22 Years in Real Estate
I began my real estate career in Plano in 1994, first with my company and later with Keller Williams. I still remember my first two closings in early ’94 on Glendower Lane in Willow Bend and Thackery Drive in Kings Court. Because most of West Plano was still being developed, I spent a lot of time dealing directly with the developers. I bought lots in Willow Bend from Hillwood Development Corporation owned by Ross Perot, Willow Bend Polo Estates from Bill Shaddock, and Lakeside on Preston from the DiNapoli family. I also purchased properties in Kings Ridge from Talmadge Tinsley, Chapel Creek from Jim Williams with LandPlan Development, and Starwood from Blue Star Land.
From stables to luxury homes.
In ’94 the tollway ended at Parker Road. Plano West was a small high school- not the sprawling campus it is today. The upscale neighborhood of Willow Bend Polo Estates was still the Willow Bend Polo and Hunt Club complete with polo fields, equestrian training and boarding stables. I would walk through the field with a plat map promising potential buyers that the stables would be removed by the time their custom home was completed and they would not have the summer horse smells wafting over for their pool party. The original sign that greeted members at the Willow Bend Polo and Hunt Club in its glory days is memorialized at the Park Road entrance.
I remember sitting in my car in Lakeside on Preston looking at street after street of newly built retaining walls and freshly graded lots, not a single home yet. No trees or shrubs – just streetlights and stop signs. The little white farmhouse owned by Margaret DiNapoli’s grandmother was relocated a few times around the neighborhood before being removed completely.
Going to Frisco was like driving to Oklahoma!
Going to dinner at La Hacienda in Frisco would feel like driving to Oklahoma. I would tell buyers that “someday soon” there would be more restaurants in Frisco to choose from. When Starwood kicked off, the Dallas Parkway was a two lane black top road with weeds along the way. The highest impact land use was the R/C Airplane Club with a little runway in a field. Remote controlled airplanes would buzz the drivers on their way to look at the new neighborhood. There was no Willow Bend Mall, let alone Stonebriar. We were excited when we found out Blockbuster was opening a store in Frisco.
The custom builders to remember
My daughter went to Brinker, then to Renner, then Shepton, and finally to Plano West. In my mind, she is still 3 years old and Trick or Treating by our Wake Forest home in Willow Bend. So when I talk to clients about schools, I have done K -12 right here. Many of my listing appointments are third or fourth owners, they don’t even realize I was in their home when it was originally being built twenty years ago. I remember when the custom builder names to know were Gage, Roberts, McGregor, Kirlin, Balkman, and Bobbitt.
A massive influx of corporate relocation and construction
Today, it’s necessary for me to make a point to drive along Legacy and 121 at least once a week. If I don’t – I find I no longer know where I am. The sheer number of construction projects changes the landscape on a weekly basis. With the massive influx of corporate relocation and construction, this fiercely growing North Dallas community is expanding so fast I’m not sure where we are going to put all the people.
Most importantly, I have helped hundreds of families buy or sell their home. Not all of the transactions went smoothly but the challenges are what I get paid to handle. And after 22 years, I feel great knowing that I did my all to represent my clients’ best interests. So I pray I get 22 more – because the first 22 years was just last week!
Are you an original owner in one of the Willow Bends, Lakeside, Windhaven, Starwood, etc.? Send me an email, text, comment and let me know what you remember!