ribbon cutting

Ribbon Cutting for the new playground at Griggs Park. Nolan Marshall stands with Katy Slade, Philip Kingston, Paul Simms and his daughter.

“Griggs Park is one of the features that makes Uptown more sustainable. Uptown has a tendency to over-invest in private infrastructure and under-invest in public infrastructure,”noted District 14 Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston at the Tuesday ribbon cutting of Griggs Park’s new playground. “This will soften the hard edges that tend to be created in high-density neighborhoods.” 

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Lombardy lane ArlingtonDid your parents help you buy your first house? I know that down payment money is not supposed to be “borrowed,” but it can be a cash gift.

Of course, with a Fannie Mae loan, you can put down as little as 3 percent for a down payment, but there are strict limits on the prices of properties.  I think this cute $165,000 1950s ranch in Westwood, Arlington would work. The giant mortgage service company that is publicly traded but also quasi owned by the Federal government went on a quest to find out what kind of assistance young adults get from their parents, and how that assistance impacts their likelihood of buying a home.

We are all bemoaning the drop in homeownership among young adults: since the Real Estate bust, homeownership rates of households headed by 25- to 34-year-olds has fallen by nearly 10 percent, to 36.9 percent in 2014, when it was almost 46 percent in 2006.Lombardy lane Arlington.jpg kitchen

Of course, 2006 was the era of easy peasy money, no income documentation loans, etc. It clearly helped young home buyers.

So do kids buy more real estate if mom and dad make it easier to get a loan because they help with the down payment?

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6934 Hammond ext

6934 Hammond Ave. $869,000

Is Dallas becoming LA?

We have been harping on this for quite some time, but now the mainstream media seems to have taken a whiff of real estate smelling salts. First-time homebuyers (who don’t get lump sum down payment help from Mom and Dad) are out of luck finding affordable homes and will continue to be out of luck, maybe forever.

More Millennials are buying homes, but are you prepared to serve them?

More Millennials are buying homes, but are you prepared to serve them?

Millennials may not have been homebuyers in the past, but it seems they’re quickly coming around to the idea – especially if you look at recent stats.

In fact, according to comScore data, 65 percent of Millennials looked at real estate sites or apps in August alone. The reason? For some, it was income increases, for others it was rising rents, great interest rates, and just general unhappiness in their current living situation.

Whatever the cause, it seems Millennials are ready to buy – if only they can find the time to look, the right property and the money for a down payment.

But while they deal with those hurdles, it’s time for the industry – real estate agents in particular – to start preparing for their arrival. Millennials aren’t like the buyers of the past, and they won’t be happy with the traditional hassles of the homebuying process. If you want to please this generation, it’s time to make some changes.

Have a Millennial buyer? Want to make sure you please them? Here are four ways to get it done:

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One of the current listing on Airbnb in downtown Dallas offers this nighttime view. Photo: Airbnb

One of the current listing on Airbnb in downtown Dallas offers this view for $72 per night. All photos: Airbnb

“Try before you buy” is a hard concept to implement in the world of real estate. But a new partnership between Airbnb and realtor.com aims to do just that for potential homebuyers, letting them experience a specific neighborhood before purchasing there.

The partnership is particularly focused on millennials, who now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, recently taking over from Generation X. This age cohort, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, is about 79 million strong, and their purchasing power is estimated to be $170 billion per year.

The Airbnb-realtor.com partnership aims to reduce some of the unknown factors associated with relocating to a new community. Here’s how it will work: Visitors to realtor.com will see an “Airbnb before buying” option for certain properties, and the choice will also appear on the homepage and on for-sale listing pages. Potential buyers will be able to book accommodations on Airbnb ranging from single-family homes to condos, lofts, and other properties located near their chosen neighborhood.

“As we offer a variety of unique accommodations in neighborhoods across the country, we’ll be able to allow potential home owners the special opportunity to experience those neighborhoods as if they already live there,” said Chip Conley, Airbnb head of global hospitality and strategy.

Millennials are extremely technology-driven in their home-buying efforts, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. This partnership plays perfectly into that, allowing them to make all arrangements online.

“I think it’s brilliant—this could give [millennials] a taste of a neighborhood and change them from renter to buyers,” said Jay Forrester, a Realtor with Ebby Halliday Preston Center.

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5 Unexpected Facts About Millennial Homebuyers

Photo: Francisco Osorio via Creative Commons

There are about 79 million millennials in the U.S., and their purchasing power is estimated to be $170 billion per year. This powerful demographic, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represents the largest group of homebuyers at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X.

But when it comes to millennial homebuyer behavior, it can be difficult to distinguish fact vs. fiction. We looked at information from a recent Pardee Homes and BUILDER survey, information from realtor.com, and the National Association of Realtors to cut through the noise.

millennial homebuyers

Photo: National Association of Realtors

We know that millennial homebuying behavior is different than older generations, like texting vs. calling when contacting their Realtors and extensive use of real estate apps to do their research (be sure to check out our blog post, 6 Ways Millennials Are Changing Real Estate Business for Everyone, to get the full breakdown.)

But what are the specific preferences of this new breed of homebuyer? Read on for 5 unexpected facts about millennial homebuyers and what they want in their home.

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This completely renovated townhome with an awesome deck at 4419 Holland Avenue would be the perfect home for a Generation Y buyer.

“Listing online leaves lasting impressions,” recited Bryan Crawford. He’s a young but knowledgeable agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s. He and his wife, Amanda, know how to get the attention of Dallas’ newest generation of homebuyers.

Generation Y, which stretches from the late ’70s through the ’80s, are often serial renters who are more likely to look online for their first home than anywhere else. So, how do you make homeownership more attractive than renting?

First, says Crawford, sellers should stage their homes, because, with Generation Y, you can’t sacrifice the first impression. He advises clients to spruce their homes up, even if they have a limited budget.

“We tell sellers the best way to spend their money,” Crawford adds, “because staging makes homes look better and sell faster.”

Hiring a photographer helps, too. The Crawfords hire only the best for their listings, such as photographers that find their work in Architectural Digest!

Beyond that, it’s mostly personal taste. Millennials want fewer formals and better functioning living and kitchen areas. They want things to feel new, and they don’t want to do any repairs. They’re drawn to certain areas, too, Briggs Freeman’s Sam Sawyer said. Uptown is popular, as well as the M Streets, Devonshire, Oak Cliff, and the White Rock Lake area.

“They’re looking for things they didn’t have when they were living in an apartment,” Crawford said. That includes lawns and outdoor spaces, as well as covered parking.

According to Sawyer, Generation Y is looking for amenities and community. “It seems like people are getting away from buying a bigger house and commuting,” he said.

Still, renting remains attractive to much of Generation Y thanks to an uncertain job market. Sawyer said some of his friends prefer to rent because they don’t know if they’ll move to New York, or Washington, D.C., or even back to the nest with their parents.

What they may not realize is that homeownership doesn’t have to cost a whole lot. For instance, some Gen Y-ers may spend between $1,000 and $1,500 a month to live in a prime location like downtown, West Village, Uptown, and Knox-Henderson.

In Lake Highlands and Lakewood, a 2,000-square-foot house can cost the same as their monthly rent payment, plus or minus $200.

“And there are no neighbors banging on the walls, no loud parties, and you have a parking spot, too,” Crawford said.

Sounds perfect to me!