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Happy New Year! Steve Brown posted his year end wrap of Dallas real estate, residential and commercial, calling it one for the history books. Tis true: Dallas Real estate values are at their highest EVER, exceeding where we were even before the bubble. And he is right — this boom is fueled by the right stuff: jobs and population. We did not overbuild in Dallas during the boom. We did not over extend, thanks mostly to state laws that limit how much you can borrow against your homestead. So when the economy turned on — it was just about two years ago January when agents told me that  “a lightbulb had turned on”  — there was no stopping us except for one little bugaboo: inventory.

Steve says : “Construction cranes stretch from Uptown to Frisco.”

I would say even further north — Prosper is the new hot spot you will be hearing more of here on CandysDirt because we are in love and cannot wait to see what they do with Deion’s place. (If that house ever sells…) And then there’s Celina, just north, and it’s rocking. Spent a day at Light Farms which you will soon be hearing about as we are blown away: 3200 homes on the site of an old family farm that has become a veritable condo farm: tractors, gardens, mini farm plots, Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, a holistic food consultant and even a beekeeper! Here’s the way they describe it: ten minutes from downtown FRISCO.  Whoa, now that’s interesting. Oh the public schools — amazing! Here we go with Steve’s biggies and mine:  (more…)

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Letting you in on an inside secret here at CandysDirt.com. We “nickname” our weekly Monday Morning Millionaire postings the MMM.

When I created CandysDirt, I wanted to post homes on humdrum Mondays that would REALLY  wake readers up. Because, you know, it’s Monday, and you deserve to be blown away. (Come to think of it, we need a Hump Day house, too.) I’ll never forget the reader who told me that when he gets antsy at work he reads my MMM’s or wanders over to SecondShelters.com to check out vacation homes. That’s enough inspiration to make him go back to work, full force, and KILL IT so he can buy his own MMM someday.

Well, according to our analytics, 10770 Inwood Road was the most well-read MMM in 2014. Had we made Deion Sanders place a MMM, that might have beaten it. The Downton Abbey-esque estate at the corner of Inwood Road and Royal Lane in Dallas went on the market but not into MLS last spring. It officially hit MLS in October. Not only did our story on this house get thousands of hits, it had 200,000 shares on Facebook. And oh yes, it’s still available for a mere $6,399,000 reduced for quick sale from $7 million. Which was reduced from $7.7. Get it?

If you have lived in Preston Hollow or the Hockaday Royal/Inwood area for any length of time, you know this house. It is at the southeast corner of Royal Lane and Inwood Road. Kind of looks like Downton Abbey.  Built in 1991 by a physician (Ophthalmologist) and his attorney wife, the home is known for having been completed in stages because the owners said, at the time, (in a Dallas Morning News article I cannot locate) they incurred no debt in buying or building this house. Which is pretty amazing considering that most folks in 1991 wanted it all RIGHT NOW if not a second ago.
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Photo: Dallas Police Department

Note to would-be thieves: Pretty much everyone has at least one camera aimed at the entry points for their home nowadays. They’re not that expensive, and are easy to install. Armed with that knowledge, maybe try a new line of work?

That being said, the alleged porch parcel thieves that were targeting holiday packages left by delivery trucks have been caught. At least, one set of them, any way. Meet Priscilla Castaneda and Jessie Dominguez. According to Dallas police, several people called in to say they recognized Castaneda from the videos plastered all over social media, local news stations and the newspaper. From there, police were able to find a pawn shop she had done business with, who in turn reportedly told police that she had been in that day trying to pawn the very smoker (still in the box) that she was allegedly seen carrying off in one video. She was even reportedly wearing the same outfit (btw, Roger Staubach probably doesn’t approve, lady). Today she got a rather unwanted birthday present – her arrest.

Dominguez was caught today as well, allegedly smoking a joint in plain sight, and with a whole lot of property for the police to catalog sitting in the back of the Ford Explorer that also starred in the videos, police said. Dominguez also reportedly confessed to some thefts in Highland Park, as well.

Both suspects are now at Lew Sterrett.

