According to ABODO, Dallas' 75216 Zip code is a hotspot for flippers. (Map: Google Maps)

According to ATTOM Data Solutions, Dallas’ 75216 Zip code is a hotspot for flippers. (Map: Google Maps)

Flipping a home is more of an art than a science. While budgets should be a consideration for any real estate investor, creating a home that someone wants to live in so much that they’ll put in an offer above asking price is paramount. But that’s tough in some areas where lot values are skyrocketing and materials costs are through the roof. But more budget-friendly areas, neighborhoods where you can get a lot of house for a little, are becoming more attractive to flippers.

In Dallas, that area is the 75216 Zip code. For the uninitiated, that’s a vast swath of southern Dallas between Interstate 35 East and Interstate 45 just north of Loop 12. Neighborhoods such as Cedar Crest. Interestingly enough, according to Realtor.com there are just 84 single-family homes on the market in this area, and 152 listings total. Seems like a hot area, but that could change because flipping is actually slowing down. At least that’s what ATTOM Data Solutions says.

The company, which calls itself the “curator of the nation’s largest fused property database,” said that the number of homes flipped in the US has actually decreased from the 6-year high reached in the previous quarter. That’s falling from a 5.6 percent flipping rate to 5.1 percent, or from 53,892 flipped homes to 49,305. Flippers buying with cash accounted 67.9 percent, down from 68.2 percent in the previous quarter and down from 69.0 percent in Q3 2015 to the lowest level since Q3 2008 — an eight-year low.

According to ATTOM, a flip is a home sold for the second time in a 12-month stretch. The company surveys more than 950 counties, which comes out to approximately 80 percent of the American population. Let’s see what that looks like in 75216.

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Fair Park Ferris Wheel SM

Turning Fair Park over to a private nonprofit could be good for Dallas, if it is held accountable, Jon says.

[Editor’s Note: We’re hosting a robust conversation about the future of Fair Park here on CandysDirt.com ahead of the 8:30 a.m., Aug. 4 City of Dallas Park Board meeting that could help decide the iconic landmark’s fate. Earlier we had a post from Amanda Popken covering the Monday meeting at the Hall of State. Below, Jon Anderson puts the plan itself in his sights and shows why Mayor Mike Rawlings and Walt Humann are in a hurry to pass the Fair Park Texas Foundation 20-year contract. We join our brethren from D Magazine, Dallas Morning News, WFAA and Observer in voicing concern and skepticism.]

The City of Dallas is set to become Fair Park’s and the State Fair of Texas’ Sugar Daddy if Mayor Rawlings and Walt Humann have their way.  On Thursday, the Parks and Recreation Board is set to vote on the Humann plan for Fair Park, after five silenced board members walked out of the last meeting after Parks Board President Max Well sought to limit discussion on the plan, leaving the meeting without a quorum.  Those were five brave, and I think correct, souls.

To back up a few days, there was a flurry of activity on Monday.  First, Mayor Rawlings had a press conference to whine about a meeting later that day titled, “Our Fair Park: A Conversation About a Dallas Treasure” to which neither he nor District 7 representative Tiffinni Young were invited.  While not being invited to the stage, they certainly weren’t precluded from attending the meeting, which by all accounts they didn’t.

The meeting was a place to yet again voice concerns that have been unanswered by Humann and Rawlings.

The issue for opponents isn’t the setting up of a public-private partnership for the stewardship of Fair Park.  The issue is the shroud this plan has operated under and the fear that the management contract with the city has loosey-goosey language and blank timetables that enshrines continued opaqueness for the next 20 years (the term of the contract).

For example, requirements for public meetings and open records are apparently not in the most recently distributed management agreement. But both Rawlings and Humann claim this is a myth along with the contract’s lack of specific planning goals to reconnect the park to the neighborhood, install needed parklands and the like.

