RichardsonEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 23rd city on the list — Thousand Oaks, Calfornia. This week, we look somewhere very familiar: Richardson, where we found three great homes — all for less than $410,000.

(more…)

I have stacks of homes to blog, and I’m going to the Neil Diamond concert Tuesday evening, but I just have to get this out there: 4302 Colony West Drive, Richmond, TX.

As they say, WTF?

This is a home in the Houston suburb of Richmond, and apparently belongs to an artist/jewelry designer who does a lot of work with mannequins.

They are, like, everywhere, even on the ceilings. 

Our team has been chatting about this house now for a few days. Home stagers are running for Xanax. (more…)

Most expensive homes listed in U.S.

Photos courtesy of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

A Texas ranch was included in Curbed.com’s roundup of the most expensive homes for sale in the U.S. earlier this week. Perhaps the Hill Country town of Lampasas should rebrand itself Lampa$a$, given the $81 million price tag on the Hill Country property, which ranks among the 25 most expensive homes currently listed for sale in the nation. It ranks 21st in the lineup that ranges from $250 million to $78 million, with most in what seems to be a sweet spot for top-tier housing prices — the low to mid-80s.

See the full story on SecondShelters.com.

1

What are the punch list essentials to take a house from long-term rental to a near immediate sale? Northern Realty Group agent Lisa Logan was presented with just this dilemma. Of course, it’s helpful if the listing is in Ryan Place, where demand remains insanely strong and inventory persistently low.

3

Here is another useful stroke – have a seasoned construction engineer in the family who has worked on some of the highest profile residential projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, like the most expensive house for sale in North Texas. (Hint: one of the two billionaire Andy Beal is said to be shopping.) Meet Project 2509 Willing Avenue, a 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath, 1919 Craftsman. The home just needed some interior refreshing.

“I can’t emphasize the importance of something as basic as a good paint job,” begins Lisa’s husband Shanon Logan. “Just removing the accumulated layers of years of bad paint work and starting fresh does a great deal to improve a first impression.” (more…)

Texas Unemployment and Housing over Time

Well, well, well … looks like Texas is more attractive than ever, thanks to it healthy employment rate and housing market. The Motley Fool notes that not only did Texas recover from the recession faster than most states, but it’s thriving at a more substantial clip than other metro areas. It beat Washington, North Carolina, and Colorado.

Buoyed by the oil and gas industry, Texas sailed a relatively smooth course through the financial crisis. A 2009 study by BusinessWeek put five Texas cities in the top 10 cities least effected by the recession in all of the U.S.

Today, the oil and gas industry is having some issues, but Texas remains a solid market in which to own a house. Home prices have proven strong through multiple economic cycles, and the Texas employment market remains strong.

Further, Austin, Texas, was ranked as the top local economy to raise a family in a study that considered the town’s growth, economic stability, and housing market.

But what areas in Texas are the best spots to buy? Believe it or not, it’s Collin County. Jump for more.

(more…)

Texas Map Experian v2

It’s finally happened. We know you can’t believe every (any) thing you read on the internet, we can now say the same of credit-reporting agency Experian, whose tag line is “Data Quality.”

I saw an infographic (a nice name for a chart full of data that’s been made “fun”) purporting to show “The Wealthiest ZIP Codes in America” published by credit bureau Experian. To be pedantic, I will point out that “America” consists of two continents and many countries while this chart only talks about the Unites States.

The chart lists the top three ZIP codes in each state. Each state falls into a region. For example, Texas is part of the West South Central region that also contains Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It also lists the number of households in each code. Data reportedly came from the IRS and US Census and was filtered through wealth.mongabay.com, freep.com and zipatlas.com.

I spent a few minutes whirling around the chart seeing if I recognized any zip codes from cities I used to live in…and zippo, I couldn’t place any of these toitiest of hoity ZIP codes. So being the scab-picker that I am, I looked a little deeper … (“ruh-roh” as Scooby would say)

(more…)

3417 Villanova ext

“Texas is one of the best states to buy a home in the U.S. because it’s one of the best places to work, do business and raise a family. Our state’s lasting job and economic growth continues to bring higher incomes for Texas families and reaffirms new home sales and development as a critical component in meeting market demand,” said Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors.

And TAR’s 2015 Texas Homebuyers and Sellers Report backs up Kesner’s optimism. The median household income of homebuyers in the great state shot up 5.9 percent between July 2013 to June 2014 to $97,500. That’s a much more substantial increase than the national median household income among homebuyers, which increased only 1.4 percent to $84,500.

So, who is buying Texas dirt, and what are they buying? Find out at the jump!

(more…)

Impact of Texas

Let’s face it: the Texas real estate industry, and that includes Dallas,  is in Veuve Clicquot mode right now. Home sales had their second best year ever in 2014, selling 66,664 homes throughout the Lone Star state just in the last quarter of 2014. Almost 285,000 homes were sold in the state last year, which means 285,000 commissions for agents. And that does not include newly built dream houses.

“The fourth quarter of 2014 marked three-and-a-half years of continual home sales growth for the Lone Star State and the highest annual home sales volume since 2006 – a testament to the strong and enduring demand of Texas real estate,” Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said in a recent statement.

Because of low inventory, it was a seller’s market and home prices were up 7.76 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to fourth quarter 2013. The median price of a home in Texas is now $185,900.

In Dallas, well, we don’t need to legalize marijuana sales: Dallas-area home price values rose 9.4 percent. That puts the median price of a Dallas home at $207,900 in the fourth quarter of 2014. First time it’s ever been over $190,000.

I am hearing story after story of homes selling for over list price, but this is happening in price lots of $500,000 or under. The $3 million and more price ranges are a little soft.

And not to be Debbie Downer, but I am wondering if we should start to worry about that three-letter word we love so much in Texas: oil. (more…)