House Flip

The front of the house was bumped out to capture about 70-square-feet on the interior.

This absolutely adorable house flip at 7045 Gaston Parkway in Lakewood is a perfect template for all the right things to do when you remodel a home for sale. (more…)

Let’s just get it out of the way: I live in this area of Casa View Haven, and I have seen this house just about every day for the past 11 years. No joke, the only change the sellers made to this house in the time I have lived in the Eastwood Park area of CVH was when they installed a wheelchair ramp. 

Spoiler alert: The ramp was one of the first things to go when Jeanna and Patrick McIntyre of New Creation Group got their hands on it. Even with that gone, the home was far from eye candy. 

“While we were blessed with large, arching, 50-plus-year-old trees and a good lot, the front elevation of the home itself was seriously lacking,” said Jeanna.

Not anymore. Not only did Jeanna and Patrick completely transform the outside of this 1950s post-war ranch in Casa View Haven, they did a full-on remodel of this ugly duckling from top to bottom inside.


Equinox HP

Have you, like me, been indulging in the usual holiday goodies? Are your hands a mess from pine branches, gift wrapping and last week’s cold front? Have all the parties and shopping done nothing more than tone your “stick a credit card in the chip reader” muscles?

Equinox Highland Park to your rescue!

Shane Smith is the manager of the Spa at Equinox Highland Park, and he is also a licensed Realtor! He contacted me about a special deal just for Realtors to help them get ahead of their 2017 shape-up plans: 25 percent off ALL services and products at this Equinox Spa, the discount good for the remainder of December, to all Dallas Realtors, or anyone who has read this article. That’s the caveat: you must mention the article when booking. Then show it to everyone at Equinox on your iPhone!

Here’s what Shane is gifting us:


Step right up Ladies and Gentlemen ...

HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa, who separated after a domestic dispute was called in to police.

Controversy seems to follow Tarek and Christina El Moussa like a bad smell, as the couple, co-stars of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” have separated after a domestic dispute in May at their California home. Reports from TMZ and other sources say that the police were called to the couple’s home for a “possibly suicidal male with a gun.” Additionally, as Jon Anderson reported, the El Moussas attracted widespread criticism after lending their names to get-rich-quick seminars that reeked of bait-and-switch, high-pressure tactics.

But in a strange twist, both Tarek and Christina will continue to produce “Flip or Flop” despite their marriage hitting the rocks. As if real estate investing wasn’t already a challenge, they’re going to press on despite calling it quits after 7 years of marriage. From People:

“Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage,” the pair said in the statement. “We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution. There was no violence and no charges were filed.”

The El Moussas said they sought counseling to “sort out” the relationship but have since decided to separate while evaluating “the future of our marriage.”

“During the process, we are committed to our kids and being the best parents we can be,” they said in the statement. “We will continue to work through this process civilly and cooperatively, and plan to continue our professional life together.”

Of course, for just as many couples whose relationships crumble under the pressure of work and family life, there are success stories. Take Jenni Stolarski and Val Haskell for example. Stolarski, a VP at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, has worked with Haskell for 14 years, and though working together while flipping properties sometimes takes a toll on their marriage, they have found balance.

“My thoughts are fairly simple — no relationship is without its difficulties. And rarely is the love/trouble spectrum visible to the naked eye,” Stolarski said. “Working with my spouse on home renovation is a privilege, AND it brings a whole ‘nuther level of stress to our life.”

While the results from these two speak for themselves — catch a glimpse of their latest project on Windomere via Jenni’s blog — it’s interesting to get a look at how the process of flipping really works. Stolarski and Haskell have renovated and sold several homes in the North Oak Cliff area, and they are both very honest about the process. Of course, it’s difficult to see all of the small moments that go into a huge project, but they are chronicling it with their “Wednesdays on Windomere” webisodes. It’s a big departure from “Flip or Flop” and HGTV’s brand of slick production. It’s real life.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to call timeout on house project discussion ‘for just one meal’ or ‘just one day.’ ” Stolarski said. “Lucky for us, after 14 years at this, we have finally found our sweet spots. We are able to divide and conquer better than ever. But it’s never perfect. This work can consume every spare minute of your day and I’d never do it with someone I didn’t love.”

