Articles by

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is the condo and HOA columnist for, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned both silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in 2016. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

01/04/17 1:45pm
Exterior 1

Toll Brothers’ Latest Plan for 2728 Welborn

Before even entering last night’s Oak Lawn Committee meeting I knew it was gonna be spark-able.  See, I parked in back of the off-duty Dallas policewoman hired to keep the peace. We walked in together … my first armed escort (check that off the bucket list).

A typically packed agenda really revolved around a single issue … Toll Brothers’ plans for 2728 Welborn (yes, yes, two minutes were also spent on Reverchon Park’s baseball field turning 100). The site, south-ish and west-ish of Welborn and Congress, is just north of the Plaza high-rise condos.  The Toll Brothers project is slated for rental units.

About a year ago, this project, destined to be a high-rise, was knocked down by neighborhood pearl-clutching to a squatty, lump of a building. Well, destiny won.  A 21-story high-rise is now penned for the site that will include 271 units whose average size will be 938 square feet (63 larger than required).  It will contain a mix of one- and two-bedroom units with a smattering of penthouses and nine street-level townhomes.  Nearly a third will be two-bedroom units.  So far, there are four penthouses, but that may increase as the interior floor plates are fleshed out and if the market tells them the larger units would be leasable.


01/03/17 9:56am

Goodbye 2016 v2

[Editor’s note: The following column is the opinion of Jon Anderson and not the editorial opinion of]

Many heralded the end of 2016 with grinding glee. There seemed to be way more bad news on the local, federal, international and celebrity death stages than felt typical.  I wouldn’t try to wade into the national political scene, but Texas had more than enough of its own blistering recklessness littering our real estate domain this past year.


12/26/16 11:04pm

Sand Castle White House 1

For each year of his presidency, President Obama spent the holidays on the same stretch of Kailua beach, near the Marine base at Kaneohe.  Rumors continue to swirl on which home exactly the president is in.  Partly for security reasons and partly because several of the homes in the area have changed hands during his presidency.  At any rate, this year, as has been tradition, several friends drive over to the long expanse of beach for a Christmas morning walk.  The 3.5 mile round trip’s turn around has been the Secret Service tent at the far end of Kailua beach to keep looky loos away.

This year, in addition to the tent, was this White House replica in sand with a message from the people of Hawaii to the outgoing President.


12/22/16 10:02am


Today, when locals hear “Kahuku” they often think of Kahuku sweet corn or shrimp from this agriculture-heavy area. But for over a century, one stretch of Kahuku was smack in the middle of history.  Now, over 28 acres of beachfront land and historic … proper historic … buildings are up for sale for $18 million by Julia Napua Fetzer of Hawaii Life Real Estate. It is by far the most fascinating piece of property on the market in Hawaii.

After researching the history of the place, friends and I dropped the top on the car and headed up north to see it in person.  What a treat to share with you …

It all began in 1899, when a group of investors at the behest of the Hawaiian King (Texas ain’t the only state that was a country!) brought Marconi wireless telegraph stations to Hawaii and formed the Inter-Island Telegraph Company. At the time it was UK-based Marconi’s first major order.  They’d read of the Marconi demonstration sending wireless Morse code signals across the English Channel. The purpose was to provide real-time communications between the Hawaiian Islands.

Surf over to for more of this captivating story.

12/20/16 3:38pm
5218 Denton Drive

5218 Denton Drive

Looking around the secret pocket of northern Oak Lawn called Maple Springs that’s bordered by Maple, Cedar Springs, Inwood, and Maple Springs Blvd., and I see two homes listed for just over/under the 6-month mark. In our hot market?  What up with that?

Both are freshly renovated and so move-in ready. Both are the coveted three-bedroom, two-bathroom configuration sailing in around 1,700 square feet.  Both are between $400-450,000.  Both are listed with the same agent (a coincidence I didn’t notice until I was half done writing this).

Let’s look …


12/16/16 12:30pm
Where Flushable Wipes Wind Up. Source: NYC Environmental Protection

Where Flushable Wipes Wind Up. Source: NYC Environmental Protection

Remember when the world was young and all you needed to do your business was a porcelain throne and a handy roll of paper of varying softness and quilty-ness?  Now we have $10,000+ toilets that treat our posterior as though every BM is a spa treatment.  For those who want to pay for their $10,000 toilet in installments, there are flushable wipes … the Swiffer Sweeper of the derrière that is costing cities and private homeowners millions a year in damage resulting from clogs.  (Swiffer being another completely unnecessary product that proved people can be bamboozled by advertising.)

Both Swiffer and the disposable wipe were born out of marketers’ minds to increase sales of paper based products and used modern society’s germaphobia to do it.  Take note: According to the Centers for Disease Control, “soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes” and yet we’ve gone hand sanitizer crazy.  Why?  Because soap is cheap and it costs more to place hand sanitizers every five feet … and we fell for it.

Swiffer replaced the very serviceable, very reusable mop with images of filthy mops in dank closets waiting to ignite the plague … and we fell for it.  Flushable wipes on the other hand don’t seek to replace toilet paper … the makers are in the paper business … they want you to use both! Literally paper-wipe-paper your bum each time.  Triple play for the maker. And we’ve fallen for it to the tune of $6 billion according to a 2014 New York Post article.


12/14/16 9:01pm
Alpha Testing in Front of Diplomat with Athena in Background

Alpha Testing in Front of Diplomat with Athena in Background

It was just over a month ago that surveyors were spotted measuring the Diplomat condominiums in Pink Wall turf.  Today we see an Alpha Testing drilling rig seemingly gathering core samples to test for new foundations.

The Diplomat continues to be mum about what’s going on.


12/14/16 3:57pm

Preston Tower - Small

About a week ago I wrote about a lawsuit filed by an owner at Preston Tower against the HOA and Intercity Investments (ICI).  The case came about after a catastrophic flood in the building resulting from a blown water booster pump on the penthouse level that sent water cascading throughout the building.

It was decided by the HOA and their management company that the costs to repair damages to individual units was to be passed on to individual’s homeowner’s policies instead of making a large claim against the building’s blanket insurance policy.  Court documents show an email from the building’s insurance company to the HOA board and Intercity Investments suggesting the move to avoid paying the building’s $25,000 deductible.

See this partial email from Rod Medlin of Scarbrough-Medlin Insurance: