By now you have called in to refill your Xanex Rx after learning that Zillow is not only democratizing the home buying process, it’s turning it into an Amazon-like experience. We knew this was coming.

The online real estate disruptor announced this week a pilot program for buying and selling homes online called “Zillow Instant Offers.”

The way it’s working now: if the seller chooses to use the “Instant Offer” program, they will also receive a comparative market analysis from a local real estate agent, free of charge. That can help them decide if they want to proceed with the sale, and it might even lead to a lead for the providing agent.

One might ask, why not use a “Zestimate”? I mean, Zestimates drive us all crazy, though I think, I hope, by now homeowners know it’s really a starting point, nowhere near the actual value. Last year Zillow announced they had significantly improved the accuracy of the Zestimate tool, and after all, they said, home is worth only what someone is willing to actually pay for it. I believe there are nuances in that phrase: interest in real estate spurs more looking, which in turn spurs more buying. But keep repeating the fake message enough and it becomes the truth!

Jon tells us Zillow is getting sued in Illinois over those Zestimates.

So it’s interesting that at this critical juncture, Zillow is looking to boots on the ground agents with knowledge of the market to back up their AVM. Maybe this is the mousetrap… (more…)

Munger Place Swiss Avenue

The Munger Place Swiss Avenue beauty at 5707 Swiss Ave. is one of our featured open houses this week.

We love bringing you an insider look at hot North Texas properties with our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week column. Every Thursday, we pick fabulous open houses in Dallas (and the ‘burbs from time to time) you’e got to see over the weekend.

This week, our houses range in price from $369,500 to $1.1 million. There’s the elegant Munger Place Swiss Avenue home pictured above, a Stevens Park Austin stone cottage with vintage charms, and more. Let us know what you think of our choices, and if you know of any we should feature next week!

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05/25/17 8:51am

L Streets

The L Streets are a hot area of East Dallas, part of the Lake Highlands community and located 11 miles northeast of downtown. The L Streets are close to White Rock Lake and the area is full of arching shade trees and super cute houses. There’s a reason real estate here flies on and off the market so fast. 

Our Thursday Three Hundred, located at 9221 Leaside Dr., has so much personality going for it and it’s only been listed for three days. There’s nothing cookie cutter about it, with a flawless marriage of vintage charms and modern updates. The abundance of storage is particularly impressive in this house, which has two bedrooms, one full bathroom, one half bath, two living areas, and 1,460 square feet on one story, built in 1956. 

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05/25/17 7:44am


We all know Californians are flocking to Texas, but have you ever heard of a political movement specifically bringing them our way?

On May 22, Conservative Move launched on social media and a conservative’s dream of finding like-minded neighbors was made: help relocate families out of liberal dens (usually on each coast) to conservative pockets across the heartland.

Conservative Move was started by Paul Chabot, a former US Congressional candidate from California, now living in McKinney. Paul is retired from law enforcement and runs a counter terrorism consulting firm while serving in the Navy Reserves at the rank of Commander. A frequent Fox News guest, he is married with four children. 

“My wife (Brenda) and I decided to leave California in January of this year,” he writes. “We wanted a better life for our four young children, and we found it in Texas. Our only regret was not doing it sooner. This “idea” was so simple – we just wanted to help families make the move like we did … and that’s where we can be of help to you.”

Sell your home, he urges fellow conservatives. Buy your new home. Live. Conservative Move is an initiative of Chabot Strategies, LLC – A Military Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. “

Apparently Conservative Move really likes Collin County, Texas.  

“Collin County is home to some of America’s best cities, including: McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Allen and many more,” says the website. But as they expand operations, the movement will add other counties across America.  

It’s also home to some crazy, possibly corrupt politics.

Oh and Conservative Move has anointed their own real estate agent for Collin County: Derek Baker, “who has been involved in Conservative Republican politics for more than 25-years, serving Senator Phil Gramm, Congressman Hensarling, then Governor and now Vice President Mike Pence.”

Stay tuned for more on this.

05/25/17 2:19am

4022 Puget Street listed for $89,000 in Roosevelt Manor, listing expired. Description: “Property located in fast, developing area near Trinity River Developments and Trinity Groves. This one has great potential in the future. House sold as-is.” Owned by Henry Norman.

