Modern Colonial Revival

So often you find a house that’s in a perfect neighborhood, like our Inwood Home of the Week, at 3709 Hanover Street in University Park. It’s the right size, the right style, and has all the elements to suit a family. It also offers great entertaining spaces. But it needs a refresh, and you don’t have time. So, how great is this University Park modern Colonial Revival that has already been through the refresh, and is move-in ready? It’s also an absolutely perfect example of how you take a great house and make it even better. Talk about a score! (more…)

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“Estate” is a word we don’t toss around lightly. It conjures up those venerable English country homes that stand for centuries and are passed on from generation to generation. So when we tell you this is a Preston Hollow estate — it’s exactly that. And any Brit who’s inherited a stately pile, as they call it, would be green with envy over this classic European three-story, 12,976-square-foot estate at 5414 Falls Road. It has all the privacy and beauty of any bucolic mansion with the benefit of a perfectly placed location, minutes from the best private schools as well as the Dallas Arts District via the Dallas North Tollway.

It also has none of the issues that are part and parcel of those inherited halls, chateaux, and manor houses.

“It’s built like a commercial office building,” listing agent Molly Malone with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, said. “The overall quality of construction and finish is impeccable. It’s one of the best built houses I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been in real estate over 30 years.”
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Thomas street extIt was a very different climate last week when Hanne Sagalowsky and I tootled around in this 4556 square foot beauty in the heart of Uptown: 70 degrees and the sun was shining! It is probably one of the most unique properties in the area, and a downsizing Park Cities/Preston Hollow/Plano (The Three P’s) family would feel more than at home here. I mean, it’s an estate without the pesky property. 2806 Thomas Avenue is really, truly a home with all the bells and whistles we Baby Boomers want and are not willing to part with.

For example, there is a large dining room. All this talk we hear of the formal dining room going away — I used mine four times this holiday season and loved it. You? I put my grand-daughter’s Stokke tripp high chair up to the table, gave her a gold spoon, and the heirloom mini-wine glasses my mother gave us. (Filled with water, of course.) A large dining room is just a necessity when you have family holiday dinners or entertain! That’s why I don’t buy this “get rid of the dining room” business — that’s fine for the ranch or second home, but not the main home.

And if you want to be space resourceful, line the walls with bookshelves and make it double as a library, a la Robert Edsel.

2806 Thomas Avenue takes it a few hundred steps further: there is a 5,000 bottle capacity wine cellar right off the dining room that is a temp-controlled walk-in and large enough for seating!

Come to think of it, that might have been a great “safe room” for Saturday’s tornadoes!

Thomas Street door (more…)

Oak Lawn townhome

These days, it’s pretty common to spot a great listing and watch it go under contract faster than you can say, “Jeeves, fetch me a Realtor!”

So when I spot an Oak Lawn townhome like the one at 3316 Hawthorne Ave. #3316, which has been on the market for 160 days, I have to scratch my head. It looks magazine-worthy, has over 2,000 square feet, and is located in a highly desirable neighborhood. So what gives?

This unit, in the Park Place Townhomes, is 2,025 square feet, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, three stories, a custom kitchen, plaster walls, private courtyard, hardwood floors, a private elevator, and oh, so much more. It is listed by Chris Pyle at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate for $394,900, or $194 per square foot.

Oak Lawn townhome

Looking at the neighborhood comparables, it’s on the high end—others sold for $131, $138, $167, and $184 per square foot. But another unit in the same Park Place Townhomes sold for a dollar more per square foot in December, and it has only 1,149 square feet.

Could it be the school district? This townhome is located in DISD, and nearby comparable properties located in Highland Park ISD sold for $197 to $254 per square foot. But the unit that sold for a dollar more per square foot is also in DISD. So the jury is out on that factor.

Mandatory monthly HOA fees of $1,117 are on the hefty side, and do not appear to include utilities, so that is a potential issue that might be dissuading buyers. But it’s not an unheard-of amount for this area.

Let’s take a look inside and you tell us your opinion on today’s Thursday Three Hundred.

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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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This is how Leobardo Trevino is surviving the real estate recession. The floors at 1600 Pacific and also at The Statler Hilton will be finished up like his shell space on the 18th floor that is ready for a tenant. The construction/freight elevator at the end of the floor (under the red) can haul debris down without disturbing tenants on finished out floors.