jobsNeed a job? North Texas is a hot spot for jobs, and especially tech jobs. We have the details, as well as a list of finalists for the MetroTex Association of Realtors annual awards, in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

METROTEX TO HONOR BEST OF THE BEST IN DECEMBER

Twelve North Texas Realtors have been named finalists for four different industry awards the MetroTex Association of Realtors will dole out in December, the association said last week.

The association will have its annual officer installation and awards ceremony Dec. 11 at the Statler Hotel.

Finalists are:
Easterwood Cup Award (Realtor of the Year): Belinda Epps, Epps Realty; Cathy Mitchell, Keller Williams; Teresa Rutherford, Rutherford Realty. (more…)

Become an Authority on Historic Dallas Neighborhoods, Homes with this Class | CandysDirt.com

Dallas doesn’t have a great track record of protecting its historic houses and neighborhoods. Development has often meant demolition and it has been a challenge at times to help people see the value of preserving and protecting older structures and areas around the city.

But the tides seem to be shifting. Realtors are on the front lines and can make a huge impact moving forward. 

That’s where the Historic House Specialist designation comes in. A couple of times a year, Metrotex and Preservation Dallas team up to offer a two-day seminar for MCE credit and a certification for Realtors. The event includes lectures from local experts on architectural history and styles of Dallas, the preservation ordinance, property tax incentives, how to research the history of a building, and more. 

I was lucky enough to sit in on the last one in March and I have to sing its praises. The caliber of presenter was unparalleled —I took 42 pages of notes on everything from preserving historic wood windows and spotting a Dilbeck, to researching the history of a building and learning about early Dallas developers. 

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Candy and Lynda Piepgras with the Associates Realty took a quick pic with “Property Brothers” stars Drew and Jonathan Scott.

Don’t be surprised if you see a few D/FW properties popping up on a future episode(s) of Property Brothers.

Metrotex Association of Realtors brought the dapper Drew and Jonathan Scott to Texas Tuesday morning to share insights with North Texas Realtors, associates, and friends for a breakfast at the Renaissance Hotel. They spoke, took photos, and then signed their newest book, It Takes Two, which was at every plate.  Interesting: they signed the front of the book — much faster — and were exceedingly gracious. The brothers told me they thought Dallas real estate ROCKED. On the way back to D/FW, Drew Scott spoke to EW Entertainment, which is tracking his progress on Dancing With the Stars. Drew mentioned the Dallas trip and how they feel about their fans:

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Pothole SM

Taxes are paid so that government can pool monies that enable it to embark on projects that enrich society as a whole. When government is underfunded, education and infrastructure suffer. Anyone who jumped for joy at their measly property tax reduction this year also abdicated their right to complain about DISD, potholes, or Fair Park.  The 37 cents a day I saved was invisible to me and certainly wouldn’t pay for much municipally on its own.  But when joined with the savings of every other household in Texas, it equates to $3.8 billion statewide in 2015-2016.

Without taxes, there would be no public libraries, police, fire, ambulance, public schools, roadways, etc. Without taxes, every single road would be a nightmare of privately-owned thoroughfares, collecting tolls with each change in ownership.  We’ve all read stories in recent years about homes that were allowed to burn because the homeowner hadn’t paid their subscription fee for fire protection.  It’s estimated there are 1,200 such subscription-based municipalities in the USA.

The Texas Transportation Commission acknowledges an annual underfunding of $5 billion in transportation infrastructure improvements.  In the 16-county area covered by the North Central Texas Council of Governments, this equates to roughly $2 billion a year in underspending.

Tie those two numbers together.  The entire state gave back barely enough money to properly fund Metroplex roads.  Still feeling good about that piddly tax reduction?

Now before you get all uproarious in the comments, I’m not a fan of Texas’ high property taxes.

I hear you saying, “First he says government is underfunded, then he says taxes, which fund government are too high.”  That appears contradictory, doesn’t it? Not really.

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North Texas communities were ravaged by EF-4 and EF-3 tornadoes on Saturday, Dec. 26.(Photo: GJ McCarthy)

North Texas hit by EF-4 and EF-3 tornadoes on Saturday, Dec. 26. (Photo: GJ McCarthy)

American Airlines gave $100,000 to the American Red Cross for the victims of last Saturday’s tornados, and now watch out: Texas Realtors are kicking in.

