Realtor Damon Williamson doesn’t think the tiny Tudor cottage at 5206 Merrimac Ave. has been updated for probably half a century. And then his client bought the house four years ago.
Built in 1930, the two-bed, two-bath property in Greenland Hills was in poor condition. It needed new plumbing and electrical. The floors needed replacing. The garage “was very, very close to disrepair,” Williamson says, with rotting siding, dirt patches and no drywall.
“When [the owner] purchased, the house was a complete renovation and had to be brand new,” says Williamson.
The owner stripped the house down to the studs and likely spent around $140,000 to put it back together, Williamson says. The garage has been cleaned and updated and a rolling door has been added. The exterior trim on the front of the house has been painted or replaced. A new front door and double glazed windows have been installed. Inside, the owner vaulted the ceiling in the living room, installed tile in the sunroom, gutted the kitchen, and remodeled the master bathroom.
He added all new landscaping including a new sprinkler system, flowers and a crape myrtle in the back yard. “Everything you see around the front of the house is brand new,” Williamson says, “all the beds, all the flowers, all the bushes.”
Due to the changes, few features of the home are original, Williamson says. The owner has preserved the details of the stained glass on the facade windows. The fireplace is original, but at some point it was covered and is no longer functional. “I raised my hand when we first looked at the house and it’s solid,” Williamson says. “Everything up there is solid.” Someone could fix it if they wanted to, or use it as a more decorative piece, he says.
“The architecture is, in essence, the same” as well. The owner kept the same window placement and floor plan for the most part, in addition to opening up the kitchen and dining room and vaulting the ceiling in the living room. The high ceiling is unusual for a one-story home, Williamson says, and he likes the spaciousness of the space. “You don’t have to do anything weird to make your furniture look normal.”
Also, the charming front facade is the same, just cleaned up. Some of the other historic homes in the area have “really unusual, wonky front facades,” Williamson says, thanks to additions and renovations over the years that have Frankensteined architectural styles. The Merrimac Cottage still has the classic Tudor look, true to the era it was built, but with modern comforts inside.
“It’s just a pretty house,” Williamson says, which is a big selling point. Its location is also ideal. This is a “true M Streets” home, the property has easy access to Central Expressway, Mockingbird and Lower Greenville. It is close to Mockingbird Elementary, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops. The street itself doesn’t get a ton of through traffic, and lots of people walk their dogs, push strollers, and jog.
“It’s a very intimate neighborhood feel,” Williamson says. “I love this neighborhood.”
Scroll through the gallery to see more of the house.
Catherine Wendlandt is an associate online editor for Magazine D‘s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…