So  much information was jam-packed into last week’s National Association of Real Estate Editor’s Spring Conference. Bethany, Jon and I were all in attendance and working to bring you what we learned. Throughout this week, I’ll post what I thought were some of the most significant graphs. The biggest take-aways: disruption, i-buyers, availability, affordability, technology, and experience in home selling and buying. Change is happening, and it is happening in media as well as real estate. For the first time, consumer journalists are paying attention to the way the BUSINESS of real estate is changing: that’s no longer a B to B story. The consumer wants and deserves a better real estate experience. (more…)

MidlandIn this week’s news roundup, we talk Midland ISD property taxes, Ector ISD’s TEA improvement and a change in leadership with the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department.

Midland ISD’s 2016 Tax Rate Decrease Comes Back to Haunt Budget

A decision to lower the rate on a portion of its property tax last year now has the Midland ISD Board of Trustees back at almost square one. (more…)

midland for rentRealtors are getting phished, the rents are going up in Midland and Odessa, home sales are making records in Midland, and Ector County ISD is mulling a bond election in this week’s real estate news roundup.

Realtors Target of Text Scam

The National Association of Realtors is warning members of a phishing scam that involves an alarming accusation followed by a hefty fine. (more…)

News roundup

This abandoned water park in Odessa could be yours – or you could just watch the drone video.

In this week’s news roundup, we look at one magazine’s assertion that crime rates for Midland and Odessa are the highest in the state, a property deal the city of Odessa is eyeballing, a property acquisition by Vistra Energy, fracking and the water situation in the Permian Basin, and a cool drone video of a bygone attraction. (more…)

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When we visited Tokyo a few years ago and our hosts told me about the indoor ski resort there, outskirts of Tokyo, I did not believe it until I saw the dome for Zaos, as I think it was called. Sure enough the Japanese loved to ski indoors. The indoor ski resort was on the way to the airport. Now I hear it may no longer exist. But that’s OK, because soon we will have own own little interior ski village in Grand Prairie.

And it’s not a little village, either: try a $215 million 350,000-square-foot indoor ski resort and a Hard Rock hotel. Does this mean we can ski in the middle of August?

Grand Prairie unveiled plans for a Grand Alps Resort and Hard Rock Hotel off Belt Line Road, north of Interstate 30 at a Tuesday afternoon news conference. The indoor ski resort — which includes a ski slope, ice climbing wall, luge track and winter play area — will include restaurants and specialty retail from Park City, Utah, and Vail, Colorado. Of course, we will need a place to buy ski hats and sunscreen!

Oh wait, indoors means we won’t actually NEED sunscreen!
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My home has been standing since 1952, according to DCAD. In that time it has seen a cycle of haphazard “renovations,” including a rather embarrassing “remodel” of the home’s sole bathroom. My home didn’t come with the cute vintage Daltile in the many different colors of the rainbow, nor did it have one of those fun vanities with the cool scrollwork cutouts.

Instead, it had an ugly particleboard vanity from the 80s that had so many stains in the cabinets and drawers you really had to wonder what the previous owner was doing in there. The shower, well, it had jacked up tiles and ugly grout, and more caulk than San Francisco’s Tenderloin (see what I did there???).

But we loved the rest of the house. It had a great layout and big windows for a home of its size, and a much larger kitchen than most of the houses we’d seen. We were willing to see the bathroom as a project that we could get done in time. Despite the discolored linoleum, stained formica, and tarnished brass fixtures, it was still functional.

That was almost 7 years ago.

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I-345 MeetingDallas is a fascinating place to live right now. Downtown, urbanists are lobbying for the tear-down of a short but squirrely elevated highway they believe is choking urban living, creating a schism of disruption between neighborhoods and sucking up dirt that could be developed as housing units. Go north of the Park Cities to the junction of Preston Hollow and University Park, an entire neighborhood is battling MORE housing units: a proposed luxury, 220 unit apartment complex that would replace dilapidated, tired housing built in the 1950’s. “No” signs can be seen all the way north to Forest Lane, west to Midway Road. Homeowners with ranches valued from $300,000 to $3 million dollar plus estates are so worried about increased traffic, so protective of the peace of their neighborhood, they have hired a seasoned attorney to represent them before the Dallas Plan Commission. Even former mayor Laura Miller is piping in, demanding a new proxy City Councilman to replace the current proxy. East of Central Expressway, investors want to build a restaurant on park land at the northern end of White Rock Lake, just off Mockingbird Road. Though they are just “feeling out” the neighborhood before plowing ahead, most of the feedback has been pretty negative, especially in a neighborhood known for fiercely defending it’s urban lake. Two years ago this ‘hood battled a plan to mow a meadow called Winfrey Point and turn it into a commercial parking lot. Don’t mess with Lakewood. (more…)