Category Archives: Lakewood / Forest Hills

Dallas real estate

Lakewood: Over 1.5 Acres in Dallas with Historic Estate built by Hal Thomson

Over 1.5 Acres in Dallas with Beautiful Historic Home from Becky Frey on Vimeo.

For the connoisseur of life, an ideal home is in perfect harmony with its surroundings.

Nestled in the heart of the personality-rich community of Lakewood, this home has access to highly-ranked schools, easy access to Downtown, and incredible hike and bike trails making this location ideal for buyers seeking a strong community and endless options to enjoy life outdoors. This architecturally significant home tells a wonderful story within its walls.

See the official listing on SothebysRealty.com

Built in 1929 by renowned architect Hal Thomson, this beautiful estate features a blend of handcrafted original and tasteful, updated designs. The home has had many significant owners/guests including Stanley Marcus. In fact, the original owners of the home deeded the home to the Episcopal Diocese.

As you set foot inside this estate, you encounter rich chocolate hardwood floors leading to every living area in the home. Immediately to your right is the sitting room featuring a charming wood-burning fireplace, plantation shutters and built-in book cases. Continue on to the formal dining room featuring original tile flooring and original bar inlets.

The gracious formal living room provides a perfect place for family holiday gatherings with vaulted ceilings, plantation shutters, built-in bookcases, wood burning fireplace and French doors leading to the sunroom. With walls of glass bringing the outdoors inside, the sunroom will be the perfect nook for you to curl up with a good book, watch your favorite movie or just take a nap while it rains. Sliding patio doors lead you to the outdoor oasis.

The impressive chef’s kitchen offers the best of the best making your every culinary experience enjoyable. Featuring a Miele coffee bar, stainless steel 6-burner gas cooktop, double ovens, built-in refrigerator, beautiful tile flooring, marble countertops and a wet-bar offering a built-in microwave, crushed ice machine, sink and mini refrigerator. Tucked off of the kitchen is a charming breakfast room, which used to be the carport in the original home, with built-ins with glass displays to store your china and a marble buffet making meal service a breeze. Beyond the breakfast room is the utility room and a lovely powder bath.

The spacious master suite is the perfect place for you to relax and unwind after a long day offering multiple storage closets, sitting area and beautiful views of the backyard. The master bath offers separate shower, makeup vanity and a large dressing room attached.

In addition to the beautiful hardwood floors, each bedroom features architectural design detail from the arched doorways to the vaulted ceilings – the charm and character of the home is evident throughout.

The backyard is like a set from a movie – with a large grassy yard, pool, pool house featuring a pool bath and kitchenette, outdoor kitchen, and a firepit – you truly have every outdoor dream at your fingertips.

The large, detached two car garage offers a guest quarters above with full bath and closet and a basement/cellar below with a covered walkway to the main house.

Call Becky 214-536-4727 or Shelle 214-450-8782 to discuss a private showing.

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Filed under About my business, architecture, Interior Design, Lakewood / Forest Hills, Marketing, Press & News, Remodel, Schools, Video

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

Friday Five Hundred: 6000 Square Feet & Magic-Making Master For The I Hate Grass Club | Candy’s Dirt | Dallas Real Estate News and Blog by Former Dallas Dirt Editor Candy Evans

Friday Five Hundred: 6000 Square Feet & Magic-Making Master  | Dallas Real Estate News and Blog by Former Dallas Dirt Editor Candy Evans.

Friday Five Hundred: 6000 Square Feet & Magic-Making Master For The I Hate Grass Club | Candy's Dirt | Dallas Real Estate News and Blog by Former Dallas Dirt Editor Candy Evans

“There are those of us who love homes but hate grass. What the heck is so wonderful about it anyhow? It sucks up water we need to preserve, it burns up in August, it gets muddy, soggy, chiggers and collects dog poop. Grass, who needs it?

