Party Line Real Estate – Webisode 1 from Party Line on Vimeo.

Hey guys, listen up. I’ve finally got my own TV Show! It’s called Party Line Real Estate, it’s loaded with real-time Real Estate news, and you are going to LOVE IT! 

I LOVE IT when Real Estate agents get together and TALK! After all, that’s how they network! And we know there is no better way to network than at a party with the top agents in town, great food, a little string quartet music, and a Candy Bar! Well, we got a whole camera crew and invited Realtors to have some fun and give me the inside scoop on this crazy market. It was such a success, we are going to have a party and a Candy Bar every month! And you are invited to come and share!

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SecondShelters.com welcomes its newest expert contributor, Dallas Addison, who really IS from Dallas, Texas!

My name is Dallas Addison, and my passion is real estate.  I’m trained as a lawyer and have helped many clients throughout the country buy, sell, develop and manage all types of  real estate over the years, with a  particular focus on recreational and hospitality-based real estate,  such as golf courses, resorts, ranches, second homes, etc.  I’m also a founding principal of Preservation Land Company, which has created several incredible (if I may say so) conservation-based recreational ranches near Dallas and worked on projects in Montana,  Hawaii and New Mexico.  On the educational side, I’m a long-time member of the Recreation Development Council  of the Urban Land Institute, a  global organization of leaders in the  real estate industry whose mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

I will be sharing with you interesting, exciting things that are going on in recreational real estate (which we’ll broadly define) across the country. We think it’s important to know that your source is not only reliable but actually 100% involved in the recreational real estate industry.

I also have a strong personal interest in how sustainability concepts are applied in recreational real estate.   While completely overused, the concept of sustainability still has merit.   Locally, it’s darn hot here and by the looks of our rapidly dropping lakes, we’re using lots of water.  Plus, our area is quickly growing, one way or the other, putting even more stress on our resources.  We should be looking to make choices that create better and more livable communities.  So, where I see interesting and innovative sustainability practices being applied, I want to share those as well. Hopefully those ideas will take root and help us manage the growth without depleting our resources.

Finally, how  did I connect with Candy?  Well, interestingly, her husband unexpectedly delivered our first daughter, but that’s not actually how we met.  We bumped into each other years ago as we share a passion for real estate. She came out to visit one of our projects, Cross Pines Ranch, near Mineola.  We’ve had many interesting conversations about what’s going on in this space and we thought others might want to listen in on the conversation.

Stick around,  and I think you’ll  enjoy the ride. We will be having the Aspen report, just in time for ski season, new news out of Hawaii’s Big Island, and one of my favorites: Cross Pines Ranch near Mineola, pictured here. Come back, come often, and join the discussion!

 

Looking to find a little estate in the Loire Valley but your spouse wears a “France Sucks” tee? You can have 25 acres that resemble the French countryside and a 48,000 square foot estate so perfect you may never wish to leave. The 25 acre estate of Thomas O. and Cinda Hicks on Walnut Hill Lane and Hollow Way Road in Preston Hollow just hit the non-MLS market for a whopping $135 million. For more photos and all the scoop, check out the site of Douglas Newby, who is the agent.

And it may actually now be the most expensive home listed in the entire United States!

For years, the Crespi Estate has headed every list of the Most Expensive Home in Dallas. But, having been inside it, I can tell you this home is about so much more than money. There was speculation when former President Bush bought his home on Daria that he wanted to be near the Hicks, and perhaps utilize their helicopter landing area. (Hicks does not have a concrete helicopter pad, I learned at the time, but he does have the lighting.) The Hicks have a rear auto estate entrance just a few feet from the Dallas North Tollway service road. The Hicks family hosted numerous Mayfllower Estates homeowners meetings introducing the Bushes to the neighborhood.

According to Doug, Mr. and Mrs. Hicks acquired the Crespi estate 16 years ago and Cinda spent five to ten years completing the architectural vision of the original architect, Maurice Fatio. She brought in international architect Peter Marino from New York and worked painstakingly on the home, refining and honoring Fatio’s proportions and architecture. I have heard from knowledgeable sources they spent close to $100 million on the expansion and remodel. The Hicks have raised six children in the house and are now empty nesters in a home DCAD sizes up at 28,996 square feet for the main structure, 6300 for the guest house, and 7200 for the pool house. That might be a little large for two people, eh? Tom Hicks is the former chairman of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, an investment banking firm, and he once owned the Stars and the Rangers. Hicks sold the Rangers for around $590 million in 2010. He recently just this January settled disputes with Texas Rangers Baseball Partners administrator Alan Jacobs. He is now the chairman of Hicks Holdings and currently making several exciting business acquisitions.
Doug says the dirt in Mayflower Estates is valued at $2 million per acre, which would be about $50 million, and the residence with pool house, guest house and main house comprises 42,500 square feet for a grand total of $85,000,000.

