McKinneyTo say the W.D. Smith home in McKinney, built in 1902, has been around for a great deal of North Texas history is an understatement — from its early beginnings as a farmhouse to its life as an abode for an alleged bootlegger and later as home to a McKinney mayor, the quintessential Victorian farmhouse has stood on College Street for seemingly forever.

And now the home where even the trees are historic (no lie — they were planted in 1908 and are recognized by the Texas Historical Tree Coalition) is on the market, listed just three days ago by Leah Graybeal Ashley with the Browne + Douglas Group.

“It was erected in 1905 by W. D. Smith, who was a well-known businessman, rancher, cattle trader, farmer and large landowner in Collin County,” Cathy Browne (the Browne in Browne + Douglas) told us last week. “At one time, the Mayor of McKinney lived there and there is also a story involving this house and the notorious gangsters, Bonnie and Clyde.” (more…)

Tucked behind the guarded gates of Chateau Du Lac in Flower Mound, this pristine abode radiates grandeur and elegance from the moment you pull into the driveway. Let the maze-like gardens before the front door transport you to the lavish French countryside, where the smell of lavender always lingers. With a few trips to the market, your new home can be known for this enchanting aroma, too, which is highly appropriate since you’ll be living in lovely Flower Mound.

To let you in on a little secret, Flower Mound is the new “it” spot everyone is house hunting in, and this property is the ultimate gem. Voted the Safest Texas City with a Population over 50,000, Flower Mound is a beautiful place to live with tons to do. People are gravitating to the area for its idyllic landscape and easy commute to both Dallas and Fort Worth, and chic restaurants and stores are pouring in, too.

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Zoo

In a bold, some may say brutal example of “highest and best use,” the  City of Fort Worth has announced plans to sell the Fort Worth Zoo. Founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock, and a few rabbits the 110-year-old zoo is now home to some 7,000 animals. The 64-acre parcel will be subdivided into 172 lots for residential development.

Zoo

Jocelyne Carp

“It was a difficult decision,” a city official was quoted as saying “But the land is just too valuable to keep as parkland. The offering is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars which will add substantial capital to employee pension funds.”

The reaction was strong and swift. The prominent and powerful Perch family, longtime major zoo supporters, expressed their dismay through spokesperson Jocelyne Carp.

“We were just flabbergasted. It’s a sad day for the city,” said Carp. “Apart from protesting in the strongest possible terms, there is, apparently, little we can do from a legal standpoint,” she added.

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sub-zero

CandysDirt.com and Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove will host a panel discussion on innovation and disruption in the home building industry on March 26.

We talk a lot about disruption and innovation here at CandysDirt.com, largely in the realm of the real estate business. But we also know that the same dynamic takes place in the building and design world as well. Who are the disruptors and innovators in the building world? How do you build change into your business plan? What has changed in the past five years when it comes to energy efficiency and even what customers desire?

We’ll delve into all that and more in a forward-looking panel with some phenomenal builder experts on March 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The folks at Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove partnered with CandysDirt to talk about innovation, as well as how their showroom can be an asset for builders, realtors, and designers who want to train staff about the latest appliances, or help clients visualize what their dream kitchen looks like.

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Photo by: Trigaci Photography (www.trigaci.com)

It seems all the real estate disruptors are coming here, to North Texasthanks to our healthy market. That’s why, today, a real estate platform called Bungalo is launching in Dallas and in Tampa, Florida. Bungalo focuses exclusively on the home-buying process and aims to give consumers a digital, streamlined, seamless i-buying experience. Hear them out: I think they have a LOT to offer.

For perspective, we told you that Opendoor snapped up Open Listings, giving the Bay area home-buying startup access to selling homes to those clients, circumventing the traditional home selling process. Opendoor also chose Dallas/Fort Worth as one of their first markets. Now, the company is exploding with growth.

Then last week, Knock came knocking, in North Texas, kinda sorta offering the same services.

But Bungalo is a little different. It focuses only on the buying side with something we have never seen: a guarantee on the fixer upper.

Promising “the first real estate platform to bring every step of the home buying process together in one seamless digital experience,” Bungalo (no ‘w’) empowers buyers to search, tour, finance, make an offer and close on a home all in one place. Yes, I said TOUR. Talk about streamlined!

“We have built a web platform allowing buyers to search homes and almost a Turbotax-type method of buying — super easy, super transparent,” says Greg Stewart, Bungalo’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are finally taking the guesswork and hassle out of the home buying process.”

Here is the Bungalo difference: every home on the platform is purchased by the company before you see it, then inspected and meticulously renovated, which means buyers have assurance they are moving into an updated, cleaned up, modernized space. Bungalo is doing the stuff most buyers don’t want to do. Plus the company offers a one year warranty on the house, which should put a lot of first time homebuyers at peace.

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(Photo courtesy Flickr)

How much better did the 75243 zip code in Dallas fare in flipping profit than the rest of the nation? How did home sales look for North Texas in August? How are home sales and prices looking across the state?

We’ll answer all that and more in this week’s real estate news roundup. (more…)

north texas

(Photo courtesy VisitFrisco.com)

How did North Texas fare in a ranking of overall best housing markets in the U.S.? How far has the Dallas-Fort Worth apartment market come in recovering after the recession? How much of their income is the average Dallas-Fort Worth homeowner spending on housing? All this and more in this week’s review of real estate news. (more…)

11422 East Ricks Circle is a listing from Becky Frey that is pending sale.

What goes up has to come down, at some point, right?

It’s like that with home values. Except home values in Dallas have never shot skyward as much as they have in coastal cities and international hubs like Miami and New York City. Our home prices creep up by 5 to 7 percent a year. Then they stay there for a few years until the upward trend starts again. The only time I remember Dallas home prices actually declining as in the late 1980s, agree?

Comes news this week from Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index that Dallas home prices were up only 5.2 percent from where they were a year ago. Which is less than the 6.2 percent nationwide home price gain from June of 2017. So for the first time in a long time, we are dragging behind the national average, not leading it.

In fact, Dallas-area home prices expanded by the smallest percentage in almost six years.

The silver lining: (copy and paste this story for DCAD) if prices start to stabilize, our property taxes will, too. Oh and don’t let the Dallas City Council fool you into thinking they are lowering taxes, either. They are trying to lower the rate, because property taxes in this state are set by values. So all these nice Case-Shiller reports have brought in increased revenues from property taxes.

So, should we be concerned? No.

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