I get emails like this from time to time:
I’m a British journalist based in Austin and I’m working on a story for the Sunday Telegraph magazine in London that I’m hoping you can help with. It’s pegged to the new season of Dallas starting in the Fall in the UK (in June, I believe, over here) but I’m actually focusing on the Hunt family (which Harry Hurt III’s book called ‘the real Ewings’!)
Meet Alex Hannaford. He was in town last week digging up dirt on, as he said, “the real Ewing family” which Harry Hurt III claims is based on the H.L. Hunt family. Well, of course I helped. As did some other high-profile journalists in town. Because any time you talk about family greed, wealth, mega-money and oil, guess what crosses the path? Real Estate. Case in point: does anyone in Texas ever sell off their mineral rights? I didn’t think so.
Alex toured the Residences at the Ritz Carlton Dallas, and was introduced to modern day Dallas tycoons like Tim Headington via his $14 million condo. Alex was shocked that we stage our listings in Texas.
“Are these homes occupied?” he asked?
Turns out, one was– whoops! I explained that to help buyers visualize the empty space, agents hire designers to decorate the room beautifully so as to impart the image that if you buy the home, your life will be as perfect as the design of that unit. He was impressed. They don’t do that in London, home of the priciest real estate in the world.
Then, after the obligatory visit to Southfork Ranch, he popped over to meet Allie Beth Allman herself at Mt. Vernon, built by H.L. Hunt and one of Dallas’ most famous real estate landmarks. Asking price: $29,500,000. So don’t be surprised if some wealthy Dallas-obsessed Brit reads about Mt. Vernon in the London Daily Telegraph Sunday magazine — it’s the British equivalent of the New York Times — and jets down here to buy it.
Another reporter from the Daily Telegraph was in town two weeks ago, John Swaine, his assignment on what George W. Bush is doing these days, his life in Dallas. Like where is he golfing? How has real estate held up on Daria Drive? Pretty darn well, I told him.