07/28/14 12:26pm

Zillow-logo

Candy already told you about this incredible, game-changing transaction. Of course, Zillow started out with a low-ball offer of $2 billion in stock, but the deal was sealed at $3.5 billion as Zillow acquired Trulia. This transaction will create a Goliath in a market where a new real estate internet start-up crops up seemingly every day.

Trulia shareholders will be getting compensated quite well, as each Trulia share will convert to .444 of a Zillow Class-A share, according to Business Insider. The acquisition will move Zillow head-and-shoulders above its next-closest competitor, Move Inc.’s Realtor.com. Just check out this chart from Inman News:

Zulia Chart Inman News

There are so many questions to answer! I wonder how the ongoing litigation involving Errol Samuelson’s defection from Realtor.com will affect the deal. And what about all of the duplication in talent? Both firms have excellent economists and analysts, so who will stay on? Will Trulia just become a Zillow brand? And what about mobile apps? Will Trulia be nixed? Or will they launch a new one that has access to all of that data?

One thing is for sure: All that data is going to change the way we do real estate. BubbleInfo.com’s Jim Klinge published a piece in BI about this very thing, and it will surely send shivers down the spine of any Realtor:

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InmanConnect7.11DeidreWPeteFlynn-007We told you this was up last week. Well Inman broke the story this morning with a Tweet I got around 8 a.m. which means it was only 6 a.m. in California. While the John Wiley Price et al arrest of the “Texas Four” is all anyone is talking about at the water cooler today, you might want to shift your radar over to this: (more…)

07/28/14 11:21am
Chrome is in... the bathroom!

Chrome is back, especially in the bathroom, along with oversized tile. (Photo credit: Shoot2Sell)

“Chrome is back in,” says Jeff Dworkin, president of JLD Custom Homes, a CandysDirt.com approved builder. In the past, people wanted polished nickel fixtures and accents in their custom homes, but the trend in 2014 is something shiny and easy to clean – chrome. Custom home buyers these days are looking for homes that are energy efficient and “green,” too. Jeff says JLD builds all their homes to very high standards – Energy Star 3.0 and Green Built Texas, to be specific.

Buyers are also looking for well-laid-out homes, meaning a home that makes the best use of all square footage. “We try to design our homes with as little wasted space as possible,” he says. President of the Dallas Builders Association, Dworkin says buyers are currently looking for custom homes that are transitional — something that bridges the gap between traditional Texas-style brick and the more modern home. There’s no better example than JLD’s newest custom home inside The Enclave on Tucker Street, pictured here.

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07/28/14 3:28am

7525 Villanova extHere is a celebrity home in Dallas that can be swooped up for a tab bit over one million dollars and is as loaded, if not more so, than it’s pricier brethren. In fact, you had darn well better take a look because… well, because!

First of all, location with a triple capital “L”: Caruth Hills. Yes, you are in Dallas but you are just west of Boedecker and south of Northwest Highway in a quadrant I have christened “Perfection”. Why? Well, think about it: Northpark Mall is almost walking distance (when it’s not 100 degrees out, OK) and if you need to run to Tom Thumb or The Container Store, it’s five minutes. Central is super close, and the Dallas North Tollway is only a little further west. Then there is Preston Center, my favorite intersection in Dallas. Yes, it needs improvements, and they are coming, but Preston Center is home to Sprinkles, R&D (which is basically my second office), Taco Diner, hair salons, Tootsies, retail, Houstons, and we haven’t even yet crossed Preston to the west side. This is an area we are focusing on for a move should we ever sell our fabulous homestead because of the proximity to all highways and Presbyterian Hospital. With apologies to the Walkable Crowd, we still need to get around Dallas in a car, especially if you have a grand baby in East Dallas. (more…)

07/28/14 2:32am

The Terrace

The-Terrace-533x400

Recall it was almost one year ago to the day when we heard that all of Kathy Nealy’s financial troubles were the fault of the FBI? We posted photos of a similar Terrace House condo, unit 616, to the one Kathy Nealy lost to tax foreclosure last August — 2323 North Houston, Suite 216. Commenters gave me grief for saying the condo would sell for $300,000 to $350,000.

Well, they still may be right, but it hasn’t sold yet.  A Realist AVM values the two bedroom, two bath unit somewhere between $242,865 and $396,253. (more…)

07/26/14 10:48pm

Arthur & Robbie Leasing ReleaseI could not be happier to see that Arthur Greenstein and his Uptown Locators has been acquired by Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Real Estate to add a new division to the leading boutique broker’s already haute luxury services: luxury leasing.

And they could not have found a better agent, or person, in Arthur.

First of all, Arthur and I go way back — he has consistently been a trusted source for vital market information and tips on some of the best leasing properties in town . Like this. He’s one of the first I call for data or stats. And he can rattle off statistics like Lawrence Yun.

“Right now, 42 percent of U.S. households lease their homes,” says Arthur. (more…)

07/25/14 4:28pm
Millennial Homebuyers

Millennial Homebuyers are missing from the market, but Austin and Dallas may be better values first-time homebuyers in this generation over San Antonio and Houston.

Where are all the first-time homebuyers? In their cozy rentals, that’s where!

With a market almost completely devoid of newby buyers, and the rental market being as competitive as it is (just ask my friend looking for a single-family home in East Dallas!), and prices going up across all segments, it’s just hard to find a place to put your leather couch and Le Creuset stock pot. Millennials hold a lot of potential when it comes to real estate purchases, but where can the find the best value? Is it San Antonio and Houston?

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07/25/14 1:11pm
John Wiley Price's Home at 406 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price’s Home at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price was arrested this morning at 8 a.m. on an FBI indictment alleging bribery, mail fraud, tax fraud, and other crimes associated with influence peddling. Co-defendants in the 107-page indictment, which was released this morning, include longtime assistant to Price Dapheny Fain and political consultant Kathy Nealy. A fourth defendant, Christian Lloyd Campbell, was also named in the document.

Price’s attorney, Billy Ravkind, was stunned by this morning’s arrest, alleging that neither he nor his client knew that the indictment was coming out today. Jim Schutze thinks that this means that there is no cooperation coming from Price or his associates, or that a crucial player has recently opted to flip to federal authorities. We’re certain that things will become more clear after the U.S. Attorney addresses the media later today, and as the days and weeks progress.

One thing is certain: a lot of real assets will likely get caught up in this arrest and indictment, one that is swiftly becoming the biggest public corruption case Dallas has ever seen. Price currently resides at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff, which was raided by the FBI almost three years ago to the day, but he was listed as owner for several other properties, too. Agents found more than $229,000 in cash inside Price’s home during the June 2011 raid, which also targeted Fain and Nealy’s homes and offices.

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