unmarried couples property rights

It has been said that falling in love consists of uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense, and for many couples, buying a house together is an experience driven by excitement and emotion, especially in a market as hot as ours.

When a married couple in Texas buys a house, community property laws offer each person equal rights, responsibilities, and protections for their investment. But with more than 12 million unmarried partners living together in the U.S., and almost 13 percent of those being same-sex couples unable to get married in some states, it makes sense that the number of unmarried couples buying a house together is increasing.

For the unprepared couple, buying a house may mean buying trouble, too, as they fail to plan for the possibility of the relationship failing.

Dallas Realtor Franceanna Campagna has observed that firsthand with her clients.

“The home buying process is such an exciting and usually happy one, particularly for the first-time homebuyers, that people don’t like to drag in the three Ds of real estate: death, disaster, or divorce,” Campagna said. “However, I always advise clients that financial planning and estate planning is the best way to protect themselves and their investments from future unknowns.”

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First prize in the ‘Sitting Pretty Porta Potty Screen Contest’ goes to All photos: Sardone Construction

First prize in the ‘Sitting Pretty Porta Potty Screen Contest’ goes to Brian Paletz, AIA. All photos: Sardone Construction

Last month, we told you about the “2015 Sitting Pretty Porta Potty Screen Contest,” created in response to Highland Park’s new rule that portable toilets be screened from the public’s view at residential construction sites.

The contest, sponsored by Sardone Construction and HPD Architecture, closed June 29 and the winners have been announced. Close to 30 people registered and 17 submitted designs.

To refresh your memory, the challenge was to create screens that were more attractive than the standard plywood construction, “to design a porta potty screen of your own. Something with a bit of flare! Maybe a little splash! A screen that says, “When ya gotta go, you might as well do it in style!”

Four winning entries showcase originality, splash, and practicality. The first-place design will be built by HPD and Sardone in the coming weeks.

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Highland Park constcution

An example of an acceptable portable toilet screen sent by Highland Park to contractors working in the town. All photos: Highland Park Building Inspection Department

Highland Park is implementing a new requirement that portable toilets be screened from the public’s view at residential construction sites. No one wants to pooh-pooh* the new rule, so instead, two Dallas companies are encouraging creativity and responding with humor.

Sardone Construction and HPD Architecture launched the “2015 Sitting Pretty Porta Potty Screen Contest” Monday. Here’s the challenge:

We are challenging you – our readers, friends, and colleagues – to design a porta potty screen of your own. Something with a bit of flare! Maybe a little splash! A screen that says, “When ya gotta go, you might as well do it in style!”

“When I got the email from Highland Park, they included a couple of pictures, examples [of screened portable toilets], and all I could think was, ‘We can do better than that!,” said Larry Paschall, architect and founding member of HPD Architecture. “Those plywood boxes aren’t necessarily going to look any better than the portable toilets. Why not see what people can come up with?”

In the email sent from the Highland Park Building Inspection Department to contractors, they wrote,”Our department is requesting the very best quality of screening that you can provide.” No one wants wasteful spending, but this contest might elicit some spectacular design options.

The town’s No. 1 and No. 2 concerns were that portable toilets are unsightly to the public and bothersome for neighbors.

“A typical construction area looks like a missile testing site and in the middle is a bright blue or bright orange porta potty that looks bad,” said Stephan Sardone, owner of Sardone Construction. “I was thinking how funny it would be if we had really ornately designed screens for these porta potties that fit their new rules.”

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It has been said that falling in love consists of uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense, and for many couples, buying a house together is an experience driven by excitement and emotion, especially in a market as hot as ours.

When a married couple in Texas buys a house, community property laws offer each person equal rights, responsibilities, and protections for their investment. But with more than 12 million unmarried partners living together in the U.S., and almost 13 percent of those being same-sex couples unable to get married in some states, it makes sense that the number of unmarried couples buying a house together is increasing.

For the unprepared couple, buying a house may mean buying trouble, too, as they fail to plan for the possibility of the relationship failing.

Dallas Realtor Franceanna Campagna has observed that firsthand with her clients.

