Editor's note: As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 biggest real estate stories in Dallas for 2020 — including top neighborhoods; market trends; and homes with ties to celebrities, history, and important architects.
1. Rare Cliff May home in East Dallas for sale with original fixtures. In August, a rare East Dallas midcentury modern home designed by famed architect Cliff May came on the market. Located at 2636 Materhorn Dr., it was a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home with 1,337 square feet. It had a prototypical Cliff May courtyard, attached garage workshop, and in what MCM purists will find enchanting, original fixtures such as Formica countertops in a "linen" weave pattern — all in tip-top condition. (It didn't take long for the home to sell.)
2. New residential development in McKinney comes with its own lagoon. If nothing says "home" to you like a lagoon, then put McKinney on your short list of places to live: Megatel Homes LLC, a Texas homebuilder, announced in mid-December it is developing a community of homes called the Venetian Lagoon, centered around what looks from high overhead like a very, very large pool.
3. Homes in Dallas' Lake Highlands hit jaw-dropping new benchmark. You can’t call it sticker shock if the seal has already been broken, so to see more and more homes in Dallas' Lake Highlands area listed for $1 million or more spoke to a growing trend toward high-end remodels and flips this year. In fact, a July story from our partners at Candy's Dirt noted that remodeled homes specifically within the White Rock Valley neighborhood and the highly sought-after White Rock Elementary attendance area were commanding prices upwards of $1 million on a frequent basis.
4. Rare Highland Park home still in vintage condition listed for $12.5M. A century-old historic home in Highland Park that's been magnificently preserved went on the market, as reported in January by Candy's Dirt. Located at 4712 Lakeside Dr., the Cary estate is a 7,643-square-foot home with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, two powder baths, a cabana, putting green, and tennis court, for sale for $12.5 million. (It sold later in the year.)
5. New '50s house for sale in East Dallas is untouched by flippers' hands. A sweet house in Dallas built in the '50s went on sale in late August, that was unsullied by flippers' hands. Located at 1830 Viewcrest Dr., it was a 3-bedroom 2-bathroom house with 1,379 square feet, built in 1956, and with many original features, including hardwood floors in the living spaces, and bathrooms with original vintage tile, all in pristine condition. (The home later sold.)
6. One Dallas suburb drifts onto Money's Best Places to Live 2020. According to Money magazine, if you want to live the good life in North Texas, you should head to Rockwall. The northeast Dallas suburb made it into the top five in Money's list of Best Places to Live in America 2020, noted Candy's Dirt. In rankings released September 22, Rockwall was No. 4.
7. Glenn Beck slashes price of his Dallas-area mansion to less than $5 million. Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck tried again in late 2019 to sell his mansion at Westlake’s exclusive Vaquero Club. Beck listed the nearly 9,000-square-foot property, at 2224 King Fisher Dr., for $4.95 million on December 13 — $1.25 million less than it was offered a year-and-a-half earlier. (At the end of 2020, it is no longer on the market.)
8. City of Dallas is being bamboozled by Preston Center developer. In the second of a two-part analysis in July, Candy's Dirt columnist Jon Anderson looked into a report concerning options for the Preston Center Garage. There was a lot to unpack, but it looked as though a developer was asking for nearly unbridled development rights and a huge city giveaway.
9. This trendy neighborhood has the most expensive rents in Dallas-Fort Worth. Summer is traditionally the time to move, so in early June, it was time to get a handle on where in Dallas-Fort Worth was (somewhat) affordable to rent an apartment and where wasn't. The Victory Park neighborhood (Uptown/Park Cities) topped a new list for the highest average rent ($2,189). Only one other neighborhood (Uptown Dallas) had average rent above $2,000 as of mid-May.
10. 2 Dallas neighbors climb to rooftop in ranking of best home markets. In August, Frisco earned another national accolade to crow about. In a ranking from personal finance website WalletHub, Frisco grabbed the No. 3 spot among the best cities to buy a house. WalletHub divided data into two buckets for its ranking: best real estate market, and best place for affordability and economic opportunity. Frisco snagged the No. 13 ranking in real estate, and the No. 1 ranking for affordability and economy.