UPDATE: The updated agreement is now available as part of the Parks Board meeting agenda for Thursday. The new document does have language supporting open meetings but is unclear on public access to financial records beyond IRS Form 990.  The document is a HEAVILY edited work-in-progress with pages and pages of strike-throughs and edits visible along with a boatload of blank pages.  Hardly the sort of condition a document of this type needs to be in on the eve of a multi-million dollar vote on a multi-decade project.

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Panel 8.1.16

[Editor’s Note: We’re hosting a robust conversation about the future of Fair Park here on CandysDirt.com ahead of the 8:30 a.m., Aug. 4 City of Dallas Park Board meeting that could help decide the iconic landmark’s fate.]

UPDATE: We have the entire agenda, including the unabridged version of the Walt Humann proposal for managing Fair Park, embedded at the end of this piece.

If you care about the fate of Fair Park, you may want to show up to the Park Board meeting this Thursday. Or at least read the 20-year, $12 million management contract that the Park Board will be voting on.

Park Board Agenda

Monday night’s panel discussion on Fair Park and the potential Park Board vote on Walt Humann’s management contract filled the Hall of State (around 300 attendees.) Despite Mayor Mike Rawlings’ last-minute press conference Monday afternoon to “make sure everybody knows the exact truth of what’s happened,” that everyone’s behind this approach (a private firm managing Fair Park), that the Park Board has been talking to Walt for two years, and “now it’s time to vote.” It was all too dismissive of the community meeting scheduled for later in the day.

The community meeting was organized in less than 1 week, in response to the July 21st Park Board special work session meeting where board members walked out (see about minute 31 of the meeting) in objection to the truncated meeting agenda which limited a thorough discussion on the proposed management contract.  They are expected to vote on the management contract at the upcoming meeting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, which would then set it up for a city council vote. To enact the management contract for the next fiscal year, the agreement would need to be passed through council before next year’s budget is approved in September. These boards meet once a month, and the council meets twice a month with time required to put items on the agendas … you see the rush.

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1959319-1-G

Photo: Auction.com

Word comes from The Advocate that the Spanish-style mansion at 1704 W. Colorado Blvd. will be auctioned on the steps of the George Allen Courts building on Commerce St. July 7. The home, which has raised the hackles of neighbors after hosting weddings on the grounds. Still, we are absolutely saddened by the thought of anyone losing their precious home. We attempted to contact the homeowner, but the only phone number listed for the property has been disconnected.

This isn’t any ordinary home, though. Named one of the “Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas” by D Magazine and featured on the Dallas Open Days Garden Conservancy Tour, this Kessler Park home has some stand-out features, including a 4,000-square-foot main home and accompanying structures, expansive gardens, and tremendous views of the nearby Stevens Park Golf Course and Coombs Creek.

Bidding starts at $500,000, according to the Auction.com listing for the property, however, Dallas Central Appraisal District has it on the rolls for $939,880. How much do you think it will sell for?

Buzz Unit 409 Buzz Lofts

Is the Cedars — a neighborhood of once-industrial properties just south of downtown — the next big thing in Dallas?

If you’re to answer that question with the number of new and upcoming projects in the neighborhood, which include a new Alamo Drafthouse and a redeveloped Plaza Hotel using TIF funds, as well as the number of businesses attracted to the area, then yes, it’s the “next big thing.” But for those who live in any of the myriad cool loft developments in the area, it’s always been a great place to be.

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John Wiley Price's Home at 406 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price’s Home at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price was arrested this morning at 8 a.m. on an FBI indictment alleging bribery, mail fraud, tax fraud, and other crimes associated with influence peddling. Co-defendants in the 107-page indictment, which was released this morning, include longtime assistant to Price Dapheny Fain and political consultant Kathy Nealy. A fourth defendant, Christian Lloyd Campbell, was also named in the document.

Price’s attorney, Billy Ravkind, was stunned by this morning’s arrest, alleging that neither he nor his client knew that the indictment was coming out today. Jim Schutze thinks that this means that there is no cooperation coming from Price or his associates, or that a crucial player has recently opted to flip to federal authorities. We’re certain that things will become more clear after the U.S. Attorney addresses the media later today, and as the days and weeks progress.

