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…)

It seems a week doesn’t pass without this page decrying the paucity of the ever-elusive starter home. Even rarer is an abode with charm, let alone distinction from the cheerless, mass-produced builder models.

When looking at a house, I inevitably ask “Could I live here?” If  I believe the property has broad appeal, I will write about it even if the answer is “No.” In the case of 2121 Skyline Drive, I think I could answer “Yes.”

A long brick drive snakes through mature trees leading to the entrance of the delightful 1942 stucco cottage, on one acre of city land. There is a sense of the rustic — a country house in the city. Another access to the property from the Castleberry Cut Off Road means more value could be realized from subdividing the lot. And the price for all of this? A modest $277,500. (more…)

Do you yearn for new construction with old school quality? Something grand, not grandiose, surrounded by similar properties? A spacious-yet-sensible plan and not a McMansion clone? River Hills, part of the interesting and evolving Edwards Ranch story, may be your answer. Founded in 1848, Edwards Ranch is older than Fort Worth itself. Now it is the locus for the most exciting new developments  in the city. It includes River Hills, the Waterside retail development, and  the Shops at Clearfork, anchored by the new Neiman Marcus. The weight and force of all of this development, together with the energetic rejuvenation of the Near South Side, is generating a gravitational pull which challenges the heretofore uncontested hegemony of the West Side.

The truth is that I have been longing to write about River Hills for some time, and prowl the area from time to time. This week I stumbled onto 3737 Aviemore a stone revetted, manorial abode, perched on a high bluff built in 2009. The street is romantically named after a resort in the highlands of Scottland and as north Texas goes, the area is hilly.

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Topping Trulia’s list of highest average sale prices by neighborhood, I was surprised to discover lovely Park Hill. With an average sale price of $1.722 million, it beats better-known, pricey enclaves such as Mira Vista and Monticello. I was, therefore, further surprised to discover a prime Park Hill address at 2224 Winton Terrace with terrace views of the wooded hill adjoining the Fort Worth Zoo for the relatively bargain price of $899,000.

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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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Fort Worth is generally much more preservationist by nature than its sister city to the east, nevertheless, a few neighborhoods in Fort Worth have become rich targets for redevelopment. Tanglewood springs to mind. Sadly, lovely Monticello is another. And because of its proximity to Texas Christian University, Frisco Heights, usually referred to as the TCU area, has become hot with construction and new structures seemingly everywhere. However, some of the quaint, original cottages are quite appealing. That certainly applies to 2729 Merida Avenue, a mere one block from the university. (more…)

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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We’ve covered the scant stock of market-entry housing in Fairmount, so when we find a completely renovated, move-in ready, two-bedroom, two-bath charmer at $275,000 on a popular street, it’s, well, news.

Add into the mix that the newly minted firm Motive Real Estate Group is as newsworthy as the property they are brokering. More on that later. The nearly 100-year-old bungalow at 1711 South Henderson Street was given a total makeover in 2105 and now is as fresh as the nautical blue paint which enlivens its exterior.

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