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...

05/26/17 10:13am

Repair Pricer

We’re excited today to announce the launch of a new service for home buyers we feel has been seriously lacking in the marketplace for years. In fact, we would go so far as to say there has been a dire need for a solution to this problem since home inspection reports became widely used. We’re just happy someone finally came up with an answer!

So what are we talking about? When buying a new home, a home inspection report gives people invaluable information about the house or condo that they are considering purchasing. It can create leverage to get homeowners to fix certain problems and even lower the sales price.

But in cases where there are issues that need addressing, it’s normally not a good idea to have the home seller
complete repairs themselves as this can delay closing and also may require extra inspections. The best practice
is to make sure any repairs are done correctly under your supervision after closing, which means you need to
know exactly what those repairs will cost, so you can have the seller credit you that dollar amount.

This seems simple, until you realize you’ve now got to schedule multiple repair services to visit the property — hopefully all at the same time — and then wait for them to get you a bid back all before your option period expires. And sometimes even that isn’t possible; electricians for instance simply won’t come out without you paying a service fee. So all this ends up costing you, your agent and the seller considerable time and money, and there’s no definite answer at the end of it all.

Wouldn’t it just be easier if you could give your inspection report to someone and they could tell you with incredible accuracy what each item would cost to repair?

Enter RepairPricer.com.

This new online service aims to make it easier for everyone during the option period by taking any inspection report, running it through their proprietary pricing tool, and also having local contractors actually review every report for accuracy to give you an exact cost for each repair item on your report. Their service has been found to be 98 percent accurate when it comes to true repair cost, and this is the reason they are now accepted as the industry standard and are widely used by some of the largest and most successful inspection companies across the country.

“Our extensive database took a year and a half to create and we’re the only folks that can do this,” said Robert Tye, operations manager for Repair Pricer. “After receiving one of our reports, for the first time our clients are truly aware of what a house is really going to cost them. And if there are any serious issues with large ticket items like roofing or foundations, we even offer free onsite inspections. We are essentially trying to bring further transparency to the home buying process.”

Tye is offering CandysDirt.com readers a promo code for $10 off any Repair Pricer service – keep reading to get it! 

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By now you have called in to refill your Xanex Rx after learning that Zillow is not only democratizing the home buying process, it’s turning it into an Amazon-like experience. We knew this was coming.

The online real estate disruptor announced this week a pilot program for buying and selling homes online called “Zillow Instant Offers.”

The way it’s working now: if the seller chooses to use the “Instant Offer” program, they will also receive a comparative market analysis from a local real estate agent, free of charge. That can help them decide if they want to proceed with the sale, and it might even lead to a lead for the providing agent.

One might ask, why not use a “Zestimate”? I mean, Zestimates drive us all crazy, though I think, I hope, by now homeowners know it’s really a starting point, nowhere near the actual value. Last year Zillow announced they had significantly improved the accuracy of the Zestimate tool, and after all, they said, home is worth only what someone is willing to actually pay for it. I believe there are nuances in that phrase: interest in real estate spurs more looking, which in turn spurs more buying. But keep repeating the fake message enough and it becomes the truth!

Jon tells us Zillow is getting sued in Illinois over those Zestimates.

So it’s interesting that at this critical juncture, Zillow is looking to boots on the ground agents with knowledge of the market to back up their AVM. Maybe this is the mousetrap… (more…)

05/25/17 7:44am


We all know Californians are flocking to Texas, but have you ever heard of a political movement specifically bringing them our way?

On May 22, Conservative Move launched on social media and a conservative’s dream of finding like-minded neighbors was made: help relocate families out of liberal dens (usually on each coast) to conservative pockets across the heartland.

Conservative Move was started by Paul Chabot, a former US Congressional candidate from California, now living in McKinney. Paul is retired from law enforcement and runs a counter terrorism consulting firm while serving in the Navy Reserves at the rank of Commander. A frequent Fox News guest, he is married with four children. 

“My wife (Brenda) and I decided to leave California in January of this year,” he writes. “We wanted a better life for our four young children, and we found it in Texas. Our only regret was not doing it sooner. This “idea” was so simple – we just wanted to help families make the move like we did … and that’s where we can be of help to you.”

