This story has been updated to include the new reserve and the extended auction.

Now this is the big league way to market a luxury home: hop aboard a King Air 350 at Love Field’s Business Jet Center, soar up over Dallas, land in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, 18 minutes later and hop into an SUV waiting right inside the hangar.

That is exactly how we traveled to tour the magnificent 18,327-square-foot estate of the late Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim and his wife, Patty, who passed late last year. The Pilgrims’ three children knew that selling such a highly specialized estate built on Bo’s chicken fortune — 43-plus acres more than 120 miles east of Dallas — would be a challenge. So they opted to do what more and more owners of luxury homes are doing these days: put it up for auction.

In fact, the online auction of Cluckingham Palace (more on the name later!) began Tuesday night and goes on until October 25. There is now a reserve of $2,999,999. So you have plenty of time to bid!

The Pilgrim estate at 800 South Greer Boulevard is on the main road to Pittsburg. The mansion has six bedrooms, 10 and a half baths, exercise room, formals, quarters, media room, and chickens etched in every corner. There’s also a huge indoor swimming pool and spa that was patterned after the famous Greenbrier Spa in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

“Mrs. Pilgrim visited the Greenbrier and phoned Richard Drummond Davis from the spa that she wanted their indoor pool to look just like the Greenbrier’s,” says listing agent Kyle Crews with Allie Beth Allman & Associates. Drummond Davis designed the home, built by Steve Thornton for an estimated $15 million, in 1992-1993. The mansion and grounds are now valued at more than $8 million.

The heavily wooded grounds include trails, statues, smooth green fields beckoning a soccer game or a horse hunt, and a pond brimming with fish.

And so we travelled the way Mrs. Pilgrim did whenever she came into Dallas to shop at Neimans or Northpark: by private jet.

From left: Terri Cox, Susan Baldwin, Mark Cain, Juli Harrison, Kyle Crews, Allie Beth Allman, Ralph Randall, Candy Evans, Joe Kobell, and Sanders Avrea

(more…)

Avanti: 4122 Avondale

[Editor’s note: Jon Anderson is a columnist for CandysDirt.com. His opinions are his own.]

I recently suggested that builders lay off the endless blocks of cookie-cutter townhouses with their all-too-familiar floor plans. I see them as an inefficient use of space that invariably cost homebuyers more for the same amount of usable space. They’re the real estate equivalent of the adage, “an elephant is a mouse designed by a committee.”  The answer is single-story “flats” condos.

However, for all their efficient use of space, high-rises often come with HOA dues that put them (monetarily and philosophically) out of reach of most — not to mention some folks being height averse. Enter the low-rise flat. In the early 20th century, many cities built a network of duplex flats, some even triplex flats. In Dallas, these buildings can be seen in many older neighborhoods in East Dallas, Oak Lawn, and Oak Cliff. They offered a way for an owner to have a rental property to ease mortgage payments.

Pre-Recession, Dallas was building a few low-rise flats condo buildings with all the joy of single-story living and reasonable HOAs. Some baulk at any HOA dues, but things like uniform exterior maintenance and landscaping matter – and it’s better to have something in the bank when problems arise versus hastily passing the hat.

Anyway, let’s peek at three low-rise flats in Oak Lawn built pre-Recession.

(more…)

5319 Nakoma IHOTW

Greenway Parks has always been a sought-after neighborhood. The central location, with close proximity to everything Dallas has to offer and homes built around “common” greenbelt areas, are some of the reasons we’re seeing it trend to a younger dynamic. So when a great house hits the market, it’s big news.

This modern traditional at 5319 Nakoma was listed by Sanders Avrea with Allie Beth Allman & Associates on Monday for $2.23 million. It’s perfect for a young family and it’s an excellent example of everything that goes right when you remodel a home.

(more…)

This stunning $1.6-million home is one of five houses featured this week in our weekly open house roundup.

The stunning $1.6-million home at 3826 Medallion Ln. is one of five featured in our weekly open house roundup.

True love doesn’t always show up on a first date, but at these five Dallas-area open houses this weekend, you might feel cupid’s (real estate) bow.

We’re visiting neighborhoods from Lakewood Estates to West Dallas’ Walnut Hill Highlands, to East Kessler and North Dallas. The prices range from $364,900 to $1.64 million. We hope you make time to visit some of these open houses or others you discover—by our count, there are around 180 in Dallas alone! Leave us a comment with your weekend open house discoveries.

(more…)