On May 12, I posted a column on the coming sale of my home at the Athena. On May 14, it was listed in the MLS for $530,000. The home was under contract in seven days with the first (of many) people who toured (and still tour).

Including my home, there are currently five properties in the Athena for buyers to choose from. The others have been listed between five and nine months – and for less money. Why did my home get buyers’ interest so quickly?  Renovation.

Those who toured left comments that included:

“Absolutely stunning home in the sky! Please let me know if the current contract does not work out!” “It is lovely,” and, “This is a beautiful unit with the finest of materials used on the remodel.” And specific to the Athena, of those I spoke with, all appreciated my having an open balcony.

It’s no secret that buyers want move-in homes. But buyers in the older demographic the Pink Wall trades in really want move-in ready homes.  Properties requiring six-figure renovations with their associated hassles are a lot less appealing.

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I don’t know why, but these pea-green bathrooms straight from the 1950’s fascinate me. Our very first home in Dallas (on Ainsworth, northwest Dallas) has this same green tile mudded in. I love that the owners of this house took that green to the max, painting the cabinets an even darker shade of green with the closet door to match. Oh yes, the walls: green too!

So here you have it, a St. Paddy’s Day green loo, all for you!

This home is somewhat of a deal, too, especially if you love Midcentury Modern…

Wait, no that is not the home. But that is what it COULD be with a little effort. (more…)

After several months of extensive renovations, the timeless home at 3808 Cedarbrush Drive is now complete and ready for the right buyer. Designed by Demo Dallas’ Jessica Koltun and renovated by TK Homes, it is sure to attract plenty of attention.

“We wanted to make the home more what buyers in the area are looking for,” Koltun said.

Originally built in 1968, the home has been completely gutted and remodeled. Its layout was also reconfigured to add additional space. The now 2,900-square-foot home features five bedrooms and four baths. The impressive living room has a vaulted ceiling, large fireplace, and a bonus room to the side separated by a barn-style door.

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Tucked away in East Dallas, less than four miles from the shores of White Rock Lake, this hidden gem at 5637 Emrose Terrace is a perfect example of renovations done right. From its espresso floors and decorative lighting to the new roof and radiant barrier insulation, literally everything in the home has been redone since 2015.

“It looks and feels like a very modern, nice home on the inside,” Dallas City Center agent Scott Noblett said. “You can see the pool when you walk through the front door, through the living room and out to the back patio.”

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From left: Blackline Renovations Office Manager Jennifer Holloway, President Chris Black, Project Manager Taff Welborn and Interior Designer Jenifer Wiley. Wiley, the owner of J. Wiley Designs, is also Black’s wife.

Blackline Renovations founder and president Chris Black says that one of his biggest challenges these days is standing out from the crowd. By his count, there are more than 3,500 remodeling companies in Dallas alone.

“Demand is high but so is the sheer numbers of remodelers in the business,” he said. “We see new names popping up on signs all the time.”

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[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2018! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]

From Jon Anderson: Too many think of December as the month to start counting their Santa haul. How about helping those less fortunate and yourself?  earlier in 2017 I urged you to check out Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore shops.  You can donate to ReStore for the tax write-off and buy from ReStore for bargains to help you make your home more homey. That’s a win-win regardless of your beliefs this time of year.


Sometimes it kills me to watch HGTV.  Eager beaver renovators gleefully rip through their home with sledgehammers ablaze without a thought that some of what they’re splintering could be reused. Sure the cabinets aren’t spankingly trendy and the appliances aren’t stainless, but for someone without, they’re precious.

When I gutted my 1960s home, I called ReStore.  They’re a division of Habitat for Humanity that takes donations of furniture, appliances and construction materials from individuals and businesses and resells them in their stores. Donors get a tax write-off and a lighter conscience.  Someone renovating their house on a shoestring gets some bargains.  Someone else gets housing from Habitat for Humanity.

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Before and After. I’ll let you decide which is which

Back in March, I wrote about a condo at the Athena that I called a “dump” that hadn’t seen better days in decades.  It was a bastardized two-bedroom, two bathroom on the ninth floor with 1,770 square feet listed for $249,900 with HOA dues of $1,037 that include utilities, TV and internet.  It sold pretty quickly and immediately went under the knife.

Flash forward to last Friday and the unit re-hit the MLS after its nearly stem-to-stern renovation and reconfiguration.  This time it’s listed with James Glynn with JG Real Estate for $425,000. Yes, that’s a big jump, but as you’ll see, a bundle has been spent.  The owners intended to live in the unit, but circumstances changed and so now it’s a flip … but definitely with flip-plus quality.

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Dallas Home Projects with Highest ROI | CandysDirt.com

If you’ve ever contemplated home renovations, the big question is usually, “How much is this going to cost me?” This is often closely followed by, “Will I get any of my money back from these projects if I sell my home?” 

There are tons of opinions on the Internet and TV about the best home renovations. General contractors and homebuilders know a lot, too. But return on investment (ROI) varies hugely region by region, and it can be hard to get a handle on the local situation. 

For an unbiased, third-party opinion of how much it really costs for a pro to do a typical remodeling projects — and a Realtor’s opinion as to how much a project will increase a home’s value if it’s sold within a year of when the work was completed — you can’t beat the annual Cost vs. Value report. For 30 years, this report has offered homeowners a resource for looking at ROI nationally, by region, and even down to certain cities. Dallas happens to be one of them. 

So what Dallas home projects will give you the most bang for your buck? Read on to find out. 

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