Panelists Corey Clothier (Mobility e3), Rod Schebesch (Stantec), Kelley Coyner (Mobility e3) and Tom Yardley (Stantec)

 
We’re starting to see the impact that self-driving, autonomous vehicles will have on real estate development. It corresponds, interestingly ,with the same trends we saw in the recent WalkUp Wake Up Call for DFW: these will be two major real-estate-driven boons to our local economy that will change the landscape of our cities over the next few decades.
 
If you’ve been following the autonomous vehicle conversation, you know there are LOTS of different companies working on AV technology with a variety of different applications, from long-haul platooning to neighborhood delivery robots and everything in between. Experts from Mobility e3 & Stantec broke down the real estate impacts of AVs at a panel discussion hosted by Munsch Hardt law firm.
 
Bottom line, the AV technology with the greatest impact on local real estate development will be the AVs adept at navigating high pedestrian densities. That is, once the novelty wears off and people stop jumping out, playing with, and laying in front of them, making for a very long and jerky ride. There are a few companies honing this technology for high-density, mixed-use areas where originations and destinations are within relatively close proximity. Navya is one. It’s a French company that built one of the first driverless vehicles and has been operating a driverless shuttle minibus in Las Vegas. They just delivered a public bus fleet to Oslo, Norway.
 
All but one of the prototype vehicles in use in the U.S. now are small vehicles carrying 4-8 passengers.

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The Deep Ellum district in downtown Dallas is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. (Photo: Steve Rainwater via Creative Commons)

The January release of “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Dallas-Fort Worth” happened quietly, though the implications for investment are huge.

This is the largest study done on D-FW on the most profitable type of real estate in the nation. Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs) are seeing higher property values, lower vacancy, and commanding higher rental rates. Even through the last recession, WalkUPs saw lower vacancy and quicker leasing rates than places designed in a primarily drivable sub-urban orientation.

Walkable Urban Places are also proving to be the most economically, socially, environmentally, and even psychologically beneficial type of real estate.

The report, assembled by a team of researchers from George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, identifies the places in DFW that exemplify this national trend. The study delves into the key indicators for successful Established WalkUPs and the Emerging WalkUP markets ripe for investment.

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Floorplanet 1

I will never buy a home with a bathroom opening into a kitchen or dining room.  I will never buy a home with a fireplace in a corner, off-center or next to the front door.  I will never buy a home with an enclosed kitchen that can’t be opened, nor one requiring off-site laundry.  Deal-breakers — we all have them for every aspect of our lives.  I won’t date smokers or the tattooed.  I won’t buy a non-white car.  Of course my deal-breakers are someone else’s checkbox item.  One man’s trash … blah, blah, blah.

Agents, how many times have you shown a property, and within seconds heard “no” from a buyer? How much of your and your buyer’s time has been wasted getting to that visceral “no”? The home buying process has already been made more efficient by using the MLS and creating listings that offer pictures, virtual tours, room and lot dimensions, school districts, and the like.   So why doesn’t the average U.S. home listing include a floor plan while other countries do?

Oh, and it’s doubly maddening to see high-rise listings without a floor plan when all that’s typically required is a stop by the front desk to pick up a copy.

In order to move the needle a bit, I’ve looked into the costs and offers of three companies offering a floor plan creation service specifically for real estate agents. (more…)

ebby halliday app

Consumers, especially Millennials, are changing up their house-hunting strategies. More than ever, buyers are relying on smartphone apps to discover available properties and narrow down their searches before getting in touch with a real estate professional.

Ebby Halliday Realtors has been on the leading edge of technology in the North Texas real estate market since they introduced a searchable website in the 1990s. Many brokerages weren’t even online then.

They are again shaping the technology landscape in real estate with the Ebby Halliday Realtors app, offering a plethora of powerful features and user-friendly components.

“The Ebby app is a natural extension of our website, ebby.com, said Randall Graham, vice president and director of marketing for Ebby Halliday Realtors. “We are dedicated to meeting all of our clients’ needs by providing advanced interactive mapping for consumers on the go.”

The app is proof of their expertise in the area of technology, showing Ebby “gets” the needs of modern buyers, particularly Millennials.

