Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Cowtown has new braggin’ rights: the U.S. Census Bureau says they were the fastest-growing big city in the nation between 2000-2013. Fort Worth population saw a 42.34 percent increase in that time. Dallas lagged far behind, coming in at 24th.

The 2010 Census count for Fort Worth put the number of residents at 741,206. Compare this to a population of 534,694 just a decade earlier.

Fort Worth is the 17th-largest city in the country, and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Jump to read more!  (more…)

 

Photo: Bethany Erickson

Photo: Bethany Erickson

If you are considering a magnet program or are just interested in your neighborhood Dallas public school, these are some dates you need to mark on your calendars.

To get the lay of the land, Dallas ISD will be hosting a Magnet Fair Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 South Polk, Dallas. If you wish to fill out the application for a magnet school or montessori, paper forms will be available on Dec. 8,  or you can begin filling out the online application on January 12, 2015.

To tour a specific school, check here for its open house date. More information, including projected open slots at each school and application requirements can be found at the DISD magnet page.

To find your Dallas public school and its feeder pattern, visit the parent and student section of the DISD webpage. Once you find your school’s homepage, look for its calendar for dates like kindergarten roundup and other open houses. You can also always email the principal and ask for a meeting and tour! I also recommend looking up the school’s PTA webpage, and getting in touch with those folks.

Residences at Stoneleigh

I’m sick I had to miss this: guests and local celebrities celebrated the unveiling of the newest luxury high rise to hit the Dallas skyline, and also one of the most anticipated: The Residences at The Stoneleigh in Uptown off Maple. more than 400 — yikes! –toured the elegant lobby, 26-seat theatre, homeowner’s lounge, the state of the art health club, banquet space with a full commercial kitchen and the stunning pool with an amazing view of the city skyline.

But not to worry: I sent spies!

Developer Mehrdad Moayedi, who I call Saint Stoneleigh as he rescued this project in the throes of the recession, welcomed Trammell S. Crow, Roxanne and Gene Phillips, Don and Linda Carter, Doris Jacobs and daughters, Mackie & Paul Ellenbogen, Loyd Taylor (so sorry I missed you baby!), Susan and Gene Stoner, Larry Hamilton, Linda & Scott Greer, Angie Barrett, Mickey Munir, Carmaleta Whiteley, John Bobbitt, Teffy Jacobs, John Phifer Marrs and Senator Royce West.

I was, unfortunately, doing due diligence in the Grand Cayman Islands with a company called Dart Realty that you will be hearing more of.

CamanaBay toe shot (more…)

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Last week, I wrote about the decisions we have coming up regarding real estate, and our son’s education. And I love, love, love all the reader feedback and comments. This week? This week I’d like to talk about our thought process thus far.

My husband and I are products of public schools – albeit not in Dallas, since we both landed here as adults. But in our time as a couple, we have kept a watchful eye on our adopted hometown’s education offerings, and once Tiny became a waving little alien on an ultrasound screen, we began, in earnest, discussing what we would do.

We’re kind of planners. OK, more accurately, I’m a raging planaholic, and my husband is a planner. But this now-ongoing discussion needed to happen that early because it involved real estate – which, as we all know, is something you try not to go into willy nilly.

So we first took a look at the school we would be assigned to for elementary school – Withers Elementary. As luck would have it, we have several friends and acquaintances with children who were attending at the time, and at least one whose children are now attending. Nothing but raves. A dual-language program that has benefitted hundreds of children. Robust parental involvement. Great ratings from the TEA, and compares well with  many of the elementary schools in the area of similar size and make up. (more…)

A solid oak reach hook allows the attic ladder to be pulled down and closed easily.

A solid oak reach hook allows the attic ladder to be pulled down and closed easily.

The Dallas market is no stranger to great inventions, from frozen margaritas and ATMs to corny dogs and convenience stores. We have another homegrown success to call our own: Attic Ease. It’s a simple product designed to solve the problem of ugly dangling attic strings. This has filled a big need, because since the product was launched in February 2012, it has sold thousands of kits online and in stores around the country.

Attic Ease was imagined and invented by Dallasite David Jones. He was challenged by his family in 2011 to come up with “something better” than the unattractive and obtrusive attic cords on recessed attic doors that exist in an estimated 80 million homes.

That “something better” offers what Jones calls a simple, efficient, and fashionable solution to an unsightly problem, allowing homeowners to access and stage recessed residential attic stairways. Each Attic Ease kit is a complete system that includes a fashion pull ring to replace the existing cord; a solid oak reach hook that allows the attic ladder to be pulled down and closed; and a fashion storage hook for storing the reach hook when not in use.

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Cabana hotel full

A storied property near the Dallas Design District that fell from a swinging night spot and hotel for rock stars in the 1960s to housing for county prisoners and sex offenders in the 1980s and 1990s may be on the rise again.

According to this Dallas Morning News story first reported by Robert Wilonsky, the Dallas County Commissioners Court sold the old Cabana Motor Hotel / Decker Detention Center yesterday to Lincoln Property Company, the third largest residential property manager in the U.S. The property, located at 899 N. Stemmons Freeway, is 399,000 square feet sitting on 3.275 acres of prime real estate northwest of Downtown Dallas. Lincoln paid $8.7 million (half a million less than the county paid for the place in 1985).

While no one from Lincoln or the county will confirm plans for the property, rumor has it that Lincoln intends to create a residential tower and data center. (more…)

forestwood

8:38 a.m. This post has been updated.
I say it’s about time: the northwest corner of Inwood and Forest, known as “Forest Wood”, is going to get a much-needed facelift. Wait, strike that: try a major gutting from the ground up. Yep, those 1974 rental townhomes are about to go far away, replaced by sturdier, prettier, higher quality homes that will create a walkable living environment and a brand new North Dallas community.
Forestwood Townhomes brings back memories, not all of them pleasant. This was where single dads and moms would go to live after a separation or suddenly being single because it was still close to the private schools their children attended, but more reasonable than a single family home. It was known as a safe, secure place to hunker down in North Dallas if you couldn’t swing a mortgage.
For years now, I wondered why the neat, but clearly aging, townhomes would not be replaced with something more upscale, attractive, especially considering the surrounding neighborhood demographic$$$: sprawling ranches on leafy half-acre lots that start at about half a million dollars, while the newer built McMansion are pulling in more than $1.5.

So why are we stuck with boring beige townhomes that had their prime in the seventies, like Cher? (more…)

Jeannie Smith

Jeannie Smith with “The Wee Ones”: two of her pack of miniature dachshunds.

We love Jeannie Smith and her “can-do” attitude. She’s the kind of woman that can inspire confidence after just a moment with her, and she is a dog lover, to boot!

It’s no wonder that Jeannie, a mortgage professional that looks after her clients like family, is this week’s Guardian Angel. She takes time with every client to make sure that their needs are met, if not exceeded, which is a valuable asset in this quick-changing mortgage environment.

“I care about each loan and customer I work with — whether it’s a$ 50K loan or a $5M loan — and I love providing the white glove treatment,” Jeannie says. “I approach each loan and customer with a wide open mind so that I can learn about them, their financial goals, expectations, and what keeps them up at night when they think about the loan process.”

That’s the kind of personal service that is all too rare these days, but it’s exactly what you can expect at Guardian Mortgage. Find out more about Jeannie and how, through her tenacity, she’s made a wonderful career in the mortgage business.

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