Chicago's not so hot anymore. The huge mid-west MSA didn't even make the top 20 list of Forbes' fastest growing American cities! (Photo: John Gress/Reuters)

Chicago’s not so hot anymore. The huge mid-west MSA didn’t even make the top 20 list of Forbes’ fastest growing American cities! (Photo: John Gress/Reuters)

As Candy already mentioned, pre-owned inventory is scary low, which is driving prices up for Dallas properties. Sure, demand means a seller’s market, but what about all of the folks that are either being born or moving to Dallas? That’s putting our housing market in a tough spot! Several big corporations have moved to Dallas in recent years — Comerica Bank being one of the largest — which has made move-in ready pre-owned homes sell like hotcakes.

For the study, Forbes measured the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas using six metrics:

Using data from Moody’s Analytics, we assessed the estimated rate of population growth for 2012 and 2013, the rate of job growth in 2012, and the rate of gross metro product growth, or economic growth, for 2012. We also factored in federal unemployment data and median salaries for local college-educated workers, courtesy of The result is a list of the 20 fastest growing metro areas in America in terms of population and economy.

I find it interesting that the three largest Texas cities — Austin, Dallas, and Houston — topped the national list based on these criteria, with San Antonio coming in ninth. Texas cities grew by 470,000 people in 2012!

Houston ranked second, behind Austin, followed by Dallas in third place and San Antonio in ninth. Robust labor markets, unemployment rates under 6% (well below the national average), no state income tax, a business-friendly regulatory environment, and strong population inflows all contributed to Texas towns’ high rankings.

Sure, we ranked high in 2012, but this is a year in which the Texas Legislature convenes, and we’re facing funding shortages across the board. Let’s see if we’re still considered “business-friendly” after the session in Austin.

Still, I wonder if this growth is sustainable for the Dallas housing market. Will we see an uptick in rentals? What will happen if the residential lending environment sours?

Former Kimbell Art Musuem staffer Emily Sano and architect Gilson Riecken built an homage to the Fort Worth art museum in Alamo Heights. (Photo: Wall Street Journal)

Maybe it’s just because I haven’t worked in any truly beautiful structures, but I would never model my home after a former workplace. Who wants to go home and be reminded of work?

Emily Sano did.

After working at Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum for about 10 years, Sano accepted a position at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Still, she remained heartsick for the place where she spent many a day admiring the light and flow of the Louis Khan-designed museum, says this piece from the Wall Street Journal.

So Sano and her partner, architect Gilson Riecken, bought the Alamo Heights lot from heiress Nancy Hamon, tore down five buildings and built an homage to the Kimbell.

The home, designed by Lake Flato Architects (Dallas Arboretum, Bluffview modern home, and a gazillion other stunning projects)  is freaking amazing. Besides being LEED Platinum certified, it is pretty much the perfect place to hang and admire art, which is a good thing considering Sano’s collection of Asian art and artifacts.

I am sure the couple has a window washer on speed dial, because holy cannoli this four-bedroom, 4,600 2,260-square-foot home is like half floor-to-ceiling windows.

I’ve gotta know: What museum would you model your fantasy home after?

This is one of those “Thank God we live in Texas” days. Yep, ran across this nugget from on the cities with the most construction: if construction starts are a leading economic indicator, then we are in hog heaven. Three Texas metros are leading as far as construction starts and made it on the top twenty: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio. Dallas, no surprise to anyone, is number two right behind New York City with $9.5 billion yes billion with a b in new construction starts. Houston was number four, number five was Washington, D.C. and that dosn’t count because it’s all our tax dollars at work, number six is Chicago which is my home town and pretty perky last time I was there, but it’s also benefitting from the largesse of President Obama right now:

Another state welcoming new building is Texas. The Lone Star state accounts for three cities on our list: Dallas (No. 2), Houston (No. 3), and San Antonio (tied for No. 15). “Texas metro areas are drawing some benefit from the energy sector,” explains Murray. Dallas logged $9.5 billion in new starts last year and McGraw-Hill projects a 9 percent increase in 2012; Houston logged $8.8 billion, with an 8 percent increase expected in 2012. San Antonio welcomed $3.3 billion in new starts in 2011 and the same level of spending is expected this year.

You don’t suppose — naw —this doesn’t include the mess that is LBJ and our crapped-up roadways?

We need the help of interior designers to keep us on the straight and narrow. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice: interior designers SAVE YOU MONEY. I think we could have educated Jon & Kate’s brood with all the money I wasted buying furniture and objets d’art I did not need and had no flow in my home. Finally, a few good interior designers set me straight! It’s no different in a first or second home. So we have this nice ad in the fabulous Dallas-Fort Worth Design Guide  — best design site ever AND they are active in Austin and San Antonio, besides DFW. We’ll be sharing some content and Dallas-Fort Worth Design Guide designer tips to help our readers figure out what to put in their second homes, and how to keep it all pulled together.

Now, this calls for a celebratory trip to the Hill Country!