11/30/15 7:05pm

THE Kailua view of the Mokulua Islands

Surf over to SecondShelters.com for our month-long editorial luau focusing on the Hawai’ian island of Oahu. I’m on the ground and writing up a storm on the second home potential of the 50th state. We started our coverage exploring the cross-pollination between Berkshire Hathaway Hawai’i and Dallas’ Allie Beth Allman (recently acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services).

In the coming weeks I’ll showcase the most expensive real estate Oahu has to offer as well as some of the most reasonable. I’ve detailed the past 30-years of median prices for homes and condos so you can see the appreciation and pitfalls of owning a patch of paradise.

From new (and yet to be built) condos to decades-old homes in established communities. I’ll be here to cover it all and give you the low-down.

By the end of the month, you’ll be wanting to get lei’d like never before!

Remember: Do you have a secondshelters.com location you’d like to see featured?  I travel quite a bit and enjoy poking around real estate.  Realtors, have clients who’d like to document their second home journey?  Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)! sharewithjon@candysdirt.com


11/30/15 6:18pm
Refrigerators reveal a lot!

Refrigerators reveal a lot! (Photo: Karen Eubank)

Putting your home on the market means a lot of people are going to tromp through your house looking at your stuff. Potential buyers will peek in your medicine cabinet, try to get a glimpse at the labels on your clothing and check out the invitations on your refrigerator. Your wall calendar and that pile of mail on the counter are enough to tell a complete stranger your life story.

Most folks that come to see your home are legitimate buyers on a mission, but let’s face it, they’re still nosey. It’s human nature. We’re all curious about who lives in a house. Then there’s the odd duck that may not be interested in buying your home, but may be excited to know, according to your prominently displayed wall calendar, that your home will be vacant for two weeks while you vacation in the Bahamas. Oh, and that you have a great concealed wall safe that has been pointed out at the open house as a selling feature.

If you’re putting a home on the market, get smart and stay safe with these security tips every seller should know.


Photo Courtesy "I Will Graduate."

Photo: “I Will Graduate”/Larry Young Photography

Strong schools make strong communities. It’s no real secret – and if you need a local example, just look at Highland Park ISD. I don’t think anyone can argue that having strong Dallas public schools is bad for their city. I mean, I’m sure someone will argue it, and probably in the comments. But much like good roads, well-maintained utilities and inviting parks, public schools fall under infrastructure.

And yeah, I know we all know what it feels like to hit a giant pothole and mentally calculate the time remaining on your suspension, or come home to find the water is turned off because a main broke in your neighborhood. Those things are thanks to deferred maintenance.

But the difference between potholes and water main breaks and public schools is that public schools can grow stronger in spite of their communities, or thanks to them. The latter makes the growth and improvement speedier, I would wager, though.


11/30/15 10:33am
4517 S. Versailles Ave., Highland Park, Texas

4517 S. Versailles Ave., Highland Park, Texas

I hope you relaxed as much as I did over the holidays. There really wasn’t much choice, was there? Our yard is so soaked with rainwater it probably won’t dry out until December of 2016. Even the dog doesn’t want to go out, and she has a turf yard for potty time. Shopping? I hit my computer on Black Friday. No way I was going to brave the crowds, traffic AND torrential rain. That’s why Al Gore invented the internet. (Guess I wasn’t the only one, retailers say Black Friday sales were off by more than a BILLION as people shopped more online than in stores:

Brick-and-mortar stores lost sales and traffic. Online stores gained traffic and sales. And the whole holiday hoopla associated with the long Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend now seems more appropriate for an earlier era.)

Neiman’s web site even crashed, there was so much traffic! I felt sorry for anyone who was on the road, I even felt sorry for the coyotes in our neighborhood: where did they find a dry place to sleep? Me, I could easily have slept right here…

Versailles 20 porch


Here is a little teaser to whet your appetite because we plan to get ourselves inside this beauty once the rain ends. That cherry laminate in the kitchen! A most architecturally significant home NOT in MLS, weighing in at 9,000 square feet on just under an acre. Owners commissioned Ford to build their vision in 1954, and it remains a piece of glorious art to this day. Offered at $7.5. Stay TUNED!

Armstrng 1

3756 Armstrong AveRain rain, go away, CandysDirt wants to PLAY!


Update: Tryptophan coma, I failed to include address: 3737 Northview Lane.

This northwest Dallas ranch in Underwood Estates has a lot of sizzling surprises once you walk inside. Kind of like my Thanksgiving turkey — nothing to dial home about on the outside, but delicious and tender on the inside!

This 1959-built babe has been opened up, lifted, stretched and pulled, then cooked to perfection with a lot of butter under the skin. The floorplan is broad and open and we really love those arched doorways from the main living area to the kitchen, which is loaded: granite counters, an oversized center island where you could stuff 10 turkeys, stainless steel appliances and a deep double kitchen sink. There is a large laundry room and a mud room with school pack cubbies. The yard is phenomenal — .37 of an acre, loaded with mature trees. You have oodles of room for a pool or a kid’s haven. Northaven Park is a short walk down the street. 3737 Northview old


11/27/15 12:00pm


What are the punch list essentials to take a house from long-term rental to a near immediate sale? Northern Realty Group agent Lisa Logan was presented with just this dilemma. Of course, it’s helpful if the listing is in Ryan Place, where demand remains insanely strong and inventory persistently low.


Here is another useful stroke – have a seasoned construction engineer in the family who has worked on some of the highest profile residential projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, like the most expensive house for sale in North Texas. (Hint: one of the two billionaire Andy Beal is said to be shopping.) Meet Project 2509 Willing Avenue, a 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath, 1919 Craftsman. The home just needed some interior refreshing.

“I can’t emphasize the importance of something as basic as a good paint job,” begins Lisa’s husband Shanon Logan. “Just removing the accumulated layers of years of bad paint work and starting fresh does a great deal to improve a first impression.” (more…)

11/27/15 9:00am
The Supernova’s Shape is Controlled via Gestures

The Supernova’s Shape is Controlled via Gestures

Without even knowing it, during my recent European tour, I left a drool trail from one Lasvit light to another. This Prague-based manufacturer carries on a long tradition of Czech glassmaking, supplying kings, czars and emperors. Lasvit, founded more recently by Leon Jakimič in 2007, focused on bespoke lighting and sculptural installations (highfalutin’ words for expensive and jaw-dropping).

Jakimič is a little different in utilizing in-house and external designers to create their statement pieces. None of the names likely mean anything to CandysDirt.com readers, but Nendo, Ross Lovegrove, Daniel Libeskind, Maarten Baas, Czech legends René Roubíček and Bořek Šípek are among their crew. Let’s just say these artists are well represented in the museums of Europe and the world. The company was also awarded the Harper’s Bazaar 2015 Best Lighting Brand just last month.

Specifically, Petra Krausova’s “Supernova” was awarded the first prize. This undulating design, lit from above and comprising hundreds of individual pieces of glass connected by wire to an intricate series of motors that glide the sculpture into unending forms. Wires raise, lower and tilt each glass “tile” using gesture control. It’s not hard to see why this took the prize. While the artist envisions this lighting sculpture for a large public space, I’m sure smaller versions could be commissioned for those blessed with the budget.