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A Real Estate Investor’s Guide to Dallas Neighborhoods

| 6 min. read

Dallas-Forth Worth is rated among the top three places to live in Texas, and among the top 32 places to live in the entire United States. With the rental market booming, you’re going to want to find the right neighborhood for your investment.

The 1.27 billion Google results for a search of “Dallas Neighborhoods” reveal how much residents regard their neighborhood as more than just an address. In Dallas, where you live can be an identifier of community, personality, and even values. 

In fact, Dallas neighborhoods have been the subject of a Texas-sized research project to design justice through community engagement. How do real estate investors factor into this? 

Below, we unpack why it’s important for investors to understand neighborhood dynamics and dive deep into the top neighborhoods found in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

Why Neighborhoods Matter to Investors 

Neighborhoods are more than just an attractive word or two on your rental listing. They’re also a selling point and an identity–they matter to both residents and investors. 

By understanding the neighborhood you’re investing in, you will have a better grasp on what renovations to prioritize, where to advertise your property, and what types of tenants you can attract.

Beyond personality and identity, neighborhood statistics can also help you decide where you’re most likely to be successful in your real estate ventures. As you research where to invest, consider the current rental market in each Dallas neighborhood. What is the average rent in each location? What is the average turnover for renters? Does the demand for rental properties currently outweigh the supply or are “For Rent” signs lingering on the street side? These are important questions to ask as you consider if an investment is worthwhile.

As a real estate investor, you may also consider factors like:

  • Proximity to transportation, parks, community centers, and other amenities
  • Average age and household income
  • School system and ratings
  • Crime rates
  • Upcoming developments (commercial or residential)

Below we explore 10 distinctive Dallas districts that are ready for your real estate investment. 

Top 10 Dallas Neighborhoods to Invest in Real Estate

#1: Downtown

Downtown Dallas boasts the largest (by area) arts district in the United States, with beloved hotspots including the Dallas Museum of Art, Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Theater Center, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts, and Klyde Warren Park, among other gems. 

In the past twenty years, downtown Dallas has transformed from a 9-to-5 workday destination to a busy, urban center with 24-hour entertainment and activities, plus many residential choices. 

  • Population: 12,656
  • Median sale price: $475,000
  • Days on the market: 48
  • Median rent: $2,389
  • Renter-occupied households: 86.24%
  • Median household income: $93,686

#2: Deep Ellum

One of the oldest neighborhoods in Dallas, Deep Ellum is just east of downtown. In 2023, Deep Ellum will celebrate its 150th birthday. Deep Ellum’s local music scene has hosted many jazz legends throughout its history, such as Blind Lemon Jefferson. There’s even a well-known “Deep Ellum Blues” that has immortalized the neighborhood in song. 

For real estate investors, this neighborhood is particularly enticing. The Deep Ellum neighborhood has an urban feel with a high percentage of renter-occupied households. It’s a multifamily property investor’s paradise. 

  • Population: 6,448
  • Median sale price: $650,000
  • Change in the sales price (year over year): 1.5%
  • Days on the market: 49
  • Median rent: $1,300
  • Renter-occupied households: 77%
  • Median household income: $56,108

#3: Uptown

A haven for people of all ages, Uptown–just north of downtown Dallas–is home to the Katy Trail, Dallas’ LGBT neighborhood of Oak Lawn, and high-rise condos popular with empty nesters looking for a central location. The dense urban district is also home to luxury shopping, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, parks, and easily walkable streets. Plus, the majority of residents rent instead of own, so it’s ripe for real estate investment. 

  • Population: 29,958
  • Median sale price: $476,000
  • Change in the sales price (year over year): 4.8%
  • Days on the market: 44
  • Median rent: $1,762
  • Renter-occupied households: 79%
  • Median household income: $105,667

#4: Oak Cliff

Oak Cliff is an expansive neighborhood southwest of downtown Dallas encompassing many smaller areas like Kessler Park, Bishop Arts, West Oak Cliff, Red Bird, and more. An area with a mixed urban/suburban feel, Oak Cliff houses a high population of renters and a mix of multifamily units, single-family residences, and duplexes. 

  • Population: 290,365
  • Median sale price: $315,000
  • Change in the sales price (year over year): 21.4%
  • Days on the market: 45
  • Median rent: $1,200
  • Renter-occupied households: 72%
  • Median household income: $66,230

#5: North East Dallas

North East Dallas bridges the gap between Uptown, East Dallas, and Richardson. Neighborhoods like Vickery Meadows and Lake Highlands boast a central location and easy access to North Park Mall, a luxury shopping haven. Plus, the locals say that Top Golf is a favorite weekend activity, regardless of age. 

A high percentage of renter-occupied households makes this area ripe for investment. 

