Patrick has inspired me to re-run this post from December, 2010, when I had the pleasure of meeting Mama or the RealEstalker, in person in LA. This post brings us back to the past, 2007 or 2008, when few knew or understood real estate blogging in Dallas. Few, of course, except for Jeff Duffey! 

The RealEstalker was a true pioneer in our obsession with real estate. Let’s face it: once real estate went online, everything changed. Ownership of property has always been a primary indicator of wealth, fortune and fame. And we all “like to look!”

I was in L.A. recently, and all I wanted to do was hang out with Mama, a.k.a. TheRealEstalker. I fell in love with Mama the first time she referred to a fancy pants house as a “big-ass” mansion. Laughed so hard I cried and just about wet myself, or maybe I did. But it was more than professional respect: Mama has a way of looking at these homes, these ridiculously huge homes that no one really needs, but, like a God-awful wreck on the freeway when the Medi-copter swoops down, we just have to look. I mean, I have to look, and that is why being with Mama — actually, Mark — is like being with my twin. Or alter-ego. I had this discussion at a holiday par-tee Saturday night in a home I know Mama would rip to shreds: who the hell wants to see Trailer Park House Porn?

Mama is the original House Porn Queen, I’m just the Texas helping.

When she wrote about Dallasite Phil Romano’s house I almost exploded with laughter. Oh baby, I thought, if you could only see the real thing! This was December/January of 2007/2008, and DallasDirt was relatively new. Phil’s listing agent got wind of what I had posted, well, not posted, but linked to. But no one in Dallas real estate at the time understood linking or blogging or even who the RealEstalker was.

Mama, you were ahead of your time. A true House Porn pioneer.

The agents were angry. How dare someone make fun of one of their listings, how dare I dare to endorse this daring dare of making fun of a listing. Well, I wasn’t. I was reporting it. How dare I dare to not ignore it?

The internet had not sunk in, yet. Agents would soon learn that making “fun” of their listings could send them viral, meaning more exposure to more pools of buyers.

Remember when Mama said, “Preston Holler is one of Dallas’ finer and most expensive neighborhoods where many of the swank streets are lined with mansions that make Beverly Hills look like the damn ghetto.”

Well honey, I don’t know about that, your Bev Hills is pretty darn swanky. Why even the parking meters were decorated with holiday ribbons, so festive.

What was that you said? Oh. Oh no. We don’t have parking meters in Preston Hollow.

Darling, we have chauffeurs!


So bright and early this morning, I got “McCaa’ed” on Channel 8 — and for once, having a mustache is a good thing! That’s the way WFAA-TV is reminding people that preventive health screening for men is important — and I agree whole heartedly! (Be sure you check the ticker.)

Oh, and we also talked real estate. After romping with Phil Romano’s doggies, we zipped over to Arlington.

Here are the houses we featured on Thursday:

701 Sunrise Court for $1,195,000. You’ve seen this house.

2642 Hemingway Court for $725,000. Now that’s a great street for a blogger/writer to live on!

2429 North Cooper for $499,000 (amazing)

5707 Trail Lake Drive for $235,000.

Phil Romano’s gorgeous estate at 10660 Strait Lane is on the market with another agent, at another price: only ten million dollars.

Wait, whadda mean “another agent”? It’s Doris Jacobs, not just “another agent” but one of the tip-top agents in Dallas who sells multi-million dollar homes while perusing the sale racks at Neimans. In fact, Doris Jacobs had Phil’s listing initially in 2004, but priced the nearly 5 acre estate at $17.5 million. What can I say, those were the days, really the days. The 14,748-square-foot mansion that sits off Strait Lane is almost directly across from the WaterWorld Richard Malouf is building. Ross Perot is right down the street.

Phil is probably best known as the creator of Fuddrucker’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grill, but he is also leading the development of West Dallas, an area called Trinity Groves you will soon be hearing more about on this blog.

