14150 Ridge Front

Imagine a vacation home that’s not only close by, but is ready for all types of family gatherings big and small. Now put it on Cedar Creek Lake, surround it with more than 12 acres of gorgeous wooded land, put in a beautiful pool and a dock, and you have the ultimate lakeside getaway.

That’s exactly what you’ll find with this week’s High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. This incredible, private compound is listed by David Griffin & Company Realtors Seth Loncar and Miranda Cordero for $2.17 million.

Considering what you get for your money, that’s a great value.

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Mortgage Report Bob Mortgage New

In the year ahead, what indicators can we look for to gauge interest rates? Bob Johnson (AKA BobMortgage) shares his outlook on 10-year bond and 30-year mortgage rates.

You may know him as Bob Johnson, the senior mortgage advisor at Wallick & Volk, the nation’s oldest privately-held mortgage company. Bob Johnson has helped more than 25,000 families get into the homes of their dreams, in 20 plus years of lending service.

Now with five offices across the DFW metroplex, the nation’s oldest mortgage firm is helping thousands of consumers get into homes with the most up-to-date financial information possible. Wallick & Volk brings experience and integrity into every single loan, but they also deliver a highly personalized touch that conforms to each client’s need. Is it speed of delivery, unique products, total transaction transparency, or great pricing you need? Wallick & Volk has it all in a broker-friendly banking platform that can do the impossible when it comes to home financing.

THIS WEEK: Looking at interest rates in the year ahead.

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9927 Lenel Place car port

I think we can all agree that not every remodeled midcentury home is a success. For certain, some well-intentioned homeowners and even some rather haphazard flippers have ruined some of the fabulous midcentury moderns and post-war traditionals. This Midway Hollow home, however, was brought up to date in a way that is sensitive to the architecture and style of the home.

And in a neighborhood as hot as Midway Hollow, I totally understand that 9927 Lenel Place, marketed by Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty agent Lou Alpert, probably won’t stick around on the market for much longer, even though it’s only two days on MLS!

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January has been unseasonably active for homebuyers according to data from realtor.com.

January has been unseasonably active for homebuyers according to data from realtor.com.

Winter isn’t exactly your typical home buying season. Most folks are working on their homes, getting them ready to list in the spring. Buyers are scouting neighborhoods, ready to pounce when the market is saturated in March.

However, recent data from realtor.com shows that demand during the month of January remained strong, while low supply has kept prices high.

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Bishop Arts 7th St House12

Source: Google Maps, Jan 2016

The landscape of  the Bishop Arts District is changing quickly — tiny historic Craftsman homes by the dozens are being razed for apartment complexes, half-million dollar condos, and five-story mixed-use developments going up. One developer, once demonized by the community for their rudimentary design out of the gate, just won major Brownie points with the help of Rogers Jr. House Moving.

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zipcode-01

So we know what the experts say —  expect 2017 to be a more “normal” real estate market in North Texas and across the nation, with continued softness at the luxury level. Recall it was just in September that Starlight Capital chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht said you couldn’t give away homes in the rich community of Greenwich, Ct — what he calls the “worst real estate market in the United States”:

“You can’t give away a house in Greenwich,” Sternlicht said Tuesday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York.

The town — about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of midtown Manhattan and home to some of the country’s largest hedge funds — is seeing a pile-up of houses on the market and prices that are faltering as properties linger. Home sales in the second quarter fell 18 percent from a year earlier to 169 deals, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

At the same time, new listings surged 27 percent. The absorption period, or the time it would take to sell all the homes on the market at the current pace, was 12 months, compared with 7.7 months a year earlier, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said.

Greenwich is hurting because the luxury home market is soft. But it’s a totally different story at the other end of the spectrum, the market for affordable homes. North Texas is still so chock full of affordable housing, the folks at Realtor.com crowned us the most searched zip code of the year.

So, as it turns out, deep in the heart of Texas lies serious love for this humble site on behalf of hungry home searchers. The 10 most popular ZIPs of 2016 all hail from the state, and 18 of the top 20 ZIPs are from the biggest state in the lower 48.

I’m even quoted! But hey, we owe a whole lot to these two for boosting North Texas real estate in 2016:

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Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”Photo courtesy of Chip and Joanna Gaines

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5332 Miller Front

For the most part, I’m not a “big house” person. Small, compact, well-planned homes are more my jam. Still, part of me loves the idea of versatile, wide-open floor plans with plenty of room to spread out. Often times, though, homes that start to cross into the realm of 4,000 square feet feel sterile in all of their open space. However, in the case of this listing from Dallas City Center Realtors David and Sharon Cox at 5332 Miller Ave. in Vickery Place, the spaces are expansive, yet still warm and inviting. And with four bedrooms, four full and one half baths, and 4,189 square feet replete with oodles of storage, you’ll find tons of opportunities to stow clutter and fill these rooms with laughter, not junk. The Cox team has this home on the market for $827,000.

Jump to see inside this lovely country traditional in one of the hottest neighborhoods in Dallas.

5332 Miller Front Porch

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Kim Armstrong

Interior designer Kim Armstrong hired Nathan Grace Realtor Laura Crowl for her home search. Ten years later, the two are still working together, but in a different way.

Friends of friends can be the best connectors.

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Laura Crowl

So it was with interior designer Kim Armstrong and Realtor Laura Crowl. They first met about 10 years ago when Kim and her husband were searching for their first home in the Dallas area. Laura was recommended to Kim by one of her mentors, who said she had a friend just starting out in real estate.

Based on the personal connection, Kim gave Laura a shot. They’ve been friends and business associates ever since. “Laura found our first house. We’d been looking for 6 months with a different real estate agent. That went nowhere,” recalls Kim. With Laura, “we put a bid on the first house she showed us within a week of seeing it.”

Since then, Laura has found investment properties as well as a bigger home for Kim and her family. Of Laura, Kim says, “She’s a fighter for her clients. And a workaholic. I learned early on that she will go way beyond staging to help a client sell a property or find the right one.”

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