pitchesAs we’ve mentioned before, every week we solicit pitches for our various featured listing posts, including our weekly roundup of open houses.

You can tag us on Instagram, or even better, you can join our Facebook group, Getting the Dirt.  It’s a great place to virtually mingle with fellow professionals, ask questions, lend a hand, and, yes, pitch stories to CandysDirt.com writers. Not a Realtor? It’s a great place to get a first glimpse at some of the most recent listings all over North Texas, too.

Take, for instance, this week’s properties featured in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. We have four incredible properties this week — consider it our usual three and a bonus house, if you will.

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m streetsIt’s always nice when newer construction in an established neighborhood blends right in with the historic homes, like this M Streets Craftsman-style home we found for this week’s Saturday Six Hundred.

Built in 2009, this home at 5322 Miller Ave. has all the curb appeal and character of some of the much older Craftsman homes in the M Streets and Vickery Place areas, but the modern practical details like smart home features.

And it’s been beautifully done both inside and out, with an open-concept floor plan for the common areas that is bright and cheerful. Casement windows bring in tons of natural light, and hand-scraped hardwood floors are throughout the home.

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Lewis McKnight with McKnight And Associates has listed 5732 Llano Ave. for $474,000.

For people who want to live in the heart of Dallas, it can be hard to find an eye-catching, updated home that’s affordable without sacrificing location. But this week’s Friday Four Hundred is all that and more, and sits right off Greenville Avenue. One look at the photos, and you’ll see why this Craftsman cutie is causing a stir.

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5840 Belmont Avenue is currently listed by Kyle Baugh of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty for $549,900.

According to Lee Arenberg, “Renovating a home is like building a character. You start with the foundation, work with the lines, then there’s the costume fitting. It’s the same with remodeling and staging.”

In his downtime from acting in mega-hits like Pirates of the Caribbean, Seinfeld, and Once Upon a Time, Arenberg parlays his movie dollars into selling imported rugs from Morocco and remodeling homes in top markets with his designer wife Katie, who was in Dallas in the early 2000s when the pair met. “She opened my eyes to the Dallas market,” he says.

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There’s finally a name for it: “cute aggression.”

It’s that feeling you get when you see a baby, a kitten or puppy — or in my case, an adorable house — that makes you want to take a little love bite out of it. 

That’s exactly the feeling I got when I first saw 5918 Richmond Ave. It’s a completely adorable cottage in East Dallas’ Belmont Addition that is move-in ready.

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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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Which grocery store has the "Starbucks Effect": Trader Joe's or Whole Food?

Which grocery store has the “Starbucks Effect”: Trader Joe’s or Whole Food? (Photo: t2RealEstate)

Which upscale grocery has the “Starbucks Effect”: Whole Foods or Trader Joes? That’s what RealtyTrac recently analyzed.

If you haven’t heard of the “Starbucks Effect” here’s a little primer:

“Homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro appreciated 49.7 percent between January 1997 and December 2013,” Humphries said. “But if you look just at homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro and within a quarter mile of a Starbucks, you see the Starbucks effect: Those homes appreciated 56.9 percent.”

Humphries said they were surprised by how decisive the results were.

“Over the past 17 years, we found that homes within a quarter mile of a Starbucks doubled in value, whereas the average home in the U.S. appreciated 65 percent over the same time,” he said.

Well, Dallas has Whole Foods locations in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow, two of the priciest neighborhoods in Dallas. But you can find Trader Joe’s on Lower Greenville, in Lake Highlands, and in Inwood Village — all up-and-coming areas with great character and rising home values …

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Lower Greenville CraftsmanBefore the construction of North Central Expressway in 1950, Greenville Avenue one of four major roads leading into Dallas, and was the main route to northern cities like Richardson, McKinney, and Plano. It used to be called “Richardson Pike” or “Richardson Road,” and was the main route into Dallas from the Texarkana.

The neighborhood of Lower Greenville runs adjacent to Greenville Avenue south of Mercedes Avenue and north of Belmont Avenue. Many of its houses were built in the 1920s when Greenville Avenue was a big thoroughfare, like our Thursday Three Hundred, located at 5739 Morningside Ave.Lower Greenville CraftsmanThis Lower Greenville Craftsman bungalow was constructed in 1925, and is a beautiful example of the Arts and Crafts style, from a wide front porch with thick square columns and its low-pitched, gabled roof, to numerous windows, original fireplace, and arched doorway.

You can walk to the Granada Theater from this house and all sorts of other fun restaurants, boutiques, and live music venues on Lower Greenville. It’s also close to the 9-acre Tietze Park, which has a swimming pool, a sandstone picnic pavilion, lighted baseball field, tennis court, basketball court, a second ball field, playground, and more than 75 mature oak and live oak trees, cedars, and a few “kneeling” bois d’arc trees.

This house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, 1,512 square feet, and is newly listed by David Bush at David Bush Realtors for $399,000.

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