Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda. This page has extensively covered the ebbing affordability of housing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And, in addition to the stand out, marquee listings I cover, I continue to pursue the vanishing, charming, affordable, starter house. So naturally a prime westside listing in Arlington Heights on 5037 Calmont Ave. in Fort Worth had been on my radar. Alas, it listed June 29 and was under contract on July 14.

It couldn’t be more obvious why. Priced at $284,000, it’s so picture-perfect that it’s practically a cliché. Yes, that really is a white picket fence covered with roses. Let’s take a look.  (more…)

Last week, while exploring the area of the Beverly Hills Estates listing, I stumbled on to 1716 Inspiration Lane, only a few short blocks away in the unincorporated city of River Oaks. A chunk of Inspiration Lane is part of a new upscale development that is markedly grander than its much humbler neighbors. Still, with the furious pace of growth in Fort Worth seemingly incessant, more areas of town are getting a second look, and developers and homebuyers have begun to nibble at River Oaks.

The structure, in the modern, Texas vernacular style is the conception of architect Bruce Conway and has been featured in 360 West Magazine.  The exterior blends into the landscape replete with native Texas plants and large specimen trees.

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For a Ryan Place bungalow, 2625 South Adams unquestionably packs a lot of captivating design punch. From the appealing exterior color scheme, to the enclosed porch with unique under-eave fenestration, the house has not so much been remodeled as reimagined. We’ve run into the creative spirit behind the renovation before. Seasoned rehabber Terri West has excelled herself in this, her latest effort, by reclaiming and maximizing every square inch of usable space in the 2,800-square-foot house.

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Exterior is cinder block! Don't make 'em like that anymore!

1309 Belle Place in Fort Worth. Classic Prairie style architecture (photos: Shoot2Sell)

Those of you who have followed my blog for the past few years know that I’m a sucker for Craftsman and Prairie-influenced homes. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia or if it’s that they are not “same old, same old,” but I love previewing those homes and writing about those two styles.

Prairie vs. Craftsman Styles

The Prairie style of architecture was popular from 1900 to 1920 in the United States.  Craftsman style came around that time as well from 1905 to 1930. Those two styles are often confused for one another.  There are many similarities. Both can feature a front-gabled roof, wide front porches, and similar door and window patterns and designs.  Also, both styles were born in the USA, which might be why I like them so much.

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Searching for a story idea, I ponder, “What’s available and charming for $250,000?” Answer. Grim. Very little.

Any Realtor will confirm that inventory is stubbornly scarce in that price range. For just a bit more there is Fairmount. But we’ve gone a bit heavy on Fairmount of late. How about an area we haven’t covered lately. Mature trees would be nice. Would good modern design with less-than-celestial pricing be out of the question? I comb listing after listing. Next page. Scroll, scroll. Finally and happily I land at 4325 Hyatt Court in Ridglea Hills.

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South Adams

We haven’t looked in on historic Fairmount for some time. Only a block or so from my Ryan Place home, the vibe and demographic is oh so different. And the Fairmount phenomenon, as I have dubbed it, continues to intrigue.  Is Fairmount becoming a victim of its somewhat unforeseen success? Solid city investment, the re-blooming of Magnolia Street, analogous to Bishop Arts in Dallas, and an extensive inventory of Craftsman-style houses that have been embraced by a new generation have sent values soaring.  With pricing now at $200 per square foot, Fairmount is slipping out of the starter home category. According to Realtor.com, median price has more than doubled in the past three years from $184,000 to $392,000. (more…)

Pavilion

No, you aren’t seeing doubles, nor are you in Bavaria. This flight of fancy occupies a high bluff in Westover Hills, at the end of a cul-de-sac at 2108 Hidden Creek Road.

Based on the 18th century Amalienburg Pavilion at Schloss Nymphenburg near Munich, it is almost an exact replica. Both have two wings of three modules each, which merge into the protruding central bay. In architectural details it is nearly identical as well. Seemingly floating eyebrow pediments surmount the windows while the entrance is composed of a modified Palladian motif. An arched recess between two sets of paired pilasters forces itself upwards through an open bed pediment. Stucco ornament are similar. The only variation in the original is the missing corona.

Pavilion (more…)

Bailey

It’s so easy to love the Crestwood neighborhood in Fort Worth, not only for its handsome houses, but for its romantic serendipity, the aura of relaxed informality which suggests a serene security. Winding streets sometimes preserve a venerable old oak in their center.

On the market for a mere four days, 417 North Bailey Ave. epitomizes so much of what we love about this charming westside neighborhood. Half hidden from the street by a massive spreading live oak, its facade is unique, even eccentric, insistently asymmetrical, and obliquely approached by a curved drive.

Composed of four unevenly stepped units, the entrance at right competes for  attention with the strong pedimented bay next to it. And the discreet front conceals a whopping 5,600 square feet of living space. A full basement adds an additional 2,000 square feet. Landscaping is so lush and verdant, you might think you were in Houston.

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