So it appears it will take $135,000,000 to buy The Crespi Estate. Did I get all those zeros right? This makes our Mt. Vernon look like a Blue Light Special.

But really, $135 million is nothing for the most refined, sophisticated residence in Texas on an expansive 25 acre estate that is merely 8 minutes from downtown Dallas, the Arts District, 40 minutes from D/FW or really, what matters, 15 from your private jet hangar at Love Field. I have been in this home and seen what the Hicks have created and it would be impossible, impossible to replicate it. A new owner could even add a stable: one horse per acre in Preston Hollow!

As Doug described it so aptly in this post for The Huffington Post:

“A winding private drive descends to the home beautifully placed in front of a creek flowing across the 25-acre estate property. It is majestic, dignified and graceful. The home is also warm and fun. The design exudes elegance and the architecture, a subtle power. The architectural massing of the main house, guest house and pool house convey a home that is grand yet serves primarily as a place for a family to live. The sensibility for the past is blended skillfully with the technology and resources of the present, presenting visual continuity. The estate owners honored the original family, architecture and history of the home with an inspired approach — one that creates the impression that the home has not been renovated or expanded, but truly and magnificently completed.

To be continued, stay very tuned..

Falling apart house

I WISH I could call it “re-construction”, as I almost did, and I wish I could report that it was just me getting my boob job to start out 2013 on a higher level.

No, it’s better! We are in the process of expanding our site, making it bigger, better, easier to read, click, and. Already we have Facebook comments, and we will be posting a clone of this fun site on CandysDirt.com, making it a one-click stop to read about second and vacation homes. We are going to have more home design and upkeep info, and generally more resources for our beloved, rapidly-growing network of readers and subscribers.

Among the new features making their debut in the January re-launch of CandysDirt.com will be a sleek new homepage providing readers with access to all the real estate scoop and “House Porn” their heart desires, right at their fingertips. We will also have:

- A re-vamped listing of CandysDirt.com-approved builders, since we are so selective about who we approve. Each builder is vetted and personally approved by us before their name crosses our homepage. Note: we hope to do this eventually with second homew builders.

-A comprehensive listing of top-notch neighborhoods and what makes them go tick/tock.

-Access to news and posts covering relocation (Move Me), home décor and staging (Stage Me), as well as outdoor entertaining and landscaping trends (Green Me),

-Easier access to SecondShelters.com where readers can indulge themselves in fabulous second home fantasies and vacation properties. Course, you can always come here as you always have.

- Hip Pockets: in the tight world of Dallas real estate inventory, we are working to bring you listings before they even hit the market or MLS.

So please bear with us. I’ll try to vacuum up the dust as Amy and Kristen hammer and saw, and Jo is in the other room with a dust mop. Meantime, please let us know what you think, like or don’t like about the new site. Tell us what else you’d like to see (or have missed) in case we are missing something. Cheers!

Well I had an interesting day yesterday. Started at the North Dallas MLS Meeting, ended up in court. Seems Dr. Richard Malouf and his wife want a temporary restraining order against me, Byron Harris, WFAA-TV, and Laura Wilson, mother of Owen Wilson, who lives next door to Richard and Leanne. That’s right, they are suing their next-door neighbor. This is all public record, so happy reading — oh the part about climbing on Mrs. Wilson’s roof and the camera in the closet, and, well, ALL of it, to quote a dear friend of mine: You just can’t make this *%#$@! up!

Well, actually, I guess you CAN!

Original Petition TRO and Temporary Injunction, Malouf v. Evans

Is this the private Dallas water park that braces built? And would you even consider putting in a water park in a private home? Texas Drills Down on Medicaid Dental Fraud” (sub. rec.) is a headline in today’s Wall Street Journal. What do they mean by that? Possibly the business practices of people like Richard Malouf who is putting in a WaterPark that one reader thinks we ought to christen “WaterPik Park” over on Strait Lane. His gates were wide open on Sunday as trucks heaved in the equipment which is now sitting right in the front yard of what was once 10711 Strait Lane.

 

 

That is, as you know, is the Family Sports World.

 

If any of you were as surprised as I was over this Medicaid deal — I mean, I know what Medicaid reimburses physicians for medical care and it is barely enough to cover the exam table paper in the office — it seems as though the problem stemmed from a 2007 civil lawsuit (that really started in 1993) that made the state increase reimbursement rates for Medicaid dental services:

“The suit, a federal class action filed by parents in 1993 against state officials, alleged Texas was failing in its duty to ensure that children on Medicaid received proper preventative care in dental and other areas. Eligibility for Children’s Medicaid in Texas is pegged to income. In 2007, Texas legislators agreed to settle, conceding that there was a dwindling number of doctors and dentists in the state willing to treat Medicaid patients and agreeing to increase Medicaid-reimbursement rates. A 2012 report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform offered case studies in various states of supposed Medicaid abuse; it cited dental services in Texas as a particular problem area. By 2010, according to the report, Texas’ Medicaid program was spending more on braces than the other 49 state Medicaid programs spent combined on such orthotics.

