I 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.
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.
So here is what I know about this house. When we moved here, it was owned by a darling couple 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.
So 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.
Neighbors say they were very young, younger than most in this hood, and have two young children. 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.