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.

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Bad traffic signal downtown

Leah has committed to tracking more of what’s happening in downtown Dallas Real Estate this year, and that’s great because there is a lot to track!

I love downtown Dallas, I just don’t like getting there. And I’m no stranger to urban living. I have lived in three different urban environments: Chicago, New York and Boston. While I may be partial to Chicago (pizza and food), living in New York was a time I will never forget and, in fact, often want more of. It was the most intellectually stimulating period of my life, I met the most intelligent and unique personalities ever, and I loved the dynamic 24/7 energy — even the day I watched our groceries rolling down  Amsterdam Avenue because it had started to rain and we were carrying them in paper bags.

That’s why I’m not a huge fan of the new plastic bag ban.

I was in the best shape ever because I didn’t have a car. We walked everywhere. Of course, New York City has busses and the subway — I lived on public transportation. (Note: an earlier draft said “pubic” transportation — typo. Ha! There was lots of that, too!)   On the negative, NYC is cold, then hotter than Dallas in summer.  I got sloshed by a lot of busses and taxis, and cleaned my windowsills daily to keep out the city grime.

Two years ago I spent 10 consecutive days in the city when my son lived there, and I came home to Dallas and kissed my car. (more…)

10770Inwood131L.jpg (1)

Letting you in on an inside secret here at CandysDirt.com. We “nickname” our weekly Monday Morning Millionaire postings the MMM.

When I created CandysDirt, I wanted to post homes on humdrum Mondays that would REALLY  wake readers up. Because, you know, it’s Monday, and you deserve to be blown away. (Come to think of it, we need a Hump Day house, too.) I’ll never forget the reader who told me that when he gets antsy at work he reads my MMM’s or wanders over to SecondShelters.com to check out vacation homes. That’s enough inspiration to make him go back to work, full force, and KILL IT so he can buy his own MMM someday.

Well, according to our analytics, 10770 Inwood Road was the most well-read MMM in 2014. Had we made Deion Sanders place a MMM, that might have beaten it. The Downton Abbey-esque estate at the corner of Inwood Road and Royal Lane in Dallas went on the market but not into MLS last spring. It officially hit MLS in October. Not only did our story on this house get thousands of hits, it had 200,000 shares on Facebook. And oh yes, it’s still available for a mere $6,399,000 reduced for quick sale from $7 million. Which was reduced from $7.7. Get it?

If you have lived in Preston Hollow or the Hockaday Royal/Inwood area for any length of time, you know this house. It is at the southeast corner of Royal Lane and Inwood Road. Kind of looks like Downton Abbey.  Built in 1991 by a physician (Ophthalmologist) and his attorney wife, the home is known for having been completed in stages because the owners said, at the time, (in a Dallas Morning News article I cannot locate) they incurred no debt in buying or building this house. Which is pretty amazing considering that most folks in 1991 wanted it all RIGHT NOW if not a second ago.
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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.