Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson


In today’s market, homeowners want to maximize their living space, which often includes the outdoors. Creating an ideal outdoor living area is an art that makes lounging by the pool, hosting friends and family or dining alfresco more of a treat than a chore. But designing an exquisite outdoor space is best left to the professionals, which is why we sat down with Robert Hopson, general contractor and owner of Robert Hopson Construction Group, to learn about outdoor living trends and designing a comfortable, relaxing space.

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

What trends are the hottest in outdoor living?

RH: We’re doing a lot of outdoor kitchens where clients want the full-on kitchen — refrigerator, range, dishwasher, the whole thing. These are people who want to cook, serve and eat outside. We’re even seeing some outdoor kitchens that have glassware and serving utensils dedicated to the outdoors. Another trend we’re seeing are pools with a sun shelf, an approximately 10-by-10 area of the pool with 3 to 4 inches of water. A sun shelf is perfect for enjoying with babies, putting folding chairs in to sit at water level, or just lying down since it’s so shallow.

 

 

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

When planning an outdoor living space, what are best practices?

RH: Determining how the space will be used is the most important factor. We do custom homes, so the client is coming to us with plans or bringing us in on the process with their architect, and the first thing we do is establish what’s important to them for their outdoor space. Do they have kids, is there a pool, are they using the space to entertain large groups? We ask questions that help us understand how the space will be utilized.

 

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

Are there any ‘impossible’ outdoor amenities?

RH: When someone says they want their space to be 60 degrees in 100-degree weather, that’s pretty much impossible. But we can close off the space with screens or retractable coverings and install an A/C system that takes it from 80 degrees to 70. We can pretty much get anything a client wants now for their outdoor space, so if they tell us how they plan to use it, we can adapt it to meet their needs.

 

What changes are you seeing in the realm of outdoor living spaces?

RH: Custom outdoor features are a huge segment of the market. For example, 10 years ago home shows had a couple of outdoor displays and a few hot tubs. Now, the outdoor section is a good portion of the show, where they have windows that fold into themselves and $50,000 grill stations that are just unbelievable. There’s more and more growth in the customized segment.

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

What is the most unique request you’ve had for an outdoor space?

RH: For one house we made a pit so they could lie on the grass and watch movies projected on the side of their casita. We constructed a sloped hill that sort of cut into the yard, where one side was level and the other side was 4 or 5 feet deep, then we added a fireplace at the bottom. They wanted it to be like lying in the park, so we put down some great zoysia grass, which is soft and super comfortable.

 

How does a professionally designed outdoor living space add value to a home?


RH: I’m not a REALTOR®, so I can’t give it a dollar value. But I can tell you that most of the houses I’m doing are upscale, and at that price point, not having an outdoor space would almost be like not having a garage. People enter million-dollar homes and expect some sort of outdoor space, even if it’s just a covered portion of the patio with a grill station. I know there’s an intrinsic value and it would certainly be a negative for buyers if a home didn’t have any kind of outdoor living area.

 

Greater Outdoors: Space Insight with Robert Hopson

What is your favorite thing to see in outdoor living?


RH: I really think it looks good when you have a relatively flat area to walkout onto, so you can walk out from your floor level onto the patio then onto the grass; it’s a seamless transition from inside to outside, almost like walking into another room. Or when the grass runs right up to the edge of the pool, almost like a zero edge, so it’s a more natural feel, not as contrived. We see more modern, clean lines in architecture and I like to see those same clean-line features outdoors with a really simplistic palette, so grass and maybe your solid surface is concrete or a decomposed granite — not four or five different materials like we used to see.

 

This article appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living magazine. To view the magazine, click here.

 

For a personal consultation with Robert Hopson, call 214-327-0600 or visit roberthopsongroup.com.

 

 

 

 

Luxury Portfolio International Magazine Delivers


Luxury Portfolio International Magazine Delivers

 

Ebby Halliday’s partner in marketing luxury properties, Luxury Portfolio International, has just released the newest edition of its homes and lifestyle magazine. Among the homes featured within the magazine’s 160 beautiful pages is our very own Lake-Gamso Team’s stunning 4626 Dorset Road listing.

 

Produced biannually by the luxury real estate network, the magazine offers an inside look into 100  exceptional homes across the globe, including a world-class country estate in England, an ultra-chic townhouse in Manhattan, a stunning contemporary in South Africa and three magnificent celebrity estates.

