Category Archives for Dallas Area Local News

Statler Hilton Hotel Building in Dallas to Be Redeveloped

One of the gems of downtown Dallas is expected to undergo a huge makeover, much to the delight of visitors and residents of the community.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Developer Mehrdad Moayedi is going forth in redeveloping the historic Statler Hilton Hotel building after committing to purchase the building in September. He told the news source that he is planning to finalize the purchase in March or April next year.

“It’s an iconic building,” Moayedi told the news source. “This property can be a hub for downtown.” He added that initial plans have a live music venue going in what was once the hotel’s ballroom.

The Statler Hilton Hotel building is 57 years old and one of the few remaining derelict buildings in the downtown area of Dallas, which has led to it being a point of emphasis among preservationists and city leaders alike who both want to see some good made of the space the hotel sits on and also see the historic building redeveloped for the betterment of the downtown area of Dallas as a whole.

In addition to the music venue, Moayedi also has plans to include a grocery store, movie theater, retail space, restaurants and more in the towering building.

With concrete results still a bit down the pike, Dallas residents and visitors can, in the meantime, look forward to the prospect of the Statler Hilton Hotel building once again being featured prominently in the region.

Dallas housing and commercial activity has gained momentum through much of 2013, thanks in part to a bustling local economy. There are plenty of beautiful Dallas homes for sale and financing opportunities available for those in need. If you’d like to learn more about your Dallas mortgage options, contact our team of professionals today to get started.


Dallas Residents Introduced to New App

Dallas residents have a new tool at their disposal: one that could also double as a method to help better improve the city.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the city has launched the 311 smartphone app, which allows individuals with a smartphone to report potholes, graffiti and other violations to the appropriate authorities.

This initiative has been underway for several years as Dallas city council members and residents have been pressuring City Hall to create a way for people to quickly and conveniently report these infractions without plugging up traditional 911 or police lines.

The news source reports that Mayor Mike Rawlings unveiled the new 311 app on Sept. 10 and warned the city staff to prepare themselves.

“The mayor is on the loose, and you’re going to be seeing everything I’m seeing,” he said, according to the news source.

The app is an extension of the city’s 311 line that fields similar complaints as well as those related to illegal dumping and other irritants that come with living in the city. The mayor cited as many as 400,000 311 complaints a year, and that number should spike with the availability of this new app.

The news source states that the city paid a $60,000 software fee and $10,000 annual maintenance fee for a third party to create the app, but if it leads to more of the residents’ issues getting resolved in a timelier manner, it should be money well spent.

Living in Dallas is a concept that is gaining steam with the city’s population, and home sales, shooting through the roof. Knowing that the city is listening to its residents and constantly coming up with solutions to appease their issues is comforting for not only those who currently live in the city but those who are thinking about it.

If you’re interested in learning more about Dallas mortgage opportunities, contact us today.


Childhood Friends Spawn Full-Service Food and Beverage Store to Downtown Dallas

For those who live and work in Downtown Dallas and were disappointed to see the closing of Urbanmarket, good news is coming in the form of a new multi-service food and beverage depot in Urbanmarket’s former location.  Located in the Interurban Building at 1500 Jackson St. in east downtown, three connected shops are opening that run the gamut from organic produce station to sushi bar to high-end purveyor of fine wines and spirits.

The one-stop shop location is the brainchild of three Dallas-area entrepreneurs and childhood friends now in their mid-20s, Josh McIntosh, Umair Humeed and Loc Tran.  The trio plans to start with Urban Orchard Market, the grocery store that will have a bevy of healthy and organic products for consumer to choose from, as well as a fro-yo station.

Soon after the market opens, Urban Vineyard will open, providing a great place for Dallas homeowners on their way back from work to pick up a nice bottle of wine for dinner, as well as an assortment of other fine libations that the owners say will separate the space from less refined packaged liquor stores.

