Lakewood Traditional is Move In-Ready in Every Sense

6426 Westlake Front

What a fantastic home that really typifies “move in-ready” for me! For a home to be move in-ready, it has to:

  • Have immaculate neutral paint and fresh baseboards and trim,
  • Have gorgeous floors that are in tip-top shape,
  • And have a kitchen that is ready to plug-in and go!

This home, a 1937 traditional cottage, has all of these things, as well as some fantastic light fixtures and beautiful living areas. There are three bedrooms, two full baths, an updated kitchen, and more than 1,800 square feet, making this home at 6426 Westlake a perfect, cozy family property. This home, located inside Lakewood’s Country Club Estates, is listed with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Realtor Karla Trusler for $515,000.


Tuesday Two Hundred: Lakewood Midcentury Priced for Quick Sale

Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred takes us just north of White Rock Lake in Lakewood to 7325 Rutgers Drive. This fantastic East Dallas neighborhood is full of other handsome midcentury houses like this one, but few are priced as competitively: With a recent price reduction, it is now listed for $299,900, or $185 per square foot. Nearby comps have been averaging almost $200 per square foot.

Built in 1960 and recently updated, this brick house is a 3-2 with 1,617 square feet sitting on 0.178 acres with lovely, mature trees. Located within walking distance of the new playground and splash park at Ridgewood-Belcher Rec Center, this University Terrace property is in the Lakewood Elementary, Long Middle, and Woodrow Wilson High School zones. Nearby private schools include Zion Lutheran, St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary, and Dallas Academy. The neighborhood has a Fourth of July parade and a Halloween party for local kids. Needless to say, the area draws many families.


Help This Poor Agent: Why Won’t This House on Shook Avenue Sell?

Front ViewHelp us shake it up on Shook. I cannot think of a nicer street than Shook Road, just north-ish of Gaston in White Rock. The houses on the south side of the street have what I call “Austin topography” — cool terrains that stair-step up to the house. (Cannot see it in photo.) It’s such a refreshing change from the usual prairie-flat ranch look that pervades most of Dallas area housing, I would think these houses would be flying off the shelves.

And in most cases, they are.

On this street, at 7128 Shook, is a Barnett West constructed home (2004) that simply will not sell. I have a few ideas why myself, but want to know what y’all think. The agent, Kay McFarlane with Jerry A. Allegro & Associates, has lowered the price to $895,000.

Buyers have said they don’t like the topography of the front yard, because “kids cannot play there.” Got news for you: half the time, kids don’t play in the front yard. The driveway is nice and broad for bikes, however. (more…)

If Lakewood Schools Splinter From DISD, How Will That Affect Property Values?

Woodrow Wilson High School

Thanks to a Facebook page started by former State Rep. Allen Vaught, meetings with Dallas ISD trustee Mike Morath, and a growing groundswell of support, talk is picking up about Woodrow Wilson High School and it’s feeder campuses splintering from Dallas ISD to form their own school district.

It’s an interesting idea, one that would either create a sort of charter school district inside DISD, or secede from the district forever, depending on whom you’re asking. The complaints are as diverse as the proposed solution, but many families inside Lakewood are just fed up with the slow-moving bureaucracy at 3700 Ross Ave, one that Vaught wants to ditch completely.

Should this actually come to fruition, what would happen to the home values inside the Woodrow attendance boundaries and Lakewood as a whole? And what about homes surrounding the area?

6427 Lakewood ext

“My personal opinion is that when Lakewood becomes it’s own entity, the children are the ones who will benefit,” said Scott Carlson, a Realtor who specializes in Lakewood real estate and East Dallas. “Absolutely property values in Lakewood will be protected and become stronger.”

Nancy Johnson, also an expert in Lakewood-area real estate and is the listing agent for 10 Nonesuch Road, agrees.

“I think it would have a positive affect,” Johnson said. “Of course many details would need answering but DISD has such a bad rap that I think localizing and separating from all the negativity would hopefully have some of the great affects the Park Cities have enjoyed.”

