HMA listings win Wall Street Journal ‘House of the Day’ twice in 4 months

Given how many homes are for sale in the United States at any one time it is amazing to think that in the past 4 months, two HMA’s listings’ have been named the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) House of the Day.

Each week the renowned property section in the WSJ selects a property from around the world to feature it as their ‘House of the Day’. The section provides a short introduction to the property along with presenting a selection of stunning photo’s.

At the end of the week 3 homes are selected to be part of an online vote where readers choose their ‘House of the Week’.

In April our superb listing at 15410 Windmill Pointe Drive, Grosse Pointe Park beat off stiff competition from a Rhode Island chateau and a glamorous townhouse in Brooklyn to win the prize.


Within 4 months we were up for the prize again, this time with our grand listing at 2600 Turtle Lake Drive, Bloomfield Hills. We were competing with a Tudor Castle in Connecticut and historic resort in the Adirondacks.


While we did not win this time around it says a lot about the caliber of our listings and the wonderful historical homes in Metro Detroit.

We would also like to thank the leading real estate, travel and design search platform ‘Find Everything Historic’ website for featuring our 2600 Turtle Lake Drive listing on their website. The site is exclusively dedicated to historic properties and the historic lifestyle throughout the United States and Europe.

For full details on both of our winning properties’ please visit:

15410 Windmill Pointe Drive

2600 Turtle Lake Drive



HMA celebrates 10 years as Michigan’s exclusive representative in national Board of Regents Program.

HMA celebrates 10 years as Michigan’s exclusive representative in national Board of Regents Program.

HMA, one of the original brokers of the Board of Regents (a national luxury real estate program created in 2004) celebrates ten years as Michigan’s exclusive representative in the program.

As one of Grosse Pointes most prominent real estate companies it is a significant honor for the company to be a member of such an elite organization. To mark the occasion Kay Agney will be attending a prestigious anniversary event in Boston this October.

Nationally only 63 real estate firms are members of the Board of Regents program. The members exclusively represent a defined territory and have been selected based on their leadership and longstanding success in the luxury real estate industry.


As Michigan’s sole member HMA proudly takes its place at the top table, having been synonymous with listing some of the most prestigious properties in and around the Grosse Pointe Communities for over 80 years.

About the Board of Regents.

The Board of Regents is the evolution of the Board of Governors, the leadership body that has determined the direction of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate since the network began in 1986.

Regents (as they are known) have an array of marketing tools and solutions, which allow them to showcase properties to targeted elite buyers worldwide. They enjoy prime placement on the award-winning website,, the leading portal for global luxury properties since its launch in 1995.

HMA Market Pointes: Fall News

HMA Market Pointes: Fall News

Check out the Fall Newsletter from HMA – local news, architectural history, events and our featured house section…this month we profile 1169 Bedford, Grosse Pointe Park.

Newsletter Graphic

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – 221 Lewiston “Ridgeland” featuring architect Hugh T. Keyes.

221 Lewiston “Ridgeland” featuring architect Hugh T. Keyes

In the first post we profiled 15410 Windmill Pointe, work of New York Architect Alfred Hopkins, which featured an update to the home in 1929 by Hugh T. Keyes.

Hugh Tallman Keyes was a noted early 20th century architect. His work centered on creating grand estates for the industrialists of Metropolitan Detroit (clients included Ford, Bugas and Mennen) and he is considered to be one of the most prolific architects of the period.

After studying architecture at Harvard, Keyes came to Detroit and worked in Albert Kahn’s office until the First World War. Keyes subsequently spent 2 years in the navy and after the war opened his own office in Detroit.

