Articles by

Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is a freelance writer and Dallas native who lives in Richardson with her husband, their toddler, his teenage daughter, and a neurotic-but-sweet dog. In her sixth-grade yearbook, she listed "interior designer" as her future profession. Now she writes about them, as well as all things real estate, for

Crest Haven Place contemporary

The Crest Haven Place contemporary stunner at 8418 Lakemont  Dr. is one of our three featured open houses this week.

Just west of Bluffview, one of the gorgeous neighborhoods of Dallas, is Crest Haven Place. It shares the appealing general location of Bluffview, and is a neighborhood in transition. Many incredible luxury builds are going up there, like the Crest Haven Place contemporary that tops our Dallas Open Houses of the Week column. 

This week, our houses range in price from $414,900 to $1,137,500. In addition to the Crest Haven Place contemporary, there’s a swanky One Arts Plaza condo and a Junius Heights Craftsman. Let us know what you think of our choices, and if you know of any we should feature next week!



06/15/17 7:30am

Winnetka Heights Bungalow

There’s nothing quite like owning a Craftsman to make you feel like you’re living the charmed life. 

Our Thursday Three Hundred is a Winnetka Heights bungalow in North Oak Cliff with a wide and welcoming front porch. Located at 414 S. Willomet Ave. near West Jefferson Boulevard and South Polk Street, this house offers a handsome marriage of old and new. For example, original refinished hardwood floors gleam against a newer decorative slate tile fireplace, which fits the vintage aesthetic of this house nicely. 

This bungalow has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,392 square feet on one story, built in 1945. 


06/13/17 1:34pm

Buckner Terrace House for Sale |

Buckner Terrace is an East Dallas neighborhood on the rise, with tons of the homes being renovated into highly livable and stylish spaces. 

Our Tuesday Two Hundred, located at 5838 Elm Lawn St., shines as an example of this trend. The owners opened up the floorplan in the common living areas and added a lot of desirable amenities, especially in the renovated kitchen. 

This home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, and 1,885 square feet on one story, built in 1963.


Real Estate Story
06/12/17 10:40am

One year ago, my husband and I bought a house in the Cottonwood Heights neighborhood of Richardson. What an exciting and busy year — I’m a “nester,” so having a place that’s ours for keeps, as opposed to renting, feels more secure and comfortable. Plus I can finally paint whatever I want! 

As a real estate writer, I’m quite familiar with the concept of being “house poor,” and we wanted to avoid that at all costs. Being house poor describes a person who spends a big proportion of his or her total income on home ownership, including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance, utilities, and other expenses. We bought well below our max budget, which has allowed us to be able to afford the unplanned expenses of our first year. That is one of the smartest things we did. 

So what did our first year actually cost us? Read on to find out. 


Lakewood Contemporary Soars In Our Weekly Roundup of Dallas Open Houses |

The Lakewood contemporary at 3406 Oakhurst St. is one of our three featured open houses this week.

Do you love a modern marvel of a home as much as we do? Then cast your gaze toward the Lakewood contemporary that tops our CandysDirt Open Houses of the Week. This renovated beauty is one of three we’re featuring, and you’ll be wondering how to pick your favorite. 

They range in price from$724,000 to $1.05 million and include an Oak Cliff Tudor with a fairy tale backyard and a Mockingbird Park beauty with classic good looks, reimagined hit a buyer’s checklist. 


06/08/17 7:30am

Hexter Elementary

They say location sells a house, and that’s certainly true. But for families, schools often come in a close second. Our Thursday Three Hundred offers a big selling feature in addition to its cute-as-a-button looks and great neighborhood: it is in the attendance zone for Hexter Elementary, a beloved institution in the area.  

Located at 609 Brookhurst Dr., this updated home is near North Bucker Boulevard and Peavy Road in East Dallas’ Lake Highlands area. Renovations create an elegant feel in its 1,502 square feet, built in 1955 and updated to feel current and stylish. It has three bedrooms, two bedrooms, swimming pool, and covered patio. 

There’s an open house this Sunday, June 11, from 2-5 p.m. How about a sneak peek? 


06/06/17 7:30am


Our Tuesday Two Hundred is a fun, funky, and colorful home with personality to spare and lots of updated spaces. 

Located at 1038 Hendricks Ave. near East Claredon Drive and South Ewing Avenue, this house is located in the Brentwood-Trinity Heights neighborhood of Oak Cliff. The house offers tons of originality and and Craftsman touches, as well as some modern touches to hit buyers’ wish lists. Think original refinished hardwood floors, updated bathrooms, new central air and heat, and a walk-out balcony overlooking the neighborhood.

This property has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 2,059 square feet on two stories, built in 1930. Let’s take a look. 


06/05/17 4:10pm
Les Owens of LRO Residential | Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses |

Kid Cottage by Les Owens of LRO Residential, built for the 2016 Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses. This is his eighth year participating in the event.

Dallas homebuilder Les Owens of LRO Residential puts the same details into the children’s playhouses he builds for the Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses as he does the multimillion dollar custom homes he builds in the city’s most tony neighborhoods, like Preston Hollow, Bluffview, and Highland Park.

Want a playhouse with a copper roof? Wired for electrical? With real hardwood floors? Totally do-able. 

“We use the same materials in our playhouses as the big homes we build,” Owens said. “It allows us to be really detailed and maintain the same construction quality for a tiny house that we would for any house we build — we look forward to this every year.”

The 22nd annual Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses runs July 7 to 23 at NorthPark Center. The event features custom-designed and built playhouses available to win by raffle, with all proceeds benefiting the children served by Dallas CASA. As the group’s largest annual awareness event, Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses brings attention to the plight of the abused and neglected children served by the agency’s volunteer advocates.