The Latest On The Dallas Real Estate Market

The latest on the Dallas real estate market, including one celebrity’s move into Old Highland Park.

Make Room for Baby
Angie Harmon’s new digs, Dallas real estate gossip, and Saddam Hussein’s leftovers.

HOT PROPERTIES

5411 SURREY CIRCLE:
Buying this Eleanor Mowery Sheets listing won’t keep you from aging, but it will keep you moving” walking the 8,000-plus square feet; running down to the pool, creek, and tennis court; and then finishing it all off with a smooth Merlot from the wine cellar in the apartment-sized cabana off the huge lanai. The late architect Bud Oglesby built this contemporary house for Dallas plastic surgeon Mark Lemmon. Current owners Bob and Dannye Thomas bought the house six years ago from Gary and Karleen Kusin. $5,995,000 reduced to $3,495,000

6632 WHISPERING WOODS COURT:
Though this 6,179-square-foot house is small by Plano standards, Jeanne Deptula’s listing lacks for nothing, including its position in life: on a cliff overlooking a creek and heavily wooded greenbelt, a gorgeous rear exterior view. Five bedrooms, exercise and game rooms, cigar and media rooms, wine cellar, and bar with fridge in the dressing room—who cares how far north it is of Northwest Highway or LBJ? Paradise at a great price. $1,399,000

You may have heard that Angie Harmon is having a baby; in fact, she’s probably having Braxton-Hicks contractions as we speak, what with her move to….well, let’s just say she’ll be living in Old Highland Park. She and Rams safety hubby Jason Sehorn just plunked down about $1.7 million for a prime piece of dirt on one of the (shortest and) most coveted streets. The listing agent is Susie Swanson of Adleta & Poston, which is important because Susie’s assistant is Kloe Barcus, daughter-in-law of mega-manse builder Cy Barcus. I hear that Cy and Angie have already met and that the plan is to raze the existing 1922 home and build anew. Looks like a happy ending: they’re in good hands with Cy, and the location is a posh street even by HP standards “it’s pretty, private, has a magnificent view of the city, plus Starbucks and a delicious Thai restaurant a mere 5-minute jog away “what could be better?

Well, maybe our real estate market. But lately I’ve heard genuine expressions of delight, especially in the million-dollar-plus-plus category. Adleta & Poston agents Lee and Trey Trenholm sold a multimillion-dollar listing on Meadowbrook in 39 days and “rumor has it “for a figure very close to the $4.99 million asking price. Get this: multiple potential buyers were waiting (hoping) for the deal to fall through. Lee and Trey tell me they’ve already sold 10 properties, including a $1.7 million listing. That’s almost as good as the $7 million house Lee sold over the phone last year.

I also hear that, as of my press date, Mary Jane Young of Ebby Halliday has a contract on that gorgeous Jourdan Way mansion. The buyer is Baxter Brinkmann of Brinkmann Corp. Must be big bucks in those turkey fryers because Baxter really likes houses “or at least shopping for them: he had a contract on A-Rod’s Douglas Avenue digs, but then Martha Tiner with Briggs-Freeman showed him Mary Jane’s listing on Jourdan. It was love at first sight. (It is one of the most beautiful homes in Dallas. The architect was Wilson Fuqua of J. Wilson Fuqua and Associates.)

The threat of rising interest rates always makes homebuyers get off the pot, so to speak, and act before rates increase: this (loosely translated) from Linda McMahon, who called to tell me the numbers were not entirely correct in my last column about her 6700 Turtle Creek listing, the home of former EDS exec Dick Brown. The original sales price was $10.5 million, yes, but it was quickly reduced to $9.25 million (not $9.95 million, silly me). It’s 11,541 square feet (though that’s not what it says on the tax rolls), and the house was not quite complete when the Browns bought it for $5 million-ish. In fact, she says it took four-and-a-half years to complete the 8-year-old home. Mea culpa. All of this is important because Linda reportedly had an offer on the Turtle Creek listing that was considered so low, the sellers turned it down. The would-be buyers wanted to move up in the world from Shenandoah, but it seems that’s not going to happen.

Happier news: Lynda Adleta’s new boutique real estate firm is humming along nicely. She has gorgeous new signs in front of about 55 homes, and the company has closed 35 properties since June 1. Her office is cozy, almost too cozy: 30 agents, plus Lynda and manager Gene Taylor, as of this writing. Thirteen of Adleta & Poston’s 17 top producers in 2002 followed Lynda after the A&P break up (I hear they may have been encouraged). In any case, Lynda tells me she cannot wait to move into the firm’s gorgeous new digs.

Over at another real estate boutique, Allie Beth Allman has settled in quite happily with Doris Jacobs, who left Coldwell Banker, and Frank Purcell, who left Adleta & Poston. Allie Beth wanted to keep her catchy 522-SELL phone number, but Coldwell Banker said no. So she changed the exchange to 521.

Here’s a tidbit you won’t read anywhere else: this past March, Derrick Williams, son of prominent Dallas neurologist Dr. Phil Williams, accompanied Harvey Goff to Iraq, where they went on their own kind of house tour,  spelunking through Saddam Hussein’s deserted palace in Tikrit. Spooky? You bet, says Derrick; Iraqis are still afraid to venture inside any place Saddam might have even breathed. (Methinks Saddam Hussein slept here will not have the same draw as, say, George Washington slept here.) Derrick showed me a lime-green, monogrammed bath towel he brought back from Saddam’s private bathroom, as well as a partially blackened pink-and-white shag commode rug and a gauche gold wastebasket…made in Korea! The palace was absolutely overloaded with gold fixtures, columns, and marble and felt like a seedy motel, he says. (Well, the place had been bombed.) I’d say it’s a safe bet Saddam’s palaces won’t be listed with Christie’s Great Estates.

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