1545 N. Buckner IHOTW

Casa Linda Estates is one of the best-kept secrets in Dallas. It’s a great neighborhood, filled with large homes that have huge backyards and some of the best private schools, including White Rock Montessori, are nearby. You can get to White Rock Lake in minutes and access downtown without getting on a highway. Best of all, it’s still an area where you can get incredible bang for your buck. One of my favorite houses in the area, 1545 N. Bucker Blvd., hit MLS last week for $1.495 million, and frankly that is a steal for this property. (more…)

This stunning $1.6-million home is one of five houses featured this week in our weekly open house roundup.

The stunning $1.6-million home at 3826 Medallion Ln. is one of five featured in our weekly open house roundup.

True love doesn’t always show up on a first date, but at these five Dallas-area open houses this weekend, you might feel cupid’s (real estate) bow.

We’re visiting neighborhoods from Lakewood Estates to West Dallas’ Walnut Hill Highlands, to East Kessler and North Dallas. The prices range from $364,900 to $1.64 million. We hope you make time to visit some of these open houses or others you discover—by our count, there are around 180 in Dallas alone! Leave us a comment with your weekend open house discoveries.

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Ballard 8

Paths and nooks in Deborah Ballard’s garden give it a feel that is very similar to the Arboretum. Several sculptures by Ballard are interspersed throughout. (Photo: Jo England)

 

When Deborah Ballard moved into her Casa Linda Estates home 30 years ago, the backyard was a blank canvas with a few bushes here and there and some large, mature trees that dotted the lawn. It was perfect for Ballard, a nationally known sculptor and instructor at SMU, who has since transformed her private oasis into a lush garden that is home to some of her favorite works.

“Every time I’d have a little bit of extra money I’d buy one of those $2.99 plants and shrubs,” Ballard said. Those little investments have made for a big payoff, as the artist has created a memorable garden she enjoys year-round. Her outdoor space is just one of nine you can tour this Sunday, May 17, during the 14th annual White Rock East Garden Tour & Artisan fair. The tour also includes a stop at the Promise of Peace community garden and an art fair and plant sale at Casa Linda Park.

Realtor Vicki White has sponsored this garden tour from the beginning, she says, because she’s passionate about the lake and the gardens that make up the Lake and Garden District.

“I was born and raised right here in this East Dallas neighborhood,” White said. “The people are so genuine and friendly; no Zip code snobs here. We all truly enjoy going on the area home tours and garden tours because, let’s face it, this area is just different. So many trees and mature landscape, and sometimes it’s a little quirky.”

Quirky is good, of course, and Ballard says, most people will notice the sculptures first at her home on Selva Street in Casa Linda Estates, as the abstracted human forms dot the landscape. Some are hidden and made to look like rocks, while some are more obvious. There are several in the front yard, which have prompted people to stop and actually knock on her door to ask if they can tour her garden.

“We do get a lot of people who stop, and that’s why we put the bushes up,” Ballard says of the hedges that line the curb of her home. “It gives people a sign that this is private property.”

So if you’ve driven by Ballard’s home several times and have always wanted to see the gardens but you weren’t so brazen to knock, here’s your chance. Jump for more photos of this lovely sculpture garden, as well as more information on how to purchase your tickets the May 17 garden tour.

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Little Forest Hills artist Janet Reynolds lets her flock of Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds frolic in her backyard under supervision.

Little Forest Hills artist Janet Reynolds lets her flock of Barred Rocks and Red Stars frolic in her backyard under supervision. (Photo: Jo England)

I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this home tour is the smallest and most unique in Dallas. It’s one of those events that has people saying “Only in East Dallas!” That’s what I love about it, too. If you haven’t already heard, A Peep at The Coops is an annual chicken coop tour that will lead you through nine lovely coops and gardens throughout East Dallas’ most fun and funky neighborhoods.

The Sunday, May 3, coop tour is a fundraiser for Stonewall Jackson Elementary’s garden program. It’s the perfect event for the chicken-curious folks considering their own birds but aren’t quite sold on it yet. And it’s a budget-friendly family outing, too, as you can purchase a map to the coops on tour for just $10. There’s a companion bike-led tour from the kind folks at Transit Bikes where you can pedal to the close-by coops on an easy-to-ride route, plus a raffle for a gorgeous modern coop designed by Mark Domiteaux, AIA.

This modern, mobile chicken coop will be raffled off to benefit Stonewall Gardens.

This modern, mobile chicken coop will be raffled off to benefit Stonewall Gardens.

