All I Want for Christmas is an East Dallas Midcentury with Original Hardwoods

Here's my map to help guide Santa's sleigh. And his real estate agent.

Here’s my map to help guide Santa’s sleigh. And his real estate agent.

I grew up in North Dallas and have lived all over Dallas and the ‘burbs, but when I finally landed in East Dallas in 2007, I knew I had found my happy place.

East Dallas has a culture unlike anywhere else in the city (although North Oak Cliff feels like its cousin). I could spend hours walking or biking through neighborhoods like Little Forest Hills, Buckner Terrace, and the Peninsula. So many beautiful houses! So many trees! And friendly neighbors everywhere!

Circumstances and a new baby moved me to Plano this year, and I have pined over my favorite neighborhoods in East Dallas ever since. I go out of my way to get back to East Dallas as often as possible, and because I’ve been very good this year, I’m asking Santa for a token of his appreciation for Christmas: A midcentury house east of White Rock Lake. With original hardwoods. And mature trees.

That’s not too much, is it?

I’ve got a few ideas for Santa, in case he’s stumped. This Casa Linda cottage has just the kind of curb appeal I love: big trees, tranquil setting, and an expansive yard. Located at 1422 Tranquilla Dr., it’s listed at $348,500 and is a 3-2 with 1,857 feet. That’s not quite large enough for my family of four, so we might have to sell the teenager before we move. But I’m OK with that.

1422 Tranquilla Dr

Looks at those gorgeous original hardwoods! And the built-ins! And a wood-burning fireplace! So much character from when it was built in 1945.  (more…)

Claremont Reno Drops $2,500 Today, Won’t Be on Market Long


After not mentioning the Claremont neighborhood for a while, we’re suddenly seeing gem after gem go on the market there. It’s one of my favorite residential areas in East Dallas, with Midcentury personality, mature trees, and memorable style.

The 1962 ranch-style house at 8526 Sweetwood Drive just came on the market Oct. 31 after an extensive renovation, and it’s got loads of charm packed into its 1,773 square feet. Marketed by Ben Fluno of Chris Arnold Premier Realty for $242,500 (it dropped $2,500 today), I’m actually surprised it’s still on the market. Take a look and I think you’ll agree.


Cozy Cottage in Little Forest Hills Has Updates Plus Original Character

8919 Forest Hills Front

If you think you’ve seen this cute little cottage at 8919 Forest Hills Blvd., your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. We actually featured this space before, but at that time it was the office of interior designer Kim Armstrong. She transformed this home from a hoarder’s hellhole to a gorgeous, cozy little Little Forest Hills cottage.

And now, because she’s got tons of projects and another baby on the way, she’s decided to office out of her Lake Highlands home and rent this cutie out. If you need evidence on what a huge transformation this was, check out the post Kim wrote for us.


What happens when an investment property falls short?

What happens when an investment property falls short?

I’m sure real estate investors work very hard to manage the properties they purchase, to ensure that they not only net a good profit, but become a great home potential buyers. Quality materials, attention to detail, and preserving a home’s character are all parts of making a good flip a great one.

But some investment properties miss the mark. Whether generic cabinetry, poor planning, or bad layouts, some investments end up being properties that still need plenty of work. Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred is a great example of a so-so renovation that is on the cusp of being good.

Let’s find out why:


8630 Angora Front

By now you know the motto of East Dallas’ weirdest neighborhood: “Keep Little Forest Hills Funky.” In this neighborhood that reminds most people of Austin, you’ll find tiny cottages and bungalows with low ceilings and wood siding. Some of them have been added on, some have been remodeled, and some have been renovated inside and out. But the neighborhood remains a bastion of diversity in taste and architecture.

That’s what’s so remarkable about 8630 Angora: It’s so very different from what you’d expect to find in Little Forest Hills. This two-bedroom, two-bathroom 1980s soft contemporary has high ceilings, big windows, and open spaces — all a far cry from the typical cottage lining the hilly streets of the neighborhood.


9003 Groveland Front

We wrote about 9003 Groveland when it was still a Friday Four Hundred. But last weekend, when my husband was out on a run through the neighborhood with our son in the stroller, he snagged a bright yellow flier advertising this four-bedroom, two-bath home for $389,000. Whoa! That’s a huge reduction from the last time we wrote about this cool house, which was priced at $435,000, and a significant reduction from its original $449,000 price.


Friday Four Hundred: This House Will Definitely Keep Little Forest Hills Funky

9003 Groveland Front

I’m sure you’ve seen the signs in the front yard of homes sandwiched between Old Gate and Lakeland, sporting green lettering admonishing passersby to “Keep Little Forest Hills Funky!” Still, over the years as investors and newcomers have bought up the little cottages that line the hilly streets of this neighborhood, many of the homes have become more bland, more predictable, and decidedly less “funky.”


photo (26)My name is Candace Tharp, and I’m addicted to Dallas.

I was born here and grew up loving the classics — Keller’s Drive-In, the Dallas Arboretum, and DMA. My love for the area amplified as I started raising my own little family in East Dallas.

After studying Journalism and Child Development at Ouachita Baptist University, I began writing. My personal blog, The Junk Foodie, exposes the hidden gems of Dallas; the tucked away, amazing finds that make our city so unique. In 2008, I began producing restaurant reviews for Advocate Magazine because food is a passion of mine. From Barbec’s to Fearing’s Restaurant, I love it all.

I provided readers with a raw and honest approach to the quality of food and the experience surrounding it. The environment and décor in which food is presented greatly affects the experience. Take Acme in Highland Park for example. Their farmhouse industrial interior features lamps made of meat grinders, which makes it the best place to have chicken and dumplings in my opinion. In 2010, I created the website Know It All Housewives which is a small collection of SAHMs (stay at home moms, for those not in the business) with opinions on everything from SPANX to bubble making.

And now, after years of being food-obsessed, I have switched gears to real estate. My passion for historical homes landed me on Swiss Avenue. I am an avid estate sale shopper with interests in a home’s complete story, current and past residents, quirks, and decor. I religiously volunteer for the Swiss Avenue Home Tour, but spend most of my time chatting with the homeowners about paint colors and interior designers.

With two homes in Dallas and an East Texas lake house while in my 30s, I’d say I am real estate obsessed. Needless to say, after meeting Candace Evans and Jo England, I am ecstatic to be working with sharing my “30-something’” perspective on real estate in the Big D.

Have tips on historic homes, estate sales, and home decor? Email me at [email protected]