All I Want for Christmas is an East Dallas Midcentury with Original Hardwoods

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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. 

I once lived on nearby Mercer Drive, so I know this area particularly well. The houses are mostly midcenturies with lots of long-time residents, beautiful landscaping, and community spirit. It’s such a friendly, attractive place—living there was a joy.

1422 Tranquilla Dr B

1422 Tranquilla Dr C

I spotted another curb appeal cutie that I’d like to pass along to Santa, 9835 County Cork Dr. This 1953 Ranch is listed for only $225,000 and has 1,410 square feet, three bedrooms, and 1.5 baths. Like so many of the houses in Lake Park Estates (near Peavy Road and E. Lake Highlands Drive), the lot is full of towering trees, which makes my heart sing.

9835 County Cork A

LOOK AT THIS VIEW! You know your neighborhood is fantastic when you’re posting pictures of the street views, and not just the house, in the listing.

9835 County Cork B

The interior is a fixer-upper, for sure, but that’s right up my alley. As long as Santa brings me a sledgehammer and some grout along with the deed, I’ll be happy. And hey, look: original hardwoods!

9835 County Cork C

This last house on my list for Santa is at 9364 Forest Hills Blvd. in the coveted Forest Hills neighborhood, and its $674,900 price tag reflects that, as well as its 3,897 square feet (!!!). But it has four bedrooms and four baths, so at least our teenager won’t have to sleep in the (two-car) garage. Plus, it’s sitting on over half an acre only a few blocks from White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum.

9364 Forest Hills A

The interior has some big pros, like a huge, open floorplan, beautiful floors, and commercial-grade stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. But the violently angular stone fireplace, popcorn ceilings, outdated light fixtures, and color scheme in the kitchen are not my cup of tea. And we won’t even talk about the bathrooms.

9364 Forest Hills G

Moving on to the bedrooms: Lots of space! Big closets! Great hardwoods! Love that.

9364 Forest Hills D 9364 Forest Hills EThe backyard is unattractive and outdated, in my opinion (there’s a waterslide), so I’m not posting those pictures. But I will tell you, the air conditioned guest cabana will be wonderful for my housewarming party in spring. You’re all invited. And any needed updates can be done in the meantime.

So that’s my short list of three possible houses for Santa to consider for me as he loads up his sleigh tonight. What do you think are my chances?












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Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is a content and social media specialist, as well as a Dallas native, who lives in Richardson with her family. In her sixth-grade yearbook, Leah listed "interior designer" as her future profession. Now she writes about them, as well as all things real estate, for

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