By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Buyers and sellers aren’t the only victims of real estate scams and crimes. Realtors are also a favorite target of crooks, criminals, and other shady types.

Due to the nature of the real estate business, agents naturally come in contact and work with strangers on a regular basis. Most real estate deals involve big ticket transactions and that adds to the risk of dealing with unfamiliar people.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve highlights a few scams aimed at buyers and sellers. Realtors often get caught in the web of these deceptions as well. They just add to crimes that focus on these professionals.

After quizzing a few Realtors, here are just some of the scams going around lately:

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Casa ViewFinding a home in the more affordable $200,000 range can be more difficult in Dallas in this market, and while — thankfully — good elementary schools and feeder patterns are much easier to find these days, finding the two in the same house can still be a reach sometimes. But this adorable Casa View Midcentury cottage is that unicorn.

Casa View is one of the view remaining enclaves in Dallas where you can still find move-in ready homes at a reasonable price point. And Realtor Jason Castro of Castro Property Group knows this — because he bought this home at 1821 Tisinger Ave. as a personal remodeling project.

“I think Casa View is kind of one of the last of those neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s just primed for a little reinvestment and a little redevelopment, and still have you know affordable housing in the city.”

“I think that’s the challenge —  I do most my business in East Dallas, and when you start looking at Lakewood and other neighborhoods that are so overpriced, where do you go when you need a starter home?”

“Where do you go if you’re new in the workforce and want to find something around $200,000 to $300,000?” he said. “There’s really not a lot of options.” (more…)

bachelorRobert Belcher was a bachelor when he snagged his light, airy, and well-appointed Travis Street condo a few years back — but things have changed, and now he’s parting with it because something even bigger happened: He fell in love with Rebecca.

Robert and Rebecca met on New Year’s Eve and fell in love, and now his Uptown condo is listed (photo courtesy Robert Belcher).

“It’s just time switch things up,” he said. “I have a wonderful girl down in Austin that I’m very in love with.”

Although the two have mutual friends, it was a New Year’s Eve meeting in Tulum, Mexico, that initially connected them.

“Yeah we’ve just really hit it off,” Belcher said. “Everything’s sweeter with a little risk, so I guess I’ll just take one and move down to Austin.”

But that’s not to say that he’s not going to miss his condo, nestled at the back of a small development but within walking distance to all kinds of uptown amenities.

“I’ll tell you I’m a little bittersweet about it — I’ve lived here in Dallas for 13 years,” he said. “I was born and raised in Fort Worth, so I’m a DFW kid, with the exception of about six or seven years when I was away for college and in Colorado right after.”

The location of this 2,248 square foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath condo was one of the big selling points for Belcher, but the floorplan was an even bigger one.

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fort worthWe talk a lot about the downtown Dallas skyline and the amazing views you can get from high-rise life there, but in today’s look at available rentals, we’re trekking over to downtown Fort Worth, and the Neil P.

We’ve talked about the Neil P. before — our Eric Prokesh took a look at the building’s history when he wrote about a ninth-floor unit that was for sale. The historic building had it’s beginning as the Neil P. Anderson Cotton Exchange, designed and constructed by the leading Fort Worth architectural firm Sanguinet and Staats in 1921. (more…)

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

The internet can be both an ally and an adversary to today’s home seller. When it comes to scams and cons, homeowners are easy prey for professional criminals.

Let’s face it. When selling real estate, you are inviting strangers into your home. Figuratively with online photos, maps, and more. And literally when they come to view your property. You and your home are exposed for the world to see.

Being aware of the scams aimed at sellers is the first step to stopping them in their tracks. These are some of the most popular swindles I’ve heard about in the past year:

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home vacanciesDallas has fewer home vacancies than the national average, the Dallas Fed announced a new hire, and the Inclusive Communities Project is hosting a Latino Urbanism discussion.

We have the details in this week’s roundup of real estate news. (more…)

seppes
 
As we may have mentioned, it’s real estate awards season. By now, you must have heard of The Seppes, an evening gala to top all galas, otherwise known as JP & Associates annual black-tie awards.
 
JP & Associates is one of the hottest real estate stories in North Texas. A story that is so big, it’s quickly becoming a national story, as JPAR gains recognition from industry heavyweights such as REAL TRENDS, Inman, the Inc. 5000, and more as one of the top 100 real estate brokerages in the US.
 
Founded by Giuseppe “JP” Piccinini in Frisco, JPAR is a full-service transaction-based real estate brokerage firm specializing in real estate sales and marketing services. With more than 1500 agents (growing daily), 21 offices and $2.6 billion in sales in 2018, JPAR operates multiple offices across Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida. It is the largest independent and privately held brokerage in Texas, and third in DFW for home sales. 
 
Now offering health insurance and other corporate benefits for agents, JPAR is also offering franchising opportunities for entrepreneurial real estate professionals.

“Our model – a full-service brokerage with a capped transaction fee, a productivity standard, and a service-based culture – is resonating with agents and consumers alike,” said Mark Johnson, JPAR Chief Operating Officer. “We have built a top producers dream and a culture that supports the emerging trend of teams.”

The fifth annual Seppe Awards gala took place this year on Sunday, Feb. 17, at Gilley’s in The Cedars. Every square molecule of the venue’s 91,000 square feet was packed with JPAR agents, friends and supporters. The Seppes have grown sequentially, and this year I estimate at least 1,500 were celebrating, dressed to the nines, and rocking to the band Emerald City.
 
And to think the very first Seppes took place in JP’s living room five years ago!
 
Nicknamed Seppe (short for Giuseppe, JP Giuseppe’s legal name), the 5th  Annual Seppe’s Awards did not disappoint. The surprise comes at about 11:00 pm flor those who are still dancing (most everyone): Waffle House! Last year, it was Whataburger. What will it be next year? Jump for this years winners and more fantastic photos of an evening that exceeded expectations…
 

Giuseppe “JP” and Lauren Piccinini

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Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

More and more people are choosing to rent, economists are finding, but Apartment List found in a recent study that one particular — and somewhat surprising — segment of the rental market is booming: high-income renters.

The report deems those with six-figure incomes as high-income renters, and a growing number in this income bracket are choosing to rent their homes instead of buying. On a national basis, almost two million (or 48 percent of) high-income households became renters between 2007 and 2017.

“In Dallas specifically, high-income renters grew 91 percent from 2008-2017,” said Apartment List research associate Rob Warnock.

Why? At least in Dallas, it may be the sheer volume of luxury apartments available. (more…)