2213 Stanley Ave Front

Let’s talk Tarrant County, folks, specifically Cowtown. Fort Worth, which is rated as a growth market and prime for investment by Trulia and Local Market Monitor, has some outstanding deals that are sure to make any homeowner happy.

Take this Tudor, for instance. It’s in the sought-after Berkeley Place neighborhood just east of Forest Park and South University Drive. Close to the Fort Worth Zoo and with great access to downtown Fort Worth, this neighborhood has a treasure trove of fabulous architecture at some outstanding prices.

2213 Stanley Ave Living Dining

At 2213 Stanley Avenue you’ll find a beautiful 1926 Tudor with three bedrooms, two baths, and a garage apartment for listed by Brants Realtors for $349,500. The garage apartment, which is a one-bedroom, one-bath unit with an open floorplan, could be a source of income should the neighborhood zoning allow it. You could definitely fit a Texas Christian University student in there comfortably.

2213 Stanley Ave Breakfast

In fact, this is one of those outstanding homes that you could buy as an investment while your child attends college nearby. Once they’ve graduated, spiff the place up to perfection (that means updating the kitchen countertops, the hall bath, and the powder room) and sell it for some real dough. Your child could live there rent-free, and you could lease it to two or three of her Greek sisters or brothers, or band members, or whatever — you get the drift. With that income, you could make a profit or perhaps break even in the meantime!

2213 Stanley Ave Music room 2213 Stanley Ave Master 2213 Stanley Ave Hall bath

With 1,880 square feet of living space, you won’t be hurting for room, either. The master bedroom, has a separate entrance, which is a plus, privacy-wise. There’s also a dual carport, which definitely helps with off-street parking, and there’s a laundry and storage area below the garage apartment.

2213 Stanley Ave Backyard 2213 Stanley Ave Garage Apt

The backyard features a lovely elevated deck, too, as well as a spacious lawn and privacy fence. The apartment’s square footage isn’t included in the total, and wasn’t available in the listing. The unit, pictured above, seems big enough for a student, for sure. And there is enough charm and care to make this a comfortable spot for anyone who purchases this place, including tons of new windows and beautiful original hardwood floors.

What do you think?

Swananoah Front

Homes priced at $1 million or more are moving like hotcakes in Texas, according to the 2014 Texas Luxury Home Sales Report from the Texas Association of Realtors. The figures, assembled using data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, show that every Texas metro area posted double-digit growth in luxury price ranges.

Dallas posted a 22 percent increase in luxury home sales for the period between January and October 2013, the report shows, with Austin posting a whopping 55 percent increase (no wonder Trulia is calling our capital city way overvalued). Houston came in second with a 46 percent increase in luxury home sales, and San Antonio posted an 18 percent increase.

“Data from the Texas Luxury Home Sales Report shows that million-dollar homes are playing an increasingly important role in the Texas housing market,” said Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “The housing slump is behind us and as Texas’ economy and population continue to accelerate, we’re going to see increasing development and demand in larger, higher-priced homes with luxury amenities.”

So, what’s driving the increase? It’s mostly thanks to the influx of high-paying tech jobs in Austin, and in Houston it’s likely due to oil and gas wealth moving into the area. For Dallas, a brisk job market driven by a healthy financial sector, as well as oil and gas wealth, could be fueling the luxury real estate market. The increase in sales definitely shows appreciation, though, and it makes you wonder just how many of these $1 million-plus properties are second homes or even investments.

“It’s common for luxury homes to have a significantly longer sell time and higher housing inventory than the average home simply because the pool of interested homebuyers is so much smaller,” said Jim Gaines Ph. D., and economist with the Real Estate Center. “However, this data still indicates strong demand, particularly in Austin, where homes of $1 million or higher are close to 10 percent of all active listings and are selling in less than six months, and in Houston, where housing inventory is only 7.4 months.”

Here’s the Dallas-Fort Worth market breakdown from the report:

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 809 luxury homes were sold between January and October 2013. Luxury home sales made up 1.1 percent of the total housing market and experienced a 22 percent increase in sales compared to the same period in 2012. This is slightly higher than the 19 percent year-over-year increase of the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market as a whole. As of October 2013, there were 922 active luxury home listings, 4.1 percent of all active listings on the market. The housing inventory for a luxury home was 11.4 months, 8.4 additional months than that of the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market at large.