“This innovative app provides information in a natural way starting with a map, not a menu,” said Graham. “Just a few of the functions available to Ebby app users on the go include the ability to immediately find open houses and newly listed properties, and it’s easy to perform detailed searches and to share properties of interest with friends or your Realtor.”

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unmarried couples property rights

It has been said that falling in love consists of uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense, and for many couples, buying a house together is an experience driven by excitement and emotion, especially in a market as hot as ours.

When a married couple in Texas buys a house, community property laws offer each person equal rights, responsibilities, and protections for their investment. But with more than 12 million unmarried partners living together in the U.S., and almost 13 percent of those being same-sex couples unable to get married in some states, it makes sense that the number of unmarried couples buying a house together is increasing.

For the unprepared couple, buying a house may mean buying trouble, too, as they fail to plan for the possibility of the relationship failing.

Dallas Realtor Franceanna Campagna has observed that firsthand with her clients.

“The home buying process is such an exciting and usually happy one, particularly for the first-time homebuyers, that people don’t like to drag in the three Ds of real estate: death, disaster, or divorce,” Campagna said. “However, I always advise clients that financial planning and estate planning is the best way to protect themselves and their investments from future unknowns.”

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millennials real estate

Millennials use their smart phones extensively in the homebuying process and use apps for research. Photo: Garry Knight

For years, millennials have largely been thought of as renters, not buyers, but that has changed. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

This matters because the way millennials buy real estate is markedly more technology-driven than older generations, and Realtors need to adapt to their style if they want to keep up, says David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty.

“There’s lots of frustration among older agents in working with the millennials, but they’re not going away and agents need to learn to adapt,” Maez said. “It’s exciting because of all of the technology that’s available to us to make it easier to buy and sell properties. How people buy properties is going to continue to evolve on the technology level.”

millennials real estate

Take, for instance, the telephone. Many Realtors are used to speaking with clients, but millennials are much more into texting.

“With millennials, you have to communicate how they want to—they are big on texting and many don’t even answer their phones,” Maez said. “Some agents have had success using Facebook messaging because [their millennial clients] are not checking their email, either.”

The smartphone is key to a lot of the differences in millennial real estate patterns. More than half of them search for homes on their mobile phones and 26 percent of those buy a house they found that way, according to research from NAR.

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Suite 200 Living

Are you a self-employed creative? Then live/work space might be right for you says Chase Heckendorn. (Photos: Chase Heckendorn)

By Chase Heckendorn
Special Contributor

The growing culture of self-employed folks, creatives/freelancers and start-up businesses in Dallas has spurred quite a bit of demand for live/work space. Pioneered by some early loft developers in Deep Ellum, we’re now seeing a widespread trend of property owners and developers following in their footsteps. The idea of having an eclectic mix of commercial and residential tenants is appealing to both the tenant and property owner alike.

So what exactly is a live/work space, and why is it so appealing?

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We knew this day was coming. The day we’d see new construction of high-density, mixed-use projects all over North Oak Cliff. We rezoned less than a year ago to allow the growth we knew was coming, and hopefully have some control over how it transpires.

So here we are, faced with a developer wanting to listen to the community and do a ‘good’ project. Enter: Matt Segrest and Wade Johns of Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan. They’re developing the proposed Bishop Arts Gateway project, three 5-story buildings along Zang Blvd at Davis St and Seventh St. They say they’re in it for the long term, and that they cut their teeth developing in Portland and Seattle so they understand Streetcars and well-built neighborhoods. So they called a meeting with the neighborhood Thursday to get our input.

BAD Overview-small

It’s all a bit ironic if you think about it – a meeting of past gentrifiers to talk about future gentrification. Granted, not all of us at the meeting moved to O.C. from somewhere else. A couple attendees had a tenure longer than a few decades. The rest of us moved here after the police station storefront opened and closed on Bishop, after the city spent over a million dollars to build great sidewalks and plant trees, after the Texas Theatre and The Kessler were restored…

So what are we really talking about here? The changing character of a neighborhood and its people. The issue isn’t unique to Bishop Arts though, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Some call it gentrification (that dirty word), others progress.

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