Lakewood Elementary

Of course, Park Cities home values have always held strong, thanks to the solid schools, and recently values have taken a turn upward. But there have been some side-effects. Increased density and over-crowded schools are growing problems for Highland Park ISD. As more people seek to live inside a higher-performing school district, builders tear down single-family homes to build duplexes and four-plexes, increasing the burden on campuses to make room for more children. It’s a double-edged sword, for sure.

And let’s not forget that with higher property values often comes higher taxes.

“As you are aware, Texas does not have a state income tax. Never the less, we make up for that in our property taxes — mostly the school part of the tax,” Carlson said. “It’s a ton of money and therefore brings a lot of problems.”

But would White Rock ISD, or Lakewood ISD, or whatever we’re calling this proposed school district, become financially independent? Or would Lakewood property tax dollars still end up in DISD coffers? It’s something that has to be thought out carefully. If the school district becomes financially independent, and results in skyrocketing property values and property taxes, then the district will likely become targeted for redistribution according to the state’s “Robin Hood” laws.

Still, Carlson feels that the district already has a great amount of autonomy and support from the community.


(Photo: Jenifer McNeil Baker)

“My thoughts are that Lakewood already operates on it’s own. What the parents and community has done for the Lakewood school district is extraordinary. A lot of families are moving to Lakewood primarily for the Lakewood school district,” Carlson said. As for support, there’s already a groundswell of that, thanks to the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA and their fundraising efforts.

“The upcoming Lakewood Home Festival, which is the weekend of the Nov. 8, shows how strong and financially viable Lakewood is,” Carlson said. “This being the oldest home tour in Dallas has set the standard for many other home tours. The focus and vision of the parents combined with their love for their children and community, grounded in the beauty of White Rock Lake and nature, is what has made Lakewood one of the BEST neighborhoods in America.”

And that is definitely catching on.

Clay Stapp Expands His Empire to Lakewood

Clay Stapp HQTRSI had heard this was going down a few weeks ago, but now it’s a done deal: one of the hippest, coolest agents in town, Clay Stapp is expanding, growing, flexing his mighty wings, spreading out, getting bigger, can you tell I am in a VERB mood today? How about this: he is charging ahead with CSCO #2:

“Signed, Sealed & Funded! 3404 Greenville Avenue is officially CLAY STAPP+CO’s second office. A permanent real estate fixture ready to dominate real estate in Lakewood and M Streets.”

Fasten your seatbelts, the broker scene is Lakewood is going to get a whole lot more fun!

Clay Stapp HQTRS2

Friday Five Hundred: Soft Lakewood Contemporary Reduced, for the Good Guys

I have so been meaning to tell you about this Good Guys house, a creek-view oasis! Looks like my timing was perfect, too, because 3914 Frontier was just reduced from $599,999 to $549,000. First of all, I know the owners and they really ought to be written into the contract for an additional price: you cannot rent a more perfectly handsome Nordic family.

Second, every inch of the 2920 square feet has had total loving care and hundreds of upgrades, including a master bath that will knock your exercise socks off:  vaulted ceiling, designer tub, dual marble vanities, huge closets, gorgeous hardware and fixtures. The three bedroom home has three baths, three living areas, two dining and a kitchen that looks like it belongs on the floor of the Viking Culinary Arts Center. Wonder why? The owner just happens to have connections to the one of the best appliance showrooms, and this kitchen runneth-over with the best of the best: Viking refrigerator, granite counters, etc. Now for the star quality: when the TV series The Good Guys (with Tom Hanks son) was shooting in Dallas about two summers ago, the show snapped this house for filming. For six weeks they sent the J. Crew look-alike family to the Ritz, took over the house, revived the gardens, build an extra storage shed in the back, and added six potted palms to the deck. Where did the cute family go? Why, they were put up at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, of course!

The open floor plan is ideal not only for entertaining, it seems, the indoors and 750 sq.ft. deck viewing the trees is highly sought after by home scouts for movie sets. The fam was paid handsomely while they enjoyed the Ritz, and the crew left the home as tidy as a monk’s drawer. Not only is the house and lot fabulous, you are close to White Rock Lake, Lakewood Elementary, and the whole dang fabulous community.

