saragosa

Builders of Hope CDC’s affordable condo project in the Bishop Arts District, the Saragosa (seen in the foreground), will make homeowners of Dallasites that might not otherwise be able to afford to enter the market (Photos courtesy 3D Immersion Tours).

[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2019! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]

As new construction of single-family homes continues to become more expensive, even existing homes in affordable price points can be as fine as hen’s teeth in high-demand areas like the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff. But one community development corporation is aiming to change that — starting with one condo development.

It’s been a steady refrain for almost a year among economists and builders — construction nationally isn’t getting any cheaper, with tariffs, skilled labor shortages, increases in land costs, and increased costs in construction materials. In February, it was almost certainly the consensus at an affordable housing conference at the Dallas Federal Reserve that one entire segment of new single-family home construction — homes priced less than $200,000 — had virtually disappeared from the market. A study in May of the area all but confirmed it. (more…)

The US Census Bureau, along with researchers from Harvard and Brown universities, tracked the economic trajectories of 20 million children beginning in the mid-1980s (aged mid-30s today). The result is the Opportunity Atlas, an interactive map that overlays multiple data points onto each of the 70,000 Census tracks in the country (a Census tract contains 4,200 people). Data tracked includes parental income level, race and gender along with incarceration rates.

The most interesting conclusions showed that while average neighborhood income is certainly a key indicator, neighborhoods with similar incomes, in close proximity, produced startlingly different outcomes for children. It’s here where I’ll say that while the data collected can be used by policymakers to influence spending and programs, there is no specific “eureka” that turns around the economic trajectories of a neighborhood’s children. Bethany Erickson already looked at this issue thoroughly, but there is more to be said about the numbers.

The major levers are neighborhood income (what I’ll call “hope”), two-parent households (familial stability), rates of incarceration (despair) and, of course, race and gender. What’s interesting is that easy conclusions can’t really be made. There’s a “secret sauce” at work.

(more…)

shipping container homes

Cotton Groves in McKinney is the nation’s first residential neighborhood made entirely of shipping containers.

Repurposing shipping containers into buildings, so-called cargotecture, isn’t a brand new concept, but it’s groundbreaking for Habitat for Humanity of Collin County, which hopes to build 35 affordable homes in Cotton Groves, the nation’s first residential neighborhood built entirely from upcycled steel containers.

Habitat affiliates in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio have explored building affordable housing from shipping containers. Collin County’s Habitat CEO, Celeste Cox, says the first model townhouse should be ready by the end of October or mid-November.

When complete next year, the Cotton Groves neighborhood will contain 35 shipping container homes, a community center, and a playground on the 2.75 acre plot near McKinney’s small airport on the east side of town. But first, Habitat must raise the $4.5 million during an upcoming capital campaign needed to fund the complete development. (more…)

Even though housing sales in Texas fell 3.2 percent, demand is still strong, the Texas A&M Real Estate Center’s June Housing Insight revealed. The same report revealed that Dallas’ affordable housing problems aren’t anywhere close to abating.

The report said that the Texas Residential Construction Cycle (Coincident) Index reached its highest level since 2008 last month, largely thanks to construction employment and wages. The index measures current construction activity in the state.

Housing shortages seem to have spurred an increase in supply activity, as the inventory of vacant developed lots rose 3.3 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth. However, single-family housing construction fell 1.8 percent in the second quarter. Texas is still at the top of the market with 16 percent of the national total for permits, though, and Dallas-Fort worth comes in at a strong second to Houston’s permit activity with 3,295. (more…)

Saragosa

Builders of Hope CDC’s affordable condo project in the Bishop Arts District, the Saragosa (seen in the foreground), will make homeowners of Dallasites that might not otherwise be able to afford to enter the market (Photos courtesy 3D Immersion Tours).

As new construction of single-family homes continues to become more expensive, even existing homes in affordable price points can be as fine as hen’s teeth in high-demand areas like the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff. But one community development corporation is aiming to change that — starting with one condo development.

It’s been a steady refrain for almost a year among economists and builders — construction nationally isn’t getting any cheaper, with tariffs, skilled labor shortages, increases in land costs, and increased costs in construction materials. In February, it was almost certainly the consensus at an affordable housing conference at the Dallas Federal Reserve that one entire segment of new single-family home construction — homes priced less than $200,000 — had virtually disappeared from the market. A study in May of the area all but confirmed it. (more…)

Silicon Valley corporations like Facebook and Google are reviving the notion of a “company town.” For decades, Silicon Valley has been single-minded in a pursuit of wealth via technology. The minting of tech millionaires has driven real estate out of reach for many not caught in the thrall of stock options and IPOs. Constructing housing in this environment seems a way to add capacity that benefits all. But there’s a likely far darker outcome.

(more…)

HUD

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Being poor is no picnic in a thousand little ways. People give the poor grief for using food stamps to buy junk food and sugary drinks. And now, a study using data from the New York State Department of Health hints at a partial reason: Food manufacturers know food stamps are issued monthly and typically spent within a week. So poorer shoppers are targeted with soda sales in the first week of the month.

In neighborhoods with few food stamp users, there’s no correlation of soda sales and date, but in poor neighborhoods, it’s 4.35 times more likely there will be a soda sale in the week food stamps are issued.  Interestingly, low-calorie soda ads didn’t increase, just the sugary ones. Pretty sleazy to target the poor (grocery stores and drinks makers all denied it) and then listen to politicians legislate what they buy.

But we’re on CandysDirt.com to talk about housing and real estate where the poor are targeted with similar empathy. (more…)

Bud Oglesby-Designed Condo In Oak Lawn Features Timeless Design | CandysDirt.com

Calling all architecture and design lovers: We’ve found a Bud Oglesby condo that’s the perfect dwelling for the Dallas urbanite. It just hit the market and offers are due by 5 p.m. Tuesday, so you have to act fast to snag this gem.  

Nestled in the Mansion neighborhood of Oak Lawn and only blocks from the Katy Trail, 2711 Hood St., Apt A is true to its original design with stained concrete flooring and open rafter ceilings. The original blue General Electric Wonder Kitchen (which includes stove, oven, sink, and stainless steel counters) has been preserved and offers an authentic and fun focal point for the space. 

“I think there’s an intangible element to this home that’s hard to put into words — it has history and soul,” said listing agent Phillip Murrell with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate — Park Cities. “Oglesby was ahead of his time and created an efficient, open space without any fuss, just great design.” 

This home has one bedroom, one bathroom, and 705 square feet on one story, built in 1969. Let’s take a look before it’s off the market. 

(more…)