SHmidwayhollow4110DunhavenAfter the rousing success of our first SCHOOL+HOUSE event, I immediately started hearing from all kinds of Realtors, families, and schools about picking their neighborhoods.

After compiling a list of potential schools and neighborhoods, I’m pleased to announce that the next SCHOOL+HOUSE will be in Midway Hollow on Sept. 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will be co-sponsored by Grenadier Homes and Hartman Terilli Group/Coldwell Banker.

This Midway Hollow new construction by Grenadier Homes, located at 4110 Dunhaven Road will be the site for our second SCHOOL+HOUSE event.

This Midway Hollow new construction by Grenadier Homes, located at 4110 Dunhaven Road will be the site for our second SCHOOL+HOUSE event.

The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, new construction home is at 4110 Dunhaven Road  and features a study, a gorgeous outdoor entertaining area with a fireplace, and a master closet that is bigger than my first apartment.

What is SCHOOL+HOUSE? It’s part traditional open house, and part meet-and-greet with the folks that can tell you everything you need to know about the schools that feed into Midway Hollow. In this case, three elementary schools (Walnut Hill Elementary, Withers Elementary, and Foster Elementary) and two feeder patterns (Thomas Jefferson and W.T. White) serve this gigantic neighborhood that is bordered by Midway Road, Walnut Hill Lane, Marsh Lane, and Northwest Highway. We’re bringing parents, principals, and other Dallas ISD folks in to answer all your questions. And, of course, Realtors will be on hand to talk inventory and needs as well.

Why do we do this? Because some of the best knowledge about schools comes from the parents and principals who are there every day. They’re informed, involved, and ready to give anyone the ins and outs of sending your child to the schools in the neighborhood.

Keep an eye out next week for a look at this gorgeous house Realtor Karen Cuskey has found for us, and in the meantime, pencil our next SCHOOL+HOUSE in on your calendar. You don’t want to miss this.

5706 Watson Cir IHOTW

Dallas has always been a hotbed of excellent residential architecture, and our Inwood National Bank Home of the Week is a perfect example of the sterling level of local talent. The architectural firm Domiteaux + Baggett are the masterminds behind this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Preston Hollow custom home with a Palm Springs vibe. It would be a perfect location for a remake of any Rat Pack movie. We can easily imagine George Clooney and Brad Pitt hanging out by the pool at 5706 Watson Circle.

The 5,000-square-foot home is listed by Minnette Murray with Coldwell Banker for $2.75 million and we were lucky enough to get a peek at it this week.

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Real Estate Story

Selling Your House Infographic Header

So you’re thinking of selling? Now’s certainly a great time, and with buyers snapping up houses fast and furious. Think you don’t have to do much before you list, right?

Wrong. If you want top dollar for your house or condo, you need to create a love affair between your home and prospective buyers. Buyers may be eager, but they’ve still got options and you want to entice them.

We’ve talked to some of the very best Realtors in town to find out how they tell clients to prepare their listing, and created a handy infographic for you, too. So check out their home selling tips below!

1. CREATE CLASSIC CURB APPEAL

Dave Perry-Miller, owner of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, says curb appeal is like a first date.

“Would someone go on a first date with a stained shirt?” he asked. “Make your first impression one of excitement and fun anticipation!”

In fact, Perry-Miller says the front door should be the focus of your efforts.

“Start from the front door and move out from that. The further a buyer gets from the front door, the less impact,” he said. “If a buyer doesn’t like how a house looks when they drive up, it’s an uphill battle.”

Christy Berry, Executive Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, agrees.

“Drive-up appeal is crucial and first impressions are everything,” Berry said. “Be sure your landscaping is groomed and there is a pop of color. Remove the wreaths from the doors, too.”

Curb appeal gets buyers in the door, so even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, make sure you get your front looking fresh and clean. Simple things, like power washing the driveway and sidewalk, replacing bulbs in outdoor fixtures, and repainting the front door can make a big impact.

