Archive for February, 2012

Rents On The Rise in Dallas/Fort Worth: Changing Face of the 2012 Homebuyer

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


So with rents averaging around $1000 for a two-bedroom apartment in the Metroplex, it is almost cheaper now to buy than rent. Does this have the troops stirred up about home- buying again? Yes…maybe. More agents are telling me how the market for first time homebuyers is picking up in Dallas. I went north to Plano and talked with André Kocher of Keller Williams and Wade Betz of Guardian Mortgage Company about the new, more fiscally conservative homebuyer coming in for loans.

Candy: We’ve seen the good news that home sales continue to rise in our area, the investors are loving Dallas, but who are these new homebuyers? Do they really exist?

André: They do! By and large, they are a more conservative and cautious group. They are interested in buying a home because the historic low rates mean they could own for less than they are renting. However, they want to make sure they don’t get into trouble down the road.

Many of our clients have studied Dave Ramsey and are practicing his tenants. (Editor’s note: Dave is a financial media guru who teaches followers to have a zero tolerance for debt.) They are out of debt or working to get out of debt. They are saving up higher down payments – around 10% for conventional loans – and they are interested in 15-year mortgages. Many are keeping their mortgage payments to 25% or less of their monthly income. (more…)

Interior Motives: Denise McGaha Shows Us Pretty, Pretty Potty for a Million Dollar Bathroom

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

Or, as Mama would say, “terlit”.

I first met Dallas designer Denise McGaha at a Junior League dinner. My daughter, Cassie, and her hubby Jake could not attend due to a scheduling conflict so the old folks got to go in their place. We were seated with the most delightful people, including Denise and her darling husband. I think we talked so much we wore out the tablecloth. We have kept in touch, and Denise has written some columns for SecondShelters. But no one does it better than Rebecca Sherman, who shows us how dynamic, talented and affordable Denise is on her beautiful home design blog, Houses Gardens People. And I am obsessed with this toilet! I am such a Toto/Kallista girl but now I think Geberit is my new heart throb.

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

Tuesday Two Hundred: Two Beds, Two Baths, Too Darn Cute to be ONLY $184,900.

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

In honor of Inman’s Dallas ReBoot, we have a townhome in Richardson this week at 600 Raford Hill Lane, east of Central that is so darn cute it is almost sinful to see how cheap it is: $184,900. And that’s reduced from a Rocky Mountain high of $189,999. Plus: you get upgrades galore. Beautiful wood floors in the foyer, a formal living room and cozy den set the stage for all the custom touches that are offered. Enjoy cooking in the spacious kitchen that features 42” cabinets, granite counters, large island, smooth top electric range, under mount stainless sink, stainless appliances and a walk-in pantry. Iron spindles on the staircase, upgraded 13” tile in the kitchen and all baths, great patio on the greenbelt, leaded glass front door, and more than 1800 square feet. All for sale for LESS than $200,000 this week, thank you very much.

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

Fake Fireplace. Real Heat

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I came across this highlight in a recent Elle Decor and thought it was the perfect fit for those decorative fireplaces in the East Dallas Tudors I see all the time. 

Most fireplaces (whether wood-, pellet-, or gas-burning) require some kind of ventilation to the outdoors. But a variety of smoke-free fuels—derived from eco-friendly, plant-based bioethanol—allows for ventless fires that work in any setting. Planika’s remote-controlled Fire Line Automatic ( is a stainless steel linear insert that can be incorporated into a shelf or recessed into a wall. Its 31″- long, low-profile flame gives off a toasty 14,000 BTUs. BrasaFire ( manufactures the portable Avani,below. Made of stainless steel and ceramic, it can be used as a stand-alone fire or placed in an existing hearth instead of a traditional log flame.

Photographer: Patrick Quirk

Residential Real Estate Auction 101: Why Auctions Will Be the Way To Sell Those Big, Huge, Over-Indulged Houses

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 5:15 am

As I told you last week, Champ D’Or is going to be auctioned off in a special, select residential real estate auction on March 30. The auction will be handled by Concierge Auctions, who only deal in the highest of high end properties, as I may also have mentioned. And if you are starting to suspect that auctions are the way more White Elephants Highly Customized High End Luxury Homes are going to be sold, you are absolutely correct. In fact, auctions are a great way to sell some properties.

“But you have to have a property that has the wow factor,” says Pat Kirby, with Grand Estates Auction Company. Though Pat has his real estate license only in Texas, GEA and their broker partners can coordinate sales pretty much anywhere in the U.S., Canada, and The Caribbean. Pat and the GEA team specialize in selling only via auction, which they have been doing for more than 13 years. Pat says he never desired to be a traditional agent, prefering the predictable hours at GEA. He lives in Dallas, so Pat is my go-to guru on residential real estate auctions.

The homes that sell at auctions, he says, are homes that are simply not going to sell the tradional way: list, sign, MLS, wait for buyer. They may be too specialized, or overbuilt, or in the wrong location, or the sellers have grown tired of waiting. (Sound like Champ?) But never mind all the negatives: if a home is highly desireable and you can get a lot of people excited about it in a short, defined period of time, you can sell it. There are buyers out there, qualified buyers, and Grand Estates Auction Company finds them. Increasingly, they are taking properties that have never been listed before. More and more sellers, Pat says, are coming to auction houses first so they don’t have to hassle with the time and inconveniences associated with listing a property the traditional way. (more…)

Inman’s Agent ReBoot Dallas is This Wednesday: I Think We Ought to Invite Home Squatter Kenneth Robinson

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 5:15 am

No longer in this house

I mean, he could add so much to the discussion…right? Maybe he ought to run a breakaway seminar?

