In the $300K range, Dallas houses rarely come with more than a quarter of an acre of land, and often less than that. So imagine our delight when we came across an Oak Cliff midcentury modern home sitting on 1.27 acres for only $310,000. 

Located at 3421 S. Ravinia Dr., our Thursday Three Hundred is in the boundaries of the Kiestwood Historical Homeowners Association, near West Kiest Boulevard and South Westmoreland Road. The house feels secluded, surrounded by mature trees, yet it’s only 10 mile from downtown. 

This home has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,412 square feet on one story, built in 1954. There is an open house this Sunday, Sept. 2, from 2-4 p.m. Want a sneak peek?  (more…)

kiestwood estates

Oak Cliff is a Dallas area with a rich history, and some of the most storied neighborhoods in the city. Keistwood Estates is one of them, with gently rolling hills and mature shade trees. The more than 400 homes in the area represent the largest, intact concentration of midcentury ranch style houses in Dallas.

Our Tuesday Two Hundred, at 3306 S. Franklin St., offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, and 1,875 square feet on one story, built in 1955. This is a recent remodel with a fresh, updated feel, featuring one-inch oak hardwoods throughout, fresh paint, and lots of updates. Low-E windows, attic insulation, and a tankless water heater provide important energy efficient details for this home.

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3965 Boca Bay a

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to point out examples of bad real estate photos and poorly presented houses for sale.

Today, our Thursday Three Hundred is the exact opposite, a shining example of making the very best of its assets through staging and photography.

The home at 3965 Boca Bay Dr. in Northwest Dallas’ Glen Cove is an updated ranch with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, and 2,232 square feet, built in 1965. Glen Cove is in the larger neighborhood of Glen Meadow Estates, north of Midway Hollow, a family-friendly, established area with mature trees and a sense of community. Homeowners in this area can be a member of the Glen Cove Swim Club.

It will be listed tomorrow by Beth Nunneley Mazziotta with Nunneley Real Estate for $330,000.

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Hambric kitchenReally thoughtful piece by Jacqueline Floyd, who lives in “a peaceful Denton County suburb”, in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News. She says that after all of last week’s Rah Rah Urbanism activity — you know the New Cities Summit and the U.S. Conference of Mayors — that there is a looking-down-the-nose at suburban dwellers element going on.

Kind of like that “you live north of LBJ? I am so sorry” ‘tude. Jacqueline says bring on the new urbanism but don’t demonize the ‘burbs and all who live there:

As a spirit of “new urbanism” is making serious inroads in Dallas, its satellite communities are fielding the blame for a host of woes: not just freeways and sprawl but such elemental human failings as greed, bigotry and mindless consumerism.

I liked her points, and I agree with many. The fact is, a lot of journalists, many in fact who are writing some of those Rah Rah stories, live outside of Dallas, in the suburbs. Why? Because that’s where they can afford to live and educate their children. Because let’s face it: you get a better deal on a home in the suburbs than you do in Dallas. You get cookie cutter, yes, but your chances of being slashed with a box cutter tend to be less, too. (more…)

Midcentury RanchTucked back behind Forest Lane, Marsh Lane, and Webb Chapel Road is an enclave of Midcentury Ranch homes, homes to families from the late 1950s to today — and they’re still some of the most affordable homes in North Dallas.

Built by Fox & Jacobs, the L-shaped Accent and Flair homes of the 1960s are present in several neighborhoods in North Dallas, especially along Marsh Lane (full disclosure, this writer lives in one, and her family is only the second family to live in the home since it was built in 1961).

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first homeWhen you’re a young family, you look for certain things in your first home — and first and foremost, you’re probably going to be looking for the home that can give you the most bang for your buck.

It’s one of the reason we bring our readers regular features like the Tuesday Two Hundred and the Thursday Three Hundred — and this week’s Thursday offering is a great example of how the $300,000 range can get you a great move-in ready first home with loads of potential for putting your stamp on the abode as well.

This North Dallas Midcentury Ranch at 3179 Jubilee Trail was built in 1961 and has a lot of the hallmarks we expect from the Fox & Jacobs era of Dallas — an open floor plan, a focal point fireplace, and bedroom layouts that provide generous bunking spaces.

It’s a floor plan that holds up to the ever-changing and cyclical vagaries of popular design choices over decades. The wallpaper may change, the tile may go from a country style mosaic to a sleek subway tile, and flooring choices may go from shag to laminate to Berber to wood, but that floorplan? What was family and entertaining-friendly in the sixties is just as family and entertaining-friendly today.

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Anyone who lived in North Texas in the early 1980’s remembers the murder of Betty Gore, and the murder trial of Candace Montgomery, the woman who killed her with an ax. The petite, non-descript Wylie housewife was acquitted in 1980. She claimed self-defense. I attended her trial as I was working, at the time, for KDFW-TV. Then, as now, the case enthralled me.

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Rob HarperRobert Ramsey “Rob” Harper died January 30 at his home in Carrollton from a pulmonary embolism resulting from a fractured leg suffered while on a family ski trip to Vail, Colorado in early January. He was only 52 years old. Rob had a lifelong career in real estate development and made a significant impact on Dallas real estate. He most recently managed real estate interests for the Lamar Hunt family, Unity Hunt, Inc.

Unity Hunt, Inc. has interests in Fairmont Heritage Place, El Corazon de Sante Fe, a beautiful hotel and luxury fractional ownership home development right in the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Rob was also an incredible family man, who enjoyed a beautiful marriage and adored his two children. The Dallas Morning News spoke to his father, Bob Harper of Richardson, who says Rob had a “visionary insight to real estate development”:

“So many people follow the herd, or have a herd instinct,” his father said. “He had a very keen sense of entrepreneurship.”

According to the Dallas Morning News report, Rob graduated from SMU with two undergraduate degrees and a love for sports, particularly soccer. At Richardson’s J.J. Pearce High School he was selected a Southern U.S. All Star youth select soccer player, and was co-captain of the team. He played on the varsity soccer team at SMU and later coached young athletes. He began his career in real estate fresh from college, working with his father at the Willard Baker Development Co.,

“where he was instrumental in planning communities including High Pointe in Cedar Hill and Twin Creeks in Allen.

Harper had an independent vision that he used to find opportunity, said his father, a former sales and marketing director for Dallas homebuilder Fox & Jacobs.

After Willard Baker, Harper partnered with Ray Washburn in developing single-family home subdivisions and the Coyote Ridge Golf Club and (a) master-planned community in Carrollton.

“Based on the success of Coyote Ridge, he was asked by the Hunt family to … manage their real estate development and real estate assets,” Bob Harper said.

Those projects included a private residence dorm near the Texas A&M campus, and Fairmont Heritage Place, El Corazon de Santa Fe.

I had the good fortune of spending time with Rob both in Dallas and in Santa Fe, and he was one of the most fascinating real estate minds I have ever met. He had great insight into real estate cycles and trends and was a true visionary. His tragic death at such a young age is a huge loss for the Dallas real estate community.

Rob is survived by his wife, Caryn Rose Harper of Carrollton, two sons, Will Harper of Dallas, and Daniel Harper, his sister Patricia Van Voorhees of Dallas, and his mother, Betty Harper and father, Bob, both of Richardson.

Our hearts go out to his family and friends, as we grieve the loss of one of Dallas’ most brilliant real estate entrepreneurs and futurists.