03/20/17 2:09pm

Source: WalletHub

Today is the International Day of Happiness! Yes, that’s totally a thing. You feel it, right? While it may feel a bit more like summer here, the first day of spring does tend to put a little pep in our step. And to celebrate, we’re sharing with you the results of a national study that ranks one of our fair cities among the happiest in the land. According to WalletHub, that magical place is (drum roll)… Plano!

(Tell that to the folks fighting over the Plano Tomorrow Plan. Ahem.)

In a recent study, Plano, at number 19, is the only Texas city to break the top 20 happiest places to live in 2017. Dallas ranks number 86, which isn’t too shabby, either.

(more…)

03/20/17 12:00pm

Jennifer Ackerman

If there’s an upside to cancer, Jennifer Friedman Ackerman managed to find it.

Diagnosed at only 24 years old with breast cancer, Jennifer was much younger than others she met fighting the disease, and she struggled to find a peer group for support. But she took those feelings of isolation and disorientation and turned them around. A self-described “local poster-child for breast cancer,” Ackerman uses her survivor status to help other young women navigate the frightening and life-changing waters of breast cancer.

“I’m always willing and open to sharing my experience – the good, the bad, the ugly – with young women dealing with cancer so they never feel like they’re alone,” she said. “I can show them there is light at the end of the tunnel. Life can go on, and there is so much to look forward to. Fighting this tough fight is worth it.”

(more…)

03/17/17 10:30am

Immigrant

Second only to California, Texas hosts largest immigrant population in the United States. And in Dallas-Fort Worth alone, more than 1.2 million immigrants make their homes, hold jobs, attend schools, and participate in local communities. An integral part of the DFW economy, immigrants contributed $8.4 billion in taxes and over $25 billion in spending power in 2014 alone, according to a recent study.

But action of late by the Trump Administration, including discriminatory travel bans, ramped-up deportation raids, and even wall-related rhetoric are forcing many to reassess their places here, particularly when it comes to buying property.

An article published last month in The Guardian cited a 2013 study which put, in stark terms, the potential national impact anti-immigrant action could have on real estate.

[Dowell Myers, director of the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of California] estimated that in this decade, immigrants nationwide will account for 32.2% of the growth in all households, 35.7% of growth in homeowners and 26.4% of growth in renter households.

The study found that the volume of growth in foreign-born homeowners has increased each decade, rising from 0.8 million added immigrant homeowners in the United States during the period from 1980–1990 to 2.8 million in the current decade.

“It’s pretty clear what will happen,” warns Myers. “One way that people afford houses is by pooling incomes. So if you were to deport one of the three mortgage payers, that can destabilize the whole rest of the household. Immigrants are so interwoven into many communities that when you unravel one thread, you can destabilize it entirely.”

Could DFW experience that kind of destabilization? Possibly.

(more…)

03/16/17 11:10am

Northaven Home Tour

Want to gape at some truly fantastic houses while making a difference for some truly fantastic kids? The first Northaven Home Tour is for you! The tour runs on April 8, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and benefits the Arthur Kramer Elementary School in Dallas.

“Kramer is such a wonderful school,” said Pete Peabody, school parent and co-chair of the event. “We’re so proud of the community here and the bond we all formed. The school serves a very diverse population and offers amazing International Baccalaureate and dual language programs. Proceeds from the tour will directly benefit some much-needed campus improvements, technology, and crucial programs. Plus, we get to show off some really incredible homes.”

From a classic ranch style to a midcentury modern, the homes on the tour offer a wealth of stunning architectural experiences and an array of artwork that befits a museum exhibit. Whether fit for a family or juuuuust right for a pair of empty-nesters, these homes boast details that offer a little something for everyone.

Want a little preview? Of course you do!

(more…)

03/15/17 2:30pm

Front

We look at houses all day long. And it’s not often that a new build delights us the way this modern farmhouse by Patten Custom Homes does. It is detail-oriented, with endless built-ins, fixtures, and flow designed specifically for family living. For partner Natalie Patten, 9215 Royalpine Dr. was a labor of love.

“I designed this home with a family in mind,” Patten said. “I put a lot of effort and love into making this home set up the way I’d want to live.”

We think that effort shows. Come, have a look!

(more…)

03/15/17 11:00am

dallas-fortworth-cities-map

We talk about the impact of rising home prices all the time, but that’s only half the affordable housing story. Across the country, rents in suburban areas also show dramatic increases over the last year, with no signs of stopping.

A recent study from RentCafe shows that while urban Dallas continued to post fairly consistent rent increases in 2016 (5.9 percent), the farther you travel away from the city, the greater the hikes renters experienced. In Dallas proper, rental housing remains relatively affordable when compared to the rest of the Metroplex (and the country, as a whole). We have all that apartment construction to thank for that. More than 6,000 new apartment units became available in 2016, alone.

But in Fort Worth, where apartment inventory has stagnated, rents grew 6.3 percent over 12 months. And that’s nothing compared to areas like Weatherford and Midlothian where rent skyrocketed over 10 percent in 2016.

(more…)

03/10/17 9:59am

ceiling2

Get out.

Those were the first words out of my mouth when I opened the photos of 10849 Clearbrook: Get. Out. An ardent fan of midcentury modern architecture, I feel a very strong mix of awe and envy when encountering a specimen like this one. You have your sports, I have my midcentury houses. Properties like this make me giddy – and it doesn’t hurt that this stop on the upcoming White Rock Home Tour is furnished to delight the eye.

Realtor Brandon Stewart has had the pleasure of selling the home twice – once in 2012, before the house underwent massive renovations and again in 2014, to the current owner and friend, Jeri Paduch. He shared with us the pre-renovation photos, which give us even more appreciation for its current state.

“This is one of my favorite midcentury moderns in the whole city,” said Stewart. As a midcentury modern home owner himself, he’s a member of the ‘takes one to know one’ club.

(more…)

03/10/17 8:30am

Dashboard 1

If you feel like everyone you know has gotten into the flipping game, your instincts are correct. According to 2016 Year-End U.S. Home Flipping Report by ATTOM Data Solutions, the number of folks making a living from house flipping reached a nine-year high last year. Data shows that in 2016, 126,256 individuals and corporate entities flipped homes — the highest number since 2007.

Low housing inventory and an influx of capital meant the number of properties flipped in 2016 reached peaks not seen since 2006. And the report shows profits from house flipping are also at an all-time high, with the average return on investment hovering at 49.2 percent.

Interestingly, the study lists 39 zip codes where at least 20 percent of all home sales during the year were home flips – including zip codes in Texas.

(more…)