 

 

 

downtown fort worth at sunset, texas

Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, isn’t necessarily infalliable, but he does have an interesting perspective more often than not. His views on the broader economy are often spot-on, though, which really puzzles me on his recent forecast for 2014 that says increases in home values will slow next year, and that many of the markets posting big increases in 2013 will grow stale.

But don’t write off North Texas entirely, as Fort Worth made Kolko’s list of places to watch for 2014. Why didn’t Dallas, Austin, Houston, or even San Antonio make the list, but Tulsa, Okla., does? Kolko explains (emphasis added):

Why are so many of the high-profile markets of 2013 missing from our list? We ruled out markets that were more than a little overvalued according to our latestBubble Watch, which eliminated most metros in Texas and coastal California. We also struck markets with a large foreclosure inventory (thanks for the data, RealtyTrac), like most of Florida. Our 10 markets to watch, therefore, should have strong activity in 2014 with few headwinds.

Interesting… I don’t know if many sellers in Dallas would consider the market overvalued, but considering what’s for sale and how brisk the market is moving, I’d say the increases in overall value would be more of a correction from being previously undervalued.

Still, Kolko had a list of trends to watch that rings true with what we’ve been saying for the past few months. Chief among them is that buying a house will become more and more unaffordable for Americans. Kolko also prognosticated that the home-buying process would become “less frenzied,” that 2013 will be the year of the repeat homebuyer, and how much prices slow will be more important than when they slow and where. Finally, Kolko says that renters will turn more to urban apartments than any other option — good news for the people who’ve constructed all those swanky buildings in Uptown and converted buildings in the downtown area.

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments!

 

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So, Jenni Stolarski is kind of my hero. Not only is this amazing Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s VP a business powerhouse, but she just flipped the most amazing home that had me pinning just about every single room (OK, every single room, no lie) to my Pinterest pin boards. Yes, y’all, it’s that beautiful.

Stolarski, who is so awesome she plants trees in her spare time, bought this house from a little old lady five years ago, and it was pretty much in its original condition, she said. At the time, 806 N. Windomere was a steal — a property like that, with great bones and tons of charm, was becoming rare in Oak Cliff. Young couples and investors who were looking for great investments were snapping up properties all over North Oak Cliff like $200 iPads at a Black Friday sale. This one, in the up-and-coming Kings Highway Conservation District, was kismet.

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“I actually tried to sell it a few years back,” Stolarski said over the phone yesterday. It’s a good thing it didn’t sell before she and her partner could gut the thing and make it the supermodel it is today. Don’t believe me? Check out these amazing “after” pictures!

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Bye-bye, ugly siding and purple trim! Hello, sexy gray paint! With 10-foot ceilings throughout it’s 1,588 square feet, a gorgeous custom finish on the hardwood floors reminiscent of whitewash, and Carrara marble just about everywhere, it’s no surprise that this home went under contract just as soon as it hit the market.

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It was listed at $319,000, and honestly, this two-bedroom, two-bath stunner is worth every stinking penny. Built in 1906 and fully modernized for today’s needs, this home pretty much fulfills everything on my dream home list. Apron sink? Gray cabinets? Commercial appliances? Tons of windows? Yes to all of that.

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The hall bath is the perfect mix of traditional and modern elements, with a claw-foot tub and plank walls with chrome sink stand and luxurious tile floors. I love all of the details, especially the outdoor light fixtures that look at home flanking the bathroom mirror. These women have an eye for style, that’s for sure, and Stolarski can swing a hammer with the best of them.

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The master bath will make you swoon. The marble everywhere, the incredible shower, the dual vanity, the pocket door that leads to the wall of wardrobes in the hall (love that!). Well, I am just impressed.

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The screened in back porch is amazing, and a wonderful feature for anyone who appreciates our spring and fall temperatures but could do without the bugs. (That is pretty much everyone, right?)

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Stolarski said she worked with an outstanding general contractor, Gary Roberts, who did a fantastic job. We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations on the incredible transformation, Jenni, and we can’t wait to see what you do next!

