Christmas lights

As Christmas creeps closer, and the nights get longer, you can ask just about any North Texan — checking out the homegrown light displays in various neighborhoods is as much a tradition as tamales and NorthPark Santa.

But do you worry you’re missing out on a great neighborhood? Or are you new to the area, and don’t have the skinny on the great displays? Fear not — CandysDirt.com staffers have been quizzing readers, scouring the Internet, and strapping jingle bells on our gumshoes to find some of the best neighborhood and city-led decoration displays in Dallas-Fort Worth.

And thanks to one of our favorite luxury Realtors, Christy Berry with Compass, and CandysDirt.com, you can check out our list of great cruising spots this holiday season. Think you might want to find a house in a neighborhood that embraces their inner Clark Griswold, or maybe something a little uh, more Martha Stewart? Stay tuned, because Christy has a listing to share that could get you right in the middle of Christmas central. (more…)

The fireplace at 13809 Green Elm Road is a direct vent — so there’s no chimney for Santa to come down.

How does he do it?

How is Santa not only able to deliver toys to all the good little girls and boys of the world, but how does he manage to get down the chimney? I have so many questions for Santa. Does he have a favorite type of fireplace?  What about a direct-vent fireplace? How does he handle homes with no fireplace?

Reviewing the homes of Tarrant County Tuesday from 2018, I wanted to share some of the vast options that jolly old St. Nick will have in a few short weeks.

While a tall flue , the actual fire box might be a tight squeeze for St. Nick at 312 Verna Trail

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Completed in 2017, 321 Verna Trail North is inspired by Mission Revival architectural elements. (Photos: Trey Freeze Media)

Fourteen miles and only 20 minutes separate the always happening downtown Fort Worth with a 63-acre horse lover’s dream house.

That’s right.  It will take less time to drive from Fort Worth’s Sundance Square to this 7,324-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-and-one-half bathroom, single-story property than it does to boil and egg on an open flame.

Horse lover's paradise

321 Verna Trail North is a 7,324 square-foot estate with five beds, six-and-a-half baths, and beautiful views throughout home

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voting

Issues with electronic voting systems statewide has some comparing the situation to a plotline from the ABC series “Scandal.”

As record numbers of voters hit the polls during early voting, reports statewide and locally have begun to trickle in regarding malfunctions in electronic voting machines.

In some areas, like Harris County, voters have reported that their votes for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke were changed to incumbent Ted Cruz when they voted straight party ticket.

Writer Leah McElrath, who voted in Harris County, detailed what she saw in a series of tweets.

 

Martha Merino told me that she voted at the Friendswood City Hall, and experienced the same thing.

“I voted straight ticket and it did that to me. I then found checked, triple checked before I cast my ballot,” she said.

Another reader told me her husband attempted to vote straight Democrat Tuesday morning in Richardson, and it switched to straight Republican. They alerted an elections judge, she said. Collin and Dallas counties do not use the same system that has been blamed for many of the issues. (more…)

Voters are fired up — and that enthusiasm was borne out in Monday morning’s record-shattering early voting tallies across the state.

And that makes sense — 15,793,257 people are registered to vote in this November’s election, a record number. In the 2014 midterms, only 4.7 percent of the 14 million registered at the time voted.

The state’s biggest counties — including Dallas, saw larger first-day turnout than they did in the 2014 midterms, and in some places met or exceeded some presidential election totals.

And the lines began nearly immediately and continued throughout the day.

“It’s been like this all day,” said one poll worker at Marsh Lane Baptist Church, where the line snaked down a hall, into a reception area, around the walls of that room, and back up the hallway again. “But it’s gotten worse as the day has gone on.” (more…)

Tarrant

Photo courtesy Tarrant County

Longtime Tarrant County Justice of the Peace Jacquelyn Wright has had her fair share of controversy in the 28 years she’s served in that position.

But that controversy may be outpaced by Wednesday’s news that a grand jury indicted Wright, 77, on four felony charges related to homestead exemptions she claimed.

It is alleged that she falsely claimed the exemptions on homes she did not live in to avoid paying property taxes on a home on Ivy Hill Road in Fort Worth, the indictment said. Her claims spanned from 2010 to 2018, when she falsely applied for and received a homestead exemption in 2015, 2016, and 2018 for the Ivy Hill Road home. (more…)

The school system is so broken

Everyone wants to live in a highly rated school district, but not everyone can afford that anymore in Tarrant County.

Yes “location, location, location” is still the first thing that comes out of a buyer’s mouth when asked what’s important in their next home.  The second is typically, “We want to live in a good school district!”

Of course, as a licensed real estate sales professionals, we are gagged and bound by money-taking governmental bodies that forbid us from giving facts, figures, or opinions on local schools and school districts.  But thanks to the World Wide Interweb it’s not that difficult to find.

Recently, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released the 2018 D/FW School District Accountability Ratings, and it’s very telling in regards to real estate.

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A slowdown isn't a bad thing is it? Let's find out

Some will agree, and some won’t,  but data doesn’t lie — we are heading into a real estate slowdown.

First of all…R-E-L-A-X.  No, we are not heading toward a recession.  No, the housing market isn’t crumbling.  No, it’s not time to sell your home, stock up on canned beans, ammo, and get off the grid.  But the real estate market is changing … dare we call it a slowdown?

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