First Turtle Creek Terrace Unit Hits Market After Lincoln Katy Trail Loss

Turtle Creek Terrace doesn’t look as dilapidated as Lincoln claimed

After a long and winding road, Lincoln Property’s proposed Lincoln Katy Trail project was denied by city council (I assume they will re-apply). That project would have replaced the Turtle Creek Terrace condo complex. Today, Turtle Creek Terrace unit #168, located at 3203 Carlisle – the intersection of Oak Lawn and Uptown – was listed.

It’s a perfect illustration of my point that replacing 115 existing market-rate affordable housing units with 45 was a bad deal. This one-bedroom, two-bathroom unit has 824 square feet and is listed for $149,000 with Tyler Hagood from Small World Realty. Using basic mortgage tools, that breaks down into a monthly payment of approximately $925 assuming a 30-year mortgage or ~$1,250 for a 15 year payoff. These monthly costs include mortgage, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees.

According to Zillow calculators, using Dallas’ average household income of $54,727, a couple could afford a monthly payment of $1,629/month. Using the 80 percent average median income required for listed affordable housing ($43,781), this home is purchasable by someone earning just $42,000 – less than a qualified affordable unit.

For a single person making a median $29,752 per year, this home would be a mild stretch $42 over calculated payments (but a salary of $31,200 would nab it).

And let’s not forget, this is an owned home, not a rental, which is the only type of housing Dallas supports in its affordable program.

Let’s look inside.

Entering the unit you have a small entry before diving into the well-lit living room. Off to the right is a generous kitchen for this size unit. Behind the photographer is the front door with one of two bathrooms to the right. The ground floor is tiled – I’m a fan of rugs over wall-to-wall carpet, and the tile is cool in summer.

As I said, the kitchen is nice-sized with good counter space and lots of cabinets (and wine rack). The T-wall hints that this may have been a small 2-bedroom unit at some point (its two bathrooms is another clue).

At the other end is a small eat-in area (further hint of a 2-bedroom past). To the right you can see a surprise pantry space that’s unexpected in a home this size.

At the top of the stairs is the master bedroom. The whole second floor is an enclosed suite with a closet, bathroom and access to a balcony. If you’re a chandelier or ceiling light person, it’s pretty easy to add one.

The closet is shockingly large. Any shoe or handbag collector would have plenty of space while the boys would have plenty of hanging space and shelving for T-shirts and sweatshirts and such. The closet is off the master bath, but it was so large, I had to show it first.

The master bath is nothing special – but what do you expect for this price in Uptown?  Over time as a new owner saves pennies, they can easily refresh what’s tired. After all, Uptown isn’t going to get cheaper.

The complex meanders over a full block backing up to the Katy Trail. Being a courtyard building, some are private (as in this unit) and some are more community oriented facing the pool area.

It’s funny, Lincoln kept telling the world how dilapidated this complex is. Now that someone is selling a home, it looks just fine. But be careful. When a complex is under contract, maintenance slips (why invest in something that’ll be torn down?). It’ll be important for a new owner to check the complex’s financial records. If there’s a backlog of maintenance, is there money in the capital fund to cover it? You don’t want to be on the hook for deferred maintenance that now costs more than there is savings for.

Also, you need to figure out what’s up with Lincoln Property’s contract. You could be buying a home that gets sold from under you. But you could also be buying a calculated risk that Lincoln (or someone) will succeed and that the payout will be generous. Either way, that needs to be sorted before you start upgrading or else your renovation budget will wind up in a dumpster.

Whatever happens, this is proof that market-rate affordable housing is available in Oak Lawn/Uptown and that development will eliminate it forever.


Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.

11 Comment

  • Jon, this unit was at one time a 1 bedroom with study (downstairs). My former hairdresser and his partner lived in one. To my knowledge all the 2-bedrooms at TTT (I lived there in a 2-bedroom in the mid-80s just after they were rehabbed the first time) were one story. And the units all had great closets and good-sized eat-in kitchens. Seeing them going on the market again is a great thing. Hopefully Lincoln will get the message and stay away.

  • Hilarious? What can you expect for paying this kind of money?

    Back in 1995 and 2008 – this kind of money got you a BANG for your buck. Now – people paying this price for junk property should be notified beforehand that when the market and bubble burst – you will be upside down under water… like they were in 1988, 1995, 2000, 2008…

    • mm

      Perhaps. But anyone who held on through a downturn (a few years) was back in the black fairly quickly. I also don’t see a huge Uptown bubble as it would take a massive deflation of area popularity.

      • As long as the PITI and HOA are less than rent, it makes perfect sense. And you can walk to Breadwinner’s… and lots of other cool stuff.

  • Why can’t Dallas have anything nice? These are not attractive on the outside and I have seen better looking tool sheds.

    • mm

      Given that the property is already removed from MLS, I’d say someone found fast value in this property’s location and price.

  • This place was well under $200 a square foot, a great value for the neighborhood. The only reason TCT needs work is because the owners were hoping to sell to a developer who could over develop the land. Now that Lincoln can’t build their monstrosity, the HOA, once released from their contract, can reaccess the feasibility of selling given development constraints or to invest in renovation of the property to bring it up to its potential. Having lived in condos much of my life, and in Turtle Creek 13 of the last 14 years, I’d gladly take a unit at that location at that price whereby I’d renovate it to its full potential There is upside value for its owners now that its pipe dream deal is not happening.

  • This property needs to be pushed! They were cheaply built as apartments then converted to condos, the property is well past its life span. The property is now about 30% vacant because investors who owned the unit(s) want to sell and with 80+% of the owners agreeing to sell in the first place. The property is a plumbing nightmare with the $80,000+ yr in water. The entire property needs a new roof. Tons of other deferred maintenance. I remodeled a 1st-floor unit in 1998. the unit had foundation issues because of old cast iron sewer line had collapsed under the unit, there’s a giant cesspool under the unit. I wouldn’t be surprised in the coming years’ homeowners in this property will hit with massive assessments for deferred maintenance. The money you think you saved on the purchase of a unit in this property will soon be a pipe dream when the HOA Association hits all the homeowners with a $2,000,000.00 assessment for the property.