collier

Houston businessman and Democrat Mike Collier filed at 1 p.m. Monday to run against incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (Photo courtesy Mike Collier).

Mike Collier knows that there are people that care deeply about whether Texas stays red, turns blue, or goes purple — but it’s not his chief goal.

“My aspiration is political competition,” he said on a drive from Houston to Dallas last week. “I just want to see the end of this one-party system.”

Collier filed today to run as a Democrat against incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and said he knows that running for a statewide seat as anything other than a Republican can be seen to some as a bit quixotic.

But is it really? The Houston businessman may have seemed like a long shot when he first announced he was considering a run several months ago, but recent successes this month in other GOP stronghold areas has made the whole prospect less far-fetched.

Collier said his platform’s foundation is in two intersecting areas — public education and property taxes. For an hour, CandysDirt.com engaged in a question and answer session with the candidate. Below are some of his responses. (more…)

Bluffview Estates MediterraneanHave you noticed that character is largely missing in homes today? There are plenty of beautiful luxury properties being built and finished out with a proven style that appeals to a tribal mentality. And, it’s becoming a bit boring. So, when we saw this magnificent Bluffview Estates Mediterranean that just oozed character — oh my, did it turn heads around here! (more…)

Remember that freeze we had just before Christmas last?  Somehow, something had knocked the insulation off a fire sprinkler pipe in the attic above our media room, which took talent because we have a ton of insulation in our attics. Since I seldom go upstairs, I did not know there was a leak from a frozen fire sprinkler that burst once it thawed, filling the room like a swimming pool. When I opened the door to the garage, directly below this room, it was Niagara Falls!

A whole lot of clean up, drying, hauling, moving, and wall/floor repair later, I am learning first hand the difference between two foundations, the post tension slab and old-fashioned pier and beam. 

First off I consulted one of my trusty Candy’s Dirt-approved homebuilders, Tony Visconti of Bella Custom Homes. Tony builds multi-million dollar estates, huge ones, such as his glorious home on Deloache. The available home at 4926 Deloache in Old Preston Hollow is a pier and beam foundation with a basement. This home is a little over 14,000 square feet of luxurious finish out, all situated on a gorgeous, wooded 1.76 acre lot.  

Which foundation is better, I asked?

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CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY / KERA NEWS

This is the memorial for the five officers brutally slain last year in Dallas during a peaceful demonstration. Called the Circle of Heroes, it was created and funded by Dallas real estate developers as a dedicated a memorial. The six bronze plaques are mounted on stones that surround a flagpole. The location is along the Trinity Strand Trail in the Dallas Design District.

Today is the first anniversary of the horrific shooting. 

“We struggle some days to work through our emotions, and still ask why,” Spiller said. “But, we continue to because we know that that’s what our fallen brothers and their friends and families expect us to do.”

Indeed. 

CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY / KERA NEWS

Walls have ears 1

Do the walls have ears? Is your home listening in on you? It might be if you use “smart home” devices, says Jon Anderson. And they could be storing everything.

In Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart, the writer gets away with murder, boasting at seating detectives above the buried body while being interviewed. Good planning and credible acting were all that were required.

In Arkansas, a murder case is winding through the courts.  Three men watched sports, got drunk, hit the hot tub and the next morning one was dead.  The homeowner is suspected of the killing that he says was an accident that happened while he was sleeping. The homeowner is also a gadget guy with many “smart” appliances attached to the internet.  One is Amazon’s Echo running the Alexa personal assistant (think Siri).

Voice activated devices are like dogs listening to hear “walkies” so they can spring into action. Only unlike dogs, these devices are also recording. Manufacturers say they only record the actual interaction (the question and answer), but honestly, who’s to say?

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Lakewood Heights Contemporary Craftsman 6111 Lakeshore Drive

East Dallas neighborhoods can get confusing. Consider Lakewood. You have Lakewood proper, Lakewood Hills, and Lakewood Heights. Add to that the apartment communities of Lakewood Flats and Lakewood Greens. While they may all share a first name, getting that last name wrong is like being referred to as the first husband’s wife, when husband number three is manning the backyard grill. No one wants to make that mistake. So, we’re going to clarify exactly where Lakewood Heights is located, and exactly what’s so special about this neighborhood, because our Saturday Eight Hundred is a Lakewood Heights contemporary craftsman cottage that is a brand-new David Weekley custom build at 6111 Lakeshore Drive. It not only pays homage to the character of the neighborhood, but it’s also staged to perfection — and you know how much that means to this particular CandysDirt.com staffer. (more…)

HEB

Are we getting one of these or no? (Photo by Dave Stone/Flickr)

It all started with one neighbor in the Preston Hollow/Midway Hollow area excitedly telling others via social media that a cashier at Central Market told her that 100 percent, no doubt about it, the Sunfresh Market site on Northwest Highway and Midway Road that was one of the sites H-E-B (also the parent company of Central Market) picked up was absolutely going to be an H-E-B and that only one site Uptown would become a Central Market.

Alrighty then. I filed it on my list of things to look into on Monday and continued my weekend chores.

But then another neighbor posted an email she got from H-E-B corporate, asking for an update. The email – which was signed by the H-E-B/Central Market director of public affairs Mabrie Jackson – said, “While no announcement has been formally made regarding all of the real estate H-E-B/Central Market acquired from Sunfresh, I can tell you that you will be very pleased around the end of summer 2017.”

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. This sounds intriguing. So I fired off my own inquiry to Jackson to see if I could confirm this and maybe get a few more details.

“I have no details finalized on all of the Sunfresh properties to share, but I can confirm that the properties purchased were being considered for our Central Market format only,” Jackson said. She also told me to check back after Thanksgiving.

So I guess those tea leaves are a little clearer?  If you combine both emails, the picture that emerges is that something is happening next summer, and that ain’t nobody getting an H-E-B (probably – I mean, that could be a bit of misdirection, I suppose, to keep things vague).  Stay tuned, I guess, for more exciting news after Thanksgiving.

 

 

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You can’t stop stagers from staging! Table decor was off the charts. All photos courtesy John Bishop: Texas Hill Country Photography

Do you ever wonder what your real estate stager does in between consulting on occupied and vacant properties, writing reports, proposals and contracts, shopping for and selecting just the right furniture and accessories for vacant properties, re-arranging furniture in listed homes that need help, managing inventory systems, packing, unpacking, scheduling deliveries and pickups? Well, I mean, in their SPARE time? (more…)