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.
Seventeen years ago, real estate agent Mary Ann Chapel and her family moved to Preston Place in University Park, drawn by its excellent schools, prime location, architectural variety, and charm.
"It has been a wonderful place to raise my family," she says. "The neighbors really do all know each other. It is easy to meet people and get to know them (and their pets), and the kids have friends to play with after school. It's safe enough for the kids to bike or walk to school, to Germany Park, or even Highland Park Village when they're old enough."
In 2016, Chapel began focusing her real estate career in her own neighborhood.
"I have personal knowledge of the homes and amenities here. I understand the qualities that make this part of town unique," she says. "I live in an older home, so I have an understanding and appreciation for the original homes in Preston Place, as well as the beautiful homes built more recently."
Preston Place's location is a big plus for potential buyers, as it's close to the Tollway for quick travel south to downtown Dallas or to all points north in 30 minutes or less. Dallas Love Field Airport, Inwood Village, and the shopping and restaurants on Lovers Lane are just a short drive away.
"My home is only four blocks from Bradfield Elementary School and six blocks from Highland Park High School, so I love seeing the students and families walk past my home every day," Chapel says. "Highland Park Village is also just four blocks away, so it's easy to walk down to Starbucks for coffee, enjoy a night out at any of the amazing restaurants, or see a movie at the theater. The Fourth of July parade even passes by on Preston Road at the end of our block."
Chapel offered up a few of her personal favorites about life in University Park's Preston Place. Here's her guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
Highland Park Village is full of restaurants and shopping, and you'll usually find Chapel at Lounge 31 or Mi Cocina. During the holiday season, she especially likes to visit Monkey Bar — the "secret" bar atop this location of Mi Cocina known for its views of the trees strung with twinkly lights.
Where to play
Take your pick among the Park Cities’ many green spaces, including Williams Park and Lakeside Park, the latter of which Chapel says is great for a picnic or a longer dog walk.
The Moody Family YMCA offers 3,000 square feet of space, top-of-the-line fitness equipment, over 95 group exercise classes per week, and more.
And, of course, this wouldn't be Texas without Highland Park High School football games on Friday nights.
Where to live
Traditional-style homes are typically found in this area, Chapel says. However, you'll see a wide range of architectural styles mixed in, from cottage and farmhouse to Tudor and French Provincial, as well as Mediterranean and contemporary. You'll also find several different types of Colonial-style homes, including Dutch, Federal, and Georgian.
"Many homes in this area are original, having been built in the 1930s and '40s," Chapel says. "There's a very charming neighborhood vibe here. Each block is well-connected, and I love all the neighborhood parties that happen in this community."
Prominent Dallas architect Charles Dilbeck is also well-represented. Chapel herself lives in a Dilbeck home, and there are many examples of his work within a few blocks.
Mary Ann Chapel lives, works, and plays in University Park's Preston Place. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 469-371-8418.