affordable

Nearly 700 builders from across the nation converged on Capitol Hill in June for NAHB’s 2019 Legislative Conference to urge lawmakers to pass policies that will support building quality, affordable housing (Photo courtesy NAHB).

From the National Association of Home Builders

As the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) celebrates National Homeownership Month in June, builders are urging Congress to address America’s housing affordability challenges.

“Removing regulatory barriers that contribute to the increased costs of housing will pave the way to homeownership,” said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Greg Ugalde, a builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “Home builders and the residential construction community are committed to working with Congress to ensure homeownership is within reach of hard-working families.” (more…)

housing

Illustration courtesy Photofox

Rents and home prices continue to rise (even with a slight cooling), and much like salaries across the country, the salaries of teachers in Dallas-Fort Worth have not kept pace with those rising housing costs, a new analysis by Apartment List revealed.

In DFW, almost 24 percent of primary-earner teachers were burdened by the cost of their housing — the teacher cost burden rate was 48.1 percent higher than the rate for households where the primary earner was a college-educated non-teacher. The median income of teachers in the area is 30.7 percent less than the median income of full-time non-teachers with similar education. (more…)

mothballed

A vestibule at the Douglass at Page Woodson, which recently won a prestigious preservation award after developers turned into a long-abandoned Oklahoma City high school into affordable housing (Photo by Justin Clemons Photography/courtesy the National Trust for Historic Preservation)

Three Dallas ISD schools — shuttered for years, are now up for sale, the district announced last month. It’s uncertain how much they’ll go for in the competitive, sealed bidding process, but one of the mothballed schools — Phillis Wheatley Elementary — is considered to be a historic site.

That the three schools are up for sale is likely no surprise to anyone who paid attention to last September’s board of trustees meeting, where the trustees took up discussion of what to do with three shuttered campuses – the former Billy Earl Dade building, Pearl C. Anderson Elementary, and Phillis Wheatley Elementary. Both Wheatley and Anderson were closed in 2012, and both have been the target of vandals as well.

Wheatley Elementary (Photos courtesy City of Dallas)

Wheatley Elementary opened in 1929, and sits in the historic Wheatley Place neighborhood, named after Phillis Wheatley, an African-American poet from the 18th century. The entire neighborhood has been designated as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and as a Dallas Landmark District by the city. (more…)

The three-bedroom, one-bath gem at 1611 Centerville Road offers a unique combination of midcentury charm and modern amenities. The home was originally built in 1950.  Its previous owner, who also just happened to have grown up there, remodeled it after his parents passed away. The renovations he made added necessary updates while restoring much of the original character.

Dallas City Center Realtor Scott Noblett helped him sell the house a few years ago, and was impressed with the pride he took in renovating it. Now that the current owner is moving on, he’s looking forward to finding another family who will fall in love with this one-of-a-kind property.

“It’s such a charming little house,” Dallas City Center Realtor Scott Noblett said. “It has a lot of the original hardwood floors that have been beautifully refurbished. It’s super inviting and makes you feel really comfortable.”

(more…)

By Deb R. Brimer

Redeveloper Jim Lake can write a book about red tape. Another year has come and gone since Jim Lake Companies (JLC) purchased the historic Ambassador Hotel in 2015 to redevelop into chic apartments, and the only visible sign of progress is that the once-grand 115-year-old landmark just got another year older.

According to the Dallas Morning News, JLC initially planned to start construction around the middle of 2016 after moving through the state and federal historic landmark processes, but the Ambassador didn’t receive official designations until the end of 2018.

The only things that move slower than history are the processes for preserving it, it would seem.

Back when it was known as the Park Hotel, and as the Majestic before that, the building hosted all sorts of dignitaries and celebrities.

(more…)

“Big” and “cheap” are two of the words I use to describe my current home. Far from pejorative, they’re watch words for folks who want to live somewhere better than they thought they could afford. In my case, “big” and “cheap” were what I needed to renovate. But this big and cheap condo was already renovated in 2016.

We’re talking about a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo boasting 1,204 square feet for $145,000 that’s listed with Apryl Jolas of Coldwell Banker Residential. For cooks, there’s a Tom Thumb two blocks away and Preston Hollow Village’s Trader Joes is five minutes away. I’m talking about 10562 High Hollows Drive, unit #147. That’s west of Central Expressway between Walnut Hill and Royal Lanes. On the plus side, it’s in a multi-family area mixed with condos and apartments. On the upside, it looks like no one’s selling out for redevelopment — I see that plenty of cash has been splashed out on condo and apartment renovations. Stability is a good thing.

Another good thing?  The $596-per-month HOA dues include utilities! Crank up the air in August and have a parka party. All totaled, with a 30-year mortgage, HOA dues and taxes, you’re looking at about $1,500 per month. Drop the mortgage to 15-years and you’re looking at about $1,800 per month.

(more…)

Windmass Capital’s Vision for Colorado Blvd at Marsalis Ave in North Oak Cliff

After over a year of meeting with neighbors, stakeholders, and City of Dallas staff, the WindMass Capital development team has thrown in the towel just before this Wednesday’s City Council meeting where they would have been on the agenda to move forward on a very complicated deal.

WindMass owns the Founders Square Apartments. Over the decades the building became surrounded on three sides by Oak Cliff‘s Founders Park. Long story short, they hoped to swap their 1.37 acres for the adjacent 1.37 acres on the corner of Colorado Blvd. and Marsalis Ave., build a new mixed-use apartment building with retail on the ground floor, then demolish their old building, give it to the city all cleaned up like park land should be, and give a half million dollars to the city for additional park improvements. Sounds pretty crazy amazing, doesn’t it?

As Willis Winters, Director of the Park Department, said at the last Park Board meeting, the city has tried to purchase this property for years to make Founders Park more contiguous, but hasn’t been able to afford it.  This project would essentially accomplish that goal for the Parks Department.

Even neighbors and stakeholders were in support, a rare feat in itself!

(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).

[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…)