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.

03/09/17 11:06am

Arc Small 1

Living in Paris is a dream for many people, but a dream financially unattainable.  It may also be that the vagaries of foreign property ownership and the added wrinkle of currency fluctuations are simply not for you.  I mean, while a property may appreciate, if the currency tumbles, appreciation can quickly turn to loss.  For example, in late 2008 the Euro was pushing $1.60. Today it’s nearer $1.05 … essentially erasing a third of its value in nine years.  As recently as the autumn of 2014, the Euro was hovering around $1.40, making for a precipitous loss is a short time … simply from currency. I can tell you that any Parisian market gains in no way offset the currency declines.

You want a second home, not a tax write-off.

Rent.

While I was in Paris last month, I had a perfect confluence of the stars.  CandysDirt.com friend and HGTV hostess Adrian Leeds was on hand to give a sampling of rental units. Also scoping out the market was Dave Perry-Miller agent Sharon Quist who was in town with a friend selling her Paris home.

Head over to SecondShelters.com for more.

03/08/17 2:05am

P Place Fire Reifniguts 1

At around 1 a.m. Wednesday night, after days without a wisp of smoke, the Preston Place condos building once again erupted into flames.

Fire trucks were on the scene quickly. Ultimately over a dozen vehicles surround the area including a partial closure of Northwest Highway.

Watching firefighters douse the blaze for over an hour, the flames appear silent again.

Fire crews will spend another long night monitoring the area.

According to a Preston Tower resident, fire personnel may not have been summoned as quickly as possible.  Calls to 911 were placed on hold because of  a recent (unsolved) problem between Dallas E-911 services and T-Mobile.

Several news outlets have reported that when T-Mobile customers call 911, T-Mobile places duplicate calls.  So not only is 911 clogged by inbound ghost calls, but agents are also required to call back ALL 911 hang-ups. This combination causes havoc with real emergencies trying to get service.

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016, my writing was recognized with Bronze and Silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com.

03/06/17 2:13pm

Preston Place Sunday 1

Over 100 residents were displaced Friday night, and the skeleton of Preston Place still smoldered on Sunday.  And yet, as the flames ignited their neighbors’ belongings, ultimately claiming the life of one, several commenters immediately leapt to the prospect of redevelopment on the lot. “Too soon,” leapt to my mind as I read those comments.  Let’s set some things straight …

  1. Preston Place will not become parkland.
  2. It’s unlikely that the parcel will be rebuilt exactly as it was.

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03/06/17 9:59am

4782 - View 2

It’s not often you can say, “I can see the Four Seasons from my house.” At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, you’ll be able to say it from each of three neighboring properties at The Enclave in Las Colinas.  These homes not only see the Four Seasons, they’re privy to all the amenities of the hotel.

For golf enthusiasts, each home also fronts the Four Seasons TPC golf course, specifically, the Par 3 17th hole.  Because of owners entertainment prowess, it’s locally known as the “party hole” to tournament players and attendees.

Each home is being marketed by Leigh Ann Barrick, top producing broker/associate with Keller Williams.  Let’s review what you’ll be able to experience on Thursday night.

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03/04/17 4:39pm

ABA GoFundMe 1

Kyle Crews alerts us to a GoFundMe site that has been setup for three Allie Beth Allman agents who reside at the now destroyed Preston Place condos. The fund was set up by Pierce Allman and Travis Mathews. As you know, the building was consumed by fire late Friday night, destroying the entire building. It appears that fund is growing by the minute.

If anyone knows of other charitable funds that have been started, let us know and CandysDirt.com will post them for our readers.

UPDATE:  Preston Hollow South Neighborhood Association has alerted me that the Red Cross is accepting donations for the displaced residents of Preston Place at:

Park Cities Baptist Church – Mission House
3945 Villanova
Dallas, TX 75225

When: March 6th – 10th
Time:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Items accepted: clothing, small household goods, and non-perishable food items.

