05/23/16 4:28pm
More often, home is where the degree is

More often, home is where the degree is.

Long ago I was told that it’s more lucrative to be paid to think than to do. Turns out that piece of advice is true on many levels that intersect with homeownership.

Several years ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released data that seemed to say that student loan debt was dragging down homeownership rates among younger buyers. It’s a belief that persists.

At first blush, it makes sense.  If you have more debt, you have less to spend on housing because your debt-to-earnings ratio was weakened.  However, new research is blowing a hole in that homily. It seems that when corrected for education, it’s not debt that’s holding back homeownership rates, it’s education itself.


05/23/16 3:36pm
New construction by Avida Homes in Highland Park (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

New construction by Avida Homes in Highland Park (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

After being involved in homebuilding for over 30 years I’ve seen a lot, and as a Lifestylist® with an opinion, I almost always have changes I’d like to make to a home that I think would increase it’s value. After visiting 3608 Beverly, I’m speechless — for once I wouldn’t change a thing.

One of the hardest things to do in Dallas right now is to tour a newly constructed home — they are selling so quickly the builders barely have time to put in the driveway before the moving vans pull up. We met David and Rozie Samei of Avida Custom Homes at our recent Candy’sDirt.com Staff Meeting, at which they mentioned a home they just completed on Beverly Drive, and we set up a time to see it. Even before I could get there a potential customer made an appointment to tour the home for the third time, who is obviously in love with the house. With a home that is as beautiful as this one and in such a perfect location, you have to be fast. Of course, it’s now under contract, says Rozie Samei!


05/23/16 11:07am


If visions of living like Marie Antoinette dance in your head, this jaw dropping French chateau at 4850 Preston Road, designed by Richard Drummond Davis, and built by Sharif & Munir, may be your dream home. It was listed last week by Allie Beth Allman (of course!) for 14.5 million. Mon Dieu, it is flawless-and the history… ooh la la. (more…)

05/23/16 10:40am

midland home prices

Things look grim for the real estate market in Midland over the next 12 months, as home values are forecast to decrease by 5 percent over the next 12 months. In the second and third year, prices are forecast to decrease 2 percent and remain unchanged, respectively, according to new reports from Local Market Monitor.

In Odessa, home values are predicted to increase by 2 percent over the next 12 months. In the second and third year, prices are forecast to increase 1 percent and 2 percent. Nationally, prices are forecast to increase by 4.9 percent.

Most worrying, the reports have called investment in Midland real estate “dangerous,” giving it a -1.7 score, on a 1 to 10 scale. In Odessa, the rating is a 1.3, putting that city in the “speculative” category.

This is a marked changed from the market of three years ago, when the investment risk for both cities was in the “low risk” category.

Read the whole story over at MidlandDirt.com.

05/20/16 5:10pm

2505 Lake Rideg road grapevine ext 2

The sun is out, finally, and maybe we are all thinking about getting on the water next weekend? After all, Memorial Day is just around the corner. But the thought of all that traffic…

I have an idea.lake Grapevine

Get a home on Lake Grapevine, a second home that could someday be a first. Maybe four couples buy in, create a private fractional? That way you will be (1) 30 minutes away from a weekend full of water fun and (2) 10 minutes away from DFW. In fact, you could catch all early morning flight from now on and probably save enough on airfare to cover the HOA’s here and more — they are ONLY $350 a year for the association and another $350 a year for the boat dock.

Wait, did I say boat dock? On Lake Grapevine?

2505 Lake ridge ridge rd grapevine ext

Yes! (more…)

05/20/16 4:25pm

14 - Exterior Final #1

It was first built in 1958 as the home of the Relief and Annuity Board of the Baptist General Convention. The building has a 15-story tower and a three-story side structure with a rooftop deck. It has all the hallmarks of a midcentury office building — sleek, striking, floor-to-ceiling marble panels in the lobby, panels on the facade, and aluminum windows throughout.

I had no idea about the history the first time I toured one of the penthouses at 511 N. Akard. One of the original owners, Andrew Foster, was getting ready to put his unit on the market. He took time to explain to me how the building was redeveloped by CitySquare into CityWalk@Akard.

12 - Interior Studio Apartment

CityWalk@Akard features 200 affordable housing units for the formerly homeless.

It’s a mixed-use building, and one of the primary uses is 200 apartments functioning as permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless. The first three stories are office and commercial, housing CitySquare’s support services for CityWalk@Akard’s tenants as well as offices for UNT Dallas, and on top of the building are six penthouse units with unique, two-story floorplans.

According to John Greenan, executive director of Central Dallas Community Development Corporation, the project was essentially a gut rehab for floors four through 15. Main contractors included Key Construction, Central Dallas CDC, Brent A. Brown Associates, and WKMC Architects.

For tomorrow’s tour (You have your tickets, right? If not, go ahead and buy them here.) four of the six top-floor penthouse units will be open, including two owned by Greenan and his wife. the third floor common areas, including the open-air deck, will be open, too.


05/20/16 2:42pm

408 Virginia Place

What tempts one to stop and take a closer look? A pleasingly proportioned door frame encasing handsome iron doors? Lovely, soft pink brick walls supporting espaliered elaeagnus, carelessly festooned with strands of fig ivy? A deep setback defined by symmetrical hardscape? This beauty at 408 Virginia Place in choice Monticello has all of this, and yet its discreet, timeless profile arouses suspicion that much more may lie concealed beyond the courtyard gates.


05/20/16 1:33pm



Once upon a time, a clever architect and a talented interior designer bought a 1927 Prairie cottage in Winnetka Heights and, of course, they completely transformed it. Now a lucky buyer can reap the benefits of their hard work and nab this move-in ready cutie at 110 N. Edgefield in this hotter than hot neighborhood if they move very fast. (more…)