Merriman Park dallasThe increasing property values in East Dallas’ Merriman Park neighborhood are the stuff of happy homeowners.

The house at 6852 Freemont St., our Thursday Three Hundred, is a totally renovated midcentury with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 2,473 square feet, listed last week by Jennifer Friedman Ackerman with Virginia Cook, Realtors for $399,900, or $162 per square foot.

It was last sold in 2011 for $249,900, or $113 per square foot. That’s big appreciation in four years! 6852 Freemont A BEFOREThis “before” shot of the exterior gives you an idea of the transformation this house has undergone. Hardly looks like the same place. Let’s take a look at the rest of the changes, which include opening up the rooms, a new kitchen, hardwood floors, and contemporary, stylish touches everywhere.

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Central Dallas Home

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, the old saying goes. If that’s the case, then the post-war beauty at 5824 Palm Ln. won’t be on the market long, so take a look while it’s still available.

This 2-2 is renovated from the top to bottom of its 1,479 square feet. The reno includes newly refinished and stained hardwoods, crown molding, surround sound capability, Wink home automation, a luxury master bathroom, and a kitchen that wows with its look and amenities.

The North Stonewall Terrace neighborhood in central Dallas is a prime location, near Mockingbird and Matilda, just three blocks from Central Expressway, three miles from White Rock Lake, and 3.5 miles from NorthPark Center.

It’s also zoned for Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, rated “10” by GreatSchools.org.

Our Thursday Three Hundred was listed June 5 by Damon Williamson at Keller Williams Park Cities for $399,900, and we bet this Central Dallas home will find a buyer soon.

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Actress Hilary Swank hosted the best ticket in town Saturday night, a Super Bowl XLV dinner party at 10660 Strait Lane, the home of Lillie and Phil Romano. The entire event, and let me tell you it was 700 people strong,  benefited The Giving Back Fund.

Why am I writing about this social event? Ah, so glad you asked. It happened to take place at one of Dallas’ most talked about homes on the market, the Phil and Lillie Romano estate that has been on the market now for, oh, four years. This is the home that caused a huge fight between me and Mama, ’till we kissed and made up. P.S. Mama told me Phil was none too happy with her little write up.

Now Phil Romano is totally my kind of man because he, too , believes in having many homes. Almost a year ago, he bought 4838 Shadywood, a lovely hilltop Bluffview home on one acre that was restored by Downing Thomas and George Lewis in 1993. The 4769 square foot home has three bedrooms — two masters, actually — three full baths and two half baths. There is an infinity edge pool, landscaping by Robert (not Ralph) Bellamy and a 1080 square foot guest house. Full disclosure: my daughter spent many a fun time playing in that house as a child. The former owner was none other than dynamic Briggs Freeman Realtor LeeLee Gioia.

The home was last listed at $2,595,000 and DCAD has it valued at $1.8, so my guess is it sold somewhere in the middle. Most beautiful property on a street that reminds one more of Greenwich, Ct. than Dallas. Kay Bailey Hutchison is just around the corner. Anyhow, not sure exactly why Phil and Lillie bought Shadywood while they already have Strait, except that I totally get it. What is my mantra? Repeat after me: One can never have too many homes! Phil did buy and redo 4645 Meadowood in 2007 — Erin Mathews and David Nichols got that moved lickety-split. The Romanos dig real estate. Strait is on the market for $12,500,00.¬† First listed with Doris Jacobs in 2007 for $17,500,000 — hey, it was that kind of market then, can we even remember those days? Now listed with Claire Dewar of Briggs Freeman/ Sothebys for $12,500,000, Strait is a 4.697 acre estate with gorgeous views of the grounds, private lake with fountains, waterfalls and a creek side setting. Really much more like a resort, Strait is 14,680 square feet with eight bedrooms, 8.4 baths (guess that means four half-baths, I cannot recall from when I was in the home, but it is a lot of Charmin) and get this: 9 living areas. Also wine room, media room, tennis court, and I would not be surprised if Phil had a putting green or three. Media tonight was banished to the garage — don’t get me wrong, gorgeous garage and they had a heater and Mojitos — so I am relying on “memory” here. But this is a house born to party, party built right into her DNA, so she was in her full prime. And how smart is Claire Dewar to bring in the glitterati of Hollywood while in town for XLV? You know one of those celebs might just snap up chez Romano Strait, pack it up and take that house back to LA on someone’s G 5. I know what they were saying: in LA, baby, this house would be well over $30 million.

Over on FrontBurner, My Sweet Charity‘s Jeanne Prejean has a great photo of Phil, Hilary and Lillie. Why is Hilary wearing a tee shirt and jeans? Jeanne reports the airlines must have lost Hilary’s luggage and party frock. Did what any gal does in such a situation — happened to me at The Greenbrier this summer, in fact — go shopping. But despite her need to do laundry, don’t think Hilary flopped in any one of those 8 bedrooms. No sir, she’s staying down at the Crescent Rosewood Hotel along with Jesse Metcalfe — remember that¬† hot young gardener on Desperate Housewives who got it on with Gabby, aka Eva Longoria? I’m told Jesse Williams (he plays Dr. Avery on Greys Anatomy)
Michael Clark Duncan, Brian Baumgartner, Tony Romo and Miles Austin are also staying at the Cresent. By the way, Rosewood just opened Rosewood San Miguel De Allende. And guess what’s next? Give up? Second homes by Rosewood in San Miguel De Allende.

Don’t touch that dial!