05/04/16 1:15pm

Title SM 1

First KISS

KISS has many meanings including the acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

For nearly three hours we sat through the latest, painful presentation by Kimley-Horn, who is being paid $350,000 for their efforts.  It’s getting better, but either these guys don’t present to lay people often or they’re fresh off the MBA boat. Thankfully I’d pre-downloaded the deck before the meeting and was able to question them on how they’d presented their data.  Let’s just say that as someone who’s pretty data-driven, I might have gone a different way.  Loads of questions and clarifications by Task Force members proved my point.

What’s still missing (and I’ve said it before) is this progression of charts:


05/04/16 10:00am
Ebby Halliday Collin County

From left, Ebby Halliday, her brother and Executive Vice President Paul Hanson, Ebby’s first sales associate Mary Lou Muether, and Mary Frances Burleson, who today is President and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, celebrate the opening of the Plano office in 1972.

With thousands of people moving to Collin County for jobs with Toyota, Liberty Mutual, and many others, it’s not a big surprise that North Texas residential real estate firms are now flocking to the area.

It’s easy to forget that one firm, Ebby Halliday Realtors, has served Collin County since 1971. That’s when Ebby herself opened a one-room office in the growing town of Plano. There was a great deal of home construction going on in the area and Ebby’s office — a builder’s shack with a porta potty — was a favorite gathering spot for homebuilders who knew she always had a hot pot of coffee ready and enjoyed visiting about the potential of this small community north of Dallas.

“Keep in mind that NorthPark Center opened at the corner of Northwest Highway and Central Expressway in 1965 and that many Dallasites were of the belief that civilization didn’t actually exist north of Northwest Highway,” said Mary Frances Burleson, President and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies. “That goes to show just how visionary Ebby and her leadership team were about the future growth of the North Texas region.”


05/04/16 9:00am
Most don’t expect to find this in the 1960s Preston Tower

Most don’t expect to find this in the 1960s Preston Tower

Poking around the MLS (as you do) I was more than slightly surprised to find opportunity in my own backyard.  Lord knows I’ve written enough about the Pink Wall as part of CandysDirt.com’s coverage of the Preston Center Task Force, and certainly I’m aware of the neighborhood outside my windows.  However it took looking at current property values in Oaklawn where I’d been living pre-Pink for the penny to drop.

Homes and condos in Oaklawn, West Village, and Uptown that I wouldn’t have touched just a few years ago at less than $100 per square foot have now more than doubled. Area-wise, I’m talking about aging buildings between the tollway and Maple or north Oaklawn or Turtle Creek to McKinney. Often they’re sandwiched between McDevelopments and may even be in the path of said, often flimsy, apartment blocks. For many reasons outside development potential, these areas have shot up in value post-recession. Take your pick … close to the city core, light rail, UT Southwestern’s expansion that changed Motor Street to Medical District Drive.

The Pink Wall?  Not so much.


05/04/16 8:09am
W Condo

This unit at the W is for lease for $2,995 a month. Imagine selling a shell here with zero finish-out!

Even though we love real estate, there is one thing we all know: Mortgage note holders don’t have a lot of patience. If you’re behind on your mortgage payments for more than three months, most mortgage companies are not going to sing Kumbaya.

That’s why, if you know that your income will not be sufficient to make the house payments going forward, it may be time to consider a short sale on your home lickety split. A short sale can help you avoid foreclosure and salvage your credit rating while still letting you liberate yourself from your home loan.

And yes, even in hot markets like our current one, there are still short sales.

Homeowners often wait until they receive a notice of foreclosure from the lender before starting the short sale process. In some cases, it’s already too late. Each month I grab our short sale expert, Nicole Espinosa  of DFW Short Sale Experts, whom we have chatted with previously. This month I ask: what was your most challenging sale to date?

CandysDirt.com: Come on, spill it!

Nicole Espinosa: To date, I think one of the most challenging short sales I have had was with PNC.  At times it felt impossible to get done. They owned the note on the home, which means they had the right to make the final decision on the approval of the short sale. They were a nightmare to deal with. In fact, the previous agent who worked on the sale before I did had it for 6 months and referred it to me with a foreclosure date.

CD: Well that was nice! (NOT!) (more…)

05/03/16 8:51pm

Katherine Seale

Katherine Seale

Katherine Seale

One of Dallas’ great advocates for historic preservation is slated to speak at the fifth annual Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society (PCHPS) Distinguished Speaker Luncheon. Seale will be speaking on Historic Preservation in the Context of Change.

Seale is an architectural historian and preservationist in Dallas who served as executive director of Preservation Dallas from 2007 until 2011. Currently, she is Mayor Mike Rawlings’ appointee and chair of the Dallas Landmarks Commission.

She also serves as chairman to the Downtown Preservation Solutions Committee under the City Manager’s office. Comprised of downtown developers as well as representatives from preservation, planning, architecture, and landscape architecture, their charge is to use historic preservation efforts to influence and facilitate change in downtown to accomplish the larger goals of the city.


121 N Winnetka Front

It took Bob Agar and Jim Johnson two years to complete the renovation of 121 N. Winnetka Ave., converting an existing duplex into a single-family home. Of course, as things are in historic conservation districts, it was a challenge. However, David Griffin Realtor Paul Kirkpatrick says that the results speak for themselves.

“It really is a fantastic remodel and have had many agents say this should be the poster child of how to do a historic house like this,” Kirkpatrick said. Every bit of infrastructure was upgraded or replaced, he said, including all plumbing, electric, roof, and HVAC. Plus, it has two tankless water heaters.

If that’s not reason enough to name this adorable prairie-style home our High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans, then how about that turquoise door and the gorgeous front porch?

121 N Winnetka Porch


Seriously, I can’t imagine this home, priced at $679,000 will last too long, so if this is the historic property of your dreams, call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans today so she can get you ready to put in your highest and best offer!

And if you thought the view from the curb of this stunning Winnetka Heights home was to die for, wait until you see inside!


05/03/16 4:08pm

Centrum de Mayo SM

If you haven’t RSVP’d to our #CentrumdeMayo event, now’s your last chance!  In the market or just want to meet the CandysDirt.com staff, The Centrum is the place to be Thursday night. Be sure to RSVP to jo@candysdirt.com so you can sip margaritas and enjoy the views from these two prime perches.

If you missed our coverage, check out the homes here and here.

05/03/16 1:44pm


Janet Ryan and friends

Guardian Mortgage’s Janet Ryan (bottom right) travels frequently to San Miguel de Allende with friends. (Courtesy Photo)

Janet Ryan has been in the mortgage industry since the 1970s. It was a different time then, she says, and her long career has given her a dose of perspective that clients constantly benefit from. Considering that Janet has been filling out mortgage paperwork for longer than some companies have been in business, her expertise is what helps her go above and beyond.

And that’s just one of the many reasons why Janet is our Guardian Angel at Guardian Mortgage Company. With more than 50 years in business and countless clients served, Guardian Mortgage will be there for you no matter what, just like Janet!

Jump to find out more about this tremendous mortgage professional!