Edgemere on the Parkway 1

Just last month we reported on a lawsuit involving Preston Tower and now it’s been uncovered that another Pink Wall condominium is reeling from at least three lawsuits filed by recent buyers against their HOA, the prior owners, and managing agent Intercity Investments (also named in the Preston Tower suit and a third that was settled out of court also in Pink Wall turf).  Edgemere on the Parkway is located at the corner of Northwest Highway and Edgemere Road. It comprises two 10-unit buildings at 8505 and 8511 Edgemere that were built in 2004, making it 13 years old.

All three plaintiffs (Bartlett Family Trust, Lawrence and Brenda Weprin, and Syann Singleton) make essentially the same claims.  Each purchased their units in 2014-2015 and almost immediately began experiencing frequent ceiling and window leaks that stained walls and ceilings.  In addition, raw sewage was backing up into at least one of the second flood units.

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Condo columnist Jon Anderson, like Bob Odenkirk of 'Better Call Saul,' is not a real lawyer. But he can read, so there's that.

Condo columnist Jon Anderson, like Bob Odenkirk of ‘Better Call Saul,’ is not a real lawyer. But he can read, so there’s that.

Let me caveat this by saying that, unlike a woman discussed in last week’s post,  I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. That said, I can read.

Texas condominium associations formed after January 1, 1994 are governed by the Texas Uniform Condominium Act (TUCA) which falls under Chapter 82 of the Texas Property Code. Originally proposed in 1980, TUCA was trapped in the state legislature for 13 years. It replaced the old Chapter 81 Texas Condominium Act (TCA) dating back to the legalization of condos in Texas in 1963.

TUCA is a more encompassing document than the old TCA. While associations prior to 1994 are not subject to TUCA (unless they vote to be), there are 14 TUCA provisions that all Texas UCA condos must also adhere to.

The reason it’s been TCA/TUCA and not UCA is “Texas.” There is a second-generation “model” Uniform Condominium Act dating back to 1980 written by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Texas couldn’t leave well enough alone and fiddled with an estimated one-third of the new statutes. Some good, some really bad.

Overall, TUCA is an encompassing (long) document covering all facets of the creation, operation and dissolution of condominium properties. The bad news for many condo dwellers is that their HOA board members have either never read it or willfully ignore key parts of it.

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Ritz Unit 702 Terrace

Want to share a story about HOA shenanigans, or have a beautiful unit to show off? Jon Anderson wants to hear about it.

We at CandysDirt.com have been set atingle by the comments readers have posted in public and (scandalously!) in private. First of all, I wish to thank all of my readers. This is the first time I’ve had fans that haven’t been attached to the ceiling!

Share the HOA Luvin’

To expand the theme, we’ve created an email address for readers to contact me more directly. If you have a salacious real estate story or tales of HOA tomfoolery, let me know. If you have a positive story to tell, believe it or not, I’m interested in that too! It’s just as valuable and interesting to know who’s doing “it” well. Not to worry, you’ll be kept as anonymous as you want. As Jim Croce sang…”You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with… Candy!”

Share Your Crib Shots

Also, you know I’m big on renovations and I’d love to showcase your hard work. This is especially true of the high-rise variety. So send me your before and after pics along with your renovation yarn (or we can have a chat and I’ll take notes). Realtors, got a high-rise dump you’re trying to shift or a mega-renovated listing to crow about? We can talk, or if you’d rather, play show-and-tell. I’m game either way.

Share your story with me by shooting me a note at sharewithjon@candysdirt.com

CONDO VS HOUSE GRAPHIC

When it comes to deciding whether or not you want to invest in a condo or a single-family house, there’s a whole lot to mull over. Before stressing about homeowners associations and finding the perfect neighborhoods we decided to speak to Dallas City Center Realty’s Nancy Guerriero, who offered a wealth of sound advice.

“The biggest positive you have with a condo is the ability to lock and leave — go out with friends, travel, it’s so much easier than a house that needs to be watched over and maintained,” Guerriero says, “But at the same time you need to think about the neighborhood.”

She explains that there’s a basic checklist that most homebuyers go over before purchasing: What’s the school system like? Are there parks? Where’s the nearest shopping center? Grocery store? All of these components are essential, and as vital as exploring a condo’s homeowners association (HOA).

“The biggest issue is the governing power of the building, or HOA,” Guerriero emphasizes. “If you don’t have a good one, it’s bad news.”

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Let’s say you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of city life and you want your own spot in the country to relax, raise a few kids, all while conveniently close to Lake Lewisville. Oh, and you want a waterfall in your backyard.

