House For Sale

Will someone who likes the '50s please buy this Dallas house for sale?

Will someone who likes the '50s please buy this Dallas house for sale?

2203 Healey Dr.
The house at 2203 Healey Dr. is a low-slung ranch. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
Closeup detail of the atomic-style ironwork at the entry. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
Front room is a stacked formal set off from entry by brick room dividers. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
Open kitchen with wood-burning heater. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
Classic '50s plywood kitchen cabinets. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
Kitchen includes a built-in dining nook. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
Bathroom with vintage blue and black ceramic tile. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
Bathroom with vintage green and brown tile. Photo courtesy of DFWRealty
2203 Healey Dr.
2203 Healey Dr.
2203 Healey Dr.
2203 Healey Dr.
2203 Healey Dr.
2203 Healey Dr.
2203 Healey Dr.
2203 Healey Dr.

There's a '50s Dallas home for sale near Ferguson Road that's being described as a "fantastic opportunity to update a home on a creek in East Dallas."

Here's an idea: How about buying this house and leaving it just as it is?

Located east of the Ash Creek Estates neighborhood almost to Casa View, the house at 2203 Healey Dr. was built in 1957 and has authentic '50s charm. Much is original and not updated, including unique built-ins, oak hardwood floors, and two bathrooms with vintage ceramic tile.

It's a 1,718-square-foot ranch on a large 0.4-acre lot; Ash Creek itself runs along the back perimeter of the property. It has four bedrooms, two baths, two-car garage, utility room, and two storage buildings.

Two blocks from the Harry Stone recreation center, it's on a cul de sac, so the only traffic would be from your neighbors.

It definitely has some serious fixer-upper-ing to do, but the '50s flair sure is cool.

The good
The facade is clean, with a hip atomic-style wrought-iron diagonal grid at the front door. When you enter the house, there's a stacked formal to your left, set off by '50s-style brick room dividers, a perfect place to plop your mail when you come in.

A hallway leads into a wood-paneled family room with hardwood floors. It opens into the kitchen which has — more wood. There's a lot of wood here. Embrace the wood. Wood is good.

The family room has a black barrel-shaped wood-burning heater on spindly legs, in case your electricity ever goes out, and double-sliding doors that lead out to the back yard.

The kitchen is basically open, with an extra-wide entry and a counter pass-through, where you would place your platters of stuffed cherry tomatoes for your cocktail party. The counter is clad in brick, which is a bit much, especially because there's so much brown to begin with, what with the wood paneling and the hardwood floors.

The kitchen has prototypical '50s plywood cabinets, with period concave knobs. There's a built-in gold-tone vintage wall oven, and a cute built-in dining nook with an all-wood bench and a wood dining table. Wood.

The layout and feel is very similar to this kitchen in Calgary, Canada, much admired by RetroRenovation, the midcentury home website.

A utility room with washer, dryer, and shelving is on the other side of the kitchen, very practically located. But boo, the countertops are bottom-of-the-barrel laminate. And some of those cabinets look worn by time.

All four bedrooms are medium-size. All, oddly, are lined with shelves. Something weird there.

The bathrooms are gorgeous. One has celery green tile with brown trim and a brown tile floor. The other has cornflower-blue tile with gleaming navy blue trim. Both have undermount sinks.

The two-car garage is to the left of the house. Extending out from the back of the house is a cement slab patio, overlooking a naturalistic yard with mature trees.

The bad
This is an older home and needs plenty of work, including a new roof, repairs in the attic, and some rotting drywall.

It needs new electrical and new plumbing, evident by some leaks beneath the foundation.

It needs cosmetic fixes including painting the interior, kitchen countertop, and replacement cabinet doors.

It needs sellers who are ready to come down to planet earth on the price.

Things this house does not need:

  • Granite countertops. Don't do it.
  • New bathrooms. Whatever lame fake-marble tiling is popular right now will look dated in two years.
  • "Engineered" laminate flooring. To make their jobs easier, some flippers have been pulling out valuable original hardwoods. A travesty.
  • Appliances. They've installed a new stainless steel dishwasher and side-by-side refrigerator.
  • Exterior paint job. The brick is pretty as is. Leave the brick alone.

As stated on RetroRenovation, "unchanged vintage kitchens and houses — time capsule houses — have become increasingly desirable over the past few years."

It was originally listed at $275,000 and the listing agent says the house got an offer. But after those bidders confronted the required infrastructure repairs, anticipated to be in the vicinity of $60,000, they walked away. So did an investor.

The price has now inched down to $238,495.

The seller lives out of town. Will they let it go for a lower price from a homebuyer who likes '50s homes and would be willing to tackle what needs to be done?