las vegasEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

In our last story, we looked at the 22nd city on the list — Richardson, Texas. This week, we look at Las Vegas, Nevada, and found three great homes — all for less than $315,000.

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time warpAlthough we’re no stranger to properties time forgot, this week’s Wednesday WTF is most definitely a time warp.

time warp

Once again, we have found that the most innocuous looking houses hold the most secrets inside. And the secrets this seemingly unassuming Ranch-style home in Las Vegas holds? Well, let’s just say they were special enough to assemble a panel of readers to discuss exactly what was going on.

Now, Jo England, our esteemed Executive Editor, said she knew the home was special before she even saw the interior photos, but I think the rest of us were pretty much in agreement that this house is a sleeping rabid squirrel of a property: You don’t know until you poke it that it might eat your face off.

In other words, sometimes we cover “O” homes. This is more of a, “Oh …” home.

Jo: “I knew this one was going to be special because of those crazy topiaries in the front yard. It’s like Betty Draper-meets-Brady Bunch.”

But then we looked at the interior photos, and the reactions came pouring in. (more…)

Thanksgiving Friends episode

Happy Friends-giving from CandysDirt.com!

For this installment of my sometimes weekly motivation column, I offer these 13 things you never knew about Thanksgiving. May your D/FW Thanksgiving be full of grace, and may you avoid the meat sweats.

1. Friends produced a Thanksgiving-themed episode nearly every year of its 10-year run, except for one: 1995, Season two’s “The One With The List.” Writers slipped in a “Mocklate” storyline at the last minute for NBC execs, but it’s the only Friends season not to have a dedicated Thanksgiving episode.

2. A kind Boston man offers a Thanksgiving meal to anyone who RSVPs, and he’s done so for 33 years. The tradition began when the divorced loner took out an ad in the newspaper, inviting others who’d spend the holiday alone to come eat together. Through the years, thousands have come to Scott Macaulay‘s table and given thanks together.

3. The only two teams that host a Thanksgiving Day game every year are the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.

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Whale

You are selling your home, you want to sell it as quickly as possible for as much as possible. How do you find the best possible agent?

Get one who knows how to catch a whale!

In one of his more entertaining sessions, Brad Iman here at Real Estate Connect 2015 brought in Larry Altschul, senior vice president of customer development at MGM Resorts International. He’s the guy who is charged with bringing the “Whales” to Vegas – whales being the term used colloquially in business for high net worth rollers. In Vegas terms, it’s folks ready to bet at least $100,000 at casinos. Guys who, as Larry said yesterday, drop $100,000 on a weekend for fun and do not blink an eye.

He told us he brings them in, and also makes sure they pay. (more…)

Is it just me, or is the Vegas all-you-can-drink uber-debauched stag/bachelorette party gone passe? Maybe I’ve watched “The Hangover” one too many times (OK, I watched it once, which may be one too many), I think so. Or maybe it’s just because I’m officially in my 30s, but what this dear CandysDirt.com reader is describing sounds just perfect.

Our dear reader is looking for some out-of-the-way bachelor party accommodations for eight guys to get their relaxing weekend on. Requirements: near a lake or river, within about an hour or two of Dallas, and plenty of room to get rowdy.

This sounds like someone who would really love a weekend stay at Long Cove, which is a perfect second home haven for lake lovers and weekenders on Cedar Creek Lake.

Read the full plea for help after the jump!

LongCove LakeClub 7211 (2)

I’m a writer in New York, early 30s, and planning a bachelor party for eight active, outgoing guys in the Dallas area, where I used to live.

The groom is well past the age of Vegas/Hangover-style antics and wants something more low-key. So, I’m looking for a nice house or cabin somewhere outside the city to plan a perfect weekend packed with core summer guy stuff — grilling, fishing, tubing, volleyball, you get the idea.

He’s having a destination wedding, so most of us have already invested quite a bit on his behalf. I could probably squeeze another $200 or so out of everyone—putting our budget around $1,600 to $2,000 for two nights, plus the inevitable extras like food, gas, etc. We’d probably be willing to drive 90 minutes, maybe 2 hours from downtown Dallas.

I’d like to find something truly special — a big, impressive, beautiful place with plenty of things to do on the property where eight guys could comfortably stretch out.

