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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The Azure is a building that draws plenty of buyers thanks to its beautiful design and great Uptown location. But how often do you get to see a one-bedroom condo that offers the top three asks for almost every condo buyer? This unit, represented by Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate’s Jarrad Barnes, is the perfect alchemy of location, accessibility, design, and amenities. 

This Uptown condo easy pick for our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans thanks to the unit’s breathtaking design. Plus, there’s so much storage in this unit that you’ll always have a place for everything, and everything will be in its place!

“This unit has been completely reimagined,” Barnes said of Unit 302 at 2900 McKinnon St. “So it is unlike any one-bedroom in the Azure.”

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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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Diamond Head

3165 Diamond Head Road (Unit C highlighted)

Back in 1982, two oceanfront thirds of an acre caught the eye of a developer who created a four-unit community behind private gates. Called Ku’u Makana it’s located in Honolulu at the foot of Diamond Head crater on the island of Oahu.  Each of the four units are identical 3,536 square feet indoors and another 674 square feet of lanai space.

In the photo above, the demarcation of the units is obvious with the center fireplace chimneys.  No, it doesn’t get cold enough to need a fireplace and you’d likely need the air-conditioning cranked if you used it, but there you go. There are left-right and up-down units.

Currently the two upper units are for sale – one in need of an overhaul and the other already renovated. Unlike a recent gut job I toured in Dallas, with $1,023,000 separating the units, the renovation is more than priced into the deal.

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Meridian Square is a new luxury condo development off Addison Circle with high-end finishes and a killer location just off the Dallas North Tollway. 

The development itself has come to being in stages and they now offer or will offer an expansive communal courtyard with green spaces and brick-paved streets, a resort-style swimming pool, gardens, a sundeck, and a children’s playground. All of the shops, restaurants, and entertainment of Addison Circle are walking distance of Meridian Square. 

For today’s Splurge vs Steal, we look at two units at Meridian Square. Which one is your jam? 

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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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