Have your chicks flow the nest? Becoming an empty nester is just one life change that can mean a new living situation. (Photo: flickr)

Have your chicks flow the nest? Becoming an empty nester is just one life change that can mean a new living situation. (Photo: flickr)

Our lives are always in flux. Friends come and go, work demands are constantly changing, and our interests and hobbies can shift at the drop of a hat.

But while most of these are just an everyday, natural part of living, not all life changes are so simple. In fact, some can rock our entire worlds. They affect our finances, our families and — you got it — our living situations. They can force us out of our one-bedroom apartments into sprawling estates, or they can do just the opposite and send us packing from our spacious abodes to smaller, more affordable properties with little warning.

Just what are these life changes, and how can you expect them to impact your personal living situation? Here are the four most common life changes people are often challenged with at some point or another:


realtors clean cars

Realtor Harriet Shaw cleans her car herself at least once a day and believes keeping her vehicle spotless is a reason for her success. Photo: Harriet Shaw

If cleanliness is next to godliness, then Realtors may be in the running for one of the holiest professions because of their squeaky clean cars.

Sure, it’s a bit of a stereotype to say Realtors have immaculate cars, but … isn’t it also sort of true? Curious, I set out to investigate this phenomenon and talked to several Realtors in DFW about the state of their vehicles.

The most passionate advocate I found was Harriet Shaw, a Realtor with Keller Williams Urban on Turtle Creek. Shaw says her tidy ways began in childhood with a mom who kept the house so clean, you could eat off the floor. But today, she keeps her Mercedes Benz, which she calls her “shiny little piece,” in showroom condition.

“I think my clothes, my shoes, my hair, my car are all an extension of my business, in the sense that if I reflect an attention to detail in every area of my life, that is someone I would want to do business with,” Shaw said. “It is congruous with everything else I do in my real estate business. I want my clients to know that I am coming in as a woman and Realtor who gives attention to every detail—the smallest little thing is important to me.”

realtors clean cars

Shaw’s car interior is clean in part because she carries the tools around with her to keep it that way.

To keep her car in tip-top condition, Shaw carries bottled water, towels, and leather wipes in her car for daily interior wipe-downs, as well as wheel shine and Handi Wipes for exterior cleaning. She even keeps a small vacuum cleaner in the trunk for the carpets.

A little OCD? Sure, says Shaw. But it’s totally worth it.

“The busier I am, the more I clean the car—I find it wonderful to walk out to a clean car because it gives me a sense of pride,” she said.

Shaw says the very nature of real estate work makes for more dirt and grime in and on a car, from high mileage and multiple passengers to getting in and out frequently and storing things like yard signs in the interior or trunk.

“My shoes tend to track in a lot of dust and dirt, and I carry things that if I put them down, lord only knows what’s going to come off of them—and I put them in the trunk or sometimes in the front seat,” she said.


1Hotel Miami Beach pool

I had the pleasure of being in Miami, and Miami Beach, the weekend of an historic Supreme Court ruling that finally affords LGBT the same legal rights as “traditional couples” when it comes to marriage. And Jack and George finally tied the knot! Does this mean we could see an uptick in home sales as more couples get hitched and buy a place together?

(Or have LGBT couples already been doing just that forever?)

Thirteen states in the U.S., including our’s, banned same-sex marriage, and Friday’s court ruling means these bans are unconstitutional. Of course, that doesn’t stop Ted Cruz from his opine. And Lord knows what Ken Paxton will opine.

By the way, those those states are:

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

Of these, Texas, Tennessee (Nashville) and Georgia have the hottest markets.

Brad Inman thinks the new ruling could inspire more home sales — “My take: When discrimination of a class of people is lifted, that group goes mainstream and more of them become homeowners. Stretch? Other connections?”

Certainly when it no longer was a stigma for women to remain single, they started buying homes, because they could obtain mortgages.

Inman lists five things that could happen: (more…)

writing on the Wall

A month has come and gone since the inaugural performance of The Writing on the Wall, an obsession with true life tales for Nicole Stewart and Anton Schlesinger’s Oral Fixation. If you missed the show, you missed a great chance to throw tomatoes at me and get some nice juices all over my horse hair.

But never fear, we have the video right here.

Sit back for a few and hear the hilarious story how,  after putting family first for many years, Candy Evans finally harvested her passion for writing, conquered the world of blogging and social media, and created the first real estate blog in Dallas,!