Articles by

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is the condo and HOA columnist for CandysDirt.com, but also covers second home trends on SecondShelters.com. 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.

01/31/17 3:46pm
Area Downzoners Targeting

Area Downzoners Targeting

Last week, a group calling themselves “Stop the Downzone” sent out a packet of information that I was unknowingly part of.  It included a pair of articles I wrote … Teixeira Duarte’s move to build a by-right plan on their Dickason and Hood plots and the prior piece written about the downzoning campaign. I am not aligned with either side of this issue.

However …

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01/27/17 4:45pm
Source: Coalition for Community Housing Policy in the Public Interest

Source: Coalition for Community Housing Policy in the Public Interest

Hiring outside professionals to assess the systems and structure of a condominium is often scoffed at by HOAs because of the expense.  It’s as shortsighted as complaining about the cost of toothpaste. Condominiums are larger and definitely more complex than single-family homes. It’s negligent not to have plans in place that understand the current condition of the overall building coupled with a plan for regular maintenance that stretches out as far as the longest-lived components.

It’s also critical that reserve studies are performed by outsiders.  HOAs and management companies may either lack the expertise required or want to soft-pedal the truth to avoid uncomfortable conversations with residents.  We are generally “shoot the messenger” kind of people.

Another reason for using an outsider can be managing companies that also have their own staff contracted to perform repairs.  If they’re the ones doing the capital reserve studies, isn’t that a whopping conflict of interest? Didn’t Fair Park teach us that competitive bidding is best?

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01/25/17 2:10pm
355 Oak Hills - Lake 1

The Right (Tax) Side of Lake Texoma

Pied-à-terre is French for “foot on the ground” and is often described as a city apartment used by suburban or rural residents to get a cultural fix.  Who’s to say it can’t work in reverse?  Why can’t urban dwellers put a “foot on the ground” in a small town just a bit too far away to be commutable?

The point of a second shelter is to get away.  Sure, mostly we showcase homes that you want to get away to for some specific reason (usually cultural or geographic) but what about getting away to a different pace of life? Find out more on SecondShelters.com.

 

01/25/17 9:50am
GrandT- View 1

Master Bedroom View from Grand Treviso Penthouse

Hear ye, hear ye, as the saying goes, on Jan. 28, Elite Auctions will sell without reserve Unit 1522 at the Grand Treviso high-rise in Las Colinas.  The home, having completed a renovation in December 2016, has two bedrooms and two bathrooms spread across 3,169 square feet.  With only five units on this level, you’ll enjoy the privacy.

This home has a lot of wood — quarter-sawn maple to be exact. But not just any old maple — his maple comes from a single old-growth tree that grew in South Africa, perhaps making it as well-traveled as its new owner. It’s just one of many stories a lucky bidder can share at their housewarming.

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01/24/17 2:59pm

Edgemere on the Parkway 1

Just last month we reported on a lawsuit involving Preston Tower and now it’s been uncovered that another Pink Wall condominium is reeling from at least three lawsuits filed by recent buyers against their HOA, the prior owners, and managing agent Intercity Investments (also named in the Preston Tower suit and a third that was settled out of court also in Pink Wall turf).  Edgemere on the Parkway is located at the corner of Northwest Highway and Edgemere Road. It comprises two 10-unit buildings at 8505 and 8511 Edgemere that were built in 2004, making it 13 years old.

All three plaintiffs (Bartlett Family Trust, Lawrence and Brenda Weprin, and Syann Singleton) make essentially the same claims.  Each purchased their units in 2014-2015 and almost immediately began experiencing frequent ceiling and window leaks that stained walls and ceilings.  In addition, raw sewage was backing up into at least one of the second flood units.

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01/20/17 10:00am

Geoluxe Eramo 1

The Kitchen and Bath International Show 2017 that wrapped up in Orlando last week was a wonderland of ideas for builders, designers and renovators.  Last time I showed off some of the coolest accoutrements for the bathroom.  Now it’s time to see the trouble you can get into in the kitchen.

In King and I fashion, first up is the new Geoluxe countertop offering from the Siam Cement Company (yes, really, really from Thailand).  One of the things I don’t like about manufactured quartz counters is their fake look when compared to stone.  I think of quartz like Corian 2.0 (ouch!). Enter Geoluxe. Crafted with a new process the firm creates what they call Pyrolithic Stone that gives the true appearance of natural stone but with the added durability of a man-made product.  It’s their patented GeoMimicry process that creates the natural stone-like veining.

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01/18/17 10:30am

Denman - Exterior 1

Do you believe a vacation home is a refuge to literally get away from it all?  Perhaps the lush landscape of the Pacific Northwest calls to you, but Seattle has become too “Microsoft Millionaire” for you.  How about hopping across the Canadian border to one of the Gulf Islands between the mainland of British Columbia (containing the City of Vancouver) and the large Island of Vancouver?  Denman Island has just what the doctor ordered.

Fly over to SecondShelters.com for more …

01/17/17 2:51pm

Coastal Shower Doors 1

Last week, Orlando played host to thousands of design professionals as they gathered under one roof to check out all the new doodads in kitchens and bathrooms. Against last week’s backdrop of certain presidential revelations, a shower seemed a good place to begin …

Gridscape is a new collection of shower doors and panels from Coastal Shower Doors. Mimicking the au courant steel frame Crittall windows, Gridscape extends the 1940s industrial factory look into the home.  There are multiple options in glass … clear, frosted and smoke … and two metal finishes … brown-black and chrome (chrome is the classic-modern look many strive for).  Mullions are customizable as well.  Seen above are boxes, but there are horizontal-only in a variety of glass widths as well as large-scale geometrics with colored glass.  There are also exterior patterned screens to enhance the industrial look.  I would say the variety is endless … a little trite for me … but there are quite a lot of configurations.

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