Josh and Hannah Ramsey have loved North Oak Cliff since they bought their first home just off of W. 8th Street in 2009. That was back when the Oak Cliff “Oh…” was almost a reflex when the Ramseys told their friends where they lived. It didn’t bother Josh and Hannah, though, as they felt right at home from the moment they moved in.
“Our house was a block from Bolsa, and we fell in love with the neighborhood, the amazing food, and the entrepreneurs making this place great,” Josh said. “We preemptively sold our home for a job relocation that fell through and then bought a home in Lake Highlands. It never felt like home, so we started house hunting and found a giant gem. It was way too big, but we saw the beauty here.”
Josh, a corporate director for Hilton Worldwide, and Hannah, a trauma nurse at Parkland, bought a 1946 neoclassical and set to work making it a place to raise a family. The home had already had a history of entertaining kids, as the previous owners of 15 years raised all six of their children there. Before that, Josh noted, the home housed nuns that volunteered at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
“When marathon training a few years back, I remember running by this house thinking, ‘I’d sure love to live there one day,’ ” Josh mused. “We knew it was well loved and couldn’t believe the charm.”
But the home needed a lot of work.
Over the last 18 months, Josh and Hannah put in a pool house with a full kitchen and bath, resurfaced and retiled the pool and landscaped the backyard, completely renovated the kitchen, and took it upon themselves to remodel the master bedroom on camera for the DIY Network show “Renovation Realities.”
“They were here filming for a week and it was a real test for our marriage,” Josh said. “I dropped a 2-by-4 on Hannah’s head and accidentally abused her a number of times. I gained a great deal of respect for reality show characters. It’s not easy dealing with a stressful situation while having a giant camera in your face. While we had a good time, we’re not planning on doing it again.”
Wait … you dropped a piece of lumber on your wife’s head? And you’re still married?
“I think marriage counseling would be much more effective if couples were allowed time to work out their problems with 2-by-4s,” Hannah joked. “Obviously, it hurt. My two goals were to: a) Not say a string of colorful four-letter words on national television, and b) Not beat my husband with said 2-by-4. Regardless of the amount of physical pain he inflicted on me, it was a great opportunity to see how different we were and appreciate those differences while we worked towards a common goal. It was worth it.”
Well, we’re glad that no one was permanently injured, but the experience was an eye-opener in more ways than one. It made the Ramseys realize that the Kessler Park home, while beautiful, is too big for their family of four.
“We’ve realized that Oak Cliff is our home. This is our community. It still has parts that feel small-town to us, and we don’t want to let that go,” said Josh. “We have two of the most amazing and wild children you’ll meet. Since our jobs and kids and marriage are most important, we’ve decided to take a break from remodeling at this stage in life. So, we’re planning to move into a smaller, new home in the area that’s still true to the neighborhood.”
That means putting their Kessler Park home at 614 W. Colorado Blvd. on the market. The pair has chosen fellow Oak Cliff resident Alan Shaffer of Clay Stapp + Co. as their Realtor. Shaffer is listing the 3,062-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-full-and-one-half-bath home for $599,000.
“As Josh and Hannah have both recently been promoted in their ‘real’ careers, they have decided to sell their beloved home to move to a smaller place in the neighborhood and let someone else finish restoring their home,” Shaffer said. “It’s got real charm, amazing neighbors and lots of history.”
I have to agree with Shaffer, that this home is a great opportunity to live in a fabulous neighborhood at a budget-friendly price. Not only that, but you can still put your own stamp on it, as there is plenty more room for renovation. However, we might make a friendly suggestion to keep it off of network TV.