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Old 07-09-2010, 10:50 PM
 
44 posts, read 136,010 times
Reputation: 18

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Greetings!
My wife and I are relocating from NV in early 2012 and are debating if we should move close to family in the Chicago area and buy a home there (probably NW Indiana CHI suburbs since taxes are much lower) OR if we should surprise everyone in our family and bolt for the South to land in the Dallas area. My wife and I have lived in Chicago before and I had a brief stint in Dallas. Sports, family, and seasons push us towards Chicago area (sorry Dallas fans - we are avid Blackhawk and Bear fans) BUT it is hard to look away from the type of home we could purchase in the Dallas area! It is no secret your dollar goes further in Dallas especially when it comes to purchasing a home - at least that's the impression we get surfing the web. So the big PRO for Dallas would be the ability to not spend a ton, but live in a very nice home.

My wife is in the Army Natl Guard and heading for Afghanistan in 5 months and will be gone for 1 year - we will be moving when she returns and continuing our careers - I'm in the logistics business and she has a psychology degree. We'd like to start a family within a year of her returning. I'm 32 and she's 28. If we choose Dallas, could you recommend an area? Plano? McKinney? Any other suggestions? I believe based on what I'm seeing online, we can find a nice home for $140-190k.

Interested in thoughts and feedback. Sell us on Dallas area!

Thanks in advance for the responses.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:31 AM
 
Location: DFW area
1 posts, read 2,122 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoeman101 View Post
Greetings!
My wife and I are relocating from NV in early 2012 and are debating if we should move close to family in the Chicago area and buy a home there (probably NW Indiana CHI suburbs since taxes are much lower) OR if we should surprise everyone in our family and bolt for the South to land in the Dallas area. My wife and I have lived in Chicago before and I had a brief stint in Dallas. Sports, family, and seasons push us towards Chicago area (sorry Dallas fans - we are avid Blackhawk and Bear fans) BUT it is hard to look away from the type of home we could purchase in the Dallas area! It is no secret your dollar goes further in Dallas especially when it comes to purchasing a home - at least that's the impression we get surfing the web. So the big PRO for Dallas would be the ability to not spend a ton, but live in a very nice home.

My wife is in the Army Natl Guard and heading for Afghanistan in 5 months and will be gone for 1 year - we will be moving when she returns and continuing our careers - I'm in the logistics business and she has a psychology degree. We'd like to start a family within a year of her returning. I'm 32 and she's 28. If we choose Dallas, could you recommend an area? Plano? McKinney? Any other suggestions? I believe based on what I'm seeing online, we can find a nice home for $140-190k.

Interested in thoughts and feedback. Sell us on Dallas area!

Thanks in advance for the responses.
Greetings!! Wow! You and I have a similiar story. I too am in the logistics industry and my wife and I relocated here from the west coast (San Diego, CA) to the DFW area almost 2 years ago. We lived in San Diego for 3 years and in St. Louis, MO before that. San Diego was nice, but expensive, as I am sure you know.

Anyway, the job market in the DFW is pretty strong. Logistics is really big in this area too. The people (for the most part) are very friendly and housing is extremely affordable. We lived in Plano (West part of Plano) when we first moved. We just had an apartment until we could afford a house. The west part of Plano is really nice, but it's a little expensive. Don't fret though. There's many nice areas in the DFW area. We bought a house a year ago in between McKinney and Denton. There is not much out there (yet) because of the economy, but we are close to Frisco and Little Elm. McKinney is a good area that is affordable in many parts. I am not too crazy about Denton, but I am sure there's good areas to buy.

I am biased to say that the North Dallas area (McKinney, Little Elm, Frisco, Plano) is the place to go. Growth seems to be moving northward, so there's more "new" shopping areas and homes up here. That is a plus for us. Look for foreclosed properties. Our house was a foreclosed property and we got a really good deal on it (below your price range). There's several in my neighborhood. You can Google "homes for sale on the hwy 380 corridor." I am sure you can find many nice size homes in your price range.

To conclude, Chicago is a cool city. I think Chicago has a little more to do, but it's a big sprawling city like Dallas. Here are some pros and cons about Dallas.