We got a sneak peep at two coops yesterday. Jump for more!

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1531 San Saba Front

Dan Koller, the absolutely incredible publications manager over at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, sent this listing my way on Monday. “Something tells me this house will tickle your fancy,” Koller said. Holy cannoli, was he right! Not only that, but I drive by this home all the time, but I had no idea what kind of wonder was set across the cute red bridge from the street.

That’s what’s perfect about this home: It’s so secluded and private that the only thing you can see from the street is the little bridge. But what sits across that lovely little bridge is what makes this house at 1531 San Saba worthy of our “High Caliber Home of the Week” title. Truly, this house is a sight to be seen, and won’t be around for long. Why worry about hitting snags with financing when you could have a lender that takes pains to make sure your pre-approval and mortgage paperwork goes as smoothly as possible. That’s what Lisa Peters does at Caliber Home Loans. Find out more about her high-caliber service by calling her today.

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Photos: Shoot2Sell

Photos: Shoot2Sell

You may think that homes on busy Buckner Boulevard in East Dallas can be nothing more than just a place to land. Because the six-lane thoroughfare that links Loop 12 to Northwest Highway is heavily used, you may think that it’s impossible for a home on this road to be a relaxing retreat.

And you’d be wrong.

Today’s Lease of the Week is an incredible home at 1545 N. Buckner Blvd. inside Casa Linda Estates. And boy, is this property an estate! Situated on more than an acre and enclosed in an automated gate, this home is perfect for a corporate relocation, temporary housing, or someone who wants to live in Dallas in a quality home, close to White Rock Lake, but isn’t interested in the long-term commitment of home ownership.

1545 Buckner Front Door

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9906 El Patio Front

The first thing Kristin Keating Sanders will say about her home at 9906 El Patio is that she really would rather not be listing it at all. Truly, Sanders loves her home, her neighbors, and Dallas, but her husband snagging his dream job has necessitated a move.

While Dallas will collectively mourn Sanders, who appreciates the finer things our burg offers, such as a beautiful urban lake, Mambo Taxis at Mi Cocina, and the dry heat of summer, she’ll be moving to Houston. That’s right, she’s heading to the Bayou City, and her loss is our gain, because her gorgeous brick and stone-clad home in Casa Linda Estates is on the market for just $424,900.

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Monte Vista Front

I know that sometimes, preserving historic neighborhoods and architecture can be a big ol’ pain in the butt. Just ask the folks over at Casa Linda Estates who have tried at least twice to pass an NSO (Neighborhood Stabilization Overlay) and failed. Some people say that whittling down property rights in a residential neighborhood makes it harder to sell a home. Others think that any regulation of private property puts a costly burden on homeowners.

Monte Vista Living

But what if historic preservation elevated a neighborhood, made it more consistent, gave it its own personality, and ensured standards that would endure beyond this decade to the next? That’s the story behind Hollywood/Santa Monica — an East Dallas neighborhood that used to be dumpy and ignored — the red-headed stepchild of Lakewood. That was until some very determined neighbors decided to come up with some standards for their community that they could enforce, some rules and regulations to hold others accountable. And what do you see now in Hollywood Heights and Santa Monica? Homes like this amazing 1928 Tudor at 618 Monte Vista.

Monte Vista Hall

Marketed by Joe Kacynski for an astonishing $445,000, this gorgeous home is all traditional on the outside — totally in step with the rest of the neighborhood — but inside it is a modern work of art. There are so many great features to this 1,720-square-foot home that you will be bowled over. The gorgeous modern custom millwork and cabinetry, the nooks and doors that make this home so extremely versatile, and the backyard that is begging for a fall soiree — all designed by Coy Talley, an absolute genius who is known for his work at the Perot.

MonteVista Kitchen MonteVista Breakfast

Can you imagine the possibilities? I mean, check out the huge ash pivot door that opens to the dining area, or the gallery hallway with built-in cabinets and drawers. The kitchen, which has some of the most unique counters and cabinets I have ever seen. And the master bathroom, which might inspire the buyers to become Zen practitioners. Of course, not everything is uber modern, as the original stained glass windows are still installed.

Monte Vista Master Monte Vista Master Bath

With three bedrooms and two baths, this home is worth every bit of its asking price just for the great design that went into it. And you’ll also love the garage, which Talley designed to be a sort of icehouse with sliding doors that open to the terraced backyard.

If you want to see this home up close (and come on, you know you do) it’s open from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Run, don’t walk, to check this amazing home out!

Monte Vista Backyard