102 Skyline A

Gone with the Wind was a childhood favorite of mine, with its winding storyline, genteel fashion, and dramatic romances. In one memorable scene, Scarlett’s father, Gerald O’Hara, an Irish peasant immigrant, proclaims in his rough brogue, “The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.”

That sort of mentality about the importance of land to heritage, identity, and wealth still exists, and there’s something visceral and deeply gratifying about owning actual land, as opposed to, say, stocks, which seem to exist in the ether.

If you’re an urban homeowner, the amount of land you’re likely to own is quite small, as plantations like Tara don’t exist within city limits. But there are properties in DFW with actual land, and for today’s Tuesday Two Hundred, I found one sitting on almost an acre in Collin County.

The house at 102 Skyline Dr. in Murphy is listed by William Duke of Carrington Real Estate Service for $259,000 and sits on 0.98 acres. It is located near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 544 and S. Murphy Road.

Murphy is a fast-growing bedroom community of about 18,000 residents, bordered by Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Sachse, and Parker. It’s about 20 miles from Downtown Dallas, 35 miles from DFW Airport, and 25 miles from Love Field Airport.

This house is a 2,496 square foot fixer-upper with three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a pool. At $104 per square foot with all that land, I think it’s got huge potential. Jump to read all about it!


old town 2

Old Town Lewisville. Photo courtesy of the city of Lewisville

When you think of hip, fun destinations to live, work, and play in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the city of Lewisville is not usually at the top of the list.

But city leaders in this northern suburb of almost 100,000 residents are changing that as redevelopment moves into full swing in the Old Town area. New houses, townhomes, restaurants, and retail shops are all in the works as developers and entrepreneurs take note of the changing atmosphere.

“Everybody has been hyper-focused on Collin County, but these changes in Lewisville will give people another option,” said David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty, which represents the developer Belleville Village, the builders of Uptown Village Lewisville townhomes near East Main Street and East Mill Street in Old Town. “It’s close to Lewisville Lake, close to the airport, close to I-35, which makes it easy to get to Dallas. These changes will make that area more appealing for buyers, especially younger professionals.”  (more…)

Solutions 4 Living is planning to build six modern custom homes on Oates Road in East Dallas.

Sometimes, overly modern homes can look a bit like spaceships that land in the middle of otherwise suburban areas. It’s best, I think, if you want to build a modern home to do so amidst other modern homes.

These kind of clusters are becoming more and more popular. Take Urban Reserve for example. This Mathews-Nichols Group development hugs White Rock Creek and offers homes in a broad price range — from the high $300Ks to upwards of $1 million — in a very natural setting.

Solutions 4 Living, a Houston-based builder of sustainable homes, is doing something very similar, if not on a much, much smaller scale.

The development, which will include six modern, sustainable homes, will occupy what was formerly two lots on Oates Road. Lots will range from 14,000 to 20,000 square feet, while the homes will be in the 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot range. The homes are being marketed in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, and the developer is looking to break ground on lot No. 6,  a spec home, this fall.

“The original expectation was to give buyers three home plans to choose from,” said Dara Childs of Solutions 4 Living, “however, as a custom home builder and designer, if a client were to request a new design, we would certainly strive to accomodate them and we are close to putting Lot No. 1 under contract in this manner.”

Subdividing lots, especially when they are that sizable, is nothing new. Personally, I think six lots is kind of a tight fit. I’d feel more comfortable with my neighbors if it were, perhaps, four lots. That’s enough distance without giving up too much in the way of profit.

Burke Lowe, who has partnered with Childs on the project, says the lots vary in depth from 200 to 295 feet. All of them, he added, will back up to a creek.

“We feel that the area is ready for development,” Childs said. “In the words of Robert Frost, the lots are ‘lovely, dark and deep.’ We think the lots will sell themselves.”

I do, however, like the idea of creating a niche of green custom homes in an area that is heavily treed and is right next to a creek. The only thing than concerns me a little is this post on the Solutions 4 Living blog extolling the virtues of composting toilets.



Here are the Pentagon’s details of the Abbotabad (or is it Abbottabad?) compound where Osama was holed up. His digs were not too shabby — the home is valued at about a million. Note to self: when neighbors start burning their garbage and cover windows with walls, get suspicious.

According to The Smoking Gun, Bin Laden ignored his own rule book on hiding out — you don’t curl up in an affluent million dollar mansion, but go to apartments or sprawling suburban areas where the neighbors are less likely to be friendly, or nosy:

“It is preferable to live in apartments or houses ‚Äúin newly developed areas where people do not know one another. Usually, in older quarters people know one another and strangers are easily identified, especially since these quarters have many informers.‚Äù

But such new construction did have a drawback, according to the manual: “In a newer apartment, avoid talking loud because prefabricated ceilings and walls…do not have the same thickness as those in old ones.”