Tale OF THE Sale

A Steal on the Northern Homestead

THE HOUSE: 5200 Silver Lake

LISTING PRICE: $979,000

SELLING PRICE: $900,000

Preston Hollow and Highland Park are not the only places where old family homesteads are being covered with new construction faster than North Texas weather changes. The 400-acre Harrington Homestead in Piano now comprises LakeSide on Preston-more than 427 brand new homes that seemed to rise out of the prairie dust. Piano Realtors say six-and seven-figure sales have been quick.

“At a million, it’s a slam-dunk,” says Mark Holland, of RE/MAX Piano Realtors, who has hold 18 Piano homes with million-dollar-plus price tags in the last six years. ’The $500,000 to $800,000 range is slightly behind that,” he says.

But sometimes buyers, like former California residents John and Paula Hensen, get lucky. The house at 5200 Silver Lake had been on the market for 62 days-an old listing in Piano-which probably gave them a little leverage. What they got: 5,795 superbly finished new square feet, built by Martin Raymond Homeson, on a 105-by-150-square-fool lot. The home is a gated, Mediterranean-style stucco with a tile roof trimmed with cast stone and columns. A rotunda-like foyer leads to a grand piano room with curved glass walls overlooking the yard and pool. Even the double front door is hand-carved.

The home is designed to have natural light and exterior views from every room. The master suite and guest bedroom are downstairs; upstairs is a two-bedroom children’s wing with a playroom and an office with reception area and conference room.

They might as well rename the development Football Country: Hensen, a former running back for the Green Bay Packers, joins Dallas Cowboys Deion Sanders, who lives in neighboring Willow Bend Country, and Troy Aikman. who is selling and building a new home in Willow Bend Place.

The House-To-Be

ADDRESS: 5203 Park Ln.

SELLING PRICE: Undisclosed

SOMETIMES YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT you’ve got till it’s gone. Fortunately, with real estate, there’s always a chance you can have it back again for a little more money. Word is that Rick Strauss had his eye on 5205 Park La., a 2.3-acre estate lot on the woodsy comer of Park Lane and Ravine Drive in the heart of Old Preston Hollow. Then along came Bobby Goldstein, an attorney with a passion for real estate investments, who snagged the property for S1.2 million in September. (Listing agent and “Preston Hollow Lot Queen” Delia Lively wrapped up 1997 quite rich, having sold more than $8 million worth of Preston Hollow acreage last year alone.)

Goldstein kept his bargain buy for all of one week. Strauss, nephew of formel Dallas mayor Annette Strauss, was in Italy and as soon as he got back in October, he bought the property from Goldstein for an undisclosed sum rumored to be in the neighborhood of $ 1.7 million. Sources sa> Strauss is downsizing, selling his present 4.7-acre estate at 8935 Douglas Ave.. which is on the market for $5.995 million.

The Park Lane house under construction will be built by Bellaire Custom Homes. Finally, a house will sit upon this poor. schizophrenic acreage that once was the homestead of John H. Rauscher III. (He sold to Sally Vonbehren, who tore down the home, decided not to build, split, and sold the lot.) And as behooves the legacy of a pioneer investor, the price of the property has risen with each new buyer.

Strauss is in good company; His neighbor to the west, Mike McCoy, is Jerry Jones’ business manager and can guarantee great seats at Texas Stadium. The homeowner to the east, Exxon board chairman Harry Longwell, will never run out of gas. The area must remind Strauss of good family ties: His Aunt Annette’s nearby property, 5100 Park Ln., now owned by Chip Fitchner, is quietly being marketed forS2.7 million with Dave Perry-Miller of Adleta & Poston, Fitchner is the brother of former Miss U.S.A. Christy Fitchner. A word to the wise: Don’t miss the block party.

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