Christmas lights

As Christmas creeps closer, and the nights get longer, you can ask just about any North Texan — checking out the homegrown light displays in various neighborhoods is as much a tradition as tamales and NorthPark Santa.

But do you worry you’re missing out on a great neighborhood? Or are you new to the area, and don’t have the skinny on the great displays? Fear not — CandysDirt.com staffers have been quizzing readers, scouring the Internet, and strapping jingle bells on our gumshoes to find some of the best neighborhood and city-led decoration displays in Dallas-Fort Worth.

And thanks to one of our favorite luxury Realtors, Christy Berry with Compass, and CandysDirt.com, you can check out our list of great cruising spots this holiday season. Think you might want to find a house in a neighborhood that embraces their inner Clark Griswold, or maybe something a little uh, more Martha Stewart? Stay tuned, because Christy has a listing to share that could get you right in the middle of Christmas central. (more…)

It’s the most delicious holiday home tour every year, and we look forward to the eye candy (and regular candy) on display in Highland Park Village every year in the form of the eighth annual Gingerbread Stroll. This unique edible home tour features elaborate gingerbread houses created by Dallas pastry chefs that you can view and bid on starting today, Nov. 16, through Nov. 30.

Christine McKenny

All proceeds of the stroll will help support Community Partners of Dallas’ new facility which opens in 2019. Specifically, the Gingerbread Stroll will fund one of their night response visitation rooms, which provides a warm and loving place for children taken into protective care by Child Protective Services as they await their transition to their safe placement. The visitation rooms will look like small houses, so it is fitting that one be named after The Gingerbread Stroll. 

“It is so incredible, thanks to the pastry chefs and community sponsors, that The Gingerbread Stroll has increased in annual giving from $3,000 the first year in 2011, to over $31,000 last year,” says Allie Beth Allman agent and Gingerbread Stroll founder Christine McKenny. “I am hopeful we raise over $35,000 this year for the children served by Community Partners of Dallas.”

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10-minute

The Farmers Branch Historical Park is home to numerous events year-round, including a vintage baseball tournament in the Spring (photo courtesy city of Farmers Branch).

Is your home a 10-minute (or less) walk from a park? One-third of Americans have a much longer trek than that to get to their nearest park, according to research by the National Recreation and Park Association, Urban Land Institute and, The Trust for Public Land.

Recently, Rachel Banner, a senior program manager at the NRPA, wrote a piece for the National Association of Realtors’ Spaces to Places blog about a year-long initiative to make more public spaces and parks available — within a 10-minute walk from every person.

Banner also talks about the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, which revealed that while residential and commercial developers may create amenities within their buildings or spaces, that’s not necessarily what creates a lifelong resident of a city.

“The report talks a lot about the growing demand for amenities in both office and residential development.  In the discussion about the report Owen Thomas, CEO of Boston Properties also remarked that while each year a new set of cities may be pegged for growth, we must look at how long those cities will remain “hot spots” and the places people stay long-term,” Ballard said. “While including amenities within a building may initially attract owners or tenants, it is the amenities outside of the building open to all that will get them to stay.” (more…)

park citiesImagine being able to host friends and family at a July fourth cookout and pool party, with a brief break for a quick walk to the popular and traditional Park Cities Fourth of July parade — because we just found the perfect house for just that very thing. (more…)

When shopping for homes, many Realtors point out that of the things you cannot change about a house, its location is paramount. Don’t like the floor plan? Hire an architect. Not in love with the facade? Paint and trim. Need more bedrooms and bathrooms? Hire a builder. But the location is the one thing that is absolutely fixed. 

Besides the spacious corner lot, this listing from Allie Beth Allman & Associates Realtor Nora Lane offers something that no other listing nearby could dream of.

“You can sit on the front porch and watch your kids walk to Hyer every morning,” Lane says. “I think it’s what everyone is looking for — it’s transitional, but it’s comfortable — but that corner lot means it has a huge front yard. You can just sit on the porch and watch your kids play.”

That’s enough to earn a mention as this week’s High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. But inside, there’s even more to fall in love with. And we’re certain you’re going to swoon once you see the updated interiors of 3840 Marquette, so after you get a gander, call Lisa Peters today to make sure that you sail through your real estate transaction from bid to closing. 

Want to see more? Jump!

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The home of Kathryn and Hal Cook at 7000 Baltimore is on this year’s Park Cities Learning Differences Association Pool and Garden Tour on April 26. 

Ever wanted to get a closer look at the landscapes of the Park Cities?  Here’s your chance to see two amazing University Park gardens to benefit the Park Cities Learning Differences Association. Their hosting their 41st annual pool and garden tour on Thursday, April 26, from 6 to 8 p.m.

This year’s tour will include stops at the homes of Kathryn and Hal Cook (7000 Baltimore) and Susie and Mark Barnett (6767 Turtle Creek Blvd.) — both of which are absolutely stunning!

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Sure, the Park Cities is full of great houses. Some of them are extremely ornate and exceptionally luxurious, perfect for impressive entertaining. But rarely do we hear about the great, livable, easy-to-love houses that families crave. Full-featured and unfussy, this University Park listing from Travis-Lee Moore of Century 21 Nathan Grace Fine Homes and Estates is the deep breath you take when the workday is over. It’s the warm sunshine on your skin on a Saturday afternoon. It’s the place you imagine making memories with your loved ones — a true family home.
 
“You just couldn’t ask for a better, more complete package of greatness if you’re looking for a fantastic new home,” Moore said. “The location can’t be beat — close to innumerable shopping and dining options — and feeding into coveted Highland Park ISD.”

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package

This woman — later identified as Kelli Russell by authorities — was the talk of Lakewood after security camera after security camera has caught her taking packages from porches.

Your boxes of dog poop are a little safer today — the Dallas County District Attorney’s office said the alleged Lakewood (and parts surrounding Lakewood) Porch Pirate has turned herself in to authorities and will be charged with theft.

A statement released by the DA today said that Kelli Renee Russell, 33, will be charged with theft over $2,500, which is a state jail felony carrying a maximum sentence of two years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  (more…)