Keyes was a versatile designer, and his style ranged from early French Renaissance and Georgian, to the style he is most known for – Regency. During his career he designed many grand properties in around the Detroit area, including five in Grosse Pointe:

Woodley GreenWoodley Green

Lake Shore Dr., Grosse Pointe (1934)

Style: Georgian, Regency



Mennen HallMennenHall

Provencal Rd., Grosse Pointe Farms (1929)

Style: Tudor Revival


Dwyer/Palms HouseDwyerPalmsHouse

Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Farms (1928)

Style: French Normandy


15410 Windmill Pointe

Grosse Pointe Park (1929)

Style: Tudor Revival



Lewiston Rd., Grosse Pointe (1924)

Style: Mediterranean, Tuscan


221 LewistonIn 1924 Keyes began work on the Charles A. Dean house on Lewiston Road. Now known as 221 Lewiston, the Italian Renaissance villa with exceptional architectural details inside and out, was to become one of the most unique homes in the area.

The 9,000-sqare-foot hillside estate took on the appearance of an Italian country house flowing down a hillside; the walls were constructed from tawny bricks, the roof was finished in red tile, evoking scenes from rural Tuscany.

Inside the property the ceiling in the 50-foot great room is covered with a grid of beams, painted in 14th century Florentine designs.

Other picturesque details include plain and decorated terracotta tiles that adorn the staircases, accompanied by the elaborate wrought iron railings and balconies. The walls of the large library are covered with painted lions, crowns and fleur-de-lis – each detail being incorporated into the overall design, without conflicting as individual parts.

staircase  Library Fireplace

Stained glass detail  221_libray

Walk through the wide glass French doors, and you step straight into the magnificent Italian style gardens, featuring fountains, walls, decorative brickwork and statues.

Glass doors  garden

Keyes and his team of craftsmen created this Italian dream home between 1924 and 1926, and 90 years on the majority of the details are still intact.

This little piece of Tuscany is currently for sale, listed at $1.69m, you can find full details on the Higbie Maxon Agney website. You can also read more about the property in the featured article in the Detroit Free Press Michigan House Envy section (Grosse Pointe Villa Offers a Taste of Tuscany).


We will be continuing the series with another extraordinary home next week.


If you have a home or building you would like us to profile please contact Darby Moran – – we will try and feature the property.


(For more historical information on Grosse Pointe, visit Grosse Pointe Historical Society).


HMA listing featured in Detroit Free Press House Envy!

An HMA listing was featured in this Sunday’s Free Press Michigan House Envy section!


4721 Hasslick in North Branch, Michigan is Michelle Agosta’s listing, and it is fabulous! The home is listed at $2,999,999 – you can view full details on the HMA website or call us for more information.


The text of the article is below! To read the full text and view the stunning photos, please visit the Free Press website here.


Michigan House Envy: 7,000-square-foot mansion on 36 acres filled with Russian flair


Ed May has put so much passion into this house, he knows he needs a special buyer.


The 7,000 square feet and the 38 acres are the first-round eliminators, of course. Any new owner has to be able to afford a grand estate with Tudor architecture, stone exterior, an all-glass conservatory and artistic outbuildings. It’s listed at $2,999,999.


But that’s just the start. May and his first wife, the late Barbara May, bought this house in 1973, when it was 3,200 square feet and unfinished. In every one of the past 40 years, this house has been enlarged, enhanced or adorned.


4721 Hasslick House


4721 Hasslick Road_2


4721 Hasslick Road_1

4721 Hasslick Road_5


The evidence is in every room. In the kitchen, there’s the floor of Mexican tile set in a design of four woods grown on the property. In the living room and dining room, ceilings are covered with wallpaper from the 1856 British firm Burberry.


But most exceptional is the Russian iconography. May is a businessman who fell in love with Russian culture while he worked there part of each year, starting when it was the Soviet Union.


He dealt in trade there, started businesses, bought real estate and brought home the culture. He brought home Russian artists, too, and their work is all over the house’s soaring first-floor greatroom, built like a traditional ballroom.


This space can stop you in your tracks. The floor is herringbone Brazilian cherry. The ceiling is canvas painted blue with elaborate cherry beams. Artisans painted silver filigree designs where beams meet the ceiling. And a curving staircase goes to a second-level balcony where there’s room for a library or an orchestra.


High at one end, a wall triangle holds a painting — a sleigh pulled through the snow by three horses. Passengers in the sleigh are Ed and Barbara May. St. Peter is close by, holding the keys to heaven, and there’s a madonna and child. A Russian artist and his wife lived here several months to paint it.


