Archive for April, 2011

How to Price-check Central Air-Heat Replacement

Posted by    |    April 30th, 2011 at 5:15 am

It has always been difficult to price shop the replacement of central air and heat equipment.  It’s not at all like it was when people primarily cooled their homes with window units and heated them from a separate forced air furnace.

In the window unit days, 12,500 was the size of a ton, and you knew if Carrier had a 1 ton unit for $500 and GE had one for $450, Carrier’s was the cheaper.

That’s not the case with central equipment.

Within the past several years, I’ve noticed the Dallas-Ft. Worth central air and heat contractors have become more and more aggressive as they try to attract new customers. (more…)


Posted by    |    April 25th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Maybe it’s always been this way.  Who’s to say?

It’s reasonable to assume that most home sellers pick their Favorite Agent to list their home.

Wouldn’t you agree?

But here’s where the twist comes.

Between the seller and his agent, a listing price is chosen.

And if the Favorite Agent is a good one, and most are, through market research of recent sales of homes that are similar, that picked listing price is within the ballpark.

But here’s the catch. (more…)

Supporting Mass Appeal for Mass Transit

Posted by    |    April 23rd, 2011 at 5:15 am

Dallas already has the largest light rail line in the United States.

Although the demand for housing at transit-oriented locations is expected to increase dramatically over the next 30 years, a wide range of pricing at transit-oriented developments, or TODs, will capture a greater share of this demand. Higher income residents support the retail, restaurant, and office functions. Lower income workers benefit from the adjacent mass transit because their transportation costs frequently exceed their housing costs—not to mention the prospect for employment at the retail and restaurant locations within the mixed-use TOD.

Read the rest of my blog posted at DMagazine’s RealPoints

Builders in North Dallas Suburb are Creating a Buzz

Posted by    |    April 20th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

A Beautiful Frisco Home

Now who said real estate activity in DFW is at an all-time low? Well not in one northern suburb, that’s for sure. The Frisco new home market is experiencing a growth that has builders scrambling to get permits for new lots in their communities. This increase in new contracts over the past couple months shows me signs of buyer confidence and the fact of low interest rates slowly rising.

Meritage Homes last year had 694 annual closings for the entire company (which includes Monterey and the Legacy Home brands). Their salesperson shared that since January 15, 2011 there have been 28 contracts written in their community in Frisco called Village Lakes. Landon Homes in Austin Ridge shared that they, too, were gearing up for summer — turning in 15 permits to the city in one day this week.

From another aspect, Steve Brown of The Dallas Morning News reports that starts drop in first quarter of 2011. Seriously, where do they get this information from? Regardless of these reports, my research tells me Frisco homes are selling better than any other area in DFW.

Three of the hottest new communities are on the Horizon in Frisco.  Phillips Creek Ranch, Richwoods and Lawler Park are going to keep developers, builders and buyers busy for the next decade with these three!!!!

Is Dallas’ Edifice Complex Hindering Downtown’s Growth and Livability?

Posted by    |    April 17th, 2011 at 5:15 am

A recent Texas Tribune article pointed out that over the last 10 years the city of Dallas grew by a mere 1 percent and Dallas County grew by only 6.7 percent. The four most populous other Texas counties grew by over 20 percent. City and county officials in Dallas blame the topography for the low growth, claiming Dallas is simply built out.

And yet, “critics suggest that Dallas’s larger-than-life image may be shrinking for another reason. They say that officials’ lack of investment in public schools, streets, parks and pools — the real-world priorities outside the city’s [iconic projects] — is sending white families and middle-class minorities to the suburbs. The result, they say, is an increasingly Hispanic, less educated and poor inner city.” (more…)

DMagazine’s RealPoints (new blog on NTX Commercial Real Estate)

Posted by    |    April 13th, 2011 at 5:15 am

DMagazine has a great new blog on Commercial Real Estate activity in North Texas  – called DRealPoints. Munsch Hardt is their initial lead sponsor — check out their initial stories and an introduction to DRealPoints below. 

