Little Forest Hills real estate is a study in whimsy and character, with some of the most eclectic architecture in Dallas among its 1,000 or so houses.
Case-in-point: Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred at 8907 San Leandro Dr., near Garland Road and Lakeland Drive. This Little Forest Hills cottage is fanciful and fun, from the bright exterior colors and rustic post-and-rail front fencing, to the cheerful and cozy interior and tranquil backyard with extensive organic landscaping and outdoor shower.
Located on the East side of White Rock Lake, the neighborhood is well-known for arching shade trees, a strong sense of community, and local artists who make their homes in funky houses. Many are modestly sized, like this one, which measures 874 square feet with two bedrooms and one bathroom.
The cottage is newly listed for $230,000 by Scott Kaserman at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, who said there’s been strong interest and a contract might be coming soon. So let’s take a look at this one-of-a-kind listing before it flies off the market.
There’s no forgetting the curb appeal of this 1937 house—the exterior was painted tan with brick red and shamrock green accents in 2013. The front yard is lush and creatively landscaped, with mature oak and pecan trees, multiple century plants, irises, and other thriving shrubs. An in-ground sprinkler system with rain/freeze sensors makes upkeep easy, and the gutter system leads to large rain collection barrels in the back that can be used to water the lawn.
The owner installed a 30-year roof with radiant barrier in 2010, a new water heater in 2013, and a new AC system in May of this year. She also completed foundation work last year, so a lot of the “what-if-something-breaks” worries of buying an older house are answered. (She also added spray-foam insulation under the house in 2012 for increased energy efficiency.) The inside of the house feels crowded now, but see past the stuff to the space itself. Those oak hardwoods are original and refinished, and custom fireplace surround is made up of fossils and seashells placed in concrete mortar. The gas heater insert stays with the house, but that overhead projector does not (which is good because it looks odd).
The front room gets lots of natural light from four windows and a glass-insert door and has room for a seating area and home office. The kitchen has lots of quirk and big personality, with red Marmoleum floors, sage green walls, an antique gas stove (similar to a Chambers stove). There’s not much counter space or cabinetry, but the breakfast area offers the possibility of adding more along one or two walls. The current owner has several mobile kitchen islands/carts, and those seem to be working for her.
Side note: If I were buying this house, I would totally try to get that Willie Nelson painting included in the sale. Awesome. Both bedrooms suffer from the same problem as the other rooms: too much stuff. But again, look past furniture that will leave the house and see the possibility. One room is 12-by-12 and the other is 10-by-12, so they are reasonably sized and have great natural light. Because of the home’s era, the closets are dainty, so the current owner uses a wardrobe in the master.
Any time I write about a house with only one bathroom, I remember my own experiences of sharing a bathroom with other people and inwardly groan. But this might not be a problem for a single person or small family sharing the space. This bathroom has vintage light fixtures, and the current owner repaired the shower plumbing behind wall and added a custom window recently.The backyard is the star of this listing—it is clearly a labor of love and a thing of beauty. There are towering shade trees, as well as oaks the current owner planted as saplings. Around the yard are heirloom rose bushes, predecessors of today’s modern roses revered for their delicate beauty and sweet fragrance. The owner was kind enough to provide photos of a few, posted above.
An outdoor shower stands next to a small shed (there is no garage) under a shade tree. The custom cedar fence was designed by the homeowner and built in 2012; its open-plat design allows for the breeze to come into the yard, a brilliant idea for our climate.
This is not the house for some people—it’s about as far from a big beige new-build in the ‘burbs as possible. But if you’re interested in creativity, character, and bold style, this Little Forest Hills cottage is a dream come true.