Category Archives: Downtown / Uptown

Dallas real estate

Helpful Tips to Protest Your Property Taxes

The right to protest to the Appraisal Review Board is the most important right you have as a taxpayer. Below is an email we received from our client, Joe H., after he successfully protested his property taxes. Thanks for your advice Joe!

Appraisal Report
Becky and Shelle,

The hearing this morning was a success. I was able to get the appraisal board to reduce the market value on the house by $30,000. I am happy for the results considering that we did buy it at the end of the year at a high point of a good sales market. The board members did comment on how surprised they were at the amount of reduction from the appraisal district so that was a good sign and also gave me some pointers for next year.

A few things that I learned in the process that might be valuable for others going through a similar process:

1. Check the building class compared to other houses in the neighborhood. In DCAD they had our house classified as as Class 23 – all of the other houses on our street were classified as a Class 21. When I read the definitions, I noticed that our house did not technically fall into a Class 23 definition and that was a focal point of my case because this affected their value. I may have them come out and review this for next year because they still kept it at 23.

2. Challenge the stated “Condition”. Because of our sale price, the DCAD system automatically adjusted the condition to “Very Good”. I was able to provide evidence that it was in AVG / GOOD Condition. They were able to adjust this.

3. Get sales comps from your Realtor®. The sales comps that you provided were perfect and I used the ones in my immediate neighborhood with similar sq footage. I used total of six: They only used three of the highest values for their appraisal. It was nice that I could show more comps to challenge the avg $/sq ft.

4. Take photos of all problematic areas, including dirt or rust. I took pictures of all things that were problematic around the house, however I wish I still had interior pictures from before we came in and painted and cleaned up. The board did comment that seeing some interior pictures would have helped for better challenging the classification. My advice for new owners is to take pictures before any cleaning, or any updating is preformed.

5. Take photos of existing amenities, appliances, equipment. They also asked about the pool, being that it was almost 30 years old, If I had taken pictures of the pool and equipment condition, I perhaps could have gotten them to reduce the “additional improvements” (pool) a little bit.

6. Create a itemized list of needed repairs and estimated costs. The other thing that they asked for, which I did not have because I wasn’t using as supporting evidence, was an itemized list of needed repairs and vendor estimates. I did have a list of house issues but did not have any official cost estimates. It seems like they might have used that in consideration for value if I could have provided it.

7. Make five (5) color copies of your presentation, including photos. There were three board members and a DCAD appraiser. Even though they scan everything into the system for evidence, it would have helped if I had extra copies of my evidence for all of the board members. I also did not bring in any pictures because they had previously scanned these into the system when I went for the informal meeting last month. They did display them on the projector screen but they were hard to make out. I wish I had known and would have brought extra copies for all to share.

In all, it was a great experience and I am happy with the results and I also saved by not paying a tax group to protest for me.

Thanks again for all of your help!

Joe

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Filed under About my business, Bluffview / Devonshire, Downtown / Uptown, Greenway Parks / West Highland Park, Highland Park / University Park, Lake Highlands, Lakewood / Forest Hills, Marketing, Oak Cliff, Press & News, Preston Hollow area

As seen in Highland Park Village Theatre …

Celebrate extraordinary in this video tour of some of Dallas, Texas’s most stunning homes on the market.

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May 2, 2013 · 3:59 pm

A Video About Downtown Dallas

Click to open new window for video

Thanks to Downtown Dallas Inc. and You+Dallas for the vision for this glimpse into today’s Dallas. It’s beautiful!

“Downtown is multi-dimensional; it is an urban environment in which to live, work and play. Anchored by Neiman Marcus, having held a vibrant presence in Downtown for 105 years, there are 250 bars, restaurants and lounges, and 300 events hosted a year in Downtown alone. Last year, Dallas-Fort Worth was ranked as the number one sports area in the country, thanks to our 2011 NBA World Champion Dallas Mavericks, and two-time ALCS Champions the Texas Rangers.

Public transportation is easy to navigate with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Beginning and ending in Downtown, it is the largest light rail system in North America. Downtown has the largest urban arts district in the entire country, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra directed by Jaap van Zweden, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Opera and more.

It is important to experience Downtown; don’t be a spectator, be a participant. Downtown Dallas, Inc. is passionate about where the city is now and where it is going in the future. Come experience the ongoing excitement in urban, legendary, smart and modern Downtown Dallas.”

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Filed under architecture, Art, Downtown / Uptown, events, Press & News

The Next Big Boom Towns In The U.S. – Dallas #7 – Forbes

 

The Next Big Boom Towns In The U.S. – Joel Kotkin – New Geographer – Forbes

What cities are best positioned to grow and prosper in the coming decade?

To determine the next boom towns in the U.S., Forbes, with the help of Mark Schill at the Praxis Strategy Group, took the 52 largest metro areas in the country (those with populations exceeding 1 million) and ranked them based on various data indicating past, present and future vitality.

We started with job growth, not only looking at performance over the past decade but also focusing on growth in the past two years, to account for the possible long-term effects of the Great Recession. That accounted for roughly one-third of the score.  The other two-thirds were made up of a a broad range of demographic factors, all weighted equally. These included rates of family formation (percentage growth in children 5-17), growth in educated migration, population growth and, finally, a broad measurement of attractiveness to immigrants — as places to settle, make money and start businesses.

