LUXESELECT: Homes for $5 Million Plus

LuxeSelect is a monthly feature showcasing homes from Luxury Portfolio International® members around the world starting at $5 million USD. I thought you would find this interesting because, after all, who doesn’t love to look at BEAUTIFUL homes?!  Take a look by clicking on the website links provided…and I challenge you not to envy the lifestyles of the rich as you do!  I have to say that I especially like the one without the price even listed, it’s “Price Upon Request”. I think I’ve only seen that at a restaurant (and it scares me)! 😉



Houlihan Lawrence
Janine T./Doug M. — +1 203 246 7518
Darien, CT

Sweeping views of Noroton Bay & New York City’s skyline await at this stunning Nantucket Colonial set high on Darien’s exclusive Long Neck Point. Windows galore offer views of the Long Island Sound and 158′ of direct waterfront. Soaring ceilings brighten the kitchen & family room, with French doors to a spacious terrace for watching unforgettable sunsets. Master suite includes fireplace & private deck: the perfect place to start or end your day. WEB ID: MIWB



John T. Bracco — +39 348 748 4890
Porto Rotondo, Sardinia, Italy



Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales – The Hamptons
Martha P. Gundersen — +1 631 903 6131
East Hampton Village, NY



Alain Pinel Realtors
Sandhya Murthy — +1 510 304 2703
Los Gatos, CA



Harry Norman, REALTORS
Patty Webb — +1 404 414 7644
Atlanta, GA



Robert Paul Properties
Robert Kinlin — +1 508 648 2739
Osterville, Cape Cod, MA



Sibarth Real Estate
Christian Wattiau — +59 059 029 8891
St Jean, Saint Barthelemy



Stribling & Associates
Charlotte Van Doren — +1 212 585 4521
New York, NY



Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales – The Hamptons
Martha P. Gundersen — +1 631 903 6131
East Hampton Village, NY

Now if you are interested in something priced at this level in the Dallas area, I’m more than happy to help, or if you prefer a little more reasonably priced home, give me a call for that too, of course! 🙂


Did You Get Your Tax Assessed Value & Think It Was Crazy?

By Niki Fanara |April 18, 2018

New kitchen in modern luxury home

Homeowners are often surprised when they receive their annual statement from the local tax appraiser’s office. Often the assessed value of their home is very different than what they believe the property is worth.

Now’s a great time to take a look at the difference between two common real estate terms: “Assessed Value” and “Market Value.”

The Assessed Value is the dollar value assigned to a property by a public tax assessor for the purposes of measuring applicable taxes. The number is very often a point of contention with homeowners, who may believe it to be too high or too low. The Assessed Value does not offer a shortcut to a home’s Market Value.

The Market Value is the highest estimated price a property will bring in a reasonable amount of time if exposed for sale on the open market. Market Value is influenced by such factors as homes that recently sold in the area, the location of the property, the home’s amenities, and the condition of the property. Of course, Market Value is also influenced by the current economy.

Knowing the difference between Assessed Value and Market Value is great. But even better is knowing what your property is worth in today’s fast-paced North Texas housing market.

Want to know more? Get in touch with me today!

Heads up, the property tax protest deadline is earlier this year than in previous years. If you want to protest, you must get that in by May 15, 2018, or 30 days after a tax notice is delivered, whichever is later.  Wondering about your assessment?? I’m happy to run numbers for you, just holler!

4 Tax Deductions for Sellers

Selling costs: “You can deduct any costs associated with selling the home—including legal fees, escrow fees, advertising costs, and real estate agent commissions,” says Joshua Zimmelman, president of Westwood Tax and Consulting in Rockville Center, NY.

Home improvements and repairs: Some renovations done to make a home more marketable for resale may be eligible for a tax break. “If you needed to make home improvements in order to sell your home, you can deduct those expenses as selling costs as long as they were made within 90 days of the closing,” says Zimmelman.