Sell your home, he urges fellow conservatives. Buy your new home. Live. Conservative Move is an initiative of Chabot Strategies, LLC – A Military Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. “

Apparently Conservative Move really likes Collin County, Texas.  

“Collin County is home to some of America’s best cities, including: McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Allen and many more,” says the website. But as they expand operations, the movement will add other counties across America.  

It’s also home to some crazy, possibly corrupt politics.

Oh and Conservative Move has anointed their own real estate agent for Collin County: Derek Baker, “who has been involved in Conservative Republican politics for more than 25-years, serving Senator Phil Gramm, Congressman Hensarling, then Governor and now Vice President Mike Pence.”

Stay tuned for more on this.

05/25/17 2:19am

4022 Puget Street listed for $89,000 in Roosevelt Manor, listing expired. Description: “Property located in fast, developing area near Trinity River Developments and Trinity Groves. This one has great potential in the future. House sold as-is.” Owned by Henry Norman.

 

Whoa, hang on there a moment. I am back from my City Council run , catching up on real estate, and have a whole lot to say. But first, let’s take a DEEPER look at the story of Khraish Khraish and his West Dallas properties that we just reported on. I mean, this is a real estate story with a huge political component.

First of all, thank you all for letting me take time off to campaign. The CandysDirt.com staff did a more than stellar job of holding the fort down whilst I campaigned in District 11 for the District 11 seat. While disappointed I lost, I thought the 37% turn out for a first time candidate (who started campaigning Feb. 10) was pretty darn cool. I am concerned about all the voter fraud, however, in this election and was surprised when the Dallas Morning News reported that my district had a massive number of mail-in votes. More, in fact, than in any previous year:

In his contentious race against real-estate blogger Candy Evans this spring, incumbent City Council member Lee Kleinman sent mail-in ballot applications to registered likely voters who are older than 65 so they could fill them out and send them back to the county.

As a result, of the almost 2,900 votes Kleinman received, more than 440 were by mail — a massive number considering that in West Dallas, ground zero for alleged voter fraud, 568 mail-in votes were spread among six candidates, including Alonzo.

West Dallas is now ground zero for alleged voter fraud, though I am taking a closer look at those 440 Mr. Kleinman received right here in North Dallas. Personally, I think the mail-in ballot system is ripe with fraud and should be eliminated altogether.  Surely you saw the report on WFAA-TV and read this piece in the Dallas Observer. I mean, there is a problem with the integrity of our elections, people!

If I were on council, I’d comb Silicon Valley for a tech company to bring absentee voting into the digital age. Mail? Stalking the postman? We could vote on smartphones with fingerprint recognition.

I learned so much running for public office. To spare you from a constant political blare, (because we know you come here for real estate dirt, not city council dirt, though the two are related) I moved political reports to CandyforDallas.com, which is up and running and to which I will be contributing about once a week for a political fix. 

Back to West Dallas. We know that is ground zero for voter fraud, and we know that Monica Alanozo is headed for a run-off there with Omar Narvaez, whom I support.

Dallas has a problem with affordable housing. Like, there isn’t any. Cranes are working all over this city for huge luxury apartment complexes where the only affordable housing component will be a chance to tinkle in the public bathroom. Homelessness in Dallas is at an all-time high. Where are living spaces for folks making $30,000 a year? (more…)

05/18/17 6:47pm

It took Michael LaFido years to learn that marketing a luxury listing is a whole different universe from traditional real estate marketing. His comprehensive, proactive approach was gleaned through 15 years of burnt shoe leather, trial and error, and hours of coaching and feedback. What he developed is a targeted lifestyle marketing strategy that has propelled his business skyward.

Not everyone has the patience and tenacity to learn to market luxury properties the hard way. Luckily, you don’t have to, as LaFido is offering a two-day live certification training event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23 and 24 in McKinney. This Certified Luxury Listing Specialist “boot camp” offers resources to up your game, with 12 hours of MCE credits that show you how to target luxury sellers, how to maximize sales price, and how to dominate your market. This is far from a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, as LaFido will guide you through developing your own blueprint to your best year ever in the luxury real estate market with video marketing, special impact events, and lifestyle writing.

