…You Want to Walk to Everything.

There aren’t many neighborhoods in Dallas that encourage walking. Not exercise-only power walking. We’re talking about picking up groceries, going to a restaurant, stumbling home from a bar. Walking. Now that the Dallas Farmers Market is back in business, the surrounding townhouses and condos give urban dwellers a chance to do just that. When you’re done walking, rooftop decks on most of the units provide dazzling views of the market and the skyline. The area swells with vendors and shoppers on the weekends, creating an atmosphere like a street festival. The nightclubs and restaurants in Deep Ellum are a brisk half-mile stroll or bike ride from the townhomes along Canton Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard. That may sound like a hike in Dallas, but some New Yorkers walk farther for a quart of milk.

…You Are a Nature Lover.

real_estate_where_buy_nature_cedar_hill.jpg Cedar Hill shows a wilder side of Dallas Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

Are vast areas of open space important to your mental health? Do you like to take a long hike after work? Want to increase the variety of birds at your backyard feeders? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider living in Cedar Hill. Homes there count Cedar Hill State Park, Cedar Mountain Nature Preserve, Joe Pool Lake, and the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center among their neighbors. Call it “the Hill Country of Dallas,” where the White Rock Creek Escarpment and flora and fauna from east, west, and central Texas merge just 16 miles south of downtown. If you want to build your own house from the ground up, you can choose your level of privacy; 1- to 5-acre lots are plentiful. You’ll also find a wide range of already-built homes priced from $300,000 to $1.9 million. Get there now. Dallas is expanding to the south.

…You Are a Golfer.

real_estate_where_buy_golf.jpg The Old American Golf Club beckons. Photo courtesy of Old American Golf Club

You don’t have to go too far to find a place to squeeze in a quick 18 around here. There are more than 100 public courses in North Texas. But if you want to live on a top-rated track that pays tribute to the golden age of American golf, choose a home next to the Old American Golf Club on the shores of Lake Lewisville in The Colony. Tripp Davis and Justin Leonard visited classic American courses such as Shinnecock Hills, Prairie Dunes, and Pebble Beach before they set out to design the 7,174-yard course with six tee lengths. The homes at The Tribute, the 1,600-acre master-planned community nearby, sit on a secluded peninsula, and all have access to a large pool, splash park, and playground. Current homes for sale range from $440,000 to $820,000. If you need to do something other than golf, it’s just a five-minute drive to the Dallas North Tollway.

…You Are Committed to Green Living.

real_estate_where_buy_green_living.jpg The Urban Reserve was once a dump. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

How many times have you leafed through the pages of Dwell magazine and wished you could jump into one of the photos of a modern, eco-friendly home and stay there forever? A handful of Dallasites live a version of that fantasy in Urban Reserve, an enclave hidden between Forest Lane and Royal Lane, just east of Central Expressway. It is a neighborhood like no other in Dallas. Turn onto Vanguard Way and feast your eyes on the houses designed by nationally recognized architects all set in a natural Texas environment. Each home employs “sustainable strategies,” including use of recycled material, water conservation techniques, and low-maintenance landscapes. Hopefully, the clean, modern lines of the Urban Reserve’s houses, combined with the dedication to incorporating nature into the designs, will inspire similar developments. 

…You Want to Keep a Horse.

real_estate_where_buy_horses.jpg Everyone is pretty in Preston Hollow.

We know what you’re thinking: if you want to have horses on your property, you have to live somewhere in the country. That is not the case. Dallas is surprisingly big-animal friendly. If you want two horses, you have to own an acre of land; you also have to have a stable, and you must be diligent about picking up after your steeds. It can be done. Especially if you live in the Preston Hollow area bounded by Royal Lane, Walnut Hill Road, Midway Road, and Strait Lane. Most of the large lots here are classified as “horse properties.” Dominique Miller is the unofficial wrangler in the neighborhood. She lives on Royal, east of Bushire Drive. “Lots of the older houses around here have barns,” Miller says. “There have always been horses in this area.” Miller and her friends ride the alleys daily and she has a corral in her front yard where she teaches kids riding and life skills. “I love giving them something to touch other than an iPad.”

…You Want to Park Your Boat Behind Your House.

real_estate_where_buy_boat_house.jpg The Harbor, in Rockwall. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

If you work downtown and own a boat, chances are good you’ve invested in a second home to house that boat, and that house is on a lake just a little too far away to get to every weekend. Why not streamline? Lake Ray Hubbard is only 18 miles from Dallas’ city center, just about as far away as Plano. The difference is that at the end of your commute to the lake, you can stroll down to your boat dock and head out on the water to watch the sunset. To maximize your views, check out the homes in Heath. Here, large lakefront properties have private boat docks, fire pits, swimming pools, and ski jumps. Lots are scarce. There are a few in a gated community on Peninsula Court starting at $895,000. But there are several stunning properties on the market for $1.2 million and up, with all the amenities you need for lake living rolled into one mortgage.  

…You Ride Mountain Bikes.

real_estate_where_buy_mountain_bike_ride.jpg Yes. This is Frisco. Helmets required. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

How does one achieve a challenging mountain bike experience in a city with no mountains? You find a place to live close to the NW Community Park Trail in Frisco. The Knolls of Frisco ($450,000 to $500,000) and Newman Village ($750,000 to $2.2 million) are near the trailhead at the corner of Panther Creek and Teel Parkway. The land is owned by the city, but the 8.1 miles of trails (broken into loops) were built by volunteers from the Shawnee Trail Cycling Club, the Frisco Cycling Club, and the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association (DORBA). There are easy paths for beginners and tougher ones with tight turns, demanding climbs, and narrow tree gates for the more advanced rider. A new pump track—a trail with dirt-covered moguls and berms designed for BMX and mountain bikers—is in the works. And if that isn’t enough to satisfy your biking addiction, Frisco is home to one of two velodromes in the state.