“Have trees trimmed and the lawn manicured and free of weeds, and do landscape improvements, like fresh mulch in beds, seasonal color in beds or pots of flowers,” said Jacqui Bloomquist, Realtor and Marketing Specialist at Coldwell Banker, Apex. “Add sod in bare spots and keep your lawn watered and maintained at all times.”

For condo sellers, the common area needs the same level of attention.

“If you live in a condo, make sure the corridor to the unit is cleaned and refreshed before showings,” said Kyle Crews, a realtor with Allie Beth Allman & Associates Urban. “My Urban team knows I keep a bottle of diluted Fabuloso that I spray in condo corridors and in vacant units to eliminate odors.”

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Selling Your House Infographic Header

So you’re thinking of selling? Now’s certainly a great time, and with buyers snapping up houses fast and furious, and sales prices up 12 percent in January! Think you don’t have to do much before you list, right?

Wrong. If you want top dollar for your house or condo, you need to create a love affair between your home and prospective buyers. Buyers may be eager, but they’ve still got options and you want to entice them.

We’ve talked to some of the very best Realtors in town to find out how they tell clients to prepare their listing, and created a handy infographic for you, too. So check out their home selling tips below!

 

1. CREATE CLASSIC CURB APPEAL

Dave Perry-Miller, owner of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, says curb appeal is like a first date.

“Would someone go on a first date with a stained shirt?” he asked. “Make your first impression one of excitement and fun anticipation!”

In fact, Perry-Miller says the front door should be the focus of your efforts.

“Start from the front door and move out from that. The further a buyer gets from the front door, the less impact,” he said. “If a buyer doesn’t like how a house looks when they drive up, it’s an uphill battle.”

Christy Berry, Executive Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, agrees.

“Drive-up appeal is crucial and first impressions are everything,” Berry said. “Be sure your landscaping is groomed and there is a pop of color. Remove the wreaths from the doors, too.”

Curb appeal gets buyers in the door, so even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, make sure you get your front looking fresh and clean. Simple things, like power washing the driveway and sidewalk, replacing bulbs in outdoor fixtures, and repainting the front door can make a big impact.

“Have trees trimmed and the lawn manicured and free of weeds, and do landscape improvements, like fresh mulch in beds, seasonal color in beds or pots of flowers,” said Jacqui Bloomquist, Realtor and Marketing Specialist at Coldwell Banker, Apex. “Add sod in bare spots and keep your lawn watered and maintained at all times.”

For condo sellers, the common area needs the same level of attention.

“If you live in a condo, make sure the corridor to the unit is cleaned and refreshed before showings,” said Kyle Crews, a realtor with Allie Beth Allman & Associates Urban. “My Urban team knows I keep a bottle of diluted Fabuloso that I spray in condo corridors and in vacant units to eliminate odors.”

Jump to read more and see the infographic!

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Home Prices for Dallas-Plano-Irving are projected to increase in the coming years, according to Local Market Monitor.

Home Prices for Dallas-Plano-Irving are projected to increase in the coming years, according to Local Market Monitor.

Sure, economists are saying that the Dallas-Fort Worth area have posted new gains in 2014, and that home price growth for the North Texas metro areas is projected to increase in 2015 to the tune of 9 to 11 percent, but more and more people are starting to take a closer look at those numbers and see that, while it’s good news overall, home prices need to be viewed with greater local perspective. Afterall, the MSA that includes Dallas — Dallas-Plano-Irving — is vast and diverse. The same can be said for the Fort Worth MSA — Fort Worth-Arlington.

So, while we are encouraged to see both Local Market Monitor and CoreLogic give glowing reviews of the Dallas area and Texas as a whole, we need to get more specific data to get a clearer picture of home prices, home values, and where you can buy a property that will actually appraise. After all, real estate isn’t just local, it’s hyper-local.

In the Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, home prices will have a year-over-year boost of 9 percent, according to Local Market Monitor.

In the Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, home prices will have a year-over-year boost of 9 percent, according to Local Market Monitor.

