After just 10 days on the market, our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans is already under contract, reports listing agent Sam Saladino. 

Cedar Hill is hot!” Saladino shared. “You can’t beat the dollar per square foot for the neighborhood, home sizes, and amenities.”

The subdivision, which is dubbed Wildwood, plays host to this cool contemporary perched high in the hills above Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park. It’s part of the larger Lake Ridge development, a hotbed of luxury homes in a very reasonable price range and on a hidden gem of a lake. 


We have a treat for you this Memorial Day that will not only give you something to remember, it will change the way you live every Memorial Day for years to come. Next year, you will thank me for telling you all about this gemstone of a home that will be auctioned off June 12 by Heritage Auctions with NO RESERVE.

That is correct, no reserve. How memorable is that! Also, this auction is ON LINE only, so interested parties need to SIGN UP.

Previously listed at $900,000, the home is on a spectacular peninsula on Joe Pool Lake! That means sweeping lake views from nearly every room, and there are a lot of rooms: the homes boasts four entertainment areas, five bedrooms, seven baths, two laundry rooms (which you will definitely find handy with all the boating), an exercise room, formals, great entertainment areas inside and out including lush landscaping around two exterior patios, plus solid construction for a total of 6,476 square feet.

The home is in Lake Ridge, a beautiful, hilly, high-end community located in Cedar Hill, just 25 miles southeast of downtown Dallas. The development has five parks, baseball, soccer and football fields and a pond stocked with bass. Listen to the falling water from the infinity pool in your own backyard and enjoy the fire pit on chilly nights. You are close enough to Dallas to get in for business, far enough away to get away from the maddening crowd and noise.

Out here at Joe Pool Lake, all you will hear is nature. And waterfalls.


Lake Ridge Community

I’ve found a unique and exceptional luxury home in the gated Lake Ridge Community of Cedar Hill, just 15 minutes southwest of downtown Dallas. Lake Ridge is a 3,400-acre master-planned community of lots with acreage. A serene and tranquil setting suffuses the property, which sits on over an acre and backs up to the 165-acre Valley Ridge Park. It is just two blocks from the exclusive Tangle Ridge Golf Course and minutes from Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park. Outdoor living takes on a glorious scale here.

The Mediterranean lines on the home at 1626 Pebble Beach Ln. are complemented inside by soaring ceilings and windows, a domed office, and Travertine flooring. The palatial entryway is two stories high and features a dramatic winding staircase — you’ll make an entrance here every time you arrive home!

Every detail was considered in this spacious property, with 7,225 square feet on two stories and five bedrooms, located in different wings of the house and each with its own ensuite bathroom. Privacy is ensured. But it’s also created for entertaining, with a partially open floorplan, three living areas, a formal dining room with butler’s pantry, an upstairs game room adjacent to the theater-style media room with a wet bar, workout room, and a study. There’s even a wine cellar on the first floor.

This dramatic and impressive house is listed by broker Thelma Goldman, owner of Goldman and Associates for $899,000. There’s an open house this Saturday, May 13, from 2-5 p.m. with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Let’s take a look before someone snatches it up!


Here’s more proof of how well home builders are doing in some parts of the country, namely, of course, Texas: a Coral Gables residential developer recently bought up a super successful builder of residential communities, many in Texas.

In early May, SouthStar Communities paid $29 million big ones to buy Bluegreen Communities, which has created 11 residential developments in the Southeast and Texas. Close to home, Bluegreen owned the Lake Ridge development on Joe Pool Lake and the Reserve at Sugar Tree near Weatherford, as well as beautiful Vintage Oaks down in New Braunfels, Texas, which I have had the pleasure of visiting. Very impressed with the homes and the vineyard which is a part of the property development. SouthStar, which has been in business since 1999, is led by CEO J. Larry Rutherford, who has been on Bluegreen’s board of directors for 14 years. Boca Raton-based Bluegreen Corp. Bluegreen’s primary business is vacation resorts, such as time-shares. I’m told SouthStar will not be involved in timeshares.

Bluegreen also developed, then sold,  one of my favorite developments north of town, the lush Bridges at Preston Crossing. It’s a 1580 acre former private horse farm that Bluegreen turned into a living community with an 18 hole golf course, a clubhouse, pool, 24 acre fishing lake, greenbelts and forests all in Gunter, north of Prosper.  Here’s a huge plus for The Bridges: a first class equestrian center for all homeowners right in your backyard.

Once a playground for international polo players and Dallas’ elite, The Bridges Equestrian Center is now the perfect paradise for horse and riding enthusiasts.  Bluegreen sold The Bridges to Mehrdad Moayedi, than man developing out around Champ D’Or, aka Saint Stoneleigh — the man who snapped up the Stoneleigh Residences out of bankruptcy. I hear the ranch house, once the site of many a Cattle Barons bash, has been snapped up by a prominent Dallas family. BTW: coolio party at the Stoneleigh penthouse this Wednesday, so stay tuned for deets.

Near Cedar Hill, Lake Ridge is the Dallas answer to the Hill Country. Though at one time it held the unsavory title of the foreclosure capital of North Texas, LakeRidge is actually one of housing’s most complete success stories as the foreclosed inventory was absorbed.

“My wife is from Austin,” says former pro player Dexter Coakley. “Lake Ridge reminds me of those Hill Country hills and landscapes you don’t get in flatter parts of Texas. Plus there are bigger lots, so you can enjoy all your toys.”