The third installment in the 20,000 square-foot space will be Bar None Café, which will serve sushi, tacos and sandwiches, among the many offerings on its hot-and-cold menu.  Bar None will also have lounge areas to give it a relaxed, coffee shop vibe, providing customers with an area to eat during the busy lunch hours of downtown Dallas business life.

Says McIntosh about the operation, “We have a great strategy for serving the people who live and work downtown.  This is a place I personally would shop at and I’m really picky.  I’ve been known to drive an hour out of my way to shop at good places.”  Since driving is not the course of action that most downtown Dallas professionals use during their workday, a full-service food and drink stop like the one McIntosh, Humeed and Tran are offering could be just the ticket.

Dallas is a wonderful place to call home for so many reasons.  If you need help with the mortgage on your Dallas home, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We have years of experience in Dallas mortgage financing, and we’d love to be a resource for you.  Call today, 972-499-0454.

Dallas Area School District Ranks in Top Ten Best Places for Families to Live

The Dallas area has been long revered by residents and visitors.  And it’s looking like the rest of the country is starting to recognize how great this area is as well.  ZipRealty Inc., an online real estate platform, released a list of the top ten best places for families to live in the United States and Highland Park ISD, a Dallas area school district, ranked at number 7, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

This list was compiled using data that takes into account several aspects of different communities, but the two main aspects this list focused on were the rankings of the schools in the districts and affordability of the surrounding real estate.  The schools are scored by an academic measurement system that calculates the test scores in areas such as English, mathematics and science, as well as other factors such as the number of teachers assigned to the number of students, or teacher-student ratio.  The teacher-student ratio plays a big role in the scoring based on the belief that when a teacher has a smaller class size, they can focus more attention on each individual student and be more equipped to give them the attention they need.

Besides being a great school district, the Highland Park district in the Dallas area also has affordable surrounding real estate at a median price of $287 per square foot.  That may be a high figure when compared to the rest of the State of Texas and surrounding cities.  Comparatively, San Francisco real estate came in at a median price of $662 per square foot, according to online real estate media platform  The CEO of ZipRealty, Lanny Baker, said that the combination of an academically exceptional school and surrounding real estate that won’t break the bank are often the most important factors to families when choosing a new location for their family to move to.  Highland Park is by no means considered an area to find ‘affordable housing’, but for families looking to buy a home in one of the best school district in the country, the price of real estate in Highland Park may not be a factor.

Interested in learning more about the Highland Park or University Park areas?  Our team has been helping families make informed decisions to choose their best home loan in Highland Park for over 75 years combined.  Please don’t hesitate get in touch with us.  We look forward to helping you.

Top 3 New Restaurants in Dallas

Dallas, Texas is a diverse and multicultural city with many great places to grab a bite to eat.  Many of our favorite restaurants have been around for a while, but new ones are giving them a run for their money.  Listed below are some of the best new restaurants in Dallas.

1. Oak

Oak is Side Dish Magazine’s 2012 Dallas restaurant of the year, and for good reason.  Chef Jason Maddy is regarded as a culinary genius, as well as an innovator and trendsetter.  This sophisticated restaurant offers a menu that will satisfy your palate whether you’re a culinary adventurer or a modest diner.  Pastry Chef Sarah Green of Oak is also commended for her delectable creations.

2. Off-Site Kitchen

If you’re looking for delectable, straightforward food with a clever twist, Off-Site Kitchen is the place for you.  Off-Site kitchen is owned by Nick Badovinus, who has created a fresh menu full of classic dishes like brisket sandwiches, burgers and tacos—all with an innovative twist—that are famous with locals who have knowledge of this great spot.  Stop by and get your fix for a hearty meal; you won’t regret it.

3. Boulevardier

Boulevardier touts itself as a chef-driven bistro inspired by French cuisine, and for good reason.  Chef Nathan Tate is a master of French cuisine and is cranking out dishes that will make even the most aristocratic French connoisseur’s mouth water.  His French onion soup is revered by the locals as the best in town.  Also, Boulevardier has a commendable wine list sure to accommodate you with some great choices of what to wash down your dinner with.

