05/30/16 11:18am

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A true retreat on an island, featuring more than 5,000 square feet of luxurious interiors and a dock complete with a party deck — this is just the lake house for celebrating those patriotic holidays, holding your family close, and appreciating all of the splendid summer activities Cedar Creek Lake has to offer.

Plus, it has a bit of a celeb history, Candy says.

Read more about this beautiful listing from Kevin Caskey at Dallas City Center Realtors on CandysDirt.com, and have a safe, memorable Memorial Day!

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05/19/16 9:05am
The Ranch stone gated entry.

The Ranch at Possum Kingdom

For better or worse, current boarding barn arrangements are often front-and-center on the list of concerns brought to me by virgin horse property buyers. Moving to horse property represents freedom — freedom to feed your horses whatever you’d like, turn them out whenever you’d like, provide as many shavings in their stalls as you want, feed any supplement you want … The list goes on.

Owning horse property is the ultimate freedom to care for your horse(s) at the level of care that you feel is correct. However, for many, the undesirable trade-off is the loss of the boarding barn luxuries they’ve become accustomed to: Being able to leave for vacation on a whim (or, let’s be real, go on vacation at all), not having to clean stalls, feed twice a day, or maintain the fences. Not to mention perks like access to indoor arenas and riding instructors.

Although many clients cite “barn drama” as one of the top reasons they want to buy their own property, I often hear “But I’m afraid I’ll be lonely,” and “I’d miss having people to ride with.” All of which is very valid.

This leaves a lot of potential buyers torn. They have the dream of the horse in the backyard, but it seems so out of reach. Buying horse property would be an enormous life change for them, but with rising boarding costs, often boarding multiple horses becomes impossible to continue. Solution? Equestrian Subdivisions.

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05/18/16 9:15am
With less water you'd swear you were in Las Vegas (in more ways than one)

With less water you’d swear you were in Las Vegas (in more ways than one)

Many who visit Italy are captivated by the history, architecture, geography, abundant seafood, and slower pace.  My trip to Venice left me wondering why anyone would want to live there. Don’t get me wrong — it was a great four days — but the constant hive of tourists that infest Venice would make living there annoying.

Venice is a World Heritage site, and rightly so. Without cars, it’s all walking, all the time, which I love.  It’s vastly beautiful with secret treasure views around every corner.  The further away from Saint Mark’s Square you get, the more non-English speaking real Italy you get.

However it’s a small island and tourists are everywhere, all armed with a bucket list of pictures to take. Even a seemingly uninhabited alleyway is soon interrupted.  Cruise ships disgorge their thousands, airports supply their daily throngs.  Gorgeous but far from peaceful.

How Touristy? I probably waited ten minutes to get a picture of a tourist-free bridge which lasted seconds.

How Touristy? I probably waited 10 minutes to get this picture of an empty bridge. An emptiness that lasted seconds.

It rained a bit during my stay, which brought out umbrellas at garrote-height, taking aim at my neck.  I’m also a quick walker and the tourist-shuffle speed was tiring.

Imagine living in Las Vegas or Six Flags … all the time.  That’s Venice (only completely beautiful).

However all is not lost.  There is the Lido.

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05/11/16 12:00pm
9,000 square foot whole floor at One Park Lane is yours for £62 million

9,000 square foot whole floor at One Park Lane is yours for £62 million

Previously, I wrote about a dip occurring in the London property market.  Now let’s explore how an American goes about buying property in the U.K.  The rules are the same for London, and your interests may lie in other (cheaper) parts of the kingdom.

Unlike property in Bermuda, foreigners are able to buy any property in the U.K. However, buyers seeking a mortgage from a local bank may be in for a shock as expats are sometimes asked for a 40 percent down payment.

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04/29/16 5:06pm
Mayfair two bedroom condo, 2,215 square foot unit listed at £5,600,000

Mayfair two-bedroom condo, 2,215-square-foot unit listed at £5,600,000

Being in London last week, I decided to sniff around for you.

The London housing market has been a story of ever-increasing growth for quite some time.  There are several reasons for this.  The sustained growth and enormous bonuses of the financial sector.  The growth of London as a technology hub. The ever-growing ex-pat community, especially from oil exporting countries, and more recently Asia.  And the overall “wealthing” of the local population.

However a few factors have been conspiring to give buyers a slight break.  In the first quarter of 2016 prices in tony areas of London have fallen. In luxurious Knightsbridge, home of Harrods, prices have fallen nearly 7 percent. South Kensington shed nearly 5 percent while other tony areas of the city including Hyde Park, Chelsea, Notting Hill and Belgravia (Upstairs Downstairs location) have all recorded varying drops.

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04/25/16 3:11pm
Michael Gooden

Rendering of the MC13 House by M Gooden Design

The craze for shipping container homes shows no signs of slowing down, as consumers seek out the eco-friendly, unusual abodes.

One Texas design firm is following up their acclaimed shipping container home in East Dallas with another industrial chic home near Waco, Texas.

M Gooden Design, a residential design studio based in Dallas, is in the design and documentation phase of the MC13 house near Waco. The home will be constructed from 13 locally sourced shipping containers, with around 3,500 square feet on two stories, says founder Michael Gooden.

“It will sit on the top of a hill in the middle of 300 acres, and the aesthetic is a blend of industrial feel with some Midcentury modern undertones in there,” he said. “The clients currently live in a 1950s Midcentury Modern house and we wanted as a design team to remember to that era.”

Gooden and associate Kevan Russell are creating an open concept house. This is possible when using shipping containers because of a secondary steel superstructure within the house that carries the weight and the distributed loads of the containers as they are stacked on top of each other.

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04/14/16 7:34am
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Decorating a second home can present some unique challenges, says Jason Lenox of Anteks.

Now that you have your sought-after weekend retreat on Cedar Creek Lake, what are you going to put in it? Bought a home away from home in Boot Ranch? What do you hang on the walls? Acquired a ski home in Aspen? What is your design inspiration?

Decorating a second home is a huge challenge, especially for those who want a place that feels comfortable and easy without all the fuss of shopping for just the right arm chair, carpet, dining set, linens …  Eeeeeesh. Seems overwhelming, right?

If that sounds familiar, you’ll want to read on to get some sage advice from veteran vacation home interior designer Jason Lenox. Not only does he own two successful home decor stores — Anteks Home in the Dallas Design District and Anteks Curated in the Plaza at Preston Center — but he designs warm, sophisticated, rustic interiors for vacation homes near and far.

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03/29/16 9:00am
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Open-space valued property for sale in Aubrey, TX — Arvin Hill Road

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately, so I took a minute to ask myself: “What question do I hear all the dang time, but never have an easy answer to?” Almost immediately, my little real estate shoulder angel whispered “Ag Exemption, dummy” in her little squeaky, know-it-all voice that I find oh-so-annoying. Admittedly, however, TinkerAgent had a point. I do get asked about ag exemptions a lot. At least once a week.

Disclaimer: I do not fancy myself an attorney or a CPA. I’m going to tell y’all exactly what I tell my clients: Call your attorney, county tax assessor, or your grandmother — whomever you trust for advice on your actual situation. I am going to give the elementary-level Cliff’s Notes version here, considering this is probably the No. 1 most common question I get asked. Also, if you’re one of those people who particularly enjoys small print and self-education, let me recommend this snoozefest, er, fascinating summary from the State Property Tax Board: Click here if you are having trouble sleeping.

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