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, Modern Luxury Dallas, the Katy Trail Weekly and the White Rock Weekly. 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. We snatched silver in 2015, and who knows what 2016 brings...

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My announcement that I am running for Dallas City Council District 11 (and running this blog, of course, too!) has brought out some very interesting and supportive emails. I asked to publish this one, from Beth Carruth in Plano. She is not in my District, in fact she doesn’t even live in Dallas, but she has some strong views on the Cotton Belt line that is being pushed by my incumbent opponent, Lee Kleinman. Lee believes the Cotton Belt line is needed because of the density in the area:

But Dallas City Council member Lee Kleinman, who chairs that city’s transportation committee, said the population density in the northern part of the region and a lack of rail service between two far-flung north-south lines warrants rail service on the Cotton Belt.

If you need some catching up, the Cotton Belt will be a SINGLE line, so you won’t see another train zipping by going opposite way, unless you are at a station. This is cheaper: about $1 billion versus $2.9 billion, and the track would be “fast-tracked” to get it up and running faster. But the single line would also slow things down. One guy I intend to talk with is Carrollton mayor Matthew Marchant, who I bet is related to Kenny.

Single-tracking the Cotton Belt is one reason that Carrollton Mayor Matthew Marchant opposes plans to fast track rail service on the line. He prefers bus rapid transit in the corridor.

“Single track is essentially pointless – you get ‘rail’ but only 30-minute [frequency] and any issue on the track and service is totally disrupted,” Marchant said. “All of the existing light rail lines are double tracked.”

Lee is right: there is a lot of population density in these areas, but Beth says stations are not where the stations will be: (more…)

01/16/17 2:00pm

richardson midcentury

Richardson Heights is one of the hottest neighborhoods in DFW. It’s located just outside the LBJ loop, has great schools, and the houses are full of character.

I’ve found a just-listed Richardson midcentury modern ranch that is simply stunning! Located at 302 W. Shore Dr. near W. Belt Line Road and N. Waterview Drive, this beauty is listed by Anne Westphal and Morris Hanys with Ebby Halliday Realtors. It sits on a three-quarter-acre creek lot on a quiet street—this is one of the prettiest lots in the city.

The interior is renovated with luxury in mind, but keeping many classic, original elements and modernizing the floorplan. It’s a perfect blend of retro charm and on-trend appeal!

With four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, one half bath, two living areas, and 3,232 square feet, this 1959 Richardson midcentury is spacious and totally livable. I love the flow and airy feel inside, and the killer curb appeal outside. For families, it doesn’t get much better, with so much space for kids and pets in the house and yard. Let me give you a tour.

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01/16/17 10:00am
Dennis Hammett

Ebby Halliday Realtor Dennis Hammett. Photo: Bret Redman

In DFW, the real estate community is a tight-knit group, and I’ve got the scoop on a big move from one of the movers and shakers.

Ebby Halliday Realtor Dennis Hammett is moving from the Lakewood/Lake Highlands office to Ebby’s Little White House this week! He’s making this strategic move to  establish a stronger presence on the west side of 75, starting Jan. 16.

“In order to be more competitive in the luxury markets west of Central Expressway, I have made the decision to make this move,” Hammett said. “This decision was not easy for me and has been filled with a range of emotions because the Lakewood/Lake Highlands family and staff has been the pillar of my success and there are no words to express my appreciation.”

Said Keith Newman, sales manager of Ebby’s Little White House: “We welcome Dennis to the Little White House. He has a proven track record of success that will serve him well as he continues to provide exceptional sales experiences to his valued clients.”

If you remember, Hammett was the 2014 “Rookie of the Year” at Ebby, a well-deserved accolade for a rising star. He’s made his mark in the East Dallas market: Dennis has been named the 2015 Lakewood/Lake Highlands No. 1 Top Producer, a 2016 Lakewood Top Producer, and both 2015 and 2016 D Magazine Best Realtor and Top Producer. All this in his first four years in the real estate business! Can you say natural talent?

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01/13/17 8:40am

District 11 map

[Editor’s Note: Candy Evans is the founder and publisher of CandysDirt.com and is now running for Dallas City Council in District 11. The opinions expressed in this column are her own.]

I was in New York City right after Thanksgiving, and the two largest mouthpieces in the world — the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal — were basically trashing Dallas. Everyone was talking about our police and fire pension problems, using the “b” word (bankruptcy!), putting us in the same league as Detroit.

Things have not been going so well in our city and in my District 11. In fact, over the last four years, they have gotten worse.

Lee Kleinman supported what I believe is a fiscal giveaway of Fair Park, a near billion-dollar plan that would squander the potential we have for real estate development and private sector job growth in southeast Dallas.

There was his proposal to kill the Dallas Film Commission, citing a “waste” of a measly $200,000 a year grant that results in about $475,000 in tax revenue and terrifically measurable branding for the city. Remember a little show called Dallas?

He has been working hard for the suburbs. He supports the Cotton Belt Corridor commuter rail alignment as a priority over a much-needed subway line reliever route in downtown Dallas. The Cotton Belt project will be a lot more beneficial to our northern neighbors, not us.

Crime has been on the rise in Dallas and in my district, and I don’t see it getting any better with record low police morale and a billion-dollar shortfall for their Police and Fire Pension fund. We are down to 3,252 officers, well below the target of 3,500.

We get less for our money: property taxes are going up, city services are going down.

And we obsess over grand scale projects when all we really need is to fix the damn streets.

All of this was supposed to get better come May. The rotting streets, parks, and other infrastructure (like drainage, to prevent flooding), failing traffic signals that don’t work when it rains, crumbling buildings, were all going to finally get fixed.

