier and sconces. The room is oval-shaped, walls are silver-leaf with limestone flooring. This room also flows through a walk-in pantry to the kitchen. Then there is the oversized great room. Two stories tall with clerestory windows and iron chandelier, huge fireplace, and dramatic (again) floor-to ceiling limestone walls. From here you can pass through the stained leaded glass Palladian French doors to the cobblestone courtyard.

This is one thing I REALLY love about this house: the split stairway. Instead of the ho-hum circular staircase that is in every single Park Cities and Preston Hollow foyer, including mine, this home uses the staircase to make a statement. It nestles the piano gallery, then does what it is supposed to do: take you to the second story.

Should you not go up, however, you could go down through dual entry glass doors to the wine cellar. I love this — why hide the wine cellar? Make it the centerpiece of the home!

8211 Inwood split stairs 8211 Inwood wineYou know the kitchen is huge and off this great room, with a massive honed limestone center island and a barrel-vaulted brick ceiling. It is so loaded I might as well just rattle off names —  wide plank hand-scraped hardwood floors, 19th-century French butcher block island built into the limestone island, bar sink, stainless appliances like Viking, Hoshizacki and Liebherr, a white Rohl Shaw farm sink with cutting board counters I could die for, two walk-in pantries, and an adjacent breakfast room. From this breakfast room, which is enormous (23 by 14) and really a combo morning room-breakfast room, the flow continues to an oversized playroom. Both the breakfast room and playroom have built-in love-seats and antique French doors. And you know what I am going to say next: this all opens to the Courtyard.

There is a downstairs bedroom with the old, reclaimed church doors, and the new –an elegant granite-and-marble bath. There is a custom glass wall Cambridge elevator, complete with a television.

I’m telling you, Dorothy, we are not in Kansas OR Dallas anymore!

8211_inwood_back stairsYou can also walk up the stairs on the custom wood-and-iron freestanding staircase, wood stair treads reclaimed from a fallen tree on the property. The utility room is in this wing and as you can imagine, I could live in it: it’s 20 by 11, as big as the formal living room, with celedon mosaic tile counters, white octagon-shaped ceramic tile floors, abundant built-ins with seating and storage, and obvi room for a full-size washer and dryer.

8211 Inwood spa entrance8211 Inwood exercise 8211 Inwood master bath 8211 Inwood master bedroom 8211 Inwood up office 8211 Inwood master 8211 Inwood balcony 8211 Inwood guest 8211 Inwood guest bathUpstairs one whole wing is essentially a Belizean spa. There is a living area with more wide-plank hardwoods, bali rock-and-marble floor accents, special-finished walls and antique French doors opening to the Juliet balcony overlooking the courtyard. This is the entrance to the massage room with a slate mosaic-tiled shower and flooring, an exercise room with custom Herculite Glass doors and mirrored walls, and an intimate meditation room with stained glass window.

Then there is the game room, with a flat screen television and colored glass-topped wet bar with a stainless steel bar sink and a refrigerator. More imported French doors open to yet another private office, which is a black and white story with a stunning red glass blown chandelier, black-and-white patterned marble floors.

Custom glass doors take you to the room where it all happens, the master suite. Huge at 31 by 17, it has a sitting area, a fireplace, iron grill balcony, and separate his and her’s closets that are bigger than most apartments. The master bath is palatial with floor-to-ceiling tile and marble, dual vanity desks and counters, mirrors with those hidden televisions, jetted tub, huge steam shower. Also on this floor is a pretty guest suite with sitting room, living area, and a white Calcutta marble bath that honestly is too fancy for guests — well, unless I’m visiting! This bathroom should win an award: dual sinks, a stunning hand-carved imported honed marble soaking tub that costs about as much as it weighs, separate double shower and — you guessed it — another iron balcony. The other two bedrooms up here are huge with ensuite baths that spared no expense: floor, wall, and ceiling mosaic glass-tiles, floating Zebrawood counters.

Did you ever think we would get outside? Who wants to leave this house? Remember we are on a huge Bluffview acreage: there is almost enough room for a hunt! The cobblestone courtyard that every room worships has a Citizen Kane-sized wood-burning fireplace, an imported, hand-carved antique marble fountain, and views of all those balconies. Seriously, you could have a play out here! The courtyard flows to a columned loggia with everything found in the interior kitchen, but out here: granite counters with bali rock accents, grill, limestone sink, fridge, storage, and a cabana bath with the most amazing  oversized mosaic glass-tiled outside shower I have ever seen.

Seriously, Joan Crawford is turning in her grave: three showerheads.

8211 Inwood grounds 8211 Inwood pool LSOh yes, how can I forget the pool? Euro-style, heated with a beach entry, which is the very latest as I learned in Hawaii where they have sand-bottom beach-entry pools. This means no steps in — you walk in as if you are walking into the ocean.

8211 Inwood pool 1 8211 Inwood ext shower 8211 ext shower CUThere is a four-car attached garage and two automatic gates, with front and rear entries, and all sorts of high tech/safety/security systems such as Control4 remote-controlled audio/visual/lighting system, interior fire sprinkler system, exterior misting system, and a very sophisticated security system. Don’t cross it. The home was also built with green construction, including LED and Fluorescent lighting, foam insulation and five rooftop commercial three phase A/C units. For a home of this size and magnitude, utility bills are peanuts! The home is listed with Doris Jacobs who has it priced at $3,895,000. Seems like you are getting the world for under $4 million and the folks at Inwood Mortgage are so close by.

I could say this is the house that Cheaters built, but actually Tommy is hard at work on another TV project right here in Dallas: The Big Big Show starring Tom Green, Andrew Dice Clay and Tara Reid as judges — and Tommy as host. Something tells me they have been rehearsing in that courtyard…8211 Inwood pool 2

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 WSJ.com: 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.