By: Shilo Urban
There are a lot of ways to break down real estate statistics: inventory, days on market, closed sales, price distribution, etc., etc. But what really matters is your home’s value. When you purchase a home, you want to know that whenever the time comes, you can sell it for more than you bought it. Never mind that your house will only stay on the market an average of 33 days in Fort Worth. What can you get for it? Here, the 7-6s that are on the rise.
Village Cafe & Bakery in Colleyville
Here’s a hot combination — the number of active listings in the 76034 ZIP code was down in 2017 by a margin 10.4 percent, and the median price was up 9.6 percent. Here’s another stat for you: More than 64 percent of the homes sold in 2017 were above $500,000. So, you have to have deep pockets to buy, but chances are your investment is a wise one.
That’s because this community screams family friendly. A splash pad is open at McPherson Park every summer, and the city hosts outdoor movie nights once a quarter outside City Hall as part of the Movies in the Village Event. This ZIP code is also home to the Colleyville Nature Center — a 46-acre natural refuge with nine ponds, a fishing pier and more than 3 miles of trails. Colleyville offers a more affordable alternative to the adjacent Southlake neighborhood (also on this list) for homebuyers but still offers quality schools, close proximity to the airport and plenty of green space.
But lest you think luxury is reserved for those on the Southlake side, look no further than Leyton Grove — a 48-lot development that’s home to some of the most expensive estates in Colleyville. Located east of the prestigious Montclair Street, Leyton Grove welcomes visitors with a picturesque 600-foot boulevard and a limestone pavilion. The neighborhood also offers a shaded walkway to O.C. Taylor Elementary School — a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Schools like this are another reason families look to Colleyville when purchasing homes. Heritage Elementary consistently ranks as one of the top 100 elementary schools in the state, and Colleyville Heritage High School has a 97 percent four-year high school graduation rate.
Neighborhood gem: Loveria Caffe
Loveria Caffe is an unexpected Italian restaurant and café that sits inside a light, airy and modern space. That striking interior is thanks to the husband-and-wife architect team who owns Loveria. The cuisine hails from Emilia-Romagna — a region of Northern Italy that’s home to the restaurateurs and the chef, Michele Ragazzini. loveriacaffe.com
Iron Horse Golf Club in North Richland Hills
The city of North Richland Hills (NRH) is home to nearly 70,000 people, making it the third largest city in Tarrant County. Homebuyers flock to the northeast Tarrant County spot for its central Metroplex location off the Interstate 820 loop. Homes in 76182 sold fast in 2017. Listings spent an average of 1.1 months on the market, down from 1.5 in 2016.
Some of the best amenities in this suburb are open to the public — like Iron Horse Golf Course. The Dick Phelps-designed daily fee course that wraps around Big Fossil Creek was named a top mid-priced public course by Avid Golfer magazine noting “the par 5 that runs along the highway may be one of the better holes in the area.” Families look to NRH20 Family Water Park for entertainment and respite from the heat from May through August. The 17-acre, city-owned water park — the first municipally owned water park in Texas — offers special pricing to NRH residents. And in March, Alamo Drafthouse released news that its first Tarrant County location will open on Davis Boulevard. Turns out Alamo Drafthouse DFW chief operations officer is a resident. “Being a resident of North Tarrant, I am selfishly very excited to finally have an Alamo Drafthouse five minutes from my house,” said Bill DiGaetano.
The future looks bright. North Richland Hills’ already accessible location is about to become even more convenient, as the new TEXRail line, with service from downtown Fort Worth to DFW Airport, will have a station in North Richland Hills. It’s scheduled to be complete in late 2018.
Neighborhood gem: The Maker Spot
A 4,800-square-foot space inside the North Richland Hills Library has 3D printers, quilting machines, and an electronics and robotics area. The goal? Encourage entrepreneurship and self-training. The Maker Spot serves 13 other smaller libraries in the North Texas Library Consortium. themakerspot.org
West Magnolia Avenue in 76110
After taking an ever-so-slight 1 percent dip in median home prices in 2016, the ZIP code of 76110 is back in the green with an 18 percent jump up in 2017.
Buy low(ish), sell high is the name of the game here. Home to neighborhoods like Ryan Place, Fairmount and Berkeley Place, this area is full of homes with character. Many were built in the early 1900s, and strict preservation guidelines ensure remodeling projects don’t rid the neighborhood of its charm. And that’s what residents love about it.