You are in luck.

This six bedroom, five-and-a-half bath stunner in Aubrey has plenty of room for a family (and then some!) with a craft room, a gigantic kitchen, and a huge patio all on more than an acre. It’s inside Stone Mountain Estates, a gated community where your nearest neighbor isn’t too close for comfort.

I know someone is going to ask: The HOA fees are $600 a month year. Considering the price tag on 5475 Summit Trace, a 5,283-square-foot home, let’s just say that if you need to eat balogna sandwiches and ramen noodles to afford the HOA fees mortgage, then this house isn’t for you.

I’ll tell you who this house could be for — Pilar Sanders. Why? Excellent schools in Aubrey ISD, a huge lot inside a gated community, a waterfall because she’ll need somewhere to meditate, and there’s a second floor bed/bath suite, which will be perfect for house guests. I wonder if Ebby agent Laura Brewer, who is marketing this home, has heard from our gal …

Now, this English traditional has a few things I am in love with that Pilar might not like so much, such as the copper soaking tub. These are so rare, but so awesome!

Also fantastic: The craft room. I’ve always wanted my own place to get creative. This would be equally cool as an art studio.

Something this size with all of these luxury touches, such as high-end Miele kitchen appliances and gorgeous wood floors, would go for $5 million and upwards inside Dallas County. In Denton County, though, it’ll set you back a cool $1,297,897.

Houston Chronicle

Update March 8, 2012: That is indeed our Jeff Crilley, who responded to my query. Jeff is helping the Estates of Legends Ranch HOA smooth over this ruffle — and what a ruffle it was! But they have a very good man helping them make nice.

Well, we know Texas HOA’s are pretty strict, but this story might make you spring for joy. Down in Spring, Texas, near Houston, Nick and Jeni Dreis brought home a 6-month-old red kangaroo as a vocational training animal for their 16-year-old daughter Kala, who has Downs syndrome. Kala named the kangaroo Mike, who the Dreises were grooming to assist disabled persons in a future organic park and wildlife preserve near Conroe , according to ABC News reported.

But then, their local homeowners association refused to allow Mike in the subdivision.

The Dreis family received a letter from the Estates of Legends Ranch Homeowners Association last February 20, demanding that they “immediately remove the kangaroo from the property, as it is not a household pet, nor can it be maintained for any business purposes.” That HOA meant business: the Dreises were instructed to “correct the violation immediately.”

This is where we love the power of the press: when the situation was made public, the Dreises were bombarded with support for the family from across the globe. And so on March 1, the HOA reversed its position.

“The letter should never have been sent,” Jeff Crilley — is this OUR Jeff Crilley? — of the Estates of Legends Ranch Homeowners Association told The Houston Chronicle — click here to see some heartwarming photos of the joey, little Mike. “They [HOA officials] were unaware that the kangaroo was being used for therapy purposes.”

So Texas HOAs do have a heart after all. Not so in some other states.

AOL Real estate reports that the Veloudis family in Lexington, Ky., who built a medically-mandated playhouse for their 3-year-old son Cooper, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was similarly prohibited by their HOA for having something unusual that helped their child..

The Veloudis’ HOA demanded the playhouse be “removed” immediately. Despite support from the press and wider community, their HOA continues to stand by their decision that the playhouse “violates deed restrictions” and must be removed. The family apparent can hang onto the playhouse “temporarily”.

Down in Spring, the Dreis family, a bit miffed at the extremes they had to go to, plan to keep Mike for about a year before moving him to a wildlife park. The case raises an interesting point: where do you draw the line on animals?

According to The Chronicle, eighteen states and the District of Columbia ban all exotic animals. Texas is one of only 12 states that allow them, subject to some permitting requirements. And the rules vary across the state: Harris County allows it. According to BornFree USA, it is unlawful to possess or harbor a prohibited animal within Dallas city limits. Prohibited animals include poisonous reptiles, ostriches, rheas, all non-domesticated cats, wolves, bears, all primates, and deer, bison, camels, and antelope. The Public Health and Environmental Services agency regulates animals the Commissioners Court has deemed dangerous and in need of control, such as cougars, tigers, elephants and coyotes.

Not kangaroos.

And the Humane Society of the United States wants to get tougher, says Nicole Paquette, the society’s senior state director in Texas. Citing our lax laws on private ownership of exotic animals, Paquette says Texas requires registration of 19 species of animals.

That does not include Kangaroos. So what do you think? Would you want a Kangaroo — or a wild tiger — as a next-door neighbor?