Articles by

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...

11/14/18 9:30am

Tulip Lane

You know how excited we are about Hawkins-Welwood Homes. We have raved about this builder’s high-quality craft up in the Lawns of Glen Abbey, the amenity spaces at The McKenzie, and just about every home the company has so carefully constructed in Preston Hollow and beyond.

And now, to help you get a jump on your holiday shopping — yes, it’s about that time — Hawkins-Welwood Homes has partnered with Collective Thirty-One to host their First Annual Holiday Market on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6474 Tulip Lane.

Collective Thirty-One is a group of female owned and operated lines and companies that create beautiful, tasteful designs in just about everything from Cover Swim to Mi Golondrina. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Best of all, you can sip hot coffee and tour Hawkins-Welwood’s beautiful custom spec home in Preston Hollow! Please mark your calendars, RSVP below, and invite all your friends, families, and clients!

This custom-built home offers transitional finish-outs and a wide-open floorplan in 8,387 delicious square feet. I love that the home is smooth white brick, the latest trend in transitional exteriors (you can see the floorplan here).


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11/13/18 10:00pm

Photo courtesy Rosewood Corp./David Woo, Illustration by CandysDirt.com

Caroline Rose Hunt, oil heiress, daughter of legendary oil wildcatter H.L. Hunt, and the woman who pioneered Uptown in Dallas, has died at age 95. She was a Dallas-based philanthropist, hotelier, author, real estate investor, world traveler, gourmet, entrepreneur, mother of five, grandmother of 19 and great-grandmother of 23.

Caroline Rose Hunt was also once the richest woman in America.

She died Tuesday night after suffering a stroke on Halloween, Oct. 31. Our thoughts and hearts are with her family.

“My mother changed the complexion of the city,” said her only daughter, Laurie Harrison. “She bought land in an area that nobody wanted to be in and created The Mansion on Turtle Creek. She took something that was historical and made it useful and beautiful. She took 13 acres that was a car lot and created The Crescent — one of the most beautiful Philip Johnson buildings in America. My mother lived three or four lifetimes in one. She was something else.”

That she was. Caroline Rose Hunt was one of the most important women in Dallas real estate. If her father, H.L. Hunt, had a capacity for finding oil, Caroline Hunt knew how to find dirt and make it sing. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for a story I wrote in 2010 on the Crescent’s 25th anniversary. (more…)

11/13/18 2:00pm
Wade Parker
If you have always wanted to see an estate built without regard to budget, I mean truly no expense spared, oh boy we have one for you: 3509 Euclid, listed with Vicki White of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
And with $22 million poured into it, this mansion is now the biggest bargain in Texas with its new, “sell me, sell me!” listing price.
Consider: more than 18,000 square feet. Underground parking for at least 10 (which makes valet car retrieval very easy in case of a storm). Seven to nine bedrooms, a master suite that is larger than most homes at 2638 square feet, putting green, golf simulator, outdoor kitchen, the most perfect pool environment, and the most sought after location in Highland Park.

There is even a remote back entry gate (with separate remote exit gate) leading to a large motor court that could double as a sports court: summer camp right in your backyard.

Beautifully positioned on close to an acre in the most prestigious corner of Highland Park, the owners of this meticulously crafted estate commissioned three of the most esteemed professionals in Texas to make it a home nirvana: Architect Robbie Fusch (need we say more?), master builder John Sebastian, and our very own landscape guru Harold Leidner created a landscape plan that rivals the most beautiful resort landscaping you have ever seen.
Who was the owner? Wade Neal Barker, a Mesquite bariatric surgeon who pleaded guilty to his role in a $200 million health care fraud deal involving the now defunct Forest Park Medical Center on North Central just north of Forest Lane, of which he was a co-founder.

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11/13/18 12:08pm

If Ebby could have flown down and hand-picked a charming, intelligent, engaging millennial to lead her company into the 22nd century, or what Thomas Friedman calls the “Age of Acceleration,” I have no doubt she would have picked Chris Kelly.

I had a chance to sit down and grill Chris last week, and even with my horse bucking-sore behind, I was glued to my seat listening, learning his background, vast experience, and take on the reality of selling real estate in a highly competitive, digital world where the full value real estate model is being chipped away by so many different entities. Who are they? Entities that sure did not exist when Ebby started the firm: the i-buyers, the 100 percent real estate commission crowd, and the disruptors who want to pack the entire real estate transaction into one easy online click. 

Click this: don’t forget that when Ebby Halliday started selling real estate, those cinder block homes in northwest Dallas, she was a disruptor herself!

But Ebby Halliday, now folded into the core of Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America, is the largest real estate company in Texas by sales volume, the twelfth largest in the country, and controls a huge chunk of the local real estate market with Ebby Halliday, Dave Perry-Miller, and Williams Trew in Fort Worth. The company sold more than $8 billion in real estate last year. Ebby left the company she created to her closest friends and family to nurture, so it had to be a very special person stepping into the president’s office at the company’s Sigma Road headquarters in North Dallas.

 

Even more telling: Chris Kelly is not settling into anyone’s old office. He is moving into the space just behind the reception desk at corporate. He doesn’t plan to be sitting in his office all day: Chris is mobile, spends a great deal of time outside of his office zipping between Ebby’s branch offices.

