Meet Gracie Morrow. Speaks Fluent Mandarin and Hails From The Down Under

Gracie Morrow (12)Welcome to Guardian Angels by Guardian Mortgage Company. We bring you profiles of the real people behind Guardian Mortgage’s superior mortgage lending service.

As you know, I am passionate about local businesses and banks, none more so than when it comes to mortgage lending. After hearing of countless horror stories, and experiencing one of my own, I would not get my mortgage from one of the “Big Three” banks if they paid me. Local mortgage companies like Guardian hand-pick loan officers for a great customer service experience to make home lending as smooth a process as possible. They hold your hand as you obtain a dream mortgage for the home of your dreams.

Meet Gracie Morrow! (more…)

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By Sam Graham
Director of Operations and Marketing

Veranda Fine Homes, a Approved Builder

Sam Graham HeadshotEvery home construction project is unique, as are the homeowners; however, no matter the project or people involved, there is one universal question we are always asked: “What will this project cost?”  Your budget is one of the things that keep us up at night.  We would love nothing more than to give you a number that comes in below your “budget” and move forward, but unfortunately, this is almost never the case for a variety of reasons.

When starting this process, we know you have a budget.  We know you have a finite amount of cash allocated towards your home and going above this amount will put you in a less than desirable place financially.  You will communicate this number to us repeatedly and express that we stay within this number.  We truly don’t want or mean to go above this number, however, there are several factors that serve to increase the “budget.”  Jump for six tips to think about that will help you stay within budget.


4130 Newton Front

I have lived in tiny apartments, ones that were so small I could touch all three walls of my kitchen at once without even stretching my arms out. But I lived in this squatty accommodations for two reasons: Price and Location.

And while this cute contemporary townhome may be a little small at 947 square feet, it has a fabulous location and a great monthly rate. Unit E at 4310 Newton, just two blocks behind Equinox on Oak Lawn, is marketed by Dallas-Fort Worth property management expert Jason Lucas at for just $1,100 a month!

Newton living Newton Kitchen Newton dining

Newton living2


Consider that you’re close to downtown, epic shopping and restaurants, and tons of nightlife — the location alone is worth that much. Add in covered parking, a fireplace, an updated kitchen and bath, as well as an incredible rooftop deck, and there’s no reason to not fall in love with this three-story unit.

With tons of windows, this unit’s maple floors just glow, and the galley kitchen has an eat-in bar just on the other side of the dining area. Upstairs is a loft-style bedroom with a bath that features granite and travertine surfaces. Climb the spiral staircase on the landing to the huge rooftop deck — a great place to have a cocktail before you walk to any of the nearby restaurants and bars.

Newton Landing Newton bath Newton rooftop

This unit is hot and should not be missed! Contact the D/FW  property management experts at today to find out how to lease this puppy!


1505 Elm 703 Dining

This is something you don’t often see: A double-sided fireplace in a downtown highrise unit.

Of course, despite the fact that it’s rare, we love it! It’s a fantastic idea, and definitely cozies up this incredible three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath unit inside 1505 Elm Street. This condo conversion features two large master suites as well as an open kitchen that is perfect for entertaining. It’s available through Dallas/Fort Worth property management experts for $2,700 a month.

1505 Elm 703 Kitchen 2

1505 Elm 703 Living

What makes this unit even more romantic is the gorgeous chandelier in the dining area, as well as the beautiful kitchen with the built-in wine chiller, huge island, and breakfast bar. Imagine the swanky Valentines dinner you could prepare for your lover in this kitchen, and then dine under that sexy chandelier, and then retire to the crackling fireplace in the living room. Throw in a bearskin rug and it sounds like a fantastic and memorable Valentine’s Day to me!

1505 Elm 703 Master 1505 Elm 703 master bath

You’ll also love the beautiful five-piece master bath with frameless shower and designer touches. The unit tops out at more than 2,000 square feet, so you have plenty of room, especially in the immense walk-in closets. You’ll also fall in love with the urban environment, which considering this building’s location just off of Main Street, will have you bar hopping and shopping til you drop.

