Chart: Zillow

Chart: Zillow

Lots of people wonder if, considering their location and income, if it’s not more financially sound to buy or rent a home in their area. In some cities, renting is the obvious choice (hello, New York!). But what about Dallas?

Zillow combed some facts and figures and came up with data that shows where it makes more financial sense to rent based on what they call the “break even horizon.

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Hottest Rental Markets in the US CROP

High rates of student loan debt, increasing interest rates, and a still slow job market in most of America will send rental rates among Millennials sky high, resulting in 46.8 million American renters in 2015. That’s according to Real Property Management, who sent us this interesting infographic on the tastes and mindset of Millennial renters. (more…)

4501 Cole Map

We just can’t build apartments fast enough in Dallas, it seems. Apparently Sarofim Realty Partners and Lincoln Property Company agree, as new plans reported by Steve Brown of the DMN include 165 luxury rental units for the mixed-use development at 4501 Cole.

Greater density in the area has left residents craving a real grocery store, and rumors swirled about Trader Joe’s moving in months ago before being confirmed in Brown’s story. The site, at Cole and Armstrong, has had plenty buzz as developers seek to turn Knox Street into the city’s premiere walkable shopping district.

And with these apartments added in the mix, and with rental demand projected to remain strong, we think this Womack + Hampton Architects development would be a tremendous asset to the area, which has several multi-family developments nearby, but none with a mix of ground-floor retail such as this.

Here’s a bit from Brown’s story:

“The Lincoln Knox apartments are a natural extension of this upscale, walk-able neighborhood and will offer outstanding amenities,” [contractor] Hill & Wilkinson’s Jay Graham said in a statement.

It does make me wonder what could be next for Knox. Of course, the area has been a magnet for high-end retail and exceptional boutiques such as Forty Five Ten, Design Within Reach, and Urban Flower/Grange Hall. It’s a short walk to the Katy Trail. Tons of trendy restaurants can be found nearby, too. But what about the landmarks? Could longtime businesses such as Wild About Harry’s and Highland Park Soda Fountain (nee Pharmacy) be pushed out as more dense developments go vertical?

What do you think?

4501 Cole Map

We just can’t build apartments fast enough in Dallas, it seems. Apparently Sarofim Realty Partners and Lincoln Property Company agree, as new plans reported by Steve Brown of the DMN include 165 luxury rental units for the mixed-use development at 4501 Cole.

Greater density in the area has left residents craving a real grocery store, and rumors swirled about Trader Joe’s moving in months ago before being confirmed in Brown’s story. The site, at Cole and Armstrong, has had plenty buzz as developers seek to turn Knox Street into the city’s premiere walkable shopping district.

And with these apartments added in the mix, and with rental demand projected to remain strong, we think this Womack + Hampton Architects development would be a tremendous asset to the area, which has several multi-family developments nearby, but none with a mix of ground-floor retail such as this.

Here’s a bit from Brown’s story:

“The Lincoln Knox apartments are a natural extension of this upscale, walk-able neighborhood and will offer outstanding amenities,” [contractor] Hill & Wilkinson’s Jay Graham said in a statement.

It does make me wonder what could be next for Knox. Of course, the area has been a magnet for high-end retail and exceptional boutiques such as Forty Five Ten, Design Within Reach, and Urban Flower/Grange Hall. It’s a short walk to the Katy Trail. Tons of trendy restaurants can be found nearby, too. But what about the landmarks? Could longtime businesses such as Wild About Harry’s and Highland Park Soda Fountain (nee Pharmacy) be pushed out as more dense developments go vertical?

What do you think?

Property For Rent

To rent or buy. This is a topic swirling among my 30-something friends and seems to be in constant discussion.

Based on a brief survey CandysDirt.com conducted on a group of 25 to 40 year olds, results showed that 25 to 30 year olds are significantly more likely to rent compared to any other age group surveyed. This information provided me with a resounding “duh.” This age group is made up primarily of college graduates and young adults just starting out. As one renter put it, I’m a “recent college graduate who makes below poverty level.” Which is shown by 40 percent of our renters paying less than $1,000 a month in rent.

Other reasons people choose to rent include:

  • Lower-than-average rental rates
  • Mobility, or plans to move for various reasons
  • You are in an astoundingly expensive housing market such as Malibu or Breckenridge

The downsides of renting begin with the security deposit. Although most are returned after the contract has ended, it is out-of-pocket money. The yearly costs of rent and renter’s insurance also stack up the price. Opportunity costs can put renters behind when they eventually go for their first home purchase since they haven’t been building credit and investing in a property.

