Costa Christ Presenting a home for sale is a process. The market today is 100 percent visual. That means if you have a home that does not show well, your chances of selling quickly for a great price  are significantly diminished.

It takes a village to sell a home. A Realtor that knows your neighborhood demographics and is deeply networked is only the first step. You also need an excellent stager and a great photographer. We’re lucky to have a great pool of photographic talent in Dallas, and we are exceptionally  fortunate to have the skills of Costa Christ who is raising the bar to a new level in real estate photography.

Costa Christ

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Tucked back between Hillcrest Road and Preston Road, Northwood Hills is a quiet, established neighborhood with treed lots and easy access to Interstate 635. In fact, Realtor Kylah Boyd with Texas Urban Living Realty calls the neighborhood a hidden gem.

She’s gotten to know it pretty well since she listed this beautifully remodeled traditional located at 6502 Covecreek Place last month.

“A lot of the people that attended the open houses said they weren’t even aware that neighborhood even existed,” she said. “The neighborhood really is kind of a hidden gem.”

“The neighborhood is older, established, with tree-lined drives,” she continued. “Most of the neighbors are older. Great school districts and also in the territory for private Jesuit Charter Schools. The turnover rate is very minimal, people buy and stay.”

“It’s Dallas, but the Richardson school district and the neighborhood is quaint, quiet, established and tree-lined, but 20 minutes in any direction from all of the fun stuff,” Boyd said.

Its proximity to the Northwood Club and prime golfing is also a motivator, as is how close it is to both work and play.

“It’s centrally located because you can hop on the freeway and be in Downtown Dallas in 20 minutes, and has over 165 restaurants within a five-mile radius,” Boyd said. (more…)

The Trammell Crow home in Highland Park was in that family for more than 50 years. Now it's time for new owners to enjoy the 10,000-square-foot house. Photo: courtesy of Dallas Morning News.

The old Trammell Crow home in Highland Park. Photo: courtesy of The Dallas Morning News.

Take a drive through any established Dallas neighborhood and you’ll be confronted with a teardown or two. From those that tumble down without making a single wave, to the controversial demolition of iconic homes like the Trammell Crow estate, they make up part of a familiar cycle. The old gives way to the new.  Sentiment aside, unsafe wiring, outdated HVAC systems, or simply the culmination of years of neglect often make renovation of these older homes impractical if not impossible. So they meet with the wrecking ball. But before a single bulldozer revs its engine, Rhonda Hunnicut swoops in to work her magic.

Hunnicut is the founder of DFW Pre-Demolition and Estate Sales. Her job is to come into a home slated for demolition, identify items to be salvaged, and then sell them on behalf of the owner. From French doors to hardwood floors, literally anything and everything goes. Whether the prospective buyer is a builder, a rental property owner, or what Hunnicut calls a ‘weekend warrior,’ there’s something of interest for everyone. Garage doors, light fixtures, and even landscaping – it all gets fitted with a price tag. And a pretty reasonable one, at that. While an entire kitchen fetches upwards of $10,000, a single dimmer switch sells for five bucks. A pack of five can lights goes for $20. Like we said, something for everyone.

We caught up with Hunnicut during the recent pre-demolition sale at the former Willow Bend home of celebrated golfer Freddy Couples to talk about her work in this era of teardowns.

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home ownership

In a new national survey of renters, almost everyone dreams of home ownership, but affording it is not an option for many.

In Dallas, 97 percent of respondents claimed they want to own a home, but only 63 percent of those individuals could afford a mortgage in the city. The survey of 6,000 renters was created by Zumper, an apartment rental search company.

“The main contributing factor to this discrepancy seems to be that home values in Dallas are outpacing wage growth,” said Tanguy Le Louarn, head of data science at Zumper. “Various for sale reports in the Dallas area show an increase in home prices around 10 percent in the last year, some even report up to the mid double digits. Meanwhile, the Dallas Fed report recently stated that there has been a slow down in wage growth as higher paying jobs are being lost to lower paying ones—Dallas wages cannot keep up with the increasing home values.”

In fact, in a third of the surveyed cities, under half of renters earned enough income to qualify for a mortgage.

Interestingly, even though almost everyone surveyed wanted to buy, only 71 percent of respondents believe that the “American Dream” involves homeownership.

“While almost everyone wants to own a home at some point, the fact that only 71 percent of our respondents believe that the ‘American Dream’ involves homeownership highlights a potential shift in mentality of how this ideal can be achieved,” Le Louarn said. “While owning a home tends to be a good financial investment, it does not seem to be the end goal for as many people as it used to. Right now, homeownership is at its lowest ever and the renter population only continues to increase, especially among Millennials.”

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Thanks to modern technology, the homebuying journey is immensely easier than it was 10 years ago.

With just a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can now browse listings, tour homes, apply for a mortgage, and even sign off on closing documents with just a few clicks and a matter of seconds. It’s pretty game-changing, to say the least.

Are you preparing to buy a home in the near future? Make sure these 10 handy apps are on your radar. They can make the process much easier (and more enjoyable)!

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