Moving to Dallas

From Staff Reports

The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area is adding about 360 new residents a day, which is putting some serious pressure on the real estate market. The North Texas area added more than 131,000 people last year, and if traffic in East Dallas is any indication, at least half of them moved there. The other half are still on the North Dallas Tollway, having decided to live out of their car because hey, they can’t find a home and there’s plenty of room to park.

So if you think a quick relocation to DFW has all the makings of reality TV drama, you’d probably be interested in the latest Dallas-Fort Worth real estate casting call. HGTV has picked up 13 episodes covering that very topic. Jump to see if you’re a good fit for this reality TV show:

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Grand Designs Australia - Waterfront Home

Grand Designs Australia – Waterfront Home

Grand Designs,” “Restoration Home,” “Restoration Man,” “Double Your House for Half the Money,” “My Dream Derelict Home,” and “The House that £100K Built” are all TV programs you’ve likely not heard of or watched … and you should … and you can. That’s because thanks to YouTube, we can enjoy these UK and Australian programs too.

The fare on HGTV and DIY is fare-ly repetitive. If the market is roaring, we see house flipping, second home buying, and fire-stoking, get-rich-quick real estate stories. When the market shrinks, it reverts to cheap renovation, cheap decorating tips and blanding your house for a quick sale; awaiting the market to awaken.

Throughout it all, there is “House Hunters,” featuring couples who should never have married and “House Hunters International,” which is full of Americans lamenting itsy-bitsy refrigerators in far off lands.

Of course, it’s been fairly well reported that most of the shows are in some way fake. “House Hunters” is more about guessing which home the buyer has already purchased. Renovation shows always act shocked about “catastrophes” (revealed seconds before the commercial break) that a blind house inspector would have caught. Finally, there are the inane budget talks … you know what I mean …

Agent: “What’s your budget for your studio condo in Des Moines?”
Buyer: “$1 million.”
Agent: “Welllll, that’s a tight budget, it’s going to be very difficult. You may have to compromise.”

Regardless of the program, it’s all repetitive fake drama wrapped up with a bow in 21 or 43 minutes (subtracting commercials). This isn’t to say I don’t watch HGTV. I just watch it for information while trying my best to avoid the theater – the best way to do this is with a DVR and liberal use of fast-forward (and not just through the commercials).

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Josh and Hannah were brave enough to re-do their master suite on the DIY network's "Renovation Realities" show.

Josh and Hannah Ramsey were brave enough to re-do their master suite on the DIY network’s “Renovation Realities” show. They’ve decided that, while they love their East Kessler home, it’s time for them to simplify.

Josh and Hannah Ramsey have loved North Oak Cliff since they bought their first home just off of W. 8th Street in 2009. That was back when the Oak Cliff “Oh…” was almost a reflex when the Ramseys told their friends where they lived. It didn’t bother Josh and Hannah, though, as they felt right at home from the moment they moved in.

“Our house was a block from Bolsa, and we fell in love with the neighborhood, the amazing food, and the entrepreneurs making this place great,” Josh said. “We preemptively sold our home for a job relocation that fell through and then bought a home in Lake Highlands. It never felt like home, so we started house hunting and found a giant gem. It was way too big, but we saw the beauty here.”

Josh, a corporate director for Hilton Worldwide, and Hannah, a trauma nurse at Parkland, bought a 1946 neoclassical and set to work making it a place to raise a family. The home had already had a history of entertaining kids, as the previous owners of 15 years raised all six of their children there. Before that, Josh noted, the home housed nuns that volunteered at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

“When marathon training a few years back, I remember running by this house thinking, ‘I’d sure love to live there one day,’ ” Josh mused. “We knew it was well loved and couldn’t believe the charm.”

But the home needed a lot of work.

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