This Old House Says Now's the Time to Buy in North Oak Cliff, a "Best Old House" 'Hood

winnetkaheightshouse.jpg
According to Nest Realty's North Oak Cliff website, this Winnetka Heights house is about to hit the market.
Last year, This Old House magazine singled out Junius Heights as one of the Best Old House Neighborhoods in the country, insisting, "Proximity to downtown Dallas, great schools, and recent recognition as a National Register Historic District are driving up Junius Heights' property values and helping the neighborhood maintain its historic character."

This year, yet another local neighborhood appears on the list: Late yesterday, Old Oak Cliff Conservation League president Michael Amonett sent word that North Oak Cliff made the cut. And, yet again, the magazine insists you'd best hustle to snap up a home:
Why Buy Here?

North Oak Cliff seems to seamlessly combine old and new. Michael Amonett lives in the house his grandfather built in 1936, and his story is not unique. Many families have resided here for generations, and their beautifully maintained homes, generally in need of only minor updates, occasionally become available. The area's property values stand to rise in 2013 with the return of a downtown-bound streetcar system. Our advice? Get in while the getting's good.

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35 comments
Tressie Bivona
Tressie Bivona

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G_David
G_David

Wasn't Oak Cliff once its own municipality, before being annexed? Can't the boundary of Oak Cliff be defined by that? As for getting nitpicky about individual neighborhoods wthin the OC, I'll "mark that under who gives a shit".

And one of the selling points about J. Heights last year was the schools nearby. Can the same be said about "North Oak Cliff"? Just wondering, because I have no idea.

Matt
Matt

i prefer just stating that i live in kessler park with the other cash-chuckers

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Well I think North Oak Cliff is the historic part - right? Ergo it fits for 'This Old House'. Maybe you could say 'original Oak Cliff'?

Speaking of Junius Heights I have noticed that some hipsters are now calling it "Genius Heights".

danzig
danzig

When someone goes out of the way to mention "north" when talking about Oak Cliff, they are really trying to say that they are from a more affluent part of Oak Cliff. It really just magnifies the total lack of knowledge of the area. As mentioned here already....If you are a true Cliff dweller, you state your neighborhood such as Kessler, Winnetka Heights, Dell district, Kiestwood, Elmwood, Bishop Arts, etc. Placing a directional category on an already well defined sub-city is just idiotic and probably means that you are new to the area.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I remember ambiguity and arguments over where west Plano was versus central or east Plano as Plano grew like a weed, and that was nothing more than white people trying to be lumped into the affluent part of town. First west Plano was past Independence, then Coit, then Preston...

Basically, it happens everywhere.

anonymous
anonymous

What about South Oak Cliff? Is that not Oak Cliff now?

Bob
Bob

The "where is Oak Cliff" debate is about as mind numbing as "where is Preston Hollow?" Maybe each neighborhood should build walls like Baghdad's Green Zone or Park Cities' "keep out" barrier along NW highway?

Bob
Bob

Ex-JH resident here. It is a jem of a neighborhood. I have to say I'm a little skeptical that it is the "next big thing." I've been hearing that since the end of the crack epidemic in the 80s and 90s. I thinks its restoration and development will be slow and steady.

Then Came Bronson
Then Came Bronson

Maybe one of the best old neighborhoods in the Metroplex.

Probably not one of the best in the state.

Those magazine editors need to quit perusing the Observer take another look around.

gabbahey
gabbahey

Flamesuit: engage (i.e., bring it)

There's a reason Kessler Park likes to distinguish itself from West Kessler, and Kessler Highlands. Anywhere south of 12th, are decent houses, but some pockets of houses look like they were transported from 3d world shitholes. East Dallas has the same issue, some nice areas, some not so good. Lakewooders like for people to know they are in Lakewood proper, and not "East Dallas", as NOCs want you to know the same goes for them. Yes, price points are going up, a neighbour who purchased their home for around the low $300Ks, is now selling for close to $400K in NOC. And they'll get it - every single dime. There are many demographics spread across the L.O. Daniel, Elmwood, WH, Kings, the Kesslers'; all mostly younger white folk with money to spend, who can get more for their mortgage dollar than they could possibly get in the M Streets or Lakewood. That 1200 sq ft tudor on lower Greenville will cost you $400k, while a 2400 sq foot craftsman in Kings Highway will go for less than half of that.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I'm happy for North Oak Cliff to get some positive press, but it's not the same thing as giving it to Junius Heights in a previous year. That's a real neighborhood with actual boundaries. The definition of North Oak Cliff changes depending on who you talk to. The commenter above used Illinois as the cutoff, but I wouldn't imagine most are so generous. People in other parts of Dallas think of it as Kessler Park and little else (if they know about it at all). People in Kessler think it extends to Davis. People who live in Winnetka Heights think it extends to 12th. People in Elmwood think it extends to Illinois. Let's be honest: "North Oak Cliff" refers more to a demographic than a specific part of Oak Cliff. Mostly it refers to white people or educated people of color who are gentrifying the area.I also wonder who on earth gave them those price points. North Oak Cliff is not that cheap anymore.

