What’s Most Important to a Discerning Buyer? It All Depends on Who You Ask

Ask a prospective homeowner what he or she prioritizes, and you’ll get a definitive response. Beyond neighborhood, school district, and community conveniences, today’s buyers know exactly what they want their space to look and feel like. They’ve done research, they ask questions, and, above all, they are intelligent. The real estate professionals at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates share some of the home qualities their clients are seeking. Sellers, this is your lucky day.

Kitchen Confidential

The busiest room in the home is the kitchen, and the majority of home owners say they want something both practical and pretty to accommodate meal time—and party time. “Today’s buyer, even if they have never so much as toasted a bagel before, desires a chef’s kitchen in their new home. There’s just something about the word ‘home’ that brings to mind visions of elaborate dinner parties and Thanksgiving dinners,” explains Heather Guild.

May we suggest the ideal place to entertain may just be the kitchen at 5410 Bonita Avenue? Here, you’ll find a six-burner gas range, a double oven,  a built-in refrigerator, top-of-the-line appliances, custom cabinetry with pull-out spice racks, an appliance cabinet, a well-designed pantry, and a large island that’s perfect for family and friends to gather around. “This kitchen is a dream for professional chefs and once-a-year chefs alike” Guild adds.


Double Duty

For homeowners with large families, or who enjoy frequent entertaining, two dishwashers are a priority. The University Park home at 4229 Purdue Avenue beautifully demonstrates this need for pragmatism. “A buyer recently told me that every high-end home that has at least 5,000 square feet should have two dishwashers, and I have to agree,” says Kathy Myers. “When entertaining, you have twice as many glasses and dishes to wash. Owners—and their caterers—like to put nice glassware and china in one dishwasher, and mixing and prep ware in the other. Two different uses, two different settings.”


Privacy, Please

Some homeowners—whether they are celebrities, athletes, politicians, community leaders, well-known business professionals, or quiet citizens—prioritize privacy.  Homes built within natural surroundings can provide the perfect hideaway, such as the six-bedroom estate at 16610 Preston Trail Drive. The home, which is located just off of Preston Road, sits behind a gate, hidden from view because of the expansive greenbelt behind the property. “At the high end—above $5 million—buyers tend to look for privacy first,” explains Stephen Collins. “They are sensitive to proximity to the street, neighbors, and major traffic arteries. A good word for what they want to be is ‘insulated.’”


You Are Here

Some homeowners prioritize the property’s address because everything else can be renovated, upgraded, or completely redone. As Stewart Lee explains, “The two most important things are location and quality, but location always wins out. That can never be changed.” The six-bedroom estate at 6810 Turtle Creek Boulevard might be considered the perfect location within Dallas. The home sits halfway between Central Expressway and the Dallas North Tollway, and in proximity to Downtown. It also represents a prime location within University Park: Curtis Park and Goar Park are both within walking distance.


Tree Time

For home buyers looking for oversized lots, greenbelts, and natural landscaping, Dallas is home to many hidden gems. You just need to know where to look. Patricia Massey explains, “I have a couple looking for the perfect home. Mature trees and lot size are their priorities.”

No doubt they will want to visit the home at 4130 Cochran Chapel Drive. The property occupies a creek lot comprised of 3.38 acres among the tree-lined streets of Bluffview. The home’s architectural style and abundant windows pay tribute to the natural surroundings and winding creek views.


A version of this story also appears on CultureMap Dallas.

North Texas Homebuilders Reportedly Enjoyed Best Quarter Since Recession

Cindy Bruner is offering 2813 Dyer Street for $
Cindy Bruner is offering 2813 Dyer Street for $1,699,000.

The recently completed third quarter was the best for Dallas-Fort Worth homebuilders since 2008, according to a report on DallasNews.com. Citing statistics provided by Residential Strategies Inc., real estate editor Steve Brown reports that new-home sales were up 17 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2013. But only 3,169 finished, vacant houses were available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at the end of September, representing a supply of less than two months. Our company has two of them that deserve a look: 2813 Dyer Street and 3518 Haynie Avenue, both of which are in University Park.

The Rhodes Group is offering 3518 Haynie Avenue for $2,585,000.
The Rhodes Group is offering 3518 Haynie Avenue for $2,585,000.

Bold Color Choices Can Make Your Property Stand Out From the Crowd

Experts in home renovation and interior design agree that one of the most effective ways to make a personal statement, bring in a pop of color, or create an ambiance is through paint and texture.  From natural tones to accent walls, here are four homes that use paint for colorful and dramatic flair.

Natural Look


The home at 5800 Armstrong Parkway demonstrates the use of natural hues in several rooms. Airy light blue in the bedroom creates a calming effect; pale teal in the children’s bedroom establishes a playful atmosphere; and the deeper pale green in the dining room creates cozy yet inviting ambience. This gorgeous Park Cities home features authentic French influences and high-end finishes throughout. The chef’s kitchen has soap-stone counters and a black granite island with top-brand appliances. The home also offers a formal library; master suite with his/her baths, walk-in closets, and coffee bar; and exercise room/study. Additional features include an elevator, motor court, art gallery, and exterior apartment.





Bring in the Blues


The Mid-Century Modern home at 10110 Daria Drive has a must-see kitchen. The blue-hued Geneva cabinets are accented by silver backsplash tiling and sleek hardware for a clean and inviting modern look. This home also features terrazzo and hardwood floors, master bath with dressing area, and kitchenette near the pool.