  • Population: 140,007
  • Median sale price: $411,918
  • Days on the market: 49
  • Median rent: $1,190
  • Renter-occupied households: 71.6%
  • Median household income: $40,542

#6: East Dallas

Home to Lakewood, Old East Dallas, and the nightlife of lower Greenville, East Dallas has its share of resident favorites. Join hundreds of people for a Saturday morning walk or bike ride at White Rock Lake. After working up a sweat, reward yourself with a coffee from White Rock Coffee, a delicious lunch in Casa Linda, and an afternoon at the Dallas Arboretum. Since most people own rather than rent in East Dallas, affordable rental property is difficult to come by. Residents of East Dallas often stay put their whole lives, so real estate investors should be aware they’re entering a tight-knit community. 

  • Population: 144,008
  • Median sale price: $671,100
  • Days on the market: 34
  • Median rent: $1,183
  • Renter-occupied households: 34.81%
  • Median household income: $55,783

#7: West Dallas

Said to be undergoing an urban renaissance, West Dallas includes the Design District, Lovefield Airport, and the UT Southwestern medical district. The locals say not to miss Trinity Groves for a night out and to enjoy a walk across the beautiful Margaret Hunt Hill bridge in the moonlight (and calming blue streetlights). Split almost evenly between renters and owners, West Dallas’ real estate market is an interesting mix of older wooden homes, new modern builds, multi-family units, and artist-friendly live/work studio spaces. 

  • Population: 29,381
  • Median sale price: $529,000
  • Days on the market: 46
  • Median rent: $1,202
  • Renter-occupied households: 45.8%
  • Median household income: $81,239

#8: South East Dallas

Like many neighborhoods, this expansive district includes many smaller districts within, including Fair Park, South Dallas, Piedmont, Pleasant Grove, Buckner Terrace, and more. Residents have a difficult time deciding how to spend a Saturday in South East Dallas due to the wealth of affordable activities available. 

Fair Park, while most famous as the home of the State Fair of Texas, houses the largest collection of mid-century modern exhibition buildings in the world, eight museums, a music hall, a regional theater, and football games in the fall. Further to the south, residents can visit the Trinity River Audubon Center, enjoy several public golf courses, and explore miles of hiking trails. 

Plus, crime rates in South East Dallas are 11% lower than the Dallas average. The cost of living is 9% below average, and real estate is a steal at 49% lower than the Dallas average. The South East Dallas neighborhood is home to endless possibilities for an investor. 

  • Population: 213,224
  • Median sale price: $225,000
  • Price per square foot: up 26.4% since 2021
  • Days on the market: 58
  • Median rent: $1,000
  • Renter-occupied households: 49.95%
  • Median household income: $34,440

#9: Central Dallas

North of Uptown, just west of 75, sits a neighborhood that is (literally) fit for a president. Former President George W. Bush makes his home in Preston Hollow, nearby Highland Park and University Park in Central Dallas. 

These neighborhoods are home to luxury shopping, low crime rates, and excellent public schools. While some real estate investors make their living in this neighborhood, the high ownership rates and median sales price make it tricky to enter the market. 

  • Population: 119,846
  • Median sale price: $3.3 M
  • Change in the sales price (year over year): 78%
  • Days on the market: 35
  • Median rent: $1,998
  • Renter-occupied households: 20.5%
  • Median household income: $120,858

#10: North Dallas and Beyond…

Beyond the city proper are countless other suburbs, small towns, and real estate opportunities. Many residents move to the suburbs in search of a newer, modernized homes, more space for their family, or nicer schools for their children to grow.

Many small towns have been in north Texas for over a hundred years and just recently became part of the Dallas sprawl–the population growth the area has enjoyed over the past couple of decades. Because of this, towns like McKinney, Grapevine, Carrollton, and Grand Prairie (to name a few) are home to historic downtown districts with shopping, restaurants, community theaters, and family activities. 

  • Population: Approx 7-8 million
  • Median sale price: $426,000
  • Change in the sales price (year over year): 20.01%
  • Days on the market: 62
  • Median rent: $1,568
  • Renter-occupied households: 59%
  • Median household income: $72,265

Whatever you’re looking for in real estate investment, it can be found in the Dallas-Fort Worth neighborhoods of North Texas. 

What to Look For in a Dallas Property Manager

Deciding to invest in Dallas real estate might be a no-brainer, but this is just the start. As a property owner, you must also consider how you will manage your property on a daily basis, in terms of tenant communications, property maintenance, turnover, and more. 

Many Dallas real estate investors make the decision to hire a property manager to take on a load of day-to-day tasks. This upfront investment provides a significant return over time, saving you money on almost every management task. 

Property managers know the local market, can advertise your rental effectively, conduct thorough tenant background checks, handle repair requests at lower costs, manage rental payments, and work to ensure your tenants are happy and your property is well-maintained. They can even help you find the ideal property for your next investment.

If you are ready to take this next step, learn how to find the best Dallas property manager for your needs here. Or, start your search for a Dallas property manager online.

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