Photo Mar 01 9 22 40 AM

East Dallas MLS Broker Bake Off chair Christina Dewbre shows off a confection as emcee Kevin Caskey holds the live auction.

When the committee that puts together the East Dallas MLS’ Broker Bake Off (an annual Texas Association of Realtors PAC fundraiser and sweet event), they batted around a few themes before someone suggested a riff off of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s epic 90s ballad — “I Like Big Bundts And I Cannot Lie: Music Through The Ages.”

Naturally, said event chair Alyssa O’Brien Ramsey, it was an instant favorite.

Brokerages were tasked with creating confections that spoke to pop music’s biggest moments, and they did a bang-up job. In all, the Broker Bake Off managed to rake in some serious dough for the Texas Association of Realtors Political Action Committee to the tune of $15,800.

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2421 Springhill a

It’s the time of year when we look back on our accomplishments and discoveries for 2016. This Thursday Three Hundred, published March 17, was a favorite of both readers and the author! Enjoy this flashback.

Our Thursday Three Hundred is the home of entrepreneur Rachel O’Connor and her young family. O’Connor is the founder and owner of Party Made Pretty, and she creates all kinds of paper decorations, garlands, and banners.

Rachel O’Connor and family

Rachel O’Connor and family hate to leave their Casa Linda cottage, but her home-based business is booming and she needs a big studio

Party Made Pretty booming—she’s now filling more than 400 orders a month and her home-based business is busting at the seams. So she, her husband, 18-month-old daughter, and adorable, chubby dog need to move somewhere with a larger dedicated studio space.

Which brings us to their awesome house at 2421 Springhill Dr. near Ferguson Road and Lakeland Drive in East Dallas’ Casa Linda Forest. It would be hard to leave this place, a 3-2 with 2,220 square feet—large for the neighborhood, up on a hill with mature trees and a cute cottage feel.

O’Connor has worked magic with the interior—this is a 1959 home that has vintage charm, but feels modern and livable. The open floorplan makes the front rooms flow into one enormous, welcoming space.

“We changed almost every room in the house in one way or another— the way it was originally set up, we could see the potential for entertaining, but had a tiny galley kitchen,” O’Connor said. “We gutted the kitchen and opened it up and made it one big entertaining area. [Our renos were] centered around common living spaces.”

The backyard is big with a nice patio off the kitchen with a hot tub, and previous owners converted the garage into a bonus room. (This could be a negative for people who want a garage, but it sure makes for more space!)

It was listed March 7 by Kevin Caskey with Dallas City Center Realtors $348,500.

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Kevin Caskey Nathan Grace

Well, it’s going to be an interesting evening at MetroTex Association of Realtor’s Awards and Installation bash Wednesday night. For maybe the first time ever, two brokers from the same firm are vying for Metrotex Broker of the Year…

That would be Russell Berry and Kevin Caskey, two of three finalists, and both with Nathan Grace.

That’s right, Nathan Grace. On Monday, Kevin left Dallas City Center Realtors, where he had worked for 15 years, running the place for seven, longer than any other manager.

He has moved over to Nathan Grace as the firm’s Area Director. Kevin will manage Park Cities, Lake Highlands and Richardson, basically everything Dallas County. His business partner, Bill Clarkson moved with him.

“Nathan Grace has grown so fast in this market,” says Kevin,”already six offices plus corporate, that kind of growth is pretty impressive.”

While he loved City Center, Kevin says he sees so much more opportunity for growth with Nathan Grace.

“It was time to see what is out there,” says Kevin. “because the business is changing so quickly. We were very busy, but not really growing. Nathan Grace is also very technology forward, which is going to be an even bigger component of our business going forward. The changes are coming, and we need to be prepared.”

Brokers are always reaching out to top agents, says Kevin, and he has been getting offers to move for year, but never considered a one until now.

“Every week, Nathan Grace has a “Live from Sherry Lane” Facebook feed show for all the agents, it’s a fun, upbeat atmosphere, welcoming and comfortable, not stuffy.”

Aside from Bill, Kevin comes to NG alone as he has a non-compete with Dallas City Center.

But that, he says, is not keeping his phone very silent.

 

10930 Listi a

Creekside living on a beautiful lot usually comes at a hefty price. But our Tuesday Two Hundred is a budget-friendly find with a secluded feel.

Located at 10930 Listi Dr. in Lake Highlands, this home offers great outdoor living options, with a wraparound deck and a quiet, peaceful setting. The interior features open living and dining areas, a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace, hardwood floors, and a downstairs master.

This home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,629 square feet on two stories, built in 1980. Bonus: it’s in the attendance zone for Wallace Elementary, a family favorite in East Dallas.

