Watauga’s 76148 was named the hottest ZIP code by Realtor.com. (Map: Google Maps)

Is it the year of the affordable suburb? As more Millennials search for single-family homes with affordable addresses, more and more suburbs with short commutes and great prices are catching on. So we’re thrilled to see some lesser-known neighborhoods get attention as Realtor.com has named Watauga’s 76148 as the nation’s hottest ZIP code for the second year straight.

“Millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history and they are flexing their muscle when it comes to the housing market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “Increasingly, the hottest housing markets are the ones that appeal to millennial preferences, and right now the standouts are relatively affordable suburbs with local ‘it’ factors such as hiking trails, great restaurants, and nightlife. With the largest cohort of millennials turning 30 in 2020, we can expect these types of areas to stay in demand in the years to come.”


Modtown Realty Executive Team (Courtesy Photo)

Like two ships passing, on October 1, Modtown Realty Group and Keller Williams quietly parted ways. The separation will come as neither sudden nor surprising to anyone keeping close tabs on Modtown. The group, who had been part of Keller Williams Park Cities since 2012, recently moved its offices back to Deep Ellum. And it’s there that Drew Colon and Jacob Moss say the group feel most at home and most connected to their brand, which largely appeals to Millennials and urbanites.

“We’re coming out to this market of Deep Ellum.” Colon said. “We’ve done a good job at creating an inviting environment here. The moment you walk in the door you get that sense. We’re back and we’re excited!”


overhead lines

Overhead lines may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they don’t seem to hamper home sales (Photo courtesy Pixabay).

They may be unsightly, but overhead lines are not really affecting property values, a trade journal said this week.

A peer-reviewed article in The Appraisal Journal revealed that there is actually very little data to prove that the high-voltage overhead transmission lines (or HVOTLs) are negatively impacting sales prices. (more…)

The impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston, whose real estate market has been more than hard hit, is almost startling by this chart. The impact of Irma is yet to be seen since she made landfall in the Florida Keys on September 10 before continuing up the west coast of Florida and heading inland. But widespread preparation and evacuations in Florida reduced mortgage applications by more than 25 percent before the hurricane arrived as business ground to a halt. When you are running for your life, you tend to forget about things like house closings.

Harvey was unprecedented in its rainfall for the coast of Texas and caused flooding that affected up to 30 percent of the state’s population.  As one Houstonian whose property was unscathed told me, “everyone in Houston knows someone who was affected.” The effect on our real estate market, too, will be unprecedented, though possibly less in Houston than Florida. 

Even as the fall semester starts and temperatures begin to drop, North Texas real estate continues its record-setting hot streak. Out of the 300 cities studied in WalletHub’s recent report of 2017’s Best Real-Estate Markets, three local markets reigned supreme. From home appreciation, to sales turnover, to job growth, Frisco, McKinney, and Allen top the charts for the very best places to make your real estate investment. In fact, with Richardson sneaking in at No. 5, and Carrollton snagging the No. 8 spot, five of the top 10 best markets in the country are all within a handful of miles.

For long-term growth, equity, and profit, there’s no need to look beyond our own backyard!


Real Estate aggregation and data website Zillow.com is in hot water in Illinois.  Zillow has been successfully sued in the past for using photos without permission. They’ve been hauled to court over low Zestimate “appraisals” by sellers who’re listing well above the estimates. Even at the other end of the spectrum, they’ve been accused of inflating prices which resulted in some market froth.

The latest suit, seeking class-action status, was filed on behalf of builders who’re trying to sell homes that Zillow persistently undervalues.  This causes prospective buyers to low-ball the homes using Zillow as “proof” their offer is more realistic than the seller’s price.


dallas housing

We’ve been saying it for ages: the Dallas housing market (DFW, really) is on fire. This is evidenced by a shortage of housing stock, incredible buyer demand, construction everywhere, and a tendency of many houses to fly on and off the market in a matter of days (especially those under $300K), among other things.

Now, it’s easy to find an expert to support almost any position. But we’ve found a few with reputable sources and a history of accuracy that agree with us. We’re interested in why they think the Dallas housing market is one of the strongest in the nation. Read on to find out more.


Gates of Highland park

Juli Harrison and Stephen White at Allie Beth Allman are marketing one (or actually, two) of the most expensive properties in Highland Park, and, for that matter, all of Dallas: 4311 and 4321 Lakeside Drive. Dallas dirt doesn’t get much pricier than this.

The two lots are being sold together, or separately. List price is $12,500,000 each or $25,000,000 for the both. These lots have an incredible history in Old Highland Park, as they sit at the very entrance to one of the country’s most upscale communities as you first enter from Dallas.

The lots have been available for a number of years, and Juli herself has been trying to trade them since 2010. Listing price started at $15,100,000 for one 1.17 acre lot back in 2010, $16,225,000 for the other. Pricing may have been a little aggressive for 2010. That was like $31 million for 2.34 acres at the gateway to Old Highland Park. But there is just no other dirt that compares.

Today, the duo released a beautiful new video marketing the property in a very unique way.

If you are selling a very high end property, you constantly wonder: is there any NEW real estate thing in the universe my agents or I can do to help move this dirt? 4321 Lakeside has been in MLS, advertised in almost every print pub in town (fat lot of good that has done), the Wall Street Journal, Zillow, the usual suspects. All bases have not only been covered, they have been saturated. Drenched. Drowned. So what now?

Enter Eric Pierce. I met Eric several years ago because he worked for Peter Kempf International, where he still consults today. (Peter Kempf was also one of our NAREE vacation home panelists in 2012.)  PKI markets haute luxury vacation home properties from Napa to Italy, villas to vineyards. Peter really is a “Who’s Who” in luxury real estate:

Having been the Director of International Real Estate for Christie’s, Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager for Sotheby’s International Realty and a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, Mr. Kempf is considered to be one of the leading authorities in international real estate and is a frequent guest speaker at international real estate conferences.

Now Eric is running his own operation, Clearview Elite, a Boise, Idaho-based digital firm that builds custom property websites for luxury real estate properties luxury real estate properties.

The Gates of Highland Park from Goldeneye Media on Vimeo.