New to the Dallas area and interested in buying a home?  We are currently helping buyers relocating to Highland Park, University Park, and Lakewood areas.  Please give us a call, as it would be our pleasure to discuss your unique mortgage needs to create a custom tailored mortgage solution for you.  Contact us today.

Texas Wins BIg at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge

The Ultimate Beverage Challenge took place recently, recognizing various libation classifications, from best whiskey to best Tennessee beverage. Officials of the contest announced winners for their annual competition with Highland Park’s own 25-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky earning a perfect score from the judging panels. A first for the competition, the unanimous 100-point score celebrated the Texas distiller’s unique whiskey flavor and was a favorite among industry experts and local sippers alike. E & J Gallo’s Brandy was chosen as the favorite in the inexpensive drink category, with locals boasting of its rich flavor available at an overall lower cost.

Judges for the annual beverage competition included all sorts of beverage specialists such as buyers, bar owners, authors and various other drink experts, according to In the bourbon category, the panel of experts chose a vanilla and honey flavored whiskey from Blanton’s Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon. For the favorite new Rye whiskey, the judging panel chose Knob Creek Rye. Additionally, George Dickel No. 12 was chosen as the favorite beverage in the Tennessee category.

Finally, for local area Texans looking to boast about their state’s beverage options, the grand honor of favorite American Whiskey went to local Texas distillery Balcones Distilling and their Balcones 1 Texas Single Malt. The honor brings the total number of awards given to the Texas-based distillery to 15. The Balcones 1 Texas Single Malt is a creation founded by Balcones Distilling’s head distiller, Chip Tate.

If you’re interested in loan programs in the Dallas area, please contact us. We’d be happy to  talk to you about our great mortgage options.

Mortgage Banker’s Association Expo Takes Place in Dallas

The National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) recently attended the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA) Servicing Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas. The NAMFS’s primary goal is to provide solutions for and educate those in the mortgage industry. The NAMFS had a chance to speak to attendees of their NAMFS Academy, a training and certification program, as well as ALLIANCE, the NAMFS Code Enforcement Solution.

With headquarters in Washington, D.C., the national MBA association represents the real estate finance industry. The MBA Servicing Conference serves to bring together real estate experts in order to advise attendees of the latest real estate news and trends. The association’s main purpose is to aid Americans in the goal of attaining affordable housing and expanding homeownership. In addition, the association works to promote and ensure the nation’s commercial real estate market is up to date on the latest developments.

The MBA’s membership includes over 2,200 companies in various arenas including mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. Several workshop sessions were offered to participants at the MBA’s Servicing Conference on topics such as Strategies for Effective Vendor Management, Property Preservation, Changing Servicer Operations, Post-foreclosure Options for Property Management and Post-Crisis Loan Servicing.

Experts in each field were on hand to advise on how to preserve neighborhoods, as well as protect home values. These expert panelists included government representatives, property preservation companies and servicers. The workers in this arena, as well as field service providers, all share the same vision of ensuring local, state and federal compliance in order to regulate housing issues. Many of the sessions focused primarily on strategies for resolving today’s housing and real estate matters.

If you are interested in learning about how to start the process of buying a house to start searching for homes in Dallas, please contact us.  We’d love to help you take first steps.

2013 Advisory Council Members for Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Announced

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas recently announced a newly appointed member to the Bank’s 2013 Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is pleased to welcome Cynthia Griffin, in addition to the reappointments of Michelle Whetten, Deborah Webster and Jane Provo.The Advisory Council serves to advise the Bank’s Board of Directors on a variety of issues including housing and economic development matters. Currently, the Council is composed of 13 representatives from state, community, and nonprofit organizations.Newly appointed member Cynthia Griffin has served the community for many years. Currently serving as the executive director of Habitat for Humanity/Metro Jackson, she has held this position since 2005. Griffin also serves as vice chair of the U.S. Advisory Council to the Habitat for Humanity International Board of Directors. As vice chair, Griffin has had a significant part in advising Habitat on the many challenging issues arising in the area of mortgage lending and homeownership.

