Photo courtesy Charleston's TheDigitel via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Charleston’s TheDigitel via Creative Commons

DFW rents were 6.2 higher last year, averaging $919 per month, but demand still soared, with North Texas leading the nation in apartment rentals, and vacancies at a 13-year low, according to new real estate research from Zillow and MPF Research.

The increased rent translated to an extra $600 million paid to landlords last year, Zillow reported. For North Texans, that meant a median increase of $35 a month, higher than the nationwide rate of $26.

Rising rents are nothing new, said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

“Over the past 14 years, rents have grown at twice the pace of income due to weak income growth, burgeoning rental demand, and insufficient growth in the supply of rental housing,” he said. “This has created real opportunities for rental housing owners and investors, but has also been a bitter pill to swallow for tenants, particularly those on an entry-level salary and those would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment on a home of their own.”

For 2015, expect more of the same.

(more…)

Jason Roberts

Always on the go, Roberts is involved in myriad projects and groups in Oak Cliff and around Dallas. Photo courtesy Jason Roberts

Much has been written about community activist, urban planning enthusiast, and Oak Cliff resident Jason Roberts. His energy is infectious as he spreads the gospel of urban revitalization around the world: building better neighborhoods by transforming vacant and underused properties into vibrant, thriving blocks abuzz with business, activity, and local participation.

His Better Block concept started in spring 2010 in a small part of North Oak Cliff, where Roberts asked the questions, “why are these buildings vacant and what can we do to rapidly transform them in days, not years, into bike- and pedestrian-friendly places that people love?”

The answer was a rapidly planned weekend project that created pop-up shops, filling underused or vacant spaces with the businesses he wished the area had: coffee shops, flower shops, and cafes, among others.

Better Block has since gone from a local experiment to a national and international model for urban redevelopment that showcases the possibilities in a neighborhood, no matter its current state.

(more…)

Here's my map to help guide Santa's sleigh. And his real estate agent.

Here’s my map to help guide Santa’s sleigh. And his real estate agent.

I grew up in North Dallas and have lived all over Dallas and the ‘burbs, but when I finally landed in East Dallas in 2007, I knew I had found my happy place.

East Dallas has a culture unlike anywhere else in the city (although North Oak Cliff feels like its cousin). I could spend hours walking or biking through neighborhoods like Little Forest Hills, Buckner Terrace, and the Peninsula. So many beautiful houses! So many trees! And friendly neighbors everywhere!

Circumstances and a new baby moved me to Plano this year, and I have pined over my favorite neighborhoods in East Dallas ever since. I go out of my way to get back to East Dallas as often as possible, and because I’ve been very good this year, I’m asking Santa for a token of his appreciation for Christmas: A midcentury house east of White Rock Lake. With original hardwoods. And mature trees.

That’s not too much, is it?

I’ve got a few ideas for Santa, in case he’s stumped. This Casa Linda cottage has just the kind of curb appeal I love: big trees, tranquil setting, and an expansive yard. Located at 1422 Tranquilla Dr., it’s listed at $348,500 and is a 3-2 with 1,857 feet. That’s not quite large enough for my family of four, so we might have to sell the teenager before we move. But I’m OK with that.

1422 Tranquilla Dr

Looks at those gorgeous original hardwoods! And the built-ins! And a wood-burning fireplace! So much character from when it was built in 1945.  (more…)

229 N Brighton A

For this week’s Tuesday Two Hundred, we’re venturing out to the L.O. Daniel neighborhood of North Oak Cliff, to a renovated Craftsman at 229 N. Brighton Ave.

Listed at $225,000, this bungalow is a 3-1 with 1,378 square feet and a saltwater pool. The neighborhood is north of W. Jefferson Boulevard and adjacent to Winnetka Heights, near the intersection of W. Eighth Street and N. Rosemont Avenue. It is listed by Jenni Stolarski with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International.

Built in 1921, this house sits on a tree-lined street and has wonderful curb appeal, with a wide, wood-plank front porch, hanging swing, and a ceiling fan. It also has authentic details, like painted dentil molding above the doors and along the roofline, as well a soft green, cream, and brown color palette. Jump to read more!  (more…)

Choosing the stone and tile for a large-scale project from only pictures and chips can be an anxiety-inducing task, says Cooper Smith Koch.

Choosing the stone and tile for a large-scale project from only pictures and chips can be an anxiety-inducing task, says Cooper Smith Koch.

By Cooper Smith Koch
Special Contributor

This is the second pool we’ve built and, at the halfway point of this one, I still think the hardest part of the process is choosing the right materials. Even though, after 16 years together, Todd and I generally share the same taste and gravitate towards similar design styles, there’s nothing that can get us into a full-on argument than picking out the materials to finish a home improvement project.

You’re expected to make this massive commitment, based on small samples and color chips. You have no idea how it will look when there’s hundreds of square feet of a particular stone climbing the walls or an expanse of stained concrete underfoot.

It’s also where the dollars really start to add up and cost-value benefits start to come into play. Do we splurge on the fancy tile or the super-quiet pool pump? Do we really want an oversized fireplace with stone mantel if it means we have to postpone the outdoor kitchen? And, perhaps most importantly, where can we add the most value to the house?

(more…)

 

6404-Carmel-Falls-McKinney-IHOTW

This home really blows me away. If it were located anywhere else south of LBJ, it would be hitting the $1.5ish ceiling, maybe more. The authentic Spanish colonial design and finish out is so smooth and superior, I dare you to find a flaw. 6404 Carmel Falls Court is a brand spanking newly built pup by Southgate Homes’ Jay Hankla. The home has five bedrooms, a downstairs master and media room. Plus it’s new and flawless and on the market for $949,900, having been reduced from $1,059,000.

So like they said at Thanksgiving Dinner: come and get it while it’s hot! (more…)

1031 N. Madison Living

Happy Thanksgiving! Looking for something to be grateful for? Here at CandysDirt.com we’re absolutely grateful for the amazing deals you can still find in Dallas, especially in North Oak Cliff. This area of Dallas is super hot, and it’s difficult to find a deal thats in good shape. But we’ve found a great candidate for someone who wants a home with character and history. It’s a listing with Jenni Stolarski, a Realtor with Briggs Freeman who knows a good investment when she sees one. Stolarski says this home at 1031 N. Madison has views of downtown Dallas from the front porch! Now that’s a selling point if there ever was one.

(more…)

An old brochure for Kessler Park shows the beautiful stone stairways that can be found within the neighborhood.

An old brochure for Kessler Park shows the beautiful stone stairways that can be found within the neighborhood.

Rachel Stone at the Oak Cliff Advocate has an update on an unexpectedly contentious issue that has formed battle lines among Kessler Park residents: The steps between Canterbury Court and Edgefield Avenue.

The stone walkway, which was installed by the original developers of Kessler Park, North Texas Trust Co., was part of a system of small pocket parks that were meant to attract wealthy families to the neighborhood. However, the steps have fallen into disrepair, and until recently, it wasn’t exactly clear who owned the steps or was responsible for their maintenance.

(more…)