yeah, I said that
yeah, I said that

I'm past beyond 'tired' of hearing about NORTH Oak Cliff as if there are no other places but NORTH Oak Cliff to live in the OC. For outsiders it's just a place. To those of us who live here in Dallas, we know that it's code language for making one feel better about living NORTH of Illinois Ave. instead of SOUTH of Illinois Ave.That's where the.... well,,,, you know who I mean... THEY live.There is one Oak Cliff, and it needs to be marketed that way. Last week at the Open Forum the candidates constantly referred to NORTH Oak Cliff as if that was the only part of Dallas they were going to get votes from. We can remedy that.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Yes Oak Cliff joined Dallas in 1903. East Dallas joined in 1890. East Dallas was actually larger than Dallas at that time. In true E. Dallas fashion we passed a lot of road improvements as a bit of a protest just before the annexation and Dallas had to pay for them.

Homesick
Homesick

It is what it is....South Oak Cliff.

Anonymous
Anonymous

That's the thing though. The neighborhoods themselves are incredibly well defined within Oak Cliff. You will not have disagreement over what is Kessler Square, what is East Kessler, what is Stevens Park, what is Winnetka Heights, what is Kings Highway, what is Kessler Highlands, what is Kidd Springs. These boundaries are incredibly rigid. Oak Cliff itself is a fairly well established area as well, it's just that there are plenty of people living in nicer parts who don't want to share nomenclature with the nasty parts. Hence the emphasis on N Oak Cliff, to be differentiated from the rest.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Wait a minute now - true Native Lakewooders like to also say "East Dallas" (especially when it will freak out a Frisco person). After fifth grade the kids go to schools with boundaries from the Park Cities border to the northern border of Fair Park. We have friends from every ethnic and economic station.

jfpo
jfpo

Funny. I grew up in Cincinnati and there's a similar situation with the Price Hill neighborhood. Price Hill is a large, undefined area that's commonly referred to as being split into "upper" and "lower" Price Hill. Ask anyone in this neighborhood where where "lower" Price Hill is, and it's usually three blocks away from where they live. You hit the nail on the head with the definition of "North Oak Cliff." It's the same in Cincinnati.

Left
Left

Yawn.

You might want to step out of 1959...the race debate is over. The only people that think of minorties as "they" are old people. My generation proudly voted for a black man with a muslim middle name. Yours shot MLK, jr.

Defining an area as North Oak Cliff, over Oak Cliff is done purely because of its form. North Oak Cliff is everything pre-war that is not built for SUV's only. In reality, Oak Cliff was its own city until 1903 when it was annexed. The southern boundary in that year was Thirteenth Street. After it was combined with the city of Dallas, anything South should not have been called Oak Cliff...it should be Southern Dallas.

rubbercow
rubbercow

Part of the reason, I think, people in North Oak Cliff identify as such is because of the tendency of others to refer to any area west of 45 and south of 30 as "Oak Cliff". As many have said before, this is a huge area and it isn't descriptive of what goes on here. What if every time a crime happened north of 30 it was just reported as North Dallas? Soon, people would come to see North Dallas as a crime-infested horror show like most people in North Dallas already think of Oak Cliff. I ow that it pisses me off when someone gets murdered closer to Wilmer/Hutchins and that is somehow Oak Cliff.

Downtowner
Downtowner

What about "Uptown" versus "Oak Lawn"? It's been done before and it will be done again and again.

gabbahey
gabbahey

I think your line of demarcation is rather generous. We all know that NOC is anywhere north of 12th.

scottindallas
scottindallas

You shootin' shit or selling your house? Put some money on the line and it's LAKEWOOD. Old Lakewood.

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

The blacks. Between that and Charlie Sheen's cocaine binge, I am reminded of the midget's rant from In Bruges.

md
md

Your generation is so small it couldn't have elected him all by itself. Your generation was taught its values by previous generations.Your generation is full of itself.

fred
fred

Just last week the Park Cities blog was saying "thugs" vs. "our kids".

TimCov
TimCov

You mean North Dallas isn't a crime-infested horror show?

Bill
Bill

I think that in order to be in Oak Cliff one simply needs to be in the old Oak Cliff town boundaries. That would solve any issues one has. I think that Oak Cliff is anything north of Clarendon. That is where historically old Jim Town was once located and would have been the end of what most old timers consider Oak Cliff.

I have the guy in the This Old House Story beat. I live in the home that my great grandfather built by hand in Oak Cliff and is one of the few homes that has a basement.

scottindallas
scottindallas

My generation is getting the shaft from your generation. And, you'll keep screwing us long after you're gone.

Candy7777
Candy7777

Bill, I'd love to do a story on your house... candace@secondshelters.com

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