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The Best Kept Real Estate Secret in North Texas: Farmers Branch

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What if I told you about a splash of dirt that was just north of LBJ near Marsh Lane, verdantly green, faces an idyllic lake with a bridge where the kids can fish, ducks can prance, a weekend Farmer’s Market is within walking distance, and your taxes are among the lowest in Texas?

Oh and the neighbors are terrific!

Dallas Home builder Bob Hoebeke looked all over north Texas literally — Richardson, Plano, Frisco — until he made his discovery in Farmers Branch.

“I devised a route,” he told me, “I drove all over tarnation looking for lots. When you reach a certain age, and you semi-retire, you don’t need expenses (TAXES, high energy bills) to swallow a huge portion of your income — you need your income for fun. But still, you want your dirt for the grandkids. And if you play golf, Brookhaven Country Club is just down the street.”

Bob turned right on Bee Street, and found Danny Lane. There sat an old white farmhouse on two lots. It was acreage. It had trees. It had a lake across the street. Bingo. In 24 hours he had it under contract to buy. Two other pieces of adjoining property pushed back to Leta Mae Lane so he created a two acre spread that will hold five lots of about .25 acre each, ultimately five homes, all developed by Hoebeke Properties.

 

Bob and his wife, Molly, get the center lot. They are downsizing from a 5,500-plus square foot home and want a place they can age in, comfortably, but still be hospitable to their kids and grandchildren. And the homes, like all the ones Hoebeke Builders  builds, will feature the highest energy-saving tricks in the trade, from solid building to gorgeous interiors and air-tight insulation. 

It will be like living in a Yeti ice chest, says Bob.

“We are building a 3,850 square foot house, perfect size for us, ” says the long-time custom home builder who has built sprawling palaces for CEO’s and celebrities as far north as the Red River, as far south as the Grand Cayman Islands.

And wait ’til I tell you how much these lots will cost: they start at about $210,000 each. You can practically charge them. Just two miles south, quarter acre lots are trading for north of $350,000.

The architectural style the couple have planned is a “Low-country Carolina”: big front porch, dormers, big windows, one great room, enormous kitchen with a center island, an office for Bob and something he has always wanted: a cooking porch where he can smoke meats and grill to his hearts’ content.

“Most of the living will be on the first floor,” says Bob, “there’s a guest room and a bunk room upstairs. I am putting a shop in our home, but obviously people can design it any way they want.”

He just wants to keep the feel of the low-country Carolina ease, decent setbacks, and great site planning to maximize the terrific views.

“This part of Farmers Branch is the best-kept real estate secret in Dallas,”says Bob. “635 and 35 are your crossroads, and you are literally 15 minutes from everywhere.”

Working with the city of Farmers Branch has been pure pleasure, says Bob, and he completed entitlements and the necessary land prep to comply with city code. If he hit a roadblock, the city was quick to help find a solution.

The dirt is turning, and plans are drawn. Over at Hoebeke Properties, millennials are paying attention, but most of the calls are coming from empty-nester couples like Bob and Molly.

“It is so hard to find raw land – took  me several years!” says Bob. “While others have already started the community re-development process, Farmer’s Branch has taken such pride in creating gorgeous parks and playgrounds, the City’s life enhancing amenities will make this the next great place to live in the Metroplex!”  

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Candy Evans

Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters, bloggers and consultants. She reports on Dallas real estate for WFAA-TV’s Daybreak with Ron Corning, and is frequently called as a real estate expert by other Dallas media. She is also a real-estate editor for CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, the Katy Trail Weekly and the White Rock Weekly. She even has her own web-based Real Estate show called, The Party Line. Candy has written for AOL Real Estate, and is a guest blogger for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News plus a host of national sites. Candy was a longtime contributing editor to Dallas’ D Magazine and sister pubs, and in 2007 founded the wildly successful Dallas real estate blog, DallasDirt. That’s where she broke the news on where former president George W. Bush bought his Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of an exciting platform of Dallas-based real estate sites including SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market, and her signature CandysDirt.com, everything you need to know about real estate in North Texas. And yes, we are still psyched about the GOLD! In 2013, CandysDirt.com was named Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations, and the only association for journalists covering real estate, home and urban design. We snatched silver in 2015, and who knows what 2016 brings...

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