Articles by

Candy Evans

Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters, bloggers and consultants. She reports on Dallas real estate for WFAA-TV’s Daybreak with Ron Corning, and is frequently called as a real estate expert by other Dallas media. She is also a real-estate editor for CultureMap Dallas. She even has her own web-based Real estate show called, The Party Line. Candy has written for AOL Real Estate, and is a guest blogger for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News plus a host of national sites. Candy was a longtime contributing editor to Dallas’ D Magazine and sister pubs, and in 2007 founded the wildly successful Dallas real estate blog, DallasDirt. That’s where she broke the news on where former president George W. Bush bought his Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of an exciting platform of Dallas-based real estate sites including SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market, and her signature CandysDirt.com, everything you need to know about real estate in North Texas. And yes, we are still psyched about the GOLD! In 2013, CandysDirt.com was named Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations, and the only association for journalists covering real estate, home and urban design.

05/05/16 3:31pm

2252 King Fisher Dr extAs you know, I have an ongoing love affair with Vaquero Club for its  location, topography, greenery and privacy, among other reasons. Several others do as well, given that CEOs of major corporations, professional athletes and at least one famous television/radio personality all live within spitting distance of the most fabulous estate I have ever seen in these parts: 2252 King Fisher Drive.

I also love Vaquero for the schools. They draw buyers and keep property values tip top: parents have their choice of Keller ISD or the public charter school Westlake Academy, which serves K-12 and is an International Baccalaureate World School. Children who live in Westlake can attend Westlake Academy automatically — there are close to 2,000 students outside of the area on a waiting list to get into this highly coveted school.

2252 King Fisher Drive sits on a double lot of 3.83 acres, one of the largest in the guarded, stone-walled estate community that boasts 24 hour security, a Tom Fazio designed golf club, dining rooms, spa, tennis, fishing lakes, trails, trees, hills, and all a short drive to Southlake Town Center and DFW Airport.2252 king fisher drive 3

Vaquero is exactly 7 miles from DFW Airport. I know, because I dropped off my kids before I sank into this home.

To say that once I walked in, I did not want to leave, is a true statement because I didn’t. I stayed for dinner, like the architect, Aaron Angle, who literally lived with the owners to provide the perfect, most custom home possible.

But truth be told, the love affair began the moment I walked behind the French wooden gates that open automatically. Since the security at Vaquero is so tight, those gates are for show and to get you thinking about the grape vines and wildflowers and daffodils you will be finding beyond them.2252 king fisher dr aerial (more…)

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.”

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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…)

 

landscapingWe teased about this last April Fools Day — when we said that Costco was buying up the Hicks-Crespi Estate on Walnut Hill Lane for its hottest new North Dallas location. It was a joke. Then Andy Beal actually BOUGHT the Hicks-Crespi estate, no joke! Costco has been eyeing Dallas for years for a location, from the dealership sites on East Northwest Highway to the intersection of Coit and Churchill just west of Central Expressway for a North Dallas big box location, where they have finally landed.

Now we are giddy with delight!

The City Plan Commission recently gave Costco a green light. Now the city’s Office of Economic Development wants to give them a Chapter 380 economic development grant “not to exceed $3,000,000″ to get the job done and bring the retail giant’s sales revenues into the city.

I mean, this is a no-brainer. The money comes from the 2012 bond proposition specifically to attract businesses to Dallas. This is the first incentive money spent in District 11 in over 10 years. Full disclosure: I live in District 11. Frankly, anyone against it just is not thinking straight.Screen-Shot-2016-04-21-at-4.55.12-PM

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05/03/16 12:24am

307-n-waverly-dr-dallas-tx-MLS-48

I could have written this article myself, in my sleep: Professional photographers labor to show a property in its best light, and are the only way to go when you list a home for sale. This article in the LA Times says no to photoshopping power lines or utility boxes, but yes to a pro changing the light in a photo to best showcase interiors, making sure chairs are evenly spaced, pillows are fluffed. And this we know: professionally photographed homes sell for more

“I’ve had clients tell me, ‘I’ve got an iPhone 6,’ and I have to stop myself from cringing,” said luxury real estate broker Kofi Nartey of the Agency.

Professionally photographed homes sell faster and for more money than homes listed with point-and-shoot photos, according to a 2013 Redfin study. The report found that for homes priced between $400,000 and $499,999, those with professional pictures sold for an average of $11,200 more than homes with amateur photos.

“A good photograph makes someone interested in seeing the property. A great photograph makes them feel like they’ve been there,” said real estate photographer Erik Grammer.

How do professional photographers prepare for a photo shoot? By studying the house on Google Earth to get an idea of how it’s positioned, and determine the best possible light. A lot depends on how the sun will affect the lighting conditions. The photographer will then inquire as to the most important profile for the home, front or back, and take great care in shooting that.

04/29/16 2:15pm

taxchartYour tax appraisals are supposed to be in the mail today, which means we will all be drinking a lot tomorrow.

“The average increase for almost every homeowner will be around 14%, is what we have heard,” says our Tax Doctor, Rob Wheelock.

Why?

“Look at Case-Shiller and sales, look at what you have been writing,” said Rob. “Values are up overall,  including commercial, which might even get hit heavier than residential.”

What can you do besides buy enough booze today before the limit on your credit card is limited? I’d get a licensed tax professional to review your property value against comparative sales (“comps”) and equity. Can’t do that, call your Realtor for help. Or write us here at CandysDirt.com.

Oh, and don’t look at Zillow lest you get laughed out of the tax office. (more…)

04/29/16 12:19am

metro new closingsBravo for the Fiji Townhomes!

Steve Brown tells us, via housing analyst Metrostudy, that brand new starter homes, those still smelling of lumber and sawdust, now top $300,000 in sales in DFW. Which means they are almost 50 percent — not quite, but almost — more than an existing home. The median price for an average North Texas home is about $180,000.

Which just may make those pre-owned homes ever more attractive to value-conscious buyers.

“We are at an all-time high for new home prices,” said Paige Shipp, regional director for housing analyst Metrostudy. “Prices continue their upward shift, as builders report the greatest demand, and strongest sales for the first quarter are between $250,000 and $400,000.”

The reason, of course, is the rising costs of labor and goods. Concrete has gone way up, as has lumber and copper. (more…)