DFWREimagined Stories for Past 2 Weeks

Posted by    |    April 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

It’s Coming Up Cupcakes: The Shape (and Taste!) of Things to Come on Lower Greenville
Art on Display – Neimen Marcus Windows
Plano council approves future DART stations
Fort Worth officials demand more commuter rail
DART Ridership
April D Mag Column – How Victory will Win
Wherein We Talk to the Realtor Trying to Sell Two of Downtown’s Greatest Assets
Construction to Start on Midtown in Fort Worth
Calatrava’s Dallas bridge heading for an October opening
Commercial Real Estate: Urban format and infill retail create scaled-down success
The Economist Discusses Dallas’ Arts District
As It Develops More Property East of Central, SMU Wants to Be “Dallas’s University”
DFW “Outer Loop”
Dallas-Fort Worth No. 1 in job gains
Population Change in DFW
Where to Drill Next: Main Street
Alliance Becomes Key Economic Engine for Fastest-Growing Large U.S. City, Dynamic Region
Oak Cliff-based Better Block Project expands across Texas, America
Sapping Street Life in Dallas, Ordinance by Ordinance
Walmart strategy: Grow by shrinking
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport named fourth best airport in world
The Downtown Renaissance Extends Its Reach
Would a pedestrian zone work for Dallas?
New Food Truck Rolls Out Today in Near Southside
Trinity Railway Express
Report: $5 a Gallon Gas Would Mean 1.5 Billion More Transit Trips
CRE Consultant Predicts Lower CRE Returns until the Mid-10s
Texas Could Gain 374,000 jobs this year
Internap to build $130M data center in Plano
Ross Perot Tops Off Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Greenest homes are those near public transit
Fort Worth West 7th Progress
Taking Back the Street
Dallas Ranks 5th on Worst-Traffic List
Dallas paddlers get a taste of the Trinity River standing wave
DART shows off green streetcar for proposed downtown Dallas line
New spaces not needed to solve downtown Dallas parking problem
Dallas council committee discusses downtown’s underground tunnels

It’s Coming Up Cupcakes: The Shape (and Taste!) of Things to Come on Lower Greenville

Posted by    |    April 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

A couple of food trucks were seen parked in the lot where once the Arcadia proudly stood till it was claimed by fire in June 2006. He asked of this mobile food court: “Is this a precursor of things to come?” Why, yes, as a matter of fact. When I spoke with council member Angela Hunt, she referred to it as “a prelude of things to come.”

When we spoke, Hunt was actually on her way home from a meeting hosted by Marc and Roger Andres — a recap of which she posted to her website shortly after midnight this morning beneath the headline “Change is Just Around the Corner for Lower Greenville.” Said Hunt last night and again this morning, the food trucks were rolled in for a jam-packed reception, also featuring Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano, during which retail and restaurant brokers were given a look at the “new look” Lower Greenville: “It was really an opportunity for them to hear about the great things coming to Lower Greenville.”

Read remainder of the story at the Dallas Observer

Art on Display – Neimen Marcus Windows

Posted by    |    April 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Dallas is a retail town, and it is a town preoccupied with style. The confluence of these two characteristics has led to the establishment of this city as a cultural center (“where the east ends”) and a place where culture is traded, exchanged, and invested in like any other commodity.

It’s that background that charges the inspired collaborative exhibition that currently takes up the windows of the Neiman Marcus building in downtown Dallas. Organized by the Dallas Art Fair, the exhibition brings together a collection of artists and galleries as chosen by a number curators and artists. The idea for the project came out of conversations between Art Fair Founder Chris Byrne and artist Richard Patterson, and it is an inspired, witty, and playful exhibition, both approachable and refreshingly serious for public work in Dallas.

Read remainder of the article at DMagazine

Plano council approves future DART stations

Posted by    |    April 9th, 2011 at 5:15 am

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is in the process of identifying future transportation needs for an estimated 4 million more people expected to live in the region by 2035. Plano and nearby cities are in competition for a future commuter rail line that would be a crucial component in east-west transit.

Although official action has yet to be taken, the council unanimously directed city planners to draft an amendment to its Future Land Use Plan to include additional DART rail stations.

Steve Sims, a senior planner with the city of Plano, presented the proposed modifications to the council on Monday night. He said NCTCOG’s Regional Rail Corridor Study includes a proposal for the Cotton Belt, which would pass through the southeast portion of the city near downtown and would connect Plano with DFW International Airport.

Read remainder of the article at the Plano Courier Star