Sound like the downtown love nest for you? Contact the pros at to lease this beauty!

Beth Fitzgerald 214 801-4992  09-05-08 A

Beth Fitzgerald is down to earth, and that’s what we love about her. After retiring from AT&T and becoming a Realtor just when the bottom dropped out of the market in 2008, Fitzgerald has used her optimism and no-bones-about-it attitude to serve her clients, and the many clients that are referred to her. She’s just that amazing and easy to talk to.

We think you’ll enjoy finding out more about Fitzgerald, a hard-working Realtor who has earned a spot as this week’s Featured Realtor, sponsored by Jeff Lindgrin of Great Western Home Loans. Of course, every sale should have a lender that works just as hard to get a great deal as their Realtor. What has your lender done for you lately? Find out what you’re missing by contacting Jeff Lindigrin with Great Western Home Loans today.

Read more about Beth after the jump! So are you a native Dallasite or where were you born?
Beth Fitzgerald: Army Brat, born in Alexandria, Va., but grew up in Fort Worth.

CD: Where do you live? House or Condo? House style?
Fitzgerald: I live in Coppell in a one-story traditional.

CD: And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz???
Fitzgerald: Lexus RX 330

CD: What’s you favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?
Fitzgerald: Bishop Arts/Kessler Park. It reminds me of area that I grew up in Fort Worth — Mistletoe Heights.

CD: If you could move in Dallas, where else might you live?
Fitzgerald: Lakewood

CD: How the heck did you get started in real estate?
Fitzgerald: I was with AT&T for 26 years selling bits and bytes of voice and data networks to Fortune 500 companies. When AT&T merged with SBC, I was able to retire. I always loved looking at homes and I had an amazing experience with my last Realtor. I decided that helping people realize their dream of home ownership would be more interesting and fun. I have only had my license since August of 2008, when the bottom dropped out of the market. Needless to say, my expectations were “things can only get better.” My first broker was a “boutique” office in Park Cities — didn’t survive the market downturn. Most of my training came from Lori Arnold with Coldwell Banker APEX; an incredibly smart lady. Currently work at Keller Williams Realty in Coppell.

CD: What’s your worst sales nightmare? Just worst transaction ever?
Fitzgerald: People that watch HGTV and think that they know everything. They usually know just enough to be dangerous. Worst transaction was a woman in the middle of leaving her common-law husband and so anxious to buy her own home that she had unrealistic expectations of financing and the whole homebuying process. It was a real mess and she lashed out at everyone in her path. Funny thing was that she was referred to me by my best client!

CD: What’s your best/highest sale?
Fitzgerald: $526,000

CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?
Fitzgerald: Three days before it went on the market!

CD: How much did you sell last year?
Fitzgerald: More than any other year!

CD: Secret Sauce to marketing a house?
Fitzgerald: Clean, clean, clean!

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
Fitzgerald: Owner of the Kessler Theater. I love live music.

CD: Finally, what is your favorite place for a second home and why?
Fitzgerald: I would love to have a home in Lake City, Colo. Beautiful little town and everyone knows everyone. Beautiful San Juan mountains.

Mayflower Front

You remember we posted about this cozy two-story home in Oak Cliff’s lovely Stevens Park Estates neighborhood. The owners have decided to do some sprucing up before leasing out this incredible home.

I can’t wait to see what this super-cute two-bedroom, three-bath home will look like after renovations, because it was pretty incredible last time we looked. Built in 1935, this incredible 2,638-square-foot home has formal living and dining rooms, as well as a beautiful updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Mayflower Kitchen 2 Mayflower Kitchen

What you’ll love most about this incredible stucco home is the proximity to the recently renovated Stevens Park Golf Course, as well as how close this home is to downtown. Just of Hampton and Fort Worth Avenue, this home is perfect for city dwellers who want to try on Oak Cliff for size. With Sylvan | Thirty opening up soon nearby with a fantastic supermarket and delicious restaurants, as well as tons of amazing growth in West Dallas, huge strides in Oak Cliff schools, including Rosemont Elementary and Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy, you’ll find something to love about North Oak Cliff.