Three take-away zingers told me that Chris, the first attorney and first outsider to lead this company, is not just the right man for the job, he is the perfect man

“I serve the agents, so the agents can serve their clients,” said Chris, ” that’s my most important role.”

And, 

“Competition? It’s good for you — competition gives you the chance to sharpen your own tools…”

And,

“We have to understand that in Real Estate, there is now no Sears or J.C. Penney’s anymore, no middle of the road. There is either discount service or Neiman Marcus, and the Ebby Halliday Companies are the Neiman Marcus of Real Estate in North Texas. Especially now that the company has the power of HomeServices of America backing it with the vast, cumulative experience of so many similar brands. We no longer have to re-invent the wheel.” Jump for the video…

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11/13/18 9:55am
Bella Custom Homes

4926 Deloache Avenue built by Bella Custom Homes

When the venerable Dallas builder Tony Visconti says a home is well-built, you better believe it’s top-notch, hands-down, best-materials-that-money-can-buy kind of quality, and that’s clearly true with this $14 million Deloache Avenue estate built by Bella Custom Homes.

CandysDirt.com has been following this exquisite Italian Mediterranean estate at 4926 Deloache Avenue in old Preston Hollow for sheer fascination of the build quality and architectural perfection. The home flawlessly embraces traditional classic architectural elements with transitional styling and modern essentials, all the elements that modern buyers of luxury real estate want. Listed at $13.95 million, this sprawling 1.645-acre estate clocks in at 14,179 square feet with seven bedrooms, eight full baths and five half baths, including a pool bath outside.

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11/01/18 3:02pm

When Dallas architect Allan Ross conceptualized Bentley Place in Greenway Parks, he designed the eight-villa luxury development with at least one specific type of home buyer in mind: downsizers.

At last month’s CandysDirt.com Staff Party, we gabbed with the noted architect about a mind-boggling virtual reality tour of Bentley Place (seriously, mind-boggling!) and discussed some of the trends in new downsizing properties. Ross, principal of Waal Architecture, is an accomplished creator with four decades of experience in the design, development, and construction of award-winning projects for private sector clients throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean, North Africa, and the UAE.

We tapped into that brilliant mind of his to share the most sought-after features that downsizing homeowners are looking for in a smaller home:

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10/30/18 6:10pm

Farmers Branch

There is a very nasty political battle going on for Texas House District 115 — which covers Addison, Coppell, Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Irving. And part of that battle involves real estate.

Matt Rinaldi, incumbent

Republican incumbent Matt Rinaldi has a Democratic challenger, Julie Johnson. The two are facing off in what is being called one of the most heated Texas House races in northwest Dallas County.

Aside from many issues, Johnson chiefly doesn’t like the way Rinaldi behaved on the last day of the 2017 session, when protesters carrying pro-immigrant posters demonstrated against the sanctuary cities ban passed by the legislature and highly favored by Rinaldi. She says he is divisive. According to some lawmakers, Rinaldi walked over to Ramon Romero of Fort Worth and Poncho Nevárez of Eagle Pass, both Democrats, and told them he had called ICE on the protesters. An altercation between Nevárez and Rinaldi followed. Rinaldi’s admits to calling immigration authorities on people who were protesting in the House gallery and to threatening a fellow House member, but said he did not in any way start the fracas and whatever he did was to defend himself and his then-pregnant wife, who was also at the Capitol.

Julie Johnson, challenger

Rinaldi is questioning Johnson’s legal residency in the district, and she, his. Johnson, a Democrat, is believed by political observers to have moved into the district chiefly to run against Rinaldi. She says in a TV political debate on WFAA-TV she is living in an apartment in Addison, which Rinaldi doesn’t buy:

“Nobody believes Ms. Johnson lives in her little apartment in Addison and not her $1.7 million [home] in Preston Hollow,” Rinaldi said.  On the campaign trail, Johnson has said she is living in Addison. But Rinaldi pointed to a homestead exemption on a $1.7 million home outside the district.

But Johnson has told The Dallas Morning News, who endorsed her over incumbent Rinaldi, the $1.7  homestead exemption was for 2017 property taxes.

She has since bought a home in Farmers Branch, which she has torn down, at 3441 Golfing Green Drive, a few homes down from Brookhaven Country Club. Ms. Johnson and her partner are in the process of building a new home on the now-razed property. And it’s all public record on DCAD.

But while I was researching a story on the Farmers Branch demo/rebuild program, whereby the city offers homeowners and builders a graduated cash grant and tax incentives to tear down old homes and build new higher valued real estate, I wondered if perhaps Ms. Johnson was participating in the city’s program.

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10/29/18 9:55am

Did you know that Farmers Branch will actually pay you to tear down a home and rebuild?

When you are building a home, an extra $30,000 comes in handy, right? Very handy. That could cover carpet, extra landscaping, or your new decked-out refrigerator.

And $30,000 is about how much the City of Farmers Branch will pay — yes, I said PAY —  homeowners who buy the city’s aged housing stock, tear it down, and build anew through the city’s unique Demo/Rebuild program. The city offers a cash grant that is based on the value of the home you tear down; the grant edges higher for less expensive homes). Farmers Branch will also offer a discount on property taxes for a certain length of time, depending on how much the difference is between the two homes’ property tax appraisal. It’s really a taxpayer’s dream: an incentive program that actually puts taxpayer dollars back into the hands — and homes — of taxpayers. (more…)