Under-appreciated neighborhoods are ideal for bargain-seeking gays
Maybe it’s because he grew up on the Dallas-Mesquite border after moving to the Metroplex from Staten Island but Keith Yonick has always had an appreciation for the outer boundaries of metropolitan areas.
Yonick, who has been in real estate sales since 2003 (and sold homes in the early 1990s as well), knows that hip areas attract the most eyes and command the highest prices. But there are plenty of neighborhoods in Under-appreciated areas that are actually secret hotspots for gay homeowners.
“It’s kind of sad some of these neighborhoods are forgotten,” he says. “The younger generation has not discovered these older areas.” The good news, though, is that because they are not as popular as Oak Cliff, Oak Lawn and M Streets, “the tax man hasn’t discovered them, either.”
But bargains aren’t all that homeowners are looking for.
Anyone can head outside the city limits and pay less, but the gay community is also looking for welcoming, enlightened neighbors and some cach?.
“A lot of gay couples want a Dallas address,” he says candidly. “They like the prestige and don’t want to tell people they live in Garland or Mesquite.”
So where can they go and still feel part of an urban community? Yonick has tremendous enthusiasm for the Casa View area.
“I love it,” he gushes. “I work with a lot of relocating buyers who make under $50,000 and they love it because it’s so close to White Rock Lake,” but doesn’t cost the same as a “White Rock” address. “And with the Ferguson Road project, anything in Casa View is going to be a great investment.”
Yonick also recommends heading toward his old stomping grounds east of Downtown along I-30, especially the Everglade Park-Buckner Terrace-Parkdale area. He says he’s placed numerous gay homeowners here in the past few years.
“Parkdale has lovely little Tudors,” he says, and Everglade Park has many steals nice mid-century homes for under $130,000. It also boasts many charming eateries.
Terry Battle, one of Yonick’s clients, tried living in Arlington a few years ago, but barely lasted nine months there. Battle, an interior decorator by trade, ended up in a magnificent and spacious split-level house off of Jim Miller Road for a fraction what he would have paid in Oak Lawn.
Other great locations for finding bargain houses include McCree Road in the Lake Highlands district, Mount Auburn near Hollywood Heights in Lakewood (“Many of the houses are lovely Craftsman homes,” Yonick says) and even Bryan’s Place (“Good deals, and close to Downtown,” he says).
For those who like to stay close to the action, Yonick says Maple Springs is hot, but quickly getting a reputation (and therefore driving up prices). Yonick and his partner built a home there within the last few years, and by the time construction was complete the appraisal had gone up tens of thousands of dollars.
“Some people say the area near Love Field will do well,” he adds.
But he’s still a cheerleader for more offbeat addresses. “The average days on the market for one of my listings in Oak Lawn is about 120 days,” he says; “the average in East Dallas is 32.”
Those willing to give up a Dallas ZIP code can do even better.
“I put a gay couple in Royce City in the most beautiful home there,” he says. He’s also relocated some gay clients from their homes in East Dallas to Rockwall County.
“The MLS ladies in Rockwall are delightful to work with,” he says. “It’s six miles from Downtown, affordable, the homes are charming and the taxes are less than in Dallas County.”
For those worried that the boonies may be uninviting for gay or lesbian buyers, Yonick says that hasn’t been an issue in the neighborhoods mentioned. And all things being equal, he’s always looking to get his clients “a lot of bang for the buck.”
And by that standard, these areas are exploding.
This article appeared in Defining Homes Magazine on November 9, 2007