mansion park

The choice to move to Oak Lawn is one often based on location. People who enjoy this neighborhood with Turtle Creek, hoards of excellent dining and shopping options, and plenty of nightlife, aren’t planning to spend oodles of time inside their digs. Life in Oak Lawn is to be lived in the neighborhood itself, right? 

That’s why we find this adorable Bud Oglesby-designed, Midcentury Modern condo listed by Keller Williams Urban agent Don Neilson so appealing. As our High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans, we see the inherent value in such a superb location — Mansion Park. Plus, its modest floor plan is so incredibly functional that you won’t miss all the excess space you left behind.

“This is the ultimate ‘tiny home’ on steroids,” Neilson said of his listing at 2727 Hood Street, Unit No. 110. “Today’s sophisticated urban buyers want convenience, style, and simplicity. They want to live in a nice neighborhood and they want a home that is affordable, so they spend their free time on living a more fulfilling lifestyle.”

We couldn’t agree more! 

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This week we take you to Oak Lawn for three fabulous Open Houses you can’t afford to miss! Make the rounds in any one of our picks and you’ll be inspired like never before. These homes are dripping with designer details and ample space to entertain. One was once the home of a presidential portrait painter. Another, the brainchild of architect Cliff Welch. And of course, we threw in a townhome in the heart of all the action for good measure.

Picture-Perfect Townhome In Heart Of Oak Lawn

Open House: Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, 2 to 4 p.m.

This picture-perfect three-bedroom, three-full-and-one-half-bathroom townhome is light and bright with no HOA! Impeccable renovations include hand-scraped hardwoods, updated quartz kitchen, plus a stunning master bath with frameless glass shower and claw foot tub. An attached garage, surround sound, and outdoor space for entertaining round out the offering. Plus, you can walk to Starbucks, Kroger, Eatzi’s, Katy Trail and so much more.

Cat McCarthy Pedigo with All Homes Texas has listed 3931 N. Hall Street for $589,000.

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Mansion ParkTwo blocks from Turtle Creek, Katy Trail, and the Uptown shopping and dining, when we saw that this sleek, sexy, and elegant Mansion Park townhome in our Instagram feed this week, we knew we had to share.

And lo and behold, we’ve shared before. Last year, Candy fell hard for this three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, three-story home, with good reason. Secluded behind a treeline, wall, and a gate, 3625 Brown Street is both private and right in the middle of everything.

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Avanti: 4122 Avondale

[Editor’s note: Jon Anderson is a columnist for CandysDirt.com. His opinions are his own.]

I recently suggested that builders lay off the endless blocks of cookie-cutter townhouses with their all-too-familiar floor plans. I see them as an inefficient use of space that invariably cost homebuyers more for the same amount of usable space. They’re the real estate equivalent of the adage, “an elephant is a mouse designed by a committee.”  The answer is single-story “flats” condos.

However, for all their efficient use of space, high-rises often come with HOA dues that put them (monetarily and philosophically) out of reach of most — not to mention some folks being height averse. Enter the low-rise flat. In the early 20th century, many cities built a network of duplex flats, some even triplex flats. In Dallas, these buildings can be seen in many older neighborhoods in East Dallas, Oak Lawn, and Oak Cliff. They offered a way for an owner to have a rental property to ease mortgage payments.

Pre-Recession, Dallas was building a few low-rise flats condo buildings with all the joy of single-story living and reasonable HOAs. Some baulk at any HOA dues, but things like uniform exterior maintenance and landscaping matter – and it’s better to have something in the bank when problems arise versus hastily passing the hat.

Anyway, let’s peek at three low-rise flats in Oak Lawn built pre-Recession.

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Oak LawnWhen self-described “late-bloomers” Meltem Ballan and Nathen Hinson made their first foray into the Dallas real estate market when they bought their Oak Lawn townhome in 2013, it was almost as renters.

“My husband and I are in our 40s,” Ballan said. “I studied too long to have a Ph.D., and never married until I was 36, and my husband was married for 13 years with a child, but had never had the money to buy a house.”

