WOULD YOU PAY $40,000 FOR THIS HOUSE?

What price history? About $20,000, if you ask the residents of the 6000 block of Bryan Parkway. Their East Dallas neighborhood was annexed onto the Swiss Avenue Historical District in September by vote of the City Council, culminating a complex two-year process of application and petitioning by dedicated block residents. The result? An end to the neighborhood’s long-term decline – restoration of the block’s early 20th-century homes is now evident from Beacon to Glendale. Another result: Nearly a third of the block’s 26 homes are suddenly up for sale.

The Henry S. Miller Co. has moved into the neighborhood. Busy agent Celeste Silkett has listed eight properties on the block since June. “I’mon Bryan Parkway from morning till night,” she says. “People there call me ’The Real Estate Lady.’ They come to see me – some of them don’t even speak English – and say, ’Tell me what to do with my house.’ I didn’t solicit property there, but I’m always happy to have a listing.”

Some Parkway residents, however, have a different version. “The Henry S. Miller people came in here immediately after the annexation,” What price history? About $20,000, if you ask the residents of the 6000 block of Bryan Parkway. Their East Dallas neighborhood was annexed onto the Swiss Avenue Historical District in September by vote of the City Council, culminating a complex two-year process of application and petitioning by dedicated block residents. The result? An end to the neighborhood’s long-term decline – restoration of the block’s early 20th-century homes is now evident from Beacon to Glendale. Another result: Nearly a third of the block’s 26 homes are suddenly up for sale.

The Henry S. Miller Co. has moved into the neighborhood. Busy agent Celeste Silkett has listed eight properties on the block since June. “I’mon Bryan Parkway from morning till night,” she says. “People there call me ’The Real Estate Lady.’ They come to see me – some of them don’t even speak English – and say, ’Tell me what to do with my house.’ I didn’t solicit property there, but I’m always happy to have a listing.”

Some Parkway residents, however, have a different version. “The Henry S. Miller people came in here immediately after the annexation,” complains resident Steve Mabry, “trying to get everybody to sell. And some are doing it. They’re asking $40-42,000. Before, you were lucky if you got $20,000.”

Well, that sounds like a nifty doubling of property value for the residents. So what’s all the fuss about? Many long-term Parkway residents find it an artificial inflation of property values and fear its effect on neighborhood life, saying it is encouraging a turnover in ownership that is detrimental to the community spirit that got the project started in the first place. “It’s neither fair nor reasonable that just because somebody signs a piece of paper making this a historical district, your home automatically doubles in value,” argues one long-time resident. “These houses just won’t appraise that high, because once you buy them, you have to sink another $30,000 into improvements. What’s worse,” she says, “we have some really poor people on this block. To tell them their house is worth $40,000- well, that’s like holding out candy. Those houses are just going to sit there.”

She may be right. Of the eight homes Henry S. Miller has put up for sale since June, only two have sold.

complains resident Steve Mabry, “trying to get everybody to sell. And some are doing it. They’re asking $40-42,000. Before, you were lucky if you got $20,000.”

Well, that sounds like a nifty doubling of property value for the residents. So what’s all the fuss about? Many long-term Parkway residents find it an artificial inflation of property values and fear its effect on neighborhood life, saying it is encouraging a turnover in ownership that is detrimental to the community spirit that got the project started in the first place. “It’s neither fair nor reasonable that just because somebody signs a piece of paper making this a historical district, your home automatically doubles in value,” argues one long-time resident. “These houses just won’t appraise that high, because once you buy them, you have to sink another $30,000 into improvements. What’s worse,” she says, “we have some really poor people on this block. To tell them their house is worth $40,000- well, that’s like holding out candy. Those houses are just going to sit there.”

She may be right. Of the eight homes Henry S. Miller has put up for sale since June, only two have sold.

Newsletter

Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.

Comments