After a long and winding road, Lincoln Property’s proposed Lincoln Katy Trail project was denied by city council (I assume they will re-apply). That project would have replaced the Turtle Creek Terrace condo complex. Today, Turtle Creek Terrace unit #168, located at 3203 Carlisle – the intersection of Oak Lawn and Uptown – was listed.
It’s a perfect illustration of my point that replacing 115 existing market-rate affordable housing units with 45 was a bad deal. This one-bedroom, two-bathroom unit has 824 square feet and is listed for $149,000 with Tyler Hagood from Small World Realty. Using basic mortgage tools, that breaks down into a monthly payment of approximately $925 assuming a 30-year mortgage or ~$1,250 for a 15 year payoff. These monthly costs include mortgage, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees.
According to Zillow calculators, using Dallas’ average household income of $54,727, a couple could afford a monthly payment of $1,629/month. Using the 80 percent average median income required for listed affordable housing ($43,781), this home is purchasable by someone earning just $42,000 – less than a qualified affordable unit.
For a single person making a median $29,752 per year, this home would be a mild stretch $42 over calculated payments (but a salary of $31,200 would nab it).
And let’s not forget, this is an owned home, not a rental, which is the only type of housing Dallas supports in its affordable program.
Let’s look inside.
Entering the unit you have a small entry before diving into the well-lit living room. Off to the right is a generous kitchen for this size unit. Behind the photographer is the front door with one of two bathrooms to the right. The ground floor is tiled – I’m a fan of rugs over wall-to-wall carpet, and the tile is cool in summer.
As I said, the kitchen is nice-sized with good counter space and lots of cabinets (and wine rack). The T-wall hints that this may have been a small 2-bedroom unit at some point (its two bathrooms is another clue).
At the other end is a small eat-in area (further hint of a 2-bedroom past). To the right you can see a surprise pantry space that’s unexpected in a home this size.
At the top of the stairs is the master bedroom. The whole second floor is an enclosed suite with a closet, bathroom and access to a balcony. If you’re a chandelier or ceiling light person, it’s pretty easy to add one.
The closet is shockingly large. Any shoe or handbag collector would have plenty of space while the boys would have plenty of hanging space and shelving for T-shirts and sweatshirts and such. The closet is off the master bath, but it was so large, I had to show it first.
The master bath is nothing special – but what do you expect for this price in Uptown? Over time as a new owner saves pennies, they can easily refresh what’s tired. After all, Uptown isn’t going to get cheaper.
The complex meanders over a full block backing up to the Katy Trail. Being a courtyard building, some are private (as in this unit) and some are more community oriented facing the pool area.
It’s funny, Lincoln kept telling the world how dilapidated this complex is. Now that someone is selling a home, it looks just fine. But be careful. When a complex is under contract, maintenance slips (why invest in something that’ll be torn down?). It’ll be important for a new owner to check the complex’s financial records. If there’s a backlog of maintenance, is there money in the capital fund to cover it? You don’t want to be on the hook for deferred maintenance that now costs more than there is savings for.
Also, you need to figure out what’s up with Lincoln Property’s contract. You could be buying a home that gets sold from under you. But you could also be buying a calculated risk that Lincoln (or someone) will succeed and that the payout will be generous. Either way, that needs to be sorted before you start upgrading or else your renovation budget will wind up in a dumpster.
Whatever happens, this is proof that market-rate affordable housing is available in Oak Lawn/Uptown and that development will eliminate it forever.
Remember: High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make? Shoot me an email email@example.com. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.