It’s been a while since my last installment of my Southern Dallas Buyer’s Guide. Bet you thought I forgot! Nope, I just didn’t relish State Fair traffic and then real-life hoo-has set in. But now I’m back to examine what’s available and what’s happening on the DART Green Line. Our first stop are the line’s last two stops – Buckner Station at the corner of Elam Road and South Buckner Blvd. and Lake June at Lake June Road and US-175.
There’s a surprising amount of new construction going on, much of it a riff on the single-story suburban tract home. Surprise! Two are the number of original 1940s to 1960s ranches that are being spruced up flipped. Surprise! Three is the amount of raw land for sale … and I’m not talking about the typical in-fill lot sprinkled here and there, I’m talking acreage … 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 acre parcels.
I’m going to say that most of this is happening on the west side of US-175 from Lake June Road to I-20 and running up against the 2,234-acre sorta green belt consisting of the 302-acre Texas Horse Park, 400-acre (and controversial) Trinity Forest Golf Club, 120-acre Trinity River Audubon Center, 111-acre McCommas Bluff Preserve, 318-acre Joppa Preserve, and the 983-acre William J. Blair Park.
I suspect it’s the golf course, built to cater to PGA events, is the reason for all the activity. Sure, remediation of the polluted site didn’t hurt (who wants to live next to a toxic landfill?), but it’s the expected uplift from the relocated Byron Nelson golf tournament that has the area jumping.
As a reminder, when looking at lower-priced homes in need of renovation, terrible photography is the norm. By that I mean beyond the typical camera-phone pics, expect dark rooms (curtains closed), tons of clutter (nothing moved out of the way for the pictures – even dirty clothes), bare-bulb lighting, and acres of ceilings (camera tilted up). So none of the homes you see online will entice you with pictures. If the area is right and you can look past the pics, call a Realtor and just go.
7710 Komalty Drive
This home is located in a little pocket surrounding W. A. Blair Elementary School just south of Loop 12 and west of US-175. The area is filled with your basic 1,200- to 1,800-square-foot clapboard and brick homes. It’s probably a 50-50 shot whether the home has a one- or two-car garage, many of which have been closed off and turned into living spaces. You’ll need to factor that in if you want an enclosed garage.
This home is a pre-renovation candidate, with five bedrooms and two bathrooms with 1,808 square feet. The home is listed with Gwendolyn Allen of Re/Max Preferred for $91,000. The original one-car garage has been enclosed and adding approximately 240 square feet and two bedrooms to the original plan.
The kitchen is a good size, but closed off from the main living areas. What I’d do is close-up the door at the left edge and turn the left window into French doors to the backyard and use this space as the dining room. I’d take the dining room (in back of the photographer) and relocate the kitchen there. That way the kitchen would be part of the action and the dining room would be light-filled to the yard.
Bad photography for a bad bathroom. Keep the same configuration but gut it and replace everything. Remember, it’s $91,000, so you have room to renovate. The other bathroom is nearly identical but in worse shape, so buy two of everything.
I’d also reopen the garage and return the home to a 1,550-ish-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home as it was built.
7465 Schepps Parkway
Marking a midpoint between a fixer upper and a new build is 7465 Schepps Parkway. The home was built in 1970 and has 1,288 square feet with three bedrooms and one full and one half bathrooms. It’s listed with Ramiro Martinez from Re/Max DFW Associates for $160,000. (Note, I love Realtor patter “won’t last long!” and seeing it’s 162 day listing.)
The home lost its one-car garage, but most of its neighbors have added a two-car garage along the back alley. What’s really spectacular about this home is that it’s literally across the street from the McCommas Bluff Preserve and the Woodland Springs Park – complete with swings and slides – out the front door.
The home is a flip that has opened up the home as much as possible without going nuts with new structural beams. So the kitchen is mostly open but the range and refrigerator are behind the wall separating the living room. Trust me, the open effect is still there. In back of the photographer is the dining room. My only ding here is that the engineered wood flooring in the rest of the house wasn’t carried through to the living areas that got tiled.
No pics of the bathrooms but they are the same quality as the kitchen. Above is the master bedroom with dual closets and bathroom. See what I mean about the floors? Pity they’re not in the main living areas, right?
As I said, the back-yard is spacious with plenty of space for a garage or an addition as needed. The whole lot is roughly 79 by 120 feet and well-treed. While it’s lasted longer than the Realtor’s original pitch, it’s still a pretty sweet location at an affordable price.
446 Bissonet Avenue
Just north of the two prior homes, across Loop 12, is another enclave surrounding E. B. Comstock Middle School. Here, there are more than a few “typical suburban” new-build homes. This 2017 build has been listed under a week for $239,000 by Marysol Robledo of Keller Williams Turtle Creek. It’s another three-bedroom, two-bath home with a generous 2,125 square feet on a 60- by 125-foot lot. It’s three houses from school with the Dallas Police Department on the far side of the school. Smart and safe.
I know this floor plan well having lived in its twin in Houston many years ago. The windows to the right of the front door are a bedroom/study while the central corridor leads to the dining area / kitchen and on to the living room. The archway on the right leads to another bedroom while the door just past the kitchen leads to the master suite. The pinch of a door on the pic’s left edge goes to the garage. Again, I will lament the tiling of the kitchen. Extending the wood floor throughout would have been so much more “today” in style.
The open kitchen looks out to the pretty-big living room. The only change I’d make here is to swap out that sad back door for French doors or at the very least, change the door to a glass door. That sad fanlight door just doesn’t work. But all in all, that’s small ‘taters in a nice home ready for the move-in buyer.
In keeping with the rest of home, the master bath has it all too. Double vanity, tub, water closet and a separate shower. The high ceilings make the whole home feel better … and being a new home, the insulation should keep the utility bills reasonable.
Being a new build in a lower price band, the back and sides of the home are plank instead of full brick. See what I mean about that back door? The recess is the perfect size for French doors framed under the small overhang.
About the only real issue I have with 446 Bissonet is the same builder put this next door at 442 Bissonet. It’s even more true when you realize the floor plans are the same (though 442 is slightly larger) and that the supersized, heavily bricked roof is just “design” and the tiny prison window is ornament. Having the first floor fully brick and that pitched roof clad in clapboard would have been the way to go. Now if you’re looking for an enormous attic with the potential to dormer it later, then this is for you. It just shouldn’t have been brick.
First Stop on The Green Line
As you can see, this section of southern Dallas west of US-175 and the Buckner and Lake June DART Green Line stations offer some interesting possibilities to be close to the city at a reasonable price smack in the middle of over 2,000 acres of green spaces. There ain’t no 2,000 acres of pretty, continuous green in northern Dallas unless you count the continuous green of your mortgage payments.
Remember: High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make? Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.