10/30/14 8:30am

Front with circle drive

At certain price points, property values and housing demand in the Park Cities owe a lot to the top-rated schools in Highland Park ISD, and it’s an area where you’ll see well-maintained luxury condo and townhome developments that add just the right amount of density to the area. It’s less garden-style apartment or walk-up and more polished row house, and that’s why this lovely remodeled condo at 3415 McFarlin is an excellent value for a small family who wants low maintenance and great schools.


10/29/14 5:05pm

Interior designer Susie Samuels and home remodeler Bruce Graf teamed up to re-design an upstairs suite that was suited to a teenager as well as a couple who wished to age-in-place. In the master bedroom, Samuels and Graf used reclaimed barn wood in the tray ceiling for added visual impact.

By Diane Feffer
Special Contributor

Last year before the holidays, Kennedale homeowners Stephanie and Greg Mulkey were enjoying their son’s passage through high school.

“We thought  that one of the best tangible gifts we could give him would be a ‘man cave’ where he could experience some daily ‘down time’ after high school,”said the Mulkeys.

They enlisted the help of  interior designer Susie Samuels and home remodeler Bruce Graf. Both professionals worked together to showcase the Mulkeys’ collected treasures and weave those into a renovated upstairs suite infused with a casual country design. Susie reminded the Mulkeys that these four years of high school will fly by fast and that the college years would zip by at lightning speed.

“Bruce and I envisioned a sustainable design that would go beyond high school and college years. We wanted the suite to be fun for their teenage son now and transition into a weekend destination as he bridged over to adulthood. We also included elements of aging-in-place, such as walk-in showers and low lit counter space which brings added value to their investment should the Mulkeys want to enjoy the upstairs suite in their later years, said Susie.


10/29/14 4:44pm

Mijares Alexander

Allie Beth Allman agent Chad Barrett and his darling wife, Judee, are underwriting chairs for this Saturday’s 8th annual Art for Advocacy benefiting the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. Some of our favorite Real Estate gurus in town have joined the underwriting efforts, giving back to the community as they do so often and so very beautifully: Mark and Christine Danuser of Tatum Brown Custom Homes, Kari Schlegel, Alex Perry, Pierce and Allie Beth Allman. Is there an event or charity in town that Pierce and Allie Beth have not contributed to? (more…)

10/29/14 4:19pm

Haunted House Trulia 2

We’ve been on the receiving end of boatloads of Halloween-themed press releases, but nothing really sticks with you like a cool video. That’s why I love this hidden-camera gem from Trulia, which rigs a cluttered Victorian with a murder back story with some pulleys and sheets for an old-school fright fest!

Jump for the full video!


10/29/14 3:40pm

8919 Forest Hills Front

If you think you’ve seen this cute little cottage at 8919 Forest Hills Blvd., your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. We actually featured this space before, but at that time it was the office of interior designer Kim Armstrong. She transformed this home from a hoarder’s hellhole to a gorgeous, cozy little Little Forest Hills cottage.

And now, because she’s got tons of projects and another baby on the way, she’s decided to office out of her Lake Highlands home and rent this cutie out. If you need evidence on what a huge transformation this was, check out the post Kim wrote for us.


10/29/14 1:25pm
Small Car Door Key Lock

An act as simple as locking a car could prevent a tremendous amount of theft in the Park Cities. Though there’s no accounting for whether thieves are clever enough to take the real valuables.

Let’s play a game called “Who Was Stupider?” Your choices are the victim and the perpetrator in a crime that happened between 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 and 7:45 a.m. on Oct. 22.

Here’s the case for the victim, a resident of the 4000 block of Miramar Avenue: Not only did she leave her gray 2007 Lincoln Navigator unlocked overnight, but she left the key to the vehicle in the console. She also left her $3,500 Chanel purse in the car, which contained a $1,200 diamond bracelet and her $500 Prada wallet.

Here’s the case for the perp: He stole the wallet – which held three credit cards, two debit cards, a health insurance card, and a driver’s license – but he left behind the much-more-valuable purse and bracelet. He also passed up the opportunity to steal the Navigator.

Of course, he had plenty of other opportunities that night in Highland Park. The following incidents all happened that same evening, and all of them involved unlocked vehicles:

  • Between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., a thief stole an $800 black Trek bicycle from a driveway in the 4700 block of Drexel Drive. The thief also rifled through a white 2008 Mercedes in the same driveway.
  • Between 9:30 p.m. and 7:15 a.m., a burglar entered a black 2014 Cadillac Escalade in a driveway in the 3600 block of Crescent Avenue and stole a $300 pair of DGBG sunglasses, $150 worth of Gap girls’ clothing, and a $100 bottle of Romance cologne. The burglar also entered an unlocked side door on the house and tried to remove a wall-mounted 40-inch Panasonic television. The door was left ajar.
  • Between 6 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., a burglar entered a 2008 Lexus LS460 beneath a porte-cochere in the 4000 block of Miramar Avenue and stole a $5,000 ostrich briefcase that held a $600 iPad.
  • Between 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., a burglar entered a black 2014 GMC Sierra in the 3500 block of Euclid Avenue and stole a Sony laptop, a Tenba computer bag, and $50 in quarters. Because the police were at his house, the victim also reported that his white Trek bicycle was stolen from his garage between May 11 and Aug. 10.
  • Between 10 p.m. and 11 a.m., a burglar entered a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban in the 3900 block of Euclid Avenue and stole a $350 gold cocktail dress that had been purchased from Neiman Marcus so recently that it was still in a plastic bag and bearing a price tag.

Click through for last week’s other residential crimes in the Park Cities:


10/28/14 4:40pm
Home prices in North Texas are up year-over-year, though sales volume is sluggish.

Home prices in North Texas are up year-over-year, though sales volume is sluggish.

Word comes that for the month of August, Dallas-area home prices posted a fantastic little bump at 7.3 percent year-over-year. Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index report shows enough of an increase in prices to warrant continued optimism among sellers in our burg, where a shortage of inventory and slow-to-catch-up new home builders has made the market for homes in most price ranges very competitive.

That’s one of the highest increases nationwide, and over the national average, too, which is 5.5 percent. According to the report, the median price of a pre-owned, single-family home in North Texas in August is up 7 percent from the same period last year.

But according to a recent report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, total sales are down 2 percent over a year ago. Of course, as sales volume decreases, it’s only natural for the competition over those homes on the market to heat up.

I guess, though, we’re in a fortuitous spot considering that our price increase puts us at 12 percent higher than pre-recession levels, and with inventory as short as it is and job growth still on pace for expansion, there’s no bubble in sight.

What’s your outlook on home prices and inventory?

10/28/14 3:41pm



This home is absolutely super model stunning, from the landscaped and lush curb to the amazing backyard. This is a home that typifies an architectural style from the inside out. Truly, this gorgeous midcentury modern in West Kessler from Kathy Hewitt is a show stopper and definitely worthy of being this week’s High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Caliber Home Loans.