Colvin Court Rendering

I know this is a little unorthodox for our weekly High Caliber Home of the Week feature, but we would be remiss if we didn’t draw a little attention to a cool new development right off of Gilbert Street in Oak lawn. Designed by renowned, award-winning architect Russell Buchanan, this beautiful limestone and metal grouping of eight townhomes (four duplexes) was built by Centre Living Homes and is being marketed by David Griffin & Company Realtors.

This is exactly the type of property that Dallas needs — beautiful architecture, private courtyards, greater density, and environmentally conscious construction — and is certainly fitting of being named this week’s High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. If you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, call Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans to breeze through your purchase from bid to closing.

Jump to find out more about the delectable architecture and amenities of Colvin Court, as well as how you can get a first-look tour on Thursday, April 28.

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5800 Palo Pinto guest house

District 14’s Philip Kingston is proposing a change to city ordinances that will allow the construction and rental of guest houses like this one at 5800 Palo Pinto, as well as garage apartments. Some M Streets residents object.

Head over to Stonewall Jackson Elementary tonight at 6:30 tonight as Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston will be hosting an informational session regarding the recent proposal to allow homeowners to build and rent garage apartments and guest houses inside the district.

Right now, city code precludes the construction of a full-sized kitchen in an “accessory dwelling.” To add one constitutes a duplex — two separate residences on one lot — which is another zoning category entirely. Of course, we have heard that what constitutes a “full-sized kitchen” varies significantly depending on who you talk to at Dallas City Hall. But as more people choose to tear down homes in the M Streets and build new, the lure of rental income compels many property owners to go ahead and put an apartment on top of that detached garage while they’re at it.

Proponents of urbanization and say that in order to generate the density that will create the kind of critical mass for truly walkable neighborhoods, garage apartments and their more innocuous relative the “granny flat” will become a necessity. Plus, with property values soaring and tax assessments climbing in step, more people are being priced out of the M Streets. Building and renting a back house is a great way to generate income, helping people afford their homes and providing affordable rentals, all in one step.

Sounds simple, right?

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Looks like there could be a new mixed-use or multi-family development coming, as Charlie Perdue of Perdue Equities Company has listed this 2 acre site on Greenbrier with unobstructed downtown Dallas views. Trust me, this is an incredible lot, and is right in the Oak Cliff Gateway.

“The site would be ideal for a seven- to 10-story (three to four stories of parking included) multi-family project that could take advantage of the maximum height allowances and unobstructed views of downtown Dallas,” Perdue said. “Within the Oak Cliff Gateway zoning ordinance, this site is one of the only places you can achieve maximum height (20 stories) without the residential proximity slope restricting the number of feet you can build up.”

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Renaissance - Poston Map

In January, the lots located at 3407 and 3409 North Hall Street were reported in DCAD to have been sold to TDRE Lee Park LLC. The actual owner is currently masked behind the LLC with a local address of 4100 Spring Valley Road, Suite 310, in Dallas. However, TDRE Lee Park is a Houston registered LLC, set up by Houston attorney John W. Wood who acts as the registered agent for over 200 LLCs largely located in Houston. Wood is a pretty successful guy who lives in the tony Tanglewood section of Houston – meaning the Poston plots are unlikely to have been purchased by a Mom and Pop looking to restore the property.

TDRE Lee Park LLC is one of three TDRE-named LLCs all registered by Wood and include TDRE Hood LLC that was registered on the same day as TDRE Lee Park LLC (Dec. 22, 2015) and TDRE Investments LLC registered on April 2, 2015. Like all LLCs managed by Wood, they all share the same Houston address (which is meaningless as it’s no more than a mail drop). None of the three list any officers and I suspect they are owned by the same person/organization.

TDRE Hood LLC may hint at a property acquisition on Hood Street, but there is currently nothing in DCAD about any TDRE ownership outside the former Poston properties on Hall Street. Pure speculation, but … there is certainly room along Hood Street to tear down redevelop any number of aging low-rises in this VERY HOT area of Turtle Creek.

