3308 Throckmorton Front

There’s a lot to love about townhomes, especially when they’re in a prime location like Cedar Springs. You get your own garage space, perfect for storing your car and bike and maybe even a scooter, as well as plenty of outdoor living areas. But there’s a sticking point for me that has long been a turnoff to townhomes and condos: homeowners associations.

After reading Jon Anderson’s many columns on the issues, I’ve decided that HOAs just aren’t for me. Unfortunately, that means most townhomes and condos are also not for me. However, there is one great property that is in a fantastic location — right near Cedar Springs and Douglas Avenue — that is completely HOA free and ready for your personal touches!

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BrianMccary2

Some people ask us why we think Guardian Mortgage is such a great company. There are lots of reasons, but it’s hard to articulate them when you haven’t worked as closely with the entire staff as Brian McCary has. It actually took leaving for another company for McCary to see what makes Guardian so great, and it was a pleasure to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

This month’s Guardian Angel started his career in the mortgage industry at Guardian only to leave the company and then return. It’s that varied experience and Guardian’s company culture that shows why this mortgage business is able to attract top talent all over the Dallas-Fort Worth region and beyond.

Read on for more about Brian McCary, a family man and dedicated mortgage professional at Guardian Mortgage.

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Tim Jackson Custom Homes' Maison d'Etoile won first place in the "Best Architectural Design - Traditional" category.

Tim Jackson Custom Homes’ Maison d’Etoile won first place in the “Best Architectural Design – Traditional” category.

As we told you last week, the Dallas Builders Association each year honors the work of its members, some of North Texas’ top building and remodeling talent, with an Oscars-like celebration of glamorous dress and beverage. They put on the Ritz for the annual ARC Awards ceremony.

And of course, half of those winners are my CandysDirt Best Builders! All CandysDirt.com-approved home builders are curated from a select group of home builders. Click here to see what they told us about the top building trends for 2015.

There are 50 categories, and the judges are top builders and designers from way outside of Texas. Well, except for Oklahoma.

The celebration, held this year at The Westin Galleria, was a blast. Tim Lansford of Luxury Homes of Texas was the emcee, and teased the heck out of  Tom Greico of Greico Modern Homes, (“BOOOO!”)  But not moi — Tom is another CandysDirt.com fave.

Turns out Tim is not just a home builder, he has his own radio show!

As we mentioned, for the second year in a row, Classic Urban Homes snagged Custom Builder of the Year title. Not too far behind was my man Tim Jackson Custom Homes, also nominated for best, who snagged Best Architectural Design $1 to $2 million. One of his entries was a palace he built called Maison d’Etoile for former Cowboys linebacker Bradie James. Bradie and his wife, Star, slipped in and dined with Tim and Leslie Jackson and watched the show. Other home builders extraordinaire who needed U-Hauls for their prize booty besides the aforementioned: Alford Homes, Desco Fine Homes, Cresswell Builders, our very own JLD Custom Homes, LRO Residential, Bauhaus Custom Homes and of course, Greico Modern Homes.

Desco Fine Homes won the award for "Best 'Other' Room" with their stunning beauty salon.

Desco Fine Homes won the award for “Best ‘Other’ Room” with their stunning beauty salon.

Now a little inside dirt on the photo above: this was a remodel, in Preston Hollow, by Desco Fine Homes. Took two years to complete. The lady of the house wanted a home beauty salon — they are all the rage, by the way — so Desco fashioned one above her master bathroom. Can you imagine waltzing up the stairs to get blown out? I am loving this new trend, and mind you we will be posting more on it!

Here are all the winners in all categories… and the photos. Drool away…

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hillcrest

As predicted yesterday, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to place a $1.6 billion bond program on the November ballot today. Trustees Joyce Foreman and Bernadette Nutall, citing scheduling problems, were not in attendance for the vote.

Over the next few months, we will begin looking at each component of the bond program, including which schools will be affected, how the money will be spent, and the conditions of the schools that have been selected to benefit from upgrades or replacement.

“This is the public’s vote, and the public’s schools,” board president Eric Cowan said during today’s meeting. “It’s not just nine Trustees deciding we want to spend $1.6 billion. We’re asking the public.”

In the meantime, let me leave you with this: If you thought the turnout was low for a school board and city council election for Dallas public schools, just wait for this bond election. If you feel strongly either way, it’s time to make sure you’re registered to vote and make the long, arduous trek uphill both ways in the snow to your polling place on November 3.