 

4330 Northview Front

I have seen some fantastic renovations come out of this neighborhood lately. If you’ve been considering an investment property that will net you big bucks and sell fast, consider 4330 Northview. This house is fantastic for an investor, as it’s in great shape!

4330 Northview Sunroom

Consider also that it’s a four-bedroom, four bath house with a mother-in-law suite that is accessible from the outside. You get formals, too, as well as an attached two-car garage. There’s a spacious backyard and a fantastic sunroom, which is a great spot for entertaining.

4330 Northview Family

The kitchen has a granite breakfast bar and tons of cabinet space. It has excellent bones and a great layout, which with refacing the cabinets and perhaps updating the fixtures, you could have a luxury kitchen in no time at all. And because this almost 3,000-square-foot home is listed for $449,000, you’ll have plenty of money left to do it up right.

4330 Northview Kitchen

The master suite is 15×15, which is decent, but if you buy this house, I am sure you’re going to consider making a bigger, more retreat-like master suite. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the bathrooms. Let’s just understand that as a polite way of saying “renovate these rooms first!”

4330 Northview Master

The backyard is a great size for a family, and has a wonderful back porch, too, that is covered by the pergola. I do love how there is plenty of room for guests to sit and mingle with one another.

4330 Northview Backyard

So, what do you think? If this home is renovated right, how much could the buyer eventually sell for?

2125 Highwood Front

I really do like this little house in the San Juan Heights area of Casa View Haven. It’s a three bedroom, two bath post-war traditional in an up-and-coming area of East Dallas. There’s a lot of community involvement, and lots of young families moving in. This is a great house for a middle-class couple with two young kids to make their own.

2125 Highwood Dining

But — and this is my only hang-up about this property — is $185,000 a realistic price for this home? It seems somewhat aspirational considering the comps in the area are priced at least $20,000 less than this home, often more. Now, if 2125 Highwood Drive was on the other side of Peavy Road, I could see it going for about that price. But it’s not.

2125 Highwood Family

Still, it’s a cute home with a lot of good updates, including fresh exterior paint and landscaping, refinished hardwoods, super cute kitchen cabinets, and stainless steel appliances. There’s almost 1,600 square feet of space, too, but there’s no separate utility or laundry area.

2125 Highwood Kitchen

There’s a detached two-car garage and an enormous backyard, too. You’ll have to add a gate or some fencing, though, to contain the little ones.

2125 Highwood Bath
What do you think is a fair price for this house?

2125 Highwood Backyard

2125 Highwood Front

I really do like this little house in the San Juan Heights area of Casa View Haven. It’s a three bedroom, two bath post-war traditional in an up-and-coming area of East Dallas. There’s a lot of community involvement, and lots of young families moving in. This is a great house for a middle-class couple with two young kids to make their own.

2125 Highwood Dining

But — and this is my only hang-up about this property — is $185,000 a realistic price for this home? It seems somewhat aspirational considering the comps in the area are priced at least $20,000 less than this home, often more. Now, if 2125 Highwood Drive was on the other side of Peavy Road, I could see it going for about that price. But it’s not.

2125 Highwood Family

Still, it’s a cute home with a lot of good updates, including fresh exterior paint and landscaping, refinished hardwoods, super cute kitchen cabinets, and stainless steel appliances. There’s almost 1,600 square feet of space, too, but there’s no separate utility or laundry area.

2125 Highwood Kitchen

There’s a detached two-car garage and an enormous backyard, too. You’ll have to add a gate or some fencing, though, to contain the little ones.

2125 Highwood Bath
What do you think is a fair price for this house?

2125 Highwood Backyard

May Local Market Montitor Report

We’re in the money, folks. If you have friends, clients, and friends who are clients who were waiting for the right time to buy or upgrade in the Dallas/Plano/Irving area, Local Market Monitor is giving you the green light!

Last month’s report showed that we had low risk in some sectors, but it was nothing Dallas agents hadn’t heard before. This month, however, the Dallas metro area got the green light for investors.

Local Market Monitor forecasts prices to grow four percent in the coming year, which is huge compared to national rates. We definitely have a healthy real estate market, and with the forecasted growth, the time to buy is right now!

Does this report jive with what you’re hearing, agents?