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April 02, 2008


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Triple Wildcat

I just find it hard to believe there will never be another new, traditional single-family home built in Lake Highlands when homes here are so sought-after. I understand now that land costs make it hard to maximize profit on new single-family homes, but aren't they building new homes along White Rock Trail, near Flag Pole Hill? Is the land there cheaper than the rest of Lake Highlands?

Bill Kennedy

Triple Wildcat: There have been about 18 new homes built along the White Rock Trail/Forest/Deer/Nimrod/Eagle area in the past 2.5 years. There are another 7 being built right now (2 on Deer, 1 on Goforth Circle w/ one ready to tear down, 3 on Bargiames). There's an empty lot for sale on Deer, too. Most were by Elizabeth Newman, a smaller amount by Barnett West, and some scattered others. Thing is, they were all priced from 450K to 625k. The last one sold, at the Eagle/WRT corner, went for 605k last fall! On a 45x150 lot!!

I am sure the lots around the area are not any cheaper than elsewhere in LH. In fact, they may be a bit more, because they are walking distance to the park and White Rock Elementary. I don't think the builders are having any issues at all maximizing profit on those prices. With the lots tax appraised around 70-80k, they are likely selling for around 100-125k (I'm guessing). The way they threw those houses together so quickly, there's lots of room for "net income" in my opinion.

But, it's a limited, single-family market they are catering to at those prices.

Triple Wildcat

Thanks for the great info, Bill.

Keri Mitchell

I immediately thought of White Rock Valley when Triple Wildcat asked the question. Bill first told me about that new home area last year, and now it's on my regular walking route.

It seems like Lake Highlands has caught up with Lakewood/East Dallas and Preston Hollow in terms of single-family homes — meaning that if you want to build a new single-family home in Lake Highlands, you'll have to tear one down to do it because the vacant lots are extremely few and far between.

I can't think offhand of any developable land in Lake Highlands for traditional, detached single-family housing. I think any new homes we see will be in the same vein as White Rock Valley — the lots will stay the same size and the homes will get bigger, or the lots will be purchased and subdivided into smaller lots with bigger homes.

Bill Kennedy

8041 Forest Trail is such a double lot and has been on the market about 6 months now. It started at 495k and now asking 475k. Property sold for lot value only. Current home is built on two lots. One lot is 50x171 and one is 49x161. So, there's an idea of what people are trying to get now for land. Seems high to me.
See: http://www.realtor.com/map/search/listingdetail.aspx?zp=75238&mnp=29&mxp=33&typ=7&sid=975c2cdf106144dabad176c2c3f7454c&lid=1089977725&lsn=2&srcnt=7#Detail

8006 Eagle is also a double lot -- 95x160. It used to have one old cottage facing WRT and sold last fall. Our mailman (they know everything) said it's going to be two lots facing Eagle. A MONSTROUS house is in early framing right now. Personally, I don't see how a second home would fit between that one and the WRT ditch, but I guess we'll see. They did not remove the tree sitting on that piece when they cleared it so maybe they are selling it together. It's being built by Castle Homes, who's owner lives just down the same street in a similar sized, year-old home.
See: http://www.dallascad.org/AcctDetailRes.aspx?ID=00000401383000000
(the DCAD map is incorrect for this land and the home next door to it. It shows this as 50 ft wide and the next one as 100 ft.)

As an example of what was built in the past 2.5 years and is being resold, the one on 8720 Fawn sold for less than 500k. They are now asking 589k on a 60X130 lot where 80% of the back yard is concrete and pool. It also has these (unsightly) blackout-glass windows all over the front. I'm guessing that may be why it has been sitting for sale for 6 months now, too.
See: http://www.realtor.com/map/search/listingdetail.aspx?zp=75238&mnp=29&mxp=33&typ=7&sid=975c2cdf106144dabad176c2c3f7454c&lid=1090978364&lsn=5&srcnt=7#Detail


The idea that any area should subsidize housing costs for someone making the median income in that area should raise flags. To me that should point to the fact the housing prices are too high in relation to income.

Which makes this even more ridiculous when you think of Dallas, which has some of the lowest housing costs of any major city.

Where can I sign up for my subsidy?

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