On May 12, I posted a column on the coming sale of my home at the Athena. On May 14, it was listed in the MLS for $530,000. The home was under contract in seven days with the first (of many) people who toured (and still tour).

Including my home, there are currently five properties in the Athena for buyers to choose from. The others have been listed between five and nine months – and for less money. Why did my home get buyers’ interest so quickly?  Renovation.

Those who toured left comments that included:

“Absolutely stunning home in the sky! Please let me know if the current contract does not work out!” “It is lovely,” and, “This is a beautiful unit with the finest of materials used on the remodel.” And specific to the Athena, of those I spoke with, all appreciated my having an open balcony.

It’s no secret that buyers want move-in homes. But buyers in the older demographic the Pink Wall trades in really want move-in ready homes.  Properties requiring six-figure renovations with their associated hassles are a lot less appealing.

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ARC Logo 2

The Dallas Builders Association’s annual ARC awards sent me north to the Westin Galleria on Saturday night.  Amazingly, our recent rains didn’t hamper any glamorous (and dry) entrances and exits. It’s my second year attending this fab ‘do and I try not to take their “no jeans, khakis, shorts” admonition personally.

Dallas Builders Assoc Logo

Before we jump to the winners (suspense?) I’ll say that homeowners looking to either remodel or build from scratch should check out the DBA website for resources and education.  They hold regular seminars on a variety of building topics, such as the Sept. 7 course titled the “Basics of Building.” It sounds like a great test-the-waters course that at eight hours will either mesmerize or scare the bejesus out of you. There’s also the Oct. 12 course on “New Home Technology” that lasts three hours and includes lunch. There is a charge for courses and they’re aimed at professionals, but as a consumer, learning a little before you begin ain’t half bad.

Anyway…

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Remodeling Impact Report

The new Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors looks at renovation “joy scores,” as well as reasons for doing remodeling jobs and which ones Realtors say get the biggest ROI. Photo: Ebby Halliday Realtors

Americans are crazy about renovations. Entire entertainment mediums are dedicated to our love of home improvement, like DIY Network and HGTV Magazine.

In the first ten months of October 2015 alone, Americans spent $326.1 billion on remodeling their homes. The big goals were to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials; add features and improve livability; and just because it was time for a change.

That’s according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors, the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report. It examined reasons homeowners tackle renovations, as well calculating a “joy score” from each project. The report also details Realtors’ opinions of home renos, how they add value to a property, and what projects are most likely to attract a buyer.

This report is the first of its kind from NAR, surveying Realtors, consumers, and members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

“Realtors know that certain home upgrades and remodels can be beneficial to get more buyer eyes on a property, potentially bring in more offers or gain more equity from a home,” said NAR President Tom Salomone. “But remodeling projects are just as valuable to homeowners who simply want to get more joy out of their dwellings. Regardless of the situation, Realtors know what remodeling projects bring the biggest bang for the buck and what projects are most likely to improve a homeowner’s impression of their current place.”

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This adorable house at 5737 Palo Pinto screams "Key West!"

I was looking over this adorable listing, 5737 Palo Pinto in the Belmead area of Lakewood, and it reminded me of something. Still, I couldn’t put my finger on it. The teal paint and umbrella, the landscaping, and the clean accents were calling from somewhere else, somewhere much more tropical. And then it hit me … it’s 100 percent Conch Republic  style!

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and my favorite — a claw-foot-tub! — make this home perfect for families or frequent entertainers. You’re close to White Rock Lake and tons of shopping. And don’t forget that Lakewood has some excellent schools, too.

This cute, cute, CUTE 1929 Craftsman has too many great features to list …

But I’ll try anyway! There’s an updated kitchen with stainless steel, a gorgeous masonry fireplace, and huge porches that are sure to make your dinner guests swoon as you sit outside, imagining you’re taking in the Gulf breeze. All you need is a little Jimmy Buffet and some margaritas …

Here’s the kicker: This home, marketed by Julie Boren in the ever-popular Lakewood, is priced at $549,900. Hop on over to DCAD and you’ll see that it’s appraised at $592,490. What does that mean? THIS HOUSE IS A STEAL. If the paradigm that DCAD appraisals are usually under the home’s true value, than this home must be worth around $650,000. But, it could be yours for $549,900!