2001 N. Buckner Front

Everyone in East Dallas knows about the “Underground House.” But maybe it’s time to re-brand this White Rock Lake-area landmark? That’s what Keller Williams Elite agent Vicki White thinks. Now priced at $870,000 (down from $1 million), this Frank L. Moreland-designed earth-sheltered home at 2001 (as in 2001: A Space Odyssey) N. Buckner is an absolute steal!

This home is a fantastic “green” home, and thanks to the before-its-time design and solar panel array on the roof, it only costs an average of $200 a month to power this 23-year-old, 4,561-square-foot home. Not only that, it would cost almost twice its listing price to build a home of this caliber today.

2001 N. Buckner Living

So, what’s turning people off?

“Several people have been tempted, however at the original price buyers did not want to take on updating the bathrooms. The bedrooms are small, but almost none of the interior walls are load bearing so the house could be easily reconfigured,” Vicki said. “It is built sort of like a circus tent, load bearing around the perimeter of the house and two center concrete supports.  The living room is almost 2,000 square feet, so many possibilities.”

If this wasn’t out of my price range, I would totally jump at the chance to buy this home. It just makes financial sense, as Vicki explained: “With this reduction, a buyer could spend $100,000 in updates and still not be at our original price. I really feel this would have sold if it had updated baths and perhaps some reconfiguration of  bedrooms.  Kitchen has already been done and is lovely.”

2001 N. Buckner Kitchen

Vicki is right — there is so much potential in this home. I really, really love it, especially the almost 2 acre lot. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a sort of earthship thing going on here? Add on a cool greenhouse, maybe a water collection system, a chicken coop, and see how close you can get to self-sufficiency right in the heart of East Dallas!

2001 N. Buckner Roof

“This house is great for someone wanting ultimate privacy and seclusion, or a ‘prepper’ that feels there could be a time he needs to hunker down in a safe place, or a totally ‘green’ type person that would never use a plastic grocery sack, or someone paranoid of tornados, etc.,” Vicki said. “It is so very peaceful on the side of the house that is open and looks out at heavy wooded area, the banks of a creek.”

I’m sure this fantastic landmark will find the perfect buyer soon!

2001 Buckner

2001 N. Buckner Front

Everyone in East Dallas knows about the “Underground House.” But maybe it’s time to re-brand this White Rock Lake-area landmark? That’s what Keller Williams Elite agent Vicki White thinks. Now priced at $870,000 (down from $1 million), this Frank L. Moreland-designed earth-sheltered home at 2001 (as in 2001: A Space Odyssey) N. Buckner is an absolute steal!

This home is a fantastic “green” home, and thanks to the before-its-time design and solar panel array on the roof, it only costs an average of $200 a month to power this 23-year-old, 4,561-square-foot home. Not only that, it would cost almost twice its listing price to build a home of this caliber today.

2001 N. Buckner Living

So, what’s turning people off?

“Several people have been tempted, however at the original price buyers did not want to take on updating the bathrooms. The bedrooms are small, but almost none of the interior walls are load bearing so the house could be easily reconfigured,” Vicki said. “It is built sort of like a circus tent, load bearing around the perimeter of the house and two center concrete supports.  The living room is almost 2,000 square feet, so many possibilities.”

If this wasn’t out of my price range, I would totally jump at the chance to buy this home. It just makes financial sense, as Vicki explained: “With this reduction, a buyer could spend $100,000 in updates and still not be at our original price. I really feel this would have sold if it had updated baths and perhaps some reconfiguration of  bedrooms.  Kitchen has already been done and is lovely.”

2001 N. Buckner Kitchen

Vicki is right — there is so much potential in this home. I really, really love it, especially the almost 2 acre lot. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a sort of earthship thing going on here? Add on a cool greenhouse, maybe a water collection system, a chicken coop, and see how close you can get to self-sufficiency right in the heart of East Dallas!

2001 N. Buckner Roof

“This house is great for someone wanting ultimate privacy and seclusion, or a ‘prepper’ that feels there could be a time he needs to hunker down in a safe place, or a totally ‘green’ type person that would never use a plastic grocery sack, or someone paranoid of tornados, etc.,” Vicki said. “It is so very peaceful on the side of the house that is open and looks out at heavy wooded area, the banks of a creek.”

I’m sure this fantastic landmark will find the perfect buyer soon!

2001 Buckner

6324 Pemberton Front

Classic. That’s how I’d describe this stunning traditional near Saint Mark’s School of Dallas. It’s a beautiful home that is grand without being pretentious in an area that is safe, accessible, and filled with caring neighbors and families.

