Everyone has that dream — to find that one house in that one neighborhood, where one can raise a family and just do life. For some, that dream is far away in the quiet country. For others, it’s in the heart of a bustling city. Or perhaps, it’s in an up-and-coming area that’s well worth the investment. That’s the thing about Fort Worth: All those dreams, one way or another, can be fulfilled here. These are the stories of eight families who successfully navigated through the homebuying process and found their home in 2017. People who didn’t just dream it — they did it.
A New Build With Downtown Views
Who’s who: Stephen and Brittany Rivers, owners of custom window treatment company Trinity Uptown, as well as furniture line Jovili.
Where they used to live: A remodeled 1940s home in Oakhurst, with just two bedrooms.
The new home: A two-story, 3,400-square-foot French country transitional home they built themselves in Charleston, a gated community near Oakhurst. Four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths.
The price: $85,500 for the lot
How they found it: The Rivers needed more space. As Stephen was visiting a client in Charleston, he came across the lot that would become their future home. The Rivers wrote to the owner, and by January 2015, the lot was theirs. Owning a construction company came in handy for the couple — they broke ground August 2016 and moved in the following summer.
Why they love the neighborhood: Stephen says he appreciates the neighborhood’s vicinity to downtown and major highways. And, he says, you can’t beat the view: “Downstairs living, patio and upstairs game room, balcony, master bed, master bath all have views of downtown. We love it.”
From Windy City to Linwood
Who’s who: Jennifer Lee is a high school special education teacher. Nick manages a team of drone pilots for BNSF. They live with their mini goldendoodle, Sparky.
Where they used to live: The couple met in Chicago and maintained a long-distance relationship as Nick’s job moved him from the Pacific Northwest to Fort Worth.
The new home: A 2,080-square-foot townhouse in Linwood, with a covered patio, small yard and two-car garage. Three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths.
The price: $390,000
How they found it: After combing through online listings and scouting several homes with their Realtor, Kati Hourihan of RE/MAX Heritage, the couple landed on a townhome in Linwood. Since it was under construction at the time, they were able to customize much of the interior. “The timeline to complete building construction was a bit of a nail-biter, but we were able to close on time,” Jennifer says.
Why they love the neighborhood: Jennifer says they love the accessibility to downtown and West Seventh Street. “It is close to a lively part of town, but far enough away where it doesn’t get too noisy or become a nuisance.”
Berkeley Place, 76110
A Walk in the Park
Who’s who: Alex Radler is the director of development for faith-based nonprofit 4africa. His wife, Chelsea, is involved in multiple community organizations, including The Net and Watermark Community Church. They live with their golden retriever puppy, Paddington Bear.
Where they used to live: A renovated rental house in Fairmount.
The new home: A 3,870-square-foot home off Forest Park and Wilshire boulevards. Four bedrooms, two baths.
The price: $675,000
How they found it: Having rented for a year, the Radlers wanted a home they could call their own — and they wanted a dog, which their previous property did not allow. After an eight-month search, the couple found their new home through 6th Ave Homes’ Jamey Ice.
Why they love the neighborhood: Berkeley’s peaceful vibe, defined by canopies of mature trees that line the streets, is what makes the neighborhood ideal for the Radlers. Their home also sits directly across Forest Park, which makes amenities like the Forest Park Pool just walking distance.
West Byers, 76107
Quick Move in West Byers
Who’s who: Jason Dunn is an instructional designer at OneSource Virtual in Dallas. Paige is a CPA. Baby Dunn is on the way.
Where they used to live: A 1,500-square-foot 1920s bungalow, just .1 mile down the street on El Campo Avenue in West Byers.
The new home: A two-story, 2,100-square-foot 1950s garrison colonial on the same street. Four bedrooms, two baths.
The price: $400,000
How they found it: With a new baby on the way, the Dunns wanted a house they could grow into. When searching online, Paige distinctly remembers hitting refresh and the house appearing on the screen. The size and price point fit perfectly — and it was just down the street. Jason says they sold their old home fairly quickly in January 2017 and moved into their new house at the end of February. Their Realtor? Zach Overturf of League Real Estate, whose own homebuying story is on page 52.
Why they love the neighborhood: There’s a lot the Dunns love about their neighborhood — proximity to their church, the Cultural District, Roy Pope Grocery and the restaurants on Camp Bowie Boulevard. Jason says, “It has a comfortable, homey feel to it. You don’t drive down and see a bunch of the same houses. Everything’s really eclectic.”