We focused on these demographic factors because college-educated migrants (who also tend to be under 30), new families and immigrants will be critical in shaping the future.  Areas that are rapidly losing young families and low rates of migration among educated migrants are the American equivalents of rapidly aging countries like Japan; those with more sprightly demographics are akin to up and coming countries such as Vietnam.

Many of our top performers are not surprising. No. 1 Austin, Texas, and No. 2 Raleigh, N.C., have it all demographically: high rates of immigration and migration of educated workers and healthy increases in population and number of children. They are also economic superstars, with job-creation records among the best in the nation.

Perhaps less expected is the No. 3 ranking for Nashville, Tenn. The country music capital, with its low housing prices and pro-business environment, has experienced rapid growth in educated migrants, where it ranks an impressive fourth in terms of percentage growth. New ethnic groups, such as Latinos and Asians, have doubled in size over the past decade.

Two advantages Nashville and other rising Southern cities like No. 8 Charlotte, N.C., possess are a mild climate and smaller scale. Even with population growth, they do not suffer the persistent transportation bottlenecks that strangle the older growth hubs. At the same time, these cities are building the infrastructure — roads, cultural institutions and airports — critical to future growth. Charlotte’s bustling airport may never be as big as Atlanta’s Hartsfield, but it serves both major national and international routes.

Of course, Texas metropolitan areas feature prominently on our list of future boom towns, including No. 4 San Antonio, No. 5 Houston and No. 7 Dallas, which over the past years boasted the biggest jump in new jobs, over 83,000. Aided by relatively low housing prices and buoyant economies, these Lone Star cities have become major hubs for jobs and families.

And there’s more growth to come. With its strategically located airport, Dallas is emerging as the ideal place for corporate relocations. And Houston, with its burgeoning port and dominance of the world energy business, seems destined to become ever more influential in the coming decade. Both cities have emerged as major immigrant hubs, attracting on newcomers at a rate far higher than old immigrant hubs like Chicago, Boston and Seattle.

To read the full article, click here.

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Filed under Downtown / Uptown, Press & News

Follow the Katy Trail and you soon can go all over town

As a Board Member of the Katy Trail and Co-chair of the Katy 5k for over ten years, I have participated in the development of the Katy Trail and have seen the positive impact it has had on our city. The success of the Katy Trail has increased property values around the Trail and has developed popular sites for retail development and community spaces. The Trail provides a sense of community for people who hike, bike, walk and enjoy this urban amenity on a daily basis. We are so lucky to have this here in our city. Many people who use the Trail regularly don’t know that we depend on individual support – as the trail is privately funded. I hope you’ll go to KatyTrailDallas.org and JOIN. As a Friend of the Katy Trail (only $50), you will be invited to fun happy hours and events in addition to supporting the growth and maintenance of the Trail. If you are interested in making a donation or a dedication, please contact me.

Click the link below to read an article from today’s newspaper that explains Katy’s future expansions to Mockingbird Station and White Rock Trail:

Follow the Katy Trail and you soon can go all over town | Dallas Morning News.

KatyTrail

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Filed under Downtown / Uptown, events, Highland Park / University Park, Press & News

Community Banks Turning Trend – Outdoing Megabanks

The bad economy frightened us all. It caused everyone to become uncertain about banks of all sizes.

Now that the statistics are better, and everyone is recognizing more stability in the economy, we are seeing more confident, eager buyers in the residential market. However, new frustrations have emerged regarding the timeliness of closing a home – Closings at the big banks seem to have become a tedious process of approvals and delays.

Megabanks are becoming less and less popular due to the longer processing times required to close loans. There is new information showing that the employees who left small banks to find stability in megabanks are returning again. Why? Because they are able to get to closing faster. Efficiency is a good thing for everybody in a transaction.

The newest challenge is in finding a lending institution that can bring your home to closing in the timely fashion that you were accustomed to before the bad economy.

Sometimes it is easier to use local lending institutions for mortgages. Not only do they have the ability to help you close on your home faster, they also specialize in relationship banking.
Here are a few that I recommend in the Dallas area:

Mary Dinkins
Cornerstone Mortgage


Lisa Peters
Shelter Mortgage


Paige Nash & Mike Rideau
American National Bank – formerly Dallas National Bank


John Cowden
Inwood National Bank

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Filed under About my business, Bluffview / Devonshire, Downtown / Uptown, Financing, Greenway Parks / West Highland Park, Highland Park / University Park, Lakewood / Forest Hills

Download 2010 Market Reports – Free Information from Real Estate Center

Do you need to know what the population breakdown was last year in Fort Worth? How about the cost-per-acre of development land in Corpus Christi? Curious about how the number of residential building permits in Dallas last year compared with those in previous years?

You’re in luck.

The Real Estate Center’s 2010 Market Reports, now available on the Center’s website, contain this information and so much more.

A report is available for each of Texas’ 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. I have downloaded the Dallas-FortWorth-Arlington report and I’m studying it now.

Texas Market Reports

Click here to download market reports

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Filed under About my business, Bluffview / Devonshire, Downtown / Uptown, Greenway Parks / West Highland Park, Highland Park / University Park, Lakewood / Forest Hills, Oak Cliff, Press & News, Preston Hollow area, Schools, Suburbs