Since Sunday night, almost the minute that the tornado sirens went off across North Dallas and surrounding cities, we started posting information on our social pages and website to help the many thousands of readers affected directly by this multi-tornadic storm like we’ve never seen before.

For this week’s edition of Suburb Sunday, we looked on the map for the closest suburb near North Dallas and storm-affected areas, which took us to the bustling four-square-mile Dallas County town of Addison. If you’re looking for affordable rentals, here are three homes sorted by descending square footage that you could call home. If you have an available home for lease in the greater North Dallas and close suburbs, comment below or email shelby@candysdirt.com to help get the word out about your listing. (more…)

The Royal Institute of British Architects awards the Stirling Prize to the best building of any type built in the UK during that year. First awarded in 1996, the Stirling Prize has been awarded to everything from the media gallery of the Lord’s cricket pitch in 1999 to the rebirth of a 12th century fortified manor ravaged by fire in 1978 reborn into the 20th century. Zaha Hadid has won twice, as has Foster + Partners. It’s a big deal.

This year, the award went to a public housing project that’s built to Passivhaus energy efficiency standards designed by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley.  In total, the Goldsmith Street project by the Norwich City Council has racked up six RIBA awards. Called council housing in the UK, in the US we’d equate it with public housing, built by local governments to house a lower-income working class.

That this type of cost-conscious housing could win a design award is telling. That it could also be so energy efficient, tells more. In addition to being affordable to construct, tenants’ energy bills are estimated to be 70 percent lower than normal – bringing running costs down further.

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Photo courtesy Flickr/Woodleywonderworks

From staff reports

How much do you need to make per year to afford a home in Dallas? According to one report, less than $60,000.

But is that true? According to CNBC Make It, they’ve identified 15 cities where the qualifying income to purchase a home with 10 percent or 20 percent down is an annual salary of $60,000 or less. 

They’ve based this determination on data from the National Association of Realtors’ Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability index. It also assumes a 4.1 percent interest rate, and a monthly principal and interest payment that is 25 percent of a homebuyer’s income, or less.

According to CNBC’s number crunchers, Dallas made the list. And it’s not too surprising, after all, another study from Zillow found that someone with a high school diploma and no college hours at all could afford (in theory) to buy a home in Dallas.  (more…)

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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…)

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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.”

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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.

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