Ryan Place, 76110
New Start in an Old Home
Who’s who: Jenna Lee, owner of Near Southside boutique Winton and Waits. Children: AnnahGrace, 18, and Austin Lee, 16. They live with their long-hair Chihuahua, Pedro.
Where they used to live: A remodeled house on Winton Terrace in Park Hill, then a new build on Waits Avenue (hence, the name of her shop).
The new home: A remodeled craftsman-style home, built in 1924 at Ryan Place. One story, 2,796 square feet, four bedrooms, four baths. Plus, a 987-square-foot guest house that Jenna plans to Airbnb.
The price: Undisclosed
How they found it: The move was an emotional one as Jenna, recently divorced, saw the new home as a fresh start for herself and her family. Thankfully, her Realtor, Jeff Anderson from League Real Estate, was supportive during the time and connected Lee to a home that had recently been redone for the purpose of selling — so Jenna got the historic home, without having to remodel.
Why they love the neighborhood: “We are on a really wide street, and I really love that … I love the accessibility,” Jenna says. “Now that I’ve opened a business on the Near Southside, I’m just a few minutes from work.”
Wide Open Spaces
Who’s who: Kim Puckett is an oil and gas attorney. Husband, Paul, is manager of project delivery at Sabre. Children: Kaylea, 9; Kole, 7. Kim’s mother, Dee McCorkle, and stepdad, Russell McCorkle, also live with them.
Where they used to live: A suburban home in Heritage, near Alliance Town Center.
The new home: A 4.16-acre property in Haslet, with a two-story, 3,422-square-foot home and a barnhouse for animals (like their miniature donkeys, Tater and Tot).
The price: $550,000
How they found it: With Kim’s parents thinking about retirement and a husband who loves being outdoors, the family decided to pool in one another’s resources and move in together. The Pucketts worked with Realtor Dan Murphy of RE/MAX Trinity to locate the 30-year-old home, becoming just the second owners of the property.
Why they love the neighborhood: Kim says she loves the farm-style vibe while staying close to the city. “Our home is on 4 acres, but I’m six minutes from Target ... we still have the conveniences that we need while we raise our kids, but we’re also out on a little piece of land that’s all ours and feels very private.”
Cool for School
Who’s who: Christina Lopez is a radiology technician. Husband, Gerome, is a supervisor at SiteOne Landscape Supply in Arlington. Children: Soli, 19; Alina, 14; and twins Gerome and Jordan, 12. They also have two dogs, Louie and Rougie (named after Texas Rangers player Rougned Odor).
Where they used to live: A new build in Crowley.
The new home: A 4,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bath home in Burleson.
The price: $299,500
How they found it: Looking for a better school system for their children, the Lopezes made a quick decision to move to Burleson. Christina credits Realtor Jordan Davis of Keller Williams for helping them find their current home and negotiate the price. Their neighborhood is part of the Burleson Independent School District.
Why they love the neighborhood: Aside from the school district better suiting their needs, Christina says she loves being part of a neighborhood that regularly hosts activities that allow neighbors to get to know each other. “It’s not just a bunch of houses lined up on a street,”
she says. “People come out, and they interact.”
River Oaks, 76114
Growing Family, Growing Neighborhood
Who’s who: Zach Overturf is a Realtor and property manager at League Real Estate. Noelle Overturf is social media director of The River District. Their “Turf Baby” is due late October. Their fur baby is Marvel, an Australian shepherd mix.
Where they used to live: A 1,545-square-foot home in The River District.
The new home: A 2,085-square-foot home just a few blocks away in River Oaks. Two stories, four beds, two baths. There’s also a separate 600-square-foot guest house on Airbnb.
The price: $190,000
How they found it: The Overturfs actually have two properties in 76114. They moved out of their first house when talks of an apartment coming in nearby began to take place. So, the couple decided to rent it out to another couple and move a few blocks away. The apartment never happened; nonetheless, Zach says their new house better fits the needs of their growing family.
Why they love the neighborhood: Zach says he loves being walking distance from the Trinity River, as well as the new businesses coming in (like Heim Barbecue’s second location, for example). But he also sees the neighborhood as an investment: “The River District offered the opportunity of affordability but also that growth that we can see in the future. Obviously, we took a chance, but I think it’s going to pay out nicely.”