Articles by

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is the condo and HOA columnist for, but also covers second home trends on 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.

05/09/17 2:50pm
Nationwide affordable units per 100 Extremely Low-Income renter households

Nationwide affordable units per 100 Extremely Low-Income renter households

An April 2017 report for the Urban Institute tells us what we already know.  We, as a nation, are losing ground in providing affordable housing to our increasingly poor citizenry. Locally, Metroplex counties are well below national averages. Again, not surprising.

The report, titled Housing Affordability Gap for Extremely Low-Income Renters, defines a few terms …

Extremely Low-Income (ELI): Those earning less than 30 percent of an area’s median income (nationwide, $21,250 to $33,850 for a family of four).

AAA Units: Adequate, Affordable and Available housing units (<$600 per month for a family of four)

Naturally affordable: Those AAA units priced so ELI households don’t spend >30 percent of their income on rent.

Federally Assisted: Units ELI households can afford in conjunction with Federal rental assistance programs from HUD and USDA.


05/08/17 9:57am

Security 1 SM

Two subjects are sure to get any HOA meeting roiling — money and security.  If there’s a special assessment or dues increase, the next HOA meeting will be attended as if Elvis would be in the building. Similarly, security topics will set the assembled on high-murmur even long after the meeting is done.

Cash and fear … all that’s missing is a little sex.


05/03/17 9:30am
Amenity Deck at Turtle Creek's Vendome

Amenity Deck at Turtle Creek’s Vendome

Welcome to our second installment of the High-Rise Buyer’s Guide as I break-down some of the costs associated with Dallas’ high-rises.  The first installment featured Turtle Creek’s first high-rises where utilities and their costs are contained within their HOA dues.  For this installment, I’m moving north of Northwest Highway to detail the Athena, Preston Tower, Grand Treviso, and The Bonaventure. I know you’re thinking that Grand Treviso is in Irving, not Dallas.  Well, out there on its own, if not me, who?

But before we head north, there’s one more Turtle Creek high-rise that also includes utilities in their HOA dues. Built in 2000, it’s decades newer than its sister-utilities buildings. I’m talking about the Vendome.  Surprised?  Me, too. But last week’s posting was already really long, so here we are.


05/02/17 9:32am

Oak Lawn Map 3 SM

After The Recession pause, we all know real estate has boomed.  In older neighborhoods south of Northwest Highway, the boom has brought gentrification to once-affordable neighborhoods.  This isn’t surprising, as these areas are up-luxed and densified. A few years ago, noting your address was “near Harry Hines” was not considered polite conversation. That’s swiftly changing.

In the run-up to The Recession, many a developer assembled larger tracts of properties in Oak Lawn, west of the Dallas North Tollway, by stringing together single-family lots or by purchasing apartment buildings.  The plans were for the same townhouse developments seen on other parts of Oak Lawn. Depending on timing, the lots may have or may not have been cleared.

Before disaster struck, Perry Homes had built a series of brick façade townhomes on Knight and Sylvester, between the tollway and Harry Hines.  They took quite a while to sell. Others tried with cheaper clapboard models a block over on Throckmorton. They too took a while to sell.

Today the area — north of Oak Lawn Avenue and between Harry Hines and the Tollway — has returned to new development.


04/28/17 1:47pm

Preston Place Demo Exterior 4 Awning

During the early morning hours of March 4, the Preston Place condominiums were destroyed by fire that had seven firefighting companies and over 170 first responders using hoses carrying water from nearly a half a mile away.

The building is now moving forward with its next chapter … demolition.


04/27/17 1:04pm
Source: Congressional Budget Office

Source: Congressional Budget Office

Yesterday, Trump unveiled a single piece of paper “detailing” his tax proposals.  There are no bills or resolutions or research to back any of it up or flesh it out.  So when and how any of this will ultimately be turned into actionable policy is, like the man himself, anyone’s guess.  Color me shocked.

It starts by highlighting how he wants to simplify the individual tax code and make filing taxes easier (and ends with how he wants to line his own pockets and balloon the deficit).  I don’t know about you, but it’s been my experience that when someone tells me they want to make something easier, I’m usually worse off. This proposal doesn’t disappoint.

As I’m sure you’ve read by now, all deductions would be eliminated except mortgage interest and charitable deductions. “Whew” you think.  Well, not so fast.  Property taxes would no longer be deductible.


04/26/17 2:00pm

Gold Crest Original - Small

When buying into a high-rise for the first time, there are things you don’t necessarily think about as ground dwellers. Sure there’s the same ol’ “location, location, location” hoo-ha, but for example, while neighborhood matters, actual neighbors matter in a high-rise … what’s the vibe of a building? That’s an individual choice that I can’t help you with.

But there are directions I can point you in to get you started in evaluating your first high-rise.


04/26/17 11:39am
Source: Uber/Handout

Source: Uber/Handout

I read yesterday about Uber’s Elevate conference (flying taxis) and admit that while Dallas was mentioned, complete lack of interest didn’t get me to read very far.  But a reader forwarded me the story and mentioned Hillwood, so I read more.

What was announced was a plan to have electric air taxis in Dubai and Dallas by 2020. The Dallas connection is being supported by Ross Perot Jr. and his Hillwood development.  Not two weeks ago, Hillwood representatives were in front of the Oak Lawn Committee with an update on their plans for 3001 Turtle Creek (corner of Cedar Springs and Turtle Creek).  Included was what seemed to be an embarrassing afterthought of a helipad.  It was a giant eye-roll for the room.