Pros

affordable housing
doesn't get too cold in the winter
all major sports teams
nice people
job market good compared to the rest of the nation
major logistics hub
major companies are HQ'd in DFW (Pizza Hut, Texas Instruments, JC Penny, Blockbuster Video, Mary Kay, etc.)
major shopping (good for the wife and possibly bad for the husband)

Cons

very hot in the summer
city can be a little overwhelming (big size, things so far away)
very few (if any) basements in homes

Anyways, I hope this helps. I wish you all the best with your search and your decision. Take care!!
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,954 posts, read 20,483,861 times
Reputation: 7227
I vote for Chicago. Once you get over the home hurdle you have everything there to support a happy life for your future kids. Nothing can substitute for having a family network locally in raising a family...absolutely NOTHING. Just think....birthday parties, holidays, when you get caught in traffic and little Joey is needing to be picked up. When you are both at work or one or you is out of town and the school calls that your daughter is sick. When Sesame Street Live is performing downtown and auntie will surprise the kiddos with a special night out. When Grampa is going to run by and pick up junior for an ice cream sundae. When Samantha has her one line in the school play and grandma is there to wipe a tear off her cheek. When you get sick and your brother picks up the kids for the weekend....... I'm sorry, but if you take the option of 500 more square feet of space v. all that Chicago has to offer I believe you will regret it from the moment you phone home with the news that the dip stick turned to +
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:12 AM
 
441 posts, read 1,645,969 times
Reputation: 395
Dallas is a city. Chicago is an amazing city.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
543 posts, read 1,260,500 times
Reputation: 422
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoeman101 View Post
Greetings!
My wife and I are relocating from NV in early 2012 and are debating if we should move close to family in the Chicago area and buy a home there (probably NW Indiana CHI suburbs since taxes are much lower) OR if we should surprise everyone in our family and bolt for the South to land in the Dallas area. My wife and I have lived in Chicago before and I had a brief stint in Dallas. Sports, family, and seasons push us towards Chicago area (sorry Dallas fans - we are avid Blackhawk and Bear fans) BUT it is hard to look away from the type of home we could purchase in the Dallas area! It is no secret your dollar goes further in Dallas especially when it comes to purchasing a home - at least that's the impression we get surfing the web. So the big PRO for Dallas would be the ability to not spend a ton, but live in a very nice home.

My wife is in the Army Natl Guard and heading for Afghanistan in 5 months and will be gone for 1 year - we will be moving when she returns and continuing our careers - I'm in the logistics business and she has a psychology degree. We'd like to start a family within a year of her returning. I'm 32 and she's 28. If we choose Dallas, could you recommend an area? Plano? McKinney? Any other suggestions? I believe based on what I'm seeing online, we can find a nice home for $140-190k.

Interested in thoughts and feedback. Sell us on Dallas area!

Thanks in advance for the responses.
I grew up in NWI and I certainly would not recommend it. The commute to Chicago is pretty horrible and there is nothing cool enough in the area to justify living there vs. the Illinois side of the Chicagoland area.

Now I love Chicago and constantly consider going back there but two things stop me (besides the fact that I can't move for 3-5 years). #1 winters are fairly horrible. #2 Super disfunctional government in Chicago and Illinois. I really worry about what's going to happen with the tax rates which are already some of the highest in the country (especially sales tax in Chicago).

I still enjoy Chicago much more than Dallas. It has a wonderful city feel lots of things to do and you don't need to drive to do them. World class museums, world class food, Lake Michigan, etc... not to mention the Bears and Blackhawks!

But Dallas has good museums, good food, smaller lakes in the general vicinity, lower cost of living, etc.

Both have horrible traffic (Chicago of course has better mass transit) and the summers in Texas are pretty horrible (Chicago's can be pretty bad too).

So overall if you're saying Chicago vs. Dallas.... it pains me to say it I would pick Dallas.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:03 AM
 
73 posts, read 260,991 times
Reputation: 83
Not even LeBron wanted to move to Chicago...he picked the no income tax, low cost of living state that is Florida...State and local taxes are stifling in all of the cities that James considered moving to except one: Miami.

Pro athletes are very acutely aware of "take home pay" versus gross pay. Sure, James as well as Bosh and Wade will have to take less gross money by agreeing to all sign with one team as opposed to each maxing out their options individually. And they are all getting some deserved credit for that. Having said that, it is the lack of state taxes in Florida that is making that possible.

In fact, one financial website has figured that James will actually take home 25 million more dollars by taking a lower salary in Miami versus taking the absolute max in say, New York or Chicago.

The other contending cities - were Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles (Clippers). All have relatively high state tax rates as well as various city and local taxes as well.

Considering I don't make what any one of those guys make...we moved from high tax/high cost NY to low tax/low cost TX...hey, with Obama and the Dems around, it is only going to get more expensive to live.....
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:27 AM
 
46 posts, read 160,928 times
Reputation: 27
I lived in Chicago for 18 years and know the area and NWI extremely well. It is a wonderful city or I wouldn't have stayed so long!!!!
However, the housing is hideously expensive (even for tiny,old homes) with insane property taxes. The traffic is awful commuting around the suburbs or from Northwest indiana and the tolls are plentiful.
You would have to move pretty far out in NWI (Porter county) to find some lower property taxes.
The Winters are long but a Midwest Fall truly can't be beat!

