JCHS tabulations of Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Consumer Finances.

In Texas, the average debt is $26,292 and 56 percent of residents hold student loan debt. But one company found a way to make it go away faster.

In 1995, about a quarter of adults aged 20-29 had student loan debt. In 2016, it had increased to 47 percent. The percentage who had less than $10,000 went from 16 to 12 percent, while those owing $10,000 to $24,999 rose from 8 percent to 15 percent. Former students owing $25,000 to $49,999 also jumped from two percent to 12 percent and those owing over $50,000 from one percent to eight.

We also know that it takes the average college-educated person with student loan debt until around age 35 to reach the homeownership rates of their peers without debt. Student loan debt is one of the biggest reasons the Millennial generation took so long to purchase a home. And what about Generation Z, whose oldest have just drank their first legal beer while waiting for their even larger student loans to come due?

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We knew this day was coming. The day we’d see new construction of high-density, mixed-use projects all over North Oak Cliff. We rezoned less than a year ago to allow the growth we knew was coming, and hopefully have some control over how it transpires.

So here we are, faced with a developer wanting to listen to the community and do a ‘good’ project. Enter: Matt Segrest and Wade Johns of Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan. They’re developing the proposed Bishop Arts Gateway project, three 5-story buildings along Zang Blvd at Davis St and Seventh St. They say they’re in it for the long term, and that they cut their teeth developing in Portland and Seattle so they understand Streetcars and well-built neighborhoods. So they called a meeting with the neighborhood Thursday to get our input.

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It’s all a bit ironic if you think about it – a meeting of past gentrifiers to talk about future gentrification. Granted, not all of us at the meeting moved to O.C. from somewhere else. A couple attendees had a tenure longer than a few decades. The rest of us moved here after the police station storefront opened and closed on Bishop, after the city spent over a million dollars to build great sidewalks and plant trees, after the Texas Theatre and The Kessler were restored…

So what are we really talking about here? The changing character of a neighborhood and its people. The issue isn’t unique to Bishop Arts though, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Some call it gentrification (that dirty word), others progress.

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Jane and Daniel Cheek

Jane and Daniel Cheek with sons Ike (1) and Abe (3). (Photo: Maryam Salassi)

I got to know Jane Cheek and her cute little boy, Abe, when she was teaching a toddler art class in East Dallas a little over a year ago. This talented stay-at-home-mom, a former art teacher, came up with the cutest ideas for crafts for our little buggers. When she and her husband, Daniel, bought a home up in Royal Highlands Village, I adored watching her transform their three-bedroom semi-detached into a gorgeous property. She managed to do it just months after having her second little boy, Ike, too.

Now with two boys and another bun in the oven, Jane and Daniel Cheek are moving back to their hometown of Raleigh, N.C. Our loss was some other homebuyer’s gain, as their adorable home was snapped up in a matter of days, all due to the brilliant marketing of Keller Williams Elite agent Vicki White.

Read on for their real estate story …

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