Experiences, Not Things
In recent years I have evolved to the position that experiences mean more to me than things. Now, make no mistake, I can still be thrilled by a special gift, and I still buy plenty of "things" for myself and others. In fact, there are days when "shallow Diana" shows up, and I totally believe that if I just could find the right shade of lip gloss, all else would magically fall into place. But more often than not, I find that what stays with me are not items, but moments and occasions. This year has been a challenge for "moments," as so many of the special ones seem to be in big group settings. I think of going to Oktoberfest in Munich last year with Chris and some of our friends. There were thousands of people all just enjoying themselves, drinking beer, and eating enormous pretzels. I think of the Eagles concert, one of our last activities before the world shut down in March--now that seems a lifetime ago. But what a night! That music means so much to me, and the evening was pure magic! This Holiday season, moments are going to be a little different from usual. I've noticed that people seem to be putting up more lights and decorations. Maybe that's in response to the fact that we can't really gather as we usually do--it's a way to be festive without adding risk. I'm already anticipating several nights of going out driving around with Chris to enjoy the lights and feel the Christmas spirit. And instead of holiday parties (which I dearly love) I'm going to be looking for my seasonal joy in some volunteer experiences (Meals on Wheels; N. Texas Food Bank) as well as in safe, outdoor occasions with smaller groups (a carriage ride arranged by my friend Jann! a Holiday coffee with my coffee gals!). I had better get to doing a little shopping, or else there won't be anything under the tree! But whatever treasures I give or receive, it's the moments, past and to come, that will mean the most.
Featured Neighborhood: Devonshire
Boy has Devonshire changed in the last 20-or-so years! Danny and I lived in Devonshire for a decade when he was in grade school. Oh how I wish I'd held onto our little Austin stone cottage--the home has tripled in value since that time! Devonshire is perennially popular due to its incredibly convenient location and charming homes. Of course "charm" somehow translates to "adorable but small"...and that no longer defines the homes of Devonshire. If you have driven through the neighborhood recently, you must have noticed that every other home is a new build, and they are making use of every inch of the property to build 5000sqft homes on standard 50 x 150 lots. But I do not mean to disparage these newer homes! In fact, people are building very architecturally-interesting properties in Devonshire these days. While the homes were once primarily stone and brick cottages, now you
will find contemporary Texas ranch-style homes and properties that make use of the rolling hills and creeks of the neighborhood to add interest and drama. But let me return to the location, which is the real highlight of this neighborhood. It is so rare in Dallas to be in a residential area that is truly walkable. Well, Devonshire is the real deal as far as walkable goes. First of all, it's a delightful neighborhood for running/walking because it is relatively quiet and some of the streets wind their way to unexpected, almost bucolic lanes (which really is a surprise, given that this neighborhood abuts the Toll Road). And it's walkable as well to all kinds of shops and restaurants, with Inwood Village a short stroll away (Eatzi's! Rise! and of course, my favorite, Starbucks!).
Devonshire is not the "entry-level neighborhood" it was many years ago. But it remains a popular, lovely area with much to recommend it. See below for links to properties for sale in Devonshire.
Real Estate Vocab: CMA CMA is the shorthand term for a "comparative market analysis." Generating reliable and accurate CMAs is among the most important work of a Realtor. It is important to ensure that the included properties really are in the same neighborhood (within 1/4 mile is the standard, and even then you have to make sure there aren't other factors that would influence desirability, like a major road or some such). Size of property and type of property also must be equivalent. One wouldn't compare a 3000 sqft townhome to a 1500 sqft single family home, for example. CMAs are important when looking at making an offer on a house and when prepping a home for sale. The CMA gives a solid ballpark number on pricing per square foot. It is not an exact science, and Chris and I often create competing CMAs to see how we each would value a property. Then we debate our findings, and I win. Ok, just kidding. But I cannot say enough how important CMA-work is in getting to the right number for a purchase or sale.
Stuff I Adore
--Advent calendars: I truly adore Advent calendars and always have. When I was about 8 years old, one of my mom's friends gave me a postcard-sized Advent calendar, and I still recall how delightful it was (and how tiny the pictures were). This year I bought what I'm calling "the mother of all Advent calendars" for me and Chris (see pic at the very top--I'm not kidding!). I am a very routine-driven person, so I guess part of what I like is opening the little window each morning to see what Christmas-themed image will appear. What can I say? A good Advent calendar helps me get in the Christmas spirit and keeps me focused on the real meaning of Christmas (as opposed to the running around all crazy and buying lots of stuff). --The Jogg'r Egg Nogg'r: Y'all this race is the one time a year I will allow myself to be labeled a "jogger" (because, make no mistake, I'm a runner). For years and years, the Jogg'r Egg Nogg'r was a much-anticipated 15k race put on by Thruston Racing that started at Norbuck Park and looped White Rock. The big treat at the end was egg nog, which you could spike with provided bourbon or rum (I go rum on that). It was lots of fun and a yearly tradition....until, with no explanation, they stopped offering it. That's when my pal Jer stepped in and created her own Egg Nogg'r, complete with race bibs, the whole deal. So we still meet at the same place, do our run, and then meet back for egg nog, treats, and even some drawings for prizes. No joke, I have won top prize almost every year. I'm lucky like that. Or Jer has rigged the number pull in my favor. Either way, the Jogg'r Egg Nogg'r helps kick off the holiday season, and I'm so thankful Jer has given it new life.
Active Devonshire Properties
Devonshire 3 Bed | 2 Bath
Devonshire 4 Bed | 5 Bath