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Home Price Increases Slow, But Continue to Set N. Texas Records

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Home price increases slowed in May, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released today.

It’s the second report this week to suggest a slowdown in the real estate market nationally. On July 28, the National Association of Realtors said the number of pending sales of existing homes slowed a bit in June, after three months of increases nationally.

According to Case-Shiller, home prices in each of the 20 cities it studies increased. But those increases were down by more than 1 percent on average. In Dallas, homes prices were up 1.3 percent in May over April, and up 8.6 percent year over year.

Agents with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, in expert interviews appearing in the Dallas Business Journal, have predicted a robust year for the North Texas real estate market, with a stabilizing of home prices. The Case-Shiller numbers appear to bear that out so far this year.

Case-Shiller notes that, even with a slowdown in home price increases, Dallas continues to set new peaks.

Click here to read the full report.

For more luxury homes, see briggsfreeman.com. Click here to see the latest in real estate news. CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with six offices in Dallas, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake

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Which White Wines for Summer? Sotheby’s Recommends … 

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Via Sotheby’s:

The season’s warmer temperatures call for refreshing wines to pair with lighter foods and al fresco get-togethers. That much you know, but which summertime wines are the best? Jamie Ritchie, CEO and President of Sotheby’s Wine Retail, offers advice on what to choose.

It is warm out. What do you recommend from your wine shop?

What we want to drink is dictated by many factors, not least the season. When it’s hot you don’t want anything thick, heavy or with one strong flavor. Look for bright, light wines with lower alcohol content and a refreshing acidity. 

Does “light” mean lacking depth?

People think white wine does not have the complexity of red, but the perfect summer wine is refreshing, engaging and also has character. There are very good whites, rosés and of course rosé champagne. 

What are the essential wines to have on hand in summertime?

At home you want a small but distinct range: a Sauvignon Blanc, like a classic Sancerre or a white Bordeaux; a Chardonnay from Burgundy or California; a Riesling from Germany or Alsace; a Chenin Blanc from the Loire; and an Italian white. And you always need champagne in the fridge.

Click here to read the full interview and to see Ritchie’s suggestions for summer whites to try.

CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with six offices in Dallas, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake

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Summer Reading Special: Tips for Pre-Teen Girls

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The library’s summer reading programs are wrapping up – but it doesn’t mean it’s time to stop reading! Here’s another great reading recommendation from a local librarian:

The adventure section of your local library is no longer just for boys. Librarians are seeing a shift in fans of the adventure genre, as pre-teen girls are lining up to read these “edge of your seat” tales. 

Wilma Tenderfoot

A few years ago, the number of books offering this type of reading was next to nothing. Now, powerful characters such as Hermione in Harry Potter or Wilma in the Wilma Tenderfoot series are new role models for girls. They solve mysteries, use their intelligence, and build relationships and friendships in the process. 

“Parents need to take advantage of these stories for their young girls because they are really encouraging,” says one local librarian. “It’s a wonderful change.”

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty understands the value of nurturing a love of reading early in life. Each year, we support reading programs for children and adults throughout the area. For more information, click here.

Historic Elegance – a Lovely Home in Kessler Park 

Situated across from Kessler Park, this three-bedroom home features beautiful views and wonderful spaces for entertaining. The home at 2142 Kessler Parkway is listed for $998,000. Photos / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

2142 Kessler Parkway, Kessler Park, 75208, Briggs Freeman Sotheby's luxury home for sale in Dallas Fort Worth-exterior

Oak Cliff has become the talk of the town. Beautiful new bridges have created a gateway for residents and businesses to explore and enjoy this incredible Dallas treasure just a stone’s throw from Downtown. A strong sense of community flourishes here, and local shops and restaurants bustle in the Bishop Arts District. Walking paths, a public golf course and tennis courts offer exceptional amenities. The home at 2142 Kessler Parkway sits on .633 acres of private and luscious landscaping in Kessler Park at the heart of this exciting area.
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How Much Is the Inventory Issue Affecting North Texas Home Sales?

