Kyle Crews and the Allie Beth Urban Team with Allie Beth Allman right in the middle

Dear Diary,

Today I drove a Rolls Royce. Not only was it OMG big (like 20 feet long), but it rode so very unexpectedly smooth (I expected smooth, but it’s shockingly smooth). The new Phantom VIII was on display, and quite at home, at the Stoneleigh Residences in concert with the Allie Beth Urban team who’re taking over shell space sales. And you know me, I love to redesign a shell.

After my recent journeys through Southern Dallas, the city’s Market Value Analysis for affordable housing, and Housing First programs for the homeless, firing up the Phantom’s 563 horsepower, V-12 engine provided for some serious mental whiplash (the Phantom is far too polite to have caused physical whiplash).

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The Azure, at 2900 McKinnon in Uptown, is a luxury condo building with serious amenities — but you don’t need a multi million-dollar unit to enjoy them.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of shaking off the world by valeting your car at your swank high-rise building, taking the elevator up, and eating up the city views as you unwind with a glass of vino. If it sounds luxurious, it is. But it’s not outside the realm of reality.

Take the Azure, for instance. Completed in 2005, this high-end high-rise in Uptown has some of the best amenities, with a glorious pool deck that offers incredible views of Uptown, a fitness center where any personal trainer would love to help you sweat it out, plus a valet and concierge. 

The lobby of The Azure sets the tone for this building — sexy and luxurious.

But you don’t have to pay upwards of  a million to feel like you’re living in the lap of luxury at the Azure. In fact, Allie Beth Urban’s Ani Nosnik has a beautiful one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath unit on the market that costs less than many homes in the M Streets, gives you more security and amenities, and puts you close enough to downtown that you could very well ditch the car when the weather is irresistible (like today).

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Regency Row Exterior 1

It’s been a Ritzy week here at CandysDirt.com and I’ve got a different story to tell.

Having lunch at the Dallas Ritz with Kyle Crews from Allie Beth Urban was the perfect tee-up to my flight to Paris … where the Ritz legend was born.  In a way it was also a harbinger.  You see, there are four Regency Row townhouses associated with the Dallas Ritz, three of which remain unfinished shells. My arrival in Paris, 9-hours late after four planes and lost luggage, made my first 48-hours rather unfinished in a different way.

We’ve all driven by these odd townhomes wondering if they were really homes (they are) and not some elaborate Ritz stage piece masking some hidden purpose like an Oncor substation (they’re not).  Now that the McKinney and Olive building, designed by award-winning architect César Pelli, is complete, the Regency Row townhomes have something nifty to look at.  It sort of completes the street scene for this block.

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Real Estate Story

Selling Your House Infographic Header

So you’re thinking of selling? Now’s certainly a great time, and with buyers snapping up houses fast and furious. Think you don’t have to do much before you list, right?

Wrong. If you want top dollar for your house or condo, you need to create a love affair between your home and prospective buyers. Buyers may be eager, but they’ve still got options and you want to entice them.

We’ve talked to some of the very best Realtors in town to find out how they tell clients to prepare their listing, and created a handy infographic for you, too. So check out their home selling tips below!

1. CREATE CLASSIC CURB APPEAL

Dave Perry-Miller, owner of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, says curb appeal is like a first date.

“Would someone go on a first date with a stained shirt?” he asked. “Make your first impression one of excitement and fun anticipation!”

In fact, Perry-Miller says the front door should be the focus of your efforts.

“Start from the front door and move out from that. The further a buyer gets from the front door, the less impact,” he said. “If a buyer doesn’t like how a house looks when they drive up, it’s an uphill battle.”

Christy Berry, Executive Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, agrees.

“Drive-up appeal is crucial and first impressions are everything,” Berry said. “Be sure your landscaping is groomed and there is a pop of color. Remove the wreaths from the doors, too.”

Curb appeal gets buyers in the door, so even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, make sure you get your front looking fresh and clean. Simple things, like power washing the driveway and sidewalk, replacing bulbs in outdoor fixtures, and repainting the front door can make a big impact.

“Have trees trimmed and the lawn manicured and free of weeds, and do landscape improvements, like fresh mulch in beds, seasonal color in beds or pots of flowers,” said Jacqui Bloomquist, Realtor and Marketing Specialist at Coldwell Banker, Apex. “Add sod in bare spots and keep your lawn watered and maintained at all times.”

For condo sellers, the common area needs the same level of attention.

“If you live in a condo, make sure the corridor to the unit is cleaned and refreshed before showings,” said Kyle Crews, a realtor with Allie Beth Allman & Associates Urban. “My Urban team knows I keep a bottle of diluted Fabuloso that I spray in condo corridors and in vacant units to eliminate odors.”

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Selling Your House Infographic Header

So you’re thinking of selling? Now’s certainly a great time, and with buyers snapping up houses fast and furious, and sales prices up 12 percent in January! Think you don’t have to do much before you list, right?