“The home buying process is such an exciting and usually happy one, particularly for the first-time homebuyers, that people don’t like to drag in the three Ds of real estate: death, disaster, or divorce,” Campagna said. “However, I always advise clients that financial planning and estate planning is the best way to protect themselves and their investments from future unknowns.”

(more…)

9800-Rockbrook-back-sweep-575x383I don’t know if you get the Dallas Business Journal or not, but as of late (like ever since I started this blog,) they have been tinkering with residential real estate. Tinkering I say because like most media outlets, the poor journalists have to cover about five different subject areas and mop the bathrooms after five, plus report, write and blog. So I understand how things run behind or not at all. But this truly gave me a chuckle.

You have to pay for a subscription to the DBJ, so I will quote Carlisle’s piece for you:

“Interestingly, I’ve discovered that not everyone lists multimillion-dollar properties on the market when they’re for sale.”

Eureka? Have we not been talking about these things called hip pockets since, oh, about March or May?

(Killing me: Don’t give me such shocking news, Candice. Excuse me, Candace.)

Then she quotes  Rogers Healy,our Rogers Healy (who sold the M Mansion by Auction), who is practically my son, as saying that not listing an expensive home doesn’t hurt a mansion’s chances of selling, and in some case can help it.

“There’s some exclusivity of not putting a house on the market,” Healy told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive tour of a $12 million mansion that’s for sale, but not listed on the Multiple Listing Service. “When you look at who buys a multimillion dollar mansion, these people aren’t searching MLS.”

Selling homes in a hip pocket sale — a residential real estate industry term for an off-market deal — has gained traction in recent years as the housing market heated up, Healy told me.

The house they were touring was 9800 Rockbrook, which we showed you over a month ago. Rogers told Carlisle that the no-MLS route gives buyers the illusion of exclusivity, and has been working positively for the Rockbrook mansion on the market. He said he has shown it, a 10,600 square foot home on 1.73 acres, to three interested buyers. The story posted on CandysDirt.com on August 21, 2013.

This got me thinking: we know that having properties in the MLS increases exposure to more, way more buyers. In fact, Rogers himself says “With a number of out-of-state relocations bringing high-end buyers to the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Healy said he expects the luxury home market to continue to remain hot for some time.”

Question: how are those out of town buyers going to find any homes to buy? They will be on the internet looking for homes, and if the home is not in the MLS then it won’t make it to a third party portal. They could find it here on CandysDirt, of course, the agent is smart enough to call me, as Rogers did. Which may be why he had three serious showing.

Or smart enough to get Candace Carlisle to write about it.

I just don’t understand how sellers expect agents to sell homes, in MLS or not, if they cannot market them. You need to tell the world, rich and poor, about the house so the right buyer perks his ears up. You cannot be all anonymous and find buyers. I mean, can you?

 

 

 

Prudential q2 Optimism infograf

Still not getting the wave of real estate optimism that has been heading to pretty much every shore in the U.S.? Well, Prudential’s Q2 outlook says that if your boat hasn’t been lifted from the rising tide of home prices, then it should as Millennials embark on the American dream of first-time homeownership. There is, however, a knowledge gap that exists between perception and reality for Millennials. That’s where the expertise of a Realtor is key.

It’s a great infographic worth scrolling through, but if you want a quick-and-dirty breakdown, here are the highlights:

– 80 percent of Americans ages 25-34 have a favorable perception of the real estate market

– 76 percent of Millennials view homeownership as part of the “American dream”

– While 65 percent of respondents say they “closely watch interest rates,” 43 percent said rates were falling, or were stead, when in fact interest rates are on the rise

You can, of course, read the whole thing on Prudential’s website.

Three generations of Millers Vance MillerLocal real estate mogul,  major Republican donor and Dallas philanthropist Vance C. Miller died early Saturday morning after suffering a heart attack at the age of 79. I had just seen his lovely wife, Tincy, at a luncheon Thursday at the 11th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award where I was the guest of Kyle Crews and the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton.

