SOME HAVE EIGHT baths. Some have four fireplaces, a security guard station and a grove of live oaks.
On the other hand, some have peeling paint and no dining room.
They’re the houses of the stars-the famous, the powerful and the merely rich who work and live in Dallas and Fort Worth. Like you and me, even stars need a roof over their heads-and in some cases they need eight baths and four fireplaces, as well.
If there is anything that marks the passage of time, it’s the rise in the cost of real estate. Just three years ago, when we last took you on a tour of the homes of the stars, we revealed that Ron Chamness, chairman of the board of Continental Mechanical Corp., was snug and comfy in an Old English-style house valued at $3 million. Today, that house is worth $10 million. Or at least that’s what Ron wants to sell it for.
If he sells it for that price, it will set a record. Up until now, the highest price paid for a house in the area was the $5 million that Dan and Judy Tomlin paid for their eight-bath, six-wet-bar, five-bedroom, four-fireplace dwelling in the Park Cities.
On the other hand, should the owner of the Crespi estate decide to sell the 13,000-square-foot French chateau sitting on 22 acres of prime Dallas real estate, Chamness’ house will look downright pedestrian. Realtors estimate the Crespi estate is worth at least $15 million.
So far, the top price for a Fort Worth house is $2.3 million. Fort Worth real estate sources say that unlike inflated market values in Dallas, the estimated values of most homes in Fort Worth are close to their assessed values.
Where do you go when you sell a big house? To a bigger one- that is, if you’re Mary Kay Ash. Three years ago, we showed Mary Kay’s old place, which was valued at $600,000. Today, Mary Kay has moved on to a $4 million spread that gives her 19,000 square feet of elbow room.
Not all of our stars, you’ll be glad to see, live in such grand digs. Some live pretty much like ordinary folk. Some even rent. And a few, like us, even pay taxes on houses appraised at close to the actual market value. As for the others, maybe they’re simply lucky. And maybe that’s why they’re famous, powerful or merely rich.