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Old 02-25-2012, 03:05 PM
 
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We are a late 20s married couple looking to start a family soon. We live in DC, but are considering a move to Houston to be closer to my family. We are used to being in very walkable neighborhoods to restaurants, bars, and shopping. Are there similar neighborhoods in Dallas? Our house-buying budget would be between 350 - 450k, but we'd also be open to renting a house to figure out what and where we like for a little while first. I kind of hate flimsy new construction but love older homes that have charms but have been updated (such as the bathrooms and kitchen). We are open to private Catholic schools, so best public schools in the world are not required, but we'd like to have that option.

I've been to both Dallas and Houston many times so I know the general (sprawling) vibe of each city, but less about whether there are many neighborhoods that would have walkability to restaurants and nightlife. We do drive so if that just doesn't exist, that's fine, but homes with charm would be a bonus.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 02-25-2012 at 07:31 PM..
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:07 PM
 
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I moved here from D.C. Went to Georgetown and spent about 10 or 11 years there. In what part of DC do you currently live? There aren't very many walking neighborhoods in Dallas. I moved here from Bethesda. I can't help you with the real estate part b/c I've been a lifetime renter but I can help you with the walkability. My daughter is still an infant and so I am only just now researching schools in the area.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGGirl View Post
I moved here from D.C. Went to Georgetown and spent about 10 or 11 years there. In what part of DC do you currently live? There aren't very many walking neighborhoods in Dallas. I moved here from Bethesda. I can't help you with the real estate part b/c I've been a lifetime renter but I can help you with the walkability. My daughter is still an infant and so I am only just now researching schools in the area.
Right now I live in Friendship Heights, but have also lived in Columbia Heights. I've been in DC for about 8 years now (feels crazy to write that; I can't believe how fast it's gone!).
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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I lived right near the Bethesda metro stop and so Friendship Heights was just a hop and a skip away. There really isn't any neighborhood comparable to that here in Dallas. To me, I loved that area - Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, and Bethesda - because it was walkable and had both a suburban and a city feel at the same time. There really isn't anything like that here. Uptown is where I first lived when I moved here to Dallas and there are restaurants that one can walk to and bars but they have more of a college feel. I preferred the West Village area near Uptown because there are a lot more retail shops there and an actual grocery store and pharmacy. There isn't a lot of retail around Uptown.

Not sure how much Friendship Heights has changed since I lived in the area but I used to love going there b/c of Booeymonger's, Neiman Marcus, Loehmann's, and that dang restaurant chain I can't remember the name of. There is one on M street in G-town. Around here, you have to go to the mall to find that kind of variety.

After living in Uptown, I lived in Oak Lawn which is adjacent to Uptown and is what some call the "Gayborhood" and I found it much more walkable than Uptown. I was walking distance from 2 drug stores, 2 grocery stores (including a Whole Foods), a post office, sandwich shops, restaurants, 2 or 3 coffee shops, including Starbucks. Dallas is just very much a driving community and even in areas that are supposedly walkable, you don't see many pedestrians the way you might see in DC in Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Georgetown, or Adams Morgan, or even Dupont.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
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Where will you be working? DFW is nearly the size of New Hampshire, and you will want to live fairly close to where you work.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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You should consider Lakewood (East Dallas). Most places in Dallas do not offer the "walkability" to retail/entertainment but Lakewood offers close proximity (5 minute drives), to live music, restaurants, children's extracurricular activites, schools (walkable), etc., with adequate, free parking. Major retail is available within 10-15 minute drives (again, with plenty of free pkg). White Rock Lake is a short walk/bike ride from any given home and it is safe to walk/run/bike there or throughout the neighborhood day or evening. Children wander somewhat freely to friends' homes and to/from the neighborhood school.
Academically, the neighborhood elementary school is an honor school, middle school is adequate but up-and-coming with a new IB teaching model and the high school is outstanding--sending graduates to major universities across the nation. The neighborhood has an excellent private, Catholic PK-8th grade school with a nearby feeder HS. The homes are older, solid, with beautiful, 50+ year old trees, and are priced in the mid-to-high end of your budget and up. Families here have deep roots in the community and wouldn't leave for the world. Good luck with your search!
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Junius Heights
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I think East Dallas is a good idea for you. I would look into the homes on Bryan Pkwy which is in the Swiss Avenue Historic District. They are in your price range, beautiful, beautifully built homes from the 1920's and 1930's. The neighborhood schools are excellent (different very good elementary school than mentioned above, same middle and high) and lots of kids, walkable to restaurants, bars, elementary, a couple of parks, a public swimming pool, etc. Very social area with kids walking form house to house, and neighbors meeting for drinks on each others porches. I have very good friends there, and they love it to death, as did some other friends who lived there until employment forced them to move to the San Francisco area. I live a few streets away, but in another neighborhood.

The whole East Dallas Area (Bryan street in Swiss, Munger Place, Lakewood, the short streets in Junius Heights, etc) sounds the most like what you are looking for. As the last poster said.They are also all near St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic school, an excellent private Catholic School, and White Rock Lake, a beautiful lake in the middle of the city. In any of these neighborhoods, most of us wouldn't leave for anything. I've watched one parent take a job in another city and stay in hotels until they can find a job here, just to avoid moving, or having to sell the house here.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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Hook up with a Realtor, explain your situation to her, let her do the leg work, then post her recommendations here and you'll get buckets of feedback!
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:18 AM
 
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I know where the Swiss Avenue Historic District is but can someone explain to me exactly what restaurants and bars and retail are walking distance from that neighborhood? I'm pretty sure that is the neighborhood near where I used to go to the doctor and I always had a hard time finding a place to eat if my appt was around lunchtime. Is there something I missed?
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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You can walk from there (and Junius Heights/Lakewood/Belmont) to Skillman-Live Oak (The Wine Therapist, Lakewood Landing, the new Matt's, Bistro Watel's, La Calle Doce, Bangkok Inn, Coffee Company, The Gold Rush etc. Or you can walk to Lakewood Shopping Center (Angelo's, Scalini's, Cantina Laredo, Snow Pea, Times Ten Winery, Penne Pommodoro, Dixie Lakewood, Legal Grounds, Ali Baba's, Whole Foods and of course Lakewood Theater and Library) a lot of interesting small retail shops... it's about 1/3 to 1/2 mile depending on where you start.
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