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Old 08-27-2010, 01:08 PM
 
16 posts, read 43,203 times
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Hi all!

I am looking for some of your favorite subdivisions to live in within Mckinney, preferably in the $175-210k range. Were even open to Plano, Allen and Frisco, but dont want to go too far South and due to work, dont want to relocate North to the Anna/Melissa/etc areas. If were being really specific in Mckinney, Ive got a mild preference to staying South of 380 and West of 75.

My husband and I are in our late 20s/early 30s, professionals, with laid back and somewhat liberal but very bubbly and outgoing personalities, and we relocated for work back in December 2007 from California. We initially rented a home in Parkview Estates in Stonebridge (right off Stonebridge/Alma) and while the homes are lovely, it seemed as though neighbors never came outside and meeting anyone in the neighborhood was nearly impossible. Even our direct neighbor made the comment it was hard to meet anyone and he had lived there since his home was built (4 years).

We eventually bought a home in the Frisco ISD but still in Mckinney, in the Heights at Westridge neighborhood (Independence/Westridge/Eldorado area). Again, while the homes were the right price and everyone keeps them up weve faced the same problem. We had hoped picking a slightly older area (started going up in 2004) right near the community pool, park/trails and schools might mean for more family-based neighbors who might be out and about and easier to get to know. We hoped being so close to the elementary school and play areas might mean more foot traffic and chances to meet folks in the area.

Unfortunately, same boat! Weve tried little things to get to know folks, from always saying hello to anyone moving in, waving and attempting to chat if we see someone while out gardening or that we catch outside, to setting up a Halloween BooGram for the kids (which no one else partook in, which was a bit saddening!), but have not had a large amount of luck and have now been here two years. I assume its a bit easier for the folks with similar aged children to get to know each other or the stay at home moms who might pass each other more often throughout the day, but it doesnt even particularly seem like were being left out its as if no one really converses! One of the neighbors we finally DID meet made a similar comment, stating that shed been there for five years and still didnt know more than three people because everyone seems pretty reclusive.

We even had a lovely couple move in across from us, only to move out the following year because they didnt feel having a child in an area where it was hard to know who lived where (safety, familiarity, etc) was really what they wanted and we agree!

I dont want too busy a neighborhood, where youll find nonstop traffic and congested driveways spilling all over the streets (we already have enough trouble keeping our neighbor from preventing mail delivery thanks to his truck!), but something where people just tend to be a little more approachable and less reclusive, no matter your age or child status would be ideal! =) Its such a shame because I love our actual location, and weve even tried peeping over to other streets in case its just our block! LOL

As we approach the age of starting a family of our own, a decent school within walking distance and a park area would be ideal as well (in fact, its exactly why we picked our current home, because our hypothetical child could attend all three levels of Frisco ISD schools, and play at the pool and park, without ever traveling more than 5 blocks or crossing a large street).

Where do you live? And what do you love or loathe about it?

Thanks!

EDIT: Some subdivisions that SEEM promising but I'd love feedback about are the Eldorado Vista/Heights area (sort of near Mckinney Ranch Parkway/Ridge/Lake Forest) by the park area and maybe the newer homes going up (Ryland/DR/Bloomfield) in the Fairways North of Westridge which is closer to the golf course but also closer to that little airport on Viriginia?

Last edited by MrsBrittney; 08-27-2010 at 01:11 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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We are in Stonebridge, in Fairway Village. I see a good number of people out and about in my neighborhood. In the late afternoons after school and work, many of the kids are out playing in the streets while their parents converse in the driveways. Kid-less couples are often seen outside tending to their yard, walking their dogs, going for a run, etc. We have been here only 6 months and I am on a stop-and-chat basis with at least 10 households, and many more that I see frequently but haven't had the opportunity to stop and talk to yet. We have a ladies bunco night once a month and a local moms group that meets weekly. It probably does help when you have kids as they are a natural conversation starter

In my opinion, brand spanking new neighborhoods and much older neighborhoods (30+ years) have the most "activity", but for different reasons. In brand new ones, EVERYone is new...so there is a mutual desire/motivation to get out and meet your neighbors. In an older community, there is history and a sense of belonging that the older residents impart onto the new residents. It's the neighborhoods whose age falls between these (5-30 years) where it is hit or miss. Especially if you are in a lower price point, where the initial residents might have seen that home as their "starter" home and then moved on after a few years.

I do have a friend in your neighborhood and she has said some similar things about it...she's not sure why either.

