Cottage Industry

Let me tell you, folks, working from home is awesome. Sometimes I don’t change out of my pajamas until I have to leave the house, which can often be sometime in the afternoon, guys. I thank my lucky stars for this career option, which has made being a mother so much easier.

But while I sit and navel-gaze at my desk all day while my son wreaks havoc on our playroom or runs around with other hellions at Mother’s Day Out, other people who work from home are serving jams, preserves, and delicious baked goods from their front door. That’s all thanks to a bill that Gov. Rick Perry recently signed into law allowing “cottage industries” to sell their wares right from their home kitchens.

There are a few restrictions, including that the kitchens that create these various concoctions pass health and safety inspections, but what raises my eyebrow is how this will affect neighbors and neighborhoods where this kind of business isn’t exactly the norm. (I’m looking at you, Park Cities.) Cottage industry, which predated the industrial revolution, allowed women to seek work (spinning, knitting, weaving, and sewing) without leaving the home, which was often looked down upon. Boy, have we come full circle, eh?

I guess what I want to know is, would you buy a house near a cottage business? Does your HOA allow this kind of thing?

Shoal Creek Frisco

Our man in North Dallas, Tom Branch, tells us that homes are flying off MLS. The RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs broker says its a great time to be a listing broker where he’s at.

“Just about everything under $450k is flying off the market in days,” Branch told us while he was catching his breath. “In the past month properly prepared, priced and show-ready homes are selling in days.”

What does that make an agent’s day look like? On Branch’s blog, he says it looks about like this:

The Branch Team listed the property at 11901 Shoal Creek in Frisco Texas on Friday evening. In the first 48 hours we had 33 showings and 7 offers.

That’s incredible, and the fact that it’s not isolated to one home, one neighborhood, or even one particular suburb, is amazing, too.

“It’s to the point if you’re representing a buyer and you’re not sending in an offer on day one, you’ve missed it. This is not limited to any single neighborhood — it’s an across the board trend!”

But as Branch says, not all homes are moving fast. Agents and brokers have to do the legwork to get a house with all the right features sold.

“Our marketing plan includes 2 hours of professional staging, professional photography, and over 30 years of team experience selling real estate,” Branch said.

Find out more about the great deals and fantastic homes you can find in the North Dallas suburbs on the Branch team’s website.

Duane Dankesreiter and his wife loved their Wilshire Heights home so much that they got hitched in the backyard!

What happens when you find your dream home, remodel it into your perfect home, and then something happens and you have to move?

It’s a huge struggle, says Duane Dankesreiter, Vice President, Business Information and Research for the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.

He and his wife own that gorgeous updated Tudor in Wilshire Heights we featured for our Friday Four Hundred last week. They still love the house (who wouldn’t!?) and are heartbroken about putting it on the market. But, family calls from the suburbs, and they are trying to sell the house they thought they’d stay in forever.

Read on for more …

Give us the rundown on this beautiful home!

Wilshire Heights subdivision (in between M-Streets and Lakewood), Stonewall Jackson Elementary attendance zone, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2 living areas, built in 1947, 900 sq feet added in 2010 and kitchen renovated in 2011, total of 2,764 square feet. Upstairs are three bedrooms, including a large master suite with juliet balcony, jetted tub, oversized shower, and huge walk-in closet. There are a number of little touches that make all the difference like plugs for hairdryers and toothbrushes in the vanity drawers and medicine cabinets, eco-friendly toilet, shower with three shower heads and a SaniJet tub.

There are two additional bedrooms upstairs one with an great balcony. Also upstairs is an extra bathroom and a laundry room.

Downstairs are two living areas. One living area is open to the kitchen and dining room the other is down a hallway and is a great media/play room. It features a large window looking to the backyard. Also downstairs is another bathroom and guest room/study.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a huge walk in pantry. You won’t find many homes in this area with as much closet / storage space as this one. There is also an enormous covered patio just off the dining room and kitchen looking over a generous backyard.
Price range:  $470,000

Agent: Jane Pedigo – Group One, REALTORS

What made you decide to sell?

We absolutely love living in Dallas and in this area but have decided to move closer to family in the suburbs. It is a tough decision and every day we talk about staying. The proximity to my office in downtown, being able to walk to Greenville Ave or bike to White Rock Lake, our family friendly neighborhood  and just being close all the great things that Dallas has to offer will be missed.  

How long has your home been on the market? Any interest or serious offers?

We have been on the market for quite some time and have had some interest but not  any serious offers. We have had numerous open houses and everyone that comes in just loves it, but we just haven’t found that right person or family. I think it is a perfect house for someone with kids going to Stonewall Jackson or St. Thomas Aquinas (within walking distance), has a growing family and needs more room, or for someone just wanting to be in one of the best neighborhoods in Dallas. In fact, our block reminds me of the one I grew up in. All of our neighbors are our friends. On many days you might see us all on the front lawn, maybe having a drink together, watching the kids run around and enjoying each other’s company.

Planning on moving anywhere in particular?

We are hoping to move to the Cedar Hill/Mansfield area. If we have to move to the suburbs, we are going to find a home on a acre or so and take advantage of being close to Joe Pool lake and Cedar Hill State Park.

Describe your dream home. Likewise, what’s a dealbreaker for you?

When we bought our current house, my wife and I walked in and knew right then that this was the house we wanted. We love its character and architectural style and that it was something a little bit different from every other home being built today. We loved the look and feel of our home so much that we got married in the backyard! That is what we are looking for in our new home.

What shocked you about the home-selling process? 

I don’t know if anything really shocked me other than the time it has taken to sell the house. We can’t understand why people don’t love the house as much as we do. It has also been really frustrating when people make appointments to see the house, then never show up or cancel at the last minute. We are always accommodating and have never turned away a showing. But to rush to get the house ready and to change your day’s plans based on a potential showing, and then have no one actually come see the house just drives us crazy!

What pleased you?

We have a great realtor in Jane Pedigo. She has been patient with us as we prepared the house for selling, is always willing to go above and beyond and has supported us throughout the process.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

We had every intention of living here our whole lives, that is why we added on to the house. It is almost a perfect house now for us, in terms of layout and function. Had I known that we were going to be moving, I might not have added on and moved us into a higher price point, but hindsight is 20/20, right? We have been so happy living here and will miss it, but are looking forward to getting settled into a new home.


Want to see how long it would take you to get downtown from that home you’ve been eyeing? Trulia has an app for that.

Perhaps you’ve heard that D Magazine has released a new list that ranks North Texas suburbs, with Parker and Highland Village besting both Highland Park and University Park for the top two spots?

That’s all well and good, but let’s say you take this information, sell your Lake Highlands home for top dollar, and move out to Parker or Highland Village — what’s that commute going to be like?

Just ask Trulia, which just released a new app that can tell you how long you’ll be trapped on North Central Expressway or Interstate 35 should you choose to head for the ‘burbs.

Here’s the bummer, for those folks who were thinking about high tailing it to Parker or Highland Village — your commute doesn’t compute. Trulia’s heat map doesn’t measure commutes that would take longer than an hour.

To me, that’s kind of crazy, because I know there are folks out there who buy beautiful homes in areas such as Emerald Sound in Oak Point who still commute.

What do you think? Should Trulia add more time to their commute maps? Do they look accurate as far as how long it takes to get downtown from where you live?