Go Green


The living room of the Greenway Parks home at 5560 Waneta Drive is a study in green. Three walls are painted in a lime hue, while the fourth wall is covered with kelly green patterned wallpaper. The room is pulled together with green side chairs and accents—and decorated by Michelle Nussbaumer, who is known for her beautiful interiors work. This four-bedroom home is located on a greenbelt and features an open floor plan, chef’s kitchen, game room, and office.


Another estate to use green is the Classic Mediterranean at 6810 Turtle Creek Boulevard. Here, you’ll find taffy green walls and matching furnishings (including a green chandelier!) in one of the six bedrooms. This home sits on 0.9 acres along Turtle Creek and features beautiful landscaping, wide plank wood floors, paneled study, wine cellar, and a master that opens onto a terrace.


How have you used paint as an accent throughout your home? Share your favorite colors in the space below.

This story first appeared on CultureMap Dallas.

Property Tax Rates Approved in Dallas, Highland Park, and University Park

This afternoon, the Dallas City Council approved maintaining its property tax rate at 79.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. That means the owner of a $1,000,000 home in Dallas will send the city $7,970 in taxes for fiscal 2015, which begins Oct. 1.

Today’s decision came on the heels of the Highland Park Town Council keeping that town’s tax rate at 22 cents per $100, while the University Park City Council actually lowered its tax rate from 27.432 cents to 26.979 cents. So that means owners of $1,000,000 homes in the Park Cities will pay $2,200 (HP) and $2,698 (UP) in municipal taxes.

Why is Dallas’ rate so much higher than those of the Park Cities? Well, as we all know, the houses in Highland Park and University Park are, on average, more valuable than those in Dallas. So the governments can afford a lower rate if the taxable values are so much higher. As these charts indicate, Highland Park and University Park typically have the county’s lowest municipal tax rates, while Cockrell Hill’s and Lancaster’s are among the highest.

But enough about tax rates. Let’s discuss those million-dollar houses. Here are three homes, one in each municipality, that are on the market for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000,000.



The four-bedroom home at 6215 Prestondell Drive is listed for exactly $1,000,000. It’s situated on two-thirds of an acre on a private cul-de-sac in North Dallas. The house boasts a massive master suite including an exercise room, plus three living areas, a study, and a chef’s kitchen.

Highland Park


The two-story house at 4529 Fairway Avenue can be a single-family home or divided into a duplex. Original stained-glass windows and period tile work maintain the charm of this great building offered for $999,000. The outdoor living spaces include large patios and separate arbor areas.

University Park


The charming Tudor cottage at 4316 Stanford Avenue is listed for $995,000. It includes walk-in closets in all three bedrooms, and the family room features a large window with great views of the lush backyard. Living in the Idlewild subdivision means you can walk to Highland Park High School.

(Note that each home is illustrated by a photo of outdoor seating. I figured potential buyers would want a pleasant place to sit as they calculated their tax bill.)

Few Spec Homes Can Match Oxbridge’s First Foray Into the Park Cities Market

Kimberlee and Taylor Gromatzky are marketing 4013 Southwestern Boulevard in University Park.
Kimberlee and Taylor Gromatzky are marketing 4013 Southwestern Boulevard in University Park. (Photos by Dan Piassick)

Most Realtors have seen their fair share of spec homes, but the house at 4013 Southwestern Boulevard stands out from the crowd. From the onyx countertops in the bathrooms and in the wet bar adjoining the study to the Visual Comfort light fixtures in polished chrome and nickel, Oxbridge Custom Homes spared no expense.

“Every agent who has been in here has said this is not the typical spec house,” said Dave Perry-Miller associate Kimberlee Gromatzky, who is marketing the property along with her daughter, Taylor Gromatzky. “They can tell that so much more money has been spent on the light fixtures and the finishes.”

Those exquisite touches are courtesy of Denise McGaha Interiors, including the soft-pewter hardwood floors and the marble tiling in the kitchen, which features a steamer on the island and phone-charging stations under the cabinets.

Denise McGaha Interiors designed the spec home that's been wowing Realtors.
Denise McGaha Interiors designed the spec home that’s been wowing Realtors.

The house has plenty of curb appeal, yet you’d never guess from the street just how expansive it is on the inside. Besides the five bedrooms and the aforementioned study, the 6,605-square-foot house includes three living rooms, a mud room, a craft/wrapping room, a game room, and an exercise room complete with a mirrored wall.

Oxbridge owner Aaron Ipour previously specialized in Collin County. The house at 4013 Southwestern is his first foray into the Dallas luxury market, with five other University Park properties to follow.

“He entered the Park Cities in a big way,” Kim said, “and this is his statement home.”

Oxbridge Custom Homes spared no expense for the firm's first project in the Park Cities.
Oxbridge Custom Homes spared no expense for the firm’s first project in the Park Cities.
All of the home's lights and fixtures are top of the line.
All of the home’s lights and fixtures are top of the line.
The exquisite details extend to all seven of the home's bathrooms.
The exquisite details extend to all seven of the home’s bathrooms.
The house was built for these modern times, with phone and tablet charging stations under the kitchen cabinets.
The house was built for these modern times, with phone and tablet charging stations under the kitchen cabinets.