This particular home has so many wonderful details, too, including an open floorplan and spiral staircase that makes the living area feel a little magical. Listed by Yvette Grove, 6324 Pemberton is a wonderful home on a private cul-de-sac in which to make a fresh start for 2014. Leave behind the clutter and claustrophobia and move your family into this bright and beautiful house. It’s on the market for $1.3 million and is worth every bit thanks to the tons of windows, beautiful woodwork, and top-notch kitchen.

6324 Pemberton Living

Two living areas, an upstairs billiard or play area with a wet bar, a huge dining room, and an open kitchen make this home great for hosting all sorts of parties, especially those fundraisers you’ll be organizing should you send your kids to any of the amazing private schools within throwing distance. Tall ceilings with designer light fixtures make this home feel luxurious and spacious without being too big for its britches, if you know what I mean. And a fantastic wine cellar is just the perfect addition for anyone doing any amount of entertaining.

6324 Pemberton Dining 6324 Pemberton Den

The kitchen is exceptionally well-appointed with commercial-grade appliances including a range with double oven and a spare prep sink in the petite-yet-functional island. Granite counters and copious counter space will give even the most discerning home chef enough room to create Michelin star-worthy meals. You’ll also appreciate all of the rich wood cabinetry, the built-ins, and the cozy breakfast nook overlooking the backyard.

6324 Pemberton Kitchen

And with five bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths, this house can fit a family of any size. This 1999-built custom is ideal for households with children who are a bit older thanks to the main-floor master suite. The master, which has a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows that make the room feel so light and bright it seems twice as large as its 16×21 size, has plenty of scenic appeal.

6324 Pemberton Master

The five-piece master bath has impressive amounts of cabinetry and a lovely soaking tub and separate shower. I love the color scheme and how neutral and classy it is without going overboard with the swag. The frameless full-sized shower falls in line with the design, sporting oil-rubbed bronze fixtures.

6324 Pemberton Master Bath

The backyard has a courtyard-type feel, and with fountains and a beautiful little pool, it is exceptionally relaxing and private. With a covered rear patio, a lovely spa, and landscaping that transitions well between seasons, this garden is a fabulous retreat from a fast-paced life.

6324 Pemberton Back

Broken tree trunk

We know that Icemaggedon doesn’t discriminate between homes it hits, and while you may have worked tirelessly to get your listing ready for MLS, a downed branch or broken limb is a huge issue when it comes to showing a home.

So, what should you do as a Realtor if one of your listings was hit hard by our recent history-making ice storm? Harold Spiegel of Preservation Tree Service says that you shouldn’t do a thing — let a trained arborist handle it.

Pear tree split“Potential buyers are looking for big mature trees, but the key is a healthy tree,” Spiegel says. He recommends homeowners partner with a Certified Arborist to help them achieve this goal. “Tree work should be completed only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees, because your home’s value depends on it.”

Of course, just like our last catastrophic ice storm, tree companies will litter neighborhoods with flyers and business cards, but Spiegel warns that not all tree trimmers are created equal.

“There are many individuals with no more than a truck and a chainsaw who sell themselves as ‘tree care professionals’ or ‘arborists,’ ” Spiegel adds. “They’ll tell you they can take care of your trees and happily take your money; only to leave you with what translates to a butcher job and trees that will most likely succumb to decline from poor treatment.”

To avoid these “tree fakers” as Spiegel calls them, follow these tips:

Always ask for ISA Arborist certification numbers for staff they say is certified. Will one of their certified arborists come inspect the trees beforeany pruning work or treatments are performed? Are they accredited and insured? If they damage your property, will they be responsible, or will you? A logo doesn’t equal legitimacy. Nor does simply calling oneself an expert.

If you are trying to sell your home, Spiegel recommends you prioritize tree care and pruning, especially after an ice storm, because this is important to curb appeal and a huge selling point. “Trees add value to the property, help cool your home and neighborhood, break the cold winds to lower heating costs in the winter, and provide food for wildlife,” Spiegel said. “Homes with healthy mature trees also sell faster.”

Of course, when weather like Icemaggedon hits, firms with trained arborists and tree-trimming experts are often backlogged with customers, especially in areas with tons of mature trees like East Dallas and the Park Cities. Patience is important, Spiegel says.

“Don’t let anyone come in with a chainsaw,” he warns, “because they could cause irreversible damage to the structure of the tree, leave it susceptible to disease, and even harm the curb appeal and beauty of the tree, which will cost the homeowner money.”