 

 

Dallas ISD trustees Edwin Flores and Mike Morath explain the proposed bond at a town hall meeting.

Dallas ISD trustees Edwin Flores and Mike Morath explain the proposed bond at a town hall meeting.

If Wednesday’s town hall in North Dallas was typical, trustees spent 60 percent of their time explaining the potential bond election, and 40 percent of their time explaining the superintendent search – despite the fact that the subject matter was prominently advertised.

More on that in a second.

Tomorrow at noon, the Dallas ISD board of trustees will vote on whether to place a bond election on the November 3 ballot. A first round of town hall meetings gave the district the chance to explain the ins and outs of the proposed bond, and a second round will happen to discuss the proposed projects the money raised from the issuance will cover.

It will likely be approved. According to the Dallas Morning News, Board president Eric Cowan and trustees Edwin Flores, Mike Morath, Nancy Bingham, and Dan Micciche have openly stated their support of the bond package. Micciche, in a Facebook post, further stated his position, saying, “I will vote ‘yes.’ We will have more community meetings to discuss the list of proposed projects over the next month if the full Board votes to call for the election.”

Sidebar: I asked a few folks on Twitter if this story would have a better chance of being a) more exciting and b) read all the way through if I included a fire-breathing dragon. So here is a fire-breathing dragon. Read further and there might be a cute kitten.

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55809718-1

OK, I know it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but trust me — this home is pure, unfiltered potential. It has every single detail that midcentury modern lovers just swoon over: low-slung roofs, clerestory windows, built-ins, open space, and cool vintage tile.

However, there have been a few updates that are clear misses. The windows would look so much better without mullions, the wallpaper in the master bath has to go, and I’m praying that all the carpet in this home is just a fine layer of ugly over beautiful hardwood floors.

Can you seen the potential? Then you probably know why this Merriman Park midcentury modern is the perfect pick for this week’s High Caliber Home sponsored by Caliber Home Loans. If you want to put in a bid (this home is under option, but anything can happen between now and closing!) call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans so you can sail through pre-approval prepared to put in your highest and best offer.

Jump for more photos of this diamond in the rough!

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More families are choosing to live in Uptown and Downtown Dallas, and neighborhood organizations hope to connect parents with one another. (Photo: Justin Terveen)

More families are choosing to live in Uptown and Downtown Dallas, and neighborhood organizations hope to connect parents with one another. (Photo: Justin Terveen)

Mondays are hard, y’all, especially if you’re a parent. You get two days of no alarm clocks and late night shenanigans and then you have the blaring wake-up call that is a cranky kid who can’t decide if he wants Snoopy or Star Wars underwear and has a mental breakdown over what cereal to have for breakfast on Monday morning. And people wonder why I’m ambivalent about three-day weekends …

By the time 5 o’clock hits, most parents are hitting the liquor cabinet. *hiccup*

So isn’t it thoughtful that Uptown Dallas, Inc., along with other nearby neighborhood organizations, wants to get a bunch of urban-dwelling families together for a bit of commiseration over cocktails. It’s just one of the ways that the neighborhood organizations hope to foster a more tight-knit community of families in hopes to end the misconception that urban areas can’t be family friendly.

But why bother with families at all?  Uptown Dallas Inc. is working toward increasing diversity in the area.

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employment growth

In Texas, it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

A new report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that the Texas economy gained 276,400 nonagricultural jobs from June 2014 to June 2015, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, compared with 2.1 percent for the United States. Many of the major metropolitan areas in the state saw much bigger gains, like North Texas.

The Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area ranked No. 2 in job creation in the state (Midland was No. 1), followed by Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 7, with 2.7 percent job growth.

“The North Texas economy is more dependent on the U.S. economy, so it’s not energy-based, compared to the Houston or Midland-Odessa economy, where energy has a bigger weight,” said Real Estate Center research economist Luis Torres. “Because the U.S. economy is growing and doing better, you’re seeing that reflected in the Dallas economy.”

In fact, every single Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls had more jobs in June 2015 than a year ago.

Big sectors for job growth were:

  1. Leisure and Hospitality: 5.05 percent growth
  2. Education and health services: 3.87 percent growth
  3. Professional and business services: 3.54 percent growth
  4. Transportation, warehousing and utilities: 3.52 percent growth
  5. Construction: 3.34 percent growth

“The correlation between the Dallas economy and the U.S. economy is very high, and the main reason is because Dallas is a transportation hub and all the goods and services that pass in the state use Dallas transportation systems,” said Real Estate Center research economist Ali Anari.

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