The big mistake that a lot of sellers make when updating a property for the market is taking it all too far. Sure, I love a good open floor plan, but can we admit that not all homes should have them?

A fantastic example of updating without sacrificing a home’s character is this adorable updated ranch in Melshire Estates. These homes have such great bones, fantastic lots, and family-friendly floor plans that it’s sad to see them remodeled into oblivion. Our Inwood National Bank home of the week, however, has benefited from updates that put a fresh face on this Melshire Estates ranch without gutting it of all character.

Following the ideal of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” this listing from Mohammed Jaber and Michelle Hopson of Compass Dallas feels dreamy and bright without being sterile. 

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midcenturyTrue story: A whole lot of our readers who aren’t from Dallas but got here as soon as they could started off renting here, because it’s hard to find the perfect house in a market as heated as Dallas’ is sometimes. Which is why we paid attention when we found this Midcentury Ranch in North Dallas that is just the right size for a relocating family.

It’s also in a great Dallas ISD feeder pattern with a huge footprint and is also close to several private schools — which means that you have a really big swath of North Dallas to begin your house buying search in while you cool your heels in this 1,944 square foot slice of pretty house.

\Located at 7432 Wellcrest Drive, the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home has two living areas. A front entry hall leads you to a large living room with hardwood floors, which leads to a den with brick flooring and a fireplace.  (more…)

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…)