A Village Homes townhome development from 2006

912 Magnolia Green Drive 3-story townhome in Near Southside    (Photos: Elliot Hicks, Air and Ground Property Photos)

In the mid-2000s, the area of Fort Worth referred to as the Medical District went through a dramatic change. Situated south of Interstate 30, north of the Fairmount neighborhood, bordered by 8th Avenue to Rosedale Avenue, this soon became known as the Near Southside.

At the time there were medical offices, hospitals, and a smattering of other businesses … not many restaurants, nightlife, and certainly not any urban housing options.

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Many have been captivated by Mistletoe Heights, a venerable early 20th century Near Southside neighborhood. The fabled Wagner ranch family had a Fort Worth home here. Trendy design blogger and soon-to-be television star, Grace Mitchell, launched her design career by lovingly embellishing her Mistletoe Heights digs. Perfectly manicured lawns bear witness to a completed gentrification of a quarter which, only a decade or so ago, looked a bit dog-eared. In fact, the area is pretty hot (what in city neighborhood isn’t in todays market?). The Mistletoe Heights listing I began writing about this week sold before I could post — an annoying scenario to which  I have become accustomed. Very well. Moving on I find 2305 Irwin Street. (more…)

Just one block south of TCU is one of Fort Worth’s loveliest neighborhoods. Adjectives like “charming,” even “darling” spring to mind when describing Westcliff. And here, comparisons to Dallas are unavoidable.

Having lived in Dallas for most of my life, I had to drive through the neighborhood vainly looking for evidence of teardowns. It’s all amazingly intact — a lovely enclave of appealing cottages even lacking ill conceived additions that have blighted the M Streets, for example. It is patently apparent that the owner 3604 Westcliff Road intended to stay for a long time, perhaps forever (she is relocating to Chicago). The house has been sensitively, even lovingly updated. (more…)

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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