In some areas of North Texas, beautiful custom homes like this one from Classic Urban Homes would not be allowed due to their stucco exteriors. Thanks to HB 2439, that will change come Sept. 1. (Courtesy Photo)

Staff Reports

Area homebuyers grappling with affordability challenges and lack of diversity in housing choices will soon see significant relief thanks to the Texas Legislature. HB 2439, which passed by overwhelming majorities in the House (133 to 9) and Senate (26 to 5), was signed into law by the governor and becomes effective on Sept. 1. 

The new law prevents local governments from enforcing regulations that artificially make housing less attainable for working families by forcing them to choose more expensive products in the design and construction of their home. The law also helps local material suppliers and contractors who were previously limited or prohibited from doing business in some of the area’s fastest-growing cities. 

In the hearings that preceded the bill’s passage, much of the opposing testimony came from suppliers and contractors who contended their business depended on local product mandates. Testimony in favor of the bill came from those whose business was correspondingly crippled by them. 



New analysis by Trulia confirms what we’ve been seeing all over Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Entry-level or starter homes priced in the median range, which usually falls below $200,000, are scarce. In fact, if you want to find a new home in the $200,000 range, it’s getting mighty difficult to impossible.

To measure the dearth of dedicated inventory for first-time homebuyers in the starter market, Trulia has launched the “Trulia Inventory and Price Watch,” which measures housing affordability along three market points: starter homes, trade-up homes, and premium homes.


Lochwood midcentury

Photos: Shoot2Sell

Deep in the heart of East Dallas is a rare opportunity to take a step back in time to a house that looks untouched since it was built in 1959.

The Lochwood midcentury modern located at 10504 Lake Gardens Dr. is 1,533 square feet of retro perfection, from Terrazzo floors and decorative dividers throughout the house to original pendant light fixtures and knotty wood paneling. It is newly listed by David Collier with David Griffin & Company for $295,000.

This 3-2 has been meticulously maintained in its original condition, a rare treat for the midcentury modern enthusiast and real estate shoppers. It is located near Easton and Garland roads on a street with large shade trees and small hills with many other 1950s houses. The lot is 98-by-101, with a large, green lawn and nicely manicured hedges. Let’s step inside and step back in time.


1001 Belleview A

Photos: MetroplexHD

For this week’s Tuesday Two Hundred, we’re looking at a hip downtown loft, 1001 Belleview Street #401. This condo is located in the Beat Lofts, a 10-story, 75-unit building in the heart of the revitalized South Side neighborhood, also known as the Cedars.

This corner unit is a 2-1.5 and 1,336 square feet, listed for $299,999 by Natalie Newberry at Clay Stapp + Co. I love the marriage of urban and midcentury styles in this loft. Jump to read more!  (more…)

I think this might be our first home on from Ridgewood Park, an East Dallas neighborhood just south of Lovers Lane and east of Abrams Road. It’s not too far south of Northwest Highway in a little alcove tucked away from too much traffic. In a word: Love.

This house, 6515 Ridgemont Drive marketed by Lindy Mahoney of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, is traditional to a “T.” Now, traditionals aren’t often my bag, and I prefer uncluttered spaces, lots of windows, lots of light, and minimal furniture (all of this, of course, you wouldn’t be able to tell if you looked inside my home right now. I blame the toddler.)

This one, however, is so cute that it makes me squeal! It feels so much like a perfectly curated dollhouse right down to the wing-back chairs and cozy den. And at $279,000 you get what you pay for with updates, location, and charm.

Some parts of this home are perfectly modern, though. Take the kitchen, for instance. While the cabinets are gleaming white and the blue-and-white backsplash tile is a country traditional hallmark, everything feels new and fresh, especially the stainless steel appliances and the custom dishwasher front. I love the marble counters, which add an unexpected elegance to the room.

There are three bedrooms, two baths, and absolutely no brass fixtures in sight. While this  1,568-square-foot was built in 1955, everything feels completely updated and move-in ready. This home would be perfect for newlyweds, and it’s in an area that is very accessible for commuters, too!

The backyard is spacious, and there’s a good-sized patio. The only negative about this home is, in my opinion, the detached garage, which would be a pain in the rear during inclement weather.

What do you think about this house?

I have a small child, so, invariably it seems, he will turn into a shrill, soul-sucking monster just as soon as my mother-in-law leaves from babysitting him. Thank goodness he’s super cute, right?

Somedays, though, I really do consider moving into a home that has an in-law suite. Something private that will be comfortable for Mimi to stay in so she doesn’t have to drive all over creation to come and baby sit every once in a while. An in-home nanny would be living the dream, amiright?

If you’re looking for a home with a second suite, 9363 Hunters Creek is perfect. Presented by Keller Williams’ Matthew Scobee, this five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home has two good-sized main floor suites, with the other three bedrooms on the second floor. With 3,459 square feet you won’t even run into the in laws if you play your cards right! And it’s pretty affordable, too, at $327,000.

While the downstairs has fresh moulding and paint in the living and dining areas, the kitchen will need some attention. At the very least a cabinet re-facing is in order, as well as some new appliances. If you’re going to go whole hog, though, might as well rip the whole thing out and start over.

The master bath, with double glass vessel vanities, a slate shower and a jetted tub, is ready to party. Nothing I’d change in there.

Speaking of parties, you can throw a heck of one in the backyard, where there’s a hot tub! I wonder if it’s a time machine?!

Is an in-law suite something that people look for, and would it be a selling point for you?