Mr. Miller was chairman and chief executive officer of the Henry S. Miller Company, a name that veteran Dallas Realtors know as well as the word “contract”. Mr. Miller’s grandfather, Henry S., launched the company in 1914, growing it from a one-man show to one of the largest commercial and residential businesses in the nation. Among some of the Dallas properties owned by HSM: Prestonwood Country Club,  Signature Athletic Club, Preston Royal, Preston Trails and until 2009, Highland Park Village. The companies that spawned from Henry S. Miller Sr.’s lone office have dealt in billions of dollars in residential and commercial real estate deals over the years, and launched many stellar real estate careers. In commercial, there’s (among others) Roger Staubach, Herb Weitzman, Wayne Swearingen, and Ken Hughes to name a few. In residential, there’s hundreds, including Virginia Cook.

I had the pleasure of flying to Costa Rica in June of 2008 courtesy of Fort Worth-based Hillwood, when the market was white hot, on the Perot’s G450 to check out 13 prime beachfront lots in Peninsula Papagayo, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It’s about an hour’s drive from Liberia and the airport that Ollie North built. On board were Ellen TerryDave Perry-Miller and Virginia Cook. Over Nicaragua, I asked Virginia how she got her start in residential real estate. She explained that she worked for Henry S. Miller, Sr., and he was looking for someone to start a residential brokerage services division to help find houses for the families of the CEO’s and employees who were moving to Dallas. The Henry S. Miller Company was busy finding commercial space for new companies, property management, developing shopping centers and office buildings, but they wanted a division to handle the home sales and capture that business. In 1971 the company was the first to offer specialized real estate services in Dallas with Virginia Cook at the helm. By 1996, it was the second largest residential real estate firm in Texas, after Ebby Halliday. We bought a home in 1983 using a fine Henry S. Miller agent, Virginia Johnson. In 2001, Henry S. Miller sold the residential real estate division to Coldwell Banker Residential. Virginia Cook had left to start her own firm a year before. After the sale, many former HSM agents flocked to Virginia Cook.

Vance C. Miller became President of HSM in 1970 and led the company’s expansion throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  In 1984, the company merged with another major firm to form the nation’s third largest real estate services firm. Mr. Miller was born in Dallas in 1933, son of the late Henry S. Miller, Jr. and Juanita Miller. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s in business administration in 1954. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller; two sons Vaughn Miller and Greg Miller, and one daughter Cynthia Vance-Abrams. He and his family top the mile-high list of generosity and philanthropy in Dallas.  At Thursday’s luncheon, Mrs. Miller was recognized for providing one of the four scholarships given to four outstanding graduate students.

Have I ever told you my story, why I am so obsessed with real estate and why I blog? It goes like this: I was a journalist, a magazine journalist, who covered real estate as a journalistic beat, then got hooked. I realized that blogging about homes and featuring them on the web is really the only and best way to market homes.  If you disagree, I want to know. And I may challenge you to an ad dual. Agents in Silicon Valley don’t even bother with print any more: 89% of buyers search for homes on line, and internet buyers’ incomes are 25% higher than traditional print buyers. By the time a certain listing is printed, that home may have a price change or even be sold, if anyone ever reads it. In fact, the homes we feature are selling sell and when we write about a home, the open houses are overflowing. This one sold four days after our posting.  From a reader in Plano:

Candy, Just thought you’d like to know the impact of your article on our house. The weekend after it ran, we were inundated with showings – I think we had 12 total. Last weekend, after the buzz from your article died down, 2 total showings!

I cannot thank you enough for the article, hopefully someone will like it enough to put a bid in. –Thad

I believe residential real estate should completely migrate to the web, and that blogs are one of the best, most efficient ways to deliver real time information and promote transparency. On CandysDirt, we focus primarily on residential real estate in Dallas and increasingly, North Texas. I founded CandysDirt.com as a hyper local real estate blog to take off where DallasDirt left off. I created SecondShelters.com for the growing (and struggling) second home community niche. My heart was proud the other day when I posted a listing and the community told us that when he showed it, it smelled of smoke. We want the truth about these homes — price and condition! Ultimately, I want to add more transparency to the buying process, help consumers find the very best homes and deals, and obtain the very best value out of their real estate investments.