Pam and Norm Robbins with daughter Ashley Robbins Gonzales

Pam and Norm Robbins, with daughter Ashley Robbins Gonzales

Pam Robbins was the first Realtor in the family, beginning her career 32 years ago. Ashley Robbins Gonzales, her daughter, was 10 at the time. After Ashley married in 2000, she decided to give real estate a try, too. As luck would have it, their talents made them a formidable team. With Pam as the people person and Ashley as the tech whiz, they discovered soon how much of a good match they are.

But there was a piece of the puzzle missing. After a long career at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and later in community relations at Lockheed Martin, Norm Robbins, Pam’s husband and Ashley’s dad, had the vast network that would make this family affair take off.

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Similar problems

Same problems; different coast

I believe it’s called serendipity.  On May 5, Dallas Morning News writer Robert Wilonsky expressed his thoughts on the slowness of the Preston Center Task Force’s process, its wish-washy-ness, and the overall use of butter knives versus machetes in tackling the issues.  The next day I saw a report put out by the (San Francisco) Bay Area Council that was based on a poll of residents conducted in early 2016.  There were interesting parallels.

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Image: Fox 4

Image: Fox 4

Crews were inside Lakewood Elementary over the weekend, monitoring the air quality inside the school after reports of children being nauseated, dizzy, and lethargic during the school day. One child even vomited in between classes.

This is the second time parents have voiced concern over air quality inside the school. Just last year a dead owl stuck in a vent forced carbon monoxide from the school’s boiler into several classrooms, sickening children and staff in the circa 1951 building.

According to the Advocate, a meeting to discuss the building’s classroom and cafeteria expansion is slated for tomorrow (Feb. 23) evening, though a discussion about air quality is to be expected.

Despite the reports of sick kids, classes continued today, though parents said they would be keeping close watch on Dallas ISD to make sure this didn’t happen again.

“Obviously I personally don’t feel like my son is in danger today or tomorrow,” parent Paula Goldberg said to NBC 5. “But something needs to be addressed in the school, because something is not right. It’s an odd coincidence that we’ve had two things like this.”

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This year’s ABPA Homes for the Holidays home tour is a bit more tightly curated than in years past, with four amazing homes to enjoy from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Friday, Dec. 4. This annual home tour is a huge fundraiser for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association, and has brought in more than $675,000 for kindergarten and first-grade classes at the two elementary schools serving Highland Park. Now that’s something to be thankful for! Check out this video about what ABPA does for neighborhood schools!

Our favorite house on this year’s tour is a lovely cottage on Drexel Drive with a spacious front porch. It looks like it would be at home in New Orleans’ Garden District, with rows of French Doors and a lovely, bursting landscape. We caught up with the McClung family, owners of this Creole beauty, and asked them a few questions about their adorable abode.

Jump for a little teaser ahead of what is going to be a fabulous home tour!

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Kylah Boyd Featured Realtor

We love meeting rookies in this business, and with how hot our market is, more and more talented professionals are choosing a career in real estate. It’s no wonder that we often find go-getters from brokerages all over Dallas, but it seems like the team at Vivo Realty in Uptown is full of young, hungry agents like Kylah Boyd.

When you’re in the first year of your real estate career, it helps to have a great lender by your side. What has your lender done for you lately? See what you’re missing by calling Jeff Lindigrin at Great Western Home Loans today.

Jump to learn more about Vivo Realty’s Kylah Boyd!

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Dallas Breakdown for Diff Family Types

Breakdown of Monthly Income Required to Live as a Human in Dallas According to the Economic Policy Institute

By Jon Anderson
Columnist

Candy and I have been opinionating back and forth on low-income citizens and how their access to safe and affordable housing is a means to promote economic upwards mobility. After all, if the poor are less poor, they will live richer lives (by any definition) and contribute more to society.

Unlike the rich who sequester money in intangible investments or various savings schemes, when the poor have more money, they spend it – because they need to. This creates a cycle that reverberates throughout the larger economy. If the poor buy more, manufacturers must make more which means hiring more people which in turn creates more people with money to spend, and so on, and so on. It’s exactly like the recession when governments were screaming for money because tax revenues took such a hit. Once people were put back to work, tax revenues rose, and in some states like Texas, overflowed.

In fact, recessions in general would be rarer and less dramatic if companies were forced to keep workers on the payroll or if unemployment benefits paid close to salary levels. As it is, recessions create a domino effect where one company dumps workers and then its suppliers dump workers because they’re not getting orders – and on and on. Call it trickle-back economics.

Personally, I spent nearly three years unemployed during the telecom meltdown that sent 500,000 skilled workers out on the streets early in the millennium. Desperate, I was open to anything and willing to uproot my life and leave my partner for any job. In the end, I was required to move to another state which led to the dissolution of my relationship. And compared to many, I was lucky.

For part of that time, I collected unemployment benefits that paid me the maximum $1,600 per month, a tiny fraction of my former salary. (Let me tell you, swallowing my pride and taking unemployment was one of the hardest things I’ve done – even though I’d paid into it for years. It felt like a stigmatizing failure.) All that check did was slow the eventual evaporation of a three-year “emergency fund.” I tell you this because $1,600 per month is more than the minimum wage in America and it was crippling even with a free place to live and extensive savings. Before you groan, this column isn’t about the battle for living wages, it’s about documenting and understanding how much it takes to live as a human being in Dallas. (Spoiler alert: it’s not the current minimum wage.)

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Ashley Madison

Security and Anonymity Claims May be a Pinch Overstated!

The illicit affair website Ashley Madison was hacked last month which exposed the personal information, credit cards and email addresses of many of its 39 million users. The hackers said they wouldn’t release the data if Ashley Madison shut down. It didn’t, so they did.

Lawyers around the country are reporting an uptick in divorce-related calls from clients. Some receptionists are bearing the brunt of the calls as lawyers are in back-to-back meetings (in stark comparison to the client spouse’s back-to-front meetings).

While many will ultimately seek counseling (I’m sure couches will fill up quickly) and not divorce, the smarter ones will. After all, Ashley Madison isn’t about a regretful, intoxicated indiscretion. Ashley Madison is about paying a fee to schedule infidelity.

For those ultimately divorcing, family manses may pop onto the market as assets are split. However, cleaving a family in two will mean what was one home becomes two! For every divorce, one more homestead is created.

Cha-Ching on Realtor commissions, but yikes for buyers!

Want to check-up on a suspicious spouse? The complete data file can be downloaded here.

Of course the funny part is that Ashley Madison was embroiled in a lawsuit in 2013 over their creation of fake female profiles to give the illusion that there are ladies ready and waiting. In fact some estimate, 90 to 95 percent of the paid profiles are men. (The suit was filed because the profile creators claim carpel tunnel syndrome!)

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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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