Luxury Sales Skyrocketed in 2014 Says Texas Association of Realtors

4326 Lorraine

Caroline Summers, the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent who sold 4326 Lorraine, says that well-designed luxury homes in high-profile areas are seeing heightened demand.

Luxury home sales with prices of $1 million and up posted huge growth in 2014 according to the latest Texas Luxury Home Sales Report from the Texas Association of Realtors. In Dallas-Fort Worth, the sales volume of luxury homes was second highest in the state and grew 15 percent year-over-year. Dallas was a runner up to Houston, which had the highest volume of luxury home sales as well as the highest luxury home price growth.

The overall inventory of luxury homes in Dallas-Fort Worth shrank by 1.2 months in 2014, a trend that was seen across the market in North Texas, and luxury home sales represented only 1.2 percent of the market. Compare that to Houston, in which luxury home sales represented 2 percent of the market and were up 13 percent year-over-year.



The Jackson House is a classic updated English-style estate on Strait Lane by Hal Yoakum.

The Jackson House is a classic updated English-style estate on Strait Lane by Hal Yoakum.

Of course we “ooh” and “ahh” over new homes and the latest design features, but a lot can be said for homes that stand the test of time. Some estates become standard-bearers for architects and designers, evoking a time and place like no other home can.

These are exactly the types of properties that are showcased in Saturday’s “Grounds For Preservation” home tour hosted by Preservation Dallas. This home tour is an extraordinary opportunity  to see the sprawling estates of Dallas designed by well-known architects.

“Our tour this year highlights iconic historic houses in Dallas, and this tour is unique because it highlights estates and their grounds,” said Donovan Westover of Preservation Dallas.



I think pretty much all of America is checking out at 2 p.m. today. That’s when the U.S. Men’s National Team faces Belgium in the knockout round of the FIFA World Cup. If you’re not enjoying the action in Brazil, then picture yourself in one of these amazing backyards with a cool beer in hand and the Stars and Stripes draped over your shoulders.

All you need is a bar, a TV, a pool, and a bucket of cold ones. Grab your remote, folks, and jump!


9806 Inwood Westward View

No, it’s not that Baby Boomers have found the fountain of youth. Instead, it’s the younger crowd that is becoming a growing share of the luxury real estate market, making purchases at an unprecedented clip according to a Coldwell Banker Previews International and Luxury Institute survey.

Around 43 percent of the $1 million-plus homes are being bought by those who are younger than 55, the survey showed. That includes purchasers older than 21 that make at least $250,000 annually. On the flipside, only 21 percent of those aged 55 and older plan to purchase a home in that price range.

“This trend towards younger luxury buyers is leading a change in desired home amenities,” said Betty Graham, president, Coldwell Banker Previews International NRT. “Whether these younger buyers have young families or are single without children, they are looking for homes that fit their active and unique lifestyle.”

More Young Money Enters the Real Estate Market

So what are they buying? The survey found:

  • Younger buyers are significantly more likely than wealthy buyers age 55 and older to want homes with amenities such as a pool, outdoor kitchen, home gym, home theater, wine cellar and four or more garages.
  • Wealthy consumers under age 55 are more than twice as likely (23 percent) to value Green or LEED certified residential properties than their older counterparts (11 percent).
  • Open floor plans and a fully automated and “wired” home environment are the top features wealthy consumers, regardless of age, say have become important to them in the last three years. Less importance is placed on staff quarters, tennis/sports courts and separate catering kitchens.

“Luxury homes are for more than successful and retired empty nesters,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Today’s luxury buyer is both dynamic and diverse, and it’s reflected in the homes and products they’re buying.”

You can read the complete findings of the survey right here.

Marc-Kleinmann-Portrait-182x217-2012-150x150Somedays we here at just have to pinch ourselves because we can’t believe how lucky we are to know some of the most talented builders in North Texas. One builder who continually pushes the envelope is Bauhaus Custom Homes. The pioneering company headed by Marc Kleinmann recently put together an amazing service for their clients — a design library that features the best of their work to take the anxiety and and uncertainty of building the perfect home off of their shoulders.

The Bauhaus Design Library gives clients two options — shopping Bauhaus’ portfolio of designs in the Bauhaus Collection, or a fully custom home designed by a cadre of experienced architects, managers, and contractors to mix and match what works.

Kleinmann, who is just disarming and kind, took time out of his busy summer to give us the rundown on Bauhaus’ new design library and how it takes the stress out of the homebuilding process. Read on for more! So, how does the design library work?

Marc Kleinmann: We have created the design library as a visual guidance for visitors to our website. It shows them the range of architectural styles we build, the size of the homes and pricing. If someone is interested further, they can sign up to gain access to our “extended” design library, with more designs and floor plans.

Mid Mod Large

CD: Can a client design their dream home a la carte?

Kleinmann: Yes. Most clients end up designing their home from scratch — or a la carte as you put it — as that’s why they go to a custom builder in the first place.

CD: What inspired you to offer this service?

Kleinmann: The design/build process can seem overwhelming for people in the beginning. The thought of buying a lot, lot size, the design process, how to finance it and the the build process is a lot to think about. People are visual and they make purchasing decisions based on emotions that we can only communicate with 3D renderings and plans. We wanted to make it easy for visitors to our website to get a good idea what how the whole process works, how we design and build, the price range we build in and the lot size they need for each individual plan. In essence it’s an additional free service we hope will help clients make the decision to build with us.

Bauhaus Mid Mod Custom

CD: We are constantly impressed with Bauhaus and your firm’s approach to innovation. Tell us, what is next in luxury home building?

