05/24/17 4:59pm

Richard Schalij

It took several days to reach Realtor Richard Schalij for an interview. But just like anything worthwhile, our conversation was very much worth the wait. Schalij is at once disarming and engaging, a natural story-teller with no discernable pretense, content to shift the spotlight to others. By the time our interview is over, I feel well-acquainted with his extraordinary parents and his childhood spent sailing on the Hudson and exploring Europe’s art world. Schalij is one of a kind.

When pressed, Schalij describes himself as genuine and an outside-of-the-box thinker. “I’m very much myself with buyers and I think they appreciate that,” he said. “And I’m always trying to bring options to my clients. If they’re looking at a particular neighborhood, I will always mention other areas they may not be aware of, perhaps something that’s off their radar. I try to think of what it would be like for them living there, their wants and needs.”


05/23/17 12:13pm

Well that was unexpected. WFAA is reporting that Khraish Khraish, the West Dallas landlord threatening to evict hundreds of residents, is now offering to sell to them. Khraish credits what WFAA is calling a “change of heart” to conversations with Dallas City Council run-off candidate Omar Narvaez. Before the plan’s formal announcement, Khraish had already begun inking deals. The terms of the sales are the same for each house.

Khraish will provide 20-year mortgages at a fixed 4.75 percent interest rate. The new homeowners will pay about $425 per month, with an additional $150 in property tax, making their total monthly payment about $572, not too much more than what most are paying in rent alone now, he says. If a new homeowner decides to sell the home in less than 10 years, Khraish will have the right of first refusal to buy it back.


05/17/17 5:00pm


Realtor Mike Bates is known as the ‘Turn-Around Guy.’ From restoring old homes and automobiles, to making an unsellable home into a top-dollar sale, nothing, it seems, is immune to his magic. He has built his career around selling difficult-to-sell listings. Just recently, Bates took a $3 million home that had been on the market for 255 days. He sold it in six weeks.

What’s his secret?

“It’s a combination of the basics,” he said. “Getting houses light, bright, open, smelling good. And priced well.” Not to mention, Bates pours his personal attention into each sale. “I do. I detail every house.”


Real Estate Story
05/17/17 8:23am
Ray and Jessica Mabry and their children

Ray and Jessica Mabry and their children

By day, Jessica and Ray Mabry are architects at HKS, with busy careers and two young children. As if work and parenthood don’t already add up to plenty for most of us mere mortals, The Mabrys recently formed Lark Properties and took on their first flip. While that seems like a lot to handle, the couple says that the eight-month labor of love became like any hobby and an overall positive experience for the family.

“We ate out more often than I would have liked and I think my children also received some independence a little earlier then they might have otherwise,” said Jessica. “But really it just folded into the rest of the craziness that we call life.”

“In the end we do it all for the love of our kids and their futures,” Ray added, stressing that the rewards of the project far outweighed any of the challenges.

The Mabrys’ story is one of our favorite kinds because it comes with before-and-after shots. Join us after the jump for more on their journey and some great eye candy.


05/16/17 9:49am


Join Dallas Architecture Forum members for an afternoon of inspired design as they celebrate 20 years of lively and enlightening dialogue. The Design Dialogues @20 and Members Reception kicks off Sunday at 2 p.m. But first things first: Registration for this event ends tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17. Tickets are free, but you must hurry! Contact jean@dallasarchitectureforum.org to reserve your space.

Not a member yet?  Join The Forum and request your reservation to be able to attend this great event.


05/15/17 11:19am


Award-winning interior designer Kim Armstrong was facing a conundrum. How could she help budget-conscious clients achieve their design dreams while still protecting her own interests? After all, it doesn’t matter how much you like someone, she had a business to run, and a lady’s gotta get paid. Then a light bulb clicked on and Inbox Interiors was born.

“It kind of happened organically,” Armstrong said. “I would get really excited about a client and once we started talking pricing, I’d realize that my full service was a little bit out of reach. And then we’re both disappointed!  Some of my clients really would love a full-service Kim Armstrong design, but can’t afford it at this stage in their lives. And so this provides a great opportunity for the client and for me. It really caters to a market that might not be ready for the full service just yet.”


05/10/17 3:08pm
8230 San Beninto Way is just one stop on the 2017 Modern Home Tour Dallas.

8230 San Beninto Way is just one stop on the 2017 Modern Home Tour Dallas.

Hop on over to the comments section to win a pair of tickets to this Saturday’s Modern Home Tour Dallas. The first three individuals to leave a comment will have a pair of tickets waiting at Will Call at the tour’s first stop – 4401 Deere Avenue, #1.

The tour is produced by Realtor Janelle Alcantara of David Griffin & Company Realtors and produced by Jeff Levine, publisher of moderndallas.net. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Dallas Architecture Forum.

Tour Details

May 13, 2017

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For those who don’t win, tickets cost $20 in advance online or $25 at the event (children under 12 are free). The self-guided tour is open to the public, but please note that photography is restricted to members of the press.

05/08/17 3:30pm


Ordinarily, my preferences run a little more modern, but there is some undeniable allure in this custom take on French rustic. It’s truly lovely. I like to think this is exactly the sort of home Belle would build after she took half of the Beast’s assets and relocated for the great schools. A little rustic, a little French, a whole lot of gorgeous.

“They really did an impeccable job,” said listing agent Haley Wagstaff. “It’s just stunning.”