 

 

Icemageddon 2013 branches

Nothing anyone has written about the recent Icepocalypse resonates with me as much as this bit from DMN beat writer James Osborne’s Icemaggedon aftermath coverage:

For more than three days, Angela Ponce and her family huddled by space heaters powered by a small generator. They wore mittens and hats to breakfast. All the while, Ponce looked around her neighborhood in Lake Highlands and wondered why the folks up the street still had their lights on.

“My friend who lives up on Windy Hill brought it up. She said, ‘Why do y’all always lose power and we never do?’ ” Ponce said.

“I’m a normal human being driving around before dinner trying to get warm. And I’m seeing people across the street from me with their Christmas lights on. I’ll say it, I’m bitter. It’s not their fault, but it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

That was my family, huddled around sipping hot chocolate (hot, thanks to my gas range and its magnificent ability to boil water without using electricity) underneath two feather duvets in my Casa View Haven home, occupying our 2-year-old, Cooper, with games on the iPad. When the electricity didn’t come back on by the time the iPad’s battery was dead, we knew we had to find someplace else to wait.

Ice tree on car E Dallas

The problem was, all of our friends who offered us a place to hang out, lost power in rapid succession. Just moments after we loaded a change of clothes and our air bed (battery powered) in our car, our dear accommodating friend called to tell us that his power was now kaput, too.

And it was frustrating to see that two blocks over from us, homes had Christmas lights ablaze. Too bad that two blocks was too far to string an extension cord, and so sad that even some of these folks would experience intermittent outages between early Friday morning and late Monday evening, which was, according to the voices on our neighborhood association Facebook page, the time at which the last of the powerless among us was celebrating the wonders of electricity.

And yes, Oncor and the many teams they recruited to fix this horrible weather aberration, worked as hard as they could for days. But you know what my father always said? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Yes, we know that the ice storm came earlier than any other storm in recent memory, catching all the deciduous trees in Dallas off guard. But why were there limbs hanging over lines in the first place? Why weren’t trees trimmed back like they should be?

image

Expert real estate stager and frequent contributor to CandysDirt.com Karen Eubank says that almost every listing on which she consults, she says the trees most often need some kind of preventative maintenance. It’s true that older neighborhoods in Dallas are loved and celebrated for their mature trees, but, as my mother said to me via text as I was warming my tootsies by the fire in Forney, “Your huge trees are lovely, but are they ever a liability!”

I couldn’t agree more, Mom.

I guess the question remains: Will we remember what caused this horrible scene when Oncor cruises alleys with chainsaws in spring?

Icemageddon 2013 branches

Nothing anyone has written about the recent Icepocalypse resonates with me as much as this bit from DMN beat writer James Osborne’s Icemaggedon aftermath coverage:

For more than three days, Angela Ponce and her family huddled by space heaters powered by a small generator. They wore mittens and hats to breakfast. All the while, Ponce looked around her neighborhood in Lake Highlands and wondered why the folks up the street still had their lights on.

“My friend who lives up on Windy Hill brought it up. She said, ‘Why do y’all always lose power and we never do?’ ” Ponce said.

“I’m a normal human being driving around before dinner trying to get warm. And I’m seeing people across the street from me with their Christmas lights on. I’ll say it, I’m bitter. It’s not their fault, but it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

That was my family, huddled around sipping hot chocolate (hot, thanks to my gas range and its magnificent ability to boil water without using electricity) underneath two feather duvets in my Casa View Haven home, occupying our 2-year-old, Cooper, with games on the iPad. When the electricity didn’t come back on by the time the iPad’s battery was dead, we knew we had to find someplace else to wait.

Ice tree on car E Dallas

The problem was, all of our friends who offered us a place to hang out, lost power in rapid succession. Just moments after we loaded a change of clothes and our air bed (battery powered) in our car, our dear accommodating friend called to tell us that his power was now kaput, too.

And it was frustrating to see that two blocks over from us, homes had Christmas lights ablaze. Too bad that two blocks was too far to string an extension cord, and so sad that even some of these folks would experience intermittent outages between early Friday morning and late Monday evening, which was, according to the voices on our neighborhood association Facebook page, the time at which the last of the powerless among us was celebrating the wonders of electricity.

And yes, Oncor and the many teams they recruited to fix this horrible weather aberration, worked as hard as they could for days. But you know what my father always said? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Yes, we know that the ice storm came earlier than any other storm in recent memory, catching all the deciduous trees in Dallas off guard. But why were there limbs hanging over lines in the first place? Why weren’t trees trimmed back like they should be?

image

Expert real estate stager and frequent contributor to CandysDirt.com Karen Eubank says that almost every listing on which she consults, she says the trees most often need some kind of preventative maintenance. It’s true that older neighborhoods in Dallas are loved and celebrated for their mature trees, but, as my mother said to me via text as I was warming my tootsies by the fire in Forney, “Your huge trees are lovely, but are they ever a liability!”

