03/26/19 9:55am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Buyers and sellers aren’t the only victims of real estate scams and crimes. Realtors are also a favorite target of crooks, criminals, and other shady types.

Due to the nature of the real estate business, agents naturally come in contact and work with strangers on a regular basis. Most real estate deals involve big ticket transactions and that adds to the risk of dealing with unfamiliar people.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve highlights a few scams aimed at buyers and sellers. Realtors often get caught in the web of these deceptions as well. They just add to crimes that focus on these professionals.

After quizzing a few Realtors, here are just some of the scams going around lately:

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03/26/19 9:45am

Casa ViewFinding a home in the more affordable $200,000 range can be more difficult in Dallas in this market, and while — thankfully — good elementary schools and feeder patterns are much easier to find these days, finding the two in the same house can still be a reach sometimes. But this adorable Casa View Midcentury cottage is that unicorn.

Casa View is one of the view remaining enclaves in Dallas where you can still find move-in ready homes at a reasonable price point. And Realtor Jason Castro of Castro Property Group knows this — because he bought this home at 1821 Tisinger Ave. as a personal remodeling project.

“I think Casa View is kind of one of the last of those neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s just primed for a little reinvestment and a little redevelopment, and still have you know affordable housing in the city.”

“I think that’s the challenge —  I do most my business in East Dallas, and when you start looking at Lakewood and other neighborhoods that are so overpriced, where do you go when you need a starter home?”

“Where do you go if you’re new in the workforce and want to find something around $200,000 to $300,000?” he said. “There’s really not a lot of options.” (more…)

03/26/19 9:30am
First MCM in Ridglea Hills? Apparently

According to stories, 4415 Tamworth Rd. was the first Midcentury Modern home built in Ridglea Hills. 

First, let’s be honest — we love winners. Whether it’s the first place ribbon you got for the egg toss in second grade or picking the Final Four correctly, we love being first!

How about the opportunity to own the first ever Midcentury Modern home built in the glorious neighborhood of Ridglea Hills in Fort Worth?

According to stories, the first Midcentury Modern home was built in 1960 at 4415 Tamworth Road, and is the subject of today’s Tarrant County Tuesday column.

Kitchen of 4415 Tamworth has been recently updated

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03/26/19 9:00am

We’ve all seen one of these “leg parties” from the street

First I came for your kitchen, now I’m coming for your garage.

I’ve noticed a trend over the past year at the Oak Lawn Committee – applicants seeking less parking than is required by the PD-193 ordinance. A hotel will be seeking half of the parking required, and an office building cutting a third. Each one makes the case that less car use equates to less garage space needed. Even outside the city core, the Preston Road and Northwest Highway task force meetings were presented with multiple traffic studies which showed that intersection’s traffic had been decreasing for nearly 20 years.

Outside Dallas, I’ve also read this past week of projects in urban Chicago where heart-stoppingly few parking spaces are being proposed in new residential projects. A mixed hotel-condo project with 280 hotel rooms and 290 condos would offer just 26 parking spaces. Another 39-story, 368-unit residential tower proposed 158 parking spaces while an 11-story, 102-unit building would have just 31 spaces – each a far cry from the expected two spaces per unit minimum. For Dallasites, these projects are heart-stopping because unlike Dallas, Chicago has a robust public transportation system in addition to ride-sharing services. Many municipalities are taking notice and updating parking minimums.

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03/25/19 1:24pm

Staff Reports

After 20 years serving the North Texas real estate community, multiple sources have confirmed that Virginia Cook Realtors will close for business on April 15. The brokerage, which has five offices throughout the region, is helmed by its eponymous founder and executive officer Sheila Rice. David Griffin & Company Realtors, formerly a brand of Virginia Cook, separated more than a week ago. 

According to one source, the brokerage has just 67 homes on market priced between $3 million to $7 million, with only one sold since the beginning of 2019. We have reached out to multiple representatives with Virginia Cook for an official statement and have not received a call back. There’s no word on where exiting agents with the brokerage will land.

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03/25/19 11:05am

From Staff Reports

Ebby Halliday Realtors has appointed Betsy Cameron sales manager of its Ebby’s Little White House office. Chris Kelly, president and chief executive officer, recently made the announcement.

“A fourth-generation Dallasite with 15 years of real estate experience, Betsy brings proven leadership skills and industry expertise to our iconic Little White House Office at the corner of Northwest Highway and Preston Road,” Kelly says. “A natural teacher and mentor who has led other well-known local sales offices, we are very pleased that she has chosen to grow her real estate career with the Ebby Halliday Companies.”

Cameron is passionate about the residential real estate business and the professional relationships that she is privileged to enjoy.

“I am very relationship-driven,” Cameron says. “Relationships are at the heart of real estate, and I am excited about supporting and serving our Little White House agents. The most important thing for me is to understand how each operates so I can better serve them.”

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03/25/19 9:55am

Modernist Masterpiece

I got a bit giddy when I came across this Highland Park Modernist masterpiece designed by the legendary Bud Oglesby. As I go in search of a home for our Monday Morning Millionaire each week, I try to find something that is not only in the ultra-luxury price range but also has a story to tell.

Dallas has some of the finest residential architecture in the world. That fact often makes me pause and wonder why buyers so often settle for the mundane white box when there are homes like this Modernist masterpiece for sale. Architect-designed homes are timeless. Sure, you may need to update a bathroom or a kitchen, but you should do that on any house over 10 years old.

An architect-designed house is going to last forever, if — and that is a big if — there is a buyer that understands and values that home. It takes a certain level of taste, experience, and intelligence to appreciate a marvelous Modernist masterpiece. Fortunately, this is Dallas, and we have a lot of tasteful, intelligent buyers.

This Modernist masterpiece at 3709 Lexington Avenue was built for the Deals, who were patrons of the Dallas Museum of Art. It is widely believed to be the last residence Oglesby designed. In the 1993 Dallas Morning News obituary for Oglesby, architecture critic, David Dillon wrote the following:

“Honesty in materials, simplicity of form, sensitivity to place, this was the Oglesby canon, and it changed very little over the years.”

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03/25/19 9:45am

A recent report from Owners.com , a tech-driven real estate brokerage, found that Dallas/Fort Worth was among the top 10 markets nationwide for career-focused single women to live. The analysis was based on a variety of factors, including the percentage of single female homeowners, female median earnings, and female unemployment rate. The Metroplex has some unique factors that make it a great place for single professional women looking to buy a home. (more…)