The room has 11 alcoves, which May filled with paintings of the 12 apostles. (Peter and Paul had to double up.) He commissioned these from a Russian priest who is a famous iconographer.


May’s second wife Carolyn continues the flourish. She recently picked dark red tapestry and had it made into padded wall panels with gold leaf frames.


Another knockout room is the ground floor conservatory, an all-glass room made in London.


The Russian theme jumps outside, where there’s a gazebo or party room made as a copper onion dome, the shape of most Russian church domes. With little to do on Sundays in Russia, May said, he’d visit churches and fell in love with the shape.


There’s also a Scandinavian mountain house, built by a Norwegian craftsman from hand-hewn logs, with a pine-lined sauna inside. These two structures cost twice as much as the original house, May said.


The house includes a heated five-car garage, plus two more garages for another 10 cars, he said. A separate guesthouse adds six bedrooms. There are two ponds that are stocked with trout, walleye, bluegill and bass.


May said he has spent far more on the house than its asking price. “But I can’t charge for my love and my hobby.”


He said when his first wife worked with an architect to plan the great expansion, the architect was not sold on the Lapeer County site. “Don’t build that here,” he advised. “Let me build that near Cranbrook.”


But May never wanted that posh Bloomfield scene. “This is a country retreat,” he said. “As a business owner, I wanted to be out of the way. So we kind of retreated into the comfort of a country setting.”


Please call HMA for full details!



Is it time to downsize?

Sometimes our friends, clients, and colleagues send us articles and information that is just too good not to share with you! That happened to us today, when Tom Keating of Keating Law, PLC:  Business and Estate Planning and Advocacy sent this advice and information about downsizing your home. With his permission, we are reprinting it here; links will direct you to the source material. Thank you again, Tom!

Downsizing can help make retirement easier

For many of your clients, their homes are filled with memories of raising a family. It’s also where they figured to spend their retirement years together. But with the children grown and starting families of their own, your clients are on their own now.

The house was paid off years ago, and maybe it’s even your clients’ biggest asset. But do they really need all that space? The kids’ old bedrooms upstairs are never used, and your clients seem to live more and more of their lives on the ground floor.

Maybe it’s time to downsize?

No time like the present

Although letting go of a home in which a client has lived 30 years or more can be difficult emotionally, the financial benefits can be substantial, according to The Wall Street Journal . The advantages might seem small at first, but accumulating over time, they’ll likely extend the life of your clients’ nest egg, allowing them to enjoy retirement without worrying so much about finances.

Forbes echoes those sentiments, saying a large house in a good school district – with corresponding high taxes – was great when the children were going to school, but it makes no financial sense now. Americans, Forbes says, have been home rich but financially poor because of all that capital – all that non-productive capital – tied up in their homes.

And that home costs money. There’s regular maintenance and upkeep your client can’t neglect, heating and cooling costs, landscaping … the list goes on and on. With a home, the WSJ says, that list of expenses is hidden. Moving into a condo or rental unit can be less expensive because your client will know what the costs are going to be upfront; association, maintenance and other fees are built in.

Options abound

The housing market has slowly started to recover from the crash in 2008 and has shown gains in some areas, but there’s no way to predict if that will continue. Waiting for the market to keep going up could leave your client waiting, period.

Besides, CNNMoney reports, there are many ways to downsize and save money to make retirement more enjoyable.

Move into a smaller house. With the money your client make by selling a paid-off home, he can buy a smaller one in cash and stick that extra money into his retirement nest egg. And a smaller home will be cheaper to heat and maintain.

Move out of town. Although only 10 percent of retirees pull up stakes and head out, it can be a prudent move, especially if your client lives in an expensive city. The savings gained in lower property taxes alone can make this an attractive choice. And with email, social networking sites and good old telephone calls, it’s easy to keep in touch with relatives several states away.

Read the fine print. If your client is considering moving into a retirement condo or gated community, she should beware of the fees that can add up. Without doing due diligence, she might end up paying more than she can afford. Finding one that fits into her budget and makes her comfortable is key.

