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...

06/24/19 9:00am

 

There is a lot of talk to sort through when it comes to “disruptors” in the real estate industry, including the focus on technology and alternative listing models, such as flat-fee listings and or iBuyer sales.

But that’s not where the real disruption is happening — those are just strategies, says Andy Bearden, founder of the Insight Realty Network. The real disruption the industry faces is the seismic shift in the relationship between brokers and producers.

Andy Bearden

Experienced agents are becoming more demanding of value and will not tolerate a broker that cannot deliver simple things like a returned phone call or timely payments. They want brokers who are business partners and are committed to helping them build a solid business. A broker that will help them build wealth so their family can thrive and they can give back to their community.

“I find it funny that some brokerages teach that the key to wealth building for agents is to help the brokerage to recruit,” Bearden said. “The key to wealth building is to get your personal finances in order, run your business like a business, and invest in real estate.”   

Insight helps on all three fronts with the tools, education, and encouragement people need to finally earn what they are worth.  “And we return every call by the end of the day,” said Bearden.

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06/24/19 8:00am

Disruption is hitting the real estate industry more than other industries, and at a faster rate, or so it seems to those of us who watch the daily, sometimes hourly, changes from our North Texas perches. Speaking of Perch, there are iBuyers looming on the horizon — even mainstream media is starting to pay attention. That big, hairy-scary class-action “bombshell” lawsuit,  the one that could upend the U.S. real estate industry by forcing changes in how buyer’s agents are compensated (negotiate commission between buyer and agent individually, not dictate the commission to be paid by the home seller) has been amended: more plaintiffs and defendants have been brought in, and the suit is now emphasizing the role commissions and MLS groups play in “steering buyers”, potentially raising costs for sellers. 

Executives and agents are migrating, leaving traditional brokerages, heading towards perceived greener pastures with brokers married to technology, but not necessarily married to an office. 100% commission split brokerages are thriving and rising, with Frisco-based JP and Associates Realtors® (JPAR) taking the charge. 

JP and Associates is excited to announce that Geoff Lewis is joining JPAR as President of Vesuvius Holdings, LLC. Vesuvius is the parent company of JP and Associates Realtors and JPAR Franchising.

Geoff Lewis was most recently President of RE/MAX Holdings, LLC. where he worked for thirteen years. Lewis retired from RE/MAX in early 2018. RE/MAX, with those familiar red signs, is considered the largest real estate brokerage in the world. It was founded in 1973 by David and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 115,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of over 100 countries and territories. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX as measured by total residential transaction sides, which led the company to a post-recession record high in U.S., Canadian and worldwide agent count (100,000+ agents in 100+ countries) and franchise sales. Geoff served on several several industry boards and is widely respected within the industry.

Geoff Lewis was instrumental as a member of the RE/MAX senior team in guiding the organization through a tumultuous 12 years.  He was a part of the team that repurchased almost a dozen regional privately owned master franchises, was a member of the team that guided the firm to its public offering and was important to the organization in so many other, less visible ways.  REAL Trends always found Geoff to be bright, engaging and thoughtful in our dealings with him.  Along with the RE/MAX family we wish Geoff only the very best in his future endeavors: Steve Murray, President, REAL Trends Inc.

Mr. Lewis was ranked in the top fifteen in the Swanepoel Power 200 list of industry leaders.

In citing his reasons for joining JPAR, Mr. Lewis stated: “our industry is ripe for disruption.”

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06/20/19 9:00am

CandysDirt.com founder and publisher, Candy Evans, with Zach and Aaron Ipour, brothers and founders of Megatel Homes.

Megatel Homes, one of North Texas’ most prolific homebuilders, is suing even more prolific Centurion American Development Group and Grapevine-based United Development Group, charging that the firms “conspired to take advantage of Megatel,” mostly by selling development properties to competing homebuilders. Megatel is seeking $100 million in damages.

If the names of these companies sound vaguely familiar, let me refresh: Megatel Homes builds houses, townhomes, and apartments, in 100 subdivisions or more all over North Texas. It is the same firm that entertained a tentful of agents with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Kevin O’Leary last May at an amazing and expensive promotional bash at Mercer Crossing, up near Cypress Waters and LBJ/635. And Mehrdad Moayedi was there, sitting with Megatel’s two co-founders and the celebrity guests.

 2500 real estate professionals, with full bar service and seated dinner. There was a huge white tent with a/c. Even the bathrooms were tip-top, those nice white trailers just like the ones at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance. There was a smattering of tip top producers, too, from Dave Perry-Miller’s Ryan Streif and Charles Gregory, who has already sold two homes in Mercer Crossing, ReMax Premiere’s Von Truong, Bryan Poche, Dallas City Center’s Lisa Marie Dyess-Richardson, the ubiquitous Jeff Lindigrin, and more. Donations were also raised for Guns and Hoses Foundation of North Texas.

Steve Brown wrote a nice two-brothers-from-Cypress profile on the firms’ brother-founders, Zach and Aaron Ipour. He pointed out that competitors criticize Megatel, saying it pays too much for some of its land, and question the firm’s long-term funding strength. The company, Steve reported, also builds more speculative homes than many of its competitors. (more…)

06/19/19 8:45am

The largest, and some might say most famous, estate in North Texas once known as Champ D’Or is officially now a wedding and events venue called Olana.

