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…)

1531 San Saba Front

Dan Koller, the absolutely incredible publications manager over at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, sent this listing my way on Monday. “Something tells me this house will tickle your fancy,” Koller said. Holy cannoli, was he right! Not only that, but I drive by this home all the time, but I had no idea what kind of wonder was set across the cute red bridge from the street.

That’s what’s perfect about this home: It’s so secluded and private that the only thing you can see from the street is the little bridge. But what sits across that lovely little bridge is what makes this house at 1531 San Saba worthy of our “High Caliber Home of the Week” title. Truly, this house is a sight to be seen, and won’t be around for long. Why worry about hitting snags with financing when you could have a lender that takes pains to make sure your pre-approval and mortgage paperwork goes as smoothly as possible. That’s what Lisa Peters does at Caliber Home Loans. Find out more about her high-caliber service by calling her today.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

8538 San Pedro Front Angle

Photos: Shoot2Sell

Drive by this gorgeous modern farmhouse in Forest Hills and try not to fall in love. Chances are, the house is going to win and you’ll fall head over heels for this beauty, which has clean modern lines throughout and stunning custom interiors.

This is, truly, one of those homes where you think “Why on earth would anyone want to sell this beauty?”

The truth of the matter is that the homeowners are selling their dream home kicking and screaming. Their loss could be your gain, and what an amazing gain it could be.

(more…)

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:

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Kim Armstrong's office in Little Forest Hills was once the dilapidated home of a hoarder. Instead of tearing it down, Armstrong painstakingly renovated the cottage.

Kim Armstrong’s office in Little Forest Hills was once the dilapidated home of a hoarder. Instead of tearing it down, Armstrong painstakingly renovated the cottage.

By Kim Armstrong
Interior Designer, Kim Armstrong Interior Design

As an interior designer I’m a huge proponent of renovations versus tear downs. I’m not only a renovator for my own home and office, but some of my favorite design projects come from renovations and not new builds. This is a topic that is close to my heart, so if you are considering what to do with your home, and if you feel that your home can’t meet the needs of your current lifestyle, I say don’t give up on it so quickly. Your home can become the comfortable charmer you desire. The option to renovate can provide far greater benefits than you ever imagined.

(more…)

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.

(more…)