There are so many great places to live in Dallas that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
If you need a bit of charm in your life, you're sure to find it in Old Lake Highlands. The quaint neighborhood is nestled atop a hill — well, a hill by Dallas standards — that overlooks White Rock Lake.
Its comforting, friendly, almost old-fashioned vibe hooked real estate agent Bess Dickson, who initially started exploring the neighborhood when a client tasked her with finding a walkable, outdoor-focused community in Dallas with friendly neighbors and a highly rated elementary school.
"I have been a super fan ever since!" she says. "From spontaneous front yard gatherings on Friday evenings, to kids and parents walking to school in the mornings, to neighbors stopping by with fresh eggs from their backyard coop, Old Lake Highlands seems to be the ultimate 'Throwback Thursday' sort of neighborhood."
Bess offered up a few of her personal favorites about life in Old Lake Highlands. Here's her guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
The gastropub BarNone is Bess' top pick, specifically for its wide variety of local beers and bites that appeal to every palate. "From blackened tuna to a delicious burger made with locally sourced beef that's ground in-house, it has everything," she says. There's also a dog-friendly patio and a delightful happy hour where all beer is half-price.
The Green Spot may look like an old gas station, but inside is a made-to-order, vegetarian "diner" ideal for quick-but-healthy lunches.
Where to play
Go kayaking on White Rock Lake, picnic at the playground on Boy Scout Hill, or walk the tree-lined streets and meet new neighbors.
During the summer, Bess advises walking through Norbuck Park and up to Flag Pole Hill to catch Fourth of July fireworks. The members-only Kaycee Club has a wonderful pool, she says, and everyone should stop by to see the pet rooster at Rooster Home & Hardware.
"You can't forget all the fun Little Free Libraries that are scattered throughout Old Lake Highlands, too," she says.
Where to live
This neighborhood is mostly made up of "delightfully modest, post-World War II cottages that have withstood the test of time and are now in the midst of being refreshed, with an eye toward elevating the modern lifestyle," Bess says.
Originally designed in a three-bedroom, one-bath configuration, these homes are now undergoing renovations to expand existing baths or build additional baths, as well as add laundry rooms — all within a home footprint of 1,100 to 1,800 square feet.
511 Kirkwood Dr., an original Old Lake Highlands home that has been tastefully renovated, is a past listing of Bess' that went under contract in a matter of days — despite going on the market at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Built on pier-and-beam foundations, these homes now have interior layout possibilities that are only limited by your imagination (and budget)," she says. "There is a bit of urban infill and rebuild going on, but many families are choosing the approach of living larger with less and reusing what is in place rather than scrapping everything and starting from scratch."
Bess Dickson works and plays in Old Lake Highlands. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 214-736-3921.