This home was just listed Saturday, so let’s take a look before it gets snatched up!

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10548-wyatt-st-dallas-tx-MLS-1

Lochwood is lousy with adorable 1960s ranches, midcentury traditionals, soft contemporaries, and midcentury moderns, so it’s a favorable neighborhood for flippers with flair. Pytcher Homes, the same firm that reimagined a stuffy Old Lake Highlands ranch into a luxe and livable home, is building quite the portfolio. This Lochwood traditional, marketed by Kevin Caskey and Bill Clarkson at Dallas City Center Realtors, is just the latest home run for this company.

10548-wyatt-st-dallas-tx-MLS-3

Pytcher Homes was able to transform this home into a beautiful nest that, with its tasteful transitional design and open floor plan, will work for most any family looking to take advantage of this increasingly upwardly mobile area. Lochwood has a very tight-knit feel, thanks to its active neighborhood association, proximity to White Rock Lake, and the families who are doubling down on the neighborhood schools.

These are all ingredients for increases in property values, but when looking to flip in an established neighborhood, it’s important to hit the right balance of style, space, and amenities. This home is pretty as a picture from the curb thanks to the adorable color on the front door, but inside, it’s so much more.

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kitchen upgrades

This is the fourth installment of an occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re looking at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects. You can read the last one about adding new insulation here.  

Kitchen renovations are a big deal on popular media—there’s hardly a home improvement show that doesn’t glorify the tearing apart and putting back together of a kitchen.

This is probably for good reason. The kitchen is the heart of the home and updating it can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a house.

But is it worth it? The headache and expense? Fully 35 percent of U.S. homeowners would rather move to another home than remodel their current home, according to the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

It depends on the reason for renovating, says Harrison Polsky, a Realtor with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Doing renovations can either do nothing for the seller, benefit the seller, or even hurt the seller—there honestly isn’t a right or wrong answer—think about how many spec homes are still on the market,” Polsky said. “When you start to speculate what buyers want, your risk increases. However, some buyers can’t see past an outdated kitchen and can’t get a construction loan to do the work.”

No matter the reason, though, the return on investment (ROI) for kitchen renovations is more than two-thirds the investment. Jump to learn more!

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Old Lake Highlands Home for Sale | Candy's Dirt

“Spacious” and “bright” are the keywords for our Friday Five Hundred, a totally renovated Ranch located in Old Lake Highlands at 10743 Lanett Cir.

Sitting on over half an acre, this property has the feel of an estate. It’s on a horseshoe street in the interior of the Mediterranean Gardens neighborhood, so it’s private. And with all the mature shade trees and established landscaping, it got “urban retreat” written all over it.

This property has four bedrooms with two master suites, three full bathrooms, one half bath, and 2,626 square feet on one story, built in 1964. The developer is Pytcher Homes, a residential real estate company based in North Texas specializing in renovated properties, and they’ve done a marvelous job. From the open floorplan and hand-scraped hardwoods, to a spa-like master bathroom with a frameless glass shower with body jets.

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2421 Springhill a

Our Thursday Three Hundred is the home of entrepreneur Rachel O’Connor and her young family. O’Connor is the founder and owner of Party Made Pretty, and she creates all kinds of paper decorations, garlands, and banners.

Rachel O’Connor and family

Rachel O’Connor and family hate to leave their Casa Linda cottage, but her home-based business is booming and she needs a big studio

Party Made Pretty booming—she’s now filling more than 400 orders a month and her home-based business is busting at the seams. So she, her husband, 18-month-old daughter, and adorable, chubby dog need to move somewhere with a larger dedicated studio space.

Which brings us to their awesome house at 2421 Springhill Dr. near Ferguson Road and Lakeland Drive in East Dallas’ Casa Linda Forest. It would be hard to leave this place, a 3-2 with 2,220 square feet—large for the neighborhood, up on a hill with mature trees and a cute cottage feel.

O’Connor has worked magic with the interior—this is a 1959 home that has vintage charm, but feels modern and livable. The open floorplan makes the front rooms flow into one enormous, welcoming space.

“We changed almost every room in the house in one way or another— the way it was originally set up, we could see the potential for entertaining, but had a tiny galley kitchen,” O’Connor said. “We gutted the kitchen and opened it up and made it one big entertaining area. [Our renos were] centered around common living spaces.”

The backyard is big with a nice patio off the kitchen with a hot tub, and previous owners converted the garage into a bonus room. (This could be a negative for people who want a garage, but it sure makes for more space!)

It was listed March 7 by Kevin Caskey with Dallas City Center Realtors $348,500.

(more…)