This family-run home development business may be taking a cue or two from the TV series Brothers and Sisters. Mom lends the hard money and wants an accounting of every single cent. Dad draws on his years of real estate experience to offer consulting and, on occasion, sweat equity. Brother-and-sister team Barrett and Diana Dean and Diana's boyfriend, James Tucker, spot the location, plan the gut job and renovation, and are on the job supervising and sometimes providing hard labor, design, and clean-up.
The result is a brand-new "get me out of a McMansion" ranch home in the hot Northwood Hills community just north of LBJ with Richardson schools, shady trees, and a spacious yard on a corner lot. The home at 7746 Tanglecrest Drive in Dallas is not just like a new home on the inside, it is new, from the plumbing to the studs. The space is 2,832 square feet, with high ceilings, arches, energy-efficient windows, travertine marble floors in the entry and kitchen, wide-plank wood floors everywhere, a gourmet kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances, new custom cabinets, and something no tract builder would ever conceive: a moveable kitchen island. (It locks into place, but if you want to move it to the side for greater flow during a big party, you just roll the entire island wherever you want it.)
The family room with a soaring fireplace opens right to the kitchen. The gorgeous master suite has huge separate walk-in closets, separate vanities plumbed to be a bar, jetted tub, separate showers. Counting that master, there are four bedrooms total — two united by a cute "Jack and Jill" bath, one "split" on the eastern wing of the home for guests or nanny, and three and a half baths.
The developers also decided to remove and fill the old swimming pool. That decision came only after a spirited family debate — thankfully, no one ran off to Mexico. The result is a huge grassy yard. Adding an 8-foot-tall cedar fence with an automatic gate, they enclosed the entire driveway and yard to provide a mammoth, super-safe playing area. Northwood Hills Elementary is within walking distance, and I can vouch for the school: my nieces and nephews attended and went on to Duke, Harvard, and Wellesley.
"Our mission was to enable kids to come back and live in the neighborhood they grew up in," says Diana Dean. "Only in a brand-new house that is NOT a McMansion."
7746 Tanglecrest is listed with Cathy Semos of Ellen Terry Realtors for $419,000.
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