Talked Lakewood on Daybreak, but We Showed Homes on the Periphery — WHY?

6414 Westlake in Lakewood for $729K

Lakewood is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Dallas, where home values have held strong and may even be climbing upwards. The editors at Daybreak on Channel 8 specifically asked for homes in a certain price range, like $200,000. Those are hard to find in Lakewood “proper”, where average prices run about $500,000 to $600,000 or more. So I provided homes in the peripheral areas such as hot hot (and affordable) Lochwood, Little Forest Hills, and then one in Forest Hills just because I have a crush on it!

And like Preston Hollow, when a neighborhood gets hot, people start expanding it by grouping together other neighborhoods under the big-draw banner. Look at what is called Preston Hollow today and compare it to what was the Preston Hollow of yesteryear.

Lakewood is a beautiful community, but its the area’s great schools that draw buyers, like Stonewall Jackson Elementary and Woodrow Wilson High School. Here’s some of the info I had that I couldn’t cram into five minutes:

Lakewood was once part of the separate town of East Dallas that was annexed into Dallas in 1890, and the community was formed about 10 years after the city began creating White Rock Lake, (initially as a water supply source) in 1910.  The area was named after the lake, as was Lake Highlands to its north, as it hugs the western edge. Most of it was built during the 1920’s, when Dr. W.F. Pearson, who owned a 184 acre tract around the Lakewood Country Club, the city’s second oldest chartered country club, sold the land to developers Albert Dines and Lee R. Kraft. Dines & Kraft were told to do it right, and they did: many of the “Dines and Kraft” homes built in the 1920’s are standing strong today.

These are true Lakewood neighborhoods: Country Club Estates, Westlake Park, and Gastonwood, and they are loaded with homes by Charles Dilbeck, O’Neil Ford, Arch Swank, David Williams, and Donald Barthelme, which gives the area that wonderful mix of style. You get everything from Prairie-Four Squares, English Tudors, and Colonial Revival to French and Spanish Eclectic styles. There are also many early ranch homes, many built of native Austin stone. My favorite street in Dallas is Tokalon, which meanders down to the lake as beautifully as it curves, and don’t get me started on the hills!

Besides great public schools, Lakewood has trendy shops, bars, and restaurants: Mi Cocina is moving in next to the landmark 1938 Lakewood Theater, designed by architect John Eberson and accented by a 100-foot, red, green, and blue Art Deco tower. There’s Penne Pomodora, Times ten Cellars, Whole Foods, everything.

Many people get starter homes in the peripheral areas like Lochwood, Caruth Terrace, Hollywood Heights or the M Streets and then move up to Lakewood when they can. It’s close in, you’ve got the lake, country club, great schools, its Austin in Dallas, said Dave Perry Miller agent Chris Hickman.

And here’s a Scott Jackson listing for $729,000 in Lakewood proper that typifies what Lakewood real estate is all about!


Love the outdoors? Dream of sitting on a balconey gazing right into Mother Nature, watching the birds flutter? This house at 11311 Lanewood Circle is for you. Lochwood is hands-down one of the most affordable little micro-communities in Lakewood, and here again is a great not-so- little house (1790 square feet) for less than $250,000 (this one is $249,000). You get three bedrooms, three full updated baths, two living areas, a second story with master and that second living area, and even a study off the kitchen. The interiors are contemporary with vaulted ceilings, light and bright with wood floors. I am not going to lie and tell you I would not update that kitchen and trade the black enamel appliances for stainless. Nope, that’s exactly what I’d do. And you should just throw mosquito misters into the deal. No jacuzzi in the master, either, but I managed to live without one until I was 38. (Picky, picky, picky.) The home was built in 1985 with spectacular views of the creek from every window, and many wooded pockets. There is an attached two-car garage with front access, a .19 acre lot, nearby greenbelt, park, playground and tennis courts. Went on the market late November.

P.S. Not sure what I think of this fancy pants on-line presentation, what with the agent “walking” into the picture “looking” at the house, I mean I sure don’t want him to fall into the creek or anything!