5118 Stanford Ave. in 2013

5118 Stanford Ave. in 2013

In January 2013, my Hubby and I were frantically looking for a house as our Preston Hollow condo was under contract in 3 days to a cash buyer (HOORAY!!!). I fell in love the minute I saw this Briarwood cottage and the For Sale sign out in front of 5118 Stanford Avenue.


Photo by: Ann Marie Marthens

Photo by: Ann Marie Marthens

Ann Marie Marthens has a two bedroom charmer in Highland Park she is leasing for $3,000 a month. Nestled on Abbott Avenue, it’s close to Armstrong Elementary and within walking distance to all the fun on Knox/Henderson and the Katy Trail.

As the property owner, she listed it on Trulia, as well as mentioned its availability on the Park Cities Online Yard Sale group on Facebook a few days ago – and then something weird happened. (more…)

imageNot to go all Columbo “Oh, just one more question on you,” but since last night I had been wracking my noggin to remember where else I had seen Adam McGough, the city council candidate who is being questioned about where his family lived while his children were enrolled in Highland Park ISD, in print.

Just now, the all-knowing Wylie H. Dallas jogged my memory with a Facebook post.

It was Vanity Fair. The Ebola story. And let me tell you why this is important: McGough explains, in the story, that one night during the worst of the Thomas Duncan time frame, he went home. Home, where his wife and kids were sitting in their minivan because the power was out.


Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but why wouldn’t they just go to the condo? The condo in Highland Park. Where they lived, because that’s what they told the Dallas Morning News when they explained they pulled their kids out of HPISD at winter break? That condo probably had tons of electricity, right?

This story just gets fishier and fishier.

Photo: Beth Erickson

Photo: Beth Erickson

Today we had Tiny’s interview and assessment for the Dallas ISD magnet program – which sounds a whole lot more daunting than it actually was.

But where did we end up going? Well, we were certain going in that we would be picking Dealey as our first choice school. It was close to our house. It would be almost like going to a neighborhood school. Dealey was the logical choice, right?

Well … (more…)


Let's just say that this rendering of the Trinity Tollway is never, ever going to happen. It's going to be bigger, uglier, and it's going to need more elevated feeders. One of those, the Jefferson Memorial , might completely cut off West Dallas from North Oak Cliff.

Let’s just say that this rendering of the Trinity Tollway is never, ever going to happen. It’s going to be bigger, uglier, and it’s going to need more elevated feeders. One of those, the Jefferson Memorial Bridge, might completely cut off West Dallas from North Oak Cliff.

So. Some of our fearless city leaders want to build a toll road along the Trinity River bed that splits Dallas into north and south. One of my goals this year is to gauge where the real estate community stands on this issue. On Thursday, State Sen. Royce West invited a handful of prominent city leaders to the Urban League of Dallas on Lancaster Road  for a closed-door briefing. He let no press in, not even the Dallas Morning News, saying the meeting was closed to the public because it was meant to be a briefing for his own info, so he could respond to his constituents.

Transparency, right?

Who was there? Presenters were West, North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Director Michael Morris, City of Dallas Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan, City of Dallas Transportation Program Manager Keith Manoy, Texas Department of Transportation Dallas District Deputy Engineer Kelly Selman, and NTTA Executive Director of Infrastructure Elizabeth Mow. Also Bob Meckfessel, former president of the Dallas AIA, a guy who cares deeply about Dallas architecture. Meckfessel was once for the toll road, now he says he is against.

Those invited: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, former Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm, six Dallas City Council members (including Scott Griggs, Philip Kingston, Vonciel Jones Hill and Dwaine Caraway), Dallas County Commissioners John Wiley Price and Elba Garcia, Farmers Branch council member Ana Reyes, West Dallas developer Monte Anderson, urban planner Patrick Kennedy, folks from the North Texas Tollway Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation, real estate investor Philip Wise and State Rep. Raphael Anchia, who is polling constituents about this topic. About 30 to 35 people showed up I’m told. Mayor Mike was not there, Griggs and Kingston were somewhere else. No John Wiley,  no Elba Garcia. Philip Wise was not there but his partner Barry Hancock was.

The proposed 9-mile road connecting Irving and northwest Dallas to South Dallas, aka the Trinity Toll Road, is becoming one of the city’s biggest controversies. Hot, hot topic, cocktail party chatter now superseding what your home is worth. And West has been a supporter of the $1.5 billion project. But he has said, in numerous media reports, he would oppose the highway if a majority of his constituents oppose it and highway capacity is added elsewhere near downtown Dallas. Which is a valid point.

After the meeting, Royce told the Dallas Morning News he had not changed his mind at all.

But then, he spent the majority of time hearing how great it was, from what I hear happened at the meeting: (more…)


4445 College Park

I don’t know if I have ever seen such an “un-ranch” ranch in North Dallas before, but this smooth, clean, contemporary home aka 4445 College Park  is a far cry from the Waltons or even the Bob Newhart Show, both of which were purring away on TV the year she was built. Which was 1973. Good Lord, I was in high school trying to keep my hair straight and coaxing Barbara Hershey bangs. “Live and Let Die” was one of the most popular James Bond movies that year. So though it may have been built 42 years ago, this home started life as The Electric Light Orchestra: sleekness is part of her DNA.4445 College Park patio (more…)

Toyota logo

Happy New Year! Steve Brown posted his year end wrap of Dallas real estate, residential and commercial, calling it one for the history books. Tis true: Dallas Real estate values are at their highest EVER, exceeding where we were even before the bubble. And he is right — this boom is fueled by the right stuff: jobs and population. We did not overbuild in Dallas during the boom. We did not over extend, thanks mostly to state laws that limit how much you can borrow against your homestead. So when the economy turned on — it was just about two years ago January when agents told me that  “a lightbulb had turned on”  — there was no stopping us except for one little bugaboo: inventory.

Steve says : “Construction cranes stretch from Uptown to Frisco.”

I would say even further north — Prosper is the new hot spot you will be hearing more of here on CandysDirt because we are in love and cannot wait to see what they do with Deion’s place. (If that house ever sells…) And then there’s Celina, just north, and it’s rocking. Spent a day at Light Farms which you will soon be hearing about as we are blown away: 3200 homes on the site of an old family farm that has become a veritable condo farm: tractors, gardens, mini farm plots, Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, a holistic food consultant and even a beekeeper! Here’s the way they describe it: ten minutes from downtown FRISCO.  Whoa, now that’s interesting. Oh the public schools — amazing! Here we go with Steve’s biggies and mine:  (more…)

CaseShiller Oct 2014

Graphic: The Dallas Morning News

So here’s the reason why a lot of Realtors, I do mean a lot, will be drinking Veuve Cliquot tonight: Dallas is one of the top five markets in the country for home price increases, according to the folks at Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller.

The numbers from October home sales are in, and Dallas home prices rose 7.6 percent in October from the same month in 2013. Makes me kind of proud we are right up there with Miami, San Francisco and Las Vegas — the only cities with higher price appreciation than us.

The October appreciation was almost identical to the annual increase we saw in September,  7.4 percent.

“We are seeing hints that prices could end 2014 on a strong note and accelerate into 2015,” S&P’s David M. Blitzer said in the report. “Two months ago, all 20 cities were experiencing weakening annual price increases.

“This time, 12 cities had weaker annual price growth, but eight saw the pace of price gains pick up,” he said. “Seasonally adjusted, all 20 cities had higher prices than a month ago.”

And you may need a sip or two of bubbly to comprehend this fact : Dallas-area home prices are 13 percent higher NOW than they were before the recession hit. That’s right, we have out-bubbled the bubble.