Wilshire Summit Home | CandysDirt.com

If a fabulous East Dallas location is on your future home checklist, make time to see our Thursday Three Hundred, near East Mockingbird Lane and Skillman Street in the Wilshire Summit neighborhood.

The home at 4217 Concho St. sits just 2.6 miles from the west shores of White Rock Lake and 5.4 miles from downtown Dallas. It’s close to pretty much everything awesome in central and East Dallas. Bonus: it’s situated in the Stonewall Jackson Elementary attendance zone, which earns a “10” out of 10 from GreatSchools.org. Great news for families looking for a first home.

This house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,170 square feet on one story, built in 1941. The property is updated with a new kitchen but retains lots of character and style from that era. It’s got a small footprint, but makes the most of the square footage with a smart floorplan and lots of natural light to make it feel even bigger.

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5800 Palo Pinto guest house

District 14’s Philip Kingston is proposing a change to city ordinances that will allow the construction and rental of guest houses like this one at 5800 Palo Pinto, as well as garage apartments. Some M Streets residents object.

Head over to Stonewall Jackson Elementary tonight at 6:30 tonight as Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston will be hosting an informational session regarding the recent proposal to allow homeowners to build and rent garage apartments and guest houses inside the district.

Right now, city code precludes the construction of a full-sized kitchen in an “accessory dwelling.” To add one constitutes a duplex — two separate residences on one lot — which is another zoning category entirely. Of course, we have heard that what constitutes a “full-sized kitchen” varies significantly depending on who you talk to at Dallas City Hall. But as more people choose to tear down homes in the M Streets and build new, the lure of rental income compels many property owners to go ahead and put an apartment on top of that detached garage while they’re at it.

Proponents of urbanization and say that in order to generate the density that will create the kind of critical mass for truly walkable neighborhoods, garage apartments and their more innocuous relative the “granny flat” will become a necessity. Plus, with property values soaring and tax assessments climbing in step, more people are being priced out of the M Streets. Building and renting a back house is a great way to generate income, helping people afford their homes and providing affordable rentals, all in one step.

Sounds simple, right?

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dfw open houses

The home at 3805 Country Club Dr. in Flower Mound is one of four we’re featuring in this week’s open house roundup.

The weekend after Christmas is not prime real estate shopping time, so this weekend could be your opportunity to visit some lovely properties on the market without fighting crowds. It’s slim pickings for open houses, but we found four that range in price from $500K to $1.695 million in neighborhoods around North Texas.

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5802 Anita FrontEver dreamed of the walkable life? Did you think it was impossible to have a brand new home and still be able to eschew your gas guzzler? Well I have some news for you: You don’t have to flee to the suburbs to have a gorgeous, new build with great schools, wonderful community, and fabulous shopping. In fact, you can get all of that in this wonderful JLD Custom Homes design in Stonewall Terrace.

Not only does it have everything you want in a new home — easy-to-love floorplan and transitional interiors — it’s constructed by a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder. This gorgeous property marketed by Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty’s Gia Marshello is definitely a high-caliber home. As with any house with fabulous finish-out, you don’t want to take any chances with financing. Call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans today to snag the home of your dreams in one of Dallas’ most sought after elementary attendance areas!

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Central Dallas Home

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, the old saying goes. If that’s the case, then the post-war beauty at 5824 Palm Ln. won’t be on the market long, so take a look while it’s still available.

This 2-2 is renovated from the top to bottom of its 1,479 square feet. The reno includes newly refinished and stained hardwoods, crown molding, surround sound capability, Wink home automation, a luxury master bathroom, and a kitchen that wows with its look and amenities.

The North Stonewall Terrace neighborhood in central Dallas is a prime location, near Mockingbird and Matilda, just three blocks from Central Expressway, three miles from White Rock Lake, and 3.5 miles from NorthPark Center.

It’s also zoned for Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, rated “10” by GreatSchools.org.

Our Thursday Three Hundred was listed June 5 by Damon Williamson at Keller Williams Park Cities for $399,900, and we bet this Central Dallas home will find a buyer soon.

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Lakewood cottage

All photos: Shoot2Sell

The M-Streets in Lakewood is a highly coveted neighborhood, with charming architecture, tree-lined streets, and a fantastic close-to-everything location.

