Texas is a non-disclosure state, which means that if I do not want the world to know how much I paid for my home, I can keep that news quiet if I so choose. I do not have to tell the MLS or the Dallas County Appraisal District. The last known listing price of the home goes into the computers for the world to see. The refrain from one of my old favorite commercials, “only her hairdresser knows for sure”, holds true. (Substitute Realtor for hairdresser.) Of course, when the Appraisal District appraises my home for the last listed price in MLS, but I paid less, I will fight tooth and fingernail with whatever proof I have. So come this spring, we’ll get closer to knowing what Eleanor and Nicky’s home really sold for, unless a commenter out there wants to share the knowledge with us.

“Z sales” are making sales price reports essentially ineffective. We had the Case Shiller report yesterday from Standard & Poors, and we were all quite depressed. Dallas, the poster child of a healthy real estate economy, saw an overall 3.1% decline in home prices over last year. This was, of course, across the board.  And the economy is supposed to be getting better because we bought more for Christmas the holidays?

Even Bloomberg editors seem to be on Prozac. (Maybe not: EMS’s home is sold.) Just wait ’till banks unleash those foreclosures they held back due to “robo-signing”. Again, with the exception of some lower-priced neighborhoods, North Dallas — and Texas — and Austin — will not be hurting too much because our foreclosure rate is under control. Our foreclosure rate is under control because we cannot borrow too much against our homes.

But how can we trust Case Shiller with all those non-disclosed sales?

Am I advocating for undoing non-disclosure? No way. Not as long as we pay some of the highest property taxes in the country and fund our schools that way.

I just thought it quite ironic that the home of one of the city’s most successful real estate agents finally sells, and sells for far less than originally listed, and remains anonymous.

No matter where you live, no matter how gated or remote, you have to worry about crime. I am just back from a weekend trip to the Texas Hill Country where we have some pretty acreage. I heard the most amazing story of a home burglary in our very own The Preserve at Walnut Springs. This is a 2000-plus acre gated ranch — Ken Starr owns there, though I hear he’s selling, and former Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett is about to begin a home. I’m talking the BOONIES. Good news: though the police had to chase the bad guys down a county road running tires over cattle grates, dodging deer and Longhorn, they nabbed ’em and the duo are sitting in the Johnson City jail. High-tech job: the burglars used walkie-talkies to communicate. The homeowner’s television, unfortunately, got trashed. If this had happened in the city of Dallas, the police would just be coming over to take a report, rolling their eyes. But I still feel super safe at The Preserve — it’s the snakes and scorpions that scare me. I feel pretty safe in North Dallas. Should I? Where do you feel the most safe?