Ryan Shea, his wife Mercy, and one of their sons enjoy last year’s holiday pie party.

For the seventh straight year, Realtor Ryan Shea will celebrate the holidays with pies. His annual holiday pie party is a way to thank clients and give back to those who have helped him.

“Ultimately it’s just a way to get everyone together,” Shea said. “My clients can meet each other. It’s just a great way to lighten up, relax and have a good time.”

The event will be held from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Dallas Tree House store, 8021 Walnut Hill Lane. Anyone interested in attending should email Shea at ryan.shea@exprealty.com along with their pie preference (pecan, pumpkin or apple) before Dec. 10. International speaker and author Dr. Hank Seitz, known for his books on business and performance development, will also be in attendance. (more…)

Morse Code “Good Morning”

A few weeks ago I wrote about the pitiful communication skills many HOAs and management companies use when communicating with residents.  Who knew I would get a second example so soon?

Imagine your Saturday tranquility shattered by jackhammers ripping through concrete minutes after sunrise at 7 a.m. Turns out that a building with ground-floor commercial space chose Saturday morning to allow a renovation to begin after the space recently changed hands.

Needless to say, residents were unhappy and loudly voiced their unhappiness over the din of the demolition.

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Grapevines are an effective, but famously inaccurate. form of communication

We’ve all heard (and likely employed) the old saying, “Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.”  The inference is that while you were going to do something anyway, once it’s done, the resulting hassles are less than having to deal with the before-during-after trio of carping.  But that strategy doesn’t play well in multi-family dwellings that often operate as a Peyton Place of wagging tongues.

Of course the other issue here is that resident-representatives on HOA boards are generally untrained in the ways of communication. Management companies can be equally untrained. All seemingly unable to operate on even the most basic “what would I like” litmus test.

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Listing vs DCAD. Paying full-price for a 299 square foot balcony?

AT&T used to say, “you get what you pay for.” In real estate, you pay for what you get, so it’s important to know what you’re getting, especially when condo shopping. In many markets, including Hawaii, exterior space (balconies) counts towards living space. That means when you buy a 1,000-square-foot condo, the price per square foot is calculated as 1,000 square feet, regardless of whether there’s a 200 square foot balcony included in that 1,000 square feet.

In Dallas, a 1,000 square foot condo means 1,000 square feet under roof that is heated and air-conditioned. The balcony is sorta free or at least not part of the price-setting. In Hawaii, the 200-square-foot balcony is additional space and would be listed as 1,200 square feet.  Got it? In Dallas, balconies are generally not counted as chargeable, interior space.

Unless they are.

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The penthouse is still available at $16.5 million

Museum Tower has hit a crucially important sales milestone: 80% sold. Which means 100% is in the very near future. In high rises, sales multiply more rapidly with every signed contract.

And for Museum Tower, one of the contracts that put them in the 80 percent club came from another prominent Dallas family moving out of Preston Hollow. They will be in good company. (Editor’s Note: upon request and respect for privacy, we have removed the names of the high profile homeowners though it is public record.) 

Currently there are 108 homes, after legal combinations of units, and only 22 homes left to sell.

22/108 =20.37%

The 42-story luxury tower is now five years old. And for Steve Sandborg, Managing Director, Sales and Operations, this sales threshold couldn’t be a better holiday gift.

“We’ve been inching towards that magic 8-0 number, we’ve had a strong year, so we knew we would get here by now,” says Steve. “Museum Tower is a very special place, and nobody has this perfect location, in the center of everything.”

Steve and the Briggs Freeman real estate team working tirelessly toward 100% sales says interest in the building seems to get stronger every day.

“The buzz around town is that we are THEE place,” says Steve.   (more…)

When a condo is first built and still controlled by the developer, HOA dues are kept low to not scare off buyers. Once the developer is gone, those payments have to be reassessed to ensure they meet the needs of the ongoing repair and maintenance of the building. (Hint, they’re not.) The Mayfair, neighboring Lee Oak Lawn Park, is 18 years old, and like all buildings, various maintenance requirements need to be met. 

Soon after the Mayfair gained independence, they began conducting reserve studies that detailed the condition  of their infrastructure, its life expectancy, and estimated costs to repair or replace.  As you know, I’m big on HOAs doing reserve studies to avoid surprises that typically equate to a special assessment and/or the sudden failure of a critical element of a building (That noise you heard? Surprise! The A/C will be out for the month of August).

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Nearby condo replacing noisy steel carport roof with … noisy steel carports roof

Maintenance doesn’t necessarily mean repairing something back to its original condition.  If it did, we’d all still be using outhouses. And while we’re pretty good at changing interior spaces to suit our living needs, often exteriors are left out.

Here’s an example.  In my building, probably 80 percent of our balconies are (unfortunately) enclosed and will likely (unfortunately) remain that way.  Outside those enclosures are the original railings which give owners a nice prison-bar view from the waist down.  Not very enticing.

When it came time to repaint and repair the exterior of the building, railing repair was part of the drill.  My question was why couldn’t we ask the city if the railings on those completely enclosed balconies couldn’t just be removed.  They served no useful purpose, were unattractive and ultimately cost money to maintain.

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In my recent Dallas High-Rise Buyer’s Guide series, I noted that there are a lot of buildings too close to highways for comfort.  If I added in all the recent highway-adjacent apartments, none of us would be separated by the requisite six degrees from someone who has a noise problem.  What can you do?

Technology

High-tech and smart folks are of more use than making battery-operated gadgets that fit on your pocket.  Turns out there’s a whole science to minimizing road noise intrusion not only inside our homes, but shaving a few decibels when we’re outside. The place to start is the Acoustical Society of America, which was founded in 1928 by some smart folks at Bell Laboratories (yes, the phone people).  By the time of their first meeting in 1929, there were 450 members. By 1931 they’d joined with three other groups to form the American Institute of Physics.  Don’t let the “American” fool you — this is an international body that develops and sets standards in a variety of sound-related disciplines from musical acoustics to architecture.  Nifty, eh?

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