Condo

Regardless of the configuration, this is the gorgeous view.

Editor’s note: Jon Anderson is a columnist for CandysDirt.com. His opinions are his own.

The following was adapted from a series of emails about how to possibly divide a double unit in the Claridge into two units. With help from the current Realtor, could we help this prospective condo buyer out? Read and see.

Dear Jonny: I saw your column last week about Claridge unit 5D and hoped maybe you can help me.  I’m sure you’re aware of the Claridge’s double-unit 18A/B penthouse that’s been for sale since 2015. The years have seen several price reductions, knocking more than a million off its original $2.65 million. It might finally be within my grasp – kinda. Like you, I am a renovator and feel the price now takes a needed renovation into account. But here’s the thing, at 5,311 square feet, it’s too big for me. Also, the floorplan of the two combined units doesn’t work. It creates a very long space that originally had five bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half bathrooms – as you know, Claridge units have full his/hers master bathrooms.

The current real estate agent is Sharon Quist with Dave Perry-Miller whom I think you know. According to Sharon, the current owner wants to sell the unit whole and not re-divide it. Here’s my dilemma and request – could you look at the floor plan and create options for dividing the unit?  I saw your reimagining of the 3525 Turtle Creek unit and the one at the Gold Crest and thought maybe if agents and buyers saw the options, it might bring another buyer and myself together on a real estate-style “blind date”.

  • Goldilocks

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Capturing “unit as view” enables buyers to mentally place unit.

[Editor’s note: Jon Anderson is a columnist for CandysDirt.com. His opinions are his own.]

It’s been a while since I’ve visited the Claridge straddling Turtle Creek at Lemmon Avenue. In 2016, CandysDirt.com hosted a four-unit simultaneous open house that reintroduced us all to homes in the same building with different stories to tell. I called those units “Rahab,” “Remodel,” “Refresh,” and  “Rejoice,” which reflected how move-in ready they were (based on my personal tastes).

My “Remodel” was unit 5D, which was listed at the time for $1.474 million. It’s now back on the market with Allie Beth Allman agent Sue Krider for $1.189 million. While snoozing usually equates to losing, this time it’ll snag any buyer $285,000 off the original price. The home remains 3,049 square feet with two bedrooms and three-and-one-half bathrooms. The floorplan (below) shows this was originally a three-bedroom that’s been converted to include two home offices — perfect for all you DINKs out there (Double Income No Kids).

Why am I revisiting this property?  The photos.

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Avanti: 4122 Avondale

[Editor’s note: Jon Anderson is a columnist for CandysDirt.com. His opinions are his own.]

I recently suggested that builders lay off the endless blocks of cookie-cutter townhouses with their all-too-familiar floor plans. I see them as an inefficient use of space that invariably cost homebuyers more for the same amount of usable space. They’re the real estate equivalent of the adage, “an elephant is a mouse designed by a committee.”  The answer is single-story “flats” condos.

However, for all their efficient use of space, high-rises often come with HOA dues that put them (monetarily and philosophically) out of reach of most — not to mention some folks being height averse. Enter the low-rise flat. In the early 20th century, many cities built a network of duplex flats, some even triplex flats. In Dallas, these buildings can be seen in many older neighborhoods in East Dallas, Oak Lawn, and Oak Cliff. They offered a way for an owner to have a rental property to ease mortgage payments.

Pre-Recession, Dallas was building a few low-rise flats condo buildings with all the joy of single-story living and reasonable HOAs. Some baulk at any HOA dues, but things like uniform exterior maintenance and landscaping matter – and it’s better to have something in the bank when problems arise versus hastily passing the hat.

Anyway, let’s peek at three low-rise flats in Oak Lawn built pre-Recession.

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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…)