Tuesday Two HundredWe cherish our audience here at CandysDirt.com, and we hear you loud and clear: you thought we were being too tough yesterday. We pointed out the photo problems with a darling North Oak Cliff Tudor we felt might be keeping it from achieving its full market potential. Because that is what we are all about here on CandysDirt—treating real estate like the commodity it is, helping you get your top sales dollar through the latest research of what works in marketing homes to sell.

Well, we heard you loud and clear. First of all, no meanness was ever intended. Constructive criticism, yes. And I take full responsibility because I told the staff just last week that I wanted us to get tougher on bad real estate photos this year. In fact, we are contemplating offering prizes if you send us examples of terrible real estate photos. Nothing irritates me more than seeing lazy, unprofessional real estate photos on the world wide web that kill the sale of a home.

That said, there is life. If you saw my office right now—here’s a photo—you would say “eeek! What a mess! This broad has a lot of nerve!” I know if I put my home on the market I have bucket loads of crud to clean up, put away, take to storage, burn. We have a new rule in this house: break it, you get a kiss.

Candys messy office

Many of you said hey, you don’t know the circumstances behind this listing. Not everyone can afford a fancy-pants stager, Design District furniture, and a maid to polish floors and tidy up before each showing. Turns out the homeowners are both working parents. There’s probably no time to sleep or shower, much less get all haute design-y on the interiors of the house.


Photo from votemcgough.com

Photo from votemcgough.com

About Adam McGough’s utility bills at his Highland Park condominium: we may have been misled into misleading readers that his energy consumption at his Crestpark condo was so low that he could not possibly have ever lived there.

Here is what we said:

Well, let’s put it this way – they either have the world’s most energy efficient, off-the-grid-solar-panel-using-cold-shower-having family, or um, they maybe didn’t live there the whole time.

There, I said it.

Here are the months of usage we have. Maybe they used more at some point. But for real, this is a dream electric bill for four people. For instance, their April 2014 bill was 658 kilowatts. October 2014′s bill was 480.  To put this in perspective, the average electric hot water heater pulls somewhere between 380 and 500 kilowatts per month, and your average fridge uses about 150 kw.

I was alerted to the fact today that one  of his opponents may have been circulating the electric bill information that we posted earlier in the week. It apparently turned up on The Advocate in comments, though our information came to us materially from a trusted source. Getting in touch with someone at Oncor who even knows how to spell “blog” has been a difficult feat this afternoon, but I have asked them to see if they can tell us how the McGough’s account information was released and who it was released to. In this age of anonymous email addresses, we may have better luck fishing in the Trinity. (more…)

Mea Culpa. I goofed. So very sorry. What more can I say but this is proof that your real estate reporter will always get off her butt and go check out a house before she writes about it. What am I, getting lazy in my old age? (Maybe.) (Or maybe too much alcohol.) So I drove over to the upper echelons of Strait Lane the other day and lookie what I found: a friggin’ masterpiece. THIS is John Wiley Price’s defense attorney John Carney’s house on Strait Lane. I’d say this gal has had a little reconstructive work done. Quite frankly, I think it’s beautiful. I want the name of the doctor! We went from a meh North Dallas ranch to 5900 square feet, five bedrooms, four baths, just as Uppercase Matt told me. Babydoll, I owe you!

Quite frankly, I have a message for Uncle Sam: leave this guy alone. I don’t care what he paid or did not pay, he worked a freakin’ miracle on this home. Give him a huge tax break. I’d LOVE to see the interiors.

By the way, lest you think I was being snarky about this end of Strait, mais no mes cheries.  I love it. Susan Newell constructed a stunning new home at the very end, and with the dead end into the Hockaday campus, it’s like living next to a very well-manicured preserve. See?


First of all, a mea culpa. I messed up big time when I released the OFFICIAL Ebby Halliday press release three hours early this morning due to technical difficulties in setting posts. I did NOT mess up when I wrote and published my story yesterday (part of it while at the Cowboy’s game!) and presented it to my readers late Sunday night. As bloggers, we are supposed to be on top of information, like 24/7, and I strongly feel that, unless illegal or it’s going to get someone sued, hurt or killed, getting that information to my readers rapidly is Job One. This is the internet/Twitter era, not Morse Code. I waited to release MY KNOWLEDGE of the information on a Sunday night when I thought most peeps would be talking about football and baseball, and when I knew an email had been sent out to all ET and DPM agents about the meeting. The official press release from Ebby was under embargo until 9:00 am, and I had every intention of abiding by that — unfortunately, my computer didn’t.

But then I went to the 9 a.m. meeting this morning at Ellen Terry and honestly, I thought we were having an earthquake in Dallas! The power was unreal. Two luxury real estate competitors have MERGED into one powerhouse. I did not know that both Dave and Bud Bush, DPM’s office manager, had worked together and been trained by Ellen Terry.

“This is my proudest moment,” said Dave. “With the two of us at the helm, we will be unstoppable!”

Ellen was super excited as well, and in fact I overheard the two making lunch plans for Bistro 31.

“Both companies have parallel cultures,” she said. “And besides, I trained y’all!”

But really, the power was in the audience. I have never felt such energy reverberating and afterwards, here are snippets of what individual agents said:

-My clients actually called me yesterday and told me about it, they are so excited!

-How could they call a meeting for both offices and think we’d not know something? We all knew and it’s going to be great!

-Why did we not do this like years ago?

Details are still being worked out under the direction of Bud Bush and Ellen’s PRECIOUS office manager, Lee G. Thomas, who I cannot wait to get to know better! DPM signs are ordered and will replaced ET signs within three weeks, but already the sharing and synergy is unreal. In fact, several agents say they want both office meetings to be combined, always and forever.

(photo above: Ron Burgert, CFO of Ebby Halliday, Lee G. Thomas, Mary Frances Burleson, President and CFO, Ebby Halliday, Ellen Terry, Dave Perry-Miller, Bud Bush.)

Photo by Ellen terry agent Kristin Sims. If she can make ME look this good, you all ought to hire her in a nano-second!