Snapshot of some Southern Dallas neighborhoods east of the Dallas Zoo.

Recently, I wrote that buyers looking for reasonably-priced homes close to the Dallas core needed to start looking south, specifically south of I-30 from I-35E to east of Fair Park. These are the areas that particularly fell prey to redlining. Once thriving areas in the midst of renewal, they offer some fab bargains and the opportunity to be part of rebuilding some neglected areas … deals unheard of in Oak Cliff and further north these days.  My self-imposed challenge was to use the DART’s light rail stops as a guide to southern Dallas.  Part of using DART was obviously the catchiness of the hook, but also because the folks most likely to move to this area are of a generation wanting more transit options outside a personal automobile.

It’s worth noting that there is an element of political will required as areas revitalize.  Because of that, it’s equally worth noting that notes were sent to the Dallas City Council members representing these districts (Rick Callahan, Dwaine Caraway, Kevin Felder, and Tennell Atkins) seeking community contacts and perhaps a chat about the areas they represent.  Over a week later, none have responded. Thankfully, I have blundered into some neighborhood contacts to add color and educate me.


Hickory Tree Sunset HCOTW

Do you have lake house fever? I know I do. It seems like I am constantly combing through listings at Cedar Creek Lake, trying to find a getaway for my family and favorite peeps. After all of this rain we’ve had recently, the lake is in great shape, too, which means this summer you’ll want to find your own little weekend property where you can dock your boat, crack open a Corona, and enjoy a sunset.

This little spot on Hickory Tree Road in Mabank is the perfect place, too, and Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans can make sure you get the right financing for you lake house. Don’t take chances on your lake house dreams! Call Lisa Peters today to finance your slice of summer heaven on Cedar Creek Lake.

Jump for more on how you can score this view!


429 Sun Valley extIf you left at eight, you’d be in the water by now and still wallowing in luxury. Less than an hour drive from Dallas on the shores of Cedar Creek Lake, the third largest body of water in Texas, 429 Sun Valley comes with a double lot totaling approximately 3.07 acres in the 505 Cedar Creek development, Mabank, Texas.  One of three new high end second home developments out that way, there is Beacon Hill, the 505 and Long Cove on the southern tip of the lake. This home is 5,500 square feet of fun constructed by Dallas builder Jim Reilly of Reilly Homes, Inc. Dallas interior designer Adrienne Sams duded up the interiors. The 505 Ranch Club boasts everything from lake fun, of course, to horse back riding and polo to skeet shooting, an ATV course to stocked fishing ponds and a campground with teepees. This is a concierge-type community where you can enjoy second home living without a full-time caretaker to take care of the mess.

429 Sun Valley foyerThe house holds plenty of kids, best friends and easily sleeps 16. There are four bedrooms, four full baths plus one-half bath in an open floor plan. You will never  worry about your floors with hand-scraped hardwoods everywhere: the dining room and family room combine clerestory and transom windows, creating a massive wall of glass overlooking the lake.  A stunning vaulted ceiling with exposed wood trusses and a handsome wood-burning, floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace center the family room.  There is a bar with a Sub-Zero mini-fridge and this is so smart: a locked liquor closet complete with an emergency exit button.

429 Sun Valley LR 429 Cedar Creel Lake LR2The kitchen has everything you will need to attractively cook for and clean up after a crowd: granite countertops, punched tin backsplash, a generous center island with vegetable sink and seating.  There are commercial-grade appliances include two GE Profile dishwashers flanking the main sink, Wolf double ovens, a six-burner gas cook top with griddle for morning flapjacks and a warming drawer. Before you leave, tuck all food into the  Thermador refrigerator/freezer and two Sub-Zero refrigerator drawers.

429 Sun Valley kit 429 Sun Valley porches 429 Sun Valley porchThere are two mud rooms, what you need with wet feet scurrying in and out 24/7. The master bedroom is a true retreat with a fireplace, soaking tub, dual sinks, separate shower and walk-in closets. I am in love with the river rock backspash and tub surround. Also down and great for the in-laws: a guest suite with corner bunk beds and full bath.

Head upstairs for two bedrooms: one a secondary guest bedroom, one a bunk room with paneled walls and ceiling. Up here is also a secondary living room and a game/media room with mini-fridge.

The home captures breathtaking views of the lake and the 505’s lush trees, while a finely-meshed screened-in porch keeps the critters at bay. You also get a porch with fire pit and covered patio. Of course, there is a dual-level dock, tree house, zip line, trampoline and double swing — so much to do!

429 Sun Valley master 429 Sun Valley master bath 429 Sun Valley bedroom 429 Sun Valley bunk room 429 Sun Valley media gameWhen you get ready to lock and leave, this house is built with second-home security and cost savings in mind: there are tankless water heaters and Iceynee foam insulation. You are in Kaufman County so load up the gun safe. Security cameras are placed throughout the property and can be monitored from an iPhone or iPad when you are back in Dallas. But if you are like most folks who buy at Cedar Creek, you may end up monitoring the Dallas home more than this one. Asking $1,995,000. Happy Fourth!429 Sun Valley dock