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CandysDirt.com Contributor

10/17/18 9:35am

 

Drawing property of UT Alexander Architectural Archives

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

The 1935 Walton House has always perched on the center of its vast Bluffview Estates lot, the landscape and grounds cascading down around it with a natural flow. Carol and James Walton selected a huge lot in Bluffview for their impressive 1930s home. At the time, Walton owned and ran City Wrecking and Trading Co., an early Dallas architectural demolition and salvage company.  He later expanded into supplying steel building products. It leads me to wonder if Charles Dilbeck did not use City Wrecking for his rustic architectural elements.  It would make sense.

Photography by Carolyn Brown

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10/16/18 9:45am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

For most North Texas homeowners, the 2018 tax statements started coming out last week. You may not have received your bill in the mail, but your tax bill is out and due for payment by Jan. 31.

Simply go online and search for your county tax assessor to get your statement before it arrives in the mail. For Dallas County, you can find your statement here.

You’d think property tax bills would be fairly direct: “Here is the property address, here is the tax bill.” But these are government entities. So, let’s see how complicated it really is.

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10/16/18 9:30am

Editor’s Note: On Aug. 16, the Dallas ISD board of trustees voted 7-1 to put a 13-cent Tax Ratification Election (or TRE) on the Nov. 6 ballot. District 7 Trustee Audrey Pinkerton has proposed a resolution regarding the funds garnered from that property tax rate increase, should voters approve it. We asked her to explain it, and she obliged. 

By Audrey Pinkerton
Special Contributor

This Thursday, DISD trustees will vote on a resolution related to the Tax Ratification Election (TRE) on November 6. Here’s why that vote is critical to the future of the district.

By now you’ve probably been told that DISD needs more money. And you may be wondering why since your DISD property tax bill keeps going up. Unfortunately, due to the state’s convoluted school funding system, there’s a big disconnect between what you pay and what DISD gets.

At a series of community meetings in August, Superintendent Hinojosa laid out the case for a tax rate increase: without more state funding, the district won’t be able to cover its costs next year. He showed a 5-year plan to raise the tax rate now, set money aside for future cost increases (primarily to keep up with wage inflation), and borrow from those reserves starting in 2020. It’s a prudent plan that insures financial support for the district without relying on a largely unsupportive state legislature. (more…)

10/09/18 9:25am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Officially, a title company in Texas is referred to as Title Agent or Title Agency. They are responsible to and answer to a lot of folks – mortgage companies, real estate agents, buyers, sellers, brokers, underwriters, etc.

Most notably, they follow the Texas Department of Insurance rules and regulations meticulously. Regular audits by this department ensure it.

But what do title companies and escrow officers really do?

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10/05/18 1:24pm

Photo: Carolyn Brown

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

When I began working with Dilbeck connoisseurs Willis Winters and Jann Patterson Mackey on house selection for Preservation Dallas’ October 27th Fall Architectural Tour – Charles Dilbeck In Dallas, they stressed the need for us to feature a Cochran Heights home.  The neighborhood recently received a Texas Historical Commission marker recognizing it as a significant part of Texas history, based upon the numerous Dilbeck designed houses in the neighborhood.

 

Photo: Carolyn Brown

The entire neighborhood is fun and peculiar to immerse in, and the house we focused on is a super intact library of Dilbeck’s quirk.  So much so that the house still has the 1936 kitchen and bathroom!  While it may be the tour’s most modest Dilbeck house, it delivers a powerful punch.  The current stewards have taken incredible care of this little gem as only the third owners, and I can hear the cameras clicking away to capture all the surprising details.

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10/02/18 9:15am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Even though the services offered and fees charged by title companies across Texas are standardized, there is some variation in how they operate. Just as real estate brokerages and real estate agents vary in their operating standards and styles, so do title companies.

Title companies in Texas have three basic roles. They include completing a title search, closing the transaction (which includes preparing paperwork, managing funds, recording, etc.), and issuing title insurance. All licensed Texas title agencies perform these roles.

The basic kinds of title companies you’ll find in the Dallas area include:

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09/25/18 9:30am

ClosingClosing costs vary from state to state. And in Texas, they can vary from sale to sale. It may be surprising to see where you can and cannot save on your real estate sale or purchase.

In Texas, title insurance rates are set by the Texas Department of Insurance. The rate is based on the sales price of the property. Many buyers and sellers believe that shopping around for a title company will save them money. But, title companies must charge the rate mandated by the state.

However, there are still some ways to save on your closing. (more…)

09/20/18 9:30am

Photograph courtesy of Dallas Fire Department

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

My heart sank when I learned my favorite Charles Dilbeck-designed house had burned to the ground.  An exterior appliance started the 2016 blaze, which quickly spread throughout the 9,000-square-foot house replete with acres of 55-year-old wood shingles, wood siding, and wood ornamentation.  I was super sad for the loss to the family, as well as saddened for the loss of such a significant home … albeit not to a bulldozer, this time.

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