Is this the private Dallas water park that braces built? And would you even consider putting in a water park in a private home? Texas Drills Down on Medicaid Dental Fraud” (sub. rec.) is a headline in today’s Wall Street Journal. What do they mean by that? Possibly the business practices of people like Richard Malouf who is putting in a WaterPark that one reader thinks we ought to christen “WaterPik Park” over on Strait Lane. His gates were wide open on Sunday as trucks heaved in the equipment which is now sitting right in the front yard of what was once 10711 Strait Lane.

 

 

That is, as you know, is the Family Sports World.

 

If any of you were as surprised as I was over this Medicaid deal — I mean, I know what Medicaid reimburses physicians for medical care and it is barely enough to cover the exam table paper in the office — it seems as though the problem stemmed from a 2007 civil lawsuit (that really started in 1993) that made the state increase reimbursement rates for Medicaid dental services:

“The suit, a federal class action filed by parents in 1993 against state officials, alleged Texas was failing in its duty to ensure that children on Medicaid received proper preventative care in dental and other areas. Eligibility for Children’s Medicaid in Texas is pegged to income. In 2007, Texas legislators agreed to settle, conceding that there was a dwindling number of doctors and dentists in the state willing to treat Medicaid patients and agreeing to increase Medicaid-reimbursement rates. A 2012 report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform offered case studies in various states of supposed Medicaid abuse; it cited dental services in Texas as a particular problem area. By 2010, according to the report, Texas’ Medicaid program was spending more on braces than the other 49 state Medicaid programs spent combined on such orthotics.

This is just what Byron Harris reported, and I wonder why the WSJ doesn’t mention his report. It has also, like always, resulted in the loss of services for kiddos who really need it: All Smiles Dental Professionals P.C., has shuttered 13 orthodontic offices in the Dallas area because of the investigation, leaving an estimated 12,000 Medicaid-eligible patients without care.

But hey, Water-Pik Park is coming! Look at those slides just waiting to be installed! It’s only 6.5 million gallons of water, and Texas sure has plenty of that… right?

If you never believe me when I tell you that life revolves around real estate, you should have been up in McKinney on Saturday afternoon. Home and Garden Television chose Meritage Homes  for an episode of it’s new competition reality show, “Showhouse Showdown,”  featuring two designers duking it out for the chance to win the “best design” award. The setting was  two new Meritage model homes in McKinney off Virginia Parkway, and despite the heat, the throngs were out — even infants! The designers, Aaron Duke and Ashley Astleford,  were chosen from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and given eight weeks and buckets of cash, then told to go to town on two identical Collin county glammed up $300,000 ISH builder homes. And glam they did. Five rooms, 3200 square foot four bedroom homes with master down, living, two and a half baths, kids rooms and a gameroom up.

Meritage Homes is the only large national homebuilder to be 100 percent Energy Star-qualified in every home since January 2010, and plans to open six more new communities in Texas. Meritage, like Darling and other builders, are also busy building and selling homes, one reason why the area caught the eye of HGTV:

“Building is going on in the state of Texas,” Dawn Stroupe, executive producer of “Showhouse Showdown” told Star Local News. “Your economy is doing well. We found by reaching out to builders throughout the nation that there is a lot of building going on in the state. ”

(Would someone maybe ring up Bob Shiller?)

The designers for the showcase homes are carefully selected, do their thingee, and then the public troops through the homes like they did today, voting on who they like the best. And though we were there today, basking in the glory of TV, melting in the 4:00 pm sun — I swear it was 99 degrees — we are not sure who the winner is. HG is so tricky, they shoot two endings (after many takes but I think I lost 10lbs of water weight!) and then use the one with the actual winner for the show when they edit. So we cheered for both designers, whose tastes could not have been more different

Stroupe says it’s all the public’s choice and taste. The schtick is that in each show episode, two designers with  differing design aesthetics create a vision and then, the public says “this is the one I would buy” or like or whatever. HGTV was on hand interviewing people for their thoughts on the homes, real estate, and home buying in general. Like I said: life revolves around real estate, especially here in Texas!

The Gold Envelope

David Call, Ashley Astleford, Glen Boudreaux, me, Aaron Duke

 

4837 Tremont Open Sun 3 to 5

Hello, my name is Candy Evans, and I am an open-house addict.

FYI this  weekend is National Open House Weekend. Now I hope to make open house info a regular part of my new CandysDirt.com blog when it’s up and running. But truthfully, I’m kind of torn by the whole open house concept. Did you know the National Association of Realtors says that nearly half of all home buyers visit open houses during their home search? With the recent gloomy sales data streaming in, NAR has (wisely) declared this weekend Realtor Nationwide Open House Weekend. Not sure if they declared it a must to have vino and brewskis on hand, too.

