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Old 01-24-2010, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,511,470 times
Reputation: 1977

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Turtlecreek,

I totally agree with you. Interesting on your family background. I haven't lived in that area for a while but back when I did I heard a really high proportion of the houses in University Park and Highland Park where rentals so people's kids could go to those schools. Do you have any idea what the % is? One of my friends at the time claimed his family owned over 15 houses in that area and he said that many other families were in the same position and renting them. Just out of curiosity, when did these families by then? I imagine quite a while back?

What is your opinion on the development at 4608 Abbott that they've been trying to sell for years and years. It's hard to believe they don't drop the prices more.

Allie Beth Allman & Associates - The Premier Firm in Residential Real Estate

I can't imagine why anyone would buy those units at those prices...the floor plans I don't think are that great. And the prices are insane.

I got a really big kick seeing this back in 2007 in the Park Cities People newspaper. They were trying to say these $1 million places are geared for “young professionals in their early to mid 20’s” That’s how crazy things got with banks giving out mortgages for $1 million places to 20 something year olds with no down payments and just out of school. You can probably Google it and find the actual link. I clipped the article. Here is the article below:



“Prices of Highland Gates townhomes, expected to be completed in fall 2008, start at $850,000 for a 2,418-square-foot floor plan called the Bouvier, and go up to $1.04 million for the upgraded version of a 3,236-square-foot plan called the Giradon. The four modernist townhomes at Cragmont Avenue south of Highland Gates are in a similar range. One of the E.G. Hamilton-designed homes, a 3,600-square-foot, three-story unit, is listed at $1.25 million. The other three are already sold.

Many future residents will be empty-nesters from Dallas who have discretionary income and want to downsize, though some are young professionals in their mid-20s, said Diane Cheatham, owner of Urban Edge Developers, which built the townhomes at Cragmont Avenue.

“I think people are just changing the way they live,” Cheatham said. “They travel more, they’re active, and it’s a lot of work and expense to take care of a big lawn. Some people just prefer the easier lifestyle of a townhouse.”
Barnett estimates half of Highland Gates residents will be “move-down buyers — 25 percent we see as young couples who can’t afford to buy anything else in Highland Park, and 25 percent will be young professionals.”
For many of the younger residents, Highland Gates offers a somewhat less expensive way to live in the Park Cities, where the average home costs more than $1 million.

“The idea is that it’s very affordable for Highland Park; if you look at the entry level … this is it,” Barnett said. “Relative to what’s around us, it’s actually pretty affordable.”


That's basically in a nutshell what happened to the USA real estate market. Banks giving loans to too many people that couldn't really afford the places. Now that is done...you see prices sitting on the market for 500+ days in the Park Cities. Don't get me wrong...the area is really great and the schools have a good reputation but I got a good laugh from that article a few years ago saying these $1 million pads were geared to 20 something olds.....
LOL.

Meanwhile the builder is sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in property taxes while they desperately try to find some bagholders to buy them.

http://www.dallascad.org/AcctDetailRes.aspx?ID=69C86800000000103
http://www.dallascad.org/AcctDetailRes.aspx?ID=69C86800000000104
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Last edited by earlyretirement; 01-24-2010 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:05 PM
 
12,395 posts, read 23,769,192 times
Reputation: 11533
Quote:
Originally Posted by earlyretirement View Post
Turtlecreek,

I totally agree with you. Interesting on your family background. I haven't lived in that area for a while but back when I did I heard a really high proportion of the houses in University Park and Highland Park where rentals so people's kids could go to those schools. Do you have any idea what the % is? One of my friends at the time claimed his family owned over 15 houses in that area and he said that many other families were in the same position and renting them. Just out of curiosity, when did these families by then? I imagine quite a while back?

What is your opinion on the development at 4608 Abbott that they've been trying to sell for years and years. It's hard to believe they don't drop the prices more.]
I actually know two different couples who bought 4608 Abbott. One couple are empty nesters with grown kids. They moved from the family home in UP. The other couple bought when they were in their 20's. Two income household and both had grown up in the Park Cities. They moved from another Park Cities condo they owned first.

I think the development has a few problems:
1. Too many units. Should have only built two rows (front facing Abbott and back facing the Katy Trail) and skipped the middle row.
2. Marketig should have been focused on empty nesters who want to stay in Park Cities, near family & friends. I think the 20-something marketing scared away people who would have been interested because no one wants to spend $1M and live next to SMU kids.

Conversely, there are plenty of financial and legal jobs in Dallas where a single our dual-income couple can very well afford to spend $1M on a townhome. However, those people are not looking in Highland Park because it's old, for families, seems pretentious, and is not in the middle of all the action. I know someone who paid nearly $1M last year for a townhome off of Knox/Travis area and did not even look at 4608 even though it's five blocks from where he bought and in the same price range. He's single and didn't want to tell girls he dates that he lives in HP.