The neighborhood just north of us (Falcon Creek, also in Stonebridge) may also be a good match for you. It fits your price range, the elementary school is there, as well as a city park and wooded trail for jogging/ biking. We bike there often and there are always plenty of people out and about. Let me know if you end up this direction...we'd love to have some more like-minded liberal folks nearby
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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BTW...what's a BooGram? That sounds cute!
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:17 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,249,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanoGirl View Post
BTW...what's a BooGram? That sounds cute!
Our neighborhood does these every year. It is fun for the kids and adults. Basically in the weeks leading up to Halloween to start off someone will make a small treat basket w/ some goodies (usually storebought and maybe just halloween candy) and maybe some stickers for the kids and then a piece of paper cut into the shape of a ghost saying "You Have Been Boo'd" and then to pass it on by doing it to another neighbor. Whenever we have been "Boo'd" my kids each wanted to do one for another neighbor so we would spread on 2 BooGram's in the neighborhood. Oh, and the little ghost guy is supposed to be on a small stick for you to leave near your front porch so others know you have already been "Boo'd" so they can do someone that has not.
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:55 AM
 
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What you are describing is the topic of a documentary called Subdivided: Isolation and Community in America. The film maker based it on his experience in Dallas.

http://www.subdivided.net/about/ (broken link)
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:06 AM
 
Location: TX
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I used to live in Suncreek (Allen), and it had a very social atmosphere. We knew pretty much everyone on our street plus about half the people on the next streets over in both directions. Halloween is always a big event - like one huge block party. A few years back a new trend started where every 5-10 houses the homeowners would set up adult refreshment stations where the parents walking with the kids could replenish their beer or wine. Our immediate neighbors even had homemade brisket sandwiches. We moved last year, but still went back for Halloween - plan on it this year too.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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When we were thinking about moving we spent many months just driving through neighborhoods at random times in the day, stopping at their parks and talking to the residents, etc to get a feel for the community. Outside of Stonebridge Ranch where we ended up, other neighborhoods we found that had a good "social" vibe in Allen (where we had originally planned on living) where Suncreek (like tyanger mentioned above), Watters Crossing, and Twin Creeks. I don't know much about the two neighborhoods you mentioned in your OP though.

Another thing to consider...you may also be stuck on a dud street. Unfortunately, every neighborhood has at least one of those no matter how social it is. My in-laws are a perfect example of non-social neighbors. They are nice enough people but have absolutely NO desire to know their neighbors. As they say "We bought our house to have a place to live, not to make friends." I would argue making friends with your neighbors, talking to strangers at the grocery store, connecting with other people is a vital part of "living"...but that's me...and obviously, I have a completely different mindset than them. Anyway, if you get a few people like my in-laws on one street then even the social people don't want to engage anyone...because they have already been there, done that and gotten nada (like you). Only way around that is to try to get involved with neighbors on nearby streets. Go for daily walks in the evening throughout the streets of your neighborhood and to any neighborhood parks, and start up conversations with whomever you meet. I assume Westridge must have social events throughout the year...be sure to attend those. Are there any neighborhood interest groups that you could particiapte in....book club? gardening club? scrapbooking club? etc... Is there a pool or other community amenities? Be sure to hang out there often and take the initiative to introduce yourself to someone each time. Maybe since you don't have kids yet, focus on activities that attract other kid-less couples...maybe set up a progressive dinner for your neighborhood? Get involved on an HOA committee. Sometimes once you get involved and meet just a handful of people, things seem to spiral from there, since those people know people and before you know it, your neighborhood "circle" has really grown!

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded babble...neighborhood relations are very important to me as well and it is something I put a great deal of time "researching" before we moved. BTW, you guys are totally not far from us at all...so though we are not really neighbors, if you every just need to meet some smiling faces, we love making new friends!
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:37 AM
 
1,283 posts, read 3,067,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepper131 View Post
What you are describing is the topic of a documentary called Subdivided: Isolation and Community in America. The film maker based it on his experience in Dallas.

http://www.subdivided.net/about/ (broken link)
Very interesting (and depressing true) doc! One of the reasons I was against living in the suburbs for so long. But it made no sense to live in Dallas (though I LOVE east Dallas) when all our family and friends were in the burbs. I am very happy where we ended up though
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:44 AM
 
Location: TX
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I'm not sure if this would get you on some kind of FBI watch list, but I suggest when you walk/drive around a neighborhood you're interested in go when the school buses are picking up and/or dropping off. You can get an idea of how many kids are in an area, what ages, if the parents tend to be involved/out and about, etc. Gives you a feel for the 'age' of a neighborhood population and an opportunity to talk to potential neighbors too.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:55 AM
 
2,982 posts, read 8,373,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyanger View Post
I'm not sure if this would get you on some kind of FBI watch list, but I suggest when you walk/drive around a neighborhood you're interested in go when the school buses are picking up and/or dropping off. You can get an idea of how many kids are in an area, what ages, if the parents tend to be involved/out and about, etc. Gives you a feel for the 'age' of a neighborhood population and an opportunity to talk to potential neighbors too.
I drove into our neighborhood at various times and stopped people who who riding bikes and walking - as couples and with their kids. That was my real on the ground research. I believe you have to to this anywhere you might end up - no matter what the small representation of the true population says on these forums. And if you get a sense of a street feeling "dead", then it may be dead. I had that feeling in a few areas and would not consider them.

We have friends in Allen in Twin Creeks. When we attend birthday parties for their kids and other get togethers, there are always neighbors there. But this particular mom is social and needs a support system for herself and her kids when her husband does his frequent travel. None of them seem to be from her immediate street, but she meets them at the pool, etc.
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