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.


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…)


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.


6326 LakehurstAn unknown builder built 6326 Lakehurst several years ago, and I went to see it when it was brand new. At the time I was editing DallasDirt for D Magazine, and I know I wrote about this house. He kind of went over the top and then. just. stopped. building. Well, that was a familiar story back in those days.

Unfortunately, I cannot find the story I wrote, but when I walked into Lakehurst, it was like seeing an old college friend or boyfriend after so many years. The vibes just swelled and I felt comfortable, familiar again. Like I might just move into one of the humongo rooms and never leave.

Let’s face it: this is a big house, big mama, a house that is so perfect for a large family: three teenage boys or girls. Or a family with elderly parents who want to live in with them but still have their privacy. This would also be a great home for blended families. (more…)

Village Bend East Apartments

Let’s face it: the only news we care about today is the sickening news coming out of Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, a Texas Healthcare Resource Hospital, that a second nurse who treated Ebola patient Thomas Duncan has now tested positive for the disease. I have been glued to Facebook this morning (where I am limited to 5,000 friends, but you can still follow me) because I thought, well, this is a health issue, not real estate.

Then I heard from an agent or two that showings were slowing down. I hate to say it — hate to — but the whole world is now looking at Dallas as the place where we messed up with an Ebola patient. We have become Ebola Central. (more…)


When we visited Tokyo a few years ago and our hosts told me about the indoor ski resort there, outskirts of Tokyo, I did not believe it until I saw the dome for Zaos, as I think it was called. Sure enough the Japanese loved to ski indoors. The indoor ski resort was on the way to the airport. Now I hear it may no longer exist. But that’s OK, because soon we will have own own little interior ski village in Grand Prairie.

And it’s not a little village, either: try a $215 million 350,000-square-foot indoor ski resort and a Hard Rock hotel. Does this mean we can ski in the middle of August?

Grand Prairie unveiled plans for a Grand Alps Resort and Hard Rock Hotel off Belt Line Road, north of Interstate 30 at a Tuesday afternoon news conference. The indoor ski resort — which includes a ski slope, ice climbing wall, luge track and winter play area — will include restaurants and specialty retail from Park City, Utah, and Vail, Colorado. Of course, we will need a place to buy ski hats and sunscreen!

Oh wait, indoors means we won’t actually NEED sunscreen!

tres mess

This big boy came down in yesterday’s storm, bringing down the tree lights. So I have to call Unique Electric first, then a tree man.  My front driveway is even worse. Judging from my drive home along Royal Lane, I am not alone. Are you all busy cleaning up today after the storm, too? Power came on at 3:06 a.m., but many of my neighbors (and Jo!) are still without.

Meantime, the rest of the nation now knows us for two things: Ebola and massive wind storm!