Berkshire Hawaii Small

Out on a morning walk, I saw a sign for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Hawai’i and decided to give them a call. I wanted to get the insight into what Allie Beth Allman’s crew have gotten themselves into. A few days later, I met local president Tracy Bradley at that first-seen home’s open house. The short answer is that others in Dallas real estate should be a bit worried by the Berkshire firepower and savvy.

The Honolulu real estate playing field was at one time dominated by local brokerages that over time were acquired by national brands like RE/MAX, Prudential and such. Often what was gained in national presence was lost at the local level with layers of mainland management out of touch with the islands. Also, like many conglomerates, technology tools were not the best. Bradley told me of one of her agents who had been screaming for years for a way to embed a video into an email – no link, no Dropbox. Spoiler alert: now she can film a property on her phone and embed the impromptu tour into an email to her client from her phone.

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

1,820 oceanfront square feet. A snip at $4.69m

One of Berkshire’s first real estate acquisitions was Prudential. Apparently, franchisees had the option of opting out and that’s what Hawai’ian offices did. With no presence in high-priced Honolulu, Berkshire approached Bradley and a select group of agents to be their start-up in Hawai’i. Little did I know how timely my meeting would be.


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Karen Luter of Allie Beth Allman tells me she has been working her fingers to the bone for weeks trying to get this home ready for sale. Will be in MLS next week. Not much besides the price has changed at 8915 Douglas since the late Mary Kay Ash — do I need to add she was the famous founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics?— moved out to return to her home off Boedecker because she thought the mansion was too big. It is ginormous: 12,000 square feet. Built in 1984, but remodeled in 2000. Located in coveted Old Preston Hollow, on over one acre of manicured lawns with fountains, pools, koi ponds, arboretum like gardens, there is Brazilian teakwood flooring, grand sweeping staircases (two or three), statues, arcades of Corinthian columns, wine cellar, walls of beveled glass windows, hand painted murals, original pink quartz-marble hardware, indescribe-able mill work and a pink quartz toilet. Er, commode. I think that lime green carpet on the stairs is the original that hosted many a top producer party. The kitchen has the original white Corian counters and I believe that may even be Mary Kay’s own breakfast table under the massive chandelier. The current owner’s furniture tastes are a bit more “antique” — when I first saw the home years ago, right after Mary Kay had moved out, it held no oriental rugs. Asking $3,300,000 which is less than DCAD appraised value. Formerly listed with Myla Patton of Patton International Real Estate for $5.7 in 2007, then listed with Linda Jordan Hobbs over at Ebby for $4,995,000, which is about what DCAD thinks. Myla was again considered for the listing.

NOW it’s a done deal. December 23 is the day Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom executed the lease on Unit 2604 over at the W, the former bachelor pad of Mack Hicks, son of former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks. Agents Rogers Healy and Steve Rigely got in a lot of camera time with Khloe & Company as he showed them every condo available in downtown Dallas so they could be sure. Allie Beth Allman was the  landlord’s rep on this one, and she had been looking for occupants since November 28.

Also, this unit leased last Super Bowl weekend for $25,000 with Travis Horton at Twigg Realty: that was a 4 day rental for  slate flooring, Miele appliances, stainless steel wet bar with wine refrigerator, wine rack, ice machine, Mother of Pearl mosaic tiles and marble flooring in bathrooms and, of course, Mecca automatic window shades throughout for privacy. Based on the $7500 per month Khloe and Lamar are paying, that Super Bowl weekend deal sure was a bargain — NOT!

We might as well just call this “Troy Week” here on Second Shelters. Mother Nature finally cooperated long enough for Allie Beth Allman to get some photos up on her website of this fabulous home. After reading her description, I learned something new:there are only five homesites on the Aikman block: “A rare reality is the recently finished residential compound rising from two lots in a block of only five homesites.Custom arched glass doors with iron trim yield a double story atrium,hub for a large dining room with fireplace and windows to the creekway view,coffered ceilinged study with the greenspace view,family room with hand hewn beams,fireplace, & triple glass doors to a covered patio.Impressive and livable. Attention to detail is evident.”

No kidding! Coming up: an inside tour of the house from the MLS Tuesday tour!

If you saw a huge tent going up on the football field at SMU right behind Highland Park United Methodist Church, last week, it was not a new athletic practice facility, but it was certainly large enough to be one. The tent was for the Schlegel-Kloewer wedding reception Saturday night. And lest anyone thought this event for Allie Beth Allman realtor Kari Schlegel — now Kloewer — would be more subdued than sister Kim Schlegel Whitman’s gala wedding of 2005, guess again.

