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The Palmer Garden 8422 Forest Hills Boulevard

If you love gardens, gardening, or art then the annual White Rock East Garden Tour is the place to be on Sunday, May 15. East Dallas gardeners and artists come together each spring to showcase their beautiful gardens and creations for a single perfect day. Nine gardens in Forest Hills, Little Forest Hills, and Casa Linda Estates will be open to the public on Sunday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Each garden will host several artists displaying a wide variety of artwork available for purchase. (more…)

Casa Linda homeCasa Linda is one of East Dallas’ treasured neighborhoods. The houses in this area are generally on half-acre and larger lots, almost all built in the 1940s and 1950s, just east and south of White Rock Lake. You’ll find a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, lots of mature shade trees, winding roads, and close proximity to the Dallas Arboretum and the historic Casa Linda Plaza.

Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred is located at 1735 Crowberry Dr., near Peavy and Oates. It’s a 3-2 with 1,576 square feet and charm to spare. Casa Linda homeThis cutie was built in 1958 and is pretty inside and out, with lovely curb appeal, a well-appointed interior, and nice backyard. It’s less than two miles from White Rock Lake and offers easy access to downtown, too.

This home was listed last week by Kerry Slaughter with Paradise Slaughter Real Estate for $235,000. It went under contract in two days, so let’s take a look before this one is off the market.

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One of the current listing on Airbnb in downtown Dallas offers this nighttime view. Photo: Airbnb

One of the current listing on Airbnb in downtown Dallas offers this view for $72 per night. All photos: Airbnb

“Try before you buy” is a hard concept to implement in the world of real estate. But a new partnership between Airbnb and realtor.com aims to do just that for potential homebuyers, letting them experience a specific neighborhood before purchasing there.

The partnership is particularly focused on millennials, who now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, recently taking over from Generation X. This age cohort, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, is about 79 million strong, and their purchasing power is estimated to be $170 billion per year.

The Airbnb-realtor.com partnership aims to reduce some of the unknown factors associated with relocating to a new community. Here’s how it will work: Visitors to realtor.com will see an “Airbnb before buying” option for certain properties, and the choice will also appear on the homepage and on for-sale listing pages. Potential buyers will be able to book accommodations on Airbnb ranging from single-family homes to condos, lofts, and other properties located near their chosen neighborhood.

“As we offer a variety of unique accommodations in neighborhoods across the country, we’ll be able to allow potential home owners the special opportunity to experience those neighborhoods as if they already live there,” said Chip Conley, Airbnb head of global hospitality and strategy.

Millennials are extremely technology-driven in their home-buying efforts, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. This partnership plays perfectly into that, allowing them to make all arrangements online.

“I think it’s brilliant—this could give [millennials] a taste of a neighborhood and change them from renter to buyers,” said Jay Forrester, a Realtor with Ebby Halliday Preston Center.

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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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Here's my map to help guide Santa's sleigh. And his real estate agent.

Here’s my map to help guide Santa’s sleigh. And his real estate agent.

I grew up in North Dallas and have lived all over Dallas and the ‘burbs, but when I finally landed in East Dallas in 2007, I knew I had found my happy place.

East Dallas has a culture unlike anywhere else in the city (although North Oak Cliff feels like its cousin). I could spend hours walking or biking through neighborhoods like Little Forest Hills, Buckner Terrace, and the Peninsula. So many beautiful houses! So many trees! And friendly neighbors everywhere!

Circumstances and a new baby moved me to Plano this year, and I have pined over my favorite neighborhoods in East Dallas ever since. I go out of my way to get back to East Dallas as often as possible, and because I’ve been very good this year, I’m asking Santa for a token of his appreciation for Christmas: A midcentury house east of White Rock Lake. With original hardwoods. And mature trees.

That’s not too much, is it?

I’ve got a few ideas for Santa, in case he’s stumped. This Casa Linda cottage has just the kind of curb appeal I love: big trees, tranquil setting, and an expansive yard. Located at 1422 Tranquilla Dr., it’s listed at $348,500 and is a 3-2 with 1,857 feet. That’s not quite large enough for my family of four, so we might have to sell the teenager before we move. But I’m OK with that.

1422 Tranquilla Dr

Looks at those gorgeous original hardwoods! And the built-ins! And a wood-burning fireplace! So much character from when it was built in 1945.  (more…)

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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8931 Stanwood Front

8931 Stanwood (Photos: Shoot2Sell)

Maryam and Jacob Salassi have such a fantastic little home in Casa Linda Forest. Their adorable abode, the perfect home for the two creative Millennials and their sweet little girl — Maryam is a blogger, photographer, and owner of Pouf: A Blowout Salon, Jacob is a software engineer and cyclist, and Margaux, 3, is just awesome — was just featured on Our Style Stories. Their house, a three-bedroom, two-bath post-war traditional, is just pinch-your-cheeks cute!

And after just three days on the market, it is now under contract!

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My home has been standing since 1952, according to DCAD. In that time it has seen a cycle of haphazard “renovations,” including a rather embarrassing “remodel” of the home’s sole bathroom. My home didn’t come with the cute vintage Daltile in the many different colors of the rainbow, nor did it have one of those fun vanities with the cool scrollwork cutouts.

Instead, it had an ugly particleboard vanity from the 80s that had so many stains in the cabinets and drawers you really had to wonder what the previous owner was doing in there. The shower, well, it had jacked up tiles and ugly grout, and more caulk than San Francisco’s Tenderloin (see what I did there???).

But we loved the rest of the house. It had a great layout and big windows for a home of its size, and a much larger kitchen than most of the houses we’d seen. We were willing to see the bathroom as a project that we could get done in time. Despite the discolored linoleum, stained formica, and tarnished brass fixtures, it was still functional.

That was almost 7 years ago.

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