Carlock

Jaw dropping. I know the real estate market is cooling after strings of successive years on boil, and that mortgage interest rates approaching 5 percent present a new challenge for buyers, but I was astonished to see an enchanting cottage in the heart fashionable Fairmount at 1213 Carlock Street for less than $200,000.  Also unbelievable is that this two-bedroom, two-bath bungalow, chock full of curb appeal, has been on the market for six months.

And the house couldn’t be more on trend. The stained shingles covering the front gable are stained the color of one of Benjamin Moore’s colors of the year, a rich, spruce, green/blue. Bowers of roses spill over the low metal fence. Paired doors under the symmetrically disposed porch suggest a duplex past. In fact, the history of the 1,200-square-foot cottage is a little murky. Tarrant Appraisal District gives the house a 1924 date, however the owners have documents suggesting a date of 1899.

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Candlelight Tour

I know, I know, I know …. I, too, hate seeing Christmas merch in the local big box before we’ve even gotten through Halloween. However tickets do go on sale next week for the grandmother of Fort Worth’s home tours, officially monikered, “A Candlelight Tour In Ryan Place.” The popular yuletide event, which attracts faithful tour goers from all over the Fort Worth area and even Dallasites, is one of the main revenue sources for the Ryan Place Improvement Association, Fort Worth’s first neighborhood association, and has funded the rebuilding of the original demolished gates and installed period-style street lights throughout the neighborhood among other projects.

Candlelight Tour committees make an effort to mix it up, aiming for variety in style and size and this year is no exception, with a mash up of old and new, often in the same house. Two of the residences will be familiar to Fort Worth Friday readers. (more…)

Travis Ave.

I must confess to a certain lackadaisical, late-summer lethargy searching for this week’s Fort Worth Friday. Then I found 2832 Travis Avenue in Hemphill Heights and regained my enthusiasm. We’ve been keeping an eye on Hemphill Heights as one of the up-and-coming in-town neighborhoods for some time. “The Heights” is a neighborhood south of Ryan Place, roughly bounded by Hemphill St. and West Berry St. The neighborhood is still a bit rough around the edges, but has a rich stock of  turn-of-the-century, Craftsman-style houses to tempt young, urban pioneers.

Listings in Hemphill Heights are rare. Sales in Hemphill Heights usually happen on the QT, privately, seller to buyer. So 2832 Travis Avenue is truly a find.  And this 1909-built, three-bedroom, three-full-bath house has been thoroughly updated and restored. New roof, new electric, plumbing, HVAC system, new double hung windows — the works.  (more…)

On my way home a few weeks ago, I saw an “Open House” sign in front of 2017 Windsor Place in Berkeley Place. And, it was in the middle of the week around five o’clock in the afternoon. Inside I met up with Ruth Story, head of the Ruth Story group, a boutique agency created in 2003 under the umbrella of Keller Williams Fort Worth. Ruth Story is truly a family operation with Ruth’s husband, Rick, specializing in ranch and farmland sales and daughter, Kati, concentrating on new construction like Walsh.

“Odd time for an open house,” I opine.

“We find we pull in more serious buyers during the week, though we still do week end open houses,” explained Ruth.

Inventory in Berkeley Place is famously low, with listings on the market for  60 days or less. And, access to highly rated Lily B. Clayton Elementary School creates a strong draw for young families to this old, Near Southside neighborhood. (more…)

Before I am accused of being lazy, allow me to note that when the first house in the first planned development in Fort Worth — Ryan Place — comes on the market, I can’t not write about it even if it is just down the street from me, on Elizabeth Blvd.

When 1112 Elizabeth Blvd. was built, in 1911, the world was a very different place. My grandfather was living in his city of birth, Vienna, under the rule of  Franz Joseph, the Austro-Hungarian Emperor. It was still the Belle Epoque, with the upheavals of World War I three years in the future. In the photograph above, taken about 1912, the boulevard was already handling motor car traffic but the original hitching post remains in front, just in case. A short 20 minute buggy ride would have taken you into town. Like all of the original dwellings on Elizabeth Boulevard built between 1911 to 1928, 1112 Elizabeth Boulevard was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

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Yesterday, prowling the Fort Worth beat from Edward’s Ranch to Rivercrest, I found several enticing listings before landing in front of 2324 Mistletoe Drive in Mistletoe Heights — the hands-down winner for this week’s Fort Worth Friday. Often, in the back of my mind, when looking at a property there is a “could I live here?” fantasy.  This midcentury modern is so seductive that my answer would be a resounding “yes.” And I wasn’t alone in my admiration, because the house was on the market for all of five days. The current status is “active pending” but that needn’t prevent us from taking a look. Indulge Magazine thought the 1946 build unique enough to merit a feature in 2012.

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Last Sunday, one of those typical, Texas, false harbinger of spring days, I waited outside 1460 West Allen, one of three open houses from the portfolio of 6th Avenue Homes. Children on bicycles pass, followed by three guys with contrasting day glow hair and plentiful piercings. Minutes later a 1920s open coupe cruised by. In other words, a fairly typical afternoon in Fairmount.

Four years after its founding, partners Jamie Ice and Jimmy Williams of 6th Avenue Homes are thriving and still riding the Fairmount wave and the strong demand for hip urban housing in a historic, in-town ‘hood. They now have over 40 renovations under their belts and have taken on a warehouse on South Main, The 4 Eleven, which contains a furniture store, a women’s clothing space, popsicle vendor, and a for-rent events space. (more…)

Next weekend’s 34th annual Ryan Place Christmas tour or Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place, by its official name, offers an interesting mix of homes stretching through the decades and communicating the complex story of the historic neighborhood.

Tour regulars won’t be disappointed this year. Included will be a grand Southern Colonial Revival house built in 1918. Fabled Fort Worth architect, Wiley G. Clarkson — builder of many important landmark public buildings such as the Masonic Temple, First Methodist Church, and the United States Court House — will be represented by a fine “Italianate” house of his design on Elizabeth Boulevard. Another early house, built around 1920, will please classicists with its Georgian Revival style.

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