(Photo: The Dallas Morning News)
Today’s the home opener for your Texas Rangers. We go as a family every year, but I have to tell you — I hate the drive. I hate driving to Arlington. Interstate 30 is always a parking lot from Arlington to Grand Prairie, sometimes even to Hampton Road. Driving to and from sporting events is a huge nightmare.
Until mass transit to Arlington makes the trip to see our favorite baseball franchise less headache-inducing, perhaps the hubby and I should consider buying a townhome within walking distance to Rangers Ballpark?
Neighborhood Bugs: Are Some Dallas ‘Hoods More “Buggy” Than Others: Skeeters & Such — A Guide to the Buggiest ‘Hoods in Dallas
We all know Dallas is buggy. Let’s face it, you move to a warmer climate, you get bugs. When I grew up in Chicago we had millipedes and spiders in summer months, but not even an amoeba survived the tundra months of winter. I will not step foot in Main until July 1 because of the black flies. They are VICIOUS!! And I think the mosquitoes on the east coast are the worst, confirmed by this Off Insect Repellent study. After leaving Vail I checked for ticks as I always do when out in the western woods. In Johnson City, I know that scorpions are waiting to get me inside my boots and shoes so we shake ‘em before we put them on.
Do not tell me we do not have gorgeous, sleek, affordable contemporary housing within steps of everything you need — well, the Katy Trail, Knox shopping, and some of the city’s best restaurants. You tell me a lie I will hit you over the head with 4525 Cole Avenue, No. 11: a three story empty nesters’ dream den.
I posted a few shots from this house last summer, when I was first made aware of it’s awesomeness. The young builder is Leo Savino, who is building in the Park Cities under his company name, Significant Building & Construction, with the frenzy of a blue norther.
I have just heard about what everyone is calling “The Texas Hill Country” up in Carrollton – Darling Home’s Villas at Austin Waters. A friend who is downsizing tells me she is looking at a 2,600 square foot home there in the mid-$200,00o range that has blown her away: low maintenance, great finish-out, and beautiful architectural styles like Colonials, Classic Revival, Tudor and Arts & Crafts. These are like row houses with a sliver of grass between the homes (she has pets) and darling front porches that make them homier than a condo. The homes are brand new, superior Darling quality, come with energy efficient packages, smart wiring, tons of storage and great design. Best of all, she can lock and leave when she wants to get away, which is also a piece of cake because D/FW is about 20 minutes even in traffic.
Who says the kids aren’t buying real estate? Candy Spelling closed on Spelling Manor, the most expensive real estate transaction in southern California and probably the U.S., the buyer rumored to be Petra Ecclestone, heiress to the Formula One racing empire and daughter of British billionaire Bernie Ecclestone. Petra is all of 22 years old, by the way. The 56,500-square foot mansion sold for $85 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, which is a 43% discount off the $150 million original asking price.
Whenever and wherever he slept at 1505 Elm, the proud grand pappa had the photos of his grandchildren on every wall to keep him company.
First: what’s not to like about 1505 Elm in downtown Dallas? The .59 per square foot home association dues? That it was designed by George Dahl, built in 1957 as Dallas Federal Savings, once belonged to the Chamber of Commerce, was snapped up by Lazarus Property Co. who purchased the building in 2001 and turned it into 67 luxurious condominium units? There’s underground and valet parking, theater, fitness center, sauna, wine cellar, a catering kitchen, exterior amenities like a pool, dog run, and exterior cooking pavilion, and 24 hour valet and concierge. Enough good stuff that when actor John Voight was in Dallas recently to film the pilot for Midland, he leased a two bedroom, two and a half bath unit at 1505 Elm for about $3,000. (Can you imagine what that would have cost in NYC or LA?) Not only did he lease it, he furnished it complete with big gorgeous blown up photos of his grandchildren, yes, Angelina’s babies.
OK, it is really cold in Texas tonight. 20 degrees right now. Supposed to go down to 14. It is my opinion that most homes in Texas are not built for this kind of weather unless they have basements and theromopane windows. Home with old single pane windows are frozen over. I had a pier and beam home because I thought that would be warmer, now I have a pier-ed slab. Both, it seems, are cold. So informal poll: which is warmer in winter, the slab or pier and beam home?
It is a tribute to the power of the real estate market that one of the major advertisers in this year’s game, again, is HomeAway.com. (Click here to see their unique, customizable spot — travelers can insert their faces as a main character in the commercial and vacation rental home owners can feature their listings. I’m even in this one!)¬† The Austin-based firm offers a comprehensive on-line smorgasbord of vacation homes for rent, what many of you may know as VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) dot com. The company is doing extremely well, and growing, because more Americans want to monetize their vacation home properties, and more families want to stay in private homes when they vacation.