LUXURY REAL ESTATE SECRETS FOR THE DALLAS JEWISH COMMUNITY
by Jeffrey Arron

There has been a lot of reporting around the rising interest rates and the effects they may have on the real estate market. The average 10 year Treasury note yield over the last 55 years is 6.23%. The current 10 year Treasury note yield is 3.14% – still historically very low.

“Although U.S. median listing prices show signs of slowing growth, luxury prices are moving in the opposite direction in many places,” says Realtor.com’s chief economist Danielle Hale.

This years’ record sales for homes over $1 million show the higher rates have not yet affected the market for higher end homes in North Texas. I am still seeing a lot of interest in buying investment properties, and I have very recently seen well-priced homes receive multiple offers within the first week of being listed.

The reports of the death of the luxury real estate market have been greatly exaggerated! Here’s the best news you may read today: Dallas had the largest year-over-year increase in sales of luxury homes among the nation’s top 10 metro markets.

According to a report in The Dallas Business Journal, luxury home sales priced at $1 million or above jumped nearly 30 percent during the third quarter of 2018, compared to the same period the previous year. A total of 304 luxury homes were sold in Q3 2018, up from 235 in Q3 2017.

The Dallas Morning News reported that while sales of pre-owned homes in our area were up barely one percent in 2018, sales of $1 million+ homes in North Texas were way up. So, here are some secrets to getting the best price on either side of a luxury home transaction in Dallas this year:

Sellers
Having the right list price and the best real estate agent are certainly two keys to the sale of a luxury home…but there’s more to it than that. Some inexperienced agents will suggest pricing your home per square foot. This is a sure-fire way to get a luxury home’s price wrong! Understanding what motivates a luxury home buyer is critically important. Try to create a psychological profile of the buyer you wish to attract. With a luxury home sale, you are not casting a wide net, you are trying to appeal to a very particular audience. Your ideal home buyer needs to be able to comfortably afford the home, and they have to understand the value of your specific property. To appeal to buyers, you have to understand what they want and you have to understand what exactly your home offers! What are you selling? The best answer is always this: lifestyle!

Beyond the magnificent architecture of your property, are you selling a home in close proximity to the Jewish community? Are there young Jewish families with children on your block? Are you near the J or within walking distance of any synagogues or parks? Is your home located in an award-winning school district like Richardson’s Brentfield Elementary or Plano West Senior High School? Jewish families often entertain during the holidays. Does your home have an especially large dining room? Is there a Butler’s Pantry? (That might be ideal for storing Passover dishes!) These are just a few examples of features that would appeal to Jewish buyers of luxury homes. There could be many more that apply to your specific home. Don’t neglect to point these features out to prospective buyers if you know they are Jewish.

Buyers
Because kitchens, bathrooms, and closets are so much a matter of taste, it’s often better to buy a home that hasn’t been recently updated. A savvy realtor can help you negotiate the price down and you will be much happier with your dream kitchen than anything you might inherit. Custom closet design is an especially luxurious feature so don’t despair if the homes you see lack decent closets…use that to your advantage in the negotiation.

If a house is well located and has good bones but lacks a swimming pool, you’re likely better off for a few reasons. First, you may not want a pool and, if you buy a home with a pool you will rarely use, you’ll encounter added expense on both the purchase and maintenance of your new home, not to mention higher property tax and insurance rates! If you want a pool, you’re still better off finding a home without one because you will pay a premium for this feature and may find you have a poorly constructed pool that requires expensive repair. Bottom line: it’s likely better to buy a home without a pool. If you wish to add one, you’ll get precisely the design you want, you’ll have quality control over the construction process, and with a new pool you may benefit from more energy efficient technologies.

The reality of Dallas realty is that the prime neighborhoods (the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, North Dallas, Far North Dallas, and West Plano) are of primary interest to Jewish buyers in search of luxury homes. Whether you are buying or selling, there has never been a better time or a more successful market for luxury real estate in North Texas.

Jeffrey Arron is a luxury home expert with the Lillie Young Real Estate Group at Allie Beth Allman & Associates, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. He can be reached via email at jeffrey.arron@alliebeth.com or by calling (917) 868-1687.