Five years ago, Dallas City Center realtor Dani Hanna got a call to sell an Old Lake Highlands midcentury modern home at 816 Creekridge Drive. A couple had kept this 2,088-square-foot house as a rental, and it was in bad shape.
“There was carpet — never a good idea in a rental — the yard was a mess, and there was a hole in the roof over the patio,” Hanna said. “The northwest wall is all glass, and it was about a zillion degrees inside.”
In May of 2012, the market was steady, and people were not lining up to take on big projects.
The prep list went on and on. A beam from the house to the garage was rotten, the kitchen had seven-foot ceilings, and the cabinetry was crumbling particle board.
“As I walked the property, making that list for the sellers, it hit me that they shouldn’t do anything,” Hanna said. “This house desperately needed everything and a buyer with the vision and budget to take it on.”
Then Hanna realized she was that buyer.
“I guess the call just hit me at the right time.”
Hanna laid out the facts to the seller in her no-nonsense manner. It would either be listed with a no repair request because she knew all the major systems needed replacement. Or, Hanna would buy it. They reached an agreement, and she began the largest remodel of her life.
“There were electricians, framers, and painters scurrying around that place for three months,” Hanna said. “The new service panel was in by the time I got there after the closing on July 2, 2012, and the HVAC followed on the 5th.”
She rolled up her sleeves and went to work. If anyone has a vision, it’s Dani Hanna. Her dream of a flawless midcentury modern home was going to happen.
“I jumped in with my carpenter and handyman, and we filled a couple of dumpsters with carpet — you knew that was coming — the entire master bathroom and kitchen, rotten beams, and wood paneling,” she said. “Then I installed custom walnut veneer cabinetry in the kitchen, a 36-inch Thermador gas range, matching appliances, and the prize — a nugget ice machine!”
Hanna, her cat, and her big yellow lab Lucy moved into the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home in late September 2012.
“The interior was fully functioning by November,” Hanna said. “The pool was complete just in time not to be able to use it. I rarely have time to get in the pool, but I absolutely love to see it. I drink my coffee, or bourbon, from the deck above it. As much as my schedule allows, I host my dearest friends all around it. I’m a Scorpio, and I need to be near water the way a voracious reader clings to a good book.”
Lucy the lab loved to swim in the pool.
“In her last summer, she began to be unsure of her skills so I would carry her into the water and could feel her let go of her physical pain and float in my arms like a toddler with her legs wrapped around my neck and waist,” Hanna said. “So many memories in this house are etched into my mind. It has been so much more than a property. It’s been the dateline of my life for the last five years. My most important relationships have been shed and born in this house. Isn’t that what a home is? This dateline of connection … it’s what I do and why I love what I do.”
Hanna is leaving not only a great home but also a great neighborhood.
“Old Lake Highlands used to be the best-kept secret in East Dallas,” she said. It’s home to the award winning Hexter Elementary School,” she added. “It’s a neighborhood of active folks and some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Many cyclists and runners live here because the neighborhood is a mile from White Rock Lake.”
Remember our mantra about how the homes of architects, builders, and Realtors are the absolute best homes you can buy? This property is a prime example.
Thanks to Hanna’s meticulous renovations, this fantastic Old Lake Highlands midcentury modern is move-in ready — just in time to use that gorgeous pool!
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years. She’s been a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com