Michelle Whetten currently serves as vice president and Gulf Coast market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., in New Orleans, Louisiana. Previously, Whetten was deputy director for Enterprise’s New York City office. Whetten is also the current president of the Louisiana Association of Affordable Housing Providers, and has provided grants and loans to a number of developers in Louisiana.

Deborah Webster is currently a lead consultant at Concept Consulting Group, LLC in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her role serves to aid housing organizations and agencies in the development of affordable housing projects. Webster has worked in the housing and community development arena for more than 20 years.

Jane Provo is executive director of the Denton Affordable Housing Corporation in Denton, Texas. During its 17 year existence, Provo has grown the corporation’s asset base significantly and continues to advise on many housing and community matters that arise.

If you are interested in learning about buying a home in the Dallas, Texas area, call us directly at 972-499-0454.

First Lady of Dallas Real Estate Turns 102

The first lady of Dallas real estate turned 102 on Saturday, March 9. Ebby Halliday celebrated her birthday with over 500 well wishers, including friends, family, sales associates and staff members of Ebby Halliday Cos. Proceeds were collected at the event and Halliday plans to donate about $6,000 to a South Dallas elementary school for which she was named after.

Dressed in a black cowgirl skirt and roper boots, Halliday, accompanied by her assistant Hilaria Harris, was upbeat and ready to celebrate her special day, Western style. The birthday girl took the time to take a picture with almost everyone in attendance and after 2 hours, had spoken to each guest individually. The celebration also included gifts in the forms of real horseshoes that were engraved with the following message: “Thank you for helping me celebrate my 102nd birthday.”

Halliday founded her real estate company in 1945 and has since grown the business swiftly and lucratively. She currently has about 30 offices. In addition to celebrating her momentous birthday, 2012 was also a good year for the Halliday company. Her 1,500 sales associates secured almost 16,000 property transactions and earned a sales volume of about $4.8 billion. Another birthday bash is planned at the annual meeting at the Halliday headquarters in Addison.

“She had the best time today,” says Betty Turner, her longtime close friend and business associate.

Though 102, Ebby still has a zest for life, attending Tony Orlando’s Christmas show after receiving a personal invitation last December. “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ’Round the Ole Oak Tree” is Ebby’s all-time favorite song.

If you are interested in learning about home loans or buying a house in Dallas, please contact us for more information about the amazingly low interest rates and wonderful Dallas real estate opportunities while you still can.

Heavy Redevelopment Efforts Underway in Regions Around Dallas

A recent report by Steve Brown on highlights some of the new property ventures unfolding in and around the Dallas region. Construction on corporate offices and warehousing is already picking up steam and the building of new apartment residences doesn’t look like it’s going to abate anytime soon; more than 20,000 units are currently being constructed in the Dallas  area. Even residential housing – why typically might be more cautious – has shown consistent growth in terms of supply, demand and pricing. The causes for such a positive outlook are economic improvements and escalating numbers of new residents.

Even the landscape of Dallas has changed. The removal of a three-blown stretch of foliage erased the divider between downtown and uptown. By connecting the brightest property sector from the older business district, Woodall Rodgers Freeway park provide an additional boost to the city’s renaissance. The project is a shining example of how private and public investment can come together to spur economic activity for years to come. And the planning of several new office complexes speaks to the continued arrival of business up-starts and relocation of proven corporate players.

In short, virtually every real estate indicator is on the rise in the Dallas region: increased construction, booming demand, job growth, infrastructure investment and public works and greatly decreased foreclosures. These are all signs that the regions near Dallas like Dallas should experience an “overflow” effect as the lifestyle-career boom continues in Texas. Which means that now is the perfect time to consider buying a home in Dallas or nearby cities like Plano and areas such as University and Highland Park.

We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the city and the mortgage market.  If you are thinking about buying a house or have been delaying your refinance, give us a call today at 972-499-0452.  We can help find the best home loan to suit your needs.