 

Whoa, hang on there a moment. I am back from my City Council run , catching up on real estate, and have a whole lot to say. But first, let’s take a DEEPER look at the story of Khraish Khraish and his West Dallas properties that we just reported on. I mean, this is a real estate story with a huge political component.

First of all, thank you all for letting me take time off to campaign. The CandysDirt.com staff did a more than stellar job of holding the fort down whilst I campaigned in District 11 for the District 11 seat. While disappointed I lost, I thought the 37% turn out for a first time candidate (who started campaigning Feb. 10) was pretty darn cool. I am concerned about all the voter fraud, however, in this election and was surprised when the Dallas Morning News reported that my district had a massive number of mail-in votes. More, in fact, than in any previous year:

In his contentious race against real-estate blogger Candy Evans this spring, incumbent City Council member Lee Kleinman sent mail-in ballot applications to registered likely voters who are older than 65 so they could fill them out and send them back to the county.

As a result, of the almost 2,900 votes Kleinman received, more than 440 were by mail — a massive number considering that in West Dallas, ground zero for alleged voter fraud, 568 mail-in votes were spread among six candidates, including Alonzo.

West Dallas is now ground zero for alleged voter fraud, though I am taking a closer look at those 440 Mr. Kleinman received right here in North Dallas. Personally, I think the mail-in ballot system is ripe with fraud and should be eliminated altogether.  Surely you saw the report on WFAA-TV and read this piece in the Dallas Observer. I mean, there is a problem with the integrity of our elections, people!

If I were on council, I’d comb Silicon Valley for a tech company to bring absentee voting into the digital age. Mail? Stalking the postman? We could vote on smartphones with fingerprint recognition.

I learned so much running for public office. To spare you from a constant political blare, (because we know you come here for real estate dirt, not city council dirt, though the two are related) I moved political reports to CandyforDallas.com, which is up and running and to which I will be contributing about once a week for a political fix. 

Back to West Dallas. We know that is ground zero for voter fraud, and we know that Monica Alanozo is headed for a run-off there with Omar Narvaez, whom I support.

Dallas has a problem with affordable housing. Like, there isn’t any. Cranes are working all over this city for huge luxury apartment complexes where the only affordable housing component will be a chance to tinkle in the public bathroom. Homelessness in Dallas is at an all-time high. Where are living spaces for folks making $30,000 a year? (more…)

05/24/17 5:27pm

You see that gorgeous sofa? I have been so in love with it for the longest time. I’ve always thought about buying a classy piece of bold upholstery, but I just needed the right incentive. Well, while I might not be a huge fan of Memorial Day sales, this one is not to be missed, as IBB Design and Fine Furnishings in Frisco is paying the sales tax on all in-stock merchandise from today through Saturday and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29.

Jump for the full details!

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05/24/17 4:59pm

Richard Schalij

It took several days to reach Realtor Richard Schalij for an interview. But just like anything worthwhile, our conversation was very much worth the wait. Schalij is at once disarming and engaging, a natural story-teller with no discernable pretense, content to shift the spotlight to others. By the time our interview is over, I feel well-acquainted with his extraordinary parents and his childhood spent sailing on the Hudson and exploring Europe’s art world. Schalij is one of a kind.

When pressed, Schalij describes himself as genuine and an outside-of-the-box thinker. “I’m very much myself with buyers and I think they appreciate that,” he said. “And I’m always trying to bring options to my clients. If they’re looking at a particular neighborhood, I will always mention other areas they may not be aware of, perhaps something that’s off their radar. I try to think of what it would be like for them living there, their wants and needs.”

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05/24/17 3:56pm

One of the hottest new neighborhoods in Dallas is Hines’ Merion at Midtown Park, which sports a luxurious amenity center. (Courtesy photo)

Hines has announced that Merion at Midtown Park — one of Dallas’ newest and most amenitized in-town, single-family, gated communities located off Meadow Road near the Royal Oaks Country Club — is now open to prospective buyers. Home prices start in the $450s.

The 23-acre development will contain about 300 single-family homes created by homebuilders Chesmar Homes, Coventry Homes and K. Hovnanian Homes.

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