Find Exclusive Lakeside Living Just 1.5 Hours from DFW at the Links of Lake Athens |

An hour and 15 minutes east of Dallas, I’ve found a private waterfront golf resort on one of the most pristine lakes in Texas. Three parcels at the Links of Lake Athens have hit the market, offering exclusive, one-of-a-kind living for the right buyer or buyers. 

The Links of Lake Athens is a 52-acre, gated development subdivided into five separate parcels. Ownership of three of the parcels is being offered exclusively by Ashley and Malcolm Ross of The Ross Group at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. The price for all three is $7.5 million, and includes a 7,200-square-foot, seven-bedroom home, plus two guest houses. The three parcels can also be purchased individually (details below). 

What’s so wonderful about the Links of Lake Athens? Privacy tops the list. This is the place you can get away from it all and enjoy total relaxation and peace. Amenities are another thing owners enjoy: think 2,500 feet of lake frontage, an eight-stable equestrian center, two grass tennis courts, and a lush four-hole golf course that plays like an 18-hole, par-72 course and practice area.

“The Links at Lake Athens is for the person or family who seek privacy, exclusivity, and is passionate about the outdoors,” said Malcolm Ross. “The gated property offers unparalleled lakefront views, an incredible golf course with practice area, stables, water sports, and so much more.” 

I’ve got a video and photos after the jump — so beautiful!


Cottonwood Valley

Just 15 minutes from downtown Dallas, I’ve found an incredible contemporary home inside Cottonwood Valley, a gated, guarded luxury community in Las Colinas.

The house at 1901 Crockett Cir. is total eye candy, with interior design by Judy Cody. Think clean lines, high ceilings, lots of natural light, and a decidedly chic, modern look and feel. The open floorplan creates a wonderful sense of flow from one marvelous space to the next.

This is such a convenient location, near President George Bush Turnpike and Highway 114. I can be to DFW Airport in 15 minutes from here. Bonus: Cottonwood Valley shares property with the Four Seasons Resort and Club, which means resort amenities are just a golf cart ride away! The club offers some of DFW’s most scenic rolling terrain, and a world-renowned PGA golf course.

If you’re a minimalist at heart, you’ll adore the contemporary ambience in this home, which has two bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living rooms, and 2,900 square feet on one story, built in 1985. Everything is done picture perfect in this listing by Bill Brantley with Ebby Halliday Realtors. Let’s take a look!


outdoor living

The tasteful Kenneth Pressley estate at 1708 Byron Nelson Pkwy. in Colleyville is a golf course property with incredible views. All photos: Ebby Halliday Realtors

Even on the hottest summer day, North Texans have an evening when outdoor living is enjoyable. This is especially true if you’re lucky enough to have a home with superb outdoor spaces.

We’ve found five outstanding Ebby Halliday properties on the market now that elevate outdoor living to an art. You’ll find everything from infinity-edge swimming pools and cool cabanas, to gourmet outdoor kitchens and cozy fireplaces. They have everything you need and want to make the most of outdoor living.

“These five properties represent some of the finest homes in our extensive portfolio, both in terms of outside amenities and quality of the properties,” said Randall Graham, vice president and director of marketing for Ebby Halliday Realtors. “One of the reasons these homeowners chose to list with us is Ebby Halliday Realtors has wide-ranging experience marketing and selling these kind of luxury properties and letting buyers know about the amazing features they offer.”


Bella Custom Homes

Bella Custom Homes has seven amazing and rare lots in Frisco for built-to-suits. This is a custom home available in Frisco.

Frisco real estate is some of the hottest in the nation, with the big influx of new residents who are looking to live close to their work along the $5-billion mile and nearby.

But this huge influx of new residents to the Frisco area means it’s harder to find available lots for true custom homes.

“There’s a shortage of lots—it’s very difficult to get your hands on lots because there’s such a high demand and most of the production builders have locked up future sites,” said Tony Visconti, President of Bella Custom Homes. “There are all these jobs coming to this area, like with Toyota and Liberty Mutual, and these people are looking to build, but there are very few custom neighborhoods.”

Bella Custom Homes, in business since 1993, currently has seven available Frisco lots in two amazing subdivisions, the Hills of Kingwood and Starwood. Both are gated communities with guards at the entrance, and luxe, family-friendly amenities.

“These seven lots offer buyers a chance to own coveted land in Frisco and these are two of the best communities in the city—most of these lots have incredible topography and gorgeous views and this is a rare opportunity,” Visconti said. “We also work very well with Realtors and unlike many custom builders, we pay their commission at the time we pour the foundation. They don’t have to wait 18 or 24 months.”


open houses in dallas tx

The Phillipe Starck condo in Victory Park is one of our five featured open house roundup this week.

Every week, we give you an insider look at great DFW properties with our CandysDirt Open Houses of the Week column. We pick five “don’t miss” open houses around North Texas you shouldn’t miss.

This week, our houses range in price from $439,000 to $1.2 million. You’ll find a a renovated Forest Hills ranch with over 3,200 square feet, a Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica cottage with a master bedroom addition that will make you swoon (check out the ceiling!), and more! Let us know what you think of our choices, and if you know of any we should feature next week!


dfw open houses

The home at 3805 Country Club Dr. in Flower Mound is one of four we’re featuring in this week’s open house roundup.

