Ebby Halliday Companies Turns Attention to Lake Life

Lake property within a couple hours of the city has always been a popular request of buyers, so news that Ebby Halliday Companies is making serious inroads in the lake home market is not a big surprise.

The company announced Tuesday that the company, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, acquired Johnson Monroe Realtors, who has been a staple of the Cedar Creek Lake residential real estate market for 38 years, going back to when Paschal Real Estate began prior to the Cedar Creek Lake reservoir in 1966.

But the purchase makes even more sense when you factor in a few statistics. For instance, the 2017 National Association of Realtors Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, which shows that the majority of vacation home buyers nowadays are getting the most use of homes that are within 200 miles or less of their home base

Similar surveys have show that vacation homebuyers really don’t want to travel more than two to four hours to get to their second home, making Cedar Creek and other nearby lake communities favorites of Dallasites, whether it be popular destinations like Long Cove, Beacon Hill, 505 Ranch Club, or The Bluffs, or other lakeside communities.

A recent article in Builder magazine also pointed to a reason why people are looking for a second place – a desire to socially distance, but not under the same roof all the time. There was a dip and decline right at the Spring when most of the country was locking down and sheltering at home, but as the pandemic goes on, more and more people – especially in the luxury second home market – are looking for an additional nest to shelter in.

“The revamped momentum highlights a shift in the attitude of high-end buyers who have made it through the initial anxiety and uncertainty of COVID, only to emerge with a live-in-the-present and act-now attitude on the other end,” said Builder. 

And with interest rates hovering around a low 3%, even those not in the market for a more luxury property are looking at a destination property to escape the boredom.

“Timing is everything, and the timing of this move meets current market needs and positions our combined companies to better serve current and future residents, as well as second-home buyers and sellers, in the Cedar Creek Lake area,” said Ebby Halliday Companies president and CEO Chris Kelly. “This acquisition brings together two like-minded companies with over 100 years of residential real estate experience.”

Malinda Howell, Vice President of Brokerage for the Ebby Halliday Companies, added, “Over our 75-year history, our company has been built on strategic moves and we believe the addition of the outstanding real estate professionals of Johnson Monroe will help ensure our leading market position for many years to come.” 

Natalie Thomas, sales leader of Ebby’s Cedar Creek Lake office, will lead the newly combined teams. 

“We are thrilled to welcome our colleagues from Johnson Monroe and believe this move significantly strengthens our leading position in the Cedar Creek marketplace,” she said. “Their team has a proven record of integrity, service and client satisfaction. We like and respect their approach to the business of people and are very pleased that these highly respected agents will be joining our office.”

Travis Mathews, vice president of strategic growth for the Ebby Halliday Companies, led the efforts on the acquisition along with Tracy Nowell, the owner and broker for Johnson Monroe. “We are working hard to ensure clients and agents alike will enjoy a smooth transition,” said Mathews. 

“It was important for me to find a partner that fits our company culturally and shares the same values on how to service our clients,” said Nowell. “I truly believe that we found that partner in Ebby Halliday.”

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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