Dallas’ Real Estate Future? Perhaps We’ll Be Paving Golf Courses For Tract Homes Like They Do in Katy
I stumbled across this interesting bit of news that a new development just west of Houston in Katy will put 440 new tract homes on top of a 242-acre golf course.
Sacrilege? Considering the dearth of available land in the tony suburb, perhaps not. Continue reading
We just returned from a glorious ten days in Hawaii, island hopping from The Big Island to Honolulu and, finally, Maui. We survived a tsunami, my first! I’m still on Hawaiian time and mixing Mai Tais. As you know, Hawaii is second home nirvana for the wealthiest of the wealthy. Last week, I got to experience two fabulous second home communities, one Kukio, near Kona, the other on Kaanapali Beach, on Maui. Trust me, you can not go wrong with either.
Well, almost. Bluegreen Communities, a developer of premier, master-planned residential home communities, has launched a new program that pays real estate agents big buckeroos for referrals. Through the Realtor¬Æ Referral program, participating real estate agents who refer buyers to a Bluegreen Communities property earn a full six percent of the resulting sale.
Most of the time, the six percent commission is split between the buyer’s and seller’s agent. In this case, of course, Bluegreen is the “seller” so they are playing nice and giving it all to the agent.
You do recall former NBA champ Michael Jordan.¬† Not only is he known as “the greatest basketball player of all times” but he is gaining a rap as the greatest home builder of all times! Jordan is completing a 28,000 square foot mansion in The Bears’ Club, Palm Beach County, Florida, near where Tiger Woods just completed his grand estate. The builder: Lavelle Builders out of Jupiter, Fla. Of course, Tiger’s estate is surrounded by water on three sides to,¬† perhaps, keep the paparazzi (among other things) at bay. Jordan’s mega-mansion, which is still under construction, is not even close to the water. But it now goes down as one of the largest, most expensive homes ever built in Florida that is not on the water, says real estate agent Jeff Lichtenstein of Christie’s Great Estates and Illustrated Properties. Lichtenstein knows of what he talks: he sells real estate in the Palm Beach area, which is notoriously filled with high net worth people who like to enjoy a second or third home here because here they have it all: a backyard marina for their yachts, sea, beach, and plenty of gorgeous Florida sunshine.
1. Second home trends: Affluent Baby Boomers will retire later and downsize from their large McMansions for which utilities and taxes have become prohibitive, to smaller homes, maybe condos,¬† in the city and a second home — in the cheaper boonies, or in another city. Just last night a reader emailed me that his biggest dream is to own a second home condo in Quebec! Cripes, even Disney is getting into this market.
I found the most amazing property today in Gunter, Texas. Would make an AWESOME second home. Way the hell north of Dallas, north even of Deion Sander’s home, which I think is still on the market, all 29,122 square feet of it but I think it’s been reduced from $21,000,000 already. Anyhoo, this development is called the Bridges at Preston Crossings, a 1580 acre former private horse farm (Cattle Barons was here twice and no cars got stuck in the mud, nanny nanny boo boo!) that a brilliant group of developers named Bluegreen turned into a living community. There’s an 18 hole golf course, a clubhouse, pool, 24 acre fishing lake, greenbelts and forests and yes this is all in Gunter, which is like a little Marble Falls (minus river) north of Prosper. Like we got there in less than an hour. Anyhow, here I am riding western as we trotted the property. More stories and photos to come. Listen to this: these lots range from one-third to two full acres and get this pricing — don’t fall off your horse: $70,000 to $120,000. I have an idea. let’s get a 5,000 square foot home here, a condo in downtown Dallas (Ritz, House) and call it our second home!
Not to mention the golf! What a pleasure it was to meet Mr. Player, one of the world’s top golfers! He was in La Paz at CostaBaja this past weekend, where he christened the beautiful, ecologically balanced golf course he designed for the developers of CostaBaja. Do I golf? No, unless the clothes are really cute. But here’s why I love golf: it drives real estate.¬† Especially second home real estate. CostaBaja is a beautiful new resort-marina-beachfront-golf-fishing community at La Paz, overlooking the sparkling clean Sea of Cortez, which Ernest Hemingway dubbed “the aquarium of the world”.¬†¬† I am totally in love with this part of Mexico and almost purposefully missed my flight home. If I could live anywhere Mexico, this would be the place — sorry San Miguel. This was my second trip to Baja — a few years ago we toured, with friends, the magnificent golf and luxury living nirvana Querencia, in Los Cabos, which is where the rich and famous of Hollywood have always played on the beach. (In fact, there are now direct flights to La Paz from LAX.) I’m told Michael Dell has an amazing home at El Dorado in Los Cabos – maybe that was his jet we saw on the two point five hour ride to La Paz? Holy cow — looks like recessionary prices start there at $4 million. The entire Baja landscape is striking, and not just for it’s great real estate. The peninsula is composed of volcanic mountains with multicolored layers of volcanic ash and lava. Then each island in the Sea of Cortez is different, and there are so many sprinkled about. Isla Danzante is a place of high volcanic cliffs while Isla Carmen is full of fossilized shell, which is proof that some 20 million years ago, the Baja Peninsula was connected to the rest of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez was non-existent. The great shift of geological plates broke the Baja peninsula apart from the mainland, creating a rift that became filled with the royal blue waters now known as the Sea of Cortez. Incredibly rich in marine life: 800 species of fish, dolphins, whales and sea lions who we were told actually hug you and tickle your face.