Marathon - View 1

There’s nothing seemingly historic about this duplex penthouse on the 13th and 14th floors of Marathon House, a modern-ish high-rise in London (Map).  Thankfully for someone who loves big views, modern buildings are not the issue in London that it can be in Paris where old almost always beats new.

For those not familiar with Marylebone (pronounced Marla-bone), it’s just north of Mayfair and borders the 410-acre Regent’s Park.  It’s highly residential and lighter on tourists. But as you can see, it’s still quite close to the action. The tall light slightly left is the Shard while slightly right you can see the arc of the London Eye Ferris wheel.  Truly, London is at your feet.

This 4,079-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. It’s listed with Simon Tollit and Hannah McDougall of Sotheby’s International Realty for £7,950 million ($9,857 million) which works out to $2,417 per square foot.

I say you’re Sherlock’s neighbor because the closest underground station is Baker Street, which, as fans will recall, is the street Mr. Holmes fictionally lived on … number 221B to be exact. It’s also just down the road from Euston Station, the home of Eurostar where Sharon Quist of Dave Perry-Miller and I alighted from a train to see this beauty (Brits don’t “hop off”).

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Arc Small 1

Living in Paris is a dream for many people, but a dream financially unattainable.  It may also be that the vagaries of foreign property ownership and the added wrinkle of currency fluctuations are simply not for you.  I mean, while a property may appreciate, if the currency tumbles, appreciation can quickly turn to loss.  For example, in late 2008 the Euro was pushing $1.60. Today it’s nearer $1.05 … essentially erasing a third of its value in nine years.  As recently as the autumn of 2014, the Euro was hovering around $1.40, making for a precipitous loss is a short time … simply from currency. I can tell you that any Parisian market gains in no way offset the currency declines.

You want a second home, not a tax write-off.

Rent.

While I was in Paris last month, I had a perfect confluence of the stars.  CandysDirt.com friend and HGTV hostess Adrian Leeds was on hand to give a sampling of rental units. Also scoping out the market was Dave Perry-Miller agent Sharon Quist who was in town with a friend selling her Paris home.

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White Fence

Front of House

Well, looky here! Surely this charmer is someone’s dreamhome. Located within the magical one hour bubble from D/FW in Italy (pronounced It-LEE, if you’re a local), this stunning estate on 33 white-fenced acres is sure to please.

If you haven’t visited yet, Italy is a lovely community with many ridiculously awesome horse farms and ranches, giving the impression you are in the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky, rather than 50 minutes from downtown Dallas. Italy is the perfect landing point for a family that wants to be in the country, but yet still within commuting distance for work and entertainment.

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At 9:00 am Monday morning, October 24, Ellen Terry agents will gather at their Luther Lane/Preston Center offices with a whole lot of company: the 175 agents of Dave Perry-Miller and Associates. Your’s truly will be there, too, live blogging for you. We will learn that the Ellen Terry Realtors, Inc. luxury boutique division of Ebby Halliday, has been merged/folded into Dave Perry-Miller and Associates. That means all Ellen Terry Realtor signs will now be replaced with Dave Perry-Miller signs. Ellen and her closest staff will continue as a boutique group within the Dave Perry-Miller name. And the agents merged/folded into Dave Perry-Miller will office at the same location, those Ellen Terry offices becoming, I guess, Dave Perry-Miller offices.

The move, which had been under wraps for several weeks, goes official Monday. What’s very interesting and almost full-circle about this is that Dave actually got his start in Real Estate with Ellen Terry, his very first job as a starving young agent back in the 1980’s.

“I once had to leave my watch at the gas station to pay for my gas,” Dave has told me.

The Ebby Halliday Family of Companies , which consists of Ebby Halliday REALTORS ® and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates — is the largest independently owned residential real estate company in Texas and ranks 10th in the nation. It was founded by company figurehead Ebby Halliday, who is 100 years old, still active in company activities, and one of the most respected figures in residential real estate in the nation.

The 66-year-old company has more than 1,500 sales associates and staff in 30 offices, and sales volune exceeded $3.5 billion in 2010. As Ebby herself will tell you, the company sells more million dollar homes than any other. Ebby Halliday acquired Dave Perry-Miller & Associates in 2007, and he runs the division bearing his name as well as sells real estate. I will never forget hearing stories of how Ebby courted Dave back then, and how one time they had to wrap up an entire lunch picnic-style in a tablecloth, toss it in the back of Dave’s four year old Jaguar, and leave a listing because agents were on their way to show a home where they were trying to do “bidness”. Ebby opened Home Team Insurance in 2003, Home Team Mortgage Company in 1996 and acquired Ellen Terry, REALTORS in 1995. You just cannot keep her still!

OK, now we’ve got the press release-y official stuff down and out of the way. So, WTF?

Basically from what I’m hearing, this is a strategic move to help Ebby zero in on luxury market share not just south of LBJ, but everywhere. Here’s what Dave told me: “By putting the two brands together, it gives us number one market share across the board in the luxury market of Dallas.”

