RichardsonAs you may have noticed, we’ve had a bit of a theme going this week at CandysDirt.com — we’ve been featuring homes in neighborhoods with great walkability and community feel, that are perfect for trick or treating and Halloween festivities. We solicited some suggestions from readers, too, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

This week’s slate of open houses come from one of those suggestions — the stretch of Waterview Drive between Belt Line Road and Arapaho Road in Richardson. Our insider told us that this enclave in west Richardson is always busy each Halloween, and “all the little cul-de-sacs add a lot more houses to the mix, too.”

We found three homes in three different price points that all have open houses this week in the neighborhoods around Richardson’s Waterview Drive that were perfect for our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. Which ones will you visit? (more…)

Christie RanchFull confession — we asked our readers to give us the skinny on some of the best neighborhoods and communities that really embrace the whole trick-or-treat, neighborly fun of Halloween. And one reader not only pointed us to the Christie Ranch and Grayhawk neighborhoods, but then pointed out a great house — a house perfect for our Thursday Three Hundred.

“You can’t get through the streets, so many people,” our inside source told us.

And the house? Get a load of this four-bedroom, three-bath Traditional with 2,853 square feet of living space located at 13073 Broadhurst Dr.

Right from the curb, the stucco home is inviting. Yes, there’s another home going up next door, but that just means more awesome neighbors to trick-or-treat with, right?

Inside, a sweeping staircase leads to the second floor, and great office space with French doors is immediately to your right. Keep going, and you walk right into the common areas, which feature easy-to-care-for concrete flooring. Offices and bedrooms, as well as the upstairs living space, have carpet. (more…)

creepySo next week is Halloween, and this week over at CandysDirt.com, we’ve been looking at homes that are in great neighborhoods for trick or treating, or that address some scary part of home ownership. In keeping with that theme, the Wednesday WTF got creepy.

OK, sure, we get creepy all the damned time. All. The. Damned. Time.

creepy

So when the editorial calendar says, “Hey, this is your opportunity to get creepy this week, it’s a theme and everything,” your WTF writer thinks, “Rita, please. It’s a completely normal Wednesday around here.”

creepy

So when I found this completely abandoned villa on an island that’s only accessible by boat is now for sale, I realized that even though they say it’s not haunted, you know damned well it’s creepy.

Super creepy.

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When Allie Beth Allman agent Erin Seeds first moved back to Dallas, she did what everyone usually does: went apartment hunting. Few people are ready to plunk down a down payment and buy a home when they first move to town, even if they have family here.

“It was a disaster,” says Erin. “All I wanted was to find a reasonably priced apartment that was good for me and my two dogs. I quickly learned that the apartment search process was so broken.”

The information she needed wasn’t available. Many good-looking apartment sites provided ratings, but those ratings were skewed, random, and not very actionable. There were no objective quality standards.

There is no MLS for apartment property search, no giant Zillow for rentals. Well, not yet. There are agents who specialize in apartment search, collecting an average of one month’s rent as commission: extra developer perks might be tempting. And when it comes to searching for amenities, most apartment search platforms come right from the landlord: not exactly what we would call objective, right?

“No one was concerned with quality or fit for the consumer,” says Erin. “It was all about the agent.” (more…)

Our Splurge: 5323 Swiss Avenue is listed by Kay Weeks of Ebby Halliday for $3.7 million.

Don’t let Halloween get you spooked! Tour these Swiss Avenue stunners instead. Two properties. One neighborhood. Drastically different price points. If it weren’t for all the Halloween hub-bub, we’d still think they’re a great buy.

Didn’t you hear? They’re located smack dab in a treasured Dallas enclave that’s known for getting its trick-or-treat on! That’s right. Enter the Swiss Avenue Historic District. The neighborhood with the good candy. The houses that spring for the big bars. Whether you’re all chocolaty goodness or pure vanilla smoothie, these two beauties will take a bite out of your Dallas home search and are the creme de la creme in the neighborhood for the price. Don’t believe us? Enter if you dare. Mwahahahahaha…

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What are the best Dallas-area neighborhoods for trick or treating? Find out from Zillow. (Photo: Stephen Depolo via Flickr)

What a treat! Zillow released its annual Trick or Treat Index, and this year, Dallas haunts the chart at No. 11. The index narrows down the best cities to score candy based on single-home density, average home values, and number of children under 10. In summary: More candy for less walking.

After the jump, check out  Zillow’s list of top spots and a few other local haunts. Plus, brush up on some Halloweeen safety tips to keep the night freakishly fun. Got any favorite trick-or-treating spots? Hit us up in the comments with the best neighborhoods for those full-size candy bars.

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Zillow Trick or Treat Map

Dallas’ lack of sidewalks and abysmal walk scores kept it from making Zillow’s list of top cities for trick or treating. I have several great memories of trick or treating, but the all involved piling into the bed of a slow-moving pickup truck and cruising through the neighborhood. We rarely walked between houses, because if you did that, it would take you all night to fill your pillowcase with treats.

Best Cities to Trick or TreatThat’s probably what fueled the thinking of Zillow statisticians who came out with this year’s list of the top 20 cities for trick or treating. They measured cities based on their  Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. “Based on these variables, the Index represents cities that will provide the most candy, with the fewest walking and safety risks,” the website said.

Ranking No. 1 for the third year in a row is San Francisco, with Boston and Honolulu ranking second and third, respectively. Some choices that are kind of surprising to me include Washington, D.C. (8), Miami (14), and Baltimore (19).

You’d think that because of the many wealthy enclaves that are incredibly walkable (Hello, Park Cities, Lakewood, and Uptown) that Dallas would have ranked somewhere close. Of course, we shouldn’t feel too bad because not a single Texas city made the list. They don’t know what they’re missing, right?

Still, this list isn’t surprising because it has the same cities as last year, just in a slightly different order.

To see the full breakdown, visit Zillow’s site.