This is just what Byron Harris reported, and I wonder why the WSJ doesn’t mention his report. It has also, like always, resulted in the loss of services for kiddos who really need it: All Smiles Dental Professionals P.C., has shuttered 13 orthodontic offices in the Dallas area because of the investigation, leaving an estimated 12,000 Medicaid-eligible patients without care.

But hey, Water-Pik Park is coming! Look at those slides just waiting to be installed! It’s only 6.5 million gallons of water, and Texas sure has plenty of that… right?

Our Miami correspondent, Andrea Kavanagh, is back and house-hunting for us! Calling all billionaire art aficionados and free-spending, globe-trotting investors! Miami is all a buzz over Ocean Drive’s most infamous residence to hit the sizzling hot real estate market at a whopping $125 million. Casa Casuarina, also known as the Versace mansion, is an iconic oasis – a piece of art and a piece of history sitting in the middle of South Beach. Located at 1116 Ocean Drive, the mansion is also notorious as the former home of Italian designer Gianni Versace who was shot to death at the front gate in 1997. Grisly as that was, it remains one of the most popular tourist sites in Miami.

The listing, one of the most expensive homes on the market in the United States, has made national news and prompted a CNBC feature on Miami’s booming real estate market. High-end real estate prices in Miami are breaking records as foreign investors and wealthy families from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Russia are looking for a safe place to store their cash.

So what will this $125M “investment” buy you in South Florida?

Casa Casuarina is a 23,462 square-foot gated home with 10 opulent bedroom and 11 bathrooms. It is highlighted by a 54-foot long mosaic pool lined in 24-karat gold, numerous frescos and ornate statues, arched doorways and an open air courtyard. It features an extravagant mosaic garden, European-inspired architecture and a tropical poolside paradise. Originally built in 1930, the property was designed to pay homage to the oldest existing house in the western hemisphere, the “Alcazar de Colon” in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Versace purchased the home in 1992 and invested approximately $33M in expansions including the south wing and the pool and garden area, along with his artistic vision. The home’s current owner bought the property in 2000 and has preserved and maintained all of Versace’s design elements.

Listed by Coldwell Banker, interest in this property has been high, as buyers and investors are pouring money into the ultra-luxury market in South Florida. Within the first week on the market, the listing agents received 15 calls from serious potential buyers and investors. Casa Casuarina is available for purchase as either a single-family home or hotel. For those with the means, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own an unparalleled trophy property. For the rest of us, it is an opportunity to sit back and enjoy a sneak peek into this majestic master-piece, and dream.

Sigh. Somehow, they never show the kitchens in these palaces.

 

Happy Fourth of July, 2012. We live the American Dream of real estate here in Texas more than anywhere. Maybe it’s because we learned our lesson back in the 1980′s — R.I.P. Danny Faulkner. Not only did we learn, we RETAINED. When I was in Denver at the National Association of Real Estate Editors Conference last month, Mark Fleming, the dashing economist for CoreLogic, told me over drinks that what saved our butts this time around was our state set limits on HELOCs, or home improvement loans. In Texas, we are limited on what we can borrow against our homesteads. That is what kept many of us from over-borrowing, so when the market fell we were not left with underwater loans*. I walked into our bank yesterday, Comerica, which I LOVE — who else sends you a thank-you note when you pay off a loan? But more than three people asked if they could offer me a home-improvement loan in the course of one hour. You know me, I’d buy a second home in a heartbeat! Our laws in Texas saved us, said Mark, in spite of ourselves. 

And this doll at 9038 San Fernando Way is just what we need to serve up on Independence Day along with barbecue, Mom’s potato salad and peach pie with homemade ice cream. Don’t forget the chilled watermelon! A Little Forest Hills cottage on a 55 by 150 lot with perennial gardens, a double peaked roof, exposed rafter tails, and the most welcoming front porch ever! At one point in Dallas history, this area was full of second vacation homes for Dallas elite.  Built in 1940 on pier & beam and slab, the 1500ish square foot home has wood floors, a fireplace with built-ins, and a nice big farm house sink in the updated kitchen just like the one found in Sean Payton’s Vaquero house! Shaded patio outside the kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths plus study, a second living area with a closet offers an optional third bedroom for a bambino. French doors lead to the master bedroom and private bath. The second bath showcases a footed tub, pedestal sink, and bead board wainscoting. There is even a laundry room with storage, a large work table and lots of natural light. And I don’t have to tell you how close you are to the Arboretum and White Rock Lake, not to mention to downtown Dallas. Price? Thought you’d never ask: $214,000.

No better way to celebrate America’s birthday than buying a house!

P.S. Underwater means a loan where you owe more than the home is worth. I used this term with someone from Florida recently and they thought I meant a home that was flooded — no wonder they are having real estate problems there!