Looking for a first home in an older neighborhood at a reasonable price point? Or are you on the hunt for value with the greatest possibility for maximum appreciation? There is still value in Fairmount if you’re willing to look hard enough and undertake a major project. But if you have the pioneer spirit and want to get in on the ground floor, you might take a look at three up-and-coming neighborhoods.
East Arlington Heights
Large swaths of Arlington Heights are rather pricey and certainly well-trodden territory, but head east and there are some near bargains. Already featured twice on HGTV’s Flip or Flop Fort Worth, the neighborhood is dotted with 1,500 square foot cottages built in the 1920s through the 1940s. The downside? The area is infected with the Dallas disease of tearing down and rebuilding. This gives the area a somewhat inconsistent appearance but it is also solid evidence of underlying value. Pockets, particularly northeast of Camp Bowie, remain untouched and intact. And many owners have undertaken renovations of the vintage originals.
Amanda Massingill of Williams Trew is offering a sweet, completely renovated, move-in ready, three-bedroom, two-bath in Arlington Heights at 4734 Calmont for an affordable $297,000.
“Eight minutes from Main Street — paved all the way!” So said the boosters for Oakhurst in the 1920s. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, has a proud neighborhood association, and attractive parks. Close proximity to the Trinity Vision Project, the massive town lake and parks development project slated for completion sometime around 2020, will be an added attraction brightening the future for Oakhurst.
With charming street names like Primrose, Bluebonnet, and Mapleleaf, and quaint cottages from the 1920s through 1940s, Oakhurst is reminiscent of Oak Cliff with pricing where Oak Cliff was a decade or so ago. But if you want a piece of the area you had better hurry. Upscale development has already begun along Oakhurst’s Scenic Drive, which will only serve as a catalyst for further development and put additional upward pressure on prices.
Inventory is persistently low with just a handful of listings on the market. Investigate Kip Wright of Coldwell Banker’s listing on 2308 Honeysuckle Avenue. Built around 1923, it has three bedrooms, two baths, and over 1,500 square feet of living for a mere $248,000.
Hemphill Heights is a neighborhood south of Ryan Place, roughly bounded by Hemphill Street and West Berry Street. Granted, a lot of the area is a bit rough around the edges, to be generous. However there is a large stock of just the sort of Craftsman bungalows and larger, quirky-but-noble, turn-of-the-century houses embraced by younger buyers. Add into the mix a sprinkling of warehouses and commercial buildings ripe for residential conversion or boutique businesses, and you have the perfect ingredients for a lively bohemian enclave. At $100 per square foot, Hemphill Heights it is about half the price of Fairmount.
I couldn’t find anything for sale which isn’t unusual. Sales seem to happen without listings ever appearing on MLS. Last year we covered a renovation by 6th Avenue Homes Realtor Joey Turner. The 6th Avenue crew has been instrumental in drawing young buyers to the South Side and, at this point, have rehabbed over 50 properties — one loses count — mostly in Fairmount.
“Hemphill Heights is about where Fairmount was five years ago,” says Turner, who undertook a renovation on a fine old Hemphill Heights house with a dubious past, which was in danger of being razed. Look for this area to continue to draw the young and trendy as the city continues to pour money into South Side rejuvenation.
Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, and in books and publications including D Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and D Home has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.