Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Cowtown has new braggin’ rights: the U.S. Census Bureau says they were the fastest-growing big city in the nation between 2000-2013. Fort Worth population saw a 42.34 percent increase in that time. Dallas lagged far behind, coming in at 24th.

The 2010 Census count for Fort Worth put the number of residents at 741,206. Compare this to a population of 534,694 just a decade earlier.

Fort Worth is the 17th-largest city in the country, and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Jump to read more!  (more…)

 

Denton made Kiplinger's list of the top 10 towns you'll want to live in.

Denton made Kiplinger’s list of the top 10 towns you’ll want to live in.

I’m sure Augusta, Ga., is really nice and all, but do you really want to live there? Isn’t it a better place to visit?

That’s why Kiplinger’s broke down it’s well-known list of “cheapest cities to live in” and spawned it’s list of “cheapest cities you want to live in.”

That’s a pretty significant distinction, although several cities on the former list made it on the latter.

The cheapest places to live aren’t necessarily the best places to live. Cities with super-low living costs can suffer from high unemployment, poverty and a lack of services. So while cost of living is an important consideration in choosing where you settle down, it’s equally important to gauge the strength of the local economy and the job market.

With this in mind, we set out to identify the most inexpensive cities where you would actually want to live, based on economic health and affordability. We started with the 100 cheapest cities in the U.S., based on cost of living, and then whittled the list down to the top 10. To do so, we required that each city have below-average living costs, high household incomes relative to the cost of living, and an unemployment rate that’s below the national average. It’s not all work and no play, however. We also looked for places that offer residents access to fun, low-cost things to do. Cities with populations below 50,000 didn’t make the cut.

While the cities are diverse in make-up and location, we’re happy to report that several Texas towns made the list, including Round Rock, Temple, Denton, and Corpus Christi.

(more…)

Reza Front

Just like right here in Dallas, Austin is experiencing some serious growing pains.

According to a report from Austin’s KXAN, available inventory in Austin is so low that many more modest homes inside the city limits are going for luxury-level prices. And luxury homes that are priced right are flying off the shelves.

“The cost of housing has gone up 10 percent since last year at this time,” Paul Hilgers, president of the Austin Board of Realtors, said. “The pressures are obvious.  When people put their home up for sale they’re getting four and five offers that day.”

All agreed that the city should work toward keeping development costs as low as possible, but declined to elaborate on which city regulations should be re-examined. Hilgers said that more requirement cost developers more money, and the added costs are passed on to home buyers.

“Give certainty to the development community,” Hilgers said.

Frank Fernandez, who runs a nonprofit geared to bringing in more affordable housing to Austin, said that every $1,000 added to the sale price of a home reduces the pool of potential buyers by about 17,000.

Reza Formal Living

While that’s bad news for middle-income families looking to move to Austin, that’s got to be good news for Iranian artist Reza Derakhshani, who just listed her amazing Austin compound at 3612 Pearce Road for almost $3 million. This home, which abuts Emma Long Metropolitan Park just west of MoPac, is nothing short of amazing. Designed by Charles Trois as a modern Mayan utopia, this 1985 stone mission-style mansion is incredibly private on 6 acres with a separate guest suite, several outbuildings, and a huge artist studio.

Reza Kitchen

I can’t imagine who is going to snatch this place up, because it really is incredible. The pool is the perfect juxtaposition of old and new, and all of the huge wooden doors are visual treats in themselves.

Reza Formal Dining

Of course, what makes this home a work of art are the pieces hand-selected and even created by Derakhshani. The mobile in the sitting area near the stairs is just visionary, isn’t it?

Reza Sitting Reza Pool Reza Bedroom Reza Bath Reza Recording Studio

Reza Front

Just like right here in Dallas, Austin is experiencing some serious growing pains.

According to a report from Austin’s KXAN, available inventory in Austin is so low that many more modest homes inside the city limits are going for luxury-level prices. And luxury homes that are priced right are flying off the shelves.

“The cost of housing has gone up 10 percent since last year at this time,” Paul Hilgers, president of the Austin Board of Realtors, said. “The pressures are obvious.  When people put their home up for sale they’re getting four and five offers that day.”

All agreed that the city should work toward keeping development costs as low as possible, but declined to elaborate on which city regulations should be re-examined. Hilgers said that more requirement cost developers more money, and the added costs are passed on to home buyers.

“Give certainty to the development community,” Hilgers said.

Frank Fernandez, who runs a nonprofit geared to bringing in more affordable housing to Austin, said that every $1,000 added to the sale price of a home reduces the pool of potential buyers by about 17,000.

Reza Formal Living

While that’s bad news for middle-income families looking to move to Austin, that’s got to be good news for Iranian artist Reza Derakhshani, who just listed her amazing Austin compound at 3612 Pearce Road for almost $3 million. This home, which abuts Emma Long Metropolitan Park just west of MoPac, is nothing short of amazing. Designed by Charles Trois as a modern Mayan utopia, this 1985 stone mission-style mansion is incredibly private on 6 acres with a separate guest suite, several outbuildings, and a huge artist studio.

Reza Kitchen

I can’t imagine who is going to snatch this place up, because it really is incredible. The pool is the perfect juxtaposition of old and new, and all of the huge wooden doors are visual treats in themselves.

Reza Formal Dining

Of course, what makes this home a work of art are the pieces hand-selected and even created by Derakhshani. The mobile in the sitting area near the stairs is just visionary, isn’t it?

Reza Sitting Reza Pool Reza Bedroom Reza Bath Reza Recording Studio

I so wish I was house hunting right now, because this adorable two-story cottage in Stonewall Terrace would definitely be in my top three. Usually it takes FOR. EVER. to find a home that looks as good on paper as it does in person, and this cutie is just perfect for a young family that wants access to everything.

With three bedrooms, two baths, and plenty of living space, this house has room enough for a family of three or four. Built in 1940, 5922 Winton (which is marketed by Jennifer Ackerman of Virginian Cook Realtors) has been updated quite a bit throughout its 2,000 square feet. It’s just been reduced to a very competitive $305,000, too!

Even though the kitchen is on the small side, it’s adorable and has stainless steel appliances and a great breakfast nook that would be perfect for a booth or a table with benches.

The master suite, which I believe is upstairs, has a newer bathroom and a sitting area. The downstairs bathroom, which appears to be original to the house, features shades of pink and burgundy with hex tile lining the floor.

The backyard, well, if you’re a gardener, this house is for you! There’s already a huge raised bed for veggies, and there’s tons more room to add to that. There isn’t much in the way of landscaping, either, and with a privacy fence, this backyard could be a great retreat.

The real selling point to this house is its location, though. You’re seconds, practically, from great shopping and nightlife on both Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Avenue, and you’re inside the Stonewall Jackson Elementary School attendance zone. You’re 10 minutes from downtown, less than 15 minutes from Uptown, and you’re within walking distance of mass transit.

Sounds like it’s worthy of the short list to me!