1102 Easton Road is a new build by Tom Greico of Greico Modern Homes. It will be one of the many cool stops on the White Rock Home Tour April 25-26.

1102 Easton Road is a new build by Tom Greico of Greico Modern Homes. It will be one of the many cool stops on the White Rock Home Tour April 25-26.

It’s one of my favorite times of year: Home Tour Season!

Yes, spring is just brimming with great Dallas-Fort Worth home tours, and we have pulled together a helpful list of our favorites so you can get your calendar in order. From modern to historic and from  Dallas to the Park Cities to Fort Worth, there’s a home tour coming up no matter your tastes or location.

Plus, there’s a brand new home tour launching this year that will not only showcase one of our favorite architects and celebrate preservation in our region. Jump to find out more, and stay tuned to CandysDirt.com for exclusive interviews and ticket giveaways to each of these events!

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empty nesters

Aging in place is a big trend in real estate and housing.

Oh man, I’ve got to start this post with a quote:

“The back to the city” meme appeals to urban boosters and reporters but in reality the numbers behind it are quite small. A 2011 survey by the real estate advisory firm RCLCO found that among affluent empty nesters, 65% planned to stay in their current home, 14% expected to look for a resort-type residence, and only 3 percent would opt for a condominium in the core city. Most of those surveyed preferred living spaces of 2,000 square feet or more. RCLCO concluded that the empty nester “back to the city” condominium demand was 250,000 households nationwide, a lucrative but small market out of the 4.5 million empty nester households in the metropolitan areas studied.

250,000 nation-wide? I found this story by my pal Joel Kotkin to be very interesting and worth a mention or five. First of all, where ARE the most Baby Boomers living now? They currently make up 15 percent of the nation’s population, that figure expected to expand to 21 percent.

Answer: Tampa-St. Pete, Pittsburgh, Tucson, Miami, Buffalo, Cleveland, Rochester, Providence, Hartford, St. Louis and interestingly, Birmingham, Alabama, probably because of its manufacturing history. Two sand states and the rust belt.

The cities with the smallest percentage of Baby Boomers are Austin, Salt Lake City, Houston, DALLAS, and Raleigh, NC.

Why is this so important? (more…)

Image: Fox 4

Image: Fox 4

Crews were inside Lakewood Elementary over the weekend, monitoring the air quality inside the school after reports of children being nauseated, dizzy, and lethargic during the school day. One child even vomited in between classes.

This is the second time parents have voiced concern over air quality inside the school. Just last year a dead owl stuck in a vent forced carbon monoxide from the school’s boiler into several classrooms, sickening children and staff in the circa 1951 building.

According to the Advocate, a meeting to discuss the building’s classroom and cafeteria expansion is slated for tomorrow (Feb. 23) evening, though a discussion about air quality is to be expected.

Despite the reports of sick kids, classes continued today, though parents said they would be keeping close watch on Dallas ISD to make sure this didn’t happen again.

“Obviously I personally don’t feel like my son is in danger today or tomorrow,” parent Paula Goldberg said to NBC 5. “But something needs to be addressed in the school, because something is not right. It’s an odd coincidence that we’ve had two things like this.”

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We were not prepared. Were you?

We were not prepared. Were you?

I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve covered at least a dozen tornadoes in my career, and yet, as
my family and I huddled in the small hallway in the center of our home Saturday night fearfully watching the weather on my iPad, I realized how woefully unprepared we were for a disaster.

I mean, sure, we had the basics down. Shelter. I had my wallet with insurance information, ID, credit cards, etc. We had something to monitor the weather with (our phones and iPad). But sitting on the couch later, anxiously watching the news with my heart in my throat, I realized how many things we missed. The dog was not on a leash. The bike helmets were MIA. The medication I take daily was sitting on the counter in the bathroom. We weren’t even wearing shoes. True, part of that was due to the fact that I could tell only the outer edges of the cell were touching our neighborhood, but later I found that others who thought the same thing were now cleaning up their homes after a tornado hit (in Sunnyvale) just a couple hundred feet from their neighborhood.

What in the hell was I thinking?

