In this issue of D Home, we go beyond our customary tour of local palaces and cottages to investigate a concern we all share: the state of our local real estate market.
The news, as far as we have been able to discern, is that values are flat with a multitude of positive and negative caveats. We all know that it’s a good time to be a buyer and, for those outside prime neighborhoods, an anxious time to be a seller. We know that in Dallas-Fort Worth, we are fortunate to have housing values that have remained relatively stable. Our brethren on the West Coast, who saw double-digit appreciation in recent years, are experiencing devastation—$600,000 to $800,000 houses now selling for $350,000 to $400,000. By comparison, many local neighborhoods have fluctuated up or down by minute percentages. So nothing dramatic.
Real estate editor Mary Candace Evans offers a briefing on the local market, along with the back story on the local credit crunch. (It’s not all bleak: she says that with 650-plus credit scores, mortgage loans are available.) Get the full story on page 100. And if you have a nose for discovery, Evans presents six jewel-like Dallas neighborhoods where you can still find houses and land with wonderful cachet—and value. Despite the nasty news in the daily newspaper and national media, there are terrific finds to be had. And for the long-term, barring a catastrophe, our real estate market should remain stable.
Of course, for all the real estate coverage, we did not ignore our passion for beauty and style in this issue. Our obsession of the month: dishes. At a recent editorial meeting, when the topic turned to dishes, it became apparent that our editorial staff has a fervent affection for porcelain, pottery, bone china—basically any incarnation of a dish. After a round of dishoholic confessions, we asked writer Allison Hatfield to see if there might be a psychological explanation for the addiction. She gets to the bottom of it on page 90. (Of course, while Hatfield looked for a diagnosis, we ran around the city pulling our favorite dishes to photograph and ogle.)
When the economy, politics, and international pressures weigh on us, our homes take on new significance, and the simple pleasures become all the more precious. I hope reading this magazine is one of them. Enjoy this issue, and let me hear from you.
P.S. Blair Newport, of Newport Collection Antiques on Slocum Street, was a gentleman if ever there was one. We learned of his passing at press time, and mourn the loss. Our sentiments appear on page 50.