The old soul Victorian at 4317 Worth St. is Kristen

The old soul Victorian at 4317 Worth St. is Kristen Martin’s third “flip” all of her own in Dallas.

When some people look at an old house in disrepair, all they see are its problems. But for one Dallas Realtor, old Dallas homes are all about possibility, instead.

Kristen Martin

Realtor Kristen Martin in front of the Victorian she renovated in Old East Dallas.

Kristen Martin says she’s a kindred soul with old houses, getting to know them, even naming them as she restores, repairs, and renovates them to a state even better than what they were originally.

She’s a Realtor with The Michael Group, and she’s passionate about real estate. But the properties that truly inspire her are the ones she’s buying and flipping.

A few weeks ago, we featured her old soul Victorian flip at 4317 Worth St. in our CandysDirt.com Dallas open house roundup. It is sensational! We had to know more about this woman who can make old houses sing again.

“I go in the houses and just feel them out—[the house on Worth Street] was a mess but I got it flowing well because I talked to the house and it talked back to me,” Martin said. “I have renovated three in the last year and before that, I had done three with other people.”

She wears rose-colored glasses, because all of her flips have been messes when she found them. The Worth Street house, which she purchased in April, was built in 1903 and was a little more than “rough around the edges.” The foundation, plumbing, electric, carpet, and parquet were all bad and needed replacement. The kitchen was a gut. It needed an HVAC. Cosmetically, it wasn’t much to look at, either, with an 80’s vibe going strong.

But Martin saw past all that.

“I had a feeling when I walked into it—the fireplaces and windows and wraparound porch—my jaw dropped,” she said. “I’m ahead of my time in that neighborhood because the area hasn’t made a whole revival. It’s coming back around but throughout the years, everybody has just looked at Swiss Avenue and Junius Heights [nearby].”

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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…)

8623 San Leandro Front

This is one of those new builds in Little Forest Hills that really does uphold the neighborhood motto: “Keep Little Forest Hills Funky.” This enclave of 1930s and ’40s cottages east of Garland Road and west of Ferguson has been a target for teardowns, with many homes being scraped and replaced as fast as builders can manage it. So it’s refreshing to see a new build that looks just as fun and friendly as the neighbors.

Considering this hot market for homebuyers inside 635, we’re pretty sure this listing from David Griffin Realtor Janelle Alcantara will get snapped up fast! If you want to put in your highest and best offer and get first dibs on this cute contemporary home, call Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans today. From pre-approval to closing, no one is more prepared to deal with anything that might come up in the home-buying process. Don’t waste your time, call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans today.

For fun finish-out and wide-open spaces, jump to see this Little Forest Hills home’s interiors.

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Little Forest Hills CottageTiny houses have captured our collective imagination in recent years. There are countless blogs dedicated to tiny houses, and TV shows like Tiny House NationTiny House Hunters; and Tiny House, Big Living have huge audiences.

The tiny house movement, also known as the small house movement, describes an architectural and social movement that advocates simple living in small houses.

While the Little Forest Hills cottage at 8715 Angora St. is bigger than many at 824 square feet, it’s still in the category. And for Dallas, where the mantra is often “bigger is better,” this is most definitely a tiny house.Little Forest Hills CottageThis cute cottage was built in 1948, with two bedrooms and one bathroom. It has an open floorplan and updates, and a big backyard. Its neighborhood, Little Forest Hills, is a community of almost 1,000 homes on the east side of White Rock Lake, with arching shade trees, friendly neighbors, and eclectic architecture. The home is walking distance to the lake, Dallas Arboretum, and The Bath House Cultural Arts Center, and a 15-minute drive to downtown Dallas.

It was listed Dec. 10 by Kyle Lyon with Keller Williams Urban Dallas for $230,000.

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little forest hills real estateLittle Forest Hills real estate is a study in whimsy and character, with some of the most eclectic architecture in Dallas among its 1,000 or so houses.

Case-in-point: Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred at 8907 San Leandro Dr., near Garland Road and Lakeland Drive. This Little Forest Hills cottage is fanciful and fun, from the bright exterior colors and rustic post-and-rail front fencing, to the cheerful and cozy interior and tranquil backyard with extensive organic landscaping and outdoor shower.

The backyard of this Little Forest Hills cottage is filled with century plants and antique roses, pictured here.

The blooms from one of the heirloom rose bushes in the backyard of this Little Forest Hills cottage.

Located on the East side of White Rock Lake, the neighborhood is well-known for arching shade trees, a strong sense of community, and local artists who make their homes in funky houses. Many are modestly sized, like this one, which measures 874 square feet with two bedrooms and one bathroom.

The cottage is newly listed for $230,000 by Scott Kaserman at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, who said there’s been strong interest and a contract might be coming soon. So let’s take a look at this one-of-a-kind listing before it flies off the market.

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8813 Diceman Front

Mark Martinek is the designer behind MOD Construction, a firm that designs and builds modern, eco-friendly homes. I’ve always been in love with these properties, how they evoke the same kind of shapes popularized during the 50s, but had facades and materials that were grounded and unique.

If you’ve also been lusting over Martinek’s designs, then you won’t want to miss this property from Virginia Cook agent Ed Murchison. Located on a fun, rolling street in the funky East Dallas enclave of Little Forest Hills, this home is such a delight. Of course, you’ll have to act fast because it hasn’t hit MLS yet. A high-caliber home like this one means you won’t want to waste time with your pre-approval before submitting your best, highest bid. Call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans so that you won’t have any hiccups.

8813 Diceman Front Porch

Jump to see inside this incredible home!

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8702 San Fernando Front

Teardowns are a contentious topic in Little Forest Hills, an East Dallas neighborhood that has tried twice to get a conservation district overlay, failing both times. Still, as many residents in Hollywood Santa Monica know, not every home is worth saving, especially those that are tiny, ramshackle affairs that seem almost propped up on cinder blocks, ready to blow sideways at the next breeze.

Of course, with a neighborhood motto like “Keep Little Forest Hills Funky,” sometimes a new build will follow that creed despite what structure was razed to make room for it. There’s no better example of this than the bright, colorful, quirky modern at 8702 San Fernando Way.

Jump to see inside this sweetheart of a new build that is exceptionally bright and very, very green.

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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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