In 2005, a political party called the “Rent Is Too Damn HIgh” took off in New York, and last year it expanded, endorsing candidates in D.C. Maybe it’s time for us Dallasites to stand on our tippy-toes and wave really big toward the northeast. Rising rents and home prices in Dallas are making it increasingly hard for people of average income to find a home within the city limits. Ten years ago, a two-bedroom in the M Streets or North Oak Cliff was within reach for a lot of people, but now exorbitant prices in those neighborhoods and almost everywhere else are pushing people who want amenities, a backyard and good schools out to suburbs like Addison or Frisco.
Plenty of studies show that buying a home isn’t a priority for young people anymore, anyway. But if you’re of a different mind, could you even afford it? Perhaps not for long, but here are a rare few affordable neighborhoods to consider if you’re looking to make that leap and want to stay close to the city center without selling your plasma.
It’s no secret that North Oak Cliff is blowing up. Certain parts, like Kessler Park, have always been ritzy, but with the influx of hip new restaurants and boutiques (and developers rushing to snatch up property), other formerly affordable areas right around Bishop Arts are also starting to produce sticker shock. Consider neighborhoods due south of Jefferson Avenue. Elmwood has lots of charming two- and three-bedrooms in the $150-200K range. And if you head west on Davis Street you’ll hit pristine Kessler Plaza, which is much more reasonably priced than its Park counterpart.
This neighborhood that’s west of Midway Road between Northwest Highway and Walnut Hill Lane is quiet and safe — so, good for families — and quite a few of its mid-century homes hover in the $200Ks. Midway Hollow is nestled right up against Preston Hollow, which you can see gradually overtaking it as ranch-style homes are torn down and larger two-stories are put up (it’s gotta be a good investment). And even though it’s not the most exciting part of town, it’s very convenient to the toll road, so you can easily get wherever you want to go.
Junius Heights is Dallas’ largest historic district and surprisingly it’s still affordable even as all of East Dallas around it has taken off. If you like its neighbor Lakewood and find yourself hanging out on Greenville Avenue a lot — or in Deep Ellum for that matter, Junius Heights is really convenient to everything — but can’t spring for the homes immediately surrounding, then consider this neighborhood where some of the Craftsman and Prairie-style homes are around $250K.
One of Dallas’ weak spots is a lack of scenic beauty, which is why White Rock Lake is such a treasure. If you’re thinking of buying a home near it on the west side, we can only say good luck, but if you’re willing to head further east, you’ll find some real gems that are budget friendly. Lochwood is very pretty and there’s lots in the $200K range. Not bad considering you’ll be close to one of Dallas’ main attractions, and we hear some of the elementary schools over there are decent, which is a plus if you’ve got little ones.