Property taxes: You can deduct the amount you paid in property taxes for the time you owned the home. This has been capped at $10,000 in total deductions, starting in 2018, however.

Mortgage interest: You can deduct the interest on your mortgage for the amount of time you owned the home. Starting in 2018, new homeowners and sellers can deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt. Homeowners who had a mortgage prior to Dec. 15, 2017, can continue to deduct up to $1 million under the old law, Zimmelman says.

And don’t forget a tax exclusion still available to home sellers on capital gains. Capital gains are your profits from selling a home. Those profits are taxed as income, but you can exclude up to $250,000 of the capital gains from the sale if you’re single and up to $500,000 if filing as a married couple. To be eligible, you must have lived in your home at least two of the past five years.


Have more tax questions? Call your favorite accountant. Have real estate questions? Call your favorite realtor, meaning of course, yours truly! I’m ready to help in any way I can, just give me a call, shoot me a text, send a carrier pigeon, I’ll respond quickly to them all!

Source: “5 Sweet Tax Deductions When Selling a Home: Did You Take Them All?® (March 8, 2018), 


What Can You Do With Your Dog When You’re Selling Your House??


Photo by Unsplash

For all of you dog owners considering selling a home, there are two major goals. The first is to make sure the dog stays as stress-free as possible (there’s enough of that for you during the process, let alone your fur-baby).  The second is to make sure the presence of your dog doesn’t turn off potential buyers…I know that’s hard to imagine, but a dog can be a distraction during showings for sure!  Both can be achieved as long as we make a game plan before we put the house up for sale.  Here are some tips.

Don’t Advertise Your Dog’s Presence

Any potential buyer is going to know that you have a dog.  There may be dog toys in a small basket or a dog house in the backyard. This is fine – most people don’t mind little signs of a dog here and there.  But as ClosetBox notes (and the professional stager who I hire for my listings will help reinforce!) hiding signs of pets is an important part of properly staging your home for showings.  TIPS: For potential buyers, make sure food and water bowls, leashes, toys, and dog beds are stored in closets or baskets. For your dog,  make sure to put everything back when the showing is over, otherwise the dog may be confused or feel a bit displaced.

Do Clean a Little Deeper

As a pet owner, you get used to things like the smells of having a dog or hair on the couch or carpets. These things, while no biggie to you have the potential to really turn off potential buyers.  TIP: Look at the cleanliness of your house with a discerning eye, from the perspective of a buyer and see if you need to maybe increase your cleaning frequency or hire a professionals to clean while you’re trying to sell.  One thing that can really help (and I speak from personal experience on this!) is to invest in an automatic vaccuum – like a Roomba or a Neato – so that you’re not increasing your stress-level by having to constantly pick up hair off the floor. Lint rollers are great for removing dog hair from upholstery, and you can even invest in some Scotch-guarding if things get too bad. TIP: Have a friend (or someone who will tell you the truth, maybe your mother-in-law!) come over and do a “smell test”.  IF there are smells that you have grown accustomed to and haven’t been aware of, deodorize surfaces and fabrics in your home with a simple scent and spray, like Febreze. I don’t recommend using candles, strong air fresheners, or diffusers, because those actually can draw attention to odor in the home. I’ve been with buyers so many times when we walked into a home and there was an overwhelming scent of air “freshener” and it immediately had the buyer wondering what the sellers were trying to cover up!

Another TIP: Clean up the POO!!!! I cannot stress this enough. During the time period where you’re actively showing your house, you HAVE to remove the yard bombs. There is nothing worse than a potential buyer stepping in you-know-what.  So, do not forget about the yard.  House tours often include outdoor viewings – so make sure you’re out there with a pooper scoop daily and/or before showings.

Do Remove Your Dog for Showings

You may think it’s ok to leave your dog out in the backyard, or in a crate in the bedroom during home showings, and if this is your ONLY option, it’s ok, but it’s definitely not ideal for several reasons. Number one, dogs can make people feel nervous and uncomfortable. Let’s face it, not everyone loves your dog like you do, plus your dog may act very differently when strangers are walking around your home. A normally calm, docile dog may get his or her protective intincts going when strangers are there and you’re not.  Number two, it’s stressful to have your home invaded by strangers – especially when the dog has been crated for potentially several hours if there are a bunch of showings back-to-back.

