Splurge vs Steal: Two New Construction Contemporary Condos in East Village | CandysDirt.com

East Village is a loosely defined geographical area on the opposite side of Central Expressway as West Village. It is fast developing and full of surprises. 

Today’s Splurge vs Steal takes us to East Village and two brand new condos that are move-in ready with sleek design and contemporary elements. Which one is your favorite? 



For Rent Scam

As more homes hit the market, more rental scams hit CraigsList and other free classified sites, asking for deposits and fees before a potential tenant has seen a contract, or the property for that matter. Scammers are finding plenty of material on home searching sites that they then hijack for their own purposes, which makes this a truly difficult situation for both renters and Realtors.

We asked veteran Realtor, broker and founder of LocalDwelling.com, Colin Lardner, if he had any tips or tricks to help avoid scammers who might poach a listing or photos to bilk an unwitting renter.

“Keep a close tab on the syndicate sites (Trulia, Zillow, etc.) and inform them immediately when you see something wrong,” Lardner offered. “We have also contacted the FBI when we see a poached listing.”

On the flipside, Lardner says that it’s unlikely a scammer will poach listing information from Craigslist. “We have found that higher quality prospects come from other sources,” Lardner said. Still, tenants should watch out for fake listings as “Craigslist seems to get a fair amount of abuse from scam artists.”

But how do homeowners protect themselves from scammers spreading photos and information on their homes all over the Internet? Well, they don’t have too much to worry about, Lardner said, as prospective renters are more often victims of fraud than sellers or homeowners.

“Scammers are putting themselves out there as the owner and taking rent and deposit money from the prospect,” Lardner said, adding that LocalDwelling.com vets all owners and tenants rigorously, filtering through most scam artists and cons.

So, how do Realtors protect themselves from scams? By using MLS, Lardner said.

“MLS is hard to scam. If Realtors are searching for listings there they should be protected from the type of scams we see from people posing as owners,” Lardner said. “We are always available to the Realtor community to facilitate any property management and leasing issues.”

Have other questions about buying, selling, and leasing? Send us an email at jo@candysdirt.com.

Jack Evans joins Colin Lardner at Local Dwelling!

In case you have not noticed, real estate rentals of single family homes are soaring. Our friends at Zillow just paid $16 million for the real estate rental search site HotPads. Zillow says it is making this hefty acquisition to “expand the size of its growing rental audience and extend the reach of its marketing tools and productivity solutions for rental professionals.” Naturally, rentals rule in large cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston where real estate prices are high, the population is younger, more transient and there are more high density units to choose from.

But guess what: rentals are hot and getting hotter by the minute here in Dallas/Ft. Worth. The average Dallas-area apartment rent is forecast to reach $867 by the end of this year, up nearly 7 percent from 2007, according to a report by CBRE Inc. and MPF Research. But home rentals are killing it! In fact, it’s massive investments in rental properties that’s driving the real estate rebound. Traditionally, selling agents don’t mess with rentals because the commission thresholds are far lower. The classic example is an agent getting one month’s rent as a fee. With D/FW housing rents from $1000 to $5000 a month, that’s small potatoes commission compared to a 3% split on a half million dollar home.

Two local real estate veterans see those mini fries as a business opportunity. Local Dwelling is a professional lease/management firm founded by former Dave Perry-Miller agent Colin Lardner and residential HOA management guru Worth Ross. Together they have created a company that helps investors acquire, manage, maintain and liquidate rental properties. The majority of their business centers on single family residences, townhomes, duplexes and condominiums. They are serving the growing investor groups who are devouring distressed properties in DFW.

“We have a hedge fund looking to buy 100 homes a month in North Texas,” says Colin Lardner. “They want us not to just help them buy, but to manage and lease the homes once closed.”

Why the move to property management, I asked?

“Let me ask you the question, Candy. What comes to mind when you think of property management?” Colin asked me.

I made a face, I looked at my fingernails like they had long, glittering acrylics, popped a wad of chewing gum in my mouth and pushed my cleavage to the middle. Was my skirt short and tight enough?

That’s my whole point, said Colin. We want to take property management to a higher level, educate both the consumer and the owner on what to expect in the process, streamline and professionalize it.

LocalDwelling has an inventory of just under 500 properties in Dallas and growing. With a staff of 12, they offer very competitive management fees and a turn key process. They will help the investor locate and buy the properties, get them ready for occupancy, and manage the rental process.

Right now, the home lease management market almost resembles a mom and pop industry of individuals, some of them Realtors, who manage properties for a fee. LocalDwelling intends to take it to the top, growing into every major city in Texas plus sub markets, then taking the company national.

“We are building this company to serve various investor and home owner groups,” says Colin. “Investor Markets have become global but the need for Local expertise and a company that takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously, is more important than ever.”

Dallas/Fort Worth leads the nation in apartment construction with 17,792 units under way. But the single family rental market is getting downright brutal. With stringent lending rules, consumers are no longer afraid to shell out thousands a month on single family home rentals. They even pre-pay, that’s how competitive the market has become. Colin told me of one tenant who pre-paid an entire year of rent — $74,000 — to secure a lease home. That’s $5500 a month plus an $8,000 security deposit. In the M Streets, another tenant is paying $2100 a month and plopped down 3 months advance rent to finalize the lease.

To learn more about the rental market and property management contact Colin at the Local Dwelling Property Management at 214-522-9100 www.localdwelling.com