Articles by

Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

11/16/18 9:30am

It’s the most delicious holiday home tour every year, and we look forward to the eye candy (and regular candy) on display in Highland Park Village every year in the form of the eighth annual Gingerbread Stroll. This unique edible home tour features elaborate gingerbread houses created by Dallas pastry chefs that you can view and bid on starting today, Nov. 16, through Nov. 30.

Christine McKenny

All proceeds of the stroll will help support Community Partners of Dallas’ new facility which opens in 2019. Specifically, the Gingerbread Stroll will fund one of their night response visitation rooms, which provides a warm and loving place for children taken into protective care by Child Protective Services as they await their transition to their safe placement. The visitation rooms will look like small houses, so it is fitting that one be named after The Gingerbread Stroll. 

“It is so incredible, thanks to the pastry chefs and community sponsors, that The Gingerbread Stroll has increased in annual giving from $3,000 the first year in 2011, to over $31,000 last year,” says Allie Beth Allman agent and Gingerbread Stroll founder Christine McKenny. “I am hopeful we raise over $35,000 this year for the children served by Community Partners of Dallas.”

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What’s better than one stunning High Caliber Home in North Dallas? How about five? This week we feature five gorgeous North Dallas homes that are all featured in an agent tour today! The tour, dubbed “North Dallas Reimagined,” shows off just what’s possible with the incredible stock of midcentury ranch and 1970s soft contemporary architecture available. 

Stops include three 1970s contemporaries and two redone ranches. However, while all five homes have received some level of restoration or renovation, none compares to the completely transformed ranch at 5409 Preston Haven represented by Galaxy Modern founder Janelle Alcantara. These stunning metamorphoses make for amazing High Caliber Homes of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. Get a look at these amazing changes from 1 to 4 p.m. today, Nov. 14!

Of course, we had to know more about Janelle Alcantara’s listing at 5409 Preston Haven. The home, which started as a typical 1960s ranch, is situated in a hidden neighborhood off of Inwood Road, says the Galaxy Modern founder. “The family that owned it created a lifetime of memories there. The children that grew up in the house are now adults and they knew that the likely fate of their childhood home was a wrecking ball,” Alcantara said.

Then, they heard about Alcantara and her company Galaxy Modern. 

Before: 5409 Preston Haven was a family home that was definitely feeling worn out.

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11/13/18 1:00pm

Getting your home ready for winter and the holidays? Take some advice from the foremost in landscape design — Harold Leidner. (Courtesy Photo)

With freezing weather in the forecast, there’s plenty to consider when it comes to preserving the hard work you put into your landscape during the spring and summer. Luckily we have one of the best resources — Harold Leidner, founder of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects. What plants need special winter care? How should you winterize your pool and water features? And what’s the best way to over-winter your trees and shrubs?

Harold Leidner has the answers:

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11/13/18 9:30am

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Business conflicts always seem to revolve around money. It’s no surprise that some of the worst disputes we see at title companies are over earnest money: Who wants it. Who is entitled to it. Who thinks they’re entitled to it. Etcetera. It can get uglier than avocado appliances and shag carpet.

When a transaction fails to close, any earnest money that was deposited with the title company must be disbursed to someone. The provisions for this are in the standard contract put out by TREC – the Texas Real Estate Commission. What happens to the earnest money is spelled out clearly. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from fighting over it anyway.

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11/09/18 7:58pm

 

Bethany Erickson, Audience Engagement Director for Candy’s Media and former public affairs and education columnist, was named finalist for the Press Club of Dallas’ Hugh Aynesworth Awards for Texas Journalism. The competition was open to Texas reporters, columnists, editors, photographers, and videographers for their work through 2017, netting 27 finalists in 16 categories.

Bethany Erickson

“We increased the number of categories this year, and we’re excited by the response,” Press Club President Paul Wahlstrom said.  Entries came from journalists and their news organizations in Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston and smaller communities, such as Howe, a north Texas town with a population of about 2,600.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be a finalist for even one award named after a respected journalist like Hugh Aynesworth,” Erickson said. “It is also thrilling to find your work listed among some of the very best in Texas journalism, too.”

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The whole of North Dallas is full of houses with excellent bones. These homes, many built in the 1970s, are just waiting for the right person to come along and revive them. I’ve long been in love with the bold, angular rooflines, vaulted ceilings, and open floor plans of 1970s soft contemporary architecture, and I get quite giddy when I see one that’s received an especially good-looking facelift. 

That’s what happened when Ernesto Miranda, Principal of Magellan Architects (formerly Walker + Miranda), took on 6212 Emeraldwood Place in the Northwood Hills neighborhood. Located just south of Belt Line Road and west of Hillcrest, this neighborhood is chock full of 1070s soft contemporary architecture. If you own one of these houses and need some inspiration for what’s possible, look no further than this Northwood Hills soft contmporary — our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans

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11/05/18 9:50am

EBTH Dallas general manager Natalie Childers Hacker sat down with CandysDirt.com executive editor Joanna England for a live chat at their grand opening Oct. 30. (Courtesy Photo)

The idea behind EBTH, which stands for Everything But The House, is pretty straightforward. As you downsize, you’re often left with scores of new belongings that won’t fit in your new digs. The traditional estate sale model can be laborious, even with full-service sales that take over your home for a day or two. And what do you do with all of the stuff that doesn’t sell, or with hard-to-price collectibles? That’s where EBTH comes in.

For a business that deals in a high volume of very unique items, EBTH runs a very tight ship. As general manager Natalie Childers Hacker explained to me, everything is handled — from the initial walk-through, to pick up and delivery of auction items, to donations, to hauling away junk — by EBTH’s relationship managers. These bright and brave representatives of EBTH hold the client’s hand through the entire ordeal, making it very painless to divest of your collectibles, furnishings, and art. 

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11/01/18 4:00pm

In the 29th episode of the BobMortgage Zone, Bob Johnson (AKA BobMortgage) gets down to the nitty gritty of that initial pre-qualification discussion. As Bob tells a client who hasn’t purchased a home in a while, the pre-qualification conversation isn’t anything you should be anxious about. Instead, it covers some important information that can help determine your budget for your next home. 

To find out exactly what lenders do with the information they gather during pre-qualification, and how it affects home buyers, check out the 29th episode of the BobMortgage Zone from the senior mortgage adviser at the nation’s oldest private lender, Wallick & Volk:

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