Dallas Insider: Q&A With Candy Evans

The doyenne of Dallas real estate gives us a peek into her rarefied Preston Hollow neighborhood, and discusses Dallas' affinity for square footage, fabulous entertaining and the Bush family.

Name: Candace ("Candy") Evans

Age: Fifty-something (50 is the new 40!)

Occupation: Real Estate Editor, D Magazine Partners; Dallas Dirt blogger

Neighborhood: Preston Hollow, Dallas

Abode: We own a house on a one-acre lot that even comes with a few horses. (In fact, two runaway horses almost mowed me down a few months ago...)
How long have you lived in Preston Hollow?

I've been a Dallas resident for 30-plus years, and have lived in Preston Hollow for the past 20.

What do you love most about your neighborhood?

Short answer: Trees, land and space.

Plus, the people are great. We have terrific neighborhood get-togethers: Daryl Johnston, the former Dallas Cowboys fullback, lived close by for many years, and we threw the legendary Halloween parties. One year, his wife and I worked on an elaborate haunted house that people still talk about today!

Do you talk to your neighbors?

Like most of the world, we stay in touch mostly through e-mail, but we chat at least once a day when everyone's out jogging and walking their dogs. This happens more frequently when the weather cools off: No one in Dallas ventures outside very much in August.

Best-kept secret in Preston Hollow?

Despite the famous car culture that people associate with Dallas, Preston Hollow is actually a walking community. When my kids were younger and their school closed during ice storms, we'd pile on warm clothes and walk to see which merchants were open. On weekends, my husband and I still love to walk our dogs to Whole Foods and carry groceries home: It's only a two-mile walk.

Favorite way to spend a Saturday night in your neighborhood?

If we're not at the Cattle Baron's Ball or the Supper Club, we usually invite people over and settle in with a DVD and a nice bottle of wine. And some of our friends are lucky enough to have media rooms, which we use to screen actual movies.

Is everything really bigger in Texas?

Size still matters in Dallas, but I think that's slowly starting to change. The younger generation here isn't as interested in the big, airy homes that are still very fashionable among their parents' set. They're more concerned with curbing their energy consumption and reducing their carbon footprint. And we have some great condos in our booming downtown. I think our new arts district rivals anything I've seen in New York City. (And our Winspear Opera House gives Lincoln Center a total run for its money.)

That being said, houses out in the suburbs (in what we call "972," based on the area code) continue to be fairly gigantic. We're talking houses that measure anywhere upwards of 3,500-square feet. If you go west to Coppell and Vaquero, where the Jonas Brothers live, an 8,000-square-foot home would be considered tiny! (In fact, when I first saw the area, I thought all the homes were all country clubs.)

Our home is 6,000-square feet, which I think was perfect for a family of four, but now feels a little big for empty-nesters. But, there's a 12,000-square-foot home being built down the street, so I guess it's all a matter of perspective...

You broke the news about President George W. Bush's Preston Hollow residence this time last year. Have the Bushes changed Dallas real estate since their relocation? If so, how?

Well, their return to Dallas has certainly changed their immediate vicinity: The Preston Hollow cul-de-sac where they reside has now become a gated community thanks to the U.S. Secret Service!

But beyond that, I think their taking up residence in Dallas has been good for this its real estate market. For starters, their celebrity lends a certain luster to the city, which, until recently, was best known for its resident sport stars. I don't know if the Bushes' return to Dallas has increased property values--their Preston Hollow enclave was blue-chip property to begin with--but they have certainly elevated Dallas and Preston Hollow's visibility on the world stage, which can only be a good thing.

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