Hurricane disaster preparedness

Marines patrol past a flooded house in Houston last year.  Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to your home. Credit: Marine Corps

We hate to sound all public service announcement-y, but now that this year’s hurricane season is off to an active start, FEMA wants to remind you during September’s National Preparedness Month that “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.”

How do you prepare for any multitude of disasters? FEMA and ready.gov offers these four steps to disaster preparedness:

  • Make and practice your plan.
  • Learn lifesaving skills, such as CPR and first aid.
  • Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face.
  • Consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency.

There are countless online resources for emergency preparedness, so we’ve assembled a basic outline of what to do, plus links to helpful resources. There’s plenty you can do now to be prepared in case a disaster strikes locally. (more…)

Even though housing sales in Texas fell 3.2 percent, demand is still strong, the Texas A&M Real Estate Center’s June Housing Insight revealed. The same report revealed that Dallas’ affordable housing problems aren’t anywhere close to abating.

The report said that the Texas Residential Construction Cycle (Coincident) Index reached its highest level since 2008 last month, largely thanks to construction employment and wages. The index measures current construction activity in the state.

Housing shortages seem to have spurred an increase in supply activity, as the inventory of vacant developed lots rose 3.3 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth. However, single-family housing construction fell 1.8 percent in the second quarter. Texas is still at the top of the market with 16 percent of the national total for permits, though, and Dallas-Fort worth comes in at a strong second to Houston’s permit activity with 3,295. (more…)

When it comes to property taxes, Texas homeowners pay some of the highest residential property taxes in the country, the research group Attom Data Solutions said last week.

According to economist Daren Blomquist, only New Jersey, Illinois, and Vermont posted higher effective property tax rates last year than then 2.15 percent Texans paid.

The company’s analysis showed nationwide that property taxes levied on single-family homes totaled $293.4 billion, up 6 percent rom $277.7 billion in 2016, for an effective average tax rate of 1.17 percent. (more…)

(Photo by iStock)

It’s Election Day for both party primaries, and if you haven’t voted yet, you have about seven hours left to do so. A whole slew of local and statewide races are on both ballots, and many of your seemingly not-big-deal votes actually do have wider-reaching implications.

We’ll be talking returns over on our Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m., and will have a comprehensive write up later this evening once winners are looking firm. So go vote, grab a glass of wine, and fire up the Facebook.

Don’t have Facebook? Hate social media? Feel free to comment on this post about what you’ve seen, reactions to returns, etc.

The bones of the Baer Barn B&B in Fredericksburg are steeped in history — the original structure was built in 1860. But this historical shelter has seen a little bit of new construction and a great deal of upgrading, making it a seamless combination of old and new. (more…)

Come March, a unique East Texas property will be available via auction, which is quickly becoming the best way to pick up big, beautiful real estate. The iconic Timber Creek Ranch in Winnsboro is up for auction, and CandysDirt.com is hosting a pre-auction preview and barbecue there this Saturday, February 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It may be your only chance to see 428 acres of pure heaven.

I know we say this all the time, but this truly is one of the finest ranches in Texas. And one of the few with full lake access.

“Timber Creek Ranch ranks among the finest working and recreational ranches in Texas, and its lake frontage is especially unique,” says Kyle Crews, Executive Vice President of Allie Beth Allman & Associates.

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I received word today from the great folks at Concierge Auctions that Deion Sander’s former spread on almost 6 acres up in Prosper — you know it —  is going to auction on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. There is no reserve. The home went to auction previously, and almost sold for just under $4 million, but the deal fell through. Happens. It was sold shortly after. Naturally, the owners want to see bids starting in the one or two millions, the higher, the better, as they will be selling the aforementioned property to the highest bidder.  The home at 1400 Copper Point Drive, has been on the market for $12.75 million, is now asking $14,500,000.

I mean, you do understand, right? The famed Sanders home with that turn-table in the master, huge round bed, a closet bigger than Rhode Island and a barber shop, basketball court and bowling alley, 14 car garage, screening room and 12 acre lake, could be picked up for $2 million or less in time for Christmas!

“Starting this Thursday, November 15th, we will be holding the open house every day from 1-4 p.m,” says Concierge project sales manager Jodi Fillmore, who came to Dallas all the way from Ketchum, Idaho, to sell the famous sprawling palace. She is working with Ebby Halliday agent David Gloria, one of the best agents around. You know what’s proof of a good agent? When he does everything possible to sell a property. EVERYTHING. Now, after three years, David thinks an auction may bring out a buyer.

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collier

Houston businessman and Democrat Mike Collier filed at 1 p.m. Monday to run against incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (Photo courtesy Mike Collier).

Mike Collier knows that there are people that care deeply about whether Texas stays red, turns blue, or goes purple — but it’s not his chief goal.

“My aspiration is political competition,” he said on a drive from Houston to Dallas last week. “I just want to see the end of this one-party system.”

Collier filed today to run as a Democrat against incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and said he knows that running for a statewide seat as anything other than a Republican can be seen to some as a bit quixotic.

But is it really? The Houston businessman may have seemed like a long shot when he first announced he was considering a run several months ago, but recent successes this month in other GOP stronghold areas has made the whole prospect less far-fetched.

Collier said his platform’s foundation is in two intersecting areas — public education and property taxes. For an hour, CandysDirt.com engaged in a question and answer session with the candidate. Below are some of his responses. (more…)