UPDATE 2: We’ve been made aware of another GoFundMe page for a Preston Place tenant without renter’s insurance. The single mother and SMU student lost everything.  Those wishing to make donations of cash or furniture can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/fvwu9h-calla-spatz-house-fire-fund

 

03/04/17 1:17am
The Fire Eventually Spread to the Chimney Stack and Stairwell Left of the Blaze

The Fire Eventually Spread Left and Right to Envelop the Entire Structure

A late Friday night fire continues to burn into the night at the Preston Place condos located at 6255 W. Northwest Highway (map). The three-story, 60-unit complex is located between the Athena and Preston Tower high-rises on the north side of Northwest Highway near Preston Road … very near the new Transwestern Laurel apartments currently under construction.

Dawn Begins to Show the Level of Damage

Dawn Begins to Show the Level of Damage

Update 8:30am: Morning shows the extent of the damage.  The entire perimeter of the roof and top floor units show signs of fire damage. Northwest Highway remains closed. Steam and smoke are still being carried by the wind.  It appears no embers spread to neighboring complexes. I’m no insurance adjuster, but the building looks like a total loss.

P Place Fire 9

Some nine hours after starting, firefighters still battle small blazes. The northeast corner still visibly burns.

P Place Fire 11

Update 10:30am: Smoke continues to clear and the extent of the damage revealed.  We were also alerted that last night good neighbors Preston Tower opened their community room to displaced homeowners and the Red Cross to coordinate aid.

P Place Fire 12

FINAL Update 3:45pm: Not much has changed visually since this morning.  Major flames are gone with the occasional flare-up (left side looked extinguished at 10:30am but has flared back). Steam and smoke will billow for hours to come.  You know how it is, turn over an “extinguished” log only to find red-hot embers.

What has changed are the number of news vans seeking to eke out a story by invading victims’ pain on the worst day of their lives.  A tear-stained face and a few choked-up words are chum to a voyeuristic public.

Northwest Highway has reopened and the Lookie-Lous are out.

Earlier I ran into Councilwoman Jennifer Gates who was seeking to aid her constituents on such a sad day.  Lives may not have been lost, but for these residents, life’s contents are now ash.

Certainly there will be more to report on this catastrophe and CandysDirt.com will he there. New items will be posted in stand-alone stories.

(Back to original report …)

What started as a few emergency vehicles quickly grew to dozens as the fire spread from unit to unit eventually encompassing five window segments of the rear, easterly face of the building bordering the Diplomat. The fire started about 11:30 p.m.

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03/03/17 11:11am

ReStore Logo 1

Sometimes it kills me to watch HGTV.  Eager beaver renovators gleefully rip through their home with sledgehammers ablaze without a thought that some of what they’re splintering could be reused instead of in a landfill. Sure your old cabinets aren’t spankingly trendy and the appliances aren’t stainless, but for someone without, they’re precious.

When I gutted my 1960s home, I called ReStore.  They’re a division of Habitat for Humanity that takes donations of furniture, appliances and construction materials from individuals and businesses and resells them in their stores. The global charity operates in 70 countries and 1,400 communities.  Donors get a tax write-off and a lighter conscience.  Homeowners renovating on a shoestring get some bargains.  Needy families get renovation help and housing from Habitat for Humanity.

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02/28/17 11:16am

Hansgrohe-Starck-V

When it comes to renovation, there’s no substitute for planning.  As a serial renovator, my flavor of planning might be called “hoarding” by the uninitiated.

You may recall back in October 2015 I wrote about some interesting bathroom fittings. Two of which were the Hansgrohe Starck Axor V faucet and the Dornbracht Deque faucet.  I salivated that one day … one day I’d be able to afford to add them to my stable of piece parts for use in an unknown, but assured, future renovation project. The Deque listed for $1,700 while the Starck Axor V weighed in at just over $1,400 … each.

I got ‘em.

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