South Dallas Haven From Soaring Home Prices and Taxes

New home builders and buyers moving into inner-city Dallas neighborhoods

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Soaring home prices and property taxes in North Texas have some families returning to older inner-city neighborhoods for lower costs.

New homes in South Dallas also bring higher taxes for families already there.

Dyunna Williams purchased a brand new home in South Dallas almost two years ago after comparing it with used homes in the suburbs south of Dallas.

“I'm happy that I bought this house, number one because of the price,” she said.

The South Dallas reputation for high crime has not caused problems for her, she said.

“There’s crime rate everywhere, not just here in South Dallas. So, I get a house worth my money instead of having to buy a used home for 100 something thousand more than I bought my home,” she said.

Other new homes have gone up all around hers since she moved in, including one right across the street built by homebuilder Scotty Smith.

“It's a great place for investment. The opportunities that are here to create new homeowners are magnificent. Land is relatively cheap comparatively speaking,” Smith said.

He’s built about 20 new homes in South Dallas in the past five years and he has 3-dozen more on the way, which will also create jobs.

“When you look at what is going on in other parts of the city, an average price point for new homes, South Dallas is perfect. It’s perfect for families that want to start and build the community, have a sense of community but have a nice entry point that is not so astronomical,” Smith said.

New construction is good for the City of Dallas and for the buyers of the somewhat more affordable homes.

It is not so good for existing residents who may face higher taxes.

Mollie Blaylock said her mother began working with Habitat for Humanity to purchase a South Dallas home about 10 years ago when the site was mostly surrounded by vacant lots.

Now that street is experiencing the South Dallas building boom.

“The area is just getting to be too much, too much building. The school tax is extremely high,” Blaylock said.

Her mom just sold the house for $350,000, more than 3 times what she paid for it, to a walk-up buyer without even listing it with a realtor.

Now she said her mom is moving for lower taxes and more land.

“This is what we moved to afford. Now that we can do better, you do better,” Blaylock said.

Dyunna Williams said her home value and equity have risen in just two years, too. But she said her taxes are still lower than they might be elsewhere and it would be hard to beat the deal she has.

“I Iove it. I'm not moving,” she said.

Records show the City of Dallas has sold almost 50 vacant inner-city lots to developers in recent months for $1,000 a lot.

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