Friday Five Hundred: Walkable Dallas? It Exists in Preston Hollow

Published February 17, 2012 by Candy Evans

by Karen Eubank

“Location, location, location! This is one of the few places in Dallas with so much within walking distance!” said Jim Olvera, photographer extraordinaire.

Say what?

Olvera is a gentleman who has only lived in the most tasteful neighborhoods in Dallas and calls it like it is. He now lives one block south of our Friday $500K, 6414 Northwood. I mean, this IS Preston Hollow, known for those leafy, patrician acreages and lawns, and a certain former President. Who walks here unless the Jag has sprouted legs? Still, maybe there’s a pocket even Candy hasn’t uncovered?

“The nice thing for me is that this is one of the few places in Dallas where there are lots of places within walking distance,” says Olvera. Like all the businesses at Preston and Northwest Highway (Preston Center and The Villages of University Park, formerly known as Preston Center East) which are easily accessible, so much Olvera says he actually walks to the bank, the grocery store, drug store, dozens of restaurants. He even walks to the post office on Thackeray. There are nice sized parks conveniently located at the corner of Thackeray and Park Lane, and at Hillcrest and Northwest Highway in University Park.

“Northwood is the next street north of us, and we walk (some people run, but you know me) and ride bikes there often,” he says. “The neighborhood is made up of straight streets with few cross streets, so the blocks are quite long, but there is not a lot of traffic, and the crime rate is consistently the lowest in Dallas. When we moved into the area 14 years ago, many of the houses were still occupied by their original owners. Our kids were the only wee ones on the block. Now there are quite a lot of young couples with small children as the population has begun to turn over. It’s a nice mix of older and younger residents now, and everyone seems to take a lot of pride in keeping up their houses and yards.”

Well, 6414 Northwood certainly has everything a family could want and a little more. Nestled on a treed quarter of an acre with over 3,000 square feet, there are four bedrooms plus three and a half baths AND a third living area upstairs. The home’s been beautifully updated and yet still retains its original character. If you’re not a fan of new builds or McMansions and appreciate the scale of the home being realistic to the lot, this is a house to check out. Asking: $575,000 reduced from $589,000.

“There is a great addition on the home that is the perfect place to “stash” the kids or out of town guests,” listing agent Amy Timmerman of Nathan Grace said.

I’m always a fan of these additions because I believe every family with teenagers needs a separate house for them, sometimes in Fort Worth. (There is also a play house in the back yard, heh heh.) If you can’t manage a separate house, an addition far, far away from the master bedroom might be the next best thing!

But your big value here is the ‘hood.

“The thing that originally attracted us to the neighborhood is the age of the houses, “Olvera said. “Coming from a 1926 Tudor, we were looking for something a bit more modern (at least as far as the plumbing, electrical and HVAC) but still with some character. The neighborhood was developed in the early 1950′s, so there are still a lot of single-story ranch style houses. We liked that. Now that the economy is beginning to flourish again, we’re seeing people remodeling rather than tearing the houses down. It’s very encouraging since that character is largely what brought us here.”

Character, space, and wonderful neighbors. Can you recall who once lived down the street at 6029 Northwood? George and Laura Bush, that’s who, and right where they raised the twins.

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at