Articles by

Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

09/11/17 12:49pm
flood

Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston on August 27, 2017, to aid residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Photo: Texas Army National Guard)

So many people lost everything — homes, cars, and all their possessions — in the wrath wrought by Hurricane Harvey. But there’s another category of people who were just as badly affected by this record-breaking storm: renters. 

In some cases, renters are required to continue paying rent on uninhabitable apartments and homes, and some can’t even work, with many businesses either wiped away, flooded, or otherwise damaged. If your apartment or home is uninhabitable and you’ve notified your landlord about terminating your lease in writing, the next step is finding someplace else to live. This can be daunting, but RentCafe and its parent company, Yardi, have teamed up to help.

Yardi, the California-based property management software company, has created a free online housing registry where displaced residents can find new places to live in the affected region and beyond.

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09/11/17 9:28am

In this week’s episode, Bob Johnson, aka BobMortgage, cuts through the noise from the naysayers in his latest BobMortgage Zone episode. Have you been taking a back-seat approach to buying a home? Today, Bob will put you in the driver’s seat with some sage advice only someone with 20 years in the business could offer.

You may know him as Bob Johnson, the senior mortgage advisor at Wallick & Volk, the nation’s oldest privately-held mortgage company. Bob Johnson has helped more than 25,000 families get into the homes of their dreams, in 20 plus years of lending service.

Now with five offices across the DFW metroplex, the nation’s oldest mortgage firm is helping thousands of consumers get into homes with the most up-to-date financial information possible. Wallick & Volk brings experience and integrity into every single loan, but they also deliver a highly personalized touch that conforms to each client’s need. Is it speed of delivery, unique products, total transaction transparency, or great pricing you need? Wallick & Volk has it all in a broker-friendly banking platform that can do the impossible when it comes to home financing.

THIS WEEK: Bob Johnson empowers homebuyers with facts to put them in the driver’s seat.

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09/08/17 9:30am

The Azure, at 2900 McKinnon in Uptown, is a luxury condo building with serious amenities — but you don’t need a multi million-dollar unit to enjoy them.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of shaking off the world by valeting your car at your swank high-rise building, taking the elevator up, and eating up the city views as you unwind with a glass of vino. If it sounds luxurious, it is. But it’s not outside the realm of reality.

Take the Azure, for instance. Completed in 2005, this high-end high-rise in Uptown has some of the best amenities, with a glorious pool deck that offers incredible views of Uptown, a fitness center where any personal trainer would love to help you sweat it out, plus a valet and concierge. 

The lobby of The Azure sets the tone for this building — sexy and luxurious.

But you don’t have to pay upwards of  a million to feel like you’re living in the lap of luxury at the Azure. In fact, Allie Beth Urban’s Ani Nosnik has a beautiful one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath unit on the market that costs less than many homes in the M Streets, gives you more security and amenities, and puts you close enough to downtown that you could very well ditch the car when the weather is irresistible (like today).

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09/06/17 6:52pm

A temporary restraining order was filed by Hiram Patterson at the last minute, stopping the Dallas City Council from removing the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park.

Robert Wilonsky and Tristan Hallman at the Dallas Morning News alerted us that, just as soon as crews were trying to figure out how to remove the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee astride a horse in Oak Lawn’s Lee Park, work was ordered to stop. That’s thanks to a temporary restraining order filed by one Hiram Patterson. 

The statue, a symbol of one of the most revered figures of the long bygone Confederacy, has been a contentious subject around the horseshoe at 1500 Marrilla. The vote, which took place earlier today, ended with 13 council members and our Mayor Mike Rawlings voting for removal, with Sandy Greyson objecting — she wanted more time to study — and Ricky Callahan straight up walking out. 

U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater granted a temporary restraining order as the removal appeared imminent. The Dallas City Council had voted in favor of immediate removal earlier in the morning and crews had been trying to figure out how to remove the statue through much of the afternoon.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The case was brought by Hiram Patterson against Mayor Mike Rawlings and the City Council.

According to the Dallas Central Appraisal District, there’s only one Hiram Patterson on record, residing in Northeast Dallas. A cursory Google search brings up a lot of Confederate flags. And gravestones. Here’s who filed the suit, according to D Magazine:

The temporary restraining order was filed by Kirk Lyons, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “white supremacist lawyer,” on behalf of Hiram Patterson and the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who contend in the motion that the removal of the statue is a violation of their rights of free speech and due process. Lyons, who denies being a white supremacist and called himself a “Christian attorney of Southern ancestry” in an interview with the New York Times, filed a similar lawsuit against the University of Texas after it removed Confederate statues on its campus.

Read the full complaint after the jump:

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One of my favorite lines from Dirty Dancing is when Patrick Swayze saunters up to Frances “Baby” Houseman, who is sitting at a table with her family, and says, rather iconically:  “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

However, I have a small issue with this. Perhaps he should have asked her if she wanted to be there? Maybe Baby wanted to sit in the corner? What’s wrong with corners, anyway?

Sometimes, in fact, corners are fantastic. Especially if we’re talking about corner units. That’s part of what makes our High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans so fantastic. It’s a deliciously bright corner unit townhome in Uptown, and it offers a perfect rebuttal to Johnny’s declaration (though after that hot number on the stage at Kellerman’s, we forgive him).

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09/06/17 8:00am

 

It’s hard picturing yourself in a home that is completely empty. Sometimes it’s even harder in a new build. That’s why staging is so important, especially for spec homes. 
 
When The Avant Group — a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder — finished this beautiful contemporary two story in Midway Hollow, the home’s incredibly lofty ceilings and cool neutral color palette made it feel cold and cavernous. So Avant’s marketing chief, Heaven Porteous, brought in Suzie Barrett, owner of Dallas Staging Solutions. The results speak for themselves.

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09/04/17 1:15pm

Frank Lloyd Wright aficionados who are looking for some income property can hit the jackpot with the Penfield Home, located in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, and situated on the Chagrin River.

The three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home was commissioned by Louis and Pauline Penfield in 1952, the Penfield family said on a website used to showcase the home and its rental availability.

Find out more about this beauty on SecondShelters.com.

09/04/17 9:36am

You see the advertisements all the time, hyping up low rates that can help you pay off your mortgage in a flash. But are online lenders telling the whole truth about the loans they’re offering? BobMortgage takes a closer look at teaser rates in our latest edition of The Mortgage Report.

You may know him as Bob Johnson, the senior mortgage advisor at Wallick & Volk, the nation’s oldest privately-held mortgage company. Bob Johnson has helped more than 25,000 families get into the homes of their dreams, in 20 plus years of lending service.

Now with five offices across the DFW metroplex, the nation’s oldest mortgage firm is helping thousands of consumers get into homes with the most up-to-date financial information possible. Wallick & Volk brings experience and integrity into every single loan, but they also deliver a highly personalized touch that conforms to each client’s need. Is it speed of delivery, unique products, total transaction transparency, or great pricing you need? Wallick & Volk has it all in a broker-friendly banking platform that can do the impossible when it comes to home financing.

THIS WEEK: Are online lenders offering rates that are too good to be true?

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