There’s nothing like a pandemic to make last year’s devastating tornado a distant memory. But last week, an email to CandysDirt.com from real estate agent/homebuilder Emily Vafa reignited interest in a still-recovering neighborhood: Walnut Hill Ridge.
Emily and her husband, Dan, own Vafa Construction, a 10-year-old company specializing in custom homes and large-scale renovations. The couple has built three houses in the covetable area, just north of Walnut Hill Lane and east of Midway Road. All are for sale.
“It’s a hidden gem in Dallas,” she says.
Yet despite the desirability of the location, its winding streets, and countryside feel, sales in Walnut Hill Ridge have softened. Emily attributes it to still visible, post-tornado damage.
“You see houses that were affected. Trees severed down the middle,” she says. “But there are also construction vehicles down every street. You know revitalization is happening.”
The new Vafa spec at 4246 Northcrest Avenue is a modern stunner. The thoughtfully designed home sports an open floor plan with soaring ceilings and an abundance of natural light-filled spaces. A block south, the company’s modern farmhouse (4330 Southcrest Drive) is slated to hit the market later in July.
Local resident and Compass agent Bev Berry is especially bullish about the neighborhood. She’s lived and sold in Walnut Hill Ridge for 18 years.
“We’re a really tight community.”
“It’s a wonderful place,” she says. “People move here and don’t leave, unless they get transferred or go to the old folks home.”
Bev admits it’s the first time she’s seen prices in the area drop.
“People are scared of tornado damage. A couple of buyers said it looked sad,” she says. “But if you knew what it looked like before, of course it does.”
After the tornado, Walnut Hill Ridge residents banded together to initiate a tree recovery program. One of the neighbors, a landscape architect, was instrumental in helping them buy in bulk from Frisco’s Fannin Tree Farm.
“It no longer looks like Edward Scissorhands went rogue,” says Dave Perry-Miller agent Michele Balady Beach.
The seasoned Realtor has had nine properties under contract during the pandemic.
“Most of the condemned houses have been torn down,” she says. “Lots are really well-priced.”
So are the homes. Michele’s listing at 4314 Northcrest Road (a never-before-lived-in Vafa) is listed at $1.549 million.
“It has all the features of a custom home, from white oak herringbone wood floors to an air conditioned work shed,” she says. Other features include a spacious open floor plan, chef-style kitchen, covered patio, and backyard pool and spa.
“There’s definitely a financial advantage to buying now,” adds Emily. “Walnut Hill Ridge is well on its way to becoming the beautiful, in-demand neighborhood it once was.”