 

Luxury Portfolio International is a global real estate network comprised of the most powerful independent luxury brokerages. The program markets over 35,000 luxury homes to over 3 million high-net-worth visitors annually on its award-winning website, LuxuryPortfolio.com.

 

See the latest edition of the Luxury Portfolio International Magazine and learn more about the network at LuxuryPortfolio.com.

Now Arriving: Grand Vie Luxury in Living


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The spring 2015 issue of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living magazine is out and is now being direct-mailed to 50,000 luxury homes across Dallas-Fort Worth. With this edition of Grand Vie, we are very pleased to present the addition of properties and Associates from Fort Worth’s leading real estate boutique, Williams Trew, an Ebby Halliday Company.

 

Grand Vie, now in its fifth year of publication, is bigger and better than ever. For this edition, we photographed two cover homes and produced two versions of the magazine (East and West) depending on which side of the Trinity River you reside.

 

In addition to the beautiful properties represented by Ebby Halliday and Williams Trew, we included two new special sections for farm & ranch and lake properties; Q&As with leading North Texas landscape architects Harold Leidner of Dallas and Angelynn Harvey of Fort Worth; and a new feature, “Houses of Art,” showcasing some of the area’s top cultural events of the season.

 

And, as if any of us needs another reason to own a Texas lake house, real estate blogger Candy Evans dishes on why a North Texas lake house may just be the perfect vacation home.

 

We’re confident you’re going to love the new Grand Vie. To view the digital version of North Texas’ premier luxury home publication, visit grandviemagazine.com.

Phil Mickelson’s Home Listed by Luxury Portfolio Member


Phil Mickelson’ Home Listed by Luxury Portfolio Member

 

If you weren’t already envious of his golf game, prepare to be envious of Phil Mickelson’s gorgeous Rancho Santa Fe home. The good news though, is that it can be yours for $5,999,950, having recently been listed by our fellow Luxury Portfolio International member Willis Allen Real Estate.

 

Located in the San Diego area, Mickelson’s home is poised on 4.55 acres within Rancho Santa Fe’s prestigious Covenant community, but it might as well be the Italian countryside, with pepper and olive trees adorning the grounds and views of the rolling hills. Inside, the home is a true work of art, evidenced by hand-carved Canterra stone fireplaces, distressed wood beams and walnut floors, but it’s the outdoor lifestyle that the home truly caters to.

 

From the summer kitchen to the infinity-edge pool and cascading water feature, you might find it hard to spend much time inside. And, of course, there’s also a putting green, so you can keep your game sharp, just like Phil.

 

Below are a few photos of this fabulous Southern California property. Check out the listing page on Luxury Portfolio to see more of Phil Mickelson’s Rancho Santa Fe Estate.

 

Phil Mickelson’ Home Listed by Luxury Portfolio Member

Phil Mickelson’ Home Listed by Luxury Portfolio Member

Phil Mickelson’ Home Listed by Luxury Portfolio Member

Phil Mickelson’ Home Listed by Luxury Portfolio Member

Phil Mickelson’ Home Listed by Luxury Portfolio Member

 

The Ebby Halliday Companies is the exclusive member of Luxury Portfolio International in North Texas. When you consider buying or selling property outside of North Texas, Ebby Halliday’s world-class connections can help with your real estate needs throughout North America and around the world.

 

For more information on Luxury Portfolio International and to view exceptional properties worldwide, visit luxuryportfolio.com.

Innovations to Improve Your Life


Staying current with the latest and greatest modernisms can be a very time-consuming task. Lucky for you – and us – Luxury Portfolio International has just released the newest edition of its magazine, making it easy to catch up on trend-setting innovations while also gazing at some of the world’s most-spectacular homes currently for sale. Below are a few of our favorites. 

