Spring is in the air!
March 22, 2014

Spring is in the air!

RE Insider by BlueLeaf Realty

Fort Worth Stock Show In the Know
January 19, 2014

For Stock Show Parademany, the Fort Worth Stock Show is a annual tradition.  It symbolizes Fort Worth’s heritage of cattle and cowboy culture.  Like year’s past, the Stock Show got underway with a colorful parade down Main Street, and the weather was perfect.  Here are some interesting facts about the Stock Show:

1896 — first Stock Show was held on the banks of Marine Creek

1907 — fairgoers were charged admission for the first time; it was 25 cents

1909 — parade featured 40 Comanche and Kiowa braves led by Chief Quanah Parker

1911 — Theodore Roosevelt was guest of honor

1943 — no Stock Show due to WWII

1944 — Stock Show moved to Will Rogers Memorial Center

1947 — Amon G. Carter, Sr. becomes 1st Chairman of the Board

1958 — Ft Worth Rodeo became 1st to receive complete live national TV coverage

1959 — Connie Swinford’s Grand Champion steer sold to Amon Carter, Jr.

1987 — Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show becomes official name

1988 — Will Rogers Equestrian Center opens

2002 — record 951,000 visitors attend Stock Show

Feb 2, 2013 — single day attendance record of 157,800

Join in the fun this year as Fort Worth’s cowboy culture takes center stage and become a part of history as new records are set.  See you at the 2014 Stock Show!

The T’s New Park & Ride
October 31, 2013

Park & Ride NorthMany projects are in different stages of construction in the bustling and rapidly expanding area north of Loop 820 in Fort Worth.  One such project is a new Park & Ride location on I-35W, south of Golden Triangle. Slated to be a 200 car lot, this will provide a great option for those who want to go green and save on gas costs.  The T has chosen a great location for its newest Park & Ride lot and it is a much needed development.   This project will be a valuable option for those who want to cut out the drive into downtown Fort Worth.  Fewer cars on the road also means less traffic and less pollution, a win for the citizens of North Texas.  This will provide another great linkage between the north part of the city and the city’s urban core.  With the new plaza opening soon in Downtown Fort Worth, it should be a great asset for people looking for alternative modes of transportation.  Welcome to the area!

North Texas Continues to Grow
August 21, 2013

welcome TEXASThings are really taking  shape in Texas and nowhere is this more evident than in North Fort Worth’s Alliance Corridor.  Everywhere you look, you see new residential and commercial construction.  Looking around, a person would be apt to draw the conclusion that North Texas is growing very fast, and the statistics certianly back that up.  Texas was the fifth fastest growing state by rate of increase according to the 2010 Census and much of this growth has occurred in DFW.    By 2050, the DFW consolidated area could have as many as 17 million people.  Wow – that’s a long way from today’s roughly 6.5 million people!  It will be exciting to watch areas like North Fort Worth and surrounding suburbs as well as urban locales like Trinity Uptown as they continue to evolve in an effort to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population.  For Realtors and real estate brokerages like Blue Leaf Realty, North Texas is an exciting place to be.

BlueLeaf Marketing Hits the Road in North Tarrant
May 3, 2013

blr vwThe new BlueLeaf VW Beetle is on the road and turning heads in North Tarrant County.  Watch for the BlueLeaf VW cruising through your neighborhood, showing properties and visiting listings.

Thanks to Scott and his great team of designers and installers at wraps1.com for helping us create the perfect design.  We really appreciate the effort you made to get it right.   See you on the road everyone!

Is New Urbanism Catching On In Fort Worth?
October 4, 2012

Fort Worth has a rich cultural heritage and has done a good job of preserving that heritage. With one foot in the Old West and one in the 21st Century, Fort Worth is a unique candidate for New Urbanism and it should embrace the concept with open-arms. One attempt by Fort Worth to embrace New Urbanism is the Trinity Uptown project. Trinity Uptown is a large mixed-use development, north of downtown Ft. Worth, that will feature 3,000,000 SF of commercial space and approximately 10,000 residences. It will consist of a 33 acre lake with a boardwalk and 12 miles of flowing canals and public walkways. The lake, boardwalk and canals will comprise the heart and soul of Trinity Uptown and will ultimately connect the northern edge of downtown with the stockyards. There will be shopping, dining, and entertainment as well as office and residential. Over the next decade, it will become one of the most comprehensive examples of New Urbanism in the country.

