Articles by

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is the condo and HOA columnist for CandysDirt.com, but also covers second home trends on SecondShelters.com. An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned both silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in 2016. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

05/26/17 2:18pm

Four of the top five fastest growing cities are in Texas according to figures released today by the US Census Bureau. The statistic measured growth between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016 for cities over 50,000 residents. It’s based on percentage growth, not actual people-based growth.

As is always the case with percentage numbers, the ones with the smallest starting point tended to show larger percent increases.  This sample was for cities over 50,000 residents.  Only three of the top 15 were larger than 100,000, two of which were McKinney and Frisco … the third was Nashville suburb Murfreesboro, Tenn.

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05/26/17 2:04pm

AbFab fans will recognize Pierre Cardin’s $381 million Bubble Palace. Listed since 2015. Source: Christie’s

It was the best of times, it was the not-so-best of times. Christie’s annual Luxury Home Market Report has many interesting insights into the global luxury market and how, in many ways, it operates on another plane, divorced from the broader real estate marketplace. While this should be unsurprising, the wealthy seem to always be on a different plane, there are some interesting insights.  Think of the following as a good, old-fashioned book report.

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05/24/17 3:26pm

Real Estate aggregation and data website Zillow.com is in hot water in Illinois.  Zillow has been successfully sued in the past for using photos without permission. They’ve been hauled to court over low Zestimate “appraisals” by sellers who’re listing well above the estimates. Even at the other end of the spectrum, they’ve been accused of inflating prices which resulted in some market froth.

The latest suit, seeking class-action status, was filed on behalf of builders who’re trying to sell homes that Zillow persistently undervalues.  This causes prospective buyers to low-ball the homes using Zillow as “proof” their offer is more realistic than the seller’s price.

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05/24/17 8:00am

The spacious lobby of the Claridge

Welcome to installment number five in my High-Rise Buyers Guide series.  If you’re just joining, chapters one and two highlighted buildings that include utilities in their HOA dues (and the outlying Bonaventure and Grand Treviso).  Chapters three and four focused on the high-roller buildings at the tippy-top of the price spectrum.  This chapter begins … begins … to get us into the less nose-bleed priced buildings.

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05/23/17 8:40am

Stereotypical “Starter Home”

A commenter on my last High-Rise Buyer’s Guide column lamented my use of the word “starter” to describe the final two columns in the series that’ll cover Dallas’ lower-priced high-rise options.  He felt it was demeaning to those for whom one of these economical homes wasn’t a “starter,” but a destination. The result of many years of saving and planning. My gut reaction was an eye-roll, but thinking about it, it began to make sense … but not because I thought it was demeaning, but because “starter” was no longer accurate.

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05/19/17 1:39pm
BUSTED. Google snapped the pic in 2014, it’s still on the market.

BUSTED. Google snapped the pic in 2014, it’s still on the market.

Most homebuyers and sellers put their emotions front and center during a home transaction.  For Realtors, the “stars in their eyes” may help with a quick purchase, but it can definitely work against you on the selling end. Sure, it’s easy to say that every home from Strait Lane to South Dallas that takes too long to sell is overpriced.  But when it’s your home, you need some detachment.

Searching Ebby.com, in the last 30 days, 5,163 properties reduced their price … 1,722 in the last week.  Getting the price right the first time is becoming more important.  Since I’ve been in a “guide” mood lately, here’s a home seller’s guide to knowing if your home is overpriced.

(Realtors: Feel free to slip this under your seller’s door … It’ll be our secret.)

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05/17/17 12:20pm
Billiards at The House, where classical and contemporary mix

Billiards at The House, where classical and contemporary mix

Well kids, we’ve reached the halfway point in our series. The first two covered buildings where utilities are included in their HOA dues as well as the outlying Bonaventure and Grand Treviso (here and here). The next pair, including this one, detail Dallas’ high-rise, high-roller buildings (here and literally right here).  Next week we’ll hit the first of two columns covering the mid-tier before rounding up with a final two detailing the starter- to mid-range offers.

That’s one thing worth noting: Dallas never really did the whole “high-rise as low-income public housing” thing that was prevalent in so many cities in the 1960s and 1970s. These often brutalist structures negatively shaped people’s opinions of high-rise living.  Entering Chicago from the south one was met by a row of high-rise dominos called the Robert Taylor Homes that devolved into crime-ridden, poorly maintained properties whose demolition began in 1998 after just 36 years of ugliness, neglect, and resident misery. Then there was the infamous Cabrini Green complex. Interestingly, both failed complexes were built during Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration and torn town during Mayor Richard J. Daley’s … his son.

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05/16/17 8:10am
Preston Place Nearly Cleared; Diplomat's Roof Repair

Preston Place Nearly Cleared; Diplomat’s Roof Repair

On May 10, Preston Place owners voted to engage a Realtor to sell the property to developers.  What I’m sure was a gut-wrenching decision likely came down to a lack of will by the majority of owners.  Let’s face it, many were older and the stamina required to rebuild was likely not there.  Compounding any rebuild would be the death of 1,000 cuts as owners sought changes to the original plans both large and small.

The property is completely demolished and just about cleared of debris.  There were several pauses in demolition when building- and owner-supplied scavengers were employed to seek residents’ belongings in the rubble.  Certainly a sad occasion for all, including the demolition crews dumping life’s remnants into trucks to be hauled away.

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