Lake Forest is just about the hottest neighborhood in Dallas right now.
Gated communities, in general, have always held a certain appeal. However, now that the definition of what constitutes safe and private has evolved, these communities have become the neighborhoods of choice for the luxury buyer, particularly when they are 17 minutes from the Dallas Arts District.
I have a particular fondness for gated communities because I grew up on military bases, and they are the ultimate gated community. Having an armed guard at the entrance to a base was my normal. The whole idea of having a neighborhood that has amenities and a close-knit community is part of the fabric of my life, so I see the strong attraction.
For me, knowing my neighbors, being able to have complete freedom to get on my bike and head to the pool or tennis courts was heaven. My parents knew I was safe, and today, more than ever, those safety and community aspects are what gated communities offer and what buyers want.
Lake Forest evolved from a section of the infamous Electronic Data Systems (EDS) campus. EDS was the billion-dollar computer services company founded in 1962 by H. Ross Perot. We all know when wildly successful businesses are acquired, they move, which is great for real estate.
The EDS campus was known for its beauty and a terrific location. Concerts were held on the grounds, and you could even find folks riding horses, so it’s not at all surprising that real estate developers realized a beautiful opportunity and decided to create a gated community of luxury homes.
The Lake Forest website sums it up beautifully:
Serenity in the heart of Dallas. That’s the allure of beautiful, pastoral, gated Lake Forest. Situated on more than 170 acres of lush, park-like grounds, Lake Forest residents enjoy expansive green spaces filled with lakes, waterfalls, and groves of towering oaks in the middle of a dynamic urban center. The community is inside an 8-foot wall of native Texas stone and wrought iron, providing privacy and exclusivity. Limited access is provided by four gated entrances with attendants to direct your guests. Once the gates swing open, it’s hard to believe that you are just minutes from Dallas’ major highways, fine restaurants, world-class shopping, and some of the nation’s best private schools.
There are only 350 homes here, with 68 acres of common areas and amenities. There is an annual car show of the world’s most expensive, luxury, exotic, and antique vehicles owned by residents and car enthusiasts from all over the city. If you are new and looking to connect with neighbors, it’s easy. There are tennis courts, pickleball courts, a garden club, a book club, a golf club and a men’s happy hour, to name just a few!
Dave Perry-Miller Realtor Laura Michelle lives in Lake Forest and gave us the inside skinny.
“The architectural control of the community shows, and I think it’s what has kept the appeal as the community has matured. When you have quality builders like Oscar Ponder, Hawkins Welwood, and Sharif Munir, they know how to build timeless properties. I sold one of the first homes here and remembered thinking that if I could ever live here, I would. I was thrilled when I was able to purchase in Lake Forest seven years ago. To be in a community like this south of IH635 is a rare opportunity. The nature factor is huge here. There are lakes, waterfalls, and gorgeous oak trees. We have turtles, ducks, and owls. And of course, it’s a dog lovers community with our wonderful Bark Central dog park.”
Most people have second homes in Lake Forest and love the lock-and-leave concept. It’s not surprising that a former empty-nester community has seen more and more families move in because of the demand for the gated community concept. Back to my childhood! Parent’s want that safety factor, so this is not at all surprising.
“There are only a few on the market now,” Michelle said. ” I just showed recently to a couple that is relocating from Florida, and they called because they wanted a gated community.