So, the best thing to do with your dog during showings – for the dog, for the buyers, and for you – is to get them out of the house. There are plenty of options here. You could ask a friend or neighbor to dog sit. You could employ a local dog watching service. Or, if there’s just one showing, you can even wait for the buyers to come and then simply take your dog for a long walk.

In your normal life, you want your dog to be a part of everything you do – as you should. When selling a home, however, it’s best to go against this norm. In order to make your home more attractive to potential buyers and to preserve yours (and your dog’s!) health and sanity, employ these tips to make the home selling process easier, quicker, and better for everyone.

Want to talk more about the home selling process? You know I’m only a phone call, text, or email away so get in touch!

Article contributed to by Alex Robbins.


Comparative Market Analysis – WANT ONE?

If you are living in the D/FW area, do you want to know what your home is worth? Let me send you a Comparative Market Analysis aka CMA. It’s EASY and FREE!

What is a CMA?

The CMA is a side-by-side comparison of homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in the same neighborhood and price range. This information is further sorted by data fields such as single- family or condo, number of bedrooms, number of baths, postal codes, and many other factors. Its purpose is to show fair market value, based on what other buyers and sellers have determined through past sales, pending sales and homes recently put on the market.

How is the CMA created?

CMAs are generated by a computer program supplied by your real estate agent’s multiple listing service (MLS). The MLS is available to licensed members only, including brokers, salespeople, and appraisers, who pay dues to gain access to the service’s public and proprietary data, including tax roll information, sold transactions, and listings input by all cooperating MLS members.

Listing agents generate CMAs for their sellers, and buyer’s agents create them for their buyers so both sides know what current market conditions are for the homes they’re interested in comparing.


How accurate are CMAs?

The CMA is a here-and-now snapshot of the market, based on the most recent data available, but it can instantly be rendered obsolete by a new listing, or a change of status in a home with the same criteria. Why? The market is constantly changing – new listings, pending sales, closed sales, price reductions, and expired listings.

CMAs can vary widely, depending on the knowledge and skill of the person inputting the search parameters to the software as well as the number and type of data fields that are chosen. That means some features may not be included.

If you are interested in seeing a CMA on your home, just click HERE.

As informative as the CMA is, it should only be used as a tool and should not substitute for a real estate professional’s knowledge and advice – so, holler at me if you have further questions about your house value or want a more detailed analysis, I’m always here to help!

Homestead Exemption Time!

Homestead Exemptions & What You Need To Know!-3

If you were a Buyer in 2017, don’t forget to apply for your Homestead Exemption! Just click on the attachment below for a PDF…Republic Title created it and it has important websites, phone numbers and instructions on how to file those exemptions.

Tax Information-CLICK HERE!

You know that my goal is to always provide you with helpful home-related information, information that hopefully saves you time and money…I appreciate YOU so very much!

-Heather Kinder Sims



New Year, New (Home) Resolutions

The new year always serves as a catalyst for personal resolutions and goals: be healthy, save money, volunteer, get organized, etc. Essentially, the same objectives could be set for your home.

We’ve transformed Time magazine’s Top Ten Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions into the top list of what the resolute homeowner should accomplish in 2018 and beyond.

Don’t worry, you’ve got this!

1. Cut Your Energy Use = Lose Weight
2. Purify Indoor Air = Quit Smoking
3. Budget for Improvements = Get Out of Debt
4. Educate Yourself on Home Finances = Learn Something New
5. De-clutter = Get Organized
6. Support Your Community = Volunteer Your Time
7. Slash Your Water Use = Drink More Water
8. Share Home Improvement Projects = Spend More Time With the Family
9. Exercise Your DIY Skills = Get Fit
10. Use Maintenance-Free Materials = Be Less Stressed

Happy New Year! And please let me know if I can do anything in this New Year to help you make a move, get a home renovation going, organize your home, etc. I have a lot of resources and contacts for the “home” that I’m always happy to share!