 

ELECTRIC BEAMER

 

BMW continues to demonstrate its commitment to quality and sustainability with the new C Evolution electric scooter. Conceived as a modern solution to the next generation of urban mobility, the battery can be completely charged, either at a regular household socket or a charging station in less than three hours. If you like struggling to find a parking spot, pouring money down your gas tank or sitting in traffic, this is not the vehicle for you.  BMW-Motorrad.de

 

 

SUN TIME

 

While sunbathing can be quite pleasurable and give you a healthy glow, too much of it is detrimental to the skin. With the JUNE bracelet from Netatmo, you can be sure to always get just the right amount of vitamin D without overexposing yourself to harmful UV rays. This fashionable bracelet measures your sun exposure throughout the day and communicates with your smartphone, letting you know when it’s time to get in the shade.  Netatmo.com  

 

PHONE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

For the many smartphone photographers out there who have felt limited by their handheld device, the Sony DSC-QX100 Smartphone Attachable Lens-Style Camera is the answer. The world’s first pro-grade lens and sensor combo easily attaches to you iOS or Android smartphone to capture DSLR-quality pics and HD video with the utmost convenience.  Sony.com

 

To see more innovative products highlighted in the newest edition of Luxury Portfolio Magazine, click here.

 

The Ebby Halliday Companies is the exclusive member of Luxury Portfolio International in North Texas. Membership is by invitation only and is limited to the very best residential real estate companies worldwide. When buying or selling property outside of our local market, the Ebby Halliday Companies’ world-class connections can help with real estate needs throughout our continent and to points around the globe.

 

 

Luxury Portfolio International Expands


 

Luxury Portfolio International, our partner in marketing luxury properties, recently welcomed seven new member firms in five countries, expanding its global coverage to encompass more than 200 firms in 30 countries.

 

In the U.S., the newest member firm is Greenwood King Properties, one of Houston’s most-respected real estate leaders. Other recent members include Resort Realty of the Outer Banks, a market leader throughout the coastal Outer Banks, and Silver Creek Real Estate Group, serving the mountain communities around Cashiers, N.C.

 

In Canada, Luxury Portfolio has added Bowes & Cocks Limited, Brokerage, a premier independent brokerage in Ontario.

 

Growth in Europe comes with the addition of Ayikcan Real Estate, a prestigious firm serving both the Asian and European sides of Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey; Junot Investissements, specializing in the unique areas in and surrounding Paris; and Peikert Immobilien AG, which offers a wide range of services in Switzerland.

 

“We are delighted to expand our reach in key markets with these prestigious, market-leading firms,” says Stephanie Pfeffer-Anton, executive vice president of Luxury Portfolio. “These brokerages all share our focus on serving luxury clientele with highly specialized services to meet the diverse needs of today’s high-end consumers.”

 

Sellers who list their properties with Luxury Portfolio members benefit from strategic marketing that includes the award-winning website luxuryportfolio.com and targeted online and print advertising that reaches a global audience of affluent consumers. Luxuryportfolio.com markets more than 25,000 luxury listings every year and features more properties listed over $1 million than any competing site. It showcases those properties to more than 3 million high-net-worth consumers annually.

 

To learn more about Luxury Portfolio International and to view its extensive collection of extraordinary properties, visit luxuryportfolio.com.

Technology to Save You Time


Our smartphones and tablets play a vital role in our lives, but it’s important to remember to make time for yourself. In our mind, technology should simplify your daily routine and deliver the ultimate luxury: time. Following are a few of our favorite innovations brought to our attention by our friends at Luxury Portfolio International. Each will provide peace of mind while saving you time.

 

Control4 

The gold standard of home automation, you name it and the Control4 system does it. Your smartphone or tablet can be used as the command center for the entire home, conveniently integrating lighting, music, home theater, climate and security. Program the perfect “wake-up” setting with your favorite music, followed by a gentle opening of the shades and a brightening of the lights or impress your friends and get the hot tub bubbling with a touch of your smartphone.

 

Petnet SmartFeeder

Pet owners, you know this one: you’re out having a good time when suddenly it dawns on you that you forgot to feed your furry friend. No need to panic — with the Petnet SmartFeeder all you need is your smartphone to fill Fifi’s bowl wherever you are. Schedule regular feeding times, manage portions and even track your pet’s calorie intake to keep your beloved four legged family member happy and healthy, while giving you one less thing to worry about.

 

Greenbox

An automatic irrigation system is nice, but does yours know to skip a cycle when it’s been raining all day? Greenbox is an intuitive system that automatically schedules your watering program based on the local weather and can be easily controlled from your phone. Simply connect the valve wires of your existing watering system to the Greenbox and within minutes you’ll be saving water, money and never have to stress over the lawn again.

 

Goji Smart Lock

You don’t have to be home to know when someone’s knocking on your door. In fact, with the Goji Smart Lock you can instantly receive a picture of whoever is there. Suppose it’s a service professional and you forgot to leave the door unlocked — no problem, Goji can be controlled by your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Set your housekeeper up with scheduled access or lock up and keep your home secure no matter where you are.