The walkability factor is a major player here, too. Homeowners in the northern neighborhoods inside 76110 can walk to restaurants, bars and shops on West Magnolia Avenue. The popular corridor’s amenities just keep growing — a boutique hotel with a rooftop lounge and ground floor restaurant and bar is scheduled to be complete in late 2019. The neighborhood will also reap the benefits of the redevelopment on South Main Street — shopping and event venue The 4 Eleven opened in 2017, and a new location of Taco Heads will join the area this year.
Nestled in the middle of homes at the intersection of Berkeley Place and Park Place Avenue is the picturesque and adorably named Lily B Clayton Elementary School — ranked third in Fort Worth for literacy (only behind Tanglewood and Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center) with 67 percent of third-graders reading at a third-grade level.
Neighborhood gem: Old Home Supply House
The historic charm of homes in 76110 lends itself to the endless finds inside Old Home Supply, four warehouses stocked with all things vintage — think clawfoot tubs, reclaimed doors and antique hardware. oldhomesupply.net
Many homes near TCU offer views of Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Rolling hills, tree-lined boulevards, a scenic university and the sights and sounds of TCU athletics dominate the streets of 76109, which sprawls north, south, east and west of the college campus.
76109 also encompasses three popular new shopping centers — WestBend, Waterside and The Shops at Clearfork. Homeowners here are also just a few minutes from downtown and less than a mile from the Fort Worth Zoo. The latest median-home price jump, from the $360s to the $400s, is a pivotal one.
Local residents Rachael and Cam Quisenberry searched for two years before finally deciding on a three-bedroom home in University West. “When we started house hunting, we were looking in Monticello, Berkeley and Tanglewood,” Rachael says. “Location was the most important thing to us, but we liked all of those areas and had lived in all three at one time or another. In the end, we landed where we did partially because it was close to the things we do on a daily basis like work, Colonial and TCU, but mostly so that when we have kids we won’t be forced to move to get into a good elementary school district.”
Tanglewood Elementary — which received a five-star designation from the Texas Education Agency last year — is what keeps many homeowners buying here. That’s why some current TCU-area homeowners are reeling at the decision to build a new elementary school in 76109 in order to fix an overcrowding problem at the current location. Redistricting will force homeowners in the southwest part of the zone to send their kids to the new school. In February, FWISD agreed to buy land from Congregation Ahavath Sholom on South Hulen Street for the new school.
Neighborhood gem: Fred’s TCU
You’ll find college students alongside young families alongside motorcyclists at the Bluebonnet Circle offshoot of Fred’s Texas Café. Some of the highlights: the loaded queso for consuming, the massive screen for game watching and arcade games for entertaining your children. 3509 Bluebonnet Circle
An aerial view of Chisholm Trail Ranch in December. Photo courtesy Chisholm Trail Ranch Facebook page.
The Chisholm Trail Parkway toll road has done big things for Crowley, a suburb 20 miles south of downtown Fort Worth, as it has shaved the drive time down and eliminated the need to sit in pesky Interstate 35 West traffic.
And developers are taking note, as Walton Development and Management is developing Chisholm Trail Ranch — a 261-acre, master-planned community on McPherson Road that will include 1,100 homes. Phase one — 169 homes — is already complete. And, 233 lots in phase two are scheduled to be complete in late 2018. Retail plans are also in the works for the aptly named The Shops at Chisholm Trail Ranch.
The draw? Young families can score a lot of space for close to $100/square foot and reap the benefits of nearby perks, like Chisholm Trail Community Center. The new center has a rock climbing wall and more than 2,800 square feet of athletic equipment. It sits adjacent to the 75-acre Chisholm Trail Park — home to a skate park, playground, walking trail and ponds. Nearby Bicentennial Park — equipped with a gated splash pad that operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day — is also home to events like Movies in the Park, Concerts in the Park and a Halloween Hayride.
Neighborhood gem: Miss Doily’s Tea Room
A dainty little tearoom tucked inside His & Hers Antiques off of North Crowley Road serves light fare like chicken salad, quiches and tomato soup. The homemade coconut cream pie is a fan favorite. If there’s a line to wait for a table, even better. That gives you time to stroll around the 15,000-square-foot antique mall. Inside His & Hers Antiques, 10132 N. Crowley Road, Crowley, 76036
New homes emerge in Forest Hill.