Credited to Ebby Blog, written bay Alison Glander, January 1, 2018

-Heather Kinder Sims

The Ultimate Dallas Holiday Gift Guide 2017

NOVEMBER 24, 2017 9:39 AM

It should not surprise you that our city is home to some of the state’s most beautiful shops, talented creators, and innovative brands. You’ll find game-changing active wear, sought-after sweets, and non-toxic toys for tots. If you know where to look, you can get everyone on your Christmas list something that has roots right here in Dallas. Lucky for you, the geniuses over at D Magazine have gathered 66 gift-worthy options that embody the best of the city where we live. Give with some local pride this year!

Modern+Soul’s Nude Lizard Slide

The side hustle of two Park Cities moms, Modern+Soul sold 200 pairs of their affordable, Moroccan-made flats in just two months. The best part: they’re totally kid-proof. $150


Miron Crosby Margretta Boots

Two Texas sisters combined their fashionable backgrounds with a deep love of cowboy boots. The result is as stunning as the Highland Park Village shop that houses their classic wares. $2,750


Dorothy Shain for CITY Boots Silk Scarf

This collaboration between two SMU grads offers a subtle nod to the Texas landscape, and a chic accessory for every day. $150


Madison McKinley Ryan Bracelet

Inspired by ranch life in Wyoming, Madison McKinley’s eponymous brand mixes vintage elements with modern designs to create handcrafted pieces that stand out on a shelf. $65


Draper James Dallas Enamel Pin

Dallas may not be the original site of Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle boutique (of course it was going to be Nashville), but we’re please as punch that she chose Highland Park Village for Draper James’ sister store, creating plenty of Texas-centric gear along the way. $15


Mi Golondrina La Romantica Top

Inspired by her Mexican heritage, Cristina Lynch’s colorful, classic, and comfortable designs solve the perpetual problem of what to wear. $295


Milk + Sass Macaron Brush in Rose Petal

The French pastry-inspired hair tool made waves among innovators at the CosmoProf beauty event this summer, offering a mirror and detangling brush (which totally works, by the way) in one pretty little package. $12.99


Ora et Labora Labø Walking Lab Tote Squared

Crafted by emerging and independent designers in Italy, Argentina, and the U.S., Dallas-based Ora et Labora is a minimalist’s dream. $285



Thirteen.02 Women’s Watches

Sisters-in-law Asma Heerji and Rozmin Ladha consulted with vendors around the world to create the unicorn of women’s watches. Each is named after a Dallas destination (West Village, Lovers Lane, etc.) and offers a high-quality design at an affordable price. $71.96


High Point Supply Co.’s Abera Crossbody Tote in Black + Cognac

From clean water to anti-trafficking, every product from this Dallas company benefits a cause. This leather tote provides training and job opportunities to the women in Ethiopia and Mexico who handcraft it. $178


Akola Project Moonstone Necklace for Neiman Marcus

For a decade now, SMU grad Brittany Merrill’s nonprofit jewelry company has changed lives for the Ugandan and Dallas women it employs. $350


GAIA Empowered Women LaLa Roundie

Paula Minnis’ collection translates “goddess of earth” and features vintage materials or textiles handwoven by refugees rebuilding their lives in Dallas. $158



Camel and Black Sabah from Sabah House

Mickey Ashmore sells his modern take on Aladdin slippers out of a charming shop on a quiet Uptown street, offering old-world Turkish craftsmanship in a variety of colors for men and women. $195


Garrett Leight’s Limited Edition Don’t Mess the Texas Sun Frames

When SoCal designer Garrett Leight decided to expand to Texas, Dallas was the top destination. To celebrate his new light show of a store on Knox Street, he created these limited edition frames. $395


