I’m Still Standing!

House hunting in 1981 reveals what has changed, what hasn’t

Real estate advertising gained momentum on the pages of Park Cities People each week in the Fall of 1981.

Northside People (rebranded Preston Hollow People in 2004) did not premiere until 1989, but homes in Greenway Parks, Bluffview, Preston Hollow, and Bent Tree have always been marketed in People Newspapers.

An early ad from Ellen Terry Realtors featured a home on Park Lane for $1,850,00 and a home on Gladeslide Court for $2,250,000. The median value for a home in Preston Hollow today is $767,055.

In the first edition, Real Estate Editor Molly Dodgen presented a “Gallery of Fine Homes” with eight properties from five different realtors.

Abio & Adleta Realtors offered a Center Hall Plan home “On Bordeaux” for $395,000. A classic Tudor overlooking Turtle Creek was on the market for $975,000 with Daniel M. Mahoney, Realtor. A few weeks later, Hoffman Real Estate was marketing a “Williamsburg Mansion” in Bent Tree for $750,000.

But absent in all of these early marketing efforts was the property’s address and sometimes the price. 

Ellen Terry Realtors placed the first display advertisement listing the house number as well as the price in the Nov. 19th edition. A week later, the company’s ad also included the listing agent’s photo, setting the stage for marketing both properties and agents in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow for the next 40 years.

Read more about real estate sales history.

In July of 1982, Tom Rhodes, the only male agent with Ellen Terry Realtors, listed 5315 Rock Cliff Place, a one-acre property in Preston Hollow, for $1,800,000. During the past 40 years, this mid-century modern has been on the market three times, with its value going up and down with the economy. In 2018 the price soared to $3,900,000, then dropped to $2,895,000 in July of 2020, and has stabilized at $2,717,800.

Described as a “SMASHING contemporary” in 1981, today we would call the home at 5304 Nakoma Drive a mid-century modern. The black and white ad purchased by Carole McBride with McBride Realty Co. did not contain a price nor can it compete with the sleek photography used to market the home in 2019. The Median listing price for a home on one of the tree-lined streets of Greenway Parks is $997,756, and this home’s estimated value is $1,130,100.

That year another beautiful Preston Hollow property, 5714 DeLoache Avenue, was on the market with Judy Tarleton of Abio & Adleta, Realtors.  This French country home, built in 1979, is just a few blocks north of Northwest Highway in an area of lovely estates. As Judy stated in her ad, “this magnificent home truly has everything!” Today a Google Map reveals the private cul-de-sac, the circular driveway, the competition tennis court, the pool and spa, the workshop, the quarters, and the beautiful landscaping. All this was just $695,000. Today Redfin estimates the value of this one at $2,106,806.

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