8. Best Private Club Feel: Ritz Residences
The Ritz is like a private club where everyone knows they’re rich without having to throw it in your face with ostentation. Whether you live there or not, after a few visits they greet you by name.
Just off the foyer lobby there’s what I call the living room. While obviously large, it has that clubby feeling with a seating group surrounding the fireplace. There’s even a back bench where the envious (or bodyguards) can gather. If you think the chair fabric is grandma-y, this ain’t the place for you. It’s trademark Ritz luxury without everything having to try quite so hard.
For those in the know, residents can nip through a secret door and into the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for a spa treatment, bite at the Rattlesnake Bar or dinner at Fearing’s. Don’t tell anyone … it’s all very hush-hush.
9. Best Place to Renovate: Wherever you live
I’m a firm believer that if you don’t like it, rip it out. Therefore you should renovate wherever you live, whenever you feel the home isn’t doing the job. That said, if you’re concerned with resale, it’s easy to get into trouble with diminishing returns. So don’t buy a stunning, newly built or renovated property that’s not to your taste and expect to get your money back on a gut-job.
Figuring out where the best potential is takes math. How old is what you’re looking to replace? Chances are if it’s over 20 years old, you’re safe. The older the better. I’d put the 1990s on the cusp with anything older being a no-brainer. Next, understand what renovated condos in the building are fetching. The difference between your renovation budget and those sales gives a barometer. Don’t over-build or over-spec.
Time and again I read real estate listings that are stuffed with names. Designers, manufacturers, and buzz words. These are homes that have likely overbuilt. And it’s fine to overbuild because it’s what you want, just don’t expect anyone else to pay for it. Just because you flew to Brazil to select the exact rain forest tree and hire the 90-year-old master woodworker whose last breath was drawn while finishing your kitchen cabinets … don’t expect me to pay extra for the story.
10. Most Interesting Futures: Preston Tower, Athena, and Bonaventure
Outside renovation potential, these three buildings may have interesting futures. I’ve written exhaustively for over a year about the Preston Center Task Force. If there is a significant residential component, a new breed of buyer will be brought into the area. On the other hand, office-heavy development would bring fewer buyers to the area. Either way, development will shine a renewed light on the area. Some buyers will be looking for value and potential. The older high-rises (and low-rises) in the area may benefit from more renovation and increased values.
The Bonaventure may also benefit financially from increasing corporate relocations and population growth up north. Relocating buyers from more urban areas may want generously-sized, high-rise condos near their offices. The current crop of options under construction may not suit their needs either in unit size or a location somewhat closer to the action of urban Dallas. This confluence may attract renovators with the ready cash to bring aging condos up to speed.
For these reasons, high-rises in these mostly non-high-rise areas may have an interesting future.
There you have it. My completely warped, slanted, and opinionated opinions.
Disagree? Comments are open.
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 email@example.com.