Lilco Letterpress ‘Never Touch a Man’s Hat’ Print

Lily Smith-Kirkley’s West Dallas design print studio’s charming and totally unpretentious products would be irrefutably cool even without their limited edition nature. $25



Mason Jar Label

Get that special someone this special tee! Our shirts are super soft, with a vintage look and feel. They’re like that favorite shirt you’ve had for years, it just feels so good. Get 10% off this or any design with coupon code: DMAG1 Price Variable

Jack Black Grab & Go Traveler Set

From the Dallas Cowboys’ locker room to practically every men’s department you’ve ever seen, this locally-based company has distinguished itself with luxe products that really work. $45


Mizzen+Main Bennett in Navy Glen Plaid

Founded by SMU grad Kevin Lavelle, Mizzen+Main’s moisture-wicking button downs have found fans in athletes such as J.J. Watt and Drew Brees. $125


Boulevard East Barrel Bag in Hunter Green

Almost all of Boulevard East’s leather goods are made in a small garage in the Knox-Henderson area, and proudly stamped with the phrase “Made in Dallas.” $650


Texas Standard Casual Friday Kit

Husband and wife duo Drew and Christine Bagot capture the essence of Texas with their collection of stylish, good ol’ boy staples. So of course you need a koozie from them. $114.50


BREDA Watch in Zapf

Since 2009, brother-sister founders Amir and Shabeena Meghani have been creating striking, minimalist watch designs out of Deep Ellum. The super affordable price tags just sweeten the deal. $80


ROKA Men’s Ultralight Run Pack Jacket

With a tech-savvy headquarters in the Design District — complete with 3D printers and a slew of machines that test how the clothing will fit — rapidly growing ROKA continues to disrupt the sports gear world for casual triathletes and Olympians alike. $175


Marciante and Company’s The Bowe in Black Suede

The Dallas leather company got their Kickstarter funded within hours this summer, offering designer-quality boots at an affordable price. $185


The War Buffalo by Warstick

Before Warstic, owned by the eclectic crew of founders Ben Jenkins, Detroit Tiger Ian Kinsler, and idiosyncratic rocker Jack White, opens its Deep Ellum headquarters in early 2018, score a hand-crafted custom bat that you’ll be able to use in building’s batting cage. $143


Lauren Williams Art Print “Modern Haze”

Lauren Williams couldn’t bring herself to hang another gallery wall, so she made modern, dip-dyed fiber art instead. After a massive social media response, she turned her Instagram success into her business. from $90


Rob Wilson’s ‘Karl’ Print

Remember when Chanel held that fashion show in Fair Park? Local artist Rob Wilson remembers, and commemorated the event with a cowboy Karl Lagerfeld in his signature bold, graphic design. $200


Texas Wildflowers Throw Pillow

This fall, Rifle Paper Co. teamed up with Dallas-based Loloi to create this limited edition throw pillow, donating 100 percent of the proceeds to hurricane relief efforts. $59


Bell’Invito Desk Calendar

Leave it to Heather Wiese-Alexander’s luxe stationery company to produce the swankiest desk calendar. $145


Kufri Life Natural Runner in Cusco Stripe

Every fabric found in Mili Suleman’s Dallas-based company is handloom-woven in India (her native home) by men and women working in village co-ops. $180


Gray Malin ‘Howdy’ Print

This whimsical piece by Dallas-born Malin received Reese Witherspoon’s stamp of approval when she chose it for her Highland Park Village boutique, Draper James. $199-$2,499


John Derian’s Texas Star Ferris Wheel Tray

New York-based designer John Derian collaborated with Todd Oldham’s Kid Made Modern on this Texas-inspired tray, found exclusively at Forty Five Ten. $50


Fountain pen from The Nasher Gift Shop

Newly reimagined bye retail veteran Donald Fowler, The Nasher’s museum shop is a wealth of gift ideas, but you can never go wrong with a good fountain pen. $65