 

In this day and age technology is everywhere and hopefully with these cutting-edge products you can use it to your advantage to find a little more time for you!

 

The Latest Luxury ‘Must Haves’


 

Staying current with the latest and greatest modernisms, experiencing destinations of distinction, and knowing how to pamper one’s self have long been major elements in defining the luxury lifestyle. Our summer 2014 issue of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living magazine includes an innovative collection of trends to add luxury to your life.

 

UTOPIAN CONCEPT

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Say hello to the future of luxury yachting! Resulting from collaboration between Yacht Island Design and BMT Nigel Gee, Project Utopia is an avant-garde vision that looks more like a spaceship than a yacht. With the equivalent space of today’s cruise lines, this stunning creation deviates from traditional design to provide comfort and luxury far beyond your imagination.   YachtIslandDesign.com

 

 

 

BAMBOO BICYCLE

zuri_Urban City_gv14

With the growing impact of people on the environment, any company that finds a more sustainable approach can be labeled pioneers. Zuri Bikes has done just that by crafting first-class bikes out of bamboo. But more importantly, the company is creating jobs in Zambia by growing its bamboo there and focusing on local frame production with healthy work conditions. Each bike is then assembled in Germany.   ZuriBikes.de

 

 

 

WEIGHT AT THE AIRPORT

xScalePro_gv14

It doesn’t get much worse than getting to the airport and finding out your bag is over the weight limit. Avoid that debacle with the Heys xScale Pro. Small enough to fit in your pocket, the scale can weigh luggage up to 110 pounds. A trusted name in travel-goods innovations, Heys is the chosen travel companion of celebrities and fashionistas alike.   Heys.ca

 

These innovative luxury products are featured in the summer issue of Grand Vie, the exclusive luxury property magazine of the Ebby Halliday Companies. Visit grandviemagazine.com to learn more about the latest and greatest trends in luxury and to discover many of the most spectacular homes currently for sale in Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond.

 

Luxury Leaders Convene


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Members of the Ebby Halliday Companies, which includes Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, are taking part in a prestigious international real estate event this week. Luxury Portfolio SUMMIT is part of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Conference Week, an event hosted by the parent company of Luxury Portfolio International. The event at the Wynn Las Vegas has drawn a record-setting 2,500 real estate professionals from nearly 20 countries.

 

Participants at Luxury Portfolio SUMMIT qualify to attend by proving participation in the luxury market, ensuring an elite audience of luxury specialists. The event offers opportunities to exchange ideas and network with top Associates from around the world. Educational sessions provide in-depth insights into the global luxury real estate sector.

 

The Ebby Halliday Companies are the exclusive North Texas members of Luxury Portfolio International.  Affiliates of Luxury Portfolio International provide targeted exposure for high-end homes to more than 3 million high-net-worth visitors annually at the award-winning LuxuryPortfolio.com. The site features a total inventory of properties totaling more than $44 billion, with an extensive array of offline advertising and marketing and custom analytics to connect affluent buyers and sellers.

Luxury Sales Expected to Thrive in 2014


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Sentiment from top Luxury Portfolio International affiliates in the U.S. and Canada indicates a strong close to 2013 and a rising tide in the affluent segment of the housing market for 2014.

 

As the year closed, the $1- to $2 million tier of the market was very active, and most luxury leaders anticipate it will continue to be so due to a shortage of inventory, often with multiple-offer situations driving prices upward.

 

International buyers continue to be active. The mix of foreign buyers includes those from Saudi Arabia,  South America and the EU, while Asian buyers – particularly the Chinese – continue to be a significant force.

 

Luxury Portfolio brokers report a trend in Chinese buyers gravitating toward properties in the $1 million range, though those investing for children attending U.S. colleges generally are looking for lower-priced properties.

 

“The mood for our Luxury Portfolio brokers is upbeat as we move into 2014,” says Luxury Portfolio International President Paul Boomsma. “They believe that well-priced luxury homes will continue to be in high demand, resulting in increases of 10- to 20% in volume in most of their markets, with unit sales rising 5- to 10%. Compared to a few years ago, that represents a significant improvement.”

 

The Ebby Halliday Companies, which includes Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, is the exclusive member of Luxury Portfolio International in North Texas.  To learn more about the beautiful Preston Hollow luxury home shown above, click here.