05/01/15 4:47pm

8702 San Fernando Front

Teardowns are a contentious topic in Little Forest Hills, an East Dallas neighborhood that has tried twice to get a conservation district overlay, failing both times. Still, as many residents in Hollywood Santa Monica know, not every home is worth saving, especially those that are tiny, ramshackle affairs that seem almost propped up on cinder blocks, ready to blow sideways at the next breeze.

Of course, with a neighborhood motto like “Keep Little Forest Hills Funky,” sometimes a new build will follow that creed despite what structure was razed to make room for it. There’s no better example of this than the bright, colorful, quirky modern at 8702 San Fernando Way.

Jump to see inside this sweetheart of a new build that is exceptionally bright and very, very green.

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05/01/15 2:53pm
Little Forest Hills artist Janet Reynolds lets her flock of Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds frolic in her backyard under supervision.

Little Forest Hills artist Janet Reynolds lets her flock of Barred Rocks and Red Stars frolic in her backyard under supervision. (Photo: Jo England)

I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this home tour is the smallest and most unique in Dallas. It’s one of those events that has people saying “Only in East Dallas!” That’s what I love about it, too. If you haven’t already heard, A Peep at The Coops is an annual chicken coop tour that will lead you through nine lovely coops and gardens throughout East Dallas’ most fun and funky neighborhoods.

The Sunday, May 3, coop tour is a fundraiser for Stonewall Jackson Elementary’s garden program. It’s the perfect event for the chicken-curious folks considering their own birds but aren’t quite sold on it yet. And it’s a budget-friendly family outing, too, as you can purchase a map to the coops on tour for just $10. There’s a companion bike-led tour from the kind folks at Transit Bikes where you can pedal to the close-by coops on an easy-to-ride route, plus a raffle for a gorgeous modern coop designed by Mark Domiteaux, AIA.

This modern, mobile chicken coop will be raffled off to benefit Stonewall Gardens.

This modern, mobile chicken coop will be raffled off to benefit Stonewall Gardens.

We got a sneak peep at two coops yesterday. Jump for more!

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05/01/15 1:19pm
Homes are flying off the market, often before a sign is put in the yard. Still, Texas metro areas could experience a slower market toward the end of this year.

Homes are flying off the market, often before a sign is put in the yard. Still, Texas metro areas could experience a slower market toward the end of this year.

Corrected figures from the National Association of Realtors show that Dallas home sales have increased 1.82 percent in the first quarter of 2015 while median price grew 11.99 percent.

Statewide figures show a strong start to 2015 for Texas home sales, with a year-over-year increase of 4.16 percent. Inventory is still an issue, with available homes dropping to an all-time-low of just 3.1 months, which is less than half the supply required for a balanced housing market. That’s a precipitous 8.82 percent decline from the first quarter of 2014. More detailed figures are available through the Texas Association of Realtors.

“Homes are being built as quickly as possible, yet most are not in the price range where inventory is needed most – the entry-level market,” explained economist Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Interest rates are still low, but tight lending standards, rising home prices, and slim inventory have created a tough market for first-time homebuyers.”

It sounds like a good problem to have, right?

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05/01/15 12:15pm
(Photos: Charles Davis-Smith, AIA)

(Photos: Charles Davis-Smith, AIA)

For me, there’s no better way to tour a home than with other architecture aficionados. With cocktail in hand, you can move room-to-room with other like-minded people as you each find points of interest to share. That’s part of what I love about the Dallas Architecture Forum‘s 365 Modern Living Cocktail Receptions. This series covers some of the modern architectural treasures that Dallas holds in such a relaxed, open way. It’s part lecture and Q&A, part social hour as attendees can chat with the designers in a creation of their very own.

This year’s series, which features three incredible properties in some of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Dallas, kicks off on Tuesday, May 5, at 6 p.m. with a Frank Welch-designed modern with traditional touches in Greenway Parks. The reception lasts until 8, with a talk from the designer at roughly 6:45. You can still buy season passes for this unique series, which cost $250 for two passes for Dallas Architecture Forum members, and $300 for two passes for non-members. Purchase tickets on the Forum’s website, and find out more about the other events in the series, which are scheduled for May 19 and June 17.

Jump for a sneak peek inside this gorgeous home!

