The Peninsula

Scott WomackMany Park Cities or Preston Hollow residents are ditching their ‘hoods for The Peninsula. Why? Hewre is where you can find affordable homes with character, great views, plus a scenic, pastoral, waterfronted property that is like living in a second home year ’round!

But The Peninsula has quite a history. The White Rock Lake dam was completed over a century ago.  Over her 100 year lifeline, White Rock Lake has gone through many changes, from being a city water source, to a popular sporting destination, to a perennial party scene for teenagers and even weddings. The park department and advocacy groups  — with help from people like like Jeannie Terelli — have all pitched in to clean up the lake and park, all of which has only helped maintain and raise the values of the properties.

Because who wouldn’t want to live within walking distance of this gorgeous body of water? Living in The Peninsula is like a year-round vacation spot. People who buy here brag all the time that it’s like having a vacation house at the lake —but it’s only 10 minutes from downtown Dallas.

HISTORY: Get this: the Peninsula was established in 1927 as second and vacation homes, charming lake cottages for folks who lived in “faraway” Dallas.

Population: 280  homes

Zip Code: 75218

Home styles: Cottages, ranches, a few newer Mediterranean’s, and a growing influx of newly built mid century-modern homes. Look for houses by Cliff Welch, Gary Cunningham, Jerry Stark and Case Study Homes’ Doug Hildinger. It’s hopping: Chase Corker, an architect who does a lot of homes in Forest Hills and East Dallas, has built a number of properties in the neighborhood.

Average home price: $275,000 to $350,000 for a small cottage; $700,000-plus nets you a larger interior home with a lake view. Be prepared to pay more for a home with a front or backyard views of the lake or park. Cash buyers abound, not too much price wiggle room here.

Average home size: 800 square feet to 4,500 square feet. Most houses are in the 1,400- to 2,000-square-foot range.

Lot value: Prices vary; a 50-by-130 can sell for $200,000 to $250,000 depending on lake proximity. See why builders love it?

Average lot size: 60-by-135, though some are 60-by-200. There are also some half-acre lots that owners have stitched together.

What They Won’t Tell You: People love what restaurateur Jeannie Terilli and musician Erykah Badu have known for years—life in The Peninsula is like living in a perpetual vacation zone. You get cottages, architecturally significant, or eclectic nestled on the banks of White Rock Lake. There’s sailing, running, sports, even horseback riding!

The Dirt – Who Lives There: Agents say there is a quiet influx of Park Cities and Lakewood empty-nesters happening, but the area still has plenty of families. The strong neighborhood association tamps down crime, and many residents work out of their homes, watching each other’s properties. Kind of elegant crunch: an organic gas station with an organic taco restaurant called The Green Spot is on the corner of Buckner and Northcliff — they recycle grease!. There is also a huge Farmers Market for organic veggies at least once a month. Wholesome Foods Bakery, which started in Lake Highlands, a yummy gluten-free baker, is in the same center: amazing breads and desserts. Thriving. Jena Johnson and Pauline O’Hare’s Good 2Go Taco is at Peavy and Garland Road.

Scuttlebut: Like a selective pre-school, getting into this neighborhood can be tough. Agents maintain lists of interested buyers, but people generally stay put. This is one place where you might benefit by knocking on doors and asking, “are you interested in selling your home?” Just don’t be surprised when folks say, um, not really.

Would I Live There? In a heartbeat. In fact, several of my friends ditched the Park Cities for The Peninsula.