One thing is certain: a lot of real assets will likely get caught up in this arrest and indictment, one that is swiftly becoming the biggest public corruption case Dallas has ever seen. Price currently resides at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff, which was raided by the FBI almost three years ago to the day, but he was listed as owner for several other properties, too. Agents found more than $229,000 in cash inside Price’s home during the June 2011 raid, which also targeted Fain and Nealy’s homes and offices.

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2401 S. Ervay Rooftop

Here’s a fun property in a neighborhood that is growing like unchecked bamboo! The Cedars, one of the last still-wild urban neighborhoods in Dallas has so many cool condo and loft properties, including this amazing penthouse unit in the Coombs Creek Condos building.

What’s even better is that this unit will be within walking distance to the new Alamo Drafthouse slated for the corner of Cadiz and South Lamar — caddy-corner to Gilley’s Dallas — come 2015. This is going to be such a boon for the neighborhood, bringing in daily foot-traffic and enhancing the cultural quotient of the area. Plus, they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to cellphones in the theater, so they obviously get my business! There’s one in Richardson, but if you’re south of 635 and want to spare yourself the hike, well, this one will be opening next year!

Cedars Alamo Drafthouse Rendering

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Drew Philp Detroit by Garrett McLean

Author Drew Philp in his Poletown home he purchased for $500

Photo: BuzzFeed/Garrett Maclean

Candy and I have been discussing this very interesting long-form story from BuzzFeed about a man who bought a home in Detroit’s Poletown neighborhood for $500 when he was 23 years old. Since then, protesters, investors, and CEOs have bought up property throughout Detroit’s devastated neighborhoods, demolishing buildings and shrinking the city’s footprint.

Drew Philp‘s story is a gripping one if you are interested in reclaiming urban neighborhoods, overcoming a history of civic corruption, and reinvesting in cities wrought by economic peril. I know several people in the southern reaches of North Oak Cliff who have purchased homes knowing that it could be years before their neighborhood transitions into a marketable one and a profitable investment. Did that deter them? Heck no.

Still, Philp’s perspective on broadening gentrification is an interesting one. His account, which takes us through the first couple of years of living in a once-abandoned home that was so full of trash it took him a month to clear the first floor, to now. Here’s a telling excerpt:

Dan Gilbert, the owner of Quicken Loans, has moved more than 7,600 employees downtown. He also just sent a notice to one of my ex-girlfriends, explaining he has purchased the apartment building she’s lived in for the last 16 years and his future plans don’t include her. The city is talking of disinvesting in entire neighborhoods such as mine — literally letting the neighborhood go to seed and removing city services, shrinking the city in what some have termed as “white-sizing”; upstarts backed with foundation money are talking about transforming an entire neighborhood into an 2,475-acre urban farm. The state just approved a $350 million subsidized giveaway for a hockey stadium with a suburban fan base that’s going to tear down another portion of the city and push more people out. Of course, the divide between the gentrifying Detroit downtown and the bankrupt Detroit that is the rest of the city mirrors what is happening in a lot of this country.

These changes are making me feel a bit threatened and defensive. Instead of a lone weird white kid buying a house in Detroit, now I’m part of a movement. I shop at the Whole Foods, knowing every step into that store is a step away from a brand-new city that could be. And if someone tries to break into my house again I will not hesitate to defend myself and someday my family. Some days I feel caught in a tide I cannot row against, but these are the realities. Maybe I’m feeling a bit like the good people of Detroit must have felt to be counted amongst the citizens of “Murder City.”

But there’s another Detroit, too, of which I am but a small part. It’s been happening quietly and for some time, between transplants and natives, black and white and Latino, city and country — tiny acts of kindness repeated thousands of times over, little gardens and lots of space, long meetings and mowing grass that isn’t yours. It’s baling hay.

It’s the Detroit that’s saving itself. The Detroit that’s building something brand-new out of the cinders of consumerism and racism and escape.

Read the whole thing and then tell us: Does the modern Detroit really reflect how our nation is changing? And how do we turn the tide, as Philp suggests we do?