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: 1 Daniels Street, Salem, Massachusetts, is listed by the Merry Fox Team of Merry Fox Realty for $610,000.

Who is ready for the popped corn, the bat brownies, the fabulous return of Hocus Pocus on repeat?  Well then, it shouldn’t take long to figure out why we selected Salem, Massachusetts for our latest Splurge vs. Steal.

Need a Hocus Pocus refresh? Here goes, courtesy of Wikipedia:

After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal. (more…)

Webb RoyalWe’ve written about the Webb Royal neighborhood before — the perfect choice for young families that find themselves priced out of popular Sparkman Club and Midway Hollow. And we found a great example of what makes Webb Royal so great in our Tuesday Two Hundred this week — an adorable traditional built in 1955, but recently updated throughout.

And bonus — it’s in a community that hosts neighborhood parties and chili cookoffs, with a walkability and safeness that makes it a great place for family-friendly holiday activities like trick-or-treating, too.

In fact, when we set out to write about the neighborhood, one resident went door-to-door to talk to his neighbors about why they loved the neighborhood, helping us paint a picture of a community that is a grand mix of longtime homeowners and new families, all enjoying the numerous nearby amenities and the quiet charm of their neighborhood.

“Whenever my friends say they’re looking for a new home, I encourage them to look in our neighborhood because it’s one of the few spots you can still find a great deal in an up and coming neighborhood,” resident Jeff Reburn said at the time. “It’s one of the few neighborhoods in Northwest Dallas you can find a great home for between $200,000 and $400,000, depending on size and how updated it is.”

“There are nice homes on tree-lined streets with friendly neighbors,” Bill Adams said. “We picked the neighborhood before we picked the house so that speaks volumes to the personality of the neighborhood.”

The home on 10732 Channel Drive is listed by Laura Suarez with Century 21 Alicia Trevino, Realtors, and is 1,913 square feet of family-friendly space, including four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. (more…)

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor 
 
There are hundreds of mobile apps specifically focusing on real estate. Most are aimed at potential home buyers and sellers. Apps like Realtor.com, RealScout, and Homesnap help consumers search for properties for sale. Other apps provide neighborhood and property data like RPR Mobile and AreaPulse. Updater is an app that helps track moving tasks.

Then there are apps aimed at helping Realtors with their business. Many agents and brokerages use BackAgent, Skyslope and similar transaction management apps to help stay organized. Docusign is a popular app that gets signatures from clients on the go. Staging apps like PlanOmatic and Hutch help with marketing a property. Roomscan lets agents measure and record floor plans. The list goes on.

And there are also apps provided by title companies. Most of these are aimed at helping Realtors determine closing costs for a particular property. The really good apps allow agents to run an estimated net sheet for their clients.

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No nightmares here

5149 Byers Avenue is one of the “3-Sisters” on Byers Avenue from Ferrier Custom Homes (photos: Mark Perry)

What gives you nightmares? I’m not referring to the nightmares you had as an 11-year-old from watching The Shining at Jason Gorden’s birthday party in 1985. I’m talking about real nightmares … the ones related to your home!

For many Texan homeowners, a nightmare can be in high energy bills, the cost of replacing a roof after a ghoulish hail storm, or breathing unclean air as it circulates through the home.

With local Fort Worth builder Don Ferrrier, home-related nightmares are replaced by pleasant dreams for happy homeowners.

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Voters are fired up — and that enthusiasm was borne out in Monday morning’s record-shattering early voting tallies across the state.

And that makes sense — 15,793,257 people are registered to vote in this November’s election, a record number. In the 2014 midterms, only 4.7 percent of the 14 million registered at the time voted.

The state’s biggest counties — including Dallas, saw larger first-day turnout than they did in the 2014 midterms, and in some places met or exceeded some presidential election totals.

And the lines began nearly immediately and continued throughout the day.

“It’s been like this all day,” said one poll worker at Marsh Lane Baptist Church, where the line snaked down a hall, into a reception area, around the walls of that room, and back up the hallway again. “But it’s gotten worse as the day has gone on.” (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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How did the Dallas real estate market become the market to watch next year, but not make the top of a list of rising home values? We take a look at recent reports in this week’s real estate market news roundup.

NEW REPORT TAPS DALLAS AS MARKET TO WATCH IN 2019

After falling to number five last year, the Dallas market is once again number one for overall real estate prospects in 2019, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate revealed.

The Dallas market topped 78 other cities, and regained its top spot largely because of its young workforce and high business startup activity, the report said. (more…)