The 7,154-square-foot Hillcrest Estates home of Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman and his wife, Dr. Lisa Umholtz, is still slated for auction this Saturday, September 28, 11:00 a.m. with no minimum reserve price at 11322 East Ricks Circle, Dallas, with Elite Auctions.

The final preview is scheduled for Friday (this afternoon) from 1-4pm, and registration begins bright and early Saturday morning at 9:00am.

Elite Auctions is the luxury home auction company whose signs you may be seeing more frequently around DFW. Elite successfully auctioned off the Vaquero properties of Vanessa Swarovski, then later Mark Texeira, and the Highland Park home of Michael Young, among many others.

But Saturday, it’s all about North Dallas and a pristine enclave that some call Preston Hollow, which is really more Preston Royal, the official neighborhood name being Hillcrest Estates. Comprised of about 90 minimum one-acre home spreads, a few select homes along East and West Ricks Circle, Wander Lane and Belmead, actually boast larger than acre lots.

The Kleinman home is one of them. And a week ago, I learned that the home’s unique contemporary design actually inspired the Kleinman’s daughter to a career in architecture.

 

Built in 1993 by AIA Fellow Gregory S. Ibanez, the five-bedroom, six-full, two-half-bathroom home was also a fixture on the Raymond Nasher Tour of Homes back in 1996, as well as the Northaven Tour of Homes. The home was first listed with Kyle Rovinsky of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate for $4,567,890, then lowered to $3.95 million.

Ultimately the home’s price came down to $3.795, first with Rovinsky, then with Allie Beth Allman and Christine McKenny. The home is now listed by Cliff Freeman of eXp Realty.

Though it is being sold without reserve, the asking price is $3.5 million.

“The asking price is a good guide for what it would take to buy this house, prior to auction,” says Elite Marketing Director Alicia Chmielewski.

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Alana Davis has joined Briggs-Freeman-Sotheby’s International Realty as vice president of sales.

Davis’ responsibilities will include agent development, agent recruitment, strategic planning, and business planning, as well as sales-related projects with the firm’s executive team.

Active in real estate sales for nearly 20 years in both Texas and Florida Davis provides a deep well of experience. Most recently she managed and mentored agents for a national brokerage in the Plano/Frisco area. 

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There are homes that wow you, and then there are homes like this modern mansion in Cedar Hill that completely blow you away. As you drive past the 85-foot long reflecting pool brimming with fountains to get to the front door, you’ll feel as though a valet is going to pop out to whisk your car away, and that’s not a bad idea for when you host parties here. Guests will be in awe from the moment they see the splendid abode, and that feeling will only continue to grow as they step into the polished porcelain foyer with soaring high ceilings and double staircases. 

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When I think about contemporary architecture, I gravitate to dramatic lines and angles, creative use of light, and bright accent colors. So when I saw this brand new listing from Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate’s Ralf Baumann, I had to share it with you because it not only has a wonderful contemporary feel, but the use of light and the wide-open spaces in this immense Oak Lawn new build will definitely leave and impression.

The home is located right in the thick of Oak Lawn, and sports incredible floor-to-ceiling windows and a floating staircase that definitely brings the “WOW” factor. With 22-foot ceilings, drama is a priority, not an afterthought. 

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“This is definitely the gem of Sondra Drive that is nestled in the heart of Lakewood!” gushed Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate’s Matthew Edwards when I asked him about his brand new listing. The home is not only a newer build in one of Dallas’ most sought-after neighborhoods, but it the location is beyond enviable, making it a shoo-in for our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans

Of course, Lakewood is teeming with stellar homes of all ages and sizes, but homes on Sondra Drive are particularly sought after because of the private feel of the narrow, tree-lined streets. Plus, you’re so close to everything.

“This property lives wonderfully and has so many great amenities,” Edwards added. “It’s within walking distance to Lakewood Elementary and White Rock Lake!”

It’s true. Sondra Drive has twice the appeal of other Lakewood locations thanks to its proximity to Lakewood Elementary and its distance from the main thoroughfares that traverse the neighborhood. But if you’re a homebody like me, what you’ll really love the backyard, which has a great pool, spa, outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and a tidy lawn that will mean you’ll have plenty of room outside to keep both kids and parents happy no matter the season. No need for KayCee Pool memberships here!

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It’s not every day you come across a dreamy, peaceful estate ideally located near sumptuous shopping and dining. Situated on 1.5 acres, this beautiful house in the heart of Southlake is that rare find. But, shhhh … it’s off-market, so not everyone knows it’s up for grabs. Once you see the sprawling green lawn, airy open floor plan, and chic gourmet kitchen, you’ll want to be the one to call it home next.

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Tucked behind the guarded gates of Chateau Du Lac in Flower Mound, this pristine abode radiates grandeur and elegance from the moment you pull into the driveway. Let the maze-like gardens before the front door transport you to the lavish French countryside, where the smell of lavender always lingers. With a few trips to the market, your new home can be known for this enchanting aroma, too, which is highly appropriate since you’ll be living in lovely Flower Mound.

To let you in on a little secret, Flower Mound is the new “it” spot everyone is house hunting in, and this property is the ultimate gem. Voted the Safest Texas City with a Population over 50,000, Flower Mound is a beautiful place to live with tons to do. People are gravitating to the area for its idyllic landscape and easy commute to both Dallas and Fort Worth, and chic restaurants and stores are pouring in, too.

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Why Property Taxes are so BAD

Last weekend, the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) awarded this series discussing state and local property taxes “Bronze” in their Best Series category.  While originally published in May 2016, a year later nothing has alleviated our property tax increases. 

Several weeks ago I wrote a pair of columns (here and here) about how the core math of Texas property taxes is fundamentally broken (and always has been).  While, A+B=C, if “A” is patently wrong, how can “B” and “C” be accurate?

In this case, “A” is assessed property value, “B” is property tax rate and “C” is the revenue required to run the city and state.  In Texas, without real estate transaction disclosure, “A” is always a bit of a crapshoot as DCAD pulls assessed values out of thin air.  Now I’m sure there’s some enormous algorithm they use to calculate values (a bottle of Jack, a blindfold and a dart board?) but in the end, not having access to the actual selling prices of real estate in Texas hamstrings a meaningful conversation about taxation rates.

As it is, property tax assessment districts in Texas have higher rates (“B”) than are actually needed because they have no visibility into “A” valuations.  Texas rates are high because the underlying assessed values are inaccurate.

Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News outlined how this year’s rate increases hit middle-income homes harder than higher income homes.  Color me shocked!  And yet, the middle class are just as vocal about keeping Texas’ system of non-disclosure in place.

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