So this morning, I decided to talk to an expert, do some research, and make sure my family – and yours – is prepared for the worst. (more…)

Barbara Corcoran

When you talk about the dream that gets people into real estate, it often follows the arc of Barbara Corcoran’s story. She worked 22 different jobs before getting a $1,000 loan from her boyfriend and starting a fledgling real estate office in New York City. More than $5 billion later, Corcoran is a well-known entrepreneur and stars along with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in ABC’s hit reality show Shark Tank.

The Corcoran Group is what made Barbara her fortune, but she couldn’t have done it without an iron will and fearlessness for which she is admired. If you find yourself gearing up for 2016 and looking for the right motivation to build your real estate business into a universal brand, then you don’t want to miss Barbara Corcoran’s “Rags to Riches” keynote May 10 at the Plano Centre.

Hosted by Champions School of Real Estate, Corcoran will share the story of her journey to becoming a real estate mogul detailed in her book “Shark Tales.”

You can purchase sponsorships, as well as group and individual tickets, through Champions School of Real Estate today. Don’t wait because this will likely sell out!

Dallas Land Use

The Productive Land Use Series will focus on annual property tax revenue at the neighborhood level. Since land is the city’s primary resource, this series will delve into how we are using our land and if we can use it more efficiently. For part 1, click here.

In the previous post, we looked at various types of housing throughout Dallas and evaluated the property tax revenue per acre collected every year in order to analyze a neighborhood’s financial contribution to city operations. Using a well-maintained, single-family neighborhood as our standard, $30,000 collected per acre annually is our baseline to which we judge the financial performance of our land use.

As we look at the productivity of our neighborhoods, we see that the desirability of an area reflects positively in property tax return for the city. More often than not, the attractiveness of a neighborhood is related to the commercial amenities located in the vicinity of the residents. These third places, where people work and play, not only help define the community, but also contribute to the functioning of our city by paying property tax and sales tax.

We should expect higher revenue from our commercial spaces because they see more activity than our homes. From entertainment to employment, commercial spaces bring people together to spend money. As important cogs in our economy, they must also pay their share for the municipal services they require.

First, let’s take a look at the most common commercial space in our city:

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Real Estate Story

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including our ability to build wealth.

That’s according to a new study by Bankrate that surveyed the the 18 largest metro areas in the U.S. according to how strong of an environment they provide for making and saving money. Houston ranked No. 1, and Dallas ranked No. 6.

The rankings were created after consulting with experts on which factors should be considered in a conversation about wealth. Here’s what the experts told them were the biggest contributors:

  • After-tax, savable income: This is what’s left over after taxes and necessary expenses. It’s what you could sock away in an interest-bearing account.
  • The job market: Can workers find jobs at competitive wages?
  • Human capital: Can residents find educational opportunities to help advance their careers and earn more money later?
  • Access to financial services: Do people have access to financial products that allow them to invest, save and borrow efficiently?
  • The local housing market: For better or for worse, homeownership is a key way Americans build wealth. If a local housing market is struggling, it can be harder for prospective homebuyers to get a mortgage and for homeowners to accumulate equity.

Other factors considered included participation rates for retirement plans like 401(k)s, a major wealth-building tool for middle-class households. As they noted, “whether or not an employer offers one has a lot to do with the city, both in terms of culture (whether employers think it’s the right thing to do) and supply and demand.”

“If you’re in an area where the unemployment rate is very low, then the employers have to compete for you, and part of how employers compete for you is they offer benefits and they offer retirement plans,” Christian Weller, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Boston, told Bankrate. “Employers do compete on a regional level, on a city level, for talent.”

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8312 Ridgelea IHOTW

This home at 8312 Ridgelea is almost a dream that is too good to be true. Give it an A-plus for location! You are talking about one of the hottest neighborhoods in town, Bluffview. This parcel of homes near Lovers Lane are all walkable to West Lovers Lane shops and super close to Love Field, so much that you could probably roll out of bed for a 6 a.m. flight at 4:30 a.m, make it to Love Field, and make that flight with a Starbucks in hand.

You get almost new construction: 8312 Ridgelea was built in 2006, which makes it practically brand new. I mean, it takes three years to get the kinks out of ANY new home, right? You get gleaming newer appliances plus open spaces in 4045 square feet on a juicy quarter acre lot. There is even a garage for three cars parked in tandem — how did they fit that on a .23 acre lot? Deftly. Actually, it’s more like a two car garage with gigantic storage.

I’d say you are getting a pretty dang good looking house for $765,000. (more…)