Other attempts on the part of Fort Worth to embrace New Urbanism are Sundance Square and Near Southside.  Both Sundance and Near Southside promote walkable neighborhoods where a person might feasibly live, work, and play all within the same neighborhood.  This often requires that city leaders rethink and reshape zoning rules and regulations that tend to discourage New Urbanism.  Along this line of thinking, city leaders have introduced form-based development codes or guidelines.
But what is New Urbanism anyway?  According to Wikipedia:  New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes walkable neighborhoods that contain a range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually continued to reform many aspects of real estate developmenturban planning, and municipal land-use strategies.  New Urbanism is strongly influenced by urban design standards that were prominent until the rise of the automobile in the mid-20th century; it encompasses principles such as traditional neighborhood design (TND) and transit-oriented development (TOD). It is also closely related to regionalismenvironmentalism and the broader concept of smart growth. The movement also includes a more pedestrian-oriented variant known as New Pedestrianism, which has its origins in a 1929 planned community in Radburn, New Jersey.
ImageNew Urbanism is catching on in cities across the nation.  Cities such as Fort Worth should lead the way toward adopting New Urbanism design standards, as well as embrace ‘New Suburbanism’.  The suburbs need to adopt the same ideas put forward by New Urbanism.  It’s doubtful the suburbs are going anywhere in Texas so it is important to address the same issues in the suburbs that are being addressed in the urban core.  This may seem in contrast to New Urbanism’s philosophy, but connecting the suburban areas and urban areas via linkages like commuter rail is crucial to the long-term growth of a city like Fort Worth.  If it means making suburban neighborhoods more walkable with open space and retail nearby, then applying New Urbanism principles in the suburbs is a good thing.  Smart growth in both suburban and urban areas is extremely important if progress is to be made toward the goal of reducing pollution and congestion.  Just like in urban areas, suburban areas could be designed to be more dense with narrower streets and more green space.  A meaningful approach to development, whether it is new development, adaptive reuse, or redevelopment, is crucial to a city’s survival, especially one that is growing as fast as Fort Worth.  In the case of Trinity Uptown, it will be nice to see the Trinity River become a part of people’s lives in Fort Worth.

Going Back to School
August 28, 2012

As returning students, Liana and I did not really know what to expect when we signed up for graduate school at UTA in 2010.  Returning to school required some getting used to but we got back into the swing of it pretty fast.  Of course, we were older than most of our classmates and we had a business to run, but like many of them, we stayed up late on several occasions completing real estate projects and assignments.  Fortunately, we had each other to lean on.  We completed many projects together over the last two years and even wrote several real estate blogs.  Below is a complete list of the coursework that we completed to earn the MS in Real Estate at UTA:

REAE 5311 – Real Estate Analysis
REAE 5327 – Advanced Real Estate Market Analysis
REAE 5334 – Seminar in Real Estate Appraisal & ARGUS Software
REAE 5321 – Seminar in Real Estate Investment
REAE 5314 – Seminar in Real Estate Development
REAE 5319 – Seminar in Real Estate Finance
REAE 5317 – Real Estate Construction Management
REAE 5320 – Texas Real Estate Tour
REAE 5313 – GIS and Property Analysis
REAE 5318 – Sustainable Development
REAE 5315 – Real Estate Trends & Issues
REAE 5316 – Adaptive Reuse & Redevelopment

We learned a great deal about commercial real estate and would like to say thanks to professors, Dr. Forgey and Dr. Peterson, for helping us along the way.  For me, I must also say thanks to Liana.  She’s been a great study partner and has become a great spreadsheet creator, easily surpassing my expertise.  She’s not bad with a 10bii calculator either.  It’s been a lot of fun, we learned a lot, and we met some really nice people who I’m sure will prosper in the field of real estate.  Completing the program is a milestone and we are very glad to be done, but now comes the challenging part — putting what we learned into practice!

