If it’s Red, full steam ahead; if it’s Yellow, say “hello;” if it’s Blue, you might’ve missed your queue.

Last week, Seth Fowler wrote about a client of his looking for a home in the sub-$200,000 market close to his job in Bedford.  “Ted” had been on a roller coaster of 43 showings and 11 contract offers … still without a home eight months on and counting. In today’s Dallas, it’s a story that’s been accelerating since the housing market began recovering in 2013. While slacking in the upper end of the market, the entry level remains full steam ahead.

Also last week, Alex Macon posted on D Magazine’s Frontburner about the legacy of redlining and a new set of charts overlaying 1930s redline maps against the current racial makeup of Dallas (U.S. Census data).  It’s clear that the 30-year pox of redlining, from the 1930s until 1968, still infects the Dallas landscape (as it does nationwide in many previously redlined areas).

But what’s the reality? I’m going to find out.

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4022 Puget Street listed for $89,000 in Roosevelt Manor, listing expired. Description: “Property located in fast, developing area near Trinity River Developments and Trinity Groves. This one has great potential in the future. House sold as-is.” Owned by Henry Norman.

 

Whoa, hang on there a moment. I am back from my City Council run , catching up on real estate, and have a whole lot to say. But first, let’s take a DEEPER look at the story of Khraish Khraish and his West Dallas properties that we just reported on. I mean, this is a real estate story with a huge political component.

First of all, thank you all for letting me take time off to campaign. The CandysDirt.com staff did a more than stellar job of holding the fort down whilst I campaigned in District 11 for the District 11 seat. While disappointed I lost, I thought the 37% turn out for a first time candidate (who started campaigning Feb. 10) was pretty darn cool. I am concerned about all the voter fraud, however, in this election and was surprised when the Dallas Morning News reported that my district had a massive number of mail-in votes. More, in fact, than in any previous year:

In his contentious race against real-estate blogger Candy Evans this spring, incumbent City Council member Lee Kleinman sent mail-in ballot applications to registered likely voters who are older than 65 so they could fill them out and send them back to the county.

As a result, of the almost 2,900 votes Kleinman received, more than 440 were by mail — a massive number considering that in West Dallas, ground zero for alleged voter fraud, 568 mail-in votes were spread among six candidates, including Alonzo.

West Dallas is now ground zero for alleged voter fraud, though I am taking a closer look at those 440 Mr. Kleinman received right here in North Dallas. Personally, I think the mail-in ballot system is ripe with fraud and should be eliminated altogether.  Surely you saw the report on WFAA-TV and read this piece in the Dallas Observer. I mean, there is a problem with the integrity of our elections, people!

If I were on council, I’d comb Silicon Valley for a tech company to bring absentee voting into the digital age. Mail? Stalking the postman? We could vote on smartphones with fingerprint recognition.

I learned so much running for public office. To spare you from a constant political blare, (because we know you come here for real estate dirt, not city council dirt, though the two are related) I moved political reports to CandyforDallas.com, which is up and running and to which I will be contributing about once a week for a political fix. 

Back to West Dallas. We know that is ground zero for voter fraud, and we know that Monica Alanozo is headed for a run-off there with Omar Narvaez, whom I support.

Dallas has a problem with affordable housing. Like, there isn’t any. Cranes are working all over this city for huge luxury apartment complexes where the only affordable housing component will be a chance to tinkle in the public bathroom. Homelessness in Dallas is at an all-time high. Where are living spaces for folks making $30,000 a year? (more…)

Well that was unexpected. WFAA is reporting that Khraish Khraish, the West Dallas landlord threatening to evict hundreds of residents, is now offering to sell to them. Khraish credits what WFAA is calling a “change of heart” to conversations with Dallas City Council run-off candidate Omar Narvaez. Before the plan’s formal announcement, Khraish had already begun inking deals. The terms of the sales are the same for each house.

Khraish will provide 20-year mortgages at a fixed 4.75 percent interest rate. The new homeowners will pay about $425 per month, with an additional $150 in property tax, making their total monthly payment about $572, not too much more than what most are paying in rent alone now, he says. If a new homeowner decides to sell the home in less than 10 years, Khraish will have the right of first refusal to buy it back.

