House Hunting: Single Mom Sold House in 52 Hours, Can’t Decide Where to Move

Photo: Lisa Long
Photo: Lisa Long

Lisa Long is a single mother and pottery teacher in Richardson ISD who recently decided to sell her three-bedroom Irving house after five years and move closer to work.

Long found herself in a situation emblematic of the fast-and-furious pace of the North Texas real estate market: Her house was on the market for 52 hours and in that time, she got 14 offers, ultimately selling for almost $10,000 above list, plus closing costs.

Great news, right? But Long was thinking the sale would take longer, and give her more time to decide where she and her five-year-old son Luke want to live. Long loves Dallas, but looking at the drive to Richardson, maybe something closer would make more sense. Also, she’s looking at a max budget of $150,000, which somewhat restricts her choices. Finally, properties are selling so fast, she’s got to move quickly if she wants to buy.

“There’s not a lot out there—it’s such a sellers market,” she said. “My dream house would be something small, not more than 1,300 square feet, because I don’t want to have to clean a lot. I’d also like two to three bedrooms, and I need a place to do pottery, like a garage, or studio outside that I could get dirty.”

Also on her wishlist:

  • A yard or community space for Luke
  • Good neighborhood where Luke can play with other children
  • Nearby park

Schools aren’t an issue, since Luke will be able to attend RISD (an awesome perk for teachers there).

We went virtual house hunting with Long and looked at what’s available in her price range that fits her needs and wants. We found four properties that seem to fit the bill.


2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,379 square feet, $140,000

house huntinghouse hunting

Description: This first-floor condo in the quiet Sandhurst Manor near Skillman Street and E. University Boulevard has landscaped grounds and a swimming pool on property. It is move-in ready, with a bay window in the living room and new carpet and paint. The den off the kitchen features parquet flooring and opens to large private patio. The condo comes with two covered parking spaces, and there are laundry facilities in the building.


  • Great central Dallas location
  • Low maintenance of condo life
  • All utilities included in HOA fees of $386 per month
  • Gated community
  • All new kitchen appliances, carpet, and paint
  • Large private patio


  • No washer-dryer connection in the unit
  • Only two bedrooms, which means no space for a pottery studio
  • First floor means people overhead and possible noise
  • Long drive to work
  • No nearby parks

Long’s thoughts: Beautiful property! I do not like the HOA fee, even though it includes utilities—not sure I could afford that. The distance to work isn’t good, either, and there is no room for my pottery shop. I own a washer-dryer, so I would also prefer to have connections for those inside my place. I do love it having a pool, though, and being in a nice area in Dallas. Move-in ready is always a plus, but I don’t like having people above me walking on my ceiling.



3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,560 square feet, $113,200

house hunting house hunting

Description: This house has great curb appeal on a lot with mature trees and a nice backyard. The family room opens up into the large living area with wood-burning fireplace. There are laminate floors and tile throughout the house, and an attached, two-car garage. It is located in Northwest Dallas location near Forest Lane and Webb Chapel Road.


  • Cute curb appeal
  • Mature trees
  • Yard for Luke
  • Funky-looking fireplace
  • Washer-dryer connections
  • Low-end of price range


  • Parts of house feel dated, especially the kitchen
  • Concerns about neighborhood
  • The drive on 635 would be bad
  • No parks nearby

Long’s thoughts: I actually like the fireplace! Quirky. I would definitely change out the kitchen countertops if I bought this place. The drive wouldn’t be bad because it would be against traffic, but I would still have to traverse 635 to get to work, which sucks (until they finish 635, of course). The home could use some updates, but that might be fun. I am leery of the area of town it’s located—I would really have to research the neighborhood before picking it, though. I love the garage space for my pottery!



3 beds 1.5 bathrooms 1,188 square feet, $129,900

house hunting house hunting

Description: Located in Casa View Oaks near Ferguson and Gus Thomsson roads, this house has vintage charm and beautiful, original hardwoods. The house has newer windows, heating, AC, and electrical systems. Both bathrooms have been recently remodeled and the kitchen is large for this area with added storage. There’s a separate laundry room, two dining areas, a large backyard, and an attached, two-car garage.


  • Great East Dallas neighborhood
  • Adorable midcentury house
  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • Garage for pottery studio
  • Washer-dryer connections
  • Near a recreation center and park
  • Yard for Luke


  • Far drive to work
  • Yard maintenance

Long’s thoughts: I love the carport in front of the garage so my car is protected while I use the garage space for my pottery. I also love the floors and the small house—less to clean! And the extra bedroom would make a great play area/office for me and my son. I do like this house a lot, but yes, the yard would need maintaining and the distance to work isn’t the best. It looks like it’s close to a park, which is also nice to have with Luke.



3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,292 square feet, $139,000


Description: Clean, cozy, and move-in ready, this Plano house is located near E. Park Boulevard and Jupiter Road, within walking distance to a large park and near major highways. It has wood laminate floors, a spacious family room, granite countertops in kitchen, and two updated bathrooms. The master has a walk-in closet, and there’s a large backyard with a storage shed and an attached, two-car garage.


  • Easy drive to work
  • Close to park
  • Yard for Luke
  • Washer-dryer connections
  • Garage for pottery studio


  • Yard maintenance
  • Using the garage for pottery studio means no place to park car

Long’s Thoughts: The attached garage is great because that would be the space I do my pottery, as it gets really messy. I’ve really been drooling over the idea of a two-car garage, but a carport outside would be fine, too. The rest of the house looks decent and livable. Yard maintenance would definitely be something to consider, but the shorter drive to work helps me feel better about maintaining a yard space. I’m okay with Plano if the price is right.

So which house do you think best fits Long’s needs? Leave us a comment and let us know!



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

Reader Interactions


  1. mmCandy Evans says

    I really think the attached garage is a must for anyone with small children, and you need to be looking for safety, too, as a single mom. Rule out the condo with no washer-dryer connection, how antiquated is that? I like the northwest Dallas mid-century (just don’t move on High Forest where they are claiming house damage from the LBJ construction) and the Plano house.

  2. Janet says

    No brainer, definitely the Plano location, great schools, and driving to work less of headache. Plus her son will have room to grow along with park close by. Good luck!

  3. Harriet says

    There is really no time to think! People should be brave if they want to get the good places! Moving to this CONDO WITH POOL would be great!

  4. Tina Quinn says

    I wanted to write to you the house that looks cozier to me, but then I’ve noticed that you made that post a while ago, so I hope you’ve made the best choice. I wish your family all the best.

  5. Gloria Teaney guzman says

    The Plano House. looks best and buy for the money. Area ok. This house has was she wants and needs..
    The yard maintenance can be worked out and she can build or have a carport built for her car. This is her
    best bet. I am with Coldwell Banker Apex and this is not that farm from my office. I have been in this area.


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