Why not Woodbridge? Our latest Splurge vs. Steal puts the spotlight on two of the area’s best, tucked away in the relatively quiet and peaceful Lake Highlands neighborhood you never knew you needed. For those who don’t know, Woodbridge sits near the border of Richardson and is roughly defined by Audelia Road to the west, Forest Lane to the south, Shadow Way to the north, and railroad tracks to the east.

Jake’s Hamburgers and Casa Linda Bakery are local favorites. And on any given day you’ll find patrons having a grand ol’ time at The String Bean Restaurant or sipping a cold one over at Spring Creek Barbecue. There’s even an Alamo Drafthouse for date night and Sprouts Farmers Market for fresh produce nearby. But what really makes Woodbridge stand out is the price. Homes here are lovingly maintained and set back on larger lots. Most kids go to Richardson ISD schools, and you’ll find families and couples enjoying long walks with their dogs and strollers amidst lush greenbelts and parks.

With so much to love and so few homes currently on the market in Woodbridge, we couldn’t resist sharing two of its prized offerings. Both homes are ideally located and tastefully updated but with price points that are miles apart. Which would you choose, the Jackson Creek Splurge or the Oak Highland Steal? We would love to hear in the comments.

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For this week’s Thursday Three Hundred, we’re in the Woodbridge neighborhood in northeast Dallas for a beautiful 1980-built four-bedroom, three-bath contemporary home listed by Brian Weast of Keller Williams Rockwall. This 2,831-square-foot home located at 12132 Larchgate Drive is listed for $335,000, a pretty tidy savings since it was first listed at $380,000 and great value for other similarly-sized and located homes in the neighborhood.

Tile floors greet you as you walk into this spacious and open floor plan that features vaulted ceilings, wood floors, and a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace in the family room that’s flanked by two large picture windows. You’ve even got a place for your keys and the mail as you first walk in the door! (more…)

10-minute

The Farmers Branch Historical Park is home to numerous events year-round, including a vintage baseball tournament in the Spring (photo courtesy city of Farmers Branch).

Is your home a 10-minute (or less) walk from a park? One-third of Americans have a much longer trek than that to get to their nearest park, according to research by the National Recreation and Park Association, Urban Land Institute and, The Trust for Public Land.

Recently, Rachel Banner, a senior program manager at the NRPA, wrote a piece for the National Association of Realtors’ Spaces to Places blog about a year-long initiative to make more public spaces and parks available — within a 10-minute walk from every person.

Banner also talks about the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, which revealed that while residential and commercial developers may create amenities within their buildings or spaces, that’s not necessarily what creates a lifelong resident of a city.

“The report talks a lot about the growing demand for amenities in both office and residential development.  In the discussion about the report Owen Thomas, CEO of Boston Properties also remarked that while each year a new set of cities may be pegged for growth, we must look at how long those cities will remain “hot spots” and the places people stay long-term,” Ballard said. “While including amenities within a building may initially attract owners or tenants, it is the amenities outside of the building open to all that will get them to stay.” (more…)