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Under the Houston St Viaduct. Taken by Amanda Popken

Kayaking Under the Houston St Viaduct, 2013. (Photo: Amanda Popken)

This Wednesday you’re invited to join a discussion about the Trinity.
A river that has defined our city for over a century.
Yet its place in our lives still remains little more than afterthought.

Millions of taxpayer dollars funded a very extensive plan:
To build, beautify, and manage this park — has anyone actually read it?
Years have passed applying for approvals, securing bonds, political wars, a design contest, expert opinions and decades later we have:
A few more trails, fewer trees, stunning bridges, and a death-defying rapid.

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Source: Google Map

Eagle Ford Elementary School.  Source: Google Maps

On Monday, preservationists launched the process of designating the Eagle Ford School building as a historic landmark. If you’ve driven down Chalk Hill Road just south of Interstate 30, you may have wondered about the rather small, oddly out-of-place concrete building, brightly colored with lavish details at the entry. Above the front entrance is inscribed “Eagle Ford District 49.”

The almost-forgotten Gothic revival building at 1601 Chalk Hill Road was at risk of being demolished. The road was recently closed due to construction, but neighborhood historic groups had been talking to the owner for years about plans for the building.

From 1916 through 1963, the school served the many immigrant families living in Cement City, Arcadia Park, and other nearby neighborhoods.

Bonnie Parker, of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, is the most well-known attendant of the Eagle Ford elementary school — her report card was found in its basement.

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Bishop Arts 7th St House12

Source: Google Maps, Jan 2016

The landscape of  the Bishop Arts District is changing quickly — tiny historic Craftsman homes by the dozens are being razed for apartment complexes, half-million dollar condos, and five-story mixed-use developments going up. One developer, once demonized by the community for their rudimentary design out of the gate, just won major Brownie points with the help of Rogers Jr. House Moving.

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backday

The Casa View Cliff May Home Tour will feature seven beautifully remodeled midcentury modern homes in East Dallas. (Photo: ScottReeseVisials.com)

You may be thrilled about pumpkin-flavored everything to hit the shelves, but us here at CandysDirt.com are over the moon about the return of fall home tour season. Yes, we’ll still hit up a Starbucks for our annual pumpkin spice latte, but nothing quite says “autumn is here!” to us like traipsing through other people’s homes with those weird little hospital booties on.

To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of can’t miss home tours for this fall. It skews heavily toward midcentury modern and covers quite a bit of territory:

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Photo courtesy Blue Diamond Gallery.

Photo courtesy Blue Diamond Gallery.

In our third installment looking at the Dallas Independent School District’s school board election, we will be looking at District 5, which includes Oak Lawn, Wilmer, West Dallas, Hutchins and parts of east Oak Cliff. Incumbent Lew Blackburn, Marquis Hawkins, and Linda Wilkerson-Wynn are running.

One of the highest-profile issues facing District 5 right now is the condition of South Oak Cliff High, and where it will fall in the tiered system that determines when schools tapped to receive bond money for repairs, improvements or replacement – as well as whether repairs and improvements are enough for the aging structure that is, much like many other schools in the district, suffering from years of deferred maintenance.

And just as a reminder, I am breaking down each race and assigning a mathematical value to key endorsements for a final score. Because of the volume of candidates, I’ll be featuring one race a day through Sunday. Early voting begins Monday and lasts until May 3, with Election Day on May 7. For information on early voting, click here.

The scoring system goes a little something like this: Experience, I think, should be given some weight. So it is assigned a number value of one. Endorsements should matter too, so each one those are also given a value of 1. I considered six sets of endorsements in this system, largely because the organizations providing them have a regular history of endorsing candidates. Those endorsements are The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Kids First, Educate Dallas, the NEA, Alliance AFT, and The Real Estate Council PAC.

In this race, Educate Dallas did not endorse a candidate, so there will be a possible score of 6 (DMN, DKF, Alliance AFT, NEA, TREC and incumbent). (more…)