As the needs of those impacted by the tornados on December 26 are evolving, MetroTex is responding in a variety of ways to help. Here’s what we’ve done so far and how you can help further:

Online, MetroTex has created a resource page with information about where to donate, volunteer, find relief and precautions to take. We are updating the site as more information becomes available.

A formal request has been sent to TAR to help activate the Realtors Relief Fund for any Realtors or members affected by the killer storm — we know of at least two.

  • President Russell Berry has appointed a Tornado Relief Task Force. This task force will be meeting to organize efforts and a plan of action to assist members who may have been affected by the devastating storms.
  • MetroTex has sent a formal request to the Texas Association of REALTORS, requesting that they activate the Texas REALTORS Relief Fund. Information on how to obtain assistance will be forthcoming and posted at the MetroTex Cares Page.

But MetroTex needs your help. Please provide them with the name, address and contact information for any MetroTex REALTOR and Affiliate members you know who have been impacted by the tornados in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall or Ellis counties.

If you can help, please consider donating cash or gift cards rather than material goods. Find out where to donate. The exception is the bottled water drive organized by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) North Texas Chapter, Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Dallas Fort Worth Chapter, Dallas Association of Realtists (DAR). You can contact them at 214-876-4567 or go to the NAHREP Facebook page for more information.

MetroTex Charitable and Educational Trust is a 501(c)(3) foundation that can be utilized to help support relief efforts for MetroTex members. Should you wish to make a cash donation for the benefit of MetroTex members please follow the directions below:

Checks should be made payable to “MetroTex Charitable and Educational Trust” and kindly write “Tornado Damage Assistance” on the check stub or on the memo line of the check. Checks can be mailed to: 8201 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75247, Attn: Cecilia Beerer.

If you prefer to make a credit card payment, please contact Cecilia Beerer at 214-540-2707 and she can assist with processing the payment over the phone.

Donations to the MetroTex Charitable and Educational Trust are fully tax deductible, and we will mail receipts to all donors during the next few weeks.

Tommie Hawkins is a registered sex offender.

Tommie Hawkins is a registered sex offender.

Heads up, Realtors. MetroTex Association of Realtors has issued a security alert for agents about a registered sex offender named Tommie Hawkins (pictured) posing as a buyer. If you’ve been in touch with this man, call the police ASAP. Stay safe out there, folks!

We have received multiple reports of activity related to a male requesting to see properties in the Colleyville, Grapevine, and Flower Mound area between $1 and $2 Million. He is able to provide proof of funds and claims to have buyer rep agreements with several agents.

He is a registered sex offender: Click Here for more information. This person has reportedly used various names as shown on the sex offender website.  Additionally, a police report has been filed with the Colleyville Police Department: Case# ISCP043332.

Please exercise caution. Contact with this person has led to conversation which deteriorates to an extremely inappropriate sexual nature.  While no one at this point has been physically harmed, there is reason to believe that could happen.

If you have had any contact with this person please contact law enforcement in the city of the occurrence.

Old Lake Highlands MidcenturyHome sales in North Texas broke a record last month, with more than 10,500 sold in June, shattering the previous record by 1,000 houses. East Dallas is faring particularly well, with sales up 10 percent from last year, according to the latest sales figures from the MetroTex Association of Realtors.

Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred takes us to a property East of White Rock Lake that helps us understand why homes in the area are selling in 22 days on average. (I’ll bet this one goes under contract even faster than that.)Old Lake Highlands MidcenturyThe Old Lake Highlands midcentury at 703 Kirkwood Dr. is newly listed and sits on a heavily treed corner lot, walking distance from White Rock Lake. It’s a 3-2 with 1,632 square feet, built in 1955 and listed by Jan Chavoya at Ebby Halliday Realtors Frisco for $299,700. (The owners recently updated the electrical panel and security system, too.)

MetroTex reports that the average price now for an East Dallas house is $399,230 (a 19 percent increase over last year), so this is a find at under $300K. Let’s look at the updates and features that make this midcentury house a gem.

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FullSizeRender Here is Rogers Healy agent Grecia Garza outside of 21 Turtle Creek today. “I may or may have not tumbled,” she tells us.

No, she didn’t fall, she’s feeling the snow!

Carrie Hill and Thomas Zepeda Snow

And here are Realtors Carrie Rigdon Hill and Thomas Zepeda from Nathan Grace getting some “work” done during yesterday’s snow day.

Looks like a good gig to us! Wine + Snow + Real Estate = Plenty of fun!