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Forest Hills : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying4
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Activity 5
Sat Feb 6, 2016
Lindag243 asked:
Tue Aug 19, 2014
Cindy Brooks Johnson answered:
I lived in Forest Hills for 8 years. It is a lovely neighborhood with beautiful trees across form White Rock Lake. I barely noticed the train! Occasionally, if I was awake late at night, I might hear it. Instead of being annoying it was oddly comforting. Maybe a throwback to my childhood in a small town. It goes through during the day sometimes but was rarely a problem. Forest HIlls is a great place to live. The people of east Dallas love living near the lake. i am also a realtor who can help you find a home in east Dallas. ... more
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Sun Jan 6, 2013
Edwisneski answered:
The “Terrible” Train…

Twenty-five years ago my wife, our Lab, and I moved to Dallas from a restored 200-year-old log cabin that overlooked a farm pasture in Pennsylvania. After our first day surveying residential real estate here, we were ready to move back.

Then we stumbled upon Forest Hills, an oasis of trees in the stifling Dallas desert. It had old and new houses with large yards and architectural details that distinguished one home from another. As we drove under the canopy of branches leading to 8212 San Cristobal Drive, we felt like Dorothy when she and Toto landed in Oz. We couldn’t be in Dallas anymore. Actually, we were 15 seconds from White Rock Lake, 10 minutes from downtown, and 15 from SMU where I would work. How perfect…proximity amidst a primeval forest.

When we peeked out the French doors leading to the back yard, our enthusiasm bubbled over. A turquoise pool shimmered beneath a green canopy of green. It made the area 15-20 degrees cooler on that hot summer afternoon. And all we could see were trees. No back yards or rooftops of other houses. It was as if we had never left the Pennsylvania countryside. We ready to sign on the dotted line.

Then the peaceful scene was interrupted by a distant, loud whistle, not once, but twice. A slow-moving train – very slow - chugged across the luscious green landscape that had mesmerized us moments earlier. Susan and I looked at each other and winced. Maybe this house was too good to be true. We told the realtor we would think about it.

We bought the house. We learned shortly after our arrival that Forest Hills was one of the best-kept secrets in Dallas. It still is, though maybe not to as great an extent as in 1988. People who have lived in Dallas all their lives still give us quizzical looks when we mention we live in Forest Hills. “Is that near Forest Lane?” they usually ask. We have not seen another neighborhood in Dallas where we would rather live.

And the “terrible” train? This story is actually one of the few times since we moved in 25 years ago that I have given it any thought. If potential buyers of property on the south side of San Cristobal are concerned about the noise of the train, don’t be.

The “worrisome noise” is actually rather soothing because the train always crawls, barely 15 miles per hour. Most of the time we either wave to the conductor or don’t even notice it. The train passes, at most, a couple of times a day, usually when I am at work. And it is blown from the distant intersections on either end of San Cristobal, never right behind this house. In 25 years, the train has never woken me up. I wish I could say the same for leaf blowers and chain-saws on weekend mornings. Another indication that the train is not an issue is that our next door neighbors at 8214, 8224, 8188, and 8242 have lived in their houses for more than 25 years.

In these growingly impersonal, fearful times when people live next to each other seldom interact any more, Forest Hills is an a throwback to the days when:

• Kids played on the streets without fear.
• Neighbors stopped to chat with each other while walking their dogs.
• Neighborhoods organized parades, parties, and other social events every Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas, and other holidays.
• Neighbors looked out for each other, not just when someone on their block was out of town, but 365 days a year.

This all may sound corny or like a chamber of commerce sales pitch, but Forest Hills is different in more ways than just its bounteous trees and beautiful homes. As I finish this, I think of all my family would have missed had we let a slow-moving train with an occasional whistle prevent us from buying our house on San Cristobal.

Ed Wisneski
8212 San Cristobal Drive
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Mon Jul 9, 2012
Dixon Wong answered:
Hi Jimmy,

This is a good question!

This is the border line of little forrest hill. Anything East of San Cristobal Dr. are usually 15-25% lower in price. Its just the subdivision. And this home is located a few down from Ferguson which is a very busy street hence the price reduction as well.

It appears to be a nice house with lots of land tho. Please let me know if you are looking for homes in the Little Forrest Hill area or Casa Linda. This is where I live and work.

You can check out more homes at my site -

Please email me at if you have any other questions.


JP and Associate
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Fri Oct 22, 2010
T.E. & Naima Sumner answered:
According to IRS publications as long as 1 spouse served overseas between 12/31/2008-5/1/2010 for 90 consecutive days in the military, foreign service or intelligence, the Federal tax credit that ended 4/30/2010 for everyone else is extended. You can find the IRS information at this webpage,,id=215594,00.html ,

In addition to the credit those same people eligible for the extended time receive, the recapture (takeback of the credit) that everyone else is subject to has different more lenient rules. If you PCS, for example, within the first year of purchase you still get the credit.

So for the military and others mentioned you have until 4/30/2011 to execute a binding contract to purchase that must close by 6/30/2011. You'll remember that everyone had these deadlines and then because of the backlog of mortgage applications the closing deadline was extended to 9/30/2010 - so the deadline might also be extended for the group until 9/30/2011 but don't count on it.

Are you required to occupy? Bear in mind that your residence is not the barracks where you sleep. Occupancy is more about future intention to occupy when repatriated (and where your stuff is) than actually being there when you're currently stationed overseas. However, only the IRS can definitively answer this, since in 1997 the rules about residence were re-written and re-done again in 2004 (and for that matter almost every year). The rules tax professionals follow can fill a bookcase and often professional disagree.
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