CNNMoney’s final suggestion is one that appeals to clients that don’t want to leave friends and neighbors and want to keep a place where the kids (and grandkids) are always welcome:

Invest in staying put. Clients can make the improvements the house needs while they’re still working. Replace inefficient appliances with energy-saving models, install double- or triple-pane windows, and upgrade the heating and cooling system.

Kay Agney featured on Luxury Real Estate’s Website!

We are so thrilled to be the designated Regent for the Grosse Pointes on the Board of Regents, the governing body of! Luxury Real Estate periodically features their affiliated brokers, and right now it is our very own Kay Agney’s turn! She just returned from the LRE Spring Retreat in Ft. Lauderdale, and we’ll have more to tell you about that shortly–but for now, check out what Kay has to say about being a broker in Grosse Pointe! A couple of questions and answers are featured below…to see the full article (as well as a fabulous photo of Kay!), please click here!

Why is your company successful? Our motto is “Matching People and Houses… with Imagination!” Most of our business comes from referrals of satisfied clients. Our sales associates are very committed to providing the kind of service that guarantees successful real estate transactions. As part of our vision, we take pride in providing expert guidance so our clients can satisfy their lifestyle needs. Grosse Pointe is a small community with many high profile people who expect confidentiality in their transactions and we pride ourselves in providing that confidentiality. Our agents are committed to the community, giving their time and talents to many community and charitable organizations. They also have a strong commitment to each other’s’ success. It is not unusual to see a seasoned agent taking time to help a new agent. We provide a company atmosphere that attracts successful, productive and motivated real estate professionals. As an integral part of the Grosse Pointes since 1929, we can truly expand our motto to say “Matching People and Houses with Imagination…for Generations!”

What are your favorite parts of your job? Every morning I feel blessed to wake up doing what I love to do. Each day brings different challenges and it is never boring. Many of my past clients have become dear friends and I am now finding homes for their children. I love finding that perfect home for a client. And I enjoy helping our sales associates become successful, mentoring them as I was mentored.

Impressive luxury real estate sale in California!

As members of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, we are clued in to goings-on in luxury real estate all around the world! We thought you might be interested in this incredible sale.

Fleur de Lys Estate Sells for a Record $102 Million

The Los Angeles Times reports the highest-priced home sale ever recorded in L.A. County.

The 50,000-square-foot Fleur de Lus residence, which has been compared to a miniature Versailles, has sold for $102 million, a record in L.A. County. According to the Los Angeles Times, three billionaires engaged in a bidding war for the property, with the winner closing in 10 days in an all-cash deal that included antique furnishings…

The property includes 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a ballroom, two kitchens, a movie theater, pool, tennis courts, and a nine-car garage.

For the full article regarding this incredible sale, please click here!

Fleur de Lys Estate

Fleur de Lys Estate

21 Renaud featured in Detroit Free Press House Envy!

Thanks so much to the Detroit Free Press for featuring 21 Renaud in the Sunday House Envy section! Take a look at the article below!

Michigan House Envy: Mast’s extra care shows in details throughout 1940 house

By: Judy Rose

21 Renaud

21 Renaud

A large oval foyer is the focal point of this classic center-entrance colonial in Grosse Pointe Shores. The main rooms radiate from here, and a long curving staircase leads to an oval balcony above. It’s a gracious house, meant for entertaining, constructed in 1940 by Walter Mast, a well-regarded builder at that time.

The extra care Mast was known for shows in many details. For example, as the walls curve around the foyer, the door casings curve as well. Up where the walls meet the ceiling, they’re edged with a deep geometric design. This is not the standard wood trim; it’s all hand-molded plaster. Similar molded plaster runs through the living and dining rooms.

A theme of rosettes repeats through the house in wrought iron accents — at the front door, over two windows, and in the railing that runs up the stairs and around the balcony. The current owners continued the theme with two floral chandeliers.

Mast built this house for a radio producer who helped produce “The Lone Ranger,” and liked to entertain. So one of the home’s assets is a long butler’s pantry, good for producing parties without a visible mess.

