Happy Fourth of July to All Second and Vacation Home Lovers!

Happy Fourth of July, 2012. We live the American Dream of real estate here in Texas more than anywhere. Maybe it’s because we learned our lesson back in the 1980′s — R.I.P. Danny Faulkner. Not only did we learn, we RETAINED. When I was in Denver at the National Association of Real Estate Editors Conference last month, Mark Fleming, the dashing economist for CoreLogic, told me over drinks that what saved our butts this time around was our state set limits on HELOCs, or home improvement loans. In Texas, we are limited on what we can borrow against our homesteads. That is what kept many of us from over-borrowing, so when the market fell we were not left with underwater loans*. I walked into our bank yesterday, Comerica, which I LOVE — who else sends you a thank-you note when you pay off a loan? But more than three people asked if they could offer me a home-improvement loan in the course of one hour. You know me, I’d buy a second home in a heartbeat! Our laws in Texas saved us, said Mark, in spite of ourselves. 

And this doll at 9038 San Fernando Way is just what we need to serve up on Independence Day along with barbecue, Mom’s potato salad and peach pie with homemade ice cream. Don’t forget the chilled watermelon! A Little Forest Hills cottage on a 55 by 150 lot with perennial gardens, a double peaked roof, exposed rafter tails, and the most welcoming front porch ever! At one point in Dallas history, this area was full of second vacation homes for Dallas elite.  Built in 1940 on pier & beam and slab, the 1500ish square foot home has wood floors, a fireplace with built-ins, and a nice big farm house sink in the updated kitchen just like the one found in Sean Payton’s Vaquero house! Shaded patio outside the kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths plus study, a second living area with a closet offers an optional third bedroom for a bambino. French doors lead to the master bedroom and private bath. The second bath showcases a footed tub, pedestal sink, and bead board wainscoting. There is even a laundry room with storage, a large work table and lots of natural light. And I don’t have to tell you how close you are to the Arboretum and White Rock Lake, not to mention to downtown Dallas. Price? Thought you’d never ask: $214,000.

No better way to celebrate America’s birthday than buying a house!

P.S. Underwater means a loan where you owe more than the home is worth. I used this term with someone from Florida recently and they thought I meant a home that was flooded — no wonder they are having real estate problems there!