Crystal Gonzalez High Caliber Agent

If you’ve ever driven down West Davis Street toward the Bishop Arts District, you already know Crystal Gonzalez’s face. This North Oak Cliff Realtor takes great pride in representing some of the most beautiful and sought-after neighborhoods and enclaves in the area.

She’s driven, dynamic, and service-focused, earning her a near-permanent spot on “best of” lists — reason enough to call her this week’s High Caliber Agent sponsored by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans. While we are always impressed with this West Texas-born gal, we wanted to find out more about her approach to building the kinds of relationships in this business that mean long-term success. This week, get to know this David Griffin & Company Realtor a little better after the jump!

(more…)

1652 Sylvan Front

What a tremendous find! Kessler Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods. The incredible diversity in architecture, rolling topography, proximity to downtown Dallas and the Bishop Arts District, as well as the close-knit feel make this neighborhood a popular location for families and professionals.

And if you’re looking for a cool home in North Oak Cliff, Kessler Park is where you’ll find one to your taste. Take, for example, this 1970s contemporary at 1652 Sylvan Ave. that has a dome in the living room.

(more…)

Jenni Stolarski Head Shot

You can tell that Jenni Stolarski has a lot to be excited about. The Kings Highway Conservation District resident and Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent is hard at work making her neighborhood a better place to live. How does she do it? By putting down roots. Literally.

Stolarski started an effort last year to plant hundreds of trees in North Oak Cliff. The program is called reTree Oak Cliff, and has already had its first successful planting in Stolarski’s very own neighborhood. The next planting is scheduled for April 6 in the Summit Lawn neighborhood. Stolarski said that the group, sponsored by TXU Energy, Texas Trees Foundation, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Regional Chamber Young Professionals, and the City of Dallas, will plant 100 trees in the neighborhood.

Want to volunteer with the likes of Mayor Rawlings? Find out more and register here.

CandysDirt.com: Where are you from?

Jenni Stolarski: I grew up in San Antonio, TX. When I lived there it was boring, but now they have invested so much into their art scene and the Pearl Area, it’s amazing.

CD: How did you get into real estate?

Stolarski: Kind of a funny story. When we moved here from Manhattan, I didn’t have a job. We purchased an investment property and wanted to have a few more. So I did all the training to become a Realtor to get MLS access (this is before the days of Zillow, kids). Turns out, I loved it. So I started working with buyers and sellers almost immediately.

CD: As a Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent, you’ve carved out a niche as an expert in Oak Cliff real estate. How do you stay on top?

Stolarski: Am I on top? Wow, someone call my mom, please! (CD: You’re so modest! )

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?

Stolarski: I live in North Oak Cliff, in a saltbox home that backs up to Stevens Park Golf Course. The neighborhood is called Kings Highway.

CD: And you drive a … let me guess, Mercedes Benz?

Stolarski: My dream car is a Tesla, but I drive a BMW Z3.

CD: What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?

Stolarski: Mine. The trees, the hills, the architecture and great neighbors. What’s not to love?

CD: What was your best/highest sale?

Stolarski: The best sales are the ones where I help someone find a home & make a friend in the process.

CD: Likewise, what was your most difficult/memorable transaction?

Stolarski: The most memorable transaction was a personal investment purchase. When we showed up for the final walkthrough, the house was STILL full of car bumpers, leftover house parts and (no lie) a foot and a half of clothing, paper and other stuff. We had to delay the closing until the seller cleaned it out. Blech.

CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?

Stolarski: The last 6 houses I have listed sold in less than 7 days and three of those before they hit MLS.

CD: How much did you sell last year?

Stolarski: (Do people really answer this?) (CD: Yes! And sometimes they really surprise us!)

CD: What have you learned about selling that makes you so successful?

Stolarski: I learn something new every time. So I bring expertise, but always stay open to the fact that each sale has some new moving part. That also keeps me on my toes!

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…

Stolarski: …be the head gardener at some giant estate or castle.

CD: Do you have a second home? If so, where?

Stolarski: My second home is rental property … four blocks from my house. Great house. Not really a place I plan to “summer.”

Lots of young folks moving to Oak Cliff are looking for a charming older home with great bones. They’re looking for fixer-uppers, diamonds in the rough, and plenty of room for sweat equity.

To me, however, that sounds like a lot of work. (If that makes me sound lazy, well, color me guilty.)

If I were looking for a home in Oak Cliff, I’d snag one of these adorable Winnetka Heights Craftsman bungalows where someone else has poured in the blood, sweat, and trips to the hardware store so I don’t have to. So you can see why 122 S. Rosemont Ave. is so appealing to me. And at $229,000, it is an incredible value.

Nevermind the curb appeal. I love the bright colors on the siding! It has so much character and literally makes me smile just by looking at it. I love the attention to detail, especially with the dentil trim and the railings on the adorable front porch.

Inside it’s just as bright and easy on the eyes. The living room is incredibly well lit and has a cute fireplace, too. There are wonderful and well-preserved built-ins, and French doors, too. I am sure Crystal Gonzalez of David Griffin & Company Realtors loved how much light and impact this home lends right when prospective buyers walk through the door!

 

Of course, I gauge a lot of my feelings about a home after seeing the kitchen. This house is no slouch in that department, with a top-to-bottom remodel including stainless fixtures, granite, tile, and super clean cabinets.

 

Both baths in this three-bedroom, two-bath home have been updated, too. There’s new hardwoods throughout, and fully redone electrical. If you’re buying a home that was built in the 1920s, you’re going to want to have a professional rewire it as this has been.

Now, the backyard has a great little deck, but otherwise it’s a blank slate. I can see some enterprising amateur gardener taking this on and turning it into a blanket of color. It’d be a great place for a chicken coop, too!

A word about the neighborhood: Winnetka Heights is probably one of the most active neighborhoods in all of Dallas. It is very well organized and has a Facebook page that’s more like a soundingboard than a neighborhood group. Because it’s a city-designated Historic District, you can count on stability as far as what the homes around you are going to look like in 10 or 20 years.

Also, there’s been a resurgence in parental participation in Oak Cliff schools, and for parents of young kids there’s the Rosemont Early Childhood PTA, which is the oldest PTA in the state of Texas.

Add to that the close proximity to the Bishop Arts District and West Davis Street, as well as the growing and changing Jefferson Boulevard area and, well, all you need is a new bike and you’ll never have to leave 75208!