Best Neighborhoods in Dallas: Hot Living in This ‘Hood – The Peninsula

Scott Womack

Several of my friends have ditched Park Cities/Preston Hollow for The Peninsula — why? Check out this listing by Janice Parson at 9217 Peninsula Drive — on the market for $675,000 — and not even built yet! (The price includes the house completed at 2700 square feet.) A mid century modern flair, the builder is waiting for a buyer to snag this 82 by 160 lot.¬† Janice also has another home coming up in the area for $299,000. So no duh — this area is scenic, pastoral, and like living in a second home year ’round!

It’s also got some history. Ebby Halliday is not the only person having a centurion birthday this year — the White Rock Lake dam was completed a century ago and more than 20 lake user groups are planning celebratory events that begin March 19 and lead up to June 26 ‚Äî the date the dam was completed. Perfectly befitting, the honorary centennial chairwoman of the Dam Celebration is our own Dallas real estate icon Ebby Halliday, who of course turns 100 March 9. Like, Wednesday!

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¬† — like Jeannie Terelli — have all pitched in to clean up the lake and park, 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: The Peninsula was established in 1927 as second and vacation homes built originally as charming lake cottages for folks who lived in “faraway” Dallas.

Population: 280  homes

Zip Code: 75218

Home styles: Cottages, ranches, a few newer Mediterranean‚Äôs, 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‚Äô Doug Hildinger. It’s hopping: Chase Corker, an architect who does a lot of homes in Forest Hills and East Dallas, owns a number of properties in the neighborhood and is building a new home for a client.

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, not too much 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‚Äôt Tell You: People love what restaurateur Jeannie Terilli and musician Erykah Badu have known for years‚Äîlife 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‚Äôs properties. Kind of elegant crunch: an organic gas station with an organic taco restaurant called The Green Spot opened 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, just opened up in the same center: amazing breads and desserts. Thriving. Jena Johnson and Pauline O’Hare’s Good 2Go Taco just opened at Peavy and Garland Road.

Scuttlebut: Like a selective pre-school, getting into the 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.

Map Census Crime Stats

Neighborhood Association

Walk Score

0 Comment

  • LOVE the Peninsula! Us "east-siders" have always known about this gem. I'm not sure if I'm sad or glad to see it getting the spotlight on your blog… The larger properties facing the lake can sell for as much as $1M for the dirt alone. There are some really great new builds in there – and the location cannot be beat!

  • LOVE the Peninsula! Us "east-siders" have always known about this gem. I'm not sure if I'm sad or glad to see it getting the spotlight on your blog… The larger properties facing the lake can sell for as much as $1M for the dirt alone. There are some really great new builds in there – and the location cannot be beat!

  • We had some neighbors buy a house in The Peninsula recently … before they had even sold the house they were living in! It was twice as much and half the size of their previous home, AND they had to have central air and heat installed. But they said being so close to the water made it all worth it.

  • We had some neighbors buy a house in The Peninsula recently … before they had even sold the house they were living in! It was twice as much and half the size of their previous home, AND they had to have central air and heat installed. But they said being so close to the water made it all worth it.

  • Amy: I worry about critters — mosquitoes and snakes. Have your friends had any issues with these? 'Course as I talk rats are climbing the trees outside my house… It sounds like this area is getting to be as much of an empty-nester haven as it Bluffview!

    • Not that I'm aware of, but they've lived in the White Rock area for about 10 years. When you live near water, critters are just part of the deal. Our house backs up to a creek, and our yard has been host to many a creature: a snake, a few possums, the occasional rat running along the fence line. It was a little unnerving at first, especially the snake, but we've adapted. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the city.

  • mm

    Amy: I worry about critters — mosquitoes and snakes. Have your friends had any issues with these? 'Course as I talk rats are climbing the trees outside my house… It sounds like this area is getting to be as much of an empty-nester haven as it Bluffview!

    • Not that I'm aware of, but they've lived in the White Rock area for about 10 years. When you live near water, critters are just part of the deal. Our house backs up to a creek, and our yard has been host to many a creature: a snake, a few possums, the occasional rat running along the fence line. It was a little unnerving at first, especially the snake, but we've adapted. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the city.

  • Yeah, but does Badu walk around the lake in her birthday suit? If so, those prices might be justified!

  • Yeah, but does Badu walk around the lake in her birthday suit? If so, those prices might be justified!

  • Candy, you captured the spirit of The Peninsula in your article. We‚Äôre just ten minutes from Downtown Dallas, across the street from a gym, great restaurants, The Green Spot Market and Fuels, Wholesome Foods Bakery and Hexter Elementary School (rated Exemplary).
    Inside the neighborhood we have our own tennis court, two sailing clubs, The Bath House Cultural Center (They host plays, the film festival and many artists in the gallery). Also, we’re fortunate to have The White Rock Marathon run through our neighborhood each year. Many neighbors run the marathon and other neighbors join forces to support the runners.
    The general vibe on The Peninsula is easy-going and friendly. Neighbors share a glass of wine on each other's front porches, children play with their neighborhood friends and people walking stop and take time to visit with each other. Truly, it is like owning a vacation home in the city. A friend from another part of town who came to visit me the other day said, “It's like falling back in time, when people enjoyed a slower-paced life-style”. I wouldn’t live anywhere else in Dallas!

  • Candy, you captured the spirit of The Peninsula in your article. We‚Äôre just ten minutes from Downtown Dallas, across the street from a gym, great restaurants, The Green Spot Market and Fuels, Wholesome Foods Bakery and Hexter Elementary School (rated Exemplary).
    Inside the neighborhood we have our own tennis court, two sailing clubs, The Bath House Cultural Center (They host plays, the film festival and many artists in the gallery). Also, we’re fortunate to have The White Rock Marathon run through our neighborhood each year. Many neighbors run the marathon and other neighbors join forces to support the runners.
    The general vibe on The Peninsula is easy-going and friendly. Neighbors share a glass of wine on each other's front porches, children play with their neighborhood friends and people walking stop and take time to visit with each other. Truly, it is like owning a vacation home in the city. A friend from another part of town who came to visit me the other day said, “It's like falling back in time, when people enjoyed a slower-paced life-style”. I wouldn’t live anywhere else in Dallas!

  • Thanks Janice! I want to do more neighborhoods (again) both in Dallas and in second home areas. Please keep me posted on this great neighborhood. I will consider you my "community reporter"! You are the agent I turn to in the Peninsula!

  • mm

    Thanks Janice! I want to do more neighborhoods (again) both in Dallas and in second home areas. Please keep me posted on this great neighborhood. I will consider you my "community reporter"! You are the agent I turn to in the Peninsula!

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