In reviewing zoning, lots 3407 and 3409 North Hall account for a sliver less than a half-acre. Given a residential MF-2 listing within the PD-193 area, this limits the parcel to 60 units per acre unless it’s designated commercial, which DCAD says it is. In this case, commercial-designated parcels within PD-193 can accommodate 160 units per acre. However, setback requirements have scuttled deals in the past.

Stay tuned to CandysDirt.com for more as it becomes known.

Remember: Do you have an HOA story to tell? A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors? How about hosting a Candy’s Dirt Staff Meeting? Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)! sharewithjon@candysdirt.com

Kevin Bake Off

Dallas City Center director Kevin Caskey probably did an extra spin class yesterday evening. I mean, how else could he stay in such great shape after an event like the East Dallas MLS “Cake Wars for TREPAC” yesterday?

The auction, which benefited the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee that focuses on protecting homeowners’ rights, featured some really amazing (and delicious!) treats from several brokerages in the area. It all started with the men of East Dallas MLS baked the treats and the ladies bought them up for a good cause.

But this year’s confections show that it takes a professional touch to rake in the big bids.

Trepac Starwars Back off

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Woodland Dr. Hip Pocket

Christine McKenny’s luxury listing on Woodland Drive benefits from having 11 extra photos on the listing, but not all homes need 36 photos. Photo: Courtesy Christine McKenny

Some buyers have the hardest time imagining how a home will work for their families, and in the digital age, Realtors are providing tools like virtual open houses and tours to help these buyers fall in love with their listings. So I wasn’t surprised when MetroTex Association of Realtors increased the number of  photos agents can upload for each listing from 25 to 36.

Of course, some Realtors and real estate professionals see this as a fantastic development. Others? Not so much.

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Barbara Corcoran

When you talk about the dream that gets people into real estate, it often follows the arc of Barbara Corcoran’s story. She worked 22 different jobs before getting a $1,000 loan from her boyfriend and starting a fledgling real estate office in New York City. More than $5 billion later, Corcoran is a well-known entrepreneur and stars along with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in ABC’s hit reality show Shark Tank.

The Corcoran Group is what made Barbara her fortune, but she couldn’t have done it without an iron will and fearlessness for which she is admired. If you find yourself gearing up for 2016 and looking for the right motivation to build your real estate business into a universal brand, then you don’t want to miss Barbara Corcoran’s “Rags to Riches” keynote May 10 at the Plano Centre.

Hosted by Champions School of Real Estate, Corcoran will share the story of her journey to becoming a real estate mogul detailed in her book “Shark Tales.”

You can purchase sponsorships, as well as group and individual tickets, through Champions School of Real Estate today. Don’t wait because this will likely sell out!

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New housing starts have grown the most in the $300,000 to $400,000 price ranges. (chart: Metrostudy)

 

More confirmation that Dallas has pricey dirt in this latest report from Metrostudy: While housing starts are up to the tune of 12.4 percent year-over-year and 8.3 percent over last month, few of those have been in more affordable price ranges. More people who would have preferred to buy new construction have turned to the existing home market, and those unable to find an affordable home in the market have turned to renting in droves.

“New home starts below $200,000 dropped as starts between $250,000 and $400,000 surged,” said Paige Shipp, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Dallas Office. “Although starts between $200,000 and $250,000 increased, a diminishing supply of homes at that price point is a concern. Buyers seeking affordable housing near employment and urban core are forced to buy from the limited resale market or into the rental market. Starts during the third quarter surged 38.9% and 74.5% higher than the second quarter for homes priced $250,000 to $750,000. The most notable increase in starts was in the $300,000 to $350,000 range, which is quickly becoming DFW’s new “affordable” price point.”

That’s exactly what we heard from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University last month, as economist Dr. Jim Gaines noted the gap in the less-than-$200,000 bracket:

“For years in Texas, we have had the most affordable housing for a major metro area,” said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Affordability and workforce housing are going to be a major issue.

“We are not building enough houses in the $150,000 to $200,000 bracket.”

So what fallout could we expect from that? What is the increased demand for leases in Dallas-Forth Worth doing to rents?

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