I will say they have an incredible finish out and are a very nice product. I think they were worth $1M when they were complete 2 years ago. For that square footage of new construction in HPISD, definitely.

My sources say you can probably pick one up for just under $700k now.


As for rentals in the Park Cities, there are a fair amount for two main reasons:
1. About 5-10 families do own a considerable amount of real estate in the Park Cities and Dallas. These are old HP families whose grandparents settled Highland Park in the 1910s and for whom streets & creeks/ bridges/ parks are named. I suspect they began acquiring property as early as the 1910s up until the 1980s. This group of families probably owns around 50-75 properties among the lot. A lot, but not enough to statistically register, you know?
2. A lot of rental houses are for rent because the owner has moved to a nursing home and the family is holding on to the house to help off-set the $60-120k it takes to have a loved one or two in a nearby facility, like the Edgemere. They will wait until the parent/ grandparent passes to sell the family home. Basically every person I grew up with who had grandparents in the Park Cities have had rental property in the Park Cities for this singular reason.

Then there are another 50?? families that live in one home and own a duplex or two for rental/ retirement income, such as my family. Almost all the duplexes are located on 6-7 streets, so again, not statistically significant.

I guess I would say this for the amount of rental property in the Park Cities: if you are looking to rent and have the money, you will almost certainly find what you are looking for. If you are concerned about "too many" renters nearby, avoid the duplex streets (Normandy and University west of Preston, Granada, Asbury, area off Dickens by SMU, Fairway, Westway) and you may end up with 0-1 rental houses on your block. On the block I grew up on, there were 0 rental properties. There was one house (tiny little cottage) in the next block down and the same family lived there for at least 8 years (their daughter was in my class).
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,511,470 times
Reputation: 1977
Turtlecreek,

Thanks so much for your great post. I gotta say... I'm impressed with your posts...You really know that area very well. Yes, I hear the same things from my friends that live in Highland Park. They say probably the $700,000 range for those properties now.

Quite a hefty haircut on the value of them. I agree they look like the finish out is high end but too many empty units. Do you really think they will sell all of them? They have been empty for a while. I asked the realtor a while back if the builder would subsidize the cost of the monthly condo fees on the empty units and they said yes. I wonder how long that will last?

Thanks again on the information of all the rental properties. That's really interesting.
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:54 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,051 times
Reputation: 10
Ived lived in plano for 17 years. Schoolings is about the best your gonna get aside from private. Central and west plano are extremely safe (aside from drivers) but stray away from east unless you get the, in my case, monthly speeding or other BS ticket. I've never seen so many cops in one city let alone with them all pointing their radar guns at me. But theres a lot to like about this place, city is a grid making everything easy to get to also traffic light system is very smooth. Its always clean there's beautiful parks and walking trails. Although west plano isn't needed if your looking just for a nice place to raise a kid you can do that all over plano for 100k-4mil per year housing 50k-80k apt (which can be extremely nice in west). West is nicest but anywhere in plano is damn nice i love it here.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Plano
284 posts, read 1,054,626 times
Reputation: 257
I'm in Plano and from California. You can look at some of my past posts for opinions. I probably echo a lot of Californians in my opinions. It's safe, upper middle class, well organized, and heaven for big box or chain store shoppers. It doesn't have any of the charm, uniqueness, diversity, geography or interesting things to do that California has. I equate it a bit to a sensory deprivation tank. I think if I'd never lived in California (or other areas of the world - lived in London too) I'd find it perfectly safe, adequate and pleasant. I really miss the culture, interesting architecture and amazing variety of things to do in California, but that all comes at a high price.

One thing to think about since I'm part of the early retirement crowd myself is that now might not be the best time to buy a house in Texas while waiting for California prices to go down. It was for me because I sold near the height of the bubble in California and bought here which has kept my housing dollars at a pretty even rate. I think this is about the tipping point though - IF interest rates go up. Because that should be the big equalizer across the country. If housing prices drop because interest rates make them less affordable, that will happen to your Texas house too. Your future buyer (unless you find a cash buyer) won't be able to afford as much house. Add to that two interstate moves and transaction costs and I'm not sure you'll be ahead. If I were you I might stick closer, in Phoenix or Denver maybe, and rent for a couple years. That way you get the benefits of the drop in prices from shadow inventory AND the drop from interest rate increases.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:04 PM
 
1,476 posts, read 865,536 times
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I know it's an old thread but nevertheless great info.

TurtleCreek, are you a realtor?

I would like to talk with you about pricey Dallas neighborhoods
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Earth
794 posts, read 1,473,451 times
Reputation: 519
Turtle isn't a realtor but probably more knowledgeable about DFW real estate than at least 60% of realtors around. She is a real asset for CD.
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