Archive for January, 2012

Tuesday Two Hundred: We Went House Shopping for the Flower Mound Squatter at $280K

Posted by    |    January 31st, 2012 at 11:56 pm

We think Kenneth Robinson might be looking for a new home after next Monday, so we are dedicating today’s Tuesday Two Hundred to him. In case he wants to stay in Flower Mound, but move just a little south, here’s what we found: 2892 square feet on a landcaped lot with trees, hardwood floors, soft paint colors, plantation shutters, tall ceilings and lots of natural light. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths and formals plus gameroom. The kitchen has an island and walk-in pantry, a see-through gas logged fireplace (which by law, I think all homes should have) to the family room. Pretty master with walk-in closet and patio access plus dream spa bath with jetted tub and separate shower. There’s a game room up on the second story and the attic has floored storage for extra space. What is not to like about this house? Built in 1993 it has a brand spanking new roof. Great yard, prize-winning schools. Mr. Robinson might be upset there is no pool, like he has in “his” house, but then I’ll wager he’s getting mighty sick of taking care of that pool about now. This is what I love about our market: $280,000.

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at

Home Price Indexes Out, Dallas Fort Worth Not Too Shabby and Fort Worth Outshining Dallas

Posted by    |    January 31st, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I am pleased with the local numbers out from the nation’s major data trackers. The latest Case-Shiller report released Tuesday morning showed that seasonally-adjusted home prices fell 0.7 percent nationally between October and November 2011, and dropped by about 3.7 percent since November 2010. We did sooo much better, even when looking at stodgy Case-Shiller which I don’t like for many reasons, for one that they do not include new homes sales. In Dallas, the index reported that home prices decreased on a monthly basis (1.3%) as well as went down between November 2010 and November 2011 (.8%). That is less than one percent and well could be a margin of error. 

Researchers at Fiserv and Moody’s Analytics tell us that Dallas-area home prices will drop furth 1.3 percent by the third quarter of this year. But they are expected to rise 0.4 percent in 2013. This company tells us local prices declined 2.7 percent in 2011.

Steve Brown quoted David Stiff, Fiserv’s chief economist:

“While prices continued to fall in most [U.S.] markets, sales activity picked up at the end of 2011, setting the foundation for price stabilization in 2012,” David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv, said in the report. “We stand by our projection that average U.S. home prices will move sideways in 2012.

Stiff also thinks increasing sales activity will begin to drive small increases in prices in the U.S. metro areas that were not as hard hit by the housing bubble burst, places like Houston, Fort Worth and Salt Lake City. He’s saying Fort Worth can even expect price increases of 1 to 3 percent by the third quarter of this year. Gosh, let’s all move to Cowtown!

Nationally, not so good: home prices are forecast to decline 2.7 percent by the third quarter before rising a teeny bit in 2013.

U.S. home prices overall have taken a hit, losing about one-third of value since the market peaked in 2006.

Talking to Dallas agents, they say this isn’t surprising at all. Monday morning meetings at many brokers are now focusing on multiple offer transactions, the likes of which have not been seen since 2006 or 2007. With less inventory and more leasing, there are fewer homes available to sell. I have also started hearing of more FSBOs or For Sale By Owner. Two friends are working a deal now on a restored North Dallas ranch with a couple from out of town, and look at this lovely home pictured. I call this house the story of the Dallas real estate bubble. It sold June 15, 2007 for $2,750,000 with Cynthia Beaird at Allie Beth Allman, coming down from a high of $2.9. The last listing price was $1.9 with Jan Baldwin of Briggs Freeman Sothbys. The owners took it off the market in frustration, no offers. It sold in ten days right after the New Year. The buyers lived near the neighborhood, literally came knocking on the door I’m told. And that’s one more Real Estate transaction not in MLS.

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at

Depleted Your Savings Account Today For Property Taxes? Your 2012 Property Tax Calendar

Posted by    |    January 31st, 2012 at 11:56 pm

by Tiffany Hamil

Each year in Texas, January 31 brings death to savings and escrow accounts to anyone who owns property in the Lone Star state. It is on this day that property taxes in Texas are due. We may feel the pain now, but the time to fight is actually this May. To help you plan, check out the 2012 Property Tax Calendar below to further understand important dates in Texas Real Estate:

January 31st Property Taxes are due for the 2011 tax year.

May 1st The District notifies the property owner of the property’s Proposed Value. The Proposed Value is the value that the District thinks the home is worth as of January 1, 2012. This means that the District used sales primarily from January-December of 2011 in its determination of value. Notice the delay in valuation.

Extra Caveat: the District is NOT required to notify you via mail if the Proposed Value of your home is unchanged or reduced. This does NOT mean that you still shouldn’t protest this value. To check out your value online, go to your local Appraisal District’s website. In Google, search “(your county) Appraisal District). You should then find the official website for your Appraisal District. You can then search by owners name or address and find the Proposed Value.

