Huge Reno on Cottonwood Heights Home in Richardson Takes It from Drab to Fab |

For our Friday Four Hundred, we’re heading two miles north of the LBJ loop to a Richardson neighborhood with some fast-appreciating property prices.

The Cottonwood Heights home at 1431 Lamp Post Ln. hit the market in May, a luxe finish-out on a traditional Dutch colonial revival. This house is modern and gorgeous — they’ve taken a blah house and made it absolutely beautiful inside. Its asking price of $484,800 might seem high for this area, but in fact three nearby houses with similar amenities sold recently for $450K, $519,900, and $525K. So maybe not.  

This home has four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, one half bath, three living areas, two dining areas, and 2,808 square feet on two stories, built in 1964. 


Real Estate Story

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. 


Real Estate Story
Leah Shafer | Candy's Dirt

Leah Shafer at her new home.

Leah Shafer is a senior writer for, and in her time with us, she has written 454 blog posts about real estate, buying a house, trends, selling, and staging … the whole banana. But never in that time, or ever, has she herself owned a home.

In fact, Shafer has moved 20 times in her adult life, 11 of them since 2008. Settling down and buying has been a dream, but never a possibility, before now.

“I’ve loved home design and real estate since I was a girl — in my sixth-grade yearbook, I said I wanted to be an interior designer, and it’s no coincidence that I’m writing about houses for,” Shafer said. “I think all my moves have made the idea of owning and settling in one place all the more appealing. I am absolutely over the moon to finally be a homeowner.”

Shafer and her husband Greg recently bought a house for their family in the Cottonwood Heights neighborhood of Richardson. While they’re still unpacking and settling in, she’s excited to share her real estate story with us.

Full name: Leah Shafer

Occupation: Freelance writer; senior writer

City: Richardson

Price Range: $300,000-$350,000

AgentHarriet Shaw, Keller Williams Urban Dallas