Crescent Estates, the developer who built the Courtyards at Normandy, will construct an 18-home luxury development on Forest Lane.

Crescent Estates, the developer who built the Courtyards at Normandy, will construct an 18-home luxury development on Forest Lane.

Word comes that the custom home builder that has signed on to build 18 luxury custom homes on the almost 4 acre site on Forest Lane just sold by Unity Church of Dallas is none other than Crescent Estates Custom Homes, the very same developer that built the Courtyards at Normandy in University Park.

The development, which will be called 6600 Forest Estates, was part of the 11-acre Unity Church of Dallas Campus. Charles Hicks, who purchase the property in a deal facilitated by Solender Hall Real Estate, has had the land rezoned for planned development. Crescent Estates is known for European-style homes with top-of-the-line finish-out, including museum-quality interiors, and attention to detail both inside and out. We have a feeling that the homes proposed for the Forest Lane development will be similar in construction if not in style to the Courtyards at Normandy.

We have calls and emails out to Crescent Estates to get the specifics on this luxury home development, so stay tuned!


Homefacts App Home Page Homefacts App - School Details Page

We love a good app here at CandysDirt, and when RealtyTrac announced their new Homefacts app, we had to give it a test. We’ve reviewed several good real estate apps before, and some of them are great for just run-of-the-mill home shopping (, Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin), some give you a more visual clue on a property ( Doorsteps App), and there’s even an app to see if you can afford a home before you get pre-approved.

But the Homefacts is a horse of a different color. It’s a much more comprehensive real estate app in that it uses GPS data or an address search to dissect areas not by homes for sale, but by other factors that may affect a neighborhood’s desirability, such as relative proximity to convicted sex offenders and former drug labs, school performance, unemployment, crime risk, median home value, and disaster risk.


PSW is constructing a single-family development in North Oak Cliff called Bishop Heights. Homes will include green features such as solar panels and earth-friendly construction materials.

PSW is constructing a single-family development in North Oak Cliff called Bishop Heights. Homes will include green features such as solar panels and earth-friendly construction materials.

The more and more I talk to other parents from my son’s school, the more they ask me about buying homes inside 635. Where is a good spot where they can find decent-sized houses that are still close to the city center? And what about schools?

Many are put off by the smaller, more expensive properties inside the top-performing DISD elementary campuses. Homes inside Lakewood Elementary’s attendance area are becoming more and more expensive. Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Hexter elementaries are all headed in that direction, too, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a home for less than $300,000 that has 2,000 square feet plus a decent-sized yard.

This presents an opportunity for builders, who are seeing the demand for larger, more efficient housing inside the loop and in neighborhoods where middle-class and creative-class families are drawn to. That includes North Oak Cliff, which is served by the resurgent Rosemont Elementary School. But these are people who aren’t looking for a project home, or a townhome or apartment. They want a home that they can raise their families in, and they don’t want to have to look to the suburbs to find it.


Betty Culbreath (Photo: Dallas Morning News City Hall Blog)

Betty Culbreath (Photo: Dallas Morning News City Hall Blog)

Sounds like Betty Culbreath is a reader, as the City Plan Commissioner called out our little Dallas real estate blog during her comments at the June 19 meeting in which the proposed Sam’s Club at Uptown East/East Village/Cityplace was discussed.

Her speech, which lasts about three minutes at the 1:26:15 mark, references the $30,000 millionaires we’re hearing so much about these days, how it’s all about neighborhoods, and pool floats! If you didn’t know, Betty Culbreath is a bit of a blogger in her own right.

Get the full listen after the jump, and then tell us what you think:


Greenbrier Missile Hallway

Photo: Greenbrier Missile Silo/

I have wanted to write a piece about “prepper” real estate forever, but every time I’d find someone to talk to, they’d never offer details about their property, their home, how much of it could weather a nuclear holocaust, you know, basic stuff.

I did write about the “Earth Sheltered Home” on Buckner, but it’s no missile silo, you dig?

And then I found this awesome longform piece on The Verge from November 2011, in which Jonathan Flatley talks to wealthy, educated people who think the world mayhaps end soon, so they’re getting ready.

While the piece doesn’t include any specific locations, my favorite part is the tour of the old Cold War Nike missile bunker “somewhere in the old Cincinnati-Dayton Defense Area.” One of more than two hundred underground facilities where the United States stored nuclear weapons in the time of “mutually assured destruction” and acid wash jeans, this one spot has been converted into a “man cave” where you can store your classic cars, take a swim in the underground pool, and ride out the end of the world.

There is no way of knowing how many privately owned bunkers there are in the United States, but if the number of stories on the internet and the twenty-four hour news channels is any indication, there is considerable consumer interest. One has a hard time gauging to what extent this interest translates into sales, however. Aside from the fact that these are private companies dealing with private individuals, there are security concerns. If you were convinced that the world would soon be transformed into a Mad Max-esque nightmare hellscape, would you go around advertising your safe haven?

Excatly. Or in the words of my friend who introduced me to a few preppers, “You have to keep from compromising your OPSEC (Operations Security).” Still, there are several spots listing bunkers and silos, most of them are in the northeast and midwest. This one in particular shows the approximate locations of those for sale.

Still, if you have a unique underground lair you’re looking to unload, or a survival shelter you want to show off? We’d love to feature it in CandysDirt! Give us a shout at!

DISD Admin Building 3700 Ross Ave

Both Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said that education is one of the major issues facing North Texas. But other than outright dissolution or breaking up the urban districts, advocates and officials are scrambling for ways to fix underperforming schools and disaffected communities.

The idea that has gained the most traction is home rule. It’s a complicated process that involves a commission appointed by school board officials that will then develop a charter, which will then go to a citywide ballot for a vote. In the end, the district will be reshaped in a way that will change how the school district is managed.

It’s been hailed as a way to cut through the bureaucracy that has kept Dallas schools from succeeding. If the district reorganizes and becomes more successful, more middle-class people will come back to the city, and so will employers.

At least that’s what Rawlings hopes.



Klyde Warren Park during the Arts District Block Party June 20.

Hundreds of people flock to Klyde Warren Park during the Dallas Arts District Block Party June 20.

We know that North Texas’ strong and growing job market keeps people flocking to our metro area, and that population increase, along with corporate relocations and an attractive business environment, is driving our local economy. It’s driving up housing demand and home prices, too.

So we’re not surprised to hear that the U.S. Metro Economies report ranks the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area as one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation. “Booming,” by their estimates. The North Texas area ranks No. 6 in the nation with a Gross Metropolitan Product of $440.1 billion in 2013. The news, which was announced at the U.S. Conference of Mayors by analysts IHS Global Insight, has everyone buzzing about our fair burg. And for good reason.


Candy headshot Oct. 2013

I love listening to Candy talk about home trends, luxury real estate, and all the celebrity scuttlebutt she picks up from her amazing cadre of sources.

If you need a fix of celebrity real estate right this very second, check out this week’s Red Zone podcast from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in which Candy dishes all the dirt on Dallas luxury homes.

And if you can wait a little while to get your fill, Candy will be on KLIF 570 at 4 p.m. today (June 21) with Jeff Lindigrin of Great Western Home Loans. This will be a live, no-holds-barred dissection of top real estate news that has popped up this week, and boy, will it be a doozy!

Don’t miss out!