More than 300 Realtor associations are participating plus NAR global partners in Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Of course, Dallas and Tarrant County are in the fray, but I cannot think of a better excuse to get out of town than this.

Personally, as a homeowner, I am not a fan of open houses and if I ever sell my home, I’ll make every gawker wear booties. And a mask. Which is entirely hypocritical because I frequent open houses all. the. time. Like, totally addicted. I go to open houses when I’m out of town and in fact am so addicted to open houses some folks have started calling me Madam, if you get the drift.

Open houses are fun for everyone — more fun with Margaritas, of course — you get to play voyeur, take a peek inside the mansion behind the gates (and maybe under the beds!). They are most fun for agents who, if they are not murdered or robbed, also meet new potential clients.

So what should you be doing this weekend? Check out 4837 Tremont (Hickman + Weber).  Kind of a rarity in Big D, this pup was “born” in 1911 (just like White Rock Lake, SMU and Ebby). It’s also a home with some history, super rare in Dallas where most home’s pedigrees consist of the builder’s name.

And if you need help mapping open houses this weekend, you can always use the new Ebby Open House Tour feature on Ebby.com.

Modernistas, unite! Your day has come or rather, will be here very soon, like next weekend. The White Rock Home Tour has been happening for a few years.  But next week, the tour turns thoroughly modern, benefiting Hexter Elementary, and becoming the city’s first all modern home tour. And wait ’till you see the homes coming up: like 8214 San Benito Way — be still, my heart. Talk about House Candy, if this one were on the market I think I’d be popping out of the computer.

Located in beautiful, grand Forest Hills, this modern marvel is as functional as it is innovative. The homeowners have lived at this address for many years and opted to tear down the original structure to build their dream home. But finding the right architect turned out to be a bit harder than they imagined. Then they discovered their next door neighbor and architect, Jay Matthiesen, who was able to see their vision perfectly. Jay came up with a plan that gives the homeowners a unique contemporary design with a livable family environment.

A stone walkway leads you to the impressive glass entry. Twenty-two foot ceilings with front and rear facing walls of glass allow you to see through the center of the home and fill it with light. Upon entering notice the limestone fireplace, which is the solid centerpiece of the living room. Privacy is not an issue with all that glass as a smooth stucco exterior is used on either end of the home. Uniquely designed wooden screens protect the bedrooms from street views.

With two teenagers and constant family gatherings, large rooms are needed for entertaining. A 400 square foot kitchen with oversized black marble bar meets their every need. Notice the 12 ft. wall of natural wood lined cabinetry. Upstairs a game and media room allow for additional gathering space as well as a teenager hideaway. The second floor provides spectacular views of the neighborhood and backyard oasis with pool and fire pit. Not ridiculously large, this residence is just over 5,000 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms.

Clifford Miles Welch, AIA discusses MODERNISM THEN AND NOW: the influences of post-war residential architecture

When: April 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Design Within Reach, 4524 McKinney Avenue Suite 103, Dallas, TX 75205.
Cost:Donations requested, which benefit Hexter Elementary.
What:Light refreshments will be provided by II Cane Rosso from 6:30 to 7:30. A speaker to begin at 7:30.
RSVP: Space is limited to 150. Reservations required at dgoltl@dwr.com.
Parking: Complimentary valet.

6th Annual Advocate Magazines White Rock Home Tour
Presented by Ed Murchison, Realtor, Specializing in Mid-Century Modern Homes, Virginia Cook, Realtors

When: April 16 – 17, noon to 5 p.m.
Where: White Rock Lake area. See www.whiterockhometour.org for confirmed locations.
Cost:$10 in advance at White Rock Coffee, GreenSpot and neighboring Tom Thumb locations. Or, $15 during the tour at any tour-home.
What: Tours with remarks by docents at five White Rock area modern homes.

Architect meet-and-greets
Where, Who, When:

Saturday, April 16
1-3 p.m.
8214 San Benito Way
Jay Matthiesen AIA, CDP, architect

3-5 p.m.
10754 Wyatt Circle
Jane Landry FAIA, architect
Dwayne Landry FAIA, architect
Ellyn Amador, architect

Sunday, April 17
1-3 p.m.
9955 Woodgrove
Jonathan Delcambre, Assoc AIA, LEED AP BD+C, home designer

3-5 p.m.
8214 San Benito Way
Jay Matthiesen AIA, CDP, architect

 

 

  Tour Map

To download a printable version of our 2011 White Rock Home Tour map click here.