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Old 06-22-2010, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
3,391 posts, read 4,100,986 times
Reputation: 2021

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Quote:
Originally Posted by skids929 View Post
Thanks Galore! Actually you validated what I have been seeing so this is super helpful to know it's not just me. We have family that bought in Southlake and they back to a greenbelt, very nice, but they paid $400k. We could afford in that range, but we're trying to lower our cost of living while the kids are young (3 kids under the age of 3), maybe have the option to keep someone home instead of two working etc. So we were looking in the low $300k price band, looks like from my searches online it may be tough to get a green belt for that price. Although I have yet to engage a Realtor formally.

Quite honestly, we don't need a brand new home, newer would be nice though, but not a requirement because we do recognize all the benefits of an older home. e.g. mature trees, good neighbors less volatility etc. I have always been "lot" focused, and a believer that this is one of the more important aspects of home value. I love the texas marketplace for homes, really do, just can't get past the zoning in some places.

I look back on when we first started considering Texas DFW for a move. My first impression was, everything is "big" in Texas and that the State is so huge the house lots would just have to be huge. Boy were we wrong.
Lots and lots of McMansions here on postage sized lots, but if you look in the older areas, there are larger lots with old growth trees and such. you could find a bargain in an older, well maintained neighborhood for under 300K with good schools and neighbors.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
3,391 posts, read 4,100,986 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by skids929 View Post
Thanks TC, very helpful and encouraging. My price range is $300-$400k preferably on the lower end of things. And we want a lot that either has a pool, or give us that option. And on that note, maybe you could comment on what the perception (from a home value perspective) is of pools in Texas. I know up here in NE it can go either way, some buyers like some do not since its a short season and lots of maintenance.

Job would be in either Dallas or Plano, not sure yet. Wife can work from home. Places we have considered are as follows: (No certain order)

Flower Mound
Southlake
Frisco
Prosper
Richardson
Plano
Allen

Commute is definitely important, which is why Richardson seems to make sense. People have continually recommended the area to me on this forum as a place where people set roots, and homes go quick. As long as it is not to cityish, it still makes our short list. We would like to hear some birds etc, and not just people playing in their pool on the other side of an 8 foot fence.

There is an area in Richardson (older homes, but WELL maintained) that is awesome. Backs up to a creek area (Canyon Creek?). The homes in this area are under 300K. Look to see if you can find something there. It's very, very green and I love it there.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:21 PM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,419,057 times
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Fairview, Lucas, Sunnyvale have homes on bigger lots.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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My wife and I just moved out to the Dallas area about 6 months ago and have been dealing with the same problem...these tiny tiny lots. We have a Rotti and want to have a pool so we need (want) at least 1/2 acre and our budget is very similar to yours. We also prefer the "newer" homes.

If you are up for giving NEW construction a try, you might have a look at the small Paul Taylor (Collins Estates) community in Wylie) - all of these lots are at least 1/2 acre. If you don't want to build I know they currently have 2 ready built spec homes available in this community. Not many trees to speak of in this community but the 1/2 acre lot does provide some "neighbor buffer" and easily passes what I call the "broomstick" test.. aka - can I stick a broom out of my window and touch the neighbors house ?

Commute to Addison where we both work is right at 30 to 40 minutes depending on traffic

PS - in the interest of disclousure, my wife and I just signed a contract for a new build here in Collins Estates...

Last edited by DanCam; 06-24-2010 at 12:30 PM.. Reason: add commute time
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:06 PM
 
219 posts, read 912,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarNorthDallas View Post
Fairview, Lucas, Sunnyvale have homes on bigger lots.
These are good suggestions and I would add Parker to that list as well. You can actually get a 5 acre lot pretty easily in these areas. Canyon Creek in Richardson has been mentioned and that's probably where I would start if I was you. Richardson schools are generally excellent. The houses that back up to the creeks and golf course are a little harder to find but if you have time to wait for one I think you'll find what you're looking for. Lake Highlands is also worth looking at but make sure you drive a few miles in every direction from any houses you consider. Some places to the east are not so nice parts of town.

The only other place I might recommend is the Prestonwood area of North Dallas. They're older houses on bigger lots that are generally well kept but I'm just not a fan of that area of town.

A little background on these areas...Canyon Creek and Lake Highlands are going to be homes from the 1950's and 1960's so some of them may require updating. But they'll have character that newer homes just can't offer. Fairview, Parker, Lucas and Sunnyvale will be a mixture of houses from the 1970's and then from the 2000's, not much in between.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:16 AM
 
3,538 posts, read 6,973,176 times
Reputation: 4552
The thing about alleys is that yes, you will gain space from the neighbor behind you, but that doesn't really do a lot about the neighbors next to you. Make sure you look at the side and rear "setback" requirements if you consider new development.

Murphy has 1/4 or larger lots. (I believe there may be a small selection of 1/5 acre but those would all be existing homes).

Murphy also requires side entry garages. So no alleys at all. BUT you get a built in buffer on one side of your home with the drive in between and you don't have to be looking in people's garages. They do allow a third car garage to face the street but you don't lose that driveway buffer.

We have a 3600 sf home on 1/3 acre. We have a very large covered patio (I'm thinking around 500sf) and still have enough room that if we were to add a pool, my dog would have room to run around. AND no one can really see into my backyard. The home behind sits down enough that they have a retaining wall, so I can't see into their yard either. Plus they are on at least a 1/3 probably a half acre so their backyard is also very large and they have a pool. Their other neighbors that back up to them (it's not the traditional back-to-back scenario) has a half acre and 4000sf with a giant backyard with enough room that we've held a field day back there complete with inflatable water slide. And they've got a pig pit for their annual luau.

Oh! And we're a stones throw from Southfork Ranch. We'll be watching the fireworks from there on Saturday. You don't actually want to live there, they've got way low ceilings!
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:27 AM
 
27,609 posts, read 45,105,335 times
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narrow lots and side entry garages usually result in parking on the driveway vs in garage...
the angle of entry is usually very acute and moving cars in and out can be pretty difficult unless you adjust a couple of times...
so many of the newer homes that have that type of design in their neighborhoods have people who just give up and park on the slab...
at least the ones I have seen in my area
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