The 14,748-square-foot home is massive, and sits on close to 4.7 acres of land off Strait Lane. From a private lake and waterfalls, to a jogging trail, creek, tennis court and a resort-like pool and spa, this home has everything a multi-millionaire could dream of and then some. Like a professional cooking area in the already over-the-top gourmet kitchen.

The home has been on the market since 2007, at, as we said, $17.5 million. The estate is certainly nowhere near as big a white elephant as was Champ D’Or, which, by the way, is being turned into an entertainment venue. I just think the market pooped out shortly after Phil listed it. The home has some extremes, but nothing a good contractor could not change.

However, our market is in sort of a force-fed recovery from lack of inventory, and there just may be more interested buyers this time around. With the uber high-end market having few products listed at over $10 million, you just never know. As for location, this is blue chip prime.

Romano’s property includes a private lake, foundations, waterfalls, a creek, a jogging trail, tennis court and a resort-like pool and spa.

It’s about finding that right buyer, Doris Jacobs told people at an elegant Christie’s Great Estates party she hosted at the home while I was in California.

“This is a very unique property that has a gorgeous setting,” Jacobs said. “You have almost five acres. At this price, it’s almost land-value.”

A steal, she says

There aren’t too many estates in Dallas priced over $10 million,

Allie Beth Allman  is currently marketing Troy Aikman’s house, and I hear one Briggs-Freeman agent has shown it about five times. Someone’s circling: a wealthy family from Mexico, says the Briggs agent, and they love it.

Oh yes, if you’d like to see Strait Lane, just holler at Doris: the house is ready at the drop of a fingernail file as the Romano’s are now living over on Shadybrook.

Beach entry pool with rock waterfall slide, CA

Terraced pools set in the hillside and a slide, Las Vegas

Well well. Seems I wrote about Richard Malouf’s backyard water-park under construction last week, and this week we see another real estate and house porn outpost has picked up the idea. probably read us, then marched out to sniff out other gargantuan, at-home water parks. Lookie what they found!

There are five luxurious mansions across the USA with over-the-top, private waterparks in their back yards, one in Cali, three in Florida and one in Las Vegas. And of course, once the Malouf’s complete their backyard water park over there on Strait Lane, across from Phil Romano’s and down the street from Ross Perot, Dallas can boast that we, too, have one! Looks like ours will be better than these waterparks, with pools ranging about 102 feet in length, slides and lounge-chair wading pools. I don’t see any with a Lazy River, do you? Nope, Malouf’s trumps them all! Look at that Lazy River behind the Private Sports Complex and keep in mind it covers almost an acre. Everything is bigger in Texas, even our private backyard water parks! I can hardly wait ’till this project is finished! Betcha $100 next season’s Dallas will find a way to film here…

102 foot long pool, Fort Lauderdale

Waterslide from master bedroom to pool, Boca Grande, Fla.

Here are the plans for Malouf’s Waterworld on Strait Lane:

Are you still reeling from the news that Yu Darvish signed for six years with the Texas Rangers to a tune of about ten million per year? Plus he just got $51.7 million (Update: his home team actually got that cash) just to negotiate. I know, crazy world. Insane. But here’s what I’m thinking: he’s going to have to buy a place to live in Dallas or Westlake, and we’ve got some great choices, though agents tell me inventory is slim pickin’s. Still, we have Phil Romano’s spread on Strait Lane, Kirby and Kari Schlegel Kloewer’s ultimate W penthouse, Justin Leonard’s home on Turtle Creek, and this Volk Estates/Franch Welch $16 million number that has been on the market FOREVER. Maybe Darvish could snap up Champs D’Or in Hickory Creek, I hear Mr. Goldfield is getting real negotiable. Deion’s place up in Prosper could be on the market, unless Pilar digs her nails into it, and she’s sure trying her best.

I have to think about this. I definitely think Yu needs two or three homes: a downtown condo (could he be holding out for Museum Tower?), something large and wonderful for every day south of LBJ, and a ranch somewhere up north.

Come one, help me. Let’s give Yu Darvish some great Dallas or FORT WORTH House Porn!