This jump was a big one. The median price of homes in 76119 jumped 38.8 percent in 2017 to a still-low $111,000. Accessibility is the name of the game here. Perhaps because homeowners are figuring out the convenience of this southeast Fort Worth location. Located along Interstate 20, commuters can easily access Highway 287, south Loop 820 and Interstate 35 — that translates to easy access to downtown Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas.
Devoyd Jennings, president of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, has lived in Forest Hill since 1975. “It was a quiet neighborhood then, and it’s still pretty much a quiet neighborhood,” he says.
Some of the ZIP code’s most beautiful homes and lots can be found in the more established Fort Worth neighborhood of Rolling Hills, where large lots with mature trees and elevation provide views of downtown Fort Worth, at totally accessible prices. As of press time, a charming 1950s home was on the market for $68/square foot.
New development hugs the northwest corner of 76119 in the Sierra Vista subdivision where new home prices start in the $140,000s. Wall Homes expects to have all 232 lots sold by midyear. Wall Homes is also responsible for Rose Crest Estates in the neighboring 76140 ZIP code.
“If I was young, [Rose Crest Estates] is where I would be moving. Since I’m not young, I’ll just stay where I am,” Jennings says with a laugh.
Homes in Rose Crest Estates start at $229,000 and go up to the $400,000s.
“For a minority community, that’s not bad at all,” says Shey Ipaye, the city manager of Forest Hill. He says homeowners nearby are seeing the value of their homes going up. “Values are going up and taxes are going up as well,” he says. “And that has put the city in a better financial position.”
Neighborhood gem: Whiskey Ranch
76119 got a heavy dose of cool in 2017 when Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. opened its headquarters on the 112 acres that was formerly home to the storied Glen Garden Country Club. Whiskey Ranch, now the largest distillery west of the Mississippi, has an on-site still house, bar, tasting room, garden and views of downtown, and is expected to draw tourists as well as Fort Worth residents. 4250 Mitchell Blvd.
Crystal Canyon Nature Area in North Arlington
This ZIP code is an outdoor lover’s dream. It’s home to River Legacy Park, Riverside Golf Club, part of the West Fork of the Trinity River, and adjacent to the Crystal Canyon Nature Area. River Legacy Park hugs the curves of the Trinity River to create a more than 1,000-acre park that houses wetlands, prairies, wildlife, eight miles of paved hike and bike trails, 10 miles of mountain bike trails, river overlooks and canoe launches.
That’s just one of the reasons that more than 390,000 people call Arlington home. But also, it’s right smack dab in the middle of it all. Located inside Tarrant County, but almost equidistant to both downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth, residents are never far from either city. And North Arlington specifically allows residents to be closer to DFW Airport, Six Flags Over Texas, Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium.
The self-proclaimed “American Dream City,” touts that its residents can “go from pre-K to Ph.D.,” thanks to a solid public school system and UT Arlington — all of this in a place where the housing dollar stretches far.
Arlington has always been where “big” things and structures in the Metroplex land. But things are about to get really, really big with the development of the Texas Live! project. The $4 billion complex will repurpose the current Globe Life Park as the Texas Rangers build a new stadium next door. The $4 billion entertainment district will have three anchor developments: a two-level, 30,000-square-foot fan clubhouse called “Rangers Republic”; a 35,000-square-foot gathering area called the “Live! Arena,” with a concert stage; and a 5,000-square-foot outdoor event pavilion called “Arlington Backyard.” Additional plans include a hotel and convention center.
“I started selling real estate [in Arlington] in 2002, and the last four years have been a really strong seller’s market,” says Donna Noto, a Realtor with RE/MAX Pinnacle Group in Arlington. “We are seeing bidder wars and multiple offers. I keep thinking it’s going to slow down, but it doesn’t.”
Neighborhood gem: River Legacy Park Playground
Part treehouse, part playscape, children weave in and out of real and fake trees on the playground inside this 1,300-acre park. A large green space nearby is perfect for flying kites, and a large pavilion with grills and tables sits ready for picnics. 701 NW Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington, 76006
Salsa Limón sits on White Settlement Road in The River District.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why 76114 is the next big thing. All it takes is a few tacos from the new Salsa Limón Distrito, a fitness class at the new Abundio’s Fit Society gym on the river and a glimpse at the fancy new Elan River District Apartments. As The River District, the new housing and entertainment district on White Settlement Road, continues to grow, the adjacent River Oaks and Sansom Park neighborhoods are seeing and reaping the benefits.
