The thought of a "forever home" might be terrifying, especially for young professionals who expect to move several times before they retire.
But with the Dallas housing market still red-hot and inventory available in some of the city's most established neighborhoods, now is the time to look for a home that you can call yours for many years to come. When deciding where to settle down — one of life's biggest decisions — it's smart to consider the advice of experts.
We consulted some of the top real estate pros in town for their picks on the five best Dallas neighborhoods to buy a forever home in 2018. Spoiler alert: people seem to be returning to classic neighborhoods instead of up-and-coming 'hoods that tempt buyers with low prices and new constructions.
Anyone with an affinity for White Rock Lake has to be familiar with this iconic neighborhood just moments from downtown. It is known for its laid back luxury and impressive homes both old and new. Families flock to this neighborhood to send their children to the award-winning Lakewood Elementary. And while this neighborhood is not new, it has new life as the kids who grew up in this area are now returning with families of their own.
“Lakewood has a familiarity to everyone; it is the neighborhood you grew up in," says Kyle Brinkley of Brinkley Property Group. "For me it's authentic — a small-town feel in a big city. That, plus the proximity to the lake fosters an active, outdoorsy lifestyle that is unique to Dallas, making it a top choice.”
Here's a house we love: 6446 Westlake Ave.
Wide open spaces. Okay, not in the traditional sense; however, when it comes to Dallas real estate, you can't beat the big lots of Preston Hollow. This neighborhood seems to be ideal for those who have chosen the private school route, as it mirrors the aesthetic of the Park Cities but not its price tag for the same-sized lots and houses. Despite years of being a popular place to live, Preston Hollow continues to glisten with glamorous charm and a tasteful mix of modern and traditional houses.
"Plentiful trees, creeks, and hollows just six miles north of downtown Dallas ... what's not to love?" says Christy Berry, managing broker of Compass Dallas. "In addition to that, Preston Hollow is easily accessible to many top private schools and is known for its large lots and quiet streets."
Here's a house we love: 9101 Douglas Ave.
Kessler Park/North Oak Cliff
Calling this neighborhood a hidden Dallas gem would be quite accurate, as you literally have to cross a bridge to get to it. If you crave rolling hills, beautiful trees, and impressive lots, you must consider this Southern pocket of Dallas that still offers big homes at relatively low prices. The residents of this neighborhood all seem to know one another, and porch parties and neighborhood get-togethers still happen often here. It is also that much closer to Fort Worth should anyone be commuting back and forth within DFW.
"You can still find reasonably priced homes, condos, and townhomes; and the neighborhood offers a relaxed, welcoming vibe that is so comfortable,” says Steve Habgood of the Hewitt Habgood Realty Group. “Cool features of the area include the Bishop Arts District, Davis Retail District, the Kessler Theater, Stevens Park Golf Course, Sylvan | Thirty mixed-use development, and Trinity Groves — and all of this is just minutes to downtown Dallas, the Arts District, Uptown, and Klyde Warren Park.”
Here's a house we love: 818 Woodlawn Ave.
Pristine yards, quiet streets, and gorgeous homes are just a couple of the reasons that people flock to this town-within-a-city. And while houses in this neighborhood are pricey, many view its proximity to downtown and its many amenities to be worth the price tags. The neighborhood also has its own fire, police, and luxurious pool. Those with a coveted University Park address also benefit from an exemplary public school system that starts at kindergarten and continues through high school.
"I’m a big believer in buying into a good school district," says Rogers Healy, CEO and Owner of Rogers Healy Companies. "As a Highland Park High School alum, I’ve always been a fan of the Park Cities real estate market. The leasing market is always demanding, which gives buyers a sense of insurance when selling isn’t as easy as it has been in the past."
Here's a house we love: 3232 Lovers Ln.
Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica
Last but not least, this unicorn of a neighborhood south of White Rock Lake manages to avoid the high price tags of Lakewood proper while still boasting the Lakewood Elementary zoning designation. It's hard to resist one of the largest collections of stone-embellished Tudor cottages with this much history.
In fact, many people buy small homes with original features — such as stained glass — and add on to accommodate growing families because they love the neighborhood (and its people) that much. But be warned that word is spreading about this neighborhood; experts say prices are rising fast.
Here's a house we love: 707 Cordova St.