“When we moved to Dallas in 2013, we never thought we could afford a house, as we had no down payment,” she continued, adding that they had thought renting would be their only choice. “We were working with a young real estate agent, Shawn White to rent a place. Apartments were expensive and nothing that we want to rent.”

But the Internet — and a website that may sound a bit familiar — caused the two to shift their focus.

“I follow the blogs on Facebook and CandysDirt.com inspired me to buy a house,” Ballan said. “There was an article about low down-payment options and how it is better to buy.”

So the two talked to their Realtor about townhomes and condos they could potentially buy.

“He was very patient and passionate about his job to find us the right home,” Bellan said. “After seeing about 100 places we decided on our current home.”

The two had a definite wish list — a walkable neighborhood with access to local amenities like dining, shopping, and parks. They needed three bedrooms for when Hinson’s son and their niece came to visit. They wanted good schools.

“We looked around Greenville, Lakewood, M Streets, and surrounding areas,” she said.

Staying at an Airbnb rental at the corner of Wycliff and Cedar Springs eventually gave them a taste of the exact neighborhood they were looking for — “we fell in love,” Ballan said. (more…)

Turtle Creek Terrace doesn’t look as dilapidated as Lincoln claimed

After a long and winding road, Lincoln Property’s proposed Lincoln Katy Trail project was denied by city council (I assume they will re-apply). That project would have replaced the Turtle Creek Terrace condo complex. Today, Turtle Creek Terrace unit #168, located at 3203 Carlisle – the intersection of Oak Lawn and Uptown – was listed.

It’s a perfect illustration of my point that replacing 115 existing market-rate affordable housing units with 45 was a bad deal. This one-bedroom, two-bathroom unit has 824 square feet and is listed for $149,000 with Tyler Hagood from Small World Realty. Using basic mortgage tools, that breaks down into a monthly payment of approximately $925 assuming a 30-year mortgage or ~$1,250 for a 15 year payoff. These monthly costs include mortgage, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees.

According to Zillow calculators, using Dallas’ average household income of $54,727, a couple could afford a monthly payment of $1,629/month. Using the 80 percent average median income required for listed affordable housing ($43,781), this home is purchasable by someone earning just $42,000 – less than a qualified affordable unit.

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Neighborhoods

Image courtesy/Trulia

Bluffview, M Streets and Oak Lawn were named as local favorites for Trulia’s first-ever 2018 Neighborlys, citing the best, friendliest neighborhoods across the country. Zillow Group-owned Trulia named national and local winners in 18 major housing markets, ranked by data in categories such as friendliest neighbors, dog-friendliest, most holiday spirit, best social calendar, most walkable, and kid-friendliest.

Nearly 10,000 neighborhoods across the country were ranked based on more than 20 million written reviews and answered polls by participating locals on Trulia Neighborhoods’ What Locals Say feature. Nationally, neighborhoods in Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Long Beach, and Gilbert, Arizona were named best in the country.

Among the local honorifics:

North Dallas: Friendliest Neighbors

preston hollow

Trulia says you’ll find the friendliest neighbors in this very broad definition of neighborhoodwhich spans most of Preston Hollow. Developed from farmland in the 1930s, Preston Hollow still has a pastoral feel when neighbors gather in front yards for impromptu gab sessions. While there is some debate about boundaries, they are generally considered to be Royal Lane, Hillcrest Lane, Northwest Highway, and Midway Road. (more…)

open housesRealtors — did you know that every week, we solicit pitches for our various featured listing posts like the Tuesday Two Hundred, the weekly roundup of Open Houses, Thursday Three Hundred, Friday Four or Five Hundred, and more?

All you have to do to get in on the action is join our Facebook group, Getting the Dirt. It’s a great place to virtually mingle with fellow professionals, ask questions, lend a hand, and, yes, pitch stories to CandysDirt.com writers.

Take, for instance, this week’s three properties featured in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. After asking members to share their listings that would help someone meet a common New Year’s resolution, three Realtors pitched their open houses — and are now seeing them featured today.

Want to see who made a successful pitch? (more…)