Mayflower yard

If this looks like the home for you, contact the Dallas-Fort Worth property management experts at to see when 2010 Mayflower will be available. Its current price is $2,500 a month — a very fair rate for such a wonderful property in a fabulous location.

Inwood HOTW ArcadyDallas architect Robert Johnson Perry loved the imagery of Asia, the mystique of it’s architecture, and the Asian lifestyle that creates a tranquil domestic environment. After all, isn’t that what our homes are – a refuge from the world, a place where we can rest and refresh with elements around us that make us happy?

This is a Robert Johnson Perry-design with warm interior colors, windows everywhere, and long corridors that draw the eye to the beautiful interior and exterior spaces he carved. A master of space utilization, made a 4,000-square-foot home seem like it is much larger, more airy. He was designing high ceilings before they were de rigeur. Thriving on his Asian influences, Perry created dozens of Dallas homes in the 1950’s and 1960’s, many of which have spawned a quest for wide overhanging eaves to block sun, wooden sunscreens and grids, and beautiful Mexican bricks inside and out. Designer extraordinaire Emily Summers lives in one of Perry’s most well known creations, Touchstone House at 3911 Shenandoah Street in Highland Park.

Now there is an opportunity to own a Robert Johnson Perry home suitable for as much distinction as Touchstone House. Or, perhaps, more!

Arcady Outside

It is 4316 Arcady, one of Highland Park’s most elegant streets, and listed for $2,999,999 — under three million dollars in the heart of Highland Park. This 1965-era Modernist has been sensitively updated, retaining Perry’s original design and not touching his structure. It is surrounded by mature Live Oaks and Japanese Maples framing a traditional ‘H’ home design.

You could say Tom Ford meets Donald Draper.

4316 Arcady Kitchen

4316 Arcady LR 4316 Arcady stairs B&W 4316 Arcady foyerThe home is 4,707 square feet with formals, family room, full bar, two fireplaces, study, a modern light-filled kitchen with breakfast bar, butler’s pantry, and desk. Counters are whiter than white Caesarstone with Sub Zero and high-end appliances. The kitchen, says the current owner, was updated, not remodeled: the lean center island and open shelving is 100% Perry. There is a slate roof, new gutters, new flooring, and paint. The home has abundant built-ins — Perry must have known my adage of you can never be too thin, too rich or have too many closets —  and there is even an elevator. The lot is a  76 x 169 prime interior piece of dirt that affords plenty of space around the structure.

This home breathes quite comfortably on the lot!

Arcady Staircase Closeup

Walk in through double doors made chic in the ’60’s, to a foyer and free-standing staircase that serves as a work of art. Your view is immediately drawn to the exterior courtyard garden, unless you are as sidetracked as I was by the exquisite gold wallpaper, original to the house (and in perfect condition).4316 Arcady doors

Or the brass hardware — BTW brass is back, designer Barry Williams tells me, and bigtime. The flooring is solid brick. To one side is the living area, a study in white with more built-ins than I have seen in many a McMansion, some with hidden doors. There is what I call a “closet bar” — my mother had one, and I christened it such when she shut it off for visiting teetotalers. There is also an elevator to the second floor which was installed by the original owner, a prominent Dallas lawyer and arts supporter. I immediately noticed that every site-view from the home was perfection, no matter where I was standing.

Arcady Brass Hardware

The opposite wing is for dining, the laundry, family room and a powder bath with Sherle Wagner fixtures. There is a rear carport with space for quarters above. There is also a thoughtful port-cochere entrance to the kitchen so groceries may be dropped off.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, including a master with a bath that has undergone significant renovation with a huge shower. The white Caesarstone is everywhere. With two bedrooms on each wing, it would not take much to pull two bedrooms into one huge master unit — you would still have two guest rooms across the landing, with a large Jack and Jill bath in-between.