If there’s easy access to amenities like boat/jet ski rentals, golf, etc., even better. The more we can fit into two nights, the better.

Comment with suggestions, or if you have a rental offer, email candace@secondshelters.com!

Long Cove water view of LC

dorothy-is-currently-funemployed-and-fabuluxe-but-when-i-grow-up-i-want-to-be-the-asian-sensation-of-the-worldWhile at Luxury Portfolio International in Las Vegas this week, I tried to stay away from Blackjack and the Craps tables and soak in all the hot deets for you from the world’s leading experts on everything luxury. The most important take-away for me was this: luxury is back and hello, the consumers are younger than ever!

Consider this: 36% of all young real estate buyers today grew up wealthy! They do not know what life is like in a home without a media room and at least three garage doors that open electronically. These kids are educated, working (some), and have high expectations – no pun intended on Colorado pot.

Have you seen Rich Kids of Beverly Hills?

The “young affluents” are defined as consumers under age 50 who are in households with discretionary incomes of $100,000 or more. So like young professionals, and what we used to call “dinks” — double income, no kids.

And of course, the rich kids.

You know how for awhile we heard that young people were not buying homes? WRONG!

According to a Harrison Group report prepared for American Express, Young Affluents, as they are called, value homes and home ownership as much as older consumers do – maybe more.

Get this:

21% of young affluents bought a primary home in the last three years.

20% plan to buy a primary home in the next 1 to 3 years, if they have not already, and…

12% plan to purchase a second home in the next few years. Yes, that’s right — grandpa’s not buying the lake houses out in Long Cove on Cedar Creek Lake, Young Affluents are, for their kiddos!

rich-kids-of-beverly-hillsThis is especially true here in Texas, where our market is among the strongest in the country. The latest Case-Shiller report tells us that North Texas home values are up by 10.2%  from last year, and Dallas was one of just six cities to show one-month gains. The others were Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C. Of those markets. only San Francisco and D.C. were not on Skid Row during the bust. Our real estate never bubbled, so it never bombed.

Now, however, agents tell me it’s almost deja vue 2006.

According to the Harris Poll, Young Affluents value home ownership just as much as their parents do. They just buy it differently, leveraging technology through every step of the process. Technology has changed how buyers deal with every single human in the home buying process, and these guys embrace it.

78% of Young Affluents work full time (or more), compared to only 51% of Affluents over age 50 who work, 75% of Young Affluents are married, and 41% who are not plan to be married in the next five years. They are prolific: 63% have kiddos under age 18, and 27% who don’t have kids plan to have them in the next five years.

What else? These kids shun debt and 68% have no credit card debt. And 25% of them are saving up. That’s the same percentage amount saved as the over-50 geezers like me. They are tech savvy and as we said, use technology for everything. They download apps: 33% of Milennials, 17% of Gen Xers and 10% of Older Affluents have apps that alert them when things go on sale. Like Louboutins. They are engaged in social media, of course, and more than a quarter engage with companies over social media to share their experiences and give product feedback.

roxy-lives-at-home-with-her-mom-dad-sister-and-little-dogBut all those devices and social media have led this generation to be less reliant on salepeople than any other generation. Consumer’s reliance on salespeople is totally waning: three quarters of the affluent and wealthy say they rely less on salespeople today, and three quarters feel they can get better, faster, more accurate service and information on the internet.

A clear 81% of Young Affluents believe they get better quality info on the internet than in dealing with salespeople.

Want to meet this crowd? Guess where you will have to be!

After 22 months of growth, are Dallas home prices about to hit a plateau? Could be.

The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index showed a 10.2 percent year-over-year increase in Dallas home prices according to their most recent 20-city composite report. Dallas now ranks with 13 of the top 20 cities measured by Case-Shiller’s HPI with double digits. Nationally, the home price index is up 13.4 percent year-over-year.

But are we about to peak? Perhaps, as analysts with S&P say home price increases are slowing quite a bit. That break in momentum could be good news for buyers who are having a rough time find a home in Dallas with tight inventory and bidding wars around every corner. Case-Shiller’s HPI showed Dallas prices up only 0.2 percent from November to December, and a 0.1 percent increase from October to November.