I couldn’t agree more, Mom.

I guess the question remains: Will we remember what caused this horrible scene when Oncor cruises alleys with chainsaws in spring?

HLC Frost Cloth

With “Icemaggedon” hitting soon, and the cold weather officially upon us, it’s time to keep an eye out on protecting your plants from the freezing temperatures. We’ve asked noted landscape architect, Harold Leidner, to provide some insight and suggestions for protecting those plants from the cold temperatures.

Freeze Protection Methods

One of the essential freeze protection items that we install on all our projects is a rain and freeze sensor on the irrigation system. This sensor (which can be hard wired or wireless) activates once the temperature drops below 40 degrees and prevents the irrigation system from operating in cold temperatures and adding any water to the plants that may cause damage.

HLC Temperature detectorAnother primary method of protection those plans is to use a frost protection fabric or freeze cloth over the top of the plants. This fabric, which can usually be found at any nursery or home improvement store, will help wick water away from the plants, provide an additional layer of protection and help prevent any ice from forming on the plants.

We typically use short wood stakes to ‘tent’ the frost cloth above the plants and also use landscape pins to anchor the fabric down so windy conditions don’t blow it away. If the cold temps sneak up on you and you’re in a pinch, a good old bed sheet will work as well. (Just don’t use the nice ones!)

Plants That Need Protection

Most plant varieties sold at nurseries and used in the Dallas area will be cold hardy for the climate. However, there are certain varieties of plants, usually tropicals, that will need a little extra protection.

Palms are one of the primary plants that we take care to protect from cold temperatures. Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) certainly are fragile to the cold and will need to be covered. Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are generally cold hardy, but the trunks can be wrapped with a blanket or frost protection cloth. Other plants that are susceptible to freezing are Oleander (Nerium oleander), Variegated Ginger (Alpina vittata) and the vine Fig Ivy (Ficus pumila). All of which could benefit from the protection of a freeze cloth.

We find annuals to be optional but some of our clients prefer that we also cover their newly planted winter seasonal color like Pansies and Cyclamen. Any containers or potted plants that are not connected to irrigation or drainage, we would suggest simply moving them into the garage to weather the frigid night time temperatures.

Miss those 100 degree days yet?

Need help preparing for freezing weather? Contact the talented staff at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects to guide you.

HLC Freeze Protection

With the Thanksgiving holiday hitting this week and the cold weather officially upon us, it’s time to keep an eye out on protecting your plants from the freezing temperatures. We’ve asked noted landscape architect, Harold Leidner, to provide some insight and suggestions for protecting those plants from the cold temperatures.

Freeze Protection Methods

One of the essential freeze protection items that we install on all our projects is a rain and freeze sensor on the irrigation system. This sensor (which can be hard wired or wireless) activates once the temperature drops below 40 degrees and prevents the irrigation system from operating in cold temperatures and adding any water to the plants that may cause damage.

HLC Temperature detector

 

Another primary method of protection those plans is to use a frost protection fabric or freeze cloth over the top of the plants. This fabric, which can usually be found at any nursery or home improvement store, will help wick water away from the plants, provide an additional layer of protection and help prevent any ice from forming on the plants.

We typically use short wood stakes to ‘tent’ the frost cloth above the plants and also use landscape pins to anchor the fabric down so windy conditions don’t blow it away. If the cold temps sneak up on you and you’re in a pinch, a good old bed sheet will work as well. (Just don’t use the nice ones!)

Plants That Need Protection

Most plant varieties sold at nurseries and used in the Dallas area will be cold hardy for the climate. However, there are certain varieties of plants, usually tropicals, that will need a little extra protection.

Palms are one of the primary plants that we take care to protect from cold temperatures. Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) certainly are fragile to the cold and will need to be covered. Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are generally cold hardy, but the trunks can be wrapped with a blanket or frost protection cloth. Other plants that are susceptible to freezing are Oleander (Nerium oleander), Variegated Ginger (Alpina vittata) and the vine Fig Ivy (Ficus pumila). All of which could benefit from the protection of a freeze cloth.

We find annuals to be optional but some of our clients prefer that we also cover their newly planted winter seasonal color like Pansies and Cyclamen. Any containers or potted plants that are not connected to irrigation or drainage, we would suggest simply moving them into the garage to weather the frigid night time temperatures.

Miss those 100 degree days yet?

Need help preparing for freezing weather? Contact the talented staff at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects to guide you.