Today’s Thursday Three Hundred at 6335 Malcolm Dr. is everything you’d hope for in an M-Streets house, with darling curb appeal, a cozy interior with hardwoods, and a right-sized backyard with a deck. This 1940s traditional is located in the Wilshire Heights neighborhood near Abrams Road and E. Mockingbird Lane and is listed by Robin Norcross with Nathan Grace Real Estate for $389,000 (lowered $10,000 this week).

Lakewood cottage Lakewood cottage

It is not a large house, at 1,246 square feet, but the interior layout makes good use of the space and, as Norcross pointed out to me, several of the neighboring houses have second-story additions built on, which is a possibility for this house, as well. I personally think the smaller footprint is an appealing aspect of this Lakewood cottage, especially when you consider the guest quarters in back (a full bedroom and bathroom).

Another big draw for this house is its elementary school: it is zoned for Stonewall Jackson in Dallas ISD, which has a GreatSchools Rating of 10, the highest-possible score.

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6055 Anita Front

With its growing popularity, the neighborhood surrounding Stonewall Jackson Elementary School has positioned itself as the next Lakewood or Hollywood Heights. There are so many adorable homes here that are attracting all manner of young, hip families. And the school is a nationally recognized one, to boot!

Officially dubbed the W.E. Killam (or Killion, depending on where you look) addition, this neighborhood abuts the elementary campus and is just south of Mockingbird Lane. And in that tiny area you’ll find 6055 Anita Street, a tidy little 1949 traditional home with a cheerful front yard.

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By Bruce Felps, editor of the East Dallas Times

Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, near the border of the M Streets-Greenland Hills neighborhood, recently took an academic rating hit from the Texas Education Agency.

TEA dropped Stonewall’s rating from “exemplary” to “acceptable,” a drop of two rungs in the course of one school year.

The decline could change the perception of prospective homebuyers with elementary school-age children when considering a home within the Stonewall attendance zone. Then again, the resale market for existing homes might remain business as usual.

So, which factor became reality so far?

Scott Carlson, a 30-year veteran of East Dallas residential real estate, said any market evidence just two months after the TEA announced its analysis would be strictly anecdotal.

“Unless you went into MLS, looked at sales stats, and called buyers to see if the rating played any role in their decision there’s no way to know. Bottom line is you can’t do that,” he said. “I don’t think it really matters anyway. Stonewall and Lakewood [Elementary in the adjacent attendance zone to the east] are our two most desired elementary schools.”

Carlson’s assessment of the rating drop not mattering rings true in the eyes of the Dallas Central Appraisal District, the agency that ascribes home valuations for taxation purposes.

Cheryl Jordan, community relations spokeswoman for DCAD, said appraisers ignore buyers’ reasoning and look only at resale prices in a given area.

“We don’t analyze the market, we reflect its activity, past-tense,” she said. “We look at the bottom line not why it happened.”

Darren Dattalo, a real estate agent who sits on the Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association board of directors, wrote in an e-mail message that the market has yet to react to TEA’s action.

“I believe it’s far too soon to see a statistical impact to this. Ask again in a year and we’ll have enough data to really tell,” he wrote. “Anecdotally speaking, the word is out and buyers are talking. But buyers and agents who know the area also know the whole story and know that Stonewall is just as good as it ever was. And while bad news travels faster than good news, the truth will make itself known.”

Olivia Henderson, Stonewall’s principal, understandably echoed Dattalo’s assertion that Stonewall remains an exemplary school despite the state’s findings. TEA, she explained in a letter to parents originally published in the Stonewall PTA newsletter, said the agency simply changed its rating matrix.

“According to the TEA’s testing program, 2011 was the year that all students would be tested on grade level and that all student test scores would count. This included our small group of Deaf Education students who have previously taken a modified version of the TAKS test. This is the first year that the state has aggregated their scores with the general education population,” she wrote.

Prospective buyers, when considering a home in a given school attendance zone, might be better served discussing the school with PTA members rather than listening to a state agency. The neighborhood level, in this case, likely matters more than the prevailing bureaucratic winds.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times.We are happy to have him as a Contributor to CandysDirt. Even better: he’s a product of the Dallas ISD, and he turned out just fine. But don’t tell that to his shrink.