0420_price-reduced-house-sale-sign_485x340

But what about FHA loans? Won’t that help renters get some momentum with the more conventional loan process? Yes and no. Down payments with a FHA can be as high as 10 percent, which is still difficult for our under 35 group. These loans also prove more difficult when it comes to choosing a home for purchase. The limitations on the maximum purchase price have made it more difficult for some buyers to even qualify in more expensive housing markets, or highly sought-after ones such as the Park Cities.

According to our survey, 35-40 year olds are twice as likely to buy rather than rent, that is, if they can qualify for a loan. September 2013 data from Zillow, reports that three out of 10 Americans are unlikely to qualify for mortgages. Typically, the better mortgage rates are kept for borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher. Only around 40 percent of Americans fall into that category.

On the flip-side, if you’re able to secure a mortgage and purchase your home, the yearly costs, including maintenance and improvement, can be substantial. Wait, you have a new job and need to move? Now to sell your home. People who use a Realtor will pay as much as 10 percent of the selling price in costs associated with selling. Let’s add on the cost of the inspection and a pre-sale facelift. Have out your calculator? Relocation costs, and exactly how long will you be sitting on that home of yours?

Regardless of age, 55 percent of those surveyed are putting their money into a home as an investment rather than renting. Owning provides more stability and an opportunity to accrue equity. Of those surveyed, most responded that they would rather put their time and money into a home that is theirs. An obvious conclusion. As a 30-something myself, I am not at all surprised by the narrow gap. Renting provides more flexibility for entrepreneurs, families with small children, and frequent travellers or jet-setters.

Renting may seem to be a waste of money to some, but there can be lower maintenance required as well as a welcome tax break. With loan qualifications like they are, some would love to buy but just aren’t able to. Renting becomes one of the only option and also requires less commitment.

Of course, you could always move in with your parents …

photo (26)Candace Tharp is a real estate-obsessed former food writer who has blogged about tacos, cupcakes, and haute cuisine before joining the team at CandysDirt.com. Have an interesting story to share? Contact her at candacetharp@hotmail.com.

4100 Travis 8 Front

You’ve probably seen these townhomes before, which are remarkable thanks to their interesting curved metal roof. From the outside, you’d probably expect all of these units to feature some kind of contemporary decor inside, maybe lots of black leather and low-slung couches, with glass-topped tables and colorful modern art.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see unit No. 8 at 4100 Travis Street, a gorgeous end unit with museum-quality finishes that feels warm and inviting inside. It’s full of antiques and plush furnishings, showing that while the exterior of this building may be modern/contemporary, the possibilities inside are endless.

4100 Travis 8 Living 4100 Travis 8 Kitchen

This gorgeous townhome, available for lease from Dallas-Fort Worth property management experts LocalDwelling.com for $2,395 a month, has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and a spacious open floorplan. With three floors and more than 2,100 square feet, this unit has plenty of room for anyone who wants to downsize and try on city life for a change.

4100 Travis 8 Master 4100 Travis 8 Master Bath 4100 Travis 8 Sitting Room

This location is amazing, considering that you’re within walking distance of the West Village, the Katy Trail, and all of the fantastic shopping and dining that Dallas’ Uptown district has to offer. And thanks to its location, too, this end unit will give you extra privacy and more windows from which you can soak in urban life.

It’s a great place for anyone looking to relocate to Dallas, but not ready to make the commitment to buy. Look like the townhome for you? This luxurious unit can be yours today. Contact Jason Lucas at LocalDwelling.com.

 

Extreme Wow Dallas W

Photo: Extreme Wow Suite, W Dallas Hotel Credit: W Hotels

I showed this CultureMap slideshow to a friend who lives in Seattle and she said (rather predictably):

“That’s in Dallas? That doesn’t look like Dallas at all!”

What is it with people having this internal stereotype of what looks “Dallas” and what doesn’t. Do these swanky and sexy rentals not have enough leather and cowhide for her taste? Seriously.

But I’m going to take it as a compliment, especially if I’m looking for an un-“Dallas” hotel to have a little staycation. Maybe the grandparents are taking the kids for a weekend. Maybe you’re too tired to drive or fly anywhere. Maybe you’ve come to realize that what you really want are fresh towels every day, an in-house masseuse, and a rooftop bar no matter the location.

The-Omni-Presidential-Suite-Dallas-Hotel-Suites_154208

 

Photo: Presidential Suite, Omni Hotel Dallas Credit: Omni Hotel

So save the dough you’d normally spend on your first-class ticket to Vail and head over to one of these outstanding hotels. Heck, if you like your stay, buy a sleek pied-à-terre at the Palomar, the Ritz, or even the W. And be sure to read Diana Oates’ full breakdown of what you get for the money on CultureMap.

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?