The annual conference of the National Association of Real Estate Editors kicks off today with some really fabulous panels. Candy landed in Miami this morning and is already covering the Luxury Real Estate panel, featuring “The Apprentice” alum Katrina Campins.

Don’t miss the reports! Follow @DallasDirtCandy to get Candy’s perspective on hot-ticket panels on luxury real estate and second homes. You can tag along virtually, too, through the #NAREE15 hashtag.

 

Kevin Caskey, Dallas City Center Realtors director, talks to WFAA about how school ratings influence home prices.

Kevin Caskey, Dallas City Center Realtors director, talks to WFAA about how school ratings influence home prices.

With the Texas legislature set to approve a new letter grading system that adds more clarity and precision to the TEA’s rating categories, Realtors are wondering how the new approval guide will affect housing prices. The measure just cleared the Senate and is headed for the house.

Lake Highlands resident and Dallas City Center Realtors director Kevin Caskey weighed in during this report from WFAA (Channel 8) on the matter. Caskey and his husband have two children at Richardson ISD’s Wallace Elementary, and has seen how changes in demographics have influenced school ratings, and thereby impacting home prices.

“Those rankings are not always representative of what the school truly is,” he said. “I have two children at Wallace Elementary in Lake Highlands, and that school, particularly, has a huge population of Burmese refugees. When those children came in — of course, because of language barriers and such — the scores did go down… therefore the rating did go down.”

Jump for the video!

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Bryan Hagan

Ya’ll know Bryan Hagen, who works with D.W. Skelton at Skelton & Associates. Those folks have been appraising Dallas Real Estate for a very long time, and for some very smart clients. We reached out to Bryan to help us zero in on the really hot neighborhoods, the sleepers, and give us the straight scoop on what he sees in his day to day life as a certified Real Estate appraiser in North Texas this month: (more…)

Curbless shower master bath Graf Developments

Bruce Graf says that aging-in-place can be stylish with key updates in often-used rooms, such as master suites.

A survey recently released by the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business polled 1,000 people ages 50 to 80 years old. Only about 1 in 5 respondents to the survey had any plan to remodel their homes or incorporate technology to help them as they age, and yet, the vast majority (96 percent) of respondents said they want to remain independent while they grow older, and 91 percent said they wanted to stay in their own home, commonly referred to as ‘aging-in-place.’

Bruce Graf, a nationwide renovation consultant with over 32 years of experience and a Baby Boomer himself, scoffs at these survey results.

“It’s funny, people will spend $50,000 for a car. This is something with a relatively short life and depreciates the very second it’s driven off the car lot,” Graf said. “However, they think twice about spending that amount on their home, a place they could spend the next 30 years in easily, and it appreciates greatly.”

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starbucks

If you think coffee is only good for getting you moving in the morning, this new study will wake you up. Apparently, it can also provide a jolt nearby home values.

That’s according to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and Chief Economist Stan Humphries. In their New York Times bestseller, Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate, they crunched the numbers and found that houses located within a quarter mile of a Starbucks location appreciated more quickly than houses overall.

Rascoff and Humphries knew the traditional guideline for finding real estate that would appreciate the most – good schools, easy access to major job centers, or a quick drive to the grocery store. They wanted to dig deeper.

“We were looking for other markers that could tell us where home values would appreciate the most, and in doing the research, we found that if you live near a coffee shop, chances are your house outperforms other houses further away,” Humphries said. “When we dug even deeper, we found that living close to a specific coffee shop – Starbucks – was the best indicator your house would out-perform other houses in the area.”

This trend held true nationwide, although results varied by region. In North Texas, there was a 7.2 percent difference during the time measured.

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Impact of Texas

Let’s face it: the Texas real estate industry, and that includes Dallas,  is in Veuve Clicquot mode right now. Home sales had their second best year ever in 2014, selling 66,664 homes throughout the Lone Star state just in the last quarter of 2014. Almost 285,000 homes were sold in the state last year, which means 285,000 commissions for agents. And that does not include newly built dream houses.

“The fourth quarter of 2014 marked three-and-a-half years of continual home sales growth for the Lone Star State and the highest annual home sales volume since 2006 – a testament to the strong and enduring demand of Texas real estate,” Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said in a recent statement.

Because of low inventory, it was a seller’s market and home prices were up 7.76 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to fourth quarter 2013. The median price of a home in Texas is now $185,900.

In Dallas, well, we don’t need to legalize marijuana sales: Dallas-area home price values rose 9.4 percent. That puts the median price of a Dallas home at $207,900 in the fourth quarter of 2014. First time it’s ever been over $190,000.

I am hearing story after story of homes selling for over list price, but this is happening in price lots of $500,000 or under. The $3 million and more price ranges are a little soft.

And not to be Debbie Downer, but I am wondering if we should start to worry about that three-letter word we love so much in Texas: oil. (more…)

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What do savvy sellers ask their agents in the pre-listing interview? About getting their home in the newspaper?  Ha! Only if it’s a nursing home! Smart sellers care about two things: internet exposure and —

“Do you belong to one of the top hip pocket Facebook groups in town?

Pre-sizzle seals the sale. In this white-hot market of low inventory, buyers need an agent with ESP, one who knows which homes will be listed even before their owners know it! Or at least before every other Realtor.

In Dallas, south of LBJ, that would be an agent who belongs to Real Estate Friends, a private, closed Facebook group of about 800 agents.

But now, there’s a new kid in town who wants to let ALL real estate agents join the pre-listing party.

Daylon Pereira is a top agent with Allie Beth Allman’s Urban team who has partnered with two Stanford MBA graduates to create a website for agents to share hip pockets called The Unlisted.  Already up and running in Dallas, Pereira’s team plans to open in multiple major cities from Miami to Chicago, LA, Austin, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, anywhere where real estate inventory is tighter than an East Texas tick.

“Our team has a deep knowledge of the residential real estate market. We see tremendous demand and not enough supply in the largest US cities,” says Pereira. “We see a market where privacy and exclusivity results in additional value for buyers and sellers. We see agents leveraging their networks and struggling with sub-optimal tools to find the right properties for their clients, and the right buyers for their properties. We want to give agents the modern and easy to use tools they need to be successful in this ever-changing, fast-paced environment. (more…)