It’s not just home prices that increased in 2017. Closed sales were up 25.9 percent, and homes were on the market an average six days less.
76114 is one of the few ZIP codes that can accommodate buyers looking to build a new home close to downtown. Westworth Falls, Westover Acres, Westworth Village and Rivercrest Bluffs all offer new build opportunities near the river and downtown.
Neighborhood gem: Yummy Yummy Donuts
Yes, there are a lot of new places to try in 76114, but Yummy Yummy Donuts, off of Jacksboro Highway, is a storied hole-in-the-wall must. Mini cinnamon rolls are a favorite among customers, second only to the smiling owners who know their customers by name.
The Southlake Arts Festival.
With a median home price of more than $700,000, houses are pricey in 76092, and that’s thanks to the posh city of Southlake. In fact, more than 20 percent of homes in that ZIP code sold for more than $1 million in 2017.
Think about this. Less than 30 years ago, the population of the city of Southlake was just over 7,000 residents. Today it is home to nearly 30,000 residents. So, what keeps homeowners buying here? And buying big? It’s just a few miles from DFW Airport, but the real sell here is the exceptional schools. Southlake schools are in the Carroll Independent School District, which has a zero percent dropout rate. Rockenbaugh Elementary, Johnson Elementary, Carroll Elementary, Carroll Middle School and Carroll Senior High School have all been named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The school district also earned the UIL Lone Star Cup for achieving the highest number of points in academics, athletics and fine arts competitions, from 2012 – 2015. The district is thinking toward the future too. Last year, CISD voters approved a $208 million bond program that will provide funding for construction projects at every CISD campus and support facility over the next three to five years.
The Parks and Recreation Department of Southlake has a lot to brag about too — thanks to 628 acres of parkland. And, in late 2018 they will complete the Champions Club at The Marq — a multipurpose facility at the southwest corner of Bicentennial Park. At more than 82,000 square feet, the space will include indoor/outdoor turf fields, a gym, jogging track, an indoor playground, child care rooms and multipurpose programs. An indoor aquatics center will include a zero-depth entry play area for kids, a lazy river, lap lanes and two water slides. Now, that’s a fancy suburb.
Neighborhood gem: HMK
Hallmark stores took a new approach to retail in 2014 when it launched HMK stores in Kansas City, Southlake and Denver. Gone are aisles filled with cards. In are options for in-store monogramming and custom embroidery. The Southlake store also frequently hosts pop-up shops with local artisans like Ame B Design — a local graphic design studio.
4354 Balboa Drive in Wedgwood was on the market for $270,000 at press time. Photo by MLS-Images, Matt Ross
Big lots and affordable houses. That’s what keeps buyers coming to Wedgwood — an established Fort Worth neighborhood that’s beginning to take off as many homeowners are being priced out of the inner city. Median home prices were up 20 percent in 2017 and active listings were down 4.1 percent. This neighborhood is ideal for buyers on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice square footage or lot size. Buyers also don’t have to sacrifice much in the way of location. A quick jump on Interstate 20 or the Chisholm Trail Parkway can connect residents almost anywhere they need to go. And, TCU is just three miles away.
Grant Arlington, a Realtor with Williams Trew, listed and sold six houses in Wedgwood between January and April of 2018, and many of them never even went on the market. “[Homebuyers] can get 2,000-plus feet. They can get a large wooded lot for under $250,000,” Arlington says. “I remember when I first started working that area if I was able to get $55/foot for a completely renovated house we were really excited. Now that same house is selling for $105/foot.”
Arlington says the sweet spot in Wedgwood right now is the 1,600 to 2,199-square foot home. “Whoever bids the highest wins.”
He adds that houses in that range sell in just days with multiple offers. “It’s just a mad rush right now. It’s that entry level buyer who’s a school teacher on a salary. It’s hard,” Arlington says. “They’ve almost been shut out of the market.”
Neighborhood gem: Charley’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers
This Granbury Road hamburger spot, on the northern edge of 76133, is so tiny it operates more as a burger stand than a restaurant, but a few tables inside the 1950s building and on the patio allow loyal patrons to grab burgers from the spot that has been there since 1992. The outpost recently got a facelift, but the juicy burgers are the same. The fries are delicious, the shakes are even better, and the onion rings are half the size of your face.
Special thanks to the Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS for providing data for this story.
By: Shilo Urban