Modern Updates to Adorable Santa Monica Home Keep Its Cottage Feel, Vintage Charm

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Santa Monica Home
All photos: Shoot2Sell

Some of the best pre-sale renovations owners can do on older homes is to make sure they have things today’s buyers value: more than one bathroom; an updated kitchen with new fixtures and appliances; an open floorplan; and a fresh, updated look everywhere.

Today’s Thursday Three Hundred at 7014 Vivian Ave. is located in East Dallas’ Santa Monica neighborhood. Built in 1940, this home was taken by its owner from a 3-1 to a 2-2 with an ensuite master bathroom. He refinished the oak hardwood floors in his 1,260-square-foot home and painted both the interior and exterior. The kitchen is now open with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, white custom cabinets, and a subway tile backsplash. The result of all these renos is an adorable cottage feel with vintage charm, and amenities that make it a standout property in the housing market.

This house was listed Oct. 23 by Britt Lopez with Dallas City Center Realtors for $375,000. (There’s a broker open house next Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon, so let us know what you think if you go!)

Santa Monica Home Santa Monica Home Santa Monica Home Santa Monica Home Santa Monica Home Santa Monica HomeThe Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica neighborhood dates to the 1920s, and its tree-lines streets offer a lovely collection of homes. You’ll see Tudor cottages (like this house), as well as Spanish Eclectic, French Eclectic, Minimal Traditional, Craftsman, Monterrey, and two rare examples of the flatroofed Pueblo Revival style.

For a period of time, Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica was a rough place. Not anymore! Here’s how their neighborhood association describes the wonderful change that happened a decade ago:

We live in a relatively crime-free neighborhood, where it’s safe to walk around at night and spend time at the park. But [Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica] wasn’t always this way. Before 2005, we heard gunshots every weekend, cars were burglarized even while parked in the driveway, packages stolen off porches, and robberies at gunpoint were not unheard of. Home prices were a lot cheaper, and graffiti was abundant…Expanded Neighborhood Patrol (ENP) was started in 2005 and changed everything. ENP funds pay for an off-duty police officer to patrol our neighborhood each week. Detective Keith Allen has been our neighborhood patrolman since 2005, and his presence makes our neighborhood a less desirable choice for criminals.

Today, homes in this area fly off the market. It’s a gorgeous neighborhood, centrally located, close to White Rock Lake, and it’s still easy to find a house for under $400K. What’s not to love?

In this home, those gorgeous oak hardwoods are everywhere in the house except the bathrooms and are key in the cottage feel. In the front room, the decorative fireplace is an anchor to the space, and the recessed lights and windows make the space bright. An original arched doorway leads to the formal dining room and kitchen, as does the other door. Santa Monica Home Santa Monica Home Santa Monica HomeThe owner took the kitchen wall down to a half to open up the room. It used to be a tight space, says Lopez, who explained he built it to be functional for future owners. The base cabinet to the right of the stove is a separate piece that moves on casters in order to get it out of the way to bring the fridge in—it secures to the wall with a screw behind the drawer. This way the kitchen can still work for appliances coming in or out as needed in the future.

The custom white cabinets, white subway tile with dark grout, new stainless steel appliances (including a gas range), and granite countertops look sharp. There’s a ton of storage in this kitchen and the breakfast bar adds to the seating options. Santa Monica Home Santa Monica Home 7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-15 7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-16 7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-177014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-19 7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-18The bedrooms are inviting, wonderful spaces with so much natural light. The master measures 14-by-14 and the second bedroom measures 13-by-11. The original bath was gutted and redone, and the master suite includes a modern bathroom with a large glass walk-in shower with white subway tile, a double vanity, and large walk-in closet. The master bath and walk-in closet were created by taking in the third bedroom. The master bath also has a laundry area inside the walk-in closet. Smart updates!7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-20 7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-21 7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-22 7014-vivian-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-23The lots on this side of the street have a higher front yard than backyard, and many of them have an awkward floorplan to get to the backyard, Lopez says. This home had a door off the kitchen with a small concrete stoop, so at least the house floorplan worked. The owner created the deck, which wraps around from the kitchen door to the backyard, to give better access to the back and create a usable space for entertaining, as well. There’s a detached two-car garage back there, too, and lots of space to add landscaping to complement the mature trees.  

Nine neighborhood comps range from $242,500 to $377,500 (average: $316,055), and $204 to $328 per square foot (average: $263). So this home’s list price of $375,000/$297 per square foot is a on the higher side. But after looking at the hugely renovated interior and knowing about this neighborhood, I can see why it is at this price point. It will be interested to hear about the broker open house Wednesday and see how Realtors feel about the property. It seems like a good bet for a quick sale to me.



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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