Though it was not a “morning(noon)-plus-all-day” wedding like Kim’s, Kari’s was every bit as over-the-top, but the emphasis on family was front and center. About 900 guests filled every seat in the church, then ambled “across the avenue” for the reception which lasted way past 1:00 a.m.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra must now be on retainer for all Schlegel family weddings, but this time the performance was in the sanctuary of Highland Park United Methodist Church with direction by Jaap van Zweden, rather than at the Meyerson. Pastor to former president George Bush Mark Craig again officiated, and Kari’s sister’s were her matron/maid of honors — Kim and Krystal. (Kim was teary-eyed the whole day!)  Then came ten bridesmaids, three honor attendants, and three junior bridesmaids. (Kim had twelve.) Kari’s signature color was elegant silver-gray; bridesmaids wore that tone of strapless gowns with jeweled bodices, matching the ribbon color on the invitations which were hand-tied and hand-delivered in a silver-gray satin-covered box. Flowers were pure white. Thank God Troy comes from a hearty family of good-looking, football-playing Iowa men — two brothers were best men, and one was in the groomsmen party along with new brother in laws Kirby Schlegel and Justin Whitman. Kim and Justin’s five year old J.R. was ring bearer, and he walked down the aisle ringing a bell right before the bride, which evoked laughter from the audience.

Details of the dress (and reception) forthcoming, but it was strapless, sparkly and featured a train about as long as the church.

Troy, 36, is a long time friend of Kari’s brother Kirby and brother-in-law Justin Whitman,  and he proposed to his love during her family’s annual trip to Canada AT THEIR SECOND HOME! (Though I’m told that prior to this, on a vacation to the Bahamas, Kari was teasing Troy by playing the Beyonce Knowles song “If You Liked It Then You Shoulda Put A Ring On It”.) Last July 1, on Canada Day, during a romantic walk along the beach, Troy popped the question. When the happy couple returned to the family vacation house, everyone was gathered for a champagne toast and gourmet dinner, followed by a fireworks show under the stars. Troy is a regional sales manager for John Paul Mitchell Systems. Those fireworks were only the beginning!

(To be continued… )

Kari & Troy May 7, 2011

The British Royal Wedding was just a week ago, but we are having our own Royal Storybook Wedding today in Dallas as Kari Schlegel weds that adorable Troy Kloewer.

It is no secret that young Kari, 26, has proven to be a real estate dynamo rivaling the most seasoned agents. She’s got a $13 million dollar listing on Audubon Place, and of course her own Victory W penthouse condo, and a dynamo team.

All of which makes me wonder if Troy is going to be living with Kari and Kirby at the gorgeous 29th floor condo, now reduced to $10, 000,000. from 11,750,000. (I will try to find out at the wedding tonight!) That penthouse is dee-vine, and with 12,000 square feet, there’s plenty of space for everyone! By the way, Kari is a top agent at Allie Beth Allman and an M.B.A. student at S.M.U.

Kari’s wedding starts at six p.m. this evening at Highland Park United Methodist Church, and is likely very different from her sister Kim’s 2005 wedding nuptials that involved 1,200 guests at the Meyerson Symphony Center, a 33,000-square-foot tent, the entire Dallas Symphony Orchestra, 12 bridesmaids, and a Givenchy couture wedding dress with a 20-foot train that Kim flew to Paris to buy and fit. That wedding, the Schlegels say, cost “north of half a million dollars.”

But there is no doubt Kari’s wedding will be her performance, and not a split second less gorgeous, elegant and incredibly memorable than Kim’s.  Besides, I hear Kim’s planned it all. Our Royal Dallas wedding!

It’s kind of special to live in Texas where we can have horses at home if we live on one acre of land — even in the city limits! Of course, not many of us have one acre lots. That’s why you need to check out The Bridges at Preston Crossings. It may be a little bit of a drive north of Dallas — located in Gunter, love the name — but when you get up there you are home and free and in the country. Go ahead, inhale that fresh country air!

What’s that you smell? Um, yes, horses. Here’s what makes BlueGreen Community’s The Bridges so darn special and gives it an edge over other communities: a first class equestrian center for all homeowners right in your backyard. In fact, this Saturday, May 14th the Bridges celebrates the grand opening of the brand-spanking new Bridges Equestrian Center. If you are house hunting, pop on up for the official first opening of the stable doors of this first-class facility. Open the doors, let the horse out! The center will be offering boarding, lessons, riding and private events.

Once the playground for international polo players and Dallas’ elite, The Bridges Equestrian Center is now the perfect paradise for horse and riding enthusiasts. Guests of the Grand Opening celebration will enjoy the opportunity to tour the community, as well as the equestrian center’s three premium barns for boarding, indoor riding area, lighted outdoor arena with grandstands, boarder’s lounge, and miles of groomed, wooded trails.

Now if I didn’t have THEE WEDDING of the decade to go to — yes, Kari Schlegel of Allie Beth Allman is getting married on Saturday, I’d be up there boots in hand. So maybe on Sunday, Mother’s Day.

See, if mom likes to ride, every day would be Mother’s Day at The Bridges!

WHAT: Bridges Equestrian Center Grand Opening

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2011, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Bridges at Preston Crossings

17970 FM 121

Gunter, Texas 75078