Splurge vs. Steal is a new feature on CandysDirt.com. Every week, we look at two properties that offer something in common, but are miles apart in their asking price.  

This is the tale of two renovations, both big and beautiful, in the northern suburb of Richardson. These two houses are half a mile apart from each other and a 25-minute drive to downtown Dallas. They’re both represented by Anne Westphal with Ebby Halliday Realtors, who has lived in Richardson since the 1970s.  

“They’ve both been totally remodeled, feed into Pearce High School, and are within a mile of [the University of Texas at Dallas],” Westphal said. “Richardson has a small-town feel and people love all the parks, the revitalized rec centers — it’s also less expensive with amazing retail surrounding it.”

Let’s take a look! 

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It’s officially back to school season! Store shelves are lined with pencils, pens, and notebooks. Children sport new backpacks. For many families, it may also be moving season. Top school districts are a major draw for families looking to relocate to nearby suburbs. For households not ready to buy a home in a new district, we’re highlighting some family-friendly apartment buildings in top Dallas-area school districts.

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

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. 

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Ebby Halliday Helps First-Time Homebuyers Find Their Perfect Properties | CandysDirt.com

A new WalletHub study paints an exciting picture for DFW. Four North Texas cities were named in the top 10 places nationwide for first-time homebuyers: McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Richardson. 

The Ebby Halliday Companies, which includes Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, as well as Fort Worth-based Williams Trew Real Estate, garnered 11.13 percent of the North Texas market last year, including a significant share of the market in each of those four cities.

For first-time homebuyers, having that kind of expertise in their corner means expert navigation of our competitive market and help finding and landing the home they want at a price that works. 

We’ve found four beautiful Ebby listings in these four top cities, houses that would make great buys for a first-time homebuyer. All are under $375K and offer lots of space and amenities. Let’s take a look. 

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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. 

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Greenwood Hills

The oversized midcentury brick fireplace is the focus of this Greenwood Hills living room in Richardson.

The last several years have seen a huge resurgence in the popularity of all things midcentury modern in housing. If not “straight” midcentury, then a dash of atomic era flavor. People seem to crave the clean architectural lines, emphasis on natural light, and open design concepts.

In Richardson, a popular “inner-ring” suburb of Dallas, there’ an abundance of houses built in the 1950s and early 1960s. Our Tuesday Two Hundred is an example of this style, with dashes of midcentury design throughout.

It is located at 805 Melrose Dr. in the Greenwood Hills neighborhood of Richardson. This 1960 ranch’s defining midcentury feature is an oversized brick fireplace and divider wall in the entryway and living room. Truly a fabulous design element in this three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,639-square-foot home.

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The board of Dallas County Schools met today in a special called meeting. Among the agenda items were strong hints Superintendent Rick Sorrells will no longer be with the agency.

The board of Dallas County Schools met today in a special called meeting. Among the agenda items were strong hints Superintendent Rick Sorrells will not be with the agency. (Photo courtesy Dallas County Schools)

Embattled school transportation provider Dallas County Schools may have been able to continue its relationship with Dallas Independent School District, but as early as this morning it seemed its superintendent could be the most recent casualty of a recent spate of very bad news.

DCS, which provides busing for Dallas, Carrollton/Farmers Branch, Highland Park, Irving, Aledo, Cedar Hill, Coppell, DeSoto, Lancaster, Richardson, Weatherford and White Settlement school districts, called a special meeting today.

The agenda included two ominous items –  “Consider Appointing an Interim Superintendent” and “Consider Defining Requirements and Authorizing Search for a Permanent Superintendent.”

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Heights Park

Our Thursday Three Hundred is a rare four bedroom, two-story home in Richardson’s Heights Park. With tasteful updated and lots of style, it has a lot to offer the buyer looking for over 2,000 square feet close to Dallas.

Located at 621 Winchester Dr. near West Arapaho Road and North Floyd Road, this house offers beautiful hardwoods, new Pella windows throughout, new roof, new chimney cap, new Hardie siding, fresh exterior paint, a renovated kitchen, renovated bathrooms, custom closets, and lots of storage.

This house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living rooms, and 2,108 square feet, built in 1964.

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