The lots are huge in Lake Ridge, most averaging one to three acres per homestead. And the homes are large, too, with a minimum square footage requirement of 2200. Most are far larger: one retired couple built an 18,000 square foot home. Sam Putney’s Lake Ridge home, before he sold it, weighed in at 9202 square feet. (And that home was loaded!)

That SouthStar liked the props enough to buy is further evidence that these areas have turned the corner. Stay tuned for more news from these peeps: as they say in Hollywood, this is only the beginning.

Former Cowboy Linebacker Dexter Coakley loves living in Lake Ridge, a hilly 3600 acre development along Joe Pool Lake on the west side of Cedar Hill, 3.5 miles west of Highway 67. In 1994, Bluegreen Communities acquired the one-time ranch land and opened it to builders. Said to be the only place where you are truly mid-city — you can have views of downtown Dallas and Fort Worth at the same time, not to mention Cowboy Stadium and the lake. Unlike many developed communities with cutely-spun names, Lake Ridge is actually ON a lake, on a ridge. The 800-foot elevation on the hilltop provides views of Joe Pool Lake, downtown Fort Worth, and Tangle Ridge Golf Course. Within the community are the rolling acres of Valley Ridge Park, with sports fields, playgrounds, and walking and biking trails. Lots range from a bargain basement low of $29,900 to half a million dollars, sold directly to the consumer. And all this natural beauty is just a 20-minute drive from downtown Dallas.

Which is what drew Coakley and his family.

“My wife is from Austin,” says the former pro player. “Lake Ridge reminds me of those Hill Country hills and landscapes you don’t get in flatter parts of Texas. Plus there are bigger lots, so you can enjoy all your toys.”

The lots are huge in Lake Ridge, most averaging one to three acres per homestead. And the homes are large, too, with a minimum square footage requirement of 2200. Most are far larger: one retired couple built an 18,000 square foot home. Sam Putney’s Lake Ridge home, before he sold it, weighed in at 9202 square feet. (And that home was loaded!)

former Putney home

But you cannot write a story about Lake Ridge without scouring her past: this area was once referred to as the foreclosure capital of North Texas.

The neighborhood, like most after the real estate market fell out, suffered from foreclosures. At one point, back in 2009, renters were living in million-dollar Lake Ridge homes for less than $1,000 per month. It wasn’t only in Lake Ridge — this happened everywhere. Some areas, such as the Singing Hills subdivision in southeast Oak Cliff, also became a prime target for fake rental scams: unscrupulous people leasing homes they had no ownership in to renters.  When the home entered foreclosure, these scammers filed an appeal bond, delaying the court’s foreclosure process for 30 to 60 days or longer. Then, with the case tied up, the scammers used that time to change the door locks and seek “tenants”, collecting rent until the homeowner, real estate agent or authorities got wise. In the first half of 2008, Lancaster, DeSoto, Duncanville and Cedar Hill had more than 900 foreclosures.

Lake Ridge, perhaps because of its large homes, had no higher of a foreclosure rate than most mass developments: 60 homes out of 2600 were lost in foreclosure, like .2 percent. But for some reason, those measly foreclosures at Lake Ridge captured media attention like a big scarlet “A”.

But if Lake Ridge once had a “foreclosure reputation,” it is quickly gaining a new rap: it’s the new poster child of foreclosure success. I was curious to see what was going on out there, so I drive out a few days ago, bracing myself to see empty homes, rotting bulldozers, all those elements of construction standing still.

Saw none of it. In fact, Lake Ridge is doing surprisingly pretty darn well. Fewer than 200 homesites are left to sell out of those 2600 homesites. The Summit, 800 feet elevation, has only 13 lots left. And all those homes shown on the news as “foreclosures” back in 2008 and 2009 now having families living in them. The rent check scammers — gonesville.

I’m not saying this is all real estate nirvana.

“I’m not sure we’ll ever get back to those good times in 2005,  2006, where you could flip homes and make money overnight, ” says Coakley. “Appreciation is not going to happen even in a year or two. We need to go back to thinking long term. My family is young, and  I’m willing to give it at least ten years.”

Coakley notes the large volume of homes sold already, the way buyers can use the custom builder of their choice, which keeps the development from looking too cookie-cutter.

We are seeing construction, he says: people are buying, building. Not just average homes, but  7000 square foot plus. New retail and restaurant is also coming in to nearby shopping centers, all positive signs that there is a lot of life after foreclosure.

The Coakleys could have lived, well, anywhere.

They were living in Coppell when Dexter was drafted by Dallas. He and his wife looked at Starwood in Frisco, but wanted more bang for the buck and more property. They had never been in Cedar Hill. Their Realtor took them out to Lake Ridge, and Coakley was “wowed”. He wanted a few acres and to take his sweet time building, which they did.  Buying the property in 1999, they didn’t build until 2004, completing their 5 bedroom, 8 bath, 7,000 square foot plus home with basketball court and pool in 2005, while he played for the Rams. In fact, it wasn’t until  2007 they got to finally move in.

“I was itching to get back to the house and that land when I was in St Louis,” he says. “I guess we caught the market just right.”

Coakley says his family is 20 minutes from both downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, 20 minutes from Cowboy Stadium and DFW. They like the central location while being away from what he calls the “hustle and bustle”, yet still keeping an eye on it. This July 4, his family watched fireworks from five communities in their backyard.

“I lived that crazy life style, crowded restaurants, waits and traffic when I was in the NFL,” says Coakley. “Now I want to come home and enjoy life.”

Come out here, says Coakley, you might fall in love with the hills and never want to go back.