Kelly Kinzer was ready for a new start. Fresh off a divorce in fall 2020, she was hunting for a home that she could make her own to celebrate her next phase of life.
“I was familiar with eating out and selling over in the Bishop Arts area but had never lived on this side of town,” says the East Dallas native and Coldwell Banker broker. As soon as she laid eyes on a circa-1918 Craftsman bungalow just two blocks from the heart of Bishop Arts, she was instantly charmed. It needed a facelift, but the bones were there: a front porch, a see-through fireplace, and the original pine floors.
Kinzer, a 20-year real estate veteran with an interior-design background, has never been afraid of a project. So she gutted the bathroom, updated the kitchen, added two outdoor living areas, and painted every wall—inside and out. These changes, she knew, would increase its resale value, but marketability wasn’t the primary focus. Rather, for possibly the first time in her life, she reveled in her ability to make choices that made sense for her, and only her. Citing the decision to turn one bedroom into a custom outfitted wardrobe and dressing space, she says, “At 53 and single, one of the things I am enjoying so much these days is doing what I want.” With a laugh, she adds, “It’s a little hard to get used to, but I’m managing!”
Kelly Kinzer details what made her home desirable—and the updates she’s made that will boost its value.
- Location, Location, Location
- Go Inside Out
- VIP Rooms
- Open Up (A Little)
“Walkability in Dallas is huge, especially for people moving from big cities,” says Kinzer, whose house is two blocks from Bishop Arts restaurants and retail. She encourages clients not to scope out prospective houses and neighborhoods just during the day but at night, too; despite being so close to an entertainment district, she was pleased to discover that her street is still quiet after dark.
Kinzer added not one but two outdoor living spaces, which, she says, “is very desired and adds a lot of value.”
Does the old adage that kitchens and baths sell a house still ring true? Yes, says Kinzer, who modernized both in her home. Considering a reno and worried about future resale? Don’t stress too much about subjective choices, she says, so long as they’re easily changeable down the line.
“Is taking a 1920s house and knocking out all the walls to make it look like a new house built in 2023 a good idea? Probably not,” she says. “You start to lose the character of a house.” She does concede that in a small house like hers, strategically opening spaces to allow more light in (which previous owners had done in the kitchen, where they also added more windows) is wise.