“Only six cities – Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington – posted gains for the month of December,” the report stated. “Miami held its leadership position with an increase of 0.9% followed by Las Vegas at +0.4%. Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles remained relatively unchanged – Detroit remains the only city below its January 2000 level.”

According to Steve Brown’s DMN story, S&P’s David Blitzer thinks the rebound period of the housing recovery may be behind us:

“Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over,” said S&P’s David Blitzer. “Recent economic reports suggest a bleaker picture for housing.

“Existing home sales fell 5.1 percent in January from December to the slowest pace in over a year,” Blitzer said. “Permits for new residential construction and housing starts were both down and below expectations.”

Still, Blitzer points out that the Case-Shiller index in 2013 had it’s largest gain since 2005.

And Dallas-area home prices have been up from the previous year for 22 straight months. Local home prices are up by more than 5 percent from where they were before the recession, according to Case-Shiller.

We’ll have to see what happens as the spring selling season hits, but steady prices and an uptick in inventory would be good news overall.

What’s your perspective? Will we see home prices continue to increase, or are we about to hit a plateau?

LVMkt July 13 25

By Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber

Three buildings with 2,224 showrooms full of furniture, accessories and gift items tucked into over 5 million square feet — that’s what greeted me when I arrived at the winter Las Vegas Market Center show last week.

I’ve been going to shows such as these for more than 20 years, but this market has become my favorite. It’s truly become a one-stop shop and it’s great to be able to see everything in one place. There were so many great products and things to share it’s hard to know where to start! But here are five of my favorite looks and trends.

Big is Beautiful

 

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You can tell that people are more confident about the economy because they are investing again in larger statement pieces for their homes. Unique personality pieces are stealing the show, and showrooms such as Andrew Martin and GO Home are putting together collections of old and new that will make any home memorable. We fell in love with these hand-carved octopuses. Not sure where we would put them, but I’m sure I could find a place. Old circus canvases and carnival games were also a big hit.
Radiant Orchid — The Pantone Color of The Year

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Pantone chooses a color every year that they think will have the most influence, and the 2014 choice was “Radiant Orchid.” It’s a actually a great accent for a lot of the main colors we saw — “Indigo Blue” seemed to be one of the leaders in bedding and fabrics. Loloi Rugs had some great interpretations of this color palette, and there was lots of it seen in florals and accessories.

Organic is in

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Furniture, lighting and accessories made out of organic or recycled products are still very important. Low Country Originals does a magnificent job of turning oyster shells into works of art. I’m lusting after some of their chandeliers and their vine balls. Their porch swings are perfect for the Dallas lifestyle, and come in different finishes and woods. The Phillips Collection also creates works of art from logs, petrified wood, driftwood, and tree stumps that become furniture or wall art. Each piece is truly a one-of-a-kind creation.
Light Up

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Lighting has moved from the home improvement store to the design showroom, even at very affordable prices. There were so many great choices this year I want to completely start over in my own home. Arteriors, which is based here in Dallas and is available through the In-Detail showroom, had something for everyone. Their Zanadoo chandeliers were just fun, and would make quite the statement in an older home or a new home. I also just loved their Stedman chandelier, which is made with bottles. It would be perfect in a wine room. We also loved the industrial lighting that GO Home offers. Each piece is so unique, and could become the shining star in almost any room.

Signature Style

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Celebrities and designers continue to work with manufacturers on lines that are available at all price points. Donny and Debbie Osmond were at market to introduce their new line: Donny Osmond Home. They are really putting a lot of time and energy in the products they are developing — all at very affordable prices. This is brand new, and I’m excited about the possibilities. Thom Filicia (Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) was also at market introducing his lighting line for Safavieh that is a fresh approach to “The New American Aesthetic.” His attention to detail is unsurpassed, and is perfect for Dallas.

There’s lots more to talk about and share, but the International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Showstarts tomorrow in Las Vegas, so I’m off to share what I discover there as well. It seems like February is going to be a busy, beautiful month!

Suzanne FelberSuzanne Felber is a design and branding expert who runs the website Lifestylist.com. An Oak Cliff resident and lover of all things design, keep up with Suzanne by following her on twitter.