May 31st: In most counties, May 31st is the deadline to file a protest. The law actually says that the property owner has 30 days from the date of notification of the Proposed Value to protest. Thus, if your county doesn’t notify you until May 7th of your Proposed Value, your deadline to protest is extended beyond May 31st. In the DFW area, Denton is notorious for having a deadline that extends beyond May 31st. Remember, even if the District didn’t notify you via mail, the deadline is still the same. You must stay on top of this issue.

June & July: Hearing dates are scheduled and will occur with the Appraisal Review Boards.

July 20: Certification date. On this date, the ARB must certify the appraisal records, but may not do so if more than 5 percent of total appraised value remains under protest. What does this mean to you? It means that most ARB hearings will be completed prior to this date, and it means that the taxing units have this number available to them when establishing the tax rate.

Sept 29: Last day for taxing units to adopt 2012 tax rates. Ever wonder why even if your appraised value is unchanged, you pay more in taxes? It’s because the taxing units have recognized the shortfall in the appraised values and have correspondingly increased the tax rates. Seems a little unfair, huh?

Oct 1: Tax Bills are mailed for the amount due January 31, 2012.

Jan 31, 2013: Taxes are due from the 2012 Tax Year.

Moral of the Story: Don’t miss your opportunity to protest this upcoming May. If you would like to be emailed a reminder, please send me your name and property address to, and I will add you to our May Reminder List.

Tiffany L. Hamil is a Dallas tax attorney and consultant. She is an advertiser on this blog, and also someone we have used and rely on for property tax advice. Get your property tax questions ready, because once again, The Tax Doctor, Tiffany Hamil, will be in!

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at

CCAR’s Economic Outllok for Real Estate in 2012

Posted by    |    January 30th, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Last Wednesday on the 25th of January, one of my favorite real estate speaking engagements came to town.

CCAR (Collin County Association of Realtors) hosts the most imformative session for residential real estate every year. They bring in 3 keynote speakers/teachers. Dr. Mark G. Dotzour the Cheif Economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University to talk about the Outlook for 2012. Dan Kessler, the Director of transportation for North Central Texas to discuss the progress of tollroads, highways and rail lines in North Dallas. And lastly, but most importantly, David Brown the Director of the DFW office of Metrostudy who highlights the communities in Collin County and advises us on where the action is.

To a normal realtor, this may be helpful for them to be knowledgable in front of clients. For a new home specialist broker like me, it’s a MUST!

I am always excited when Mark Dotzour hits the stage. He always tells it how it is, with no fluff! This year he mentioned these highlights for 2012.

1. Projections are at a 10% increase in Sales in North Dallas for 2012.
2. The only sources for loans are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and both are totally controlled by the government.
3. Mortgage rates at 3.75% are too low and show a “Fake Economy” and won’t be here for long.
4. He said if government got out of Freddie and Fannie, Mortgage rates would go back up and be stable at 6%.
5. Over 50% of Americans do not pay income tax.
6. Job growth is at an all time high. (Apple has 90 Billion sitting in their bank)
7. We are devaluating the dollar so much that Toyaota is now making cars in American and shipping them to Korea!

Lastly he said one comment that really blew me away. He said that in America today there are 4.5-6 million homes that are (60-90) days late on their mortgage. This puts them in various stages of foreclosure.In 2010 the government put strict guidelines on banks regarding foreclosures and here is the stat that blows me away!

• Historically, the average amount of days it takes to forclose on a property is 280 days. Today the average number of days to foreclose is at 680 days. 680 DAYS! Almost 2 Years!

Mark said the main reason for this is the 600 Billion dollars of secondary mortgages. He said if they foreclose on them all tomorrow, that many of the larger banks would have to close.
"Brad and Mark, Two of the Smartest People in Real Estate!"

I have to go talk to Mark everytime and he is definately someone that I know will tell me the truth about certain sectors of the economy and really helps when it comes to identifiying what is going to work when it comes to the Real Estate business.

Dallas Is the Worst When It Comes to Cycling to Work? Gee, Can’t Imagine Why. No, Wait … – Dallas News – Unfair Park

Posted by    |    January 30th, 2012 at 5:15 am

See chart and read more at Dallas Is the Worst When It Comes to Cycling to Work? Gee, Can’t Imagine Why. No, Wait … – Dallas News – Unfair Park.

Measuring transportation efficiency vs. the purpose of cities? WALKABLE Dallas-Fort Worth

Posted by    |    January 30th, 2012 at 5:15 am

My friend Patrick Kennedy writes great articles on cities & urban issues ….

TTI is he Texas Transportation Institute. Their work provides much of the basis for all planning, policy, and funding decisions that cities and states undergo. As the CEO for Cities report correctly points out, their metrics are badly flawed. As are pretty much all transportation planning metrics. The reason? Their objective is speed. If roads aren’t flowing at their proposed speed, they are deemed failing. The next step is to add supply, more lane capacity. Houses and building along them be damned.