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

Old (I’m Yawning) Dallas Real Estate News: Terrell Owens Has Two Dallas Condos On the Foreclosure List

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 5:15 am

Once he was the highest paid wide-receiver in the NFL, but now Terrell Owens is facing foreclosure on two Dallas condominiums less than three miles apart. His luxurious, 3559 square foot Azure condo with six parking garages sold at a short sale last November for about $1.4, if you will recall, or at least that’s where I called it.  Looks like a couple named Monsour bought in in early December, and the unit, which T.O. once was asking $2.25 for, is now on the books at $1.425 million. (Dang I’m good!) According to data posted on RealtyTrac, the condos will go to foreclosure March 6 and are probably on Roddy’s. Owens is delinquent on a $360,000 loan serviced by JPMorgan Chase for a condo unit #307, only 881 square feet and on the books for $286,000. Guess that was for his bodyguard or Baby Mama. Honestly, if he owes more than it’s worth, he’s underwater and may be smart to walk. He actually owns TWO condominiums on Commerce Street, 3701 and 3715, but only 3701 will join the Azure at the foreclosure auction. Records show that Owens is delinquent on a $295,920 mortgage serviced by Deutsche Bank for that property. Ouch, maybe: at least that 2223 square foot unit is on the books at $355,000.

T.O. collected homes like diamond earring studs. He maintains a “monster crib” in Lithonia, outside of Atlanta, according to my good friends at Zillow. The home was featured on MTV Cribs and in other celebrity real estate listings. Yeah, good luck selling that one, Atlanta’s market is in the toilet! Remember Stone Philips? He interviewed Owens there in 2004, and talked TO into a game in the property’s gleaming gym.

T.O. did shed the Moorestown, NJ manse he picked up during his days with the Philadelphia Eagles. Zillow says that while in Buffalo playing for the Bills, he tried to be conservative and simply rent a home for the 2009 season. But the owner of the Orchard Park, NY home refused to have him as a tenant. So he bought it.

What’s T.O. doing now if he’s not buying RE? He owns a 50-percent ownership stake in the Allen Wranglers.



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

You Have 24 Hours To Win a Free Ticket to Inman’s Agent ReBoot DALLAS! Dallas Real Estate News You Can Use…

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 5:15 am

The clock is ticking, tick tock. All you have to do is name ALL of the agents who have tried to sell Champ D’Or in Hickory Creek which, as I told you, is going to auction March 30th. Tell me their name and broker affiliation at the time. That place has had more agents than Wilt Chamberlain had lovers. You could start a Boutique firm with all the agents who have tried to sell it. Anyhow, I’m taking answers here in the comments section until midnight… then announcing the winner tomorrow. ReBoot is this Wednesday at the Renaissance Richardson, see ad below for deets.

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

Japanese Film Crew in Town Going Crazy Over Dallas Real Estate and Their Hero, Yu Darvish

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 5:15 am

These are the darling folks from Fuji TV in Tokyo, Japan, who are in town for a week filming Dallas real estate. A few weeks ago I got an email from the LA-based production coordinator, Ayumi Kitahara, asking me to help round up Dallas homes for a special segment. Turns out they read my blog about Yu Darvish’s house hunting, and became fascinated with Texas real estate:

Our morning show is called ”Mezamashi TV” and it is very high-rated nation-wide news/entertainment program on Fuji Television Network. One of the Fuji’s popular news reporters, Maasa Takahashi, will be visiting and interviewing you in Dallas. Since now “Yu Darvish is moving to Texas” is a hot topic in Japan, we are working on a feature on “Fancy Houses in Texas”. We would love you to recommend us some great houses that we can film and introduce in our show. The director is looking for houses that are not only just expensive and fancy, but also that have something very unique such as a house with a private heliport, house with a Japanese garden, house with a huge golf course, etc.

I sent them to see Kari Schlegel Kloewer’s penthouse at the W, up to Champ D’Or where they filmed today — and Maasa bowled!, off to a ranch and other prime props. They have a home with a heliport in Plano on tap for tomorrow. Tonight they came to my humble home for a tour and interview on what I do, namely, blogging about real estate. The interview was conducted in Japanese, with a translator.  Maasa, who is adorable and lights up on camera, fell in love with my kitchen and asked me if I cook a lot. She was surprised when I told her honestly, no! I’ve been to Japan and therefore understand how amazing the size and spaciousness of our homes are to the Japanese. And our home prices just blow them away. Also, Maasa made me promise to keep tabs on Yu for her and her viewers. One take we had to do over a few times was when I explained why perhaps Yu had been looking at a condo at the W: Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian live there, I explained.

Who, they asked, is Khloe Kardashian?

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

It Won’t Be Easy Implemeting Complete Streets – Dallas News – Unfair Park

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 5:15 am

At the end of last week we glanced at those surveys conducted during those citywide Complete Streets workshops put on by City Hall beginning last fall, input from which will go toward the manual Sustainable Development’s hoping to put together before year’s end. Some of which, incidentally, will be covered during today’s meeting of the council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, during the presentation titled Mayor’s Grow South Initiative and Transportation and Environment Committee Goals. But Peer Chacko, second-in-command at Sustainable Development, cautions: Looking at those “common threads” contained within this charts and surveys — everyone wants, for instance, and more trees and better and wider sidewalks and fewer utility poles — isn’t the way to go. 

Says he, the exercises, held all over town, were about “finding more unique preferences from one corridor to the next. We’re trying to get a pulse of where the preferences are. In some places, people want everything, and we know we’ll have to have some kind of dialogue on where the give is. You can’t have everything. But there are others where you can see clear priorities — where people aren’t hot on bike lanes but are big on sidewalks and safety and where lighting’s a big deal.”

Read more at Where the Sidewalk (and Money) Ends, or: It Won’t Be Easy Implemeting Complete Streets – Dallas News – Unfair Park.