Here at CandysDirt.com, we’re sweetening the pot by offering a $100 discount on your registration! All you have to do is use the code CANDY when signing up here.

Jump to learn more about LaFido and his Marketing Luxury group:

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05/12/17 11:36pm
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Michael Davis and daughter Jennifer, Director of Marketing, Capital Distributing

I have known Jan and Michael Davis since they opened their very first showroom in the Dallas Design District back in the early 2000’s. We hit it off immediately as their love of family and children just shone through, and I was immediately drawn by their huge circle of warmth. We became fast friends — I could not wait to introduce my family to their’s — and they have remained fast, steady friends and supporters throughout the years. During some of my darkest times Jan and Michael were there ready to help, and when I ran for City Council they emailed asking how they could help. I am so proud to have them as friends!

Now comes word that once again, the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) selected Capital Appliance as the Best Appliance Company in North Texas at Thursday’s Design Ovation awards.

They really are the best. I have them on speed dial whenever I need an appliance. We just replaced my Miele dishwashers a few months ago, and when I called and asked how long dishwashers were supposed to last (on average), the good people at Capital knew exactly: 8 years. Mine were 16 years old, but I have two. Only one went out, but I replaced both because broken dishwashers always happen during holidays or major dinner parties. 

This family-owned business has been doing upscale kitchens right since 1973, and their showroom off of Stemmons is a wonderful spot to discover the perfect range, ovens, and even laundry system for your home. But Capital is much, much more than appliances. (more…)

05/10/17 1:27pm

Lake Ridge Community

I’ve found a unique and exceptional luxury home in the gated Lake Ridge Community of Cedar Hill, just 15 minutes southwest of downtown Dallas. Lake Ridge is a 3,400-acre master-planned community of lots with acreage. A serene and tranquil setting suffuses the property, which sits on over an acre and backs up to the 165-acre Valley Ridge Park. It is just two blocks from the exclusive Tangle Ridge Golf Course and minutes from Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park. Outdoor living takes on a glorious scale here.

The Mediterranean lines on the home at 1626 Pebble Beach Ln. are complemented inside by soaring ceilings and windows, a domed office, and Travertine flooring. The palatial entryway is two stories high and features a dramatic winding staircase — you’ll make an entrance here every time you arrive home!

Every detail was considered in this spacious property, with 7,225 square feet on two stories and five bedrooms, located in different wings of the house and each with its own ensuite bathroom. Privacy is ensured. But it’s also created for entertaining, with a partially open floorplan, three living areas, a formal dining room with butler’s pantry, an upstairs game room adjacent to the theater-style media room with a wet bar, workout room, and a study. There’s even a wine cellar on the first floor.

This dramatic and impressive house is listed by broker Thelma Goldman, owner of Goldman and Associates for $975,000. There’s an open house this Saturday, May 13, from 2-5 p.m. with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Let’s take a look before someone snatches it up!

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05/10/17 9:35am

Desco Fine Homes

When it comes to building a new custom home or remodeling an existing one, the task of hiring a builder can feel overwhelming. DFW has no shortage of professionals who specialize in luxury builds. How to find one with the experience and integrity to create something with superior craftsmanship, and a timeless marriage of function and beauty?

David Goettsche, owner of Desco Fine Homes, is the answer for people looking to create sophisticated houses with energy-efficient construction. For more than 40 years, he has worked with his clients to translate their visions into beloved family spaces in the area’s most distinguished neighborhoods, like Preston Hollow, Lakewood, and North Dallas.

“Most of our new clients come to us from referrals, either that of a satisfied customer or a Realtor friend, and that is the highest compliment,” said Goettsche. “Our reputation for quality precedes us because we form true partnerships with our clients and really listen.”

Goettsche is known for his extensive construction knowledge, excellent customer service, and attention to detail. He brings his expertise to updating and refining his homes; his team is on the leading edge of innovations in homebuilding, from design elements to finish and decor. He works with only the best architects, plan designers, interior designers, craftsmen, and home automation consultants. Some have worked with Goettsche for more than 30 years.

“We offer inventive ideas for clients looking to live in a home that isn’t cookie cutter or commonplace,” he said. “Whether they’re Old World, Mediterranean, transitional, or soft contemporary, our homes really stand out from the rest.”

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