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The number of pending sales of existing homes slowed a bit in June, after three months of increases nationally, according to a National Association of Realtors report released this morning.

In the North Texas market, the primary contributing factor could be the lack of homes for sale. The inventory of homes available in many neighborhoods has been low since the beginning of the year. Indeed, expert agents with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty report that homes priced well and in good condition continue to sell – but the number of homes on the market still is low.
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1744 Timbergrove Circle, Dallas, 75208, Kessler Park, Oak Cliff - Briggs Freeman Sotheby's luxury home for sale in Dallas Fort Worth - exterior

A Perfect Season to Buy Your First Home in Oak Cliff

The neo-Mediterranean style at 1744 Timbergrove Circle in Kessler Park highlights tall ceilings and large windows, with a quaint backyard patio. Photo / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

For first-time homebuyers, this summer is like winning a trifecta. Interest rates remain at historic lows, home values in many neighborhoods are rising, and there is a growing number of high-quality homes on the market. Now is a perfect time to look to own your first home. These listings can get you started.
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Robbie’s Real Estate Trends: Extending the Professional Olive Branch

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As seen in the Wall Street Journal’s Mansion section:

The word “competition” comes from the Latin root competere, which means “to meet, to come together.” An interesting twist, since today when we think of competition we’re more concerned with setting ourselves apart than coming together.

Recently I had the opportunity to “come together” with a person I had always considered a savvy competitor. After expanding into a new geographical area, I extended the proverbial olive branch and invited a business rival to lunch. I’m happy to say that awkwardness quickly dissolved into what became a delightful conversation.
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Expert Advice: How Do You Show Dallas to People Moving Here?

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With the continued strength of the North Texas economy and all of the announcements of corporate relocations to the region, all eyes are on Dallas. And that means we have many opportunities to introduce newcomers everything we have to offer – from great neighborhoods to shopping, dining and entertainment to expansive ranches and land.

We talked to some expert agents at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty how they show Dallas and greater Texas to people considering a move. Here’s what they had to say:
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Summer Reading Special: Now Read This – Clementine

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Finding the right book for children in the upper elementary school grades can be difficult. These kids like great characters and good storylines, but it’s not always easy to keep their attention. We have a local librarian who recommends the Clementine series:
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Summer Reading Special: Reading to Infants and Young Toddlers

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It’s never too early to start reading. The National Education Association offers the following tips to help you get started with your infant or young toddler:

Snuggle with your child with her favorite blanket or toys as you read.

Read with expression using different voices for different characters.

Emphasize rhythms and rhymes in stories. Give your toddler opportunities to repeat rhyming phrases.

Use pictures to build vocabulary by varying objects and their colors.

Use pictures to develop speaking vocabulary by talking about what is shown.

Encourage your child to repeat what you say or comment on it. Encourage your child to ask questions. Provide models of interesting questions and examples of possible answers. “I wonder what is going to happen next? I think the rabbit will get lost because he is not paying attention to where he is going. What do you think?”

Look for books that are about things that interest your toddler. For example, does your child like cars, insects, or animals?

Make reading a habit for bedtime, after lunch, or after naptime.

Give your child a chance to choose his own books. If your toddler chooses a book that is too long to hold his attention, read some and skip some, discussing the pictures and how they relate to the story.

Read stories again and again. Your toddler enjoys repetition and it helps him become familiar with the way stories are organized.

Doctors with the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasize that even the simplest acts like singing and talking to babies will help them build literacy skills. Promoting those skills is more than just reading book after book. It also includes pictures and movements – and all the senses. Babies learn by exploring every part of a book—from the way it looks and feels, to the text inside it.  

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty understands the value of nurturing a love of reading early in life. Each year, we support reading programs for children and adults throughout the area. For more information, click here.