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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North DallasNow that Amy and Jim “Sevy” Severson’s children have left the nest, the two have set their sights on a Gulf Coast vacation home and a smaller abode in Dallas. That decision is going to mean great things for a new family, since they’ve listed the North Dallas home they built in 2001.

If the Severson name sounds familiar, it’s because the two have owned Sevy’s Grill, the restaurant named after Jim, since 1997.

That four-bedroom, three-bath home at 6550 Dykes Way is built for a family — literally. The Seversons bought the property and lived in the existing home from 1991.

“We bought our property in 1991 when the street was all original and you could walk into the Downs of Hillcrest from our end of the street,” Amy said. “It was all working class ranch houses, 1400-1600 square feet tucked into a ‘hidden’ north Dallas neighborhood bookended by newer, walled neighborhoods on Hillcrest and Preston.”

But the original home became a squeeze for the family of four, eventually.

“We loved our little city sanctuary, almost half acre at the end of a street, but we outgrew the original home by 2000,” Amy said. “We hired architects Bernbaum & Magadini — Bruce and Cindy Bernbaum were friends via Kramer Elementary. Our builder was Howard Gorman of Gorman Homes.”

That home, built with growing kids in mind, sits on a nearly half-acre lot on a quiet cul-de-sac. The layout is family friendly, with its open kitchen and den that provide views of not only playing children during dinner prep, but gorgeous views of the big backyard and pool. (more…)

North DallasTucked back off of Preston Road, we found a North Dallas traditional that’s been completely remodeled from the studs up — and not one, but TWO kitchens, all for $765,000.

The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home located at 12504 Sunlight Dr. sits on an oversized corner lot. Outside, it’s got curb appeal for days and mature trees.

Inside, an open floor plan boasts hand-scraped wood floors in the common areas and two kitchens. A stunning gourmet kitchen does the main duty for family meals, with its large island, quartz countertops, new stainless steel appliances, and large pantry, and overlooks a dining area and living room warmed by a sleek fireplace.

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12417 Quincy lane

By now you have probably heard that about 100 trees will be chopped down in North Dallas, trees that line the Dallas North Tollway on the eastern side from Forest Lane north for about a half mile to Harvest Hill Road. All sorts of varieties, too, pines, live oaks — good trees. For 30 years these trees have created a nice buffer between the Dallas North Tollway and the backyards of the folks who live on Quincy Lane in Melshire Estates.

So why are we doing this?

The trees are going to be cut down by Oncor to replace old transmission towers with spotless new towers, because we are sucking so much energy. There is an increased demand for power in this city — one of the many side-effects of our gleeful growth. (And you want Amazon?) Robert Wilonsky over at the Dallas Morning News heard about the Quincy Lane tree-ectomy from homeowners on that little street whose western edge backs right up to the Dallas North Tollway. The trees, writes Robert, are on Oncor’s property, since they own an easement behind the homes, abutting the Tollway. 

The trees have to go because they will make it too dangerous for the electrical upgrade work, which might involve helicopters. They are on Oncor’s property, and state law says Oncor can cut down any tree it wants if it interferes with utility equipment.

“That line isn’t just about the customers on Quincy that like the trees on Oncor right of way,” said Oncor spokesman Geoff Bailey, who also serves as CEO Allen Nye’s chief of staff, “but the hundreds of thousands of customers those lines serve.”

Bailey said, yes, this is all very “unfortunate” and “we understand the passion about trees.” But he said that verdant buffer must go to make way for construction equipment, including, likely, helicopters. They are dangerous, too, he said, as they begin growing toward the power lines. 

Still, it seems pretty drastic. This home at 12417 Quincy abuts the tollway and will likely lose some of the canopy in the backyard.

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first homeWhen you’re a young family, you look for certain things in your first home — and first and foremost, you’re probably going to be looking for the home that can give you the most bang for your buck.

It’s one of the reason we bring our readers regular features like the Tuesday Two Hundred and the Thursday Three Hundred — and this week’s Thursday offering is a great example of how the $300,000 range can get you a great move-in ready first home with loads of potential for putting your stamp on the abode as well.

This North Dallas Midcentury Ranch at 3179 Jubilee Trail was built in 1961 and has a lot of the hallmarks we expect from the Fox & Jacobs era of Dallas — an open floor plan, a focal point fireplace, and bedroom layouts that provide generous bunking spaces.

It’s a floor plan that holds up to the ever-changing and cyclical vagaries of popular design choices over decades. The wallpaper may change, the tile may go from a country style mosaic to a sleek subway tile, and flooring choices may go from shag to laminate to Berber to wood, but that floorplan? What was family and entertaining-friendly in the sixties is just as family and entertaining-friendly today.

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Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will fall in love with this exceptional, thoughtfully designed contemporary that captures the most alluring elements of the natural environment and translates them into a structure that harmonizes with its surroundings. That’s what Janelle Alcantara feels about this gorgeous home designed by architect Doug Guiling of GAIA Texas. The stunning estate, set on a beautiful creekside lot, is not only beautiful on the outside, but it’s functional throughout.

It was love at first sight for us with this High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. And truly, this house has everything you could ever want wrapped in bold lines, bountiful natural light, and top-of-the-line finishes. And it lives just as good as it looks, too.

“This house is so different from the formula that other builders use,” Alcantara said. “Other builders design houses with as many large, open spaces as possible.  This typically means there is a “wow” factor when you open the front door. However, with that comes little regard for how people actually live in a house. Often, the ability to furnish a house, with proper seating arrangements, lighting, and viewing angles of the TV are sacrificed along with the lack of privacy that occurs when the whole house is visible from the front yard.”

This contemporary in Hockaday Square offers bright interiors without sacrificing privacy from the curb.

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