Dallas is a mighty competitive luxury real estate market, loaded with great agents, all vying for that sweet piece of pie known as Park Cities/Preston Hollow (and increasingly, Uptown, East Dallas) where sales are still happening and multi-million ideals are nowhere near dead. A handful of companies vie for the attention of those juicy multi-million dollar homeowners eager to sell — or buy. I suspect that Ebby wants to focus marketing dollars on ONE luxury brand, not two, in order to better compete with Allie Beth, Mathews-Nichols,  Briggs Freeman Sothebys, Keller Williams Elite and Virginia Cook who recently acquired David Griffin. At Forecast 12 last week, MetroTex speakers told us where the top ten foreclosure zip codes are in North Texas. NOT ONE is south of LBJ.  

Ellen Terry has been selling real estate for a long time in Dallas, and at one point single handedly had a strong hold on the luxury home market. She even once taught PE at The Hockaday School. Legend has it she bootstrapped her way to her incredible success when her family fortunes took a turn for the worse. She has closed in excess of $530 million in sales volume representing 158 multimillion-dollar properties ranging from $1 million to $22 million, that number being when she sold the Richard and Jinger Heath (BeautiControl) mansion on Park Lane which is now owned by Scott Gindberg, on the market for lot value after a fire. Here she is with friend Ann Lardner who visited her in Carmel this summer, both attending Concours D’Elegance in Pebble Beach, where they stopped by my SecondShelters.com booth. 

I know this is a happy occasion, but I feel really sorry for Tucker, Dave’s dog. He’s a dog with a job and now his job is going to be harder than ever as he fetches contracts for even more offices and agents! Well, I guess that’s what happens when a dog has to earn his kibble!

Once CandysDirt.com is up and running, we plan a regular sweet treat/tweet for you every Friday: sneak peaks at the best open houses in town. Check out some of the best House Candy in town:

Open 3 to 5 pm this Sunday: 4686 Meadowood, listed by Becky Frey, Briggs Freeman Sothebys. If you don’t know this street, you do not know where class really lives in Dallas. Beverly Drive is, well, ok. Park Lane has it’s hills and valleys. But Meadowbrook is where you really want to be once you’ve made it. We almost bought a home on this street eons ago when it was actually affordable. That puppy is now long gone and a 14,000 mansion in it’s place. Speaking of, 4686 Meadowood screams — no, whispers, Old Preston Hollow. Old World European charm is everyone plus land, 1.55 acres. Wonderful design lets you feast your eyes on the backyard once you open the front doors, lading you to the backyard, pool & private pond beyond. The environment  combines to create a breathtaking blend of architecture & nature. Inside, exquiaite French finish out such as antique marble fireplaces, custom ceilings, grand master suite, and lots of space for living & entertaining. You can cancel any trips to France — besides, dollar’s not doing so well — get French country gardens right here without subjecting yourself to an 8 hour flight. You’ve got over 11,000 square feet built in 1985, all the needed rooms — seven bedrooms, 8 and a half baths, four car garage, listed for $3,700,000 which is honestly a very good deal.

Open 2 to 4 pm same day, 6505 Waggoner, listed by , , ,

Designed by Robbie Fusch and built in 2000 by Epic Homes, this comfortable residence has nearly 6,400 square feet of living space and features 5 bedrooms, 5 baths and 1 half-bath, formals, a large family room that opens to the gourmet kitchen and cheerful breakfast room, a private study, media/game room and a 3-car attached garage. Classic, workable floor-plan: arched, solid, thick wood door opens to the tiled foyer with formals on either side. The family room with a fireplace opens to the breakfast room and well-appointed kitchen with antiqued cabinetry, granite countertops, tumbled mosaic backsplash, a large center island with a vegetable sink and high-end stainless-steel appliances, including a 6-burner Viking range, additional wall oven and Bosch dishwasher. A butler’s pantry and walk-in wet bar also serves this area. Study and comfortable master suite with a sumptuous bath and a walk-in closet on first level.
Upstairs are 4 bedrooms, each with its own bath and walk-in closet, and the media/game room. Enhancing the interior are my to-die-for wide-plank hand-scraped hardwood floors, deep crown moldings, rich granite and unique marble, plantation shutters, custom textures and faux finishes and exquisite fixtures. 149 deep by 113 wide lot framed by mature trees, Britton and Associates grounds with perennial gardens, two stone-lined ponds with a waterfall, stone walkways and an outdoor living patio with beamed arbor, fireplace and built-in grill. Priced extremely well at $1,349,000 — couldn’t replace it at that price.

Catherine Colombo, Mark Cain, Laurie Montoya

If the streets of Dallas seemed a bit hushed yesterday afternoon, that’s because the Dave Perry-Miller group — that’s Ebby’s high-end luxury real estate division — was hanging down at Heritage Auction Gallery to get first dibs on some rare, exclusive hand-bags that are going off to be auctioned in New York City next month. First Dallas gets a look/see, then Beverly Hills, then back east to the Big A.  The star attraction was an Hermes Himalayan Crocodile Birkin Bag, a rare, light natural croc color, that is expected to bring in $80,000!  (Only two are made per year in the world.)  The bag is so light, it is almost albino in color.  Also on hand a red crocodile Gucci Weekender from the 60’s that was also really valuable as well as retro.

Not to think these agents were taking it too easy: Mark Cain got buzzed by a client and had to leave early: he had someone interested in his brand new listing on 5015 Brookview Road in Bluff View.

And if you wonder what the hec this has to do with houses, well listen up. When you spend $80,000 on a handbag you probably have to insure it so some people keep them on display as art. No kidding. My friend Dr. Linda Burke keeps her Judith Lieber handbags on display in her gorgeous Bluffview home