Gone with the Wind was a childhood favorite of mine, with its winding storyline, genteel fashion, and dramatic romances. In one memorable scene, Scarlett’s father, Gerald O’Hara, an Irish peasant immigrant, proclaims in his rough brogue, “The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.”
That sort of mentality about the importance of land to heritage, identity, and wealth still exists, and there’s something visceral and deeply gratifying about owning actual land, as opposed to, say, stocks, which seem to exist in the ether.
If you’re an urban homeowner, the amount of land you’re likely to own is quite small, as plantations like Tara don’t exist within city limits. But there are properties in DFW with actual land, and for today’s Tuesday Two Hundred, I found one sitting on almost an acre in Collin County.
The house at 102 Skyline Dr. in Murphy is listed by William Duke of Carrington Real Estate Service for $259,000 and sits on 0.98 acres. It is located near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 544 and S. Murphy Road.
Murphy is a fast-growing bedroom community of about 18,000 residents, bordered by Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Sachse, and Parker. It’s about 20 miles from Downtown Dallas, 35 miles from DFW Airport, and 25 miles from Love Field Airport.
This house is a 2,496 square foot fixer-upper with three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a pool. At $104 per square foot with all that land, I think it’s got huge potential. Jump to read all about it!
Let’s start with the backyard, which has a swimming pool, landscaping, a covered patio, and multiple seating areas.
Behind this area is a chain-link fence and the barn, with room for horses, goats, machinery, or a huge Gone with the Wind-themed party, should the mood strike you.
Moving on to the interior: Built in 1971, most of this single-story brick residence does not look like it has been updated since the Reagan administration. The major eyesores are green-and-white swirled plush carpeting, ubiquitous dark wood paneling, popcorn ceilings, and outdated lights, pulls/handles/knobs, window treatments, and paint. But remember, these are all cosmetic issues.
There are two roomy living areas, measuring 17-by-11 and 17-by-22; one is off the front entryway of the house and has a bay window, and the other has an oversized stone fireplace.
Since I’m writing about at renovation possibilities, I’ll tell you about those kinds of costs throughout this post. For instance, contractors generally charge between $1 to $3 a square foot to remove popcorn ceilings, depending on the size of the room and whether asbestos removal is involved, and testing for this is a must in all homes built before 1980, according to Angie’s List.
The footprint for the kitchen and breakfast areas is spacious and this is actually an open floorplan, with easy flow between the two living areas and breakfast/kitchen spaces. The breakfast room and kitchen together measure a generous 21-by-20 and the neutral ceramic tile is in good shape.
A kitchen reno in the Dallas area averages between $18,000 for minor work and $51,000 for a total overhaul, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value publication. Obviously, that kind of huge variation means the specific choices and tastes of the buyer will dictate the final cost. Those who can DIY or are somehow related to a contractor will save more.
The master bedroom measures 17-by-14, the second bedroom measures 14-by-11, and the third bedroom measures 14-by-13. Those kind of substantial quarters are one of the perks of a 70s-era ranch like this. The nature of changes I’d anticipate many buyers wanting in the bedrooms are light cosmetic, like fresh paint, new carpeting, and updated ceiling fans.
Replacing carpeting at $20 a square foot plus old carpet removal, new padding, and professional installation would run around $2,000 for all three bedrooms. (I arrived at that ballpark number using Home Depot’s online flooring estimator.)
The bathrooms are serviceable, but the master, in particular, could use updates. Again referring to the Cost vs. Value publication, an average bathroom remodel in the Dallas area runs about $14,500, and it brings the highest return on investment of any home renovation, at 98.1 percent.
The city of Murphy itself has seen strong economic development and residential growth since the opening of the President George Bush Turnpike through Plano and Richardson in 2000. Money Magazine named Murphy the 27th Best Place to Live in America for small cities, and D Magazine ranked Murphy the fifth best suburb in the 2014 list, where it has consistently ranked in the top ten cities.
Murphy is located within Plano ISD, rated as a “Recognized” school system in the Texas Education Agency’s 2010-11 Academic Excellence Indicator System report. This house is zoned for Plano East Senior High School, which received Distinction Designations for Academic Achievement in reading/English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and postsecondary readiness on the 2013-2014 Texas Academic Performance Report. These are selling points for families.
In my opinion, all of this points to the investment opportunity of this property. So have I convinced you that this house could have big potential? What do you think? Would you make the leap?