Lee Kleinman voted to postpone the bond election, kicking the can down the road just like everyone else. Even worse, he acted without an iota of input from the folks in our district, District 11, his constituents.

On one of the most important issues to Dallas voters, street repair, what does Lee Kleinman do? He cancels not one but TWO scheduled meetings on the bond.

Does he even know what the people he represents want? Does he care?

I am running for his seat because I want to inspire a culture at Dallas City Hall that puts us, the taxpayers, first.  Rather than turn our back on our police, we need a positive working relationship: listen, compromise, don’t bully. We need oversight and accountability in city government at every level, to use every tax dollar efficiently for the best return on taxpayer investment. We need to be available and accessible to the people we represent, communicating with district residents regularly through modern channels, not a list of haters.

Join me in bringing a respectful, transparent vision to our great city, a city that can truly have it all. Every Friday we will bring you a report from the campaign trail as we dig into the issues and find solutions, together. 

01/11/17 9:30am

M Streets Tudor Sees Remarkable Transformation | CandysDirt.com

I’ve fallen head over heels for a 1928 M Streets Tudor, and I know you will, too.

Located at 5350 Monticello Ave. in the coveted Greenland Hills neighborhood, this stunner was taken to the studs for a whole-house renovation that reimagined every space and expanded the footprint to five bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living areas, and 3,497 square feet on two stories.

“This house has all the charm and character of an old home—something that can’t be re-created with new construction—plus the functionality and amenities of new construction,” said Minnette Murray with Minnette Murray Properties, who is representing the property. “I love the 9-foot ceilings throughout, custom finishes, the perfect floorplan, and outdoor living options. This is an amazing house.”

The renovations were designed by renowned Dallas architectural firm Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro, and the quality shows through in high-end finish outs and details everywhere.

One of the challenges of older homes is a lack of space and too few bathrooms. This house solves all that with remarkable style and era-appropriate updates. I can’t wait to show it to you.

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01/11/17 2:42am

Hicks Walnut Place

We have heard rumors ever since he bought the most expensive piece of real estate in Dallas from Tom Hicks that he wanted to sell it.

Well, now he has gone and made it official: Andy Beal listed 10000 Hollow Way Drive, just west of the Dallas North Tollway at Walnut Hill Lane, on January 10 with the agent who sold it to him, Allie Beth Allman. Asking price is $48.9.

The estate is the same size as it was a year ago when Beal snapped it up — all 27,029 square feet —  and Beal is selling off every lick of the land of 25.25 acres. Only difference: the kitchen has been ripped out.

There has been much speculation that he would divide and split up the land, parsing the vast acreage into developable lots (think the Creeks of Preston Hollow) and sell the home on a 5 or 7 acre parcel. But for now, it appears he is selling it all lock, stock and barrel, including that torn up kitchen Beal ripped out to replace.

The price is also not surprising. We had heard the estate, once priced at $135 million when Douglas Newby had it, sold for somewhere in the $50 to $60 million range, which could have included furnishings and antiques.

Indeed, the sales price is LOWER than DCAD value, which has two properties (one a 20 acre plot, the other a 5 -ish acre plot) valued at a total of $61,278 ($4,152,000 plus $57,126,000).

So this could be the biggest bargain in town.

“He doesn’t seem to have a problem with the price,” Allie Beth Allman told Steve Brown. “He has other plans.

“I don’t ask any questions — just do what he says.”

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01/11/17 2:08am

Training Room KW

That’s a lot of seats, but I’m told each and every one will be filled up in Flower Mound when I spend a few hours chatting at the KW Office Kickoff Meeting that will be held at KW’s Flower Mound home on January 12th, this Thursday. 

Pam Cottrell

Pam Cottrell

Team leaders Anne Lakusta  and Pam Cottrell booked me several weeks ago to talk and inspire about all things real estate at the first meeting of the year with more than 200 agents present!  

My agenda: trends, hot news, gossip. Where our market is headed. So easy, so fun.

Super duper hope to see you there!

01/11/17 1:09am

DMag Best Realtor

Several agents have alerted me to the fact that D Magazine has “spanked” a couple of agents (ever so lightly) for sharing one of the company’s “Best Realtor” ballots over the Christmas holidays. In fact, for awhile, the “secret ballot” was one of the magazine site’s most highly trafficked pages as people pulled it up, logged in and started sharing … until the company figured out what was happening and put a stop to it.

I dialed up Chelsey Shockley, Editorial Marketing Manager at D, to ask her just what happened?

“Every year, we publish and post a homeowners ballot and send it exclusively to a list of new homeowners in the Dallas area, and it got shared on social media,” she says.

D selects and controls the new home buyers polled for Best Realtor. That is, buyers of homes that are both new and pre-owned, all who have purchased a home within the last year.

“The new homeowner ballot is intended to gather feedback from a balanced distribution of recent homebuyers across the region. For that reason, the circulation of this ballot is controlled by D Magazine staff,” said Chelsey. “By sharing this link on social media or to client lists, it sways the integrity of these results to unfairly favor specific realtors/mortgage professionals/insurance agents.”

The ballot is part of the process of how D determines the “Best Realtor” agents it publishes later in the year. In the past, the company had used a form-builder page called Wufoo, but this year they built the ballot in-house and it lived on the magazine’s site, where it was quickly picked up by sharp web-searching agents, who then shared it to Facebook, other social media and clients.

This is not a Facebook or popularity contest, says Shockley.

Did they admonish the agents who did the sharing? (more…)