But I like homes, so this one might really be my dream home. 9011 Prominence is basically a 6,000 square foot patio home built in 1993, hence the great pricing: $499,000. (Today I saved you a dollar, don’t ever say I don’t give you anything.)  But in five years when we won’t be able to water our lawns, you will see more homes like 9011.

“The story here is families who want good schools and a big house don’t need to move to Plano to find one,” says listing agent Becky Frey. Big? The house is enormous: six bedrooms, four and a half baths. “And you are a hop or short walk from White Rock Lake.”

You get the updated kitchen, formals, a den, and that private, lush master on the first floor. Bye, kiddos, go upstairs and STAY upstairs unless someone is bleeding. Master has access to back patio and splash pool — yes, there is a pool! Upstairs you find a game room with wet bar and a balcony which is great for entertaining. There is a great view of the church steeple next door which is very soothing and church bells! Reminds me of Dartmouth! You also have many rooms for offices, media or playrooms. Great closets, big comfy kitchen, three fireplaces, workbench, mature rose bushes to fill you vase. Just. No. Grass.”

Go to CandysDirt.com to see more photos.

For all the details, click here to see the listing.

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Filed under About my business, architecture, Lake Highlands, Lakewood / Forest Hills, Press & News, Schools, Suburbs

See it on style/SWOON.com

Samantha Reitmayer Sano always has the perfect words: “If you are a junkie like me then you probably remember the house in Something’s Gotta Give. I have watched that movie repeatedly just for the sake of the house. Well, this home is not in the Hamptons but it feels like it and it very much reminds me of the SGG home.”
Please read about Sam’s peek into 7291 Williamson Road (in Lakewood, just a stroll to White Rock Lake) on the coveted style/SWOON blog. Thanks for stopping by, Sam!

style/SWOON

Click to read the entire post on style/SWOON.com - These photos are gorgeous!

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Filed under About my business, Lakewood / Forest Hills, 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

Preservation Dallas tells about East Dallas-Lakewood and all it’s charm

Preservation Dallas has a Facebook fan page that is a great resource for events regarding Dallas architectural interests, facts about neighborhoods in our city, and everything else from landmarks to landscaping to the latest scoop from City Hall. I recommend becoming a fan – Their posts are truly educational.

Today, Preservation Dallas provided a Facebook post that summed up East Dallas’ neighborhoods (aka Lakewood and surrounding areas). I want to share it here on my blog because it pays tribute to most of the charming neighborhoods embedded in East Dallas, which, in my opinion, should be talked about more:

“Lakewood proper is surrounded by a collection of old-fashioned neighborhoods, generally developed from the early 1900s to the 1950s, including Lakewood Heights, Junius Heights Historic District (Bungalow Heaven), Parks Estates, Caruth Terrace, Wilshire Heights, Mockingbird Heights, Mockingbird Meadows, The Gated Cloisters, Hillside, Gastonwood-Coronado Hills, Hollywood Heights, and Belmont; among others.
Commonly, people outside these neighborhoods group them together under the heading of Lakewood, The M-Streets, or Old East Dallas – which are overlapping regions in the near-eastern part of the city. Historic Swiss Avenue (Mansion Row) anchors the area towards Downtown. Currently, there are a large number of Historic and Conservation Districts reflecting prodigious numbers of Craftsman, Prairie-Four Squares, Tudors, Spanish and Mediterranean Eclectic and Early Ranch homes, many of native Austin stone. The homes range from two-bedroom bungalows to massive estates on acreage. There is also a fair number of duplexes, four-plexes and very small apartment complexes. Some of the older homes are being torn down in favor of much larger, more expensive homes.”

And many people enjoy the eclectic feel of Lower Greenville, the area adjacent to Greenville Avenue in east Dallas, which has many well-known bars and restaurants that aren’t shy in celebrating any special occasion.

Granada Theater photo by Paul Ridenour

Lakewood Neighborhood Association has a website that you may enjoy surfing around to learn more, or call me, I’m always happy to answer questions about these neighborhoods and the homes within.
– Becky

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Filed under architecture, Lakewood / Forest Hills