Yes, brides are now getting dressed in that master closet fashioned after the Chanel boutique in Paris.

And after Tuesday night’s town hall meeting in Hickory Creek, that wedding venue will be expanding. Walters Hospitality, the new owners since September of 2018, have been approved to forge ahead with plans to build more commercial spaces on the property — a two-building hotel and a restaurant.

The changes were not popular with a smattering of nearby property owners in the town of 4956.

Developers working with the new owners, Walters Hospitality, sought zoning changes from the township of Hickory Creek that would allow the additional buildings to expand the Olana into more of a destination venue.  Think conference center. It is already in use as a wedding venue, but recall the home, though 48,000 square feet, really did not have that many bedrooms to accommodate wedding guests. And when you are in Hickory Creek, there are not many hotel options for guests. So… (more…)

06/19/19 7:30am

Empty nesters retiring to the Park Cities? They love the renowned schools, but more couples are moving to the Park Cities after their children leave the nest of a large North Dallas/Preston Hollow or even Plano home for very specific reasons: security, lower taxes, walkability, and beautiful parks that someone else maintains.

When it comes to security, anyone who hears the news or owns a Ring knows Dallas has a big problem. In fact, we are on track for 228 murders this year. Not so the Park Cities, where you are never more than a mile away from a park. When it comes to schools, your home investment in the Park Cities is blue-chip safe because even though you may not need the higher-rated schools, the next buyer may.

Enter 3912 Windsor, marketed by Gretchen Brasch and Elly Holder of Compass. I swear this home is a brand new classic build. Actually, it’s about nine years old, which is really nothing for home age, and an immaculate custom-built, one-owner dream. I have seldom seen a home so lightly lived in (I wondered for a split second if it was a builder’s model!) and so transitionally contemporary without being a stark white stucco box. The architect, Paul Turney, wisely chose painted white brick, ahead of his design time — plus long, broad metal windows and French doors, upstairs balconies, and capped it with a metal roof. Downbursts be damned, that metal roof is hail-proof and going nowhere the next time 71 mph winds pack into our area.

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06/14/19 7:43am

Price reduced; price improved; new price; a gentler, kinder price; “priced to sell” (what home isn’t?); motivated seller, super motivated seller, uber motivated seller.

How about, “Seller will give you the house!”

It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it, starting with that surprise mini-tornado Sunday, and black-outs across Dallas since about 2 p.m. Sunday. 

If you were at an open-house Sunday when the storm hit, what did you do? I was at home and terrified. I had friends at Costco, where they pulled everyone inside and shut the metal doors, I had friends ON THE LAKE (holy high water), I had a husband on the Trinity River canoeing, 

I know many offices didn’t get power restored until Monday or even Tuesday. Our power in North Dallas, which was hit quite hard, came on Tuesday by noon but went out again the next night, several times. The Oncor guys are working up and down the street, some who came in from Illinois to help.

So we really don’t need any more bad news in Dallas, but I have been meaning to write this for awhile: how many ways can you say, “price reduced”?

Comes word from Fitch ratings that our market is overheated: (more…)

06/13/19 9:00am

On May 30, the City of Dallas made a pretty savvy auction sale of a city-owned lot, one of many across town, this one at 5639 Forest Lane which has been sitting idle for years, just east of the Dallas North Tollway.

The property failed to meet a minimum bid in January when (another) church wanted to buy it.

It’s kind of a sorry piece of property, history-wise, because the city bought it, probably paid too much for it, and then couldn’t do anything with it. The 150,702-square-foot, 3.45 acres are on the outskirts of Melshire Estates, where neighbors were bemoaning the chopping of a half-mile of trees along the Tollway by Oncor a few months back  — wonder how they feel about that now? Guess they don’t mind the house in foreclosure on Quincy one house in from Forest, though. 

11907 Quincy, listed for $448,000, is pending. Check out the potential, backs to Dallas North Tollway

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06/10/19 10:00am
fraud

Photo: GJ McCarthy

Editor’s Note: Due to yesterday’s incredible storm, much of the CandysDirt.com staff is without power. We’re re-running a couple of stories to help consumers avoid common scams and fraud schemes that always crop up after big storms.

I was thinking about this yesterday: with 500 plus homes needing repair in Rowlett, the scam artists will be making their way to Rowlett soon to rip off those who have already been ripped off by Mother Nature! Don’t let them! The Dallas Builder’s Association has come to the rescue offering tips and guidelines to help make sure the contractor not only gives you quality service but is scrupulous. In fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask any of the builders in this group for a first, second or third opinion. As you know, we have our CandysDirt.com Hot Builders, preferred home builders who we vet, know and trust. Any one of them can build us a house or put one back together. We here at CandysDirt.com will keep an ear to the ground, too, and are here for you for questions, help and suggestions.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dallas Builders Association Offers Guidance to Protect Residents from Further Damage Following North Texas Storms (more…)