From Staff Reports

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, many states have barely recovered from the housing crash in 2007 when the real estate bubble burst, a data visualization HowMuch.net revealed.

“In fact, the housing market is still below its 2007 figures in several locations around the country,” the cost information website said of a comparison of 2007 data and 2017 data.

The website’s analysts looked created a way to see before-and-after snapshots of the housing market before and after the Great Recession.

“Before the housing bubble burst, the most affordable housing market was sandwiched in the middle of the country between the expensive West and East Coasts,” the article explained. “Stretching from North Dakota ($106,800) down to Texas ($120,900), housing prices were relatively cheap. California was the most expensive state on the mainland where the typical house cost an eye-popping $532,300.” (more…)

m streetsIt’s always nice when newer construction in an established neighborhood blends right in with the historic homes, like this M Streets Craftsman-style home we found for this week’s Saturday Six Hundred.

Built in 2009, this home at 5322 Miller Ave. has all the curb appeal and character of some of the much older Craftsman homes in the M Streets and Vickery Place areas, but the modern practical details like smart home features.

And it’s been beautifully done both inside and out, with an open-concept floor plan for the common areas that is bright and cheerful. Casement windows bring in tons of natural light, and hand-scraped hardwood floors are throughout the home.

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uptownWhen Leah Nolan told us she and her husband were listing their Uptown condo, she was a little wistful.

And that’s understandable. Her cozy one-bedroom, one-bath home, 3311 Blackburn St. #215, is a perfect spot for someone looking to enjoy some of the best Dallas has to offer, with an affordable price point that gives them entry into what can be a pretty spendy housing market.

“We walk or Uber to the grocery store, for haircuts, and to bars and restaurants,” she said. “It’s just minutes from the highways, we have great neighbors, a pool, and it’s steps away from the Katy Trail and West Village, for the same price that we were paying for rent.” (more…)

median home prices

From staff reports

While Dallas County’s median home value was lower than the national average, two other North Texas counties had median home prices that were much higher, new data visualizations from the National Association of Realtors revealed.

The report applied data from the American Community Survey and the FHFA’s House Price Index growth to calculate the median home prices for 3,119 counties in the United States.

“Nationwide, we estimated that the price of a typical home was $235,000 in the third quarter of 2018,” the NAR report said. “Based on our estimates, 87 percent of counties had a lower median home value than the national level.” (more…)

KesslerWhen flipping through listings this week, we had to take a minute after landing on this East Kessler cottage — it was just that adorable.

Built in 1938 on a hillside, the current owners of 1311 Cedar Hill Ave. have kept this home impeccably maintained, and have updated it without sacrificing the character.

It’s also blocks from Bishop Arts, with access to plenty of parks, and is an easy commute to downtown Dallas.
It also sits in the highly-sought out Rosemont Elementary attendance zone, as well as Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy (which met state standards with five distinctions), and Sunset High (which met state standards and earned four distinctions).

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RichardsonEvery Thursday, we bring you our pick of the hottest North Texas properties in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. These are the places you don’t want to miss that weekend.

This week, our houses range in price from $239,000 to $670,000, and can all be found in Richardson. Which ones will you visit?

Four-Bedroom Traditional in Gated Community

Open house: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home was custom built on a huge lot overlooking a Breckinridge Park, right in the gated community of the Hills of Breckinridge. (more…)

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen took the gavel as Speaker of the House yesterday, and asked for cooperation across the aisles (Photo courtesy Rep. Bonnen’s Facebook page).

Bathrooms? That’s so 2017. The new hot legislative priorities lighting up Austin this legislative session are school finance and property taxes.

Think I’m kidding? New House Speaker Dennis Bonnen put it on a cup — actually, every cup in the Senate lounge is now emblazoned with “School Finance Reform, The Time Is Now.”

The session gaveled in knowing already that state Comptroller Glenn Hegar had told them that they would have about 8.1 percent more in funding available for public programs like schools and healthcare in the next two years, for about a $119.1 billion state budget. But he also cautioned legislators that they wouldn’t be able to make it rain — oil prices are falling and the U.S. economy is uncertain, leaving any prognostication as to how revenue will look a bit muddled.

But one couldn’t help but notice a sense of cooperation in both houses of the state legislature, one not generally felt in the last session, where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick embarked on a much-lamented quest for passage of a bathroom bill and school vouchers, both of which failed.

Bonnen, in his address Tuesday, made a plea for more bipartisanship.

“In a state as big and diverse as Texas, there are plenty of ideas about what we should do on any one issue and these ideas often point in different directions,” Bonnen said. “It’s our job to reconcile the differences.”

The makeup of the two bodies is also different this time around. Democrats gained 12 seats in the house last November, with Republicans holding the Texas House with 83 seats to Democrats’ 67. In the Senate, there are 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Thanks to the three-fifths rule, a kill on an unpopular GOP bill like a bathroom bill would be just one Republican renegade away, unlike the last session, when the Democrats were outnumbered 20 to 10.

This pivot away from the unpopular bathroom bill, especially (Patrick even called it “settled” when asked about it Wednesday), bodes well for proponents of retooling public education finance, as well as property owners looking for relief from rising property taxes. (more…)

Uptown Marriott on Fairmount, with west-facing, fifth-floor pool deck.

There was just one project slated for last night’s Oak Lawn Committee and it was about a variance needed for a pair of awnings by the Uptown Marriott being built by Alamo Manhattan on Fairmount Street in back of Nick & Sam’s restaurant. The pre-awning project gained support from the OLC in December 2016. At first glance I figured the awning was a yawning – I mean one was for an 11-inch variance. Whoo-hoo! Stop the presses!

But when you go to OLC for one variance, any question becomes open mic night.

This past summer marked the migration from Las Vegas of the hotel day party by the pool. For a modest entry fee, lush bodies swerve to the thumping beats of an outdoor nightclub. Unfortunately, unlike Las Vegas, Dallas hotels aren’t located in entertainment districts. Some, like the Stoneleigh’s Splash parties, are in more densely residential Uptown.

It was with those sharp memories that residents (and OLC members) of the Stoneleigh Residences asked Alamo Manhattan if Marriott would ban amplified music outdoors. Having lived through weekly raucous parties literally out their windows, they don’t want another hotel offering a similar noise issue.

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