For the past two years, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate has tasked me with finding great neighborhoods around some schools that might be more unfamiliar to buyers who traditionally look around the Lakewood, Rosemont, Stonewall Jackson (now Mockingbird Elementary), and Withers elementary schools when they want a home in Dallas ISD.
The great news is that this year, with the district garnering the second-highest rating you can get from the state’s new A-F accountability system (and one of the highest among Texas urban school districts), the odds are extremely good that you’ll be able to find a home in the attendance zone of a great Dallas ISD school.
Take, for instance, Sanger Elementary. For people who adore the east side of U.S. Highway 75 (but don’t adore the Lakewood and immediate area prices), the attendance zone for Sanger Elementary is perfect. And bonus — with the addition of a middle school wing, the school now educates children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, and offers Dual Language Spanish Immersion.
And there are homes in many price ranges, from $300,000 to the millions. Take for instance, this adorable expanded two-story cottage in Little Forest Hills. Walkable to White Rock Lake, the Arboretum, and more, this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home at 8602 Angora St. offers tons of updates and spaces for family-friendly entertaining, but is also priced for many budgets.
Have a little more scratch? Also in the Sanger footprint is this spacious abode in Forest Hills with views of the lake. This six-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath home at 8326 Garland Road has plenty of room for the kids and visiting family, lots of entertaining space, and with all those bathrooms, there will be zero arguments over who gets the shower first on busy school mornings.
Also in East Dallas, Lipscomb Elementary offers the highly regarded International Baccalaureate Program. The award-winning school (check out all those UIL ribbons!) also has a great school garden, and an updated library thanks to partnerships with The Real Estate Council, East Dallas Exchange Club, Lipscomb Elementary PTA, The Old East Dallas Early Childhood PTA, and Munger Place Church.
And the neighborhoods in Lipscomb’s attendance zone offer some family budget-friendly homes, too. Take this adorable Craftsman in Junius Heights, for instance. This two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home located at 5538 Junius Street screams, “I’m cozy and charming and you want to live in me!” immediately, with its bright blue paint and white trim. Although it was built in 1985, it was constructed to blend in with the historic homes in the neighborhood, and is just shy of 2,000 square feet of living space.
Are you firmly North Dallas people? Not to worry — there are so many great neighborhoods and schools in the area it’s nearly impossible to not hit a great school (just ask the parents at Withers, DeGolyer, Foster, Walnut Hill, Pershing, Gooch … the list is actually endless). But we’ve homed in on two IB schools in great neighborhoods that might require a little more cash, but offer lots of great homes. And even better, not only are the elementary schools great, but they feed into Franklin Middle School and Hillcrest High School (currently being spruced up and renovated thanks to a recent bond package), which are both also IB schools.
Take, for instance, Kramer Elementary with its huge attendance zone. Kramer was the first elementary IB school in Dallas ISD, and has won numerous awards for its academic successes as well as its efforts to engage students and parents. It also has a wonderful learning garden. It benefits from the yearly Northaven Home Tour, which showcases gorgeous homes in the school’s footprint.
This Janmar Mid-Century modern home at 7405 Kenshire Lane is a prime example of one of those homes. Great kitchen, big backyard perfect for cartwheels and somersaults, and those distinctive marks of an MCM home are all reasons this four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home would make a great place for a future Kramer Colt family. And if you’d like to see it, there’s an open house this Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Looking for something a little larger? This stunning, custom-designed home in gated Lake Forest on a cul-de-sac creek lot, offers more than 6,000 square feet of living space and four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. Located at 11828 Preston Brook Place, the home has a gourmet kitchen and plenty of space for Thanksgiving dinner, plus plenty of spots for entertaining all ages (hello, 450-bottle, climate-controlled wine storage).
A scoosh west, Preston Hollow Elementary is also an IB school that offers the Dual Language Spanish Immersion program. Last year, it won the 2017 UNICEF Kids Helping Kids Award and was named a 2017 Children at Risk Top Gold Ribbon Elementary in North Texas. On the school’s website, it links directly to its reviews on Niche, so the students and teachers there obviously have a lot to be proud of.
This four-bedroom home at 6815 Prestonshire Lane has three full bathrooms and two powder rooms. Tucked into a lot with a wonderful canopy of trees, the home offers plenty of places to play on the outside (including a pool), plus lots of grown-up and kid-friendly spaces on the inside. You can get your own look-see Sunday during an open house from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This traditional ranch at 6826 Stichter Ave. has three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, and was updated and added on to in 2005. With three living areas, it has plenty of room for multiple viewings of “Moana” while you watch HGTV elsewhere, and a bright, airy kitchen that opens to a breakfast room and den, which means you can make dinner and oversee homework. It’s also available for viewing this Sunday, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
It’s no secret that Oak Cliff is seeing a massive amount of interest — it seems like everybody wants to live there these days. Homes seem to turnover at a rapid blink. But we found a home on South Hampton Road that is perfect for a family, and sits in the attendance zone of Lida Hooe Elementary.
Never heard of the school? It’s one of those quiet neighborhood schools that has been steadily offering its students an excellent education for decades. It’s the kind of school you can walk to with your children every morning.
And this three-bedroom, two-bath home at 206 S. Hampton Road is a great example of the affordable homes you can still find in Oak Cliff, too. Completely updated, bright and spacious, this home has been remodeled (in fact, the kitchen and baths were completely gutted), and is ready for a family to move in.
There’s another reason we picked most of these houses, though — they’re all fairly decent commutes to many of the choice schools Dallas ISD offers. Since many of the choice and magnet schools are not dependent on geography, you can live anywhere in the district. But let’s be honest — in Dallas, you’d like to avoid a long commute when you can.
We also found two more that are decent commutes to several of the district’s innovation schools, including this Bluffview home at 4807 Elsby Ave. that has been updated and brightened to move-in ready status. The open floor plan offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms, including a great master suite. An open house Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. gives you a chance to peek in with your family.
This new construction in Devonshire comes with all the great perks of a brand new home — 20 SEER AC system, custom hood and cabinetry, SubZero and Wolf appliances, level-four finished walls, white oak wood floors, designer lighting, and laundry up and down. The five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home on 8514 Chadbourne Road was built by John Young, and sits on a quiet street, perfect for early school-year bedtimes and after-school bike riding. You can visit the home Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
We all know that well-constructed and maintained homes in Dallas are probably always going to be popular and quick-selling. So contacting an agent with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and letting them know what Dallas ISD schools you’re interested in can help make sure that you’ll have a fighting chance of getting in the right home for your family.