Jenna Bush Hager is, of course, one of the darling fraternal twin daughters of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush. Even though she lives and works in New York City, we kind of still think of her as a Dallas gal, right? I will always remember the twins from their stint at The Hockaday School, before their dad became governor of Texas and the family moved to Austin.

Now grown and prolific women in their own right, Jenna and her twin, Barbara, have (among other amazing things) written a terrific book called Sisters First: Stories From Our Wild & Wonderful Life. The twins teased the book here in late February at a gala event for 4Word, an organization that connects, leads and supports women in the workplace. (4Word was founded by women in commercial real estate — stay tuned.)

In their book, Jenna and Barbara, each named after their grandmothers, and each thrust into the public eye just as they landed in college, discuss the valleys and peaks of carrying the Bush surname. They reflect on their “way normal” upbringing in Midland, Texas, where their maternal grandfather was a home builder, to stories from White House life; how they thought everyone’s grandfathers had presidential inaugurations; where they were and what happened on 9/11; life with the Secret Service; Jenna bemoaning the loss of anonymity as a charter school teacher during her father’s term, and Barbara telling us how her dad texts her daily, and cheered her through a recent break-up.

Jenna is a contributing correspondent on NBC’s Today show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living. She is also the author of The New York Times best seller Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope, which she wrote after traveling to Latin American in 2006 as an intern with UNICEF. 

Jenna will be in Dallas April 11, as featured speaker at the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s Distinguished Speaker Luncheon, which is heavy on real estate this year. Lucinda Buford, Realtor extraordinaire at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, is president of PCHPS. Allie Beth Allman & Associates is presenting sponsor. Capital Distributing, Lucinda Buford and Tessa Mosteller, and Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, are home sponsors, and Highland Park Village, William Briggs Architect, Venise and Larry Stuart are Legacy Sponsors. 

So what is Jenna going to talk about? (more…)

Gail and R. Gerald Turner, president of SMU, were named this year’s honorary chairs of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s fundraisers.

It’s a banner year for the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society. The group, whose mission is to preserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities, just announced its spring events, which begin on Wednesday, April 11, with the Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring Jenna Bush Hager as the speaker, chaired by Tish Key at the Brook Hollow Golf Club. The home tour follows on April 14, highlighting five beautiful and historic Park Cities homes. The events close with a free and open to the public classic and antique car show on April 21 at Burleson Park. 

Additionally, Gail and R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University, were named as honorary chairs of the annual fundraisers, which help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PCHPS archives at the University Park Library, fund the Society’s landmarking initiatives, and award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture, history or preservation.

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Jenna Bush baby familyI’ll bet Jenna Bush Hager and her cute hubby, Henry, sure wish they had bought a place in Dallas. They would get a bigger home to bring home baby Mila, and mom and dad would be nearby. Instead, because of work, they bought a cute townhome in the Federal Hill area of Baltimore back in 2008, shortly after they married. They tried to sell the 3 bedroom, 3 bath historic home that dates back to the 1880’s in late 2010, to no avail  They lowered the price to $449,000, only $9,000 more than they paid, according to Curbed. Still no action. So they did what any smart young couple does who wants to move to New York but owns real estate: they leased it. Jenna Baltimore townhome 2 Jenna Baltimore townhome

Lo and behold, intrepid reporters at The Baltimore Sun decided to go all out “Woodward and Bernstein”-style: they discovered that Jenna and Henry were still getting a homestead exemption on their property taxes for owning the house, even though they had moved away. Get this:

That month, The Sun reported that the couple had moved out of their end-unit home in the 1300 block of S. Charles St. after 21/2 years and put it on the market. Days later, The Washington Post reported that the Hagers had decamped for New York so Jenna could be close to her twin sister, Barbara, and the “Today” show, where she’s a correspondent. Tax-credit activist Matt Gonter quickly alerted state assessors to the development. A month later, though, Henry Hager notified the state assessments agency in writing that the house was still the couple’s residence, Charles said. In an interview, Hager said that until July of last year he was living in the house during the week working at Constellation Energy and traveling to New York on weekends to be with his wife.

But then, oops: when the new tax year began, the Hagers got their tax break of a whopping $296, a break they should not have “enjoyed” because the house was now a rental.

“That is an honest mistake on my part,” said Hager, adding that he called the state assessments agency Monday trying to set things right. “I wasn’t familiar enough, quite frankly, with the tax credit and its existence. I’ll repay whatever I owe.”

That $296 is really going to plump up the Maryland economy. All this complication with property taxes is enough to drive a young person to rent!

Here’s a cool place if you have a hankering for a second home in the Baltimore MD area — the market there is not too shabby, but you might have to worry about crime. Jenna Bush Hager and her husband, Henry, have their super historical townhouse on the market for $474,900 for the three-bedroom, 2000 square foot former storefront with original hardwoods, 11 foot ceilings, gas fireplace¬†and exposed brick. The home also has a garage and a neat¬†two-story rooftop terrace¬†off the master bedroom. Oh and that master bath sports a white marble tub and spa bath, not too shabby for these young un’s who got hitched in Texas in 2008. In Maryland, selling prices are recorded so the WSJ reports that Henry paid¬†$440,000 for the property back in 2008. Guess they are hoping for a little appreciation. The town home is near Federal Hill, which is kind of like Georgetown, if you know D.C. Also the Baltimore Sun dug up¬†this: the couple‚Äôs mountain bikes were stolen from their garage in June, which makes everyone wonder if Baltimore crime is enough to maybe send them back home to Texas?