Getting the DirtAs we mentioned last week, we’ve debuted two new Facebook groups designed to provide a platform for the house hunter and the Realtor alike, and all those businesses also make homeownership possible.

This week’s roundup of open houses features two house that came to us during our Open House Roundup feature that we have on Tuesdays on Getting the Dirt, our open group that is a place to talk about trends, to post a story you wrote and ask for direct feedback, and is also home to regular posts like, “Pitch Me Please,” where we will ask Realtors to pitch us their best houses in the $200,000 to $700,000 price points; “Open House Roundup,” where Realtors will have the opportunity to point us to their open houses for the week; “Hip Pocket Monday;” and “Suburb Sunday,” where readers and Realtors will be able to weigh in on what suburb we will look at on Sunday.

Our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week are listed by members of Getting the Dirt, and range in price from $378,000 to $515,000. Which ones will you visit? Want to see your open house in next Thursday’s roundup? Join Getting the Dirt! (more…)

Election

Voters lined up at the Oak Lawn library Election Day, with more than 400 people casting ballots by lunchtime (photo by Bethany Erickson)

Frisco, Richardson and Dallas ISD Pass Property Tax Increases

  • Allred bests Sessions in U.S. Rep. District 32 race
  • All four propositions on the ballot for Dallas ISD passed
  • Johnson beats Rinaldi, Johnson beats Luby Ryan
  • Carolyn King Arnold, Keyaira Saunders headed to a runoff

While Democrats came surprisingly (to many) close to winning statewide seats on Election Day, ultimately candidates came just short of besting the Republican party across the board in statewide races. How close were the races, despite the losses? In 16 years, Democratic candidates in statewide races have received 45 percent of the vote only twice — last night, nine of them did.

“Today is not a bad day,” Mike Collier, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, said Tuesday night. “We showed Texas that if you campaign on issues that Texans care about, you can have a strong showing in this state.”

But while the “Beto Effect” may not have bestowed a win on its namesake, it was still impacting races, with the El Paso congressman’s get out the vote effort being attributed to down-ballot flips in several congressional, state, and local races.

After record early voting, Election Day polling locations varied from “ghost towns,” as one poll greeter said, to steadily busy. Turnout increased as schools let out, and as people got off work, volunteers said.

Election Day

After a bit of turmoil during early voting, the Lakeside Activity Center in Mesquite was actually calm and congenial Election Day.

Measures for 13-cent Tax Ratification Elections passed in both Richardson ISD and Dallas ISD. Frisco ISD voters approved a 13-cent tax swap that will move 13 cents from the debt service column to the maintenance and operations column.   (more…)

RichardsonAs you may have noticed, we’ve had a bit of a theme going this week at CandysDirt.com — we’ve been featuring homes in neighborhoods with great walkability and community feel, that are perfect for trick or treating and Halloween festivities. We solicited some suggestions from readers, too, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

This week’s slate of open houses come from one of those suggestions — the stretch of Waterview Drive between Belt Line Road and Arapaho Road in Richardson. Our insider told us that this enclave in west Richardson is always busy each Halloween, and “all the little cul-de-sacs add a lot more houses to the mix, too.”

We found three homes in three different price points that all have open houses this week in the neighborhoods around Richardson’s Waterview Drive that were perfect for our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. Which ones will you visit? (more…)

Merriman Park

Merriman Park Elementary parents and local business banded together to create a more welcoming and cheerful space for the school’s 60 teachers. Their efforts inspired us to begin matching schools with businesses and groups who would like to do the same. (Photos courtesy Merriman Park Elementary PTA)

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Katy Hancock, a PTA officer at Merriman Park Elementary School, the kind that I love to get.

In it, she told me about how three parents (who just happened to be experts in their fields) banded together to spearhead a makeover of the teachers’ lounge — a teachers lounge that was sad, dark, and dysfunctional.

Before

Before

“The PTA had a little money left over at the end of the year,” Hancock said. “We thought maybe we could get a few cabinets and a new countertop.”

But then Kim Armstrong, a parent and owner of Kim Armstrong Interior Design, offered to manage the project.

“Kim stepped in, some amazing MPE families stepped up, and OMG…we have ourselves one very amazing teacher’s lounge,” Hancock said.

Fellow Merriman Park parents Derek Kellogg and Kevin Bryant of Richland Renovations and Bentwood Kitchens, respectively, also got involved, providing labor, materials and more.

“Their contributions and a whopping PTA budget of $2,500 made this possible,” Hancock said in her email.

I took Johnstone up on her offer to see the completed space in person, and met with her, Kellogg, and Armstrong in the now bright, cheery room that is a vast improvement for the 60 teachers that use it. (more…)

With East Dallas midcentury modern homes being as hot as they are, it feels like an exercise in futility to fall in love with one. Just as soon as we see one of these highly coveted homes, it’s snapped up by a similarly eager buyer before we can say “earnest money.”
 
Lucky for us, we happened on this week’s High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans before any other would-be buyer hungry for clean lines and natural light. It’s a fabulous Lake Highlands North midcentury modern listed by David Collier and Jennifer Rice of David Griffin & Company Realtors. 
 
It has all the hallmarks of coveted East Dallas midcentury modern homes that we ogle, as well as some smart upgrades and some details left untouched!

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The invisible borders within the area we call “North Dallas” are many. You can live in North Dallas with Plano ISD or Richardson ISD schools, and then there are the subdivisions within the area, too, which each have their own unique character.

A great example of the diversity in location and architecture for the North Dallas area can be found in our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. This listing from David Griffin & Co. agent Robert Kucharski, a 1970s soft contemporary in the Peyton-Alpha Estates subdivision, is completely loaded and at a great price, too! 

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Richardson ISD announced Thursday that security concerns have motivated a calendar change this year one that so far other local districts have not adopted.

It’s not unusual for schools to serve as polling locations on Election Day. But RISD officials said that security risks associated with the practice have led them to make Nov. 6 a student holiday and staff development day.

“The change is being made as a precaution due to the thousands of unregistered visitors who gain access to RISD schools serving as voting locations on Election Day,” the district said in an announcement. “Because staff members and some daytime care students will still be in schools on Nov. 6, RISD will continue to take additional safety precautions to isolate voting areas from the rest of the campus and monitor visitors.” (more…)

 

16114 Fallkirk Drive is listed for $480,00 by Kan Boonme of Keller Williams Realty. 

Let’s be honest, nothing is more frustrating than house hunting in Dallas on a tight budget. The market is hot, bidding wars are often the norm, and getting into a house with all the bells and whistles in a nice neighborhood with decent schools is a major feat.

That being said, there are still a few deals to be had, and we found one that’s the perfect fit for our Friday Four Hundred — located in Far North Dallas, it’s an updated 1976 single story that’s been through one hell of a makeover. Let’s take a look inside, shall we?

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