“They had servants then,” said current owner Mary Sue Piggott. “But I love to use it to set up and get the entertainment all together without it being part of the living space.”

Lower cabinets with granite counters line each side of the butler’s pantry. Above them cabinets with beveled glass fronts hold crystal. There’s a sink, an ice maker and a wine rack.

Cameron and Mary Sue Piggott have lived here 31 years. Some of the changes they made include expanding the glass along the back of the house, where the rooms look into the handsome backyard. They bumped out bay windows in the family room and the kitchen and added a bow window to the dining room.

“It’s very open and airy,” Mary Sue Piggott said. “A lot of light comes in and the focus is on the backyard.”

This yard has extensive gardens and a slate patio with an awning for summer. “It’s very private. You cannot see through into anybody’s yard,” she said.

The best room for enjoying the view may be the garden room, where two of the walls are floor-to-ceiling windows. The Piggotts cut a large skylight above so sun pours through this room. This space is separated from the living room by folding glass doors.

All through the house, rooms are large. The living room, for instance, is roughly 20 feet by 30, the owners’ bedroom above is the same. The owners’ suite has his and her dressing areas as well as his and her baths.

And one closet holds a souvenir from the house’s early days — one that will have to stay with the house. It’s an old-time safe, about 2½ feet wide and four feet tall.

To see the article on the Free Press website, click here! There is also a photo gallery there which is easy to view on mobile devices.

Higbie Maxon Agney featured in Grosse Pointe News article!

Thanks so much to writer Brad Lindberg and everyone over at the Grosse Pointe News for contacting us regarding our 2013 Annual Report! He spoke with our broker, Kay Agney, and used information from that report to write a great article regarding the state of the Grosse Pointe real estate market. You can read the article below! Thanks to the GPN for giving us permission to use it here. And if you still haven’t seen our Annual Report, you can find it here!

Realtor: Market Continues to Rise
 Brad Lindberg
February 27, 2014

THE GROSSE POINTES — A modest but steady rise in property sales, composing a reasoned trend less likely to burst in a ballistic reprise of the housing bubble, accounts for Kay Agney’s optimistic outlook for the Grosse Pointe real estate market.

“Without a major hiccup, we ought to continue the trend,” said Agney, owner of Higbie Maxon Agney Realtors in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Recent sales figures help relegate to unwanted memory the market’s dog days of 2008, the year of fewest house sales in the last 10 years.

“2008 was pretty bad,” Agney said.

The trend is accounted in her agency’s 2013 Grosse Pointe real estate annual report.

Residential sales increased 10 percent during 2013 compared with 2012, the seven-page report begins.

The report’s tables and graphs were drawn from multiple listing services, Agney said.

“We put it together throughout the year to get a true picture of the market,” she said.

The report’s refrain is: 2008 is a year to forget.

Sales increased 86 percent between then and now, from 436 units sold in 2008 to 811 in 2013, which had the highest volume in 10 years, second only to 736 sales in 2012, according to the report.

“The boom years of the early 2000s are over 10 years ago, and are not represented (in the report),” according to the report, prepared with data from MIRealSource and Realcomp LL listing services. “Even so, the last three years put up an extremely strong showing.”

A new trend in monthly sales, which traditionally peak May through August, also augurs well.

“Of late, the market has remained strong and active in the winter months, always a great sign,” according to the report.

House sales during the first weeks of 2014 are lower than normal due to the harsh winter, Agney said.

“Aside from that, I think we’re going to see 2014 continue to be good for the housing market and Grosse Pointe,” she said.

The Pointes remain popular as a cohesive, family-oriented community.

“The National Association of Realtors did a survey: 60 percent of the buyers favor a neighborhood with a mix of homes and stores that are easy to walk to; in other words, walking neighborhoods, like we have,” Agney said.

Some sales last year were due to people relocating from other regions of the country to work in an accounting firm downtown, a 20-minute drive down East Jefferson.

“Young families that moved here are excited to be able to get downtown to work and be home for the kids’ baseball games and the parks,” Agney said. “We have a lot to offer.”