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The Most Expensive Dallas Home Sale for May 2010



One positive note about the Dallas real estate market is it looks like luxury end housing is finally getting the financing it deserves. Overall, there were 65 home sales for over a $1M that closed. A 14% increase over last year.

4237 Armstrong Way in Highland Park was originally listed for $11,499,000. over a year ago, last list price was $7,995,000 and it sold for an undisclosed price, on May 12. Totally renovated 1926 Tudor.

This just shows the available opportunities and how buyers determine the value. Prices have come down way down and that’s why the Park Cities is experiencing greater activity the last two months. Location and schools have a lot to do with that as well as security. Some things never change and never will. Area 25 which is the Park Cities experienced a 61% increase in sales from a year ago, average price is also up 17%.

Hit bottom and cycles back up. There are still lots of great buys and prices to be had, inventory is still high at 12 months, down 32% from last year but still a good selection to preview. Just as there is a lull right now in the market other areas that have been soft are showing a rebound. Thank goodness!

Highland Park Architecture

Highland Park Homes

I had business today in the Park Cities – the temperatures have stayed under 100 degrees for most of the summer and because of the extra rain, well Dallas has never looked prettier.

So here are a couple of photos of what Highland Park homes look like.  There is quite a range, but you will find plenty of Mediterranean and Tudor like below, each unique in their own way.


Highland Park VillageTheater – A Cinema Treasure

A Classic Landmark

On my way down to an open house yesterday, I stopped by Highland Park Village to grab a bite of lunch.  The photo is of Highland Park Village Theater – a classic old theater with all its charm.

Here’s a bit of Dallas trivia that you might not know.

The Highland Park Village Theater opened in 1935. Highland Park Village is recognized as the first shopping center in America and the prototype for shopping centers across the country.

According to the Urban Land Institute, Highland Park Village was the first development built on a single lot surrounded by parking areas with stores facing away from access streets. It was the first luxury theater in Texas and cost a whopping $100,000 – a lot of money back then!

Architects were the renowned Foshee and Cheek of Dallas who were very much inspired by Beverly Hills.  Highland Park has many Spanish and Mediterranean influences and is the “Beverly Hills” of Dallas.

Preston Hollow vs Park Cities

Preston Hollow vs Park Cities

What is the difference between living in Preston Hollow and living in the Park Cities?

Inquiring minds would like to know!

So here is brief run down of the pros and cons from a Realtor that has lived and works in these Tony neighborhoods. (I grew up here)

There are 3 huge differences between these two areas:

  1. Park Cities has an exemplary school system and always has, Preston Hollow is Dallas ISD but is located near all ivy league private schools.
  2. Park Cities has a population of around 33,000 total in a land mass that is 7 sq miles.  It’s a bit crowded especially with the TexasSUV’s.
  3. Preston Hollow is directly North of the Park Cities starting at Northwest highway and has huge lots and rolling terrain that is hard to find today.

The home appreciation in these neighborhoods has sky rocketed the past few years, Park Cities, which is Highland Park and University Park has hovered around 12-25% the last 4 years, Preston Hollow has had nice appreciation too, similar to Park Cites but depends on street and exact location.  The biggest difference is that Highland Park and University Park are there own townships and are not Dallas, so you have your own highly secure police and fire department and own government. Zip codes here are 75205 and 75225.

Preston Hollow is Dallas and you can vote in all Dallas elections to save the city! Dallas does need your vote! Both areas are close to downtown and shopping, hospitals, entertainment etc.  Park Cities was developed back in the 1920’s and 30’s and a gentrification has been going on for years.  Preston Hollow was developed more in the 1950’s etc. so the styles of homes are much different.  If you want land and space and want to pay for private schools, Preston Hollow is the way to go.

If you want exemplary schools including  home to SMU, then Park Cites should be your choice.  Either way you can’t go wrong it is just your personal preference.  There is a lot more to it then this but this is a good start if you are considering these areas. If you would like to know more insider scoop, I’m just an email away.

Awesome Azaleas

More Spring in Big D!

Spring time is short in Dallas because it tends to get warm very quick, so I make sure I take photos when things are at their peak bloom, you know they say that everything is so green and colorful in Highland Park that they must fertilize with money.

Could be!



Highland Park Gazebo – lots of brides have their wedding portraits taken here.



My Azaleas in Plano

So… Your New Job is in Dallas?

Where to Start Your Home Search

So your new job is in The Big D, and you need to relocate and buy a home quickly, what are your options and what will “I get for the money?”

A good place to start your house hunt are zip codes.

Don’t know what they are?

Here is a quick run down of some Dallas zip codes to explore:

If you have been to Dallas or have family or friends that live here then you might have an idea on where you want to live. If you don’t have a clue this info could help.

I don’t know what you want to spend so here is an overview of what your get for your hard earned money.

Dallas has a wide range of price points and neighborhoods. Just like almost every urban area in the country, a re-birth is occurring and those areas close to town have seen greater appreciation than the rest of the metroplex.

The area inside the loop, south of LBJ, have seen the greatest growth, here is what your money will buy you:

If you are looking for a brand new, state of the art home 3000-4500+ sq ft. in North Dallas or Preston Hollow you will need to spend 700K to 1M plus, more in Preston Hollow because it is closer in. You will get a larger lot and matured live Oak Trees. Neighborhoods are from the 1950’s-1970’s.

There are still plenty of one story ranch homes some have been updated, some not, expect to pay 350K-600K+ for these depending on location.  You are about 5-10 minutes from town in these neighborhoods. Some good public schools, but near all private schools.

Dallas Zip codes to look at : 75229, 75230, 75220.

Directly north of downtown is uptown, this is where all the high rise condos projects are taking place, you will pay dearly to live here, 500K and up for around 2000 ft, give or take a few hundred sq ft.  Downtown proper you will find the same thing with lower price points like 200K and up, but location is questionable, meaning not too safe and areas are still trying decide what they are going to be.

Dallas Uptown Zip codes are: 75201, 75204.

Directly north of uptown is the coveted Park Cities they are actually their own townships, Highland Park and University Park, it is called “The Bubble.” (I will write another post on that one). It is actually the heart of Dallas and one of prettiest and most prestigious areas in Dallas.

You are 5 minutes from town and always exemplary schools, population is around 31,000. You will not get a large yard here and it is the most expensive address. Homes were built 1920’s,30’s, 40’s, and the new homes that are replacing these start at 1.3M and much much more. Here you will also find a excellent police dept. Just lot values are 500k and up.

Park Cities Zip codes: 75205, 75225.

Of course, there are more neighborhoods, but these communities are located in the platinum corridor with convenience to town and a commute that is easy.

You will find much better values north of LBJ with your work commute not more than 20-40 minutes and newer homes in Far North Dallas & Plano, built 1980’s and 1990’s and some new development. Prices 250K and up, excellent schools in Plano, (some of North Dallas neighborhoods go to Plano schools).

Zip codes to look at in North Dallas: 75240, 75254.

West Plano Zips: 75093,  75024 & 75025.

If you are looking for a great place to live and some real estate appreciation that still has quite a bit of room to go, Far North Dallas and Plano are it and the next ones to profit from. Here, You will find drill down searches of all these areas to review, if you want a look-see.

If you are relocating from the east or west coasts you will be pleasantly surprised of the value here, but don’t forget about property taxes, they are a big nut here and need to be considered.

This certainly is not everything but a good place to begin your Dallas home search.