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Tommy Wooten Realtor GW

What don’t we love about Tommy Wooten? Nothing. Seriously, this guy has great stories from the frontline of new construction, and that’s a big deal considering how fast builders are working to put up new inventory. Wooten is creative, driven, and passionate about selling homes, but the first thing you’ll notice about this hardworking Realtor is his approachable demeanor. He has a fantastic sense of humor, too!

You want a Realtor who is going to roll with the punches and still have that optimism he had at the beginning at closing. You can trust Jeff Lindigrin at Great Western Home Loans to be the same way. What has your lender done for you lately? Find out what you’re missing by getting in touch with Jeff Lindigrin at Great Western.

For more about Tommy Wooten, including one of the best “getting discovered” stories I’ve ever heard, jump!

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NRT's new portals, acquisitions, may position the brokerage to out flank competition.

NRT’s new portals, acquisitions, may position the brokerage to out flank competition.

It’s a much different model than Zillow/Trulia, but NRT/Realogy will be on pace to not only capture more leads than Zillow, but it has boots-on-the-ground Realtors who can complete sales. This one-two punch is part of NRT’s strategy to “out flank” Zillow, positioning the brokerage as an online and in-person real estate powerhouse, according to Inman News:

“The nation’s largest real estate brokerage, NRT LLC, is preparing to launch two new search portals that are aimed at reducing the company’s reliance on leads from Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, attracting homebuyers by offering access to a complete set of MLS listings in markets where NRT operates, plus bells and whistles like automated valuations.

NRT, the brokerage wing of real estate titan Realogy, has over 42,000 agents and operates more than 700 offices in the U.S. under the Coldwell Banker Real Estate, ERA Real Estate, and Sotheby’s International Realty brands. It also owns and operates Citi Habitats, The Corcoran Group and, when the acquisition closes sometime this quarter, ZipRealty.”

 

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Sexcapade

We were clutching our pearls when we heard about the two New Jersey Coldwell Banker agents who were caught on candid camera having several vigorous romps in a listing. After discovering that their agent, Robert Lindsay, was entertaining a blonde woman later identified as fellow Coldwell Banker agent Jeannemarie Phelan.

They were spotted on security cameras getting hot and heavy all over the home on 13 separate occasions, said homeowner Robert Weiner in a recent Inside Edition report, who is now suing Lindsay and the Coldwell Banker office, alleging that the agent involved intentionally overpriced Weiner’s home in order to use it as a love shack. Here are a few more details from a CBS New York report:

The lawsuit alleged Lindsay and Phelan used the Weiners’ home as their play pad to have sexual relations while the couple was at work.

In this difficult real estate market, homes are typically priced to sell. But the plaintiffs said Lindsay purposely priced the Weiners’ house to sit at $650,000.

“Lindsay intentionally listed the house at above market value so there would be little traffic in the home,” the lawsuit said.

The Weiners claimed Lindsay made his very own key, so he would not have to use the electronic lock box that keeps track of visiting agents.

And the suit said everything was caught on surveillance camera.

The suit was filed in the Passaic County Law Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. The plaintiffs claimed breach of contract, negligence, and infliction of emotional damage. It sought unspecified damages.

This is so dodgy, folks, and seems terribly stupid considering that Lindsay and Phelan both noticed the security cameras during their trysts, but continued to get busy in Weiner’s vacant home despite the surveillance equipment. Gross!

Here’s the statement from the Coldwell Banker office following the Inside Edition report:

In a statement to INSIDE EDITION, Coldwell Banker said: “Immediately after learning of the allegation of improper behavior at the property by two independent contractors in January 2012, we ceased our affiliation with the agents. These agents have not listed or sold properties on our behalf since the allegation of misconduct at the home was first reported. The alleged misconduct at the home does not in any way represent how we conduct business as a company, and certainly is not reflective of the quality, commitment and integrity of our management or the more than 3,200 sales professionals affiliated with our company.  We hold affiliated agents to the highest ethical standards.” – Hal Maxwell, president Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage New Jersey.

So, what we want to know is whether you, our dear readers, have heard of any hanky panky happening at a listing? What do you think about these agents and their actions?