However, they are not the only Christmas grinches out there. The same homeowner who took the video of Castaneda, Missy Clinchy, also found that another theft occurred earlier this month, by a different individual – this time the perp is a bald man driving a light colored sedan.

Dallas police offer the following tips for avoiding the theft of your packages:

  • Request from the seller or shipper that a signature is required for delivery so that your package is not left at your front door unattended.
  • Request that the seller or shipper ship your package to an alternate address such as your office.
  • Request that the shipper hold your package at their distribution center for your pick-up.

Amazon now offers Amazon Locker, which allows you to ship to a specific, secure site for pick up, and it looks like there are plenty throughout the city. Many major retailers also offer ship to store, which allows you to pick up at the customer service counter of the store, as well.

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Thanks to inexpensive security cameras, we now have some video of at least one of the thieves that is hitting homes in Midway Hollow and Preston Hollow, stealing Christmas packages right off the front porch. In this video, Ken and Missy Clinchy recorded a thief stealing Christmas gifts off their front porch in the 3900 block of Lively Lane.

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Sure he hasn’t technically done anything wrong, but Mark Cuban’s unwillingness to kowtow to the neighboring homeowners of  the spate of Preston Hollow properties he’s recently bought up sure doesn’t seem, well, neighborly.

He’s cleared trees from the estates that line Northwest Highway and Preston Road, leaving little visual screening from the busy six-lane thoroughfare. Dallas City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates says Cuban can do what he wants with his property, and that he hasn’t done anything to run afoul of city regulations. Still, he’s refused to meet with residents and doesn’t seem interested in the Preston Hollow Area Study. Of course, these are the same homeowners who arranged angry town halls over residential developments on two corners of Northwest Highway and Preston Road, so they may already be sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches.

In a story from the intrepid Eric Nicholson over at the Observer, emails between Cuban and Gates paint the billionaire as someone who sounds a lot like Cartman. To help you digest the emails, we’ve added a few fun gifs of Cuban doing what we imagine as he reads and replies to Gates:

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10110 Daria Front

Midcentury modern connoisseurs will delight in this impeccably preserved Asian influenced specimen at 10110 Daria Drive in the gated Meaders James subdivision, which is just north of Walnut Hill and west of the Dallas North Tollway. It’s so close to Preston Hollow, and it’s in an area where you’ll find several distinctive properties like this one.

It’s one of those homes with such an exceptional floorplan and wonderful original details that is easily a high-caliber home, one worthy of being our High Caliber Home of the Week, sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans.

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This kitchen boasts a built in coffee maker (Photo Credit: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

This kitchen boasts plenty of sleek built-ins. (Photo: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

Would you ever consider using unique, fun colored cabinets in your kitchen? If you’re a trendsetter and a client of Tatum Brown Custom Homes, you might.

“People are getting away from doing the all-white kitchens,” says Mark Danuser, President of Tatum Brown. “They are actually starting to use a lot more fun colors, like shades of taupe, champagne and grey.”

People are willing to use more non-traditional decor and finishes than in previous years, and Danuser attributes this to social media and the popularity of home improvement shows. He says his clients can now visualize things they might not have otherwise been able to imagine themselves, and because they can see what these ideas actually look like, they are more willing to go for it in their own homes, he said.

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A three alarm fire about five blocks away from me on Royalton Drive Friday night may have been started by a fire in an outdoor fireplace.

Which of course will have all of us with or wanting outdoor living rooms with fireplaces and flat screens concerned to learn just what happened.

I believe the home was located at 6306 Royalton, and was only about 8 years old. It was a beautiful brick and stone structure of 6214 square feet, very much like the new homes going up in the neighborhood. According to reports on Channels 4 and 8, a surprise party was underway and about 30 to 40 people were in the house, including children. A fire was on in the outside fireplace, which must have gone awry. According to news reports, the guests looked outside, as it was almost fog-like, so they went to check it out. Then they smelled smoke in the house, heard crackling in the chimney, then got everyone outside, including the children who were upstairs. THANK GOD NO ONE IN THE HOUSE WAS HURT. (more…)