For help with commercial or residential real estate, please visit us online at BlueLeafRealty.com where the MISSION is to Deliver Remarkable Service.

Texas HOA Powers are Curtailed by 82nd Legislature
July 24, 2012

Are HOAs in Texas too powerful?  Many people think so, and apparently the 82nd Texas Legislature agrees.  As a Texas Realtor, I understand the value that HOAs bring to the table but too much power leads to abuses.

Fortunately, Texas has passed new laws that will keep the power of HOAs in check.  In Texas, a property owner’s association can no longer impose on a home owner’s right to:

Display the US or TX state flag (certain guidelines apply)

Install a solar energy device (certain guidelines apply)

Display religious items (certain guidelines apply)

Install shingles designed to be wind/hail resistant or energy-efficient (certain guidelines apply)

The 82nd TX Legislature also curtailed the power of the POA or HOA to foreclose by mandating judicial foreclosure except when the property owner waives the requirement in writing.  HOAs or POAs are an asset to a community but too much power corrupts.  As with any law or deed restriction, there are nuances.  Please check with your HOA and review the new laws for details on how these changes may affect your rights as a property owner.  Hopefully, these new laws will promote a more harmonious balance between POAs and the citizens that reside in affected subdivisions across Texas.  This is also a great victory for those who want to make their homes more sustainable and energy-efficient.  Good job 82nd Texas Legislature!

Rockin’ The River at Fort Worth’s Panther Island Pavilion
July 18, 2012

Panther Island Pavilion

What do good music and inner-tubes have in common?  On the Trinity River, it means fun for everyone.  For years, the Trinity River in Fort Worth has been an underutilized and often maligned natural resource, but positive change is underway.  For the 2nd year in a row, the Trinity River Vision Authority and its sponsors are brewing up a great time along the banks of the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion.  With four concert dates remaining this summer, it’s not too late to join in the fun by checking out a free concert and, if you like, going tubing on the Trinity.  Don’t forget your float and your sunscreen!

Eco-Friendly Flooring Options
June 26, 2012

Choosing the right flooring for your home has many dimensions.  Four important dimensions are quality, durability, cost, and aesthetics.  Adding a fifth dimension is becoming increasingly important – sustainability.  Sustainable flooring comes in many different varieties and styles.  Whether your decision to consider eco-friendly flooring is driven by environmental consciousness or allergies or some combination thereof, there are several sustainable options to consider:

For Carpet Fans:  Wool carpet is a good sustainable option.  Wool is stain resistant, recyclable, renewable, and resilient.  It is a great sustainable flooring option for those people who want carpet in their home.   It also absorbs and releases moisture and humidity, allowing it to help moderate temperatures, keeping your floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

For Hardwood Fans: For a more sustainable hardwood floor, consider a hardwood that carries the FSC stamp.  From a sustainability viewpoint, bamboo flooring is gaining in popularity because it is both beautiful and sustainable.  It is also very durable.  For more information about bamboo flooring, check out Teragren, a manufacturer of bamboo flooring.

For Alternative Fans: Consider alternatives such as Marmoleum or cork.  Cork is a great choice because of its durability and ease of maintainance.  Like hardwoods, it is derived from trees but it is harvested.  As a result, trees are not cut down and can regrow.  Marmoleum is a natural linoleum that is one of the greenest floors on the market.  It is highly durable, non-toxic, anti-microbial, and easy to maintain and comes in many designer colors and patterns.

As with any major home improvement, doing your homework is extremely important prior to making your final choice on which flooring to go with.  To make your floor ultra-green, it is also important to consider what materials will be used in the installation of your new floors!