So the question remains: what is the point of a street? To answer that, you have to ask the larger question: what is the point of a city, the entire infrastructural network?

I don’t even know where this dates back to, but I don’t think anybody can argue with the answer: that cities (and their subservient subset of streets) are the platform for social and economic exchange.

Read more at WALKABLE Dallas-Fort Worth: The Point?.

Mixed-Use Development Delivers Huge Public Returns Compared to Sprawl | Streetsblog Capitol Hill

Posted by    |    January 30th, 2012 at 5:15 am

Walkable development pays — that’s the conclusion of a study recently outlined in Planetizen. For cities and towns facing tight budgets — just about everywhere in the United States right now — the smart way to boost tax revenue is to encourage mixed-use, walkable development, as the above graphic amply illustrates.

The for-profit development company Public Interest Projects (PIP) reports that urbanism produces much more tax revenue for localities than sprawl. Analyzing tax data around Asheville, North Carolina, the research team found that downtowns — places with the most places to shop per acre — often subsidize the more suburban parts of the community. In places like Asheville, mixed-use developments offered up to eight times (or more) the tax revenue per acre of a Super Walmart.

Read more at Mixed-Use Development Delivers Huge Public Returns Compared to Sprawl | Streetsblog Capitol Hill.

‘Social Equity’ to Be Weighed in U.S. Transit Funding Rule – Bloomberg

Posted by    |    January 30th, 2012 at 5:15 am

The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to give more weight to factors including affordable-housing policy in deciding which local mass-transit initiatives will get federal money.

Its proposed rules , published in the Federal Register today, are part of a move over the past two years to alter the criteria that President George W. Bush ’s administration used to award grants for light-rail, subway and rapid-bus systems.

“This proposed rulemaking is moving in the right direction,” James LaRusch, chief counsel to the American Public Transportation Association, said in an e-mail. The Washington- based trade group represents transit agencies and companies that design, build, finance and operate transit services.

The Federal Transit Administration will use the new criteria to evaluate applications for grants from the agency’s New Starts and Small Starts programs to local governments and transit agencies. The programs get about $2 billion a year from Congress.

Read more at ‘Social Equity’ to Be Weighed in U.S. Transit Funding Rule – Bloomberg.

Debate on tunnel system intensifies – Dallas Business Journal

Posted by    |    January 30th, 2012 at 5:15 am

The fate of downtown Dallas’ pedestrian tunnel system — an underground web of walkways beneath the city’s central business district — could be determined within a month.

The tunnel system has been the topic of debate by city planners, property owners and developers since it was highlighted as a hinderance to street-level pedestrian traffic in the Downtown Dallas 360 development plan, a half-million-dollar, public-private master plan unveiled last year.

Read more at Debate on tunnel system intensifies – Dallas Business Journal.

Tim Headington Unloading a $25 Million Miami Beach Penthouse, the One Right Next Door to Mark Cuban. Champagne, Anyone?

Posted by    |    January 29th, 2012 at 5:15 am

Update: I caught up with the listing agent, Eloy Carmenate , who just happened to be at DFW on his way back to Miami. Wouldn’t you know that he also happens to be a friend of Doris Jacobs, who I just had lunch with today? They worked a deal together on another one of Tim’s home on Crescent. Eloy, who is now half-way to being my BFF, says he has lots of clients in Dallas. Stay tuned for more pics!

This one has my name written all over it: a room just for tasting champagne!

You know our Tim Headington. He’s an oil magnate from Oklahoma who, last time I looked, keeps a penthouse at The Residences at the Ritz Carleton. He’s redeveloping downtown Dallas around his lovely Joule hotel and producing movies. In fact, his life ought to be a movie! He’s also been renovating some Miami real estate, and now selling off part of a $25 million Miami Beach waterfront penthouse at 1500 Ocean Drive in the Michael Graves Building. He’s right next door to a unit owned by our very own Mavs owner Mark Cuban.

According to the Wall Street Journal, he paid $12 million in 2007 after buying the crib from the estate of one Almon Glenn Braswell.

The 11,962-square-foot space was four separate units on the 16th floor of the South Beach building. Putting units together is nothing new, it’s happening at The Ritz right now my sources tell me. Happens a whole lot at The Azure. Tim combined three of the units to make a cozy 8,262-square-foot penthouse, with a circular all-glass living area, ocean views, plus this absoplute must-have, for me at least: a Champagne tasting rooms. Each of the five bedrooms has a circular staircase leading up to a roof terrace, which holds the Jacuzzi, one of those life-size chess boards like the ones outside Marie Gabrielle, and a dining area.

What about the fourth unit? Tim is living there and renovating it. A billionaires’ work is never done. Eloy Carmenate of One Sotheby’s Realty has the listing. Man would I love to be Eloy’s best friend…

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at