Wrong. If you want top dollar for your house or condo, you need to create a love affair between your home and prospective buyers. Buyers may be eager, but they’ve still got options and you want to entice them.

We’ve talked to some of the very best Realtors in town to find out how they tell clients to prepare their listing, and created a handy infographic for you, too. So check out their home selling tips below!

 

1. CREATE CLASSIC CURB APPEAL

Dave Perry-Miller, owner of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, says curb appeal is like a first date.

“Would someone go on a first date with a stained shirt?” he asked. “Make your first impression one of excitement and fun anticipation!”

In fact, Perry-Miller says the front door should be the focus of your efforts.

“Start from the front door and move out from that. The further a buyer gets from the front door, the less impact,” he said. “If a buyer doesn’t like how a house looks when they drive up, it’s an uphill battle.”

Christy Berry, Executive Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, agrees.

“Drive-up appeal is crucial and first impressions are everything,” Berry said. “Be sure your landscaping is groomed and there is a pop of color. Remove the wreaths from the doors, too.”

Curb appeal gets buyers in the door, so even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, make sure you get your front looking fresh and clean. Simple things, like power washing the driveway and sidewalk, replacing bulbs in outdoor fixtures, and repainting the front door can make a big impact.

“Have trees trimmed and the lawn manicured and free of weeds, and do landscape improvements, like fresh mulch in beds, seasonal color in beds or pots of flowers,” said Jacqui Bloomquist, Realtor and Marketing Specialist at Coldwell Banker, Apex. “Add sod in bare spots and keep your lawn watered and maintained at all times.”

For condo sellers, the common area needs the same level of attention.

“If you live in a condo, make sure the corridor to the unit is cleaned and refreshed before showings,” said Kyle Crews, a realtor with Allie Beth Allman & Associates Urban. “My Urban team knows I keep a bottle of diluted Fabuloso that I spray in condo corridors and in vacant units to eliminate odors.”

Jump to read more and see the infographic!

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Missy Woehr with Allie Beth Urban was one of a handful of people stuck on Friday night on the Stratosphere at the Texas State Fair… 210 feet high up in the air! I would have died and had to commence Lamaze breathing techniques for 2.5 hours, the length of time Missy withstood the elements with Carol Stradtman from Hexter Fair Title.

Update: Happy to report she is down… and safe as of 11:54 pm Friday night. Each stranded rider was brought down individually by (she said, hot) Dallas Fire rescue teams, one by one. The Stratosphere broke down because of an apparent power outage.

“So glad I had taken a jacket,” says Missy, teeth still chattering when she got down. “Some people were up in shorts and flip-flops.”

Missy says she wishes someone would have flown by with glass of chardonnay… are you listening Spirit Airlines? Or that she and Carol could have, at least, had downtown views. But hey, who’s complaining? They are more than grateful to be home, warm, and feet touching Dallas dirt!

Last week Dallas Morning News real estate editor Steve Brown shook the Dallas condo market world when he wrote that “Lenders may take Palomar condo tower”. He said that since last year, “Behringer Harvard has been trying  to renegotiate the debt on the Residences at Palomar condo building.” The news was that one of Behringer Harvard’s funds missed a $3 million payment in early 2011 on both the Palomar Residences and a Colorado project. What this means is that the lenders, a credit union under the control of federal regulators, could get testy and snatch the unsold units in its Residences at Palomar condominium building in Dallas.

I flew to the phone and called Adam Hignite, who is marketing the residences with Allie Beth Urban. His line was burning up with people assuming that the Palomar was going back to renting when it had in fact launched major price reductions and a sales program last July. Units have been decked out by designer Mark Godson and have been moving. Not flying off the shelves, but moving. Here’s what Adam said:

The Palomar going back to rentals? WRONG! Behringer Harvard is very focused on finding someone to pay off the entire underlying mortgage to take Texans Credit Union, which is under the control of federal regulators, out of the picture, which would be a good thing for the building. That would bring in a new developer as a partner, says Adam, and all financial issues will be wiped away at that point.

The Palomar units are still for sale, and not being converted to rentals. Over next couple months, the Allie Beth Urban team hopes to have good news to report on the new financial partner. Meantime 26 units of 39 are rented, not  46 as Steve reported, and a total of 24 are sold. That’s 33% of the building sold. Six sales have been made since spring. The one and two bedroom homes overlooking the pool are the most popular units. And pricing? In 2007 prices were just under $400 a square foot, now they are down to $210 and $230.  Texans Credit Union held the original mortgage, now the NCUA holds it under Credit Liquidity Services. Here’s more from Steve:

The Addison-based real estate firm has been negotiating since early last year with the mortgage holder on the building at Mockingbird Lane and North Central Expressway.

The project lender, which is under control of regulators, has now demanded full and immediate repayment of the entire debt.

“Conversations with the lender still continue,” said M. Jason Mattox, chief operating officer of Behringer Harvard. “We were in negotiations on a recapitalization and only learned very recently that it was not going to be acceptable.”