The weekend after Christmas is not prime real estate shopping time, so this weekend could be your opportunity to visit some lovely properties on the market without fighting crowds. It’s slim pickings for open houses, but we found four that range in price from $500K to $1.695 million in neighborhoods around North Texas.


4620 Lester

One of the benefits of living in a condo or townhome is little or no yardwork and someone else to take care of common areas.

But that comes at a price, in the form of HOA fees, which can be crazy expensive (last week’s Tuesday Two Hundred’s HOA fees rang in at a hefty $1,053 per month, although they did include all utilities).

For those who don’t care to drop the equivalent of a couple of car payments each month on HOA fees, today’s Tuesday Two Hundred is for you. The townhome at 4620 Lester Dr., listed by Jeffrey A. Updike with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate for $269,000, has HOA fees of just $55 per month. That’s one of the lowest I’ve seen, and it includes all common area maintenance.

4620 Lester B

Built in 2007, this property is one of the Hawthorne Street Townhomes, a gated community located near the intersection of Wycliffe and Maple avenues, close to the Medical District, Dallas North Tollway, and Oak Lawn entertainment venues.

It’s a 2-2 with 1,978 square feet on three stories with vaulted ceilings in the living room and master bedroom and an open-concept floorplan. My eyes don’t know whether to look up at the high ceilings, or down at those pristine, wide-plank hardwood floors. Wow.


2 Los Arboles Ct exterior2 Los Arboles Ct. Stone walkThere is that one aspect of great design that every homeowner hopes to achieve: timelessness. Who wants their home, like their shoulders, to be defined by the fad of an era? Not me. I am stuttering over the “t” word here (turrets. There, I said it.) or the low slung rooflines of the ’60s and the dark wood interiors of the ’70s. Shag carpet, shudder but that can be changed by a single phone call. We all know that Old World Faux Pas and rock is becoming  passe, unless the rock has been combined with sleek woods and triple paned glass, preferably non-reflective. That is why I gasped when I walked into 2 Los Arboles Court, an exclusive gated community right off Forest Lane almost smack dab between Preston Road and Hillcrest, one -half mile south of LBJ. This home is 17 years old. No way. It was the mastery of architect Ken Burgess, whose name even graces the home on a discreet platinum plate, that this home truly looks as if it were built in 2012. Ken believed that a house should evolve from its site, that humans were most comfortable in symmetrical environments, and he believed in nature as a calming influence. Those are qualities that are timeless.

2 Los Arboles Ct Living room 2 Los Arboles Ct kitchen 2 Los Arboles Ct Dining room 2 Los Arboles Ct family room 2 Los Arboles Ct study 2 Los Arboles Ct hallway 2 Los Arboles Ct master 2 Los Arboles Ct master bathIn 1996, with the goal of protecting and preserving trees on an existing .60 acre lot within the budding neighborhood of Los Arboles, Ken Burgess was hired to carry out the dreams of building a modern family home. The design challenge: bring the outside in, cleanly, gracefully

The late architect was raised in New Mexico and studied at the University of Texas under Hall Box in the 1970s, or so Doug Newby tells us. His passion for everything southwest is evident in his modern work that plays off images of Texas. His houses are designed as clusters of smaller separate structures. But unlike Frank Lloyd Wright and his silly notion of “living outdoors”, Burgess’ works are connected by long galleries covered by a gently sloping standing seam metal roof. He is best known for his most vertical residence found at 2814 Park Bridge Court off of Turtle Creek Boulevard, yet he has designed many homes throughout Texas as well as San Francisco,  Vermont, and New Mexico.

At 2 Los Arboles, you have an immediate connection with the exteriors before you reach the front door. A good part of the property is in the front yard, where three huge trees serve as sculptures. Then, the house. Maple hardwoods are everywhere, and the living room is defined by a sunken step-down. The kitchen is totally updated, and the laundry room large enough to be called a wrapping room at the long built-in desk. There is storage everywhere, including a nook for a pet crate, a mail nook, an exterior potting porch, a half-bath for the pool, natural light, walls for art, and serenely beautiful views of the grounds from every window.

I really loved the way the architect left the natural stone as part of the hallway wall, creating visual interest and texture as only natural stone can.

Then there are the bedroom wings: on one end are two bedrooms and a shared bath, ostensibly for the children. As you walk in to this wing, you face a giant chalkboard wall where messages and reminders can be left –brilliant! The master is in it’s own “pod” complete with sitting room and huge spa bath, closet. A huge cedar closet is also nearby. Two other possible bedrooms are located over the garage, though I would keep one exactly as it is: an exercise yoga or pilates room complete with wall mirror and barre, connected to the other room via a bathroom. You want a playroom, you have it.

In all, you have four to five bedrooms, three full baths, two half, multiple living areas, a three-car garage, and the luxury of a 24hr guarded and gated community. HOA dues for this security are $850 a month. If you are looking for a “lock and leave” inside the Loop, this is it. Listed by the wonder woman that is Becky Frey at Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s, with artful staging by Cliff Ellman. Problem is, the grounds are reminiscent of a Hill Country resort with giant stone paths, peaceful trellises, landscaping by Rosa Finsley, and that refreshing pool with water wall. The lot is so well-landscaped, you can never tell where it ends.

You might want to forgo that 5 hour drive and just relax at home!2 Los Arboles Ct rear pool 2 Los Arboles Ct pool 2 Los Arboles Ct patio