Preston Hollow Village

With so many homeowners displaced by the EF-3 North Dallas tornado, rentals in the Preston Hollow area are leasing up. The tornadoes that devastated the northern stretch of our city Sunday night — the National Weather Service has confirmed a total of 11 in North Texas — will set a new record as the costliest tornado outbreak in Texas history according to the Insurance Council of Texas. The organization has conservatively set the tab at $2 billion in losses for about 1000 homes and businesses.

At least 65,000 customers lost power and Oncor, along with out-of-town help, is still repairing the grid. According to Dallas City Councilwoman Jennifer Gates, only 900 are now without power, which is amazing considering the scope of the damage to the densely populated area the storms struck.

Mark Hanna with the Insurance Council of Texas tells me 30,000 total auto and homeowner claims have been filed for this event. The expense, too, comes with the scope of commercial claims: warehouses, shopping malls, restaurants, and an entire Home Depot. That Home Depot at Forest and US 75 alone will be several million dollars for both structure and inventory, he says.

At this point, storm victims are assessing damage, filing claims, and working to find rental homes while their own homes are repaired or demolished. All of this is going to make life very different in North Texas over the next year. 

Spike in Rental Properties

“We have about five families from the same two Preston Hollow streets — Pemberton and Orchid — leasing at the McKenzie,” says Sanders Avrea, a senior vice president with Allie Beth Allman & Associates. “All of our larger three-bedroom floor plans have been leased and our remaining two bedrooms are going quickly. We do still have three of the six penthouse plans still available.”

douchebag collarsOh! I totally forgot to tell you about how these Wall Street big whigs tried to cheat a Realtor in the Hamptons out of a summer rental commission. One even happened to be a lawyer! Few months ago, a real estate broker at Rosehip Partners showed a couple of Wall Streeters around some rental properties, as reported by Curbed Hamptons. One was an attorney with an investment bank, Goldman Sachs I believe, and one was a portfolio manager with a hedge fund. They dangled the phrase “all cash deal” under the broker’s nose, like most big shots do.  The poor broker spent a whole Saturday showing these guys seven rentals, which they apparently liked.

Yes, liked them so much they went behind the broker’s back to cut a deal with him not part of it. One of the Wall Street dudes actually left this note behind on the kitchen counter for the homeowner:

Douchebag note 1

Next, “The agent got a call from a Southampton lawyer who’d had dinner with the owner of one of the rental properties. The owner was very upset after finding a note on the kitchen counter after the showing. The second was shoved under the front door later in the afternoon when the two guys returned by themselves.”

Here’s the note shoved under the door:Douchebag note 2

Don’t you just love that smiley face? Have you ever encountered Real Estate douchebags? Tell us all about it for a new little series we are cooking up, inspired by quite possibly the worst move-out experience I have ever heard. We will call this series “Real Estate Douchebags” — self explanatory.

If you’d rather remain anonymous, and we do not blame you, email us the story and we will post it!

Mahanna Pool

The folks over at are really building their stable of fantastic rental properties. Besides a great house in HPISD boundaries, a gorgeous condo with views of downtown, there’s this great condo just off Mahanna that will put you in the middle of it all.

Mahanna Living Dining

It’s Unit #11 at 3116 Mahanna Street, just west of the Dallas North Tollway. This is such an excellent location for someone who wants easy access to the tollway and downtown without sacrificing culture and aesthetics.

This unit is just over 1,000 square feet and has bamboo floors throughout, an updated kitchen, and two bedrooms and one full and one half baths. The bonus of this building is the great little courtyard with a pretty pool and plenty of room to lounge.

Mahanna Condo

This unit rents for an absolute steal, too, at just $1,125. Incredible price, y’all. And consider that pets are allowed, and there’s covered parking, a washer and dryer in the unit, and you’re on the top floor. Just think: no noisy upstairs neighbors!

Sound like your dream rental? Contact Deborah Thierault at

Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Those of us who own rental properties can get ready to fatten our checkbooks: rents are going up in Dallas, by 5%. According to an MSN Real Estate Report, at the end of 2012 the average rent paid in Dallas was $802. I honestly do not know of anyone with rent this low, do you? Rents in Dallas increased 3.9% from 2011, the vacancy rate was only a bit over 5%, and rents are forecast to increase 5% by the end of this year. What might make those rents go up? Scarcity of product. It won’t be scarce for long: an apartment boom has about 20,000 units currently going vertical in Big D, vacancies are down, and demand is up. Dallas is one of ten cities where rents are projected to be on the increase. 

Me, I’d rather just buy: the median price for a single-family home in the metropolitan area, which includes Fort Worth and Arlington, was $157,200 at the end of 2012, according to NAR and as reported by MSN Real Estate. When you have landlords like me who will raise rent at a headline glance, I’d rather have a 30 year fixed mortgage on my secure nest egg of a house. Agree?