4316 Arcady Dining

Up here, too, is storage galore — cedar closets, linen closets, and easy access to mechanics. To quote one of my favorite Dallas agents, this home is “built like a fortress!” — metal galvanized box ductwork, not flex.

Here’s the best news of all: Current owners, Clay and Brenda Cockerell, who live in the neighborhood, bought the home from the original owners to preserve it. They even have the original plans. Experts estimate that it would cost upwards of $300 to $350 per square foot to replace the home, given the solidness of the materials and structure.

“Actually, the structure is probably wood frame with brick veneer,” says architect, structural engineer and preservationist Frank Reedy.  “The extensive glazing framing is probably not structural.  Also, the brick is probably not load bearing, but it could be, given the amount on the interior.”

Softly neutral Mexican brick is artfully woven into the home, from interior foyer walls to fireplace brick. The size is perfect for empty nesters, a couple or a family of two who don’t need two stairways, don’t mind a shared bathroom.

“I grew up in a one bathroom house,” says Brenda Cockerell, who owns a winery in Calistoga, CoquerelDan Berger, nationally syndicated wine writer and publisher of Dan Berger’s Vintage Experience, says of their wines: “I love them all!”.

“This house is wonderful in its own way,” says Brenda. “I think it’s a work of art coming into its own, much like our Coquerel.”

Here is what else Frank Reedy says about 4316 Arcady:

 “The photos do not show how the exterior brick runs into the interior; and how the interior embraces the exterior, within the H plan front and back I believe this is the central theme of the house. In all of the communicating spaces, one is in the landscape. The landscape is not outside or surrounding the house, rather the house, while evoking enclosure, protection and warmth, is within the trees like a treehouse. The warmth and security are felt by the interior masonry, and this is technically well done in that the interior and exterior materials have not particularly weathered dramatically differently.

Robert Perry’s judicious detailing and specifications have endured quite well.

This is modernism without being stark and sharp; there are no acrobatics here and the architecture is subtle and understated, but profound.

Also, and rarely, this is a modern house that does not pronounce itself arms outstretched, grandiose to its neighborhood. Neither humble nor meek, it is a good neighbor and citizen. And it is a Texan, proudly independent and at the same time accepting of the eclectic.

It deserves to have been an hotel.”

It deserves a mortgage, too, and I’m sure the fine folks at Inwood Mortgage will be able to help… a bottle of  2012 Verdelho and 2012 “Terroir” Chardonnay might be nice at closing.


4316 Arcady Backyard


4100 Travis 8 Front

You’ve probably seen these townhomes before, which are remarkable thanks to their interesting curved metal roof. From the outside, you’d probably expect all of these units to feature some kind of contemporary decor inside, maybe lots of black leather and low-slung couches, with glass-topped tables and colorful modern art.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see unit No. 8 at 4100 Travis Street, a gorgeous end unit with museum-quality finishes that feels warm and inviting inside. It’s full of antiques and plush furnishings, showing that while the exterior of this building may be modern/contemporary, the possibilities inside are endless.

4100 Travis 8 Living 4100 Travis 8 Kitchen

This gorgeous townhome, available for lease from Dallas-Fort Worth property management experts for $2,395 a month, has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and a spacious open floorplan. With three floors and more than 2,100 square feet, this unit has plenty of room for anyone who wants to downsize and try on city life for a change.

4100 Travis 8 Master 4100 Travis 8 Master Bath 4100 Travis 8 Sitting Room

This location is amazing, considering that you’re within walking distance of the West Village, the Katy Trail, and all of the fantastic shopping and dining that Dallas’ Uptown district has to offer. And thanks to its location, too, this end unit will give you extra privacy and more windows from which you can soak in urban life.

It’s a great place for anyone looking to relocate to Dallas, but not ready to make the commitment to buy. Look like the townhome for you? This luxurious unit can be yours today. Contact Jason Lucas at