This North Dallas home is ready for summer! With a crystal blue pool, patio, game room, and bright open floor plan, our Friday Four Hundred aims to please. And it’s ideally located too. It sits in a family-friendly North Dallas neighborhood with desirable Plano schools.

“The property at 18616 Gibbons Drive is a pristine home with lots of light and is fresh, clean and very tastefully updated,” says listing agent Christie Cannon of Keller Williams. “At just under $450,000 this home is a great price for all it offers and it’s location! The private backyard has a fabulous pool and covered patio. As well as a well-designed, fully useable, concrete patio/side yard. It’s perfect for storing pool equipment.”

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[Editor’s note: Jon Anderson is a columnist for CandysDirt.com. His opinions are his own.]

While Thursday’s meeting fell short of the usual fireworks PD-15 brings about, the City Plan Commission asked some great questions regarding city staff’s proposed changes to PD-15.

In the lead-up to City Plan Commission’s public hearing on staff’s proposal for updating PD-15, staff briefed plan commissioners Thursday morning at Vital. Groups. Knee. Senior Planner Andrew Ruegg, who’s led the process so far, presented essentially the same slides as were shown to the community two weeks ago.

What the few who went to the meeting were most interested in were the questions and comments from the other commissioners. I give a “Hallelujah!” to CPC chair Gloria Tarpley for commenting that the 3-D images shown of the proposed changes would have been welcome at other cases. How the city can be devising “words on paper” documents reflecting 3-D realities without 3-D models has always been a mystery. It should be ante to the game.

The first questions were from District 11 appointee Janie Schultz. First, she was curious whether the requirement for a street lamp every 50-feet was adequate. While boilerplate, staff said they’d look into it. Schultz’ second question concerned the affordable housing sweeteners and whether anyone would use them. The suspicion is that along the northern side they will be unlikely to be used, while on the Northwest Highway side they may if the developer wants to get near tapping any height. It kind of goes to what I’ve been saying that if the buildable envelope doesn’t grow, it’s just cannibalizing market-rate units for affordable units.

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Avanti: 4122 Avondale

[Editor’s note: Jon Anderson is a columnist for CandysDirt.com. His opinions are his own.]

I recently suggested that builders lay off the endless blocks of cookie-cutter townhouses with their all-too-familiar floor plans. I see them as an inefficient use of space that invariably cost homebuyers more for the same amount of usable space. They’re the real estate equivalent of the adage, “an elephant is a mouse designed by a committee.”  The answer is single-story “flats” condos.

However, for all their efficient use of space, high-rises often come with HOA dues that put them (monetarily and philosophically) out of reach of most — not to mention some folks being height averse. Enter the low-rise flat. In the early 20th century, many cities built a network of duplex flats, some even triplex flats. In Dallas, these buildings can be seen in many older neighborhoods in East Dallas, Oak Lawn, and Oak Cliff. They offered a way for an owner to have a rental property to ease mortgage payments.

Pre-Recession, Dallas was building a few low-rise flats condo buildings with all the joy of single-story living and reasonable HOAs. Some baulk at any HOA dues, but things like uniform exterior maintenance and landscaping matter – and it’s better to have something in the bank when problems arise versus hastily passing the hat.

Anyway, let’s peek at three low-rise flats in Oak Lawn built pre-Recession.

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Located inside the exclusive Lake Forest subdivision, there’s not much about this classic Hill Forest Drive mansion that doesn’t scream “high caliber.” Built in 2000, this home received a complete and thorough renovation recently that has made this gem of a listing into the crown jewel of the neighborhood.

“Everything about this home is simply remarkable,” says Debbie Ingram, listing agent of 6917 Hill Forest, this week’s High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. “One steps into this home, which is an oasis and welcome respite from the outside world!”

Ingram describes this Hill Forest Drive mansion as chic, sophisticated, classy, and timeless — which is what we expect of such an outstanding High Caliber Home. And the remodel doesn’t disappoint, either.

“A complete, gutted remodel of the home in the last few years implemented the finest in design, materials, and craftsmanship,” Ingram added. In fact, the interior remodel totaled more than $750,000 in upgrades, making this classic Hill Forest Drive mansion an absolute deal at $1.618 million.

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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.

Want to see who made a successful pitch? (more…)

open housesRealtors — did you know that every week, we solicit pitches for our various featured listing posts like the Tuesday Two Hundred, the weekly roundup of Open Houses, Thursday Three Hundred, Friday Four or Five Hundred, and more?

All you have to do to get in on the action is 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.

Take, for instance, this week’s three properties featured in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. After asking members to share their listings that would help someone meet a common New Year’s resolution, three Realtors pitched their open houses — and are now seeing them featured today.

Want to see who made a successful pitch? (more…)

What’s better than one stunning High Caliber Home in North Dallas? How about five? This week we feature five gorgeous North Dallas homes that are all featured in an agent tour today! The tour, dubbed “North Dallas Reimagined,” shows off just what’s possible with the incredible stock of midcentury ranch and 1970s soft contemporary architecture available. 

Stops include three 1970s contemporaries and two redone ranches. However, while all five homes have received some level of restoration or renovation, none compares to the completely transformed ranch at 5409 Preston Haven represented by Galaxy Modern founder Janelle Alcantara. These stunning metamorphoses make for amazing High Caliber Homes of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. Get a look at these amazing changes from 1 to 4 p.m. today, Nov. 14!

Of course, we had to know more about Janelle Alcantara’s listing at 5409 Preston Haven. The home, which started as a typical 1960s ranch, is situated in a hidden neighborhood off of Inwood Road, says the Galaxy Modern founder. “The family that owned it created a lifetime of memories there. The children that grew up in the house are now adults and they knew that the likely fate of their childhood home was a wrecking ball,” Alcantara said.

Then, they heard about Alcantara and her company Galaxy Modern. 

Before: 5409 Preston Haven was a family home that was definitely feeling worn out.

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Midcentury RanchTucked back behind Forest Lane, Marsh Lane, and Webb Chapel Road is an enclave of Midcentury Ranch homes, homes to families from the late 1950s to today — and they’re still some of the most affordable homes in North Dallas.

Built by Fox & Jacobs, the L-shaped Accent and Flair homes of the 1960s are present in several neighborhoods in North Dallas, especially along Marsh Lane (full disclosure, this writer lives in one, and her family is only the second family to live in the home since it was built in 1961).

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