Kleinmann: We see a lot of movement currently in the area of home automation. There are a lot of small startups that have innovated in a field that has previously been neglected. In the past, home automation was only affordable in the super high-end price range and there were very few manufacturers that offered solutions. This is changing rapidly and the advances in wireless technology will allow us to implement home automation solutions in other price ranges.

Find out more about the amazing designs from award-winning builder Bauhaus Custom Homes at and on’s Hot Builders page.

6918 Meadow lake front

Good morning! Hope your long holiday weekend has left you refreshed! Let’s ease back into the working world with a gorgeous custom home in Lakewood that was built in 2008!

Marketed by Nancy Johnson of Dave Perry-Miller and Associates, 6918 Meadow Lake Avenue is a gorgeous traditional on the market for $1.163 million. Gorgeous inside and out, this home has four bedrooms, three full and two half baths, more than 4,500 square feet, and a gigantic gourmet kitchen that will have you doing a waltz in 1, 2, 3 — 1, 2, 3 ….

6918 Meadow Lake Dining

OK, enough ballroom dancing puns! Seriously though, this home is just beautiful inside and out, and is in a fantastic community that puts on one of the best Fourth of July parades in the city! Just three blocks from White Rock lake in one of the most prestigious and sought-after neighborhoods in all of Dallas, this gracious home has everything going for it, including great schools such as Woodrow Wilson High School (DISD).

6918 Meadow Lake Kitchen

But it’s the kitchen I love the most. This sucker is huge! Not only do you have an island for plenty of additional prep space, but this kitchen is just perfect for a foodie who likes to have people near the scullery but not under foot. You get pristine stainless steel appliances including a 6 + 1 burner range with two ovens, wine cooler (yay!), pot filler, warming drawer, and a partridge in a pear tree … just kidding! There’s also a quaint and functional wet bar sandwiched between the dining room and kitchen — a bonus if there ever was one!

6918 Meadow Lake Living

The kitchen opens to a great room with a view of the backyard and a living area that cozies around a wood-burning fireplace. This is a great vantage from which you can admire the beautiful hardwood floors that span throughout the first level. It probably looks smaller than it actually is because of the two couches and two easy chairs, but I promise that this room is actually gigantic!

6918 Meadow Lake Media

Amble up the wrought iron staircase (which has a very handy custom stair-top baby gate that any parent of toddlers would admire) to a fabulous media room that will surely be a favorite spot for older kids with a gajillion video game consoles and ample time to waste.

6918 Meadow Lake Master

You’ll also find the master suite, which is a great size at 19 x 14, and has plenty of windows. I am not a huge fan of the vertical stripes, but painters can be hired, and there are more than 50 shades of gray from which you can choose the perfect-for-you relaxing neutral.

6918 Meadow Lake Master Bath

The master bath is a five-piece affair with a fantastic soaking tub and huge glass-tile window. I love the beveled travertine floors and the separate vanities, as well as the huge center light fixture and dual walk-in closets. This bath definitely qualifies as a retreat!

6918 Meadow Lake backyard

The backyard is small, and won’t fit a pool (that’s the tradeoff for the gorgeous 4,500 square foot home on a narrow Lakewood lot), but that gorgeous fireplace on the patio can help you forget about that. There’s a smaller patio over to the side of the house, and the backyard is well-landscaped to feel lush and low-maintenance. It’s really a looker, and perfect for a family with kids!


Of course this Wall Street Journal article by Alyssa Abkowitz doesn’t tell you and me anything new. We’ve known for weeks — if not months — that high-end homes in Dallas are flying off the shelves faster than Realtors can list them. It’s driven the resurgence of the hip-pocket listing, too, as newly wealthy or recently transplanted millionaires move to Dallas.

Abkowitz did a great job of quoting some of the big names in the luxury home scene, such as Platinum Series Homes builder Mark Molthan, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s chief Robbie Briggs, and sought-after designer Barry Williams. The Park Cities and Preston Hollow get name-dropped along with gated communities in Fort Worth.

Of course, there’s a dissection of luxury homes and communities in other gas-rich areas such as San Antonio and Houston. It leads me to wonder, though, with so many municipalities on the fence when it comes to fracking, are we reaching the gas boom’s peak?

What do you think?

Monday Morning Millionaire: Modern Mansion on Ash Bluff is Priced to Move!

This home really made me do a double-take. I was scrolling through the pictures and I asked myself, “Self, if you had enough moolah to buy this incredible 6,000-plus-square-foot home, how much do you think it would run?”

I was tossing a few numbers around in my head — maybe $3 million, give or take $25K. And then I saw the asking price. Ho-ly cow! $1,999,000? Really? This isn’t a home, it’s more of a compound! AND IT’S PRICED LESS THAN ITS DCAD VALUE!

I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that a home with not just one amazing kitchen with commercial appliances and built-ins out the wazoo, but a caterer’s kitchen too, could be priced at less than $2 million.

There are amazing floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere, huge wood-burning fireplaces, a bazillion rooms, a long hallway that reminds me of the Dallas Museum of Art, and amazing exposed steel and wood ceilings.

The bathrooms are works of art in their own right. The freestanding tub that is so insane it has to be custom, and there’s a sitting area just a few feet from it. Remember how we thought it was cool to have a peek-a-boo shower window to the commode in the master bath? In this one, would you be busy lathering up in the middle of the bathroom just feet from your friends and family carrying on a conversation? Crazy.

Also on the secluded 1.5-acre lot is a carriage house with a first-floor solarium and living quarters on the second floor. This house would be perfect for guests or even a live-in nanny (hey, a girl can dream, right?).

Ugh. This house is so beautiful and priced so ridiculously low that I feel spoiled after just looking at it.

It has left me wondering, though, if there aren’t other insane deals out there in the $1 million-plus range …