Baccarat Butterfly from Neiman Marcus

Sure, nobody needs a Baccarat butterfly, but the tiny table topper (a perfect representation for Neiman Marcus) can add a little levity to any interior design. $140


Set & Co. Carving Set

Carried at Oak Cliff’s picture-perfect Set & Co., this British-made carving set is a cut above the rest. (Sorry.) $215



Pulp Design Studio’s Kismet Collection Gemini Coaster Set

This fall, the Dallas design studio’s Beth Dotolo and Carolina Gentry launched their first home goods collection, Kismet Lounge, including tea towels, coasters, and throws. $48


Akola Project Cuerno Horn Vase

Non-profit Akola Project partnered with Dallas-based Wisteria to launch their first collection of home goods last year, donating all proceeds to Akola Project’s mission to empower women. $49


Salt Shop Handmade’s Linen Holdall Pouch

The Etsy shop owned by mother/daughter duo Sally Eaves and Cary Ray is stocked with lovely linens and ceramic bowls that prove there’s beauty in simplicity. $24



Cheese Grotto from Set & Co.

For the friend that selflessly hosts all your wine and cheese nights, this handsome, handmade Grotto will seriously up their game, and extend the life of your beloved brie.  $375


The Citizenry’s Adia Planter

Handcrafted by artisans around the world, every piece from Dallas-based The Citizenry makes a thoughtful gift (and in this case, an excellent succulent holder). $185


Starling Project x Madison McKinley Collab

Dallas entrepreneurs Madison McKinley and Sterling McDavid joined forces on this collab, which helps provide solar energy to under-resourced communities.



Pulp Design Studio’s Kismet Collection’s Eye of Ra Reversible Throw Blanket

Another pick from Pulp’s new Kismet Lounge collection, this cotton throw is  adorned with the Egyptian Eye of Ra, a symbol of feminine power. $225



6 Feast-Worthy Dining Rooms for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner (yes, it’s still BEFORE Christmas, even if you wouldn’t know it by the store decor that’s already decked out with Christmas stuff!), and what better way to get in the spirit than to round up some of my favorite dining rooms on the market and share the fabulous pictures with you? No matter the size of your gathering, these dining rooms would serve as the perfect backdrop for spending time with family and friends.

9226 Hathaway Street | Dallas | $6,600,000

751 Amber Lane | Little Elm | $2,725,000
4430 Taos Road | Dallas – Bluffview Estates | $3,229,000
11805 Green Knoll | Dallas – Crestway Forest Estates | $1,595,000
5306 Glenwick Lane | Dallas | $1,395,000
5604 Fairfax Drive | Frisco | $975,000

To see more beautiful dining rooms currently on the market, visit or give me a shout if there are any you’d like to see in person, I’m always happy to show a home or two to you! I wish you a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

*Edited from Ebby Blog Fabulous Finds.

Buying a Home Can Be Stressful – Let Me Help

There are many things that can cause you stress when buying a home in today’s market. Some examples are saving enough money for the down payment, worrying about rising interest rates, concern about paying too much, anxious that the Sellers have the leverage….
A recent study by indicated that 72% of prospective buyers deal with this stress. Do you know what the top reasons are?

  1. Losing Earnest Money Deposit
  2. Becoming “House Poor”
  3. “Bidding Wars”

Recently, with the high home prices and low inventory, there was increased competition in our area. This causes many buyers to make quick decisions and that can lead to second-guessing…another stress.

What is the remedy for this problem?

Answer: You MUST choose a real estate agent that is professional and someone you can trust. Like me! While I recognize the serious nature of real estate, I also maintain that it can be fun! My goal is to listen, be responsive, and be an advocate for you so that the home buying or selling experience is a positive one that will allow me to become your realtor for life. If you are looking for a diligent, educated, organized, and dedicated real estate professional, then I am the answer.

Just let me know if you have any questions regarding the real estate market or you home in general.

-Heather Kinder Sims

(Article taken from the desk of Mary Frances Burleson, President & CEO of Ebby Halliday Companies)

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