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04/29/15 3:18pm
(Photo: Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University)

(Photo: Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University)

“The rules and tax-planning strategies for a vacation home are complex if the home is rented,” says Dr. Jerrold Stern, a research fellow at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Truly, that’s an understatement.

More and more people are buying vacation homes thanks to growing employment and stock market gains. And as services such as VRBO, Airbnb, and HomeAway become more popular, more and more people are renting out their vacation homes. Find out what you can do to keep the IRS at bay when tax day comes over on SecondShelters.com.

04/29/15 12:21pm
CultureMap will take over Hudson News kiosks in both Houston Airports. (Rendering: CultureMap/The Dallas Busines Journal)

CultureMap will take over Hudson News kiosks in both Houston Airports. (Rendering: CultureMap/The Dallas Business Journal)

It’s a stunning blow to print media, as the Dallas Business Journal has announced CultureMap’s takeover of Hudson News shops at both Bush Intercontinental and Houston Hobby airports.

CultureMap, a regional news brand founded in Houston, was recently purchased for $15 million by ViewMarket, a Dallas interactive media brand. The transaction has added a new wrinkle to the news and media landscape in both Dallas and Houston, so expect to see more video and visual. But this is, by far, the most interesting development.

As fewer and fewer people are reading magazines and newspapers while they travel, news stands have become almost obsolete. This takeover will transform these pop-up kiosks to concierge services, where hungry travelers can grab a bottle of Fiji and a snack and find out the best places to have dinner, the best sights to see, and what bands might be in town upon their arrival.

To me, I think it’s a brilliant idea, and a fantastic advertising opportunity for hotels and convention-related businesses, as well as for Realtors who serve the jet-set. Before, these businesses would have to buy pricey ads in city guides produced by newspapers and regional magazines. This offers convenience and cost effectiveness.

 

04/29/15 10:36am

Alyssa O'Brien Ramsey Sponsored

Smart, creative, and hard-working, Alyssa O’Brien Ramsey is a Realtor you want on your team. Not only has she made a name for herself with client referrals, but she’s become an integral part of the well-oiled machine that is the up-and-coming independent brokerage Nathan Grace. But Alyssa, every humble, says that it’s the other way around when it comes to the people that make up the brand — they’re all family, and all indispensable.

“In my career I have been blessed to work with great people at great companies, or so I thought,” Alyssa said. “It wasn’t until working at Nathan Grace that I have truly experienced working with great people at a great company. As cliché as it sounds, the Nathan Grace team are my extended family.”

And family matters, Alyssa notes, especially in an industry that follows the law of the jungle: Eat or be eaten.

“This is a competitive business, but at the end of the day, we lift each other up and have built a culture that is second to none,” Alyssa said. “The leadership and support team truly care about the success of the agents’ business first and foremost – without our success they don’t have success.”

Alyssa O'Brien Ramsey's home was "Graced" by her fellow agents at Nathan Grace.

Alyssa O’Brien Ramsey’s home was “Graced” by her fellow agents at Nathan Grace.

To recognized that success, the brand does something called “Gracing” Alyssa said. A team member’s front yard is littered with branded signs a la flocking. “We have fun, we love to win, and we take our work seriously, but not ourselves,” Alyssa notes. “There are many reasons that Nathan Grace has been named one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ by Dallas Business Journal and I but the number one reason – the people! It’s not your mama’s real estate company, but she’d be so proud!”

Now that sounds like company culture that Jeff Lindigrin of Great Western Home Loans could get behind! He works hard and has fun, all the while recognizing the hard work that Realtors and brokers put into every transaction. What has your lender done for you lately? Find out what you’re missing by calling Jeff Lindigrin of Great Western Home Loans today.

Jump to find out more about Alyssa!

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04/28/15 2:08pm

MCKinney Ave Bar

By Grant Bynum
Special Contributor

If you are a native of the Dallas area, you’ve probably heard about how desirable it is to live in the Uptown Dallas area.  When professionals are checking out a move to Dallas, Uptown always gets in the conversation, and typically at the top of the list!  If you are thinking about a move here from out of town, or you are local and want to see what the fuss is about, then read this quick summary of Uptown Dallas. After reading this, you may know more than most natives of Dallas, and even some Uptown residents!

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