East Dallas and Lakewood, east of Central Expressway, both have a personality all their own. Formerly home of one of the very first Whole Foods grocery stores, the neighborhood has a tradition of being more laid back than hard-driving North Dallas. It's always been considered a little off the beaten track.
Going east of Central, our first noteworthy stop is the M Streets. So named because so many of the streets, such as Merrimac, Monticello and McCommas, begin with the letter "M," the neighborhood is distinguished by its 1930's brick bungalows. Home's here currently run $350,000 to $600,000. Over the past few years, a number of new homes have started to spring up for buyers who like the neighborhood but prefer new construction. These typically range from $600,000 to $700,000.
Greenville Avenue is the main dining and shopping artery here. There are many options to consider from the ubiquitous Starbucks to some of Dallas's most evocative and special dining experiences like The Grape, a neighborhood institution for over 30 years.
Going south on Greenville toward downtown, Old East Dallas is composed of all kinds of housing, including everything from the early 20th century mansions on Swiss Avenue to rows of 1950's apartment buildings. Many of these 50's buildings have been demolished and replaced by new row-houses (often with rooftop terraces with killer views of the downtown skyline).
The area’s old mansions, best typified by Swiss Avenue, currently sell for $750,000 to $1.5 million. The new townhomes and condominiums typically run in the $250,000-to-$500,000 range.
Swiss Avenue is one of the standout neighborhoods in East Dallas. It was the first planned subdivision in Dallas. Beginning at Fitzhugh at its southern end and running to La Vista at its northern end, it is a stately boulevard of Beaux Arts, Tudor, and Prairie-style mansions on large (half-acre or more) lots. It is a one-of-a-kind street in Dallas. Many of the city's leading families built their homes here when the boulevard was established in 1905.
Swiss Avenue is now an historical district, as is adjacent Munger Place. Munger features a number of blocks of Prairie and early 20th century homes. These homes currently range in price from $350,000 to $750,000, depending on condition. Preservation Dallas, a non-profit organization that works to preserve the built environment in the city, is an excellent resource for more information about Dallas's historic neighborhoods.
Lakewood is undoubtedly the largest and some may say the finest neighborhood in East Dallas. It is roughly bounded by Abrams on the west, Mockingbird on the north, LaVista on the south, and White Rock Lake on the east. The homes on Lakewood Boulevard, Lakeshore and Tokalon, in particular, feature the work of marvelous builder/developer/designers such as George Hutsell and Dines and Craft. These homes, built in the 1920's and 30's, feature eclectic Spanish and traditional designs, and are most in demand. These homes typically run from $500,000 for cottages to over a $1 million for larger two-story designs. North of these streets is a large collection of ranches and mid-century designs, running from $300,000 to $700,000.
East of Lakewood is White Rock Lake Park, one of Dallas’s finest recreational resources. A favorite spot for cyclists, sailors, runners and walkers, it’s a great place to be when the morning sun rises. The lake is surrounded by impressive estates, some of which sit on numerous acres. The famous oil man H.L. Hunt lived in one of these estates, which is a replica of George Washington's home, Mount Vernon. The lakeside estates start at around $2 million.
On the south side of the lake, Forest Hills is known for its large half-acre lots and great trees. These homes run from $750,000 to $1.5 million. East of the lake is a great collection of mid-century and ranch designs, many of which are still very reasonable in price, beginning at $250,000.
Another noteworthy East Dallas neighborhood is Hollywood Heights, a hilly neighborhood of charming cottages adjacent to Tennyson Park. These homes generally range from $250,000 to $600,000.