“Go West young man, go West.” That phrase rings true for any young man, woman, couple, or empty nester that wants a great house at an affordable price.
West, in terms of house hunting, means Fort Worth, where you can get a lot of bang for your buck, especially when you need a home under $400,000. Feast your eyes on this flawless Fort Worth Craftsman at 1912 Alston Avenue in the Bellevue Hill Addition of the Fairmount neighborhood. The two-story, fully restored home has a historic designation and is smack in the middle of the hottest up-and-coming neighborhood in Fort Worth.
It’s an extraordinary find, just blocks from hip Magnolia Avenue — where you can start your day with a latte at Brewed, and wind down at Kent & Co Wines, then have a late-night espresso at Avoca. You just can’t beat the location, and you can’t beat the price. This 1,464-square-foot vintage lovely is only $335,000.
I knew there had to be a love story here, so I called up Jerre Tracy, Executive Director at Historic Fort Worth. And wow, did I get what I wanted.
Phil Bordeleau is responsible for turning around not just this house, but also the entire neighborhood. He’s something of a legend in Fairmount restoration circles. Over the years he’s restored a house on Lipscomb and five on Alston.
He purchased this Fort Worth Craftsman in 1991. The house had been divided into two rental apartments. Somewhere along the way, it was updated with 1960s popcorn ceilings and faux wood paneling.
Bordeleau got to work. He returned the property to single-family use and exposed the Craftsman detailing that was still intact. Then he turned his skills to not only reconstructing and recreating the original charm, but also making repairs to the foundation, adding central air and heat, and a new roof. This renovation was truly a labor of love.
After a full year of renovations, he sold the house in 1999 and left Texas. We all know you can’t leave Texas forever. Everyone comes back, and so did Bordeleau. In 2010 he returned to Fort Worth and went see to his old home. Without hesitation, he made a cold call to the owner and bought back his wonderful house for the second time.
Over the past seven years, Bordeleau continued to restore this Fort Worth Craftsman to perfection. It would take pages to go into everything he’s done, so suffice it to say he’s done it all, including hand-crafting a built-in Mission-style armoire and chest, as well as building an era-appropriate mailbox. He even has a 1929 Franklin Model 135 sedan in the restored garage. Details matter!
Bordeleau followed the design guidelines of the Fairmount/Southside Local & National Register Historic District and in 2011 won the Residential Rehabilitation Award from Historic Fort Worth for his restoration of the 1910 Fort Worth Craftsman
The house is now in absolutely perfect condition. There are three bedrooms, a full bath, a powder bath, and a garage apartment that is already rented with a renter that would like to stay. Factor that into your mortgage payment!
“The house is so well laid out,” Burt Ladner Real Estate agent Lori Gallagher said. “Sometimes you want the special house, and they are simply too big. With this one, you get all of the unique features in a very livable space.”
Bordeleau is headed to Denver, so if you’re in the market for a move-in ready, historically accurate dream home, you’re in luck. Well, that is until he returns in a few years and convinces you to sell it back to him!
Open House: Sunday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m.
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