Soon enough I will be able to add my 2 cents on Dallas as we will be transferring in a few months. I am looking forward to it! Best of luck with your decision! I am sure you will make the right one for you.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:04 PM
 
1,257 posts, read 2,203,646 times
Reputation: 1901
Quote:
Originally Posted by mezman View Post
I grew up in NWI and I certainly would not recommend it. The commute to Chicago is pretty horrible and there is nothing cool enough in the area to justify living there vs. the Illinois side of the Chicagoland area.

Now I love Chicago and constantly consider going back there but two things stop me (besides the fact that I can't move for 3-5 years). #1 winters are fairly horrible. #2 Super disfunctional government in Chicago and Illinois. I really worry about what's going to happen with the tax rates which are already some of the highest in the country (especially sales tax in Chicago).

I still enjoy Chicago much more than Dallas. It has a wonderful city feel lots of things to do and you don't need to drive to do them. World class museums, world class food, Lake Michigan, etc... not to mention the Bears and Blackhawks!

But Dallas has good museums, good food, smaller lakes in the general vicinity, lower cost of living, etc.

Both have horrible traffic (Chicago of course has better mass transit) and the summers in Texas are pretty horrible (Chicago's can be pretty bad too).

So overall if you're saying Chicago vs. Dallas.... it pains me to say it I would pick Dallas.
It doesn't "pain" me at all to say Dallas has the edge...Chicago *is* amazing, but there is no escaping the horrid winters, while here, one can escape the heat: swimming pool!

Most newer neighborhoods have community pools. And/or if you live in one of the 'burbs with better services -- Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, et al -- they have numerous well-maintained city pools and splash parks.

Join the rest of the nation and move on down here....
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Tejas
146 posts, read 387,166 times
Reputation: 47
First, I'm an Army vet who did not see combat and want to thank you and your wife for your commitment to our country. Second, I'm from Chicago and while it's true Dallas offers a LOT for the money, given the right circumstances I'd bolt to be closer to my family. Third, if you do choose Dallas, I highly recommend McKinney and Richardson. It will be a bit harder to find a lot in the price point you mentioned in Richardson, but you would definitely have more options in McKinney. Wishing you two the best, whatever you decide.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:11 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,039 times
Reputation: 24
You're not the first to assume that homes are really expensive in Chicagoland, but it depends on where you look. We bought our home in a perfectly decent middle-class subdivision here in Aurora (far west 'burbs) last year for about $130k -- and it's nearly 1500 sq ft, 2-story, 2-car attached garage...and only about 10 years old! There are quite a few homes in our subdivision up for sale (mostly bank-owned and foreclosures) that are similarly priced, maybe a little more. The property taxes here (Kane County) are pretty fair, and Aurora may be the best-kept secret in the state; it used to have a deserved bad reputation (esp. crime), but in the past decade this town has morphed into a downright livable place (portions of near east side notwithstanding) and the crime rates have absolutely tanked. We're just minutes from Fox Valley Mall, the much more upscale (and expensive) Naperville is right next door, and we're little or no further from the attractions of Chi-town than McKinney or Frisco are from those in Dallas. The homes around here are on relatively small plots and fairly close together, I should note, but they're nowhere near as cramped as most homes in the city -- and, it takes me mere minutes to cut my lawn with a push mower! Also, for those of you who want kids, I can tell you that our subdivision has plenty of park space (and even playground equipment) and there's a charming little elementary school on the edge of the subdivision that was built specifically for it.

So, you might want to take a closer look at our area of Chicagoland before writing Chicago off as unaffordable compared to Dallas. Also, it's worth noting that the CNN/Money Web site's cost-of-living comparison calculator says that a person earning $65k per year in Dallas would only require $70k per year to live in our area (I use Joliet/Will County, as the cost of living there is very comparable to Aurora). You might be surprised at how small the difference is. And sure, the winters here can be nasty at times, but I chose here over Texas 10 years ago (I've been to Dallas and Houston several times) in part because I decided that I'd rather deal with a bad Chicago winter than a good Texas summer! Call me goofy, but I prefer to cook with ovens, not live in them! Of course, it all depends on your specific preferences; some like it hot, as they say. Your Chicagoland family will also be a factor in your decision, of course, but again, don't let the cost of living up here put you off -- there are places that are surprisingly affordable, especially given the current state of the real-estate market. Shop around and see what you come up with before making your choice, and best of luck to you!

P.S. -- I wouldn't even seriously consider NW Indiana. It's not known as the "armpit of Chicagoland" for nothing!

Last edited by gretchengoes; 07-10-2010 at 09:45 PM.. Reason: provide further details
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