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The cold weather means we’re watching more TV under piles of blankets, and our flatscreen in the living room has three settings: MLB channel (husband), Nick Jr. (son), and HGTV (me). I had control of the remote last night, and on came Beachfront Bargain Hunt, a relatively new show following much the same premise as House Hunters.

The episode that had me hooked was where a family (presumably from the Houston area) wanted to find a Galveston vacation home where they could jaunt off to on weekends and still rent part of the time. They employed Realtor Cheryl Smith to find a beachfront home under $350,000. And guess what, folks? They found a great beachfront home for around $340,000!

I had no idea that such amazing deals could be found in Galveston, and not only that, but how gorgeous beachfront properties are. I definitely don’t remember the beach rentals from my childhood looking that great!

The best thing about the show, though, was that it took the chill right out of the weather. Just what I needed! And it’s making me want to shop for the perfect summer getaway, too, like, this great beachfront bungalow!

Where would you go searching for your beachfront bargain?

Falling apart house

I WISH I could call it “re-construction”, as I almost did, and I wish I could report that it was just me getting my boob job to start out 2013 on a higher level.

No, it’s better! We are in the process of expanding our site, making it bigger, better, easier to read, click, and. Already we have Facebook comments, and we will be posting a clone of this fun site on CandysDirt.com, making it a one-click stop to read about second and vacation homes. We are going to have more home design and upkeep info, and generally more resources for our beloved, rapidly-growing network of readers and subscribers.

Among the new features making their debut in the January re-launch of CandysDirt.com will be a sleek new homepage providing readers with access to all the real estate scoop and “House Porn” their heart desires, right at their fingertips. We will also have:

– A re-vamped listing of CandysDirt.com-approved builders, since we are so selective about who we approve. Each builder is vetted and personally approved by us before their name crosses our homepage. Note: we hope to do this eventually with second homew builders.

-A comprehensive listing of top-notch neighborhoods and what makes them go tick/tock.

-Access to news and posts covering relocation (Move Me), home décor and staging (Stage Me), as well as outdoor entertaining and landscaping trends (Green Me),

-Easier access to SecondShelters.com where readers can indulge themselves in fabulous second home fantasies and vacation properties. Course, you can always come here as you always have.

– Hip Pockets: in the tight world of Dallas real estate inventory, we are working to bring you listings before they even hit the market or MLS.

So please bear with us. I’ll try to vacuum up the dust as Amy and Kristen hammer and saw, and Jo is